'scene' along the way, exploring new places, family, foggy sky, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip

In the Smokies…

We are enjoying lovely weather in the Smokies, but not having WiFi has prevented me from working on my pictures and sharing them. It hasn’t prevented me from taking tons of pictures however, so I will have lots to keep me busy when we get home. The fall foliage we hoped for isn’t at it’s peak, but it smells like fall, and there are enough beautiful trees to make me happy. And we still have a few days.

a second look, adventure, birds, bucket list, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, sunrise, sunset, travel

A clean slate…

One day ends…

Another day begins…

A clean slate…

The usual morning crew, plus one…

This hawk has been sitting on various lamp posts and sounding off when I’ve been walking in this neighborhood. Finally I was able to get a picture, though not such a great one with the phone. I love the phone but there are limits to the pictures you can get with it.

This Great Blue Egret finally emerged from the shadows and posed for me.

And when you are reading this we will already be heading out on our next adventure. I’m listening to torrential rain as I’m writing this, and hoping for better weather in the morning. What will the day bring I wonder?

'scene' along the way, a second look, Amazing artwork, birds, exploring new places, friends, fun, Ibis, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Right under my nose…

In exploring this new-to-me neighborhood I had spotted this park a while ago. I immediately imagined positioning myself on the far side of the park trying to shoot the sunset. And I tried to do that exactly once, but it would only work if I walked onto people’s property, and I’m still a bit chicken to do that. And when I thought about sunrises I’d been on the lookout for places I could drive to in less than 45 minutes that would include a good view to the east. But on Sunday morning I decided that I needed to take a walk, and much to my surprise look what I found.

A view to the east! And judging by the clouds it would be a good sunrise. I continued my walk for a bit and then circled back.
It was going to be a good morning.
I had noticed the paved area before, but it took walking onto it for the sake of the view for me to see the permanent hop-scotch all ready for the neighborhood kids to enjoy. Apparently they still play.
And some charming artwork also. My kids, plus lots of neighbor kids also, once drew on the sidewalk with some kind of pods that had fallen off of the tree up the street. It turned out that they were walnut pods, and the resulting artwork wasn’t easily washed away. And I had a fuss-budget neighbor. Need I say more?
As I watched the colors come up I began to notice the birds flying in.
They were ibis, and they marched up the embankment towards me.
They didn’t seem to mind me and my iPhone taking their picture.
The colors were fading, it was time to head back.

I have admitted that I have sunrise/sunset envy, but it seems I may just need to open my eyes and look around a bit more, and appreciate what’s right under my nose.

adventure, Amazing artwork, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, hockey, perseverance, photography

Amalie Arena…

My first trip to Amalie Arena was on Thursday night, and the occasion was the first preseason game of the year. My tour guide told me that there would be murals, and we looked for them before the game started. And the statues. And we people-watched and had a beer at the Cigar City Brewing Company while we waited to go in. It was a fun place to kill time.

Phil Esposito. I remembered the name, much to my friend’s surprise, but I had no idea that he was responsible for bringing hockey to Tampa.
The cup, of course.
I was told that ordinarily the area outside the arena would be packed with people. It was pleasantly busy while we enjoyed a beer.
They honor their players well here.
I liked these murals also.
The caption of the team.
When my friend saw the hockey bag he knew that this kid would be the one to skate around the arena to rev up the crowd before the first puck drop. So I got behind a plant and took a picture.
The Lightning Bug, beating the drum to count down the seconds until the doors opened and the season began.
Championship flags…
And here’s our skater, doing a good job of getting the crowd excited.
And this little cutie pushed the button for the first puck drop.

I enjoyed the whole experience. The music they played, the fans dancing in their seats, all shown on the Jumbotron. It probably is something that all the arenas do to entertain their crowds, but it was all new to me and I had fun. It would have been better if the Lightning had won the game, but they didn’t.

adventure, exploring new places, following the rules, friends, fun, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, technology

Hockey anyone?

I believe I’d been to one hockey game in my life, and we sat in the nose-bleed seats so I’m sure I paid no attention what-so-ever to the action on the ice. I also remember watching hockey on TV with my son, on an old console TV that sat low to the floor, and we laughed our heads off over the kitten who zoomed back and forth trying to catch the puck. So I had very little preparation for the game I attended the other night with my photographer friend, who is primarily a sports photographer by choice. ‘Try to get the puck in your shot’, was the main instruction given to me before the puck dropped for the first game of the season. Of several seasons with the pandemic. USF vs. UCF…

The ceremonial puck drop to start the game. The one and only time you could hope to see their handsome faces.
Finding a few square inches of clear glass to shoot through proved to be quite an impossible feat. And we stood at the edge of the rink, so I will dress more warmly next time.
Sometimes you are glad that that scuffed up glass is there!
‘Concentrate on the goalie’, was another suggestion.
That proved to be good advice.
I really wanted to see their faces as they skated with the puck.
I didn’t concentrate hard enough not to wonder where this guy wandered in from.
More action at the goal. I hope that’s good padding they have on.
In pursuit of the puck.
Score!
Concentration.
‘Carrying the puck’.
The puck drop. I’m proud of this shot.

In the feature photo you see the teams shaking hands in a refreshing display of good sportsmanship. Especially welcome after watching such a physical game as this. It was a fun evening…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, butterflies, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky

A short visit to Chassahowitzka…

You know how it is. You head out the door intending to do one thing, but the conversation leads you in an entirely different direction. That’s what happened yesterday when we set out to see and take photos along the back roads of ‘old Florida’, but we wound up at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Preserve instead. I’ve been there before, but I’ve always been the passenger tagging along with friends who know the park backwards and forwards. Which means that I have no idea how to get around in there so I wasn’t the best guide that a person could hope for. In fact we never did see the scenery I expected to show him, but that was okay, we’ll find that next time. And next time maybe there won’t be bow and arrow hunters in the woods, a fact that kept us close to the road as we got out for pictures. Not that we are hikers. As you can see from the feature photo we found lots and lots of butterflies in the thistles at the side of the road.

There was a lot of competition over this flower.
I love the detail in the thistles.
Rain was expected later on, but for the most part the skies were pretty.
And the rains we have had meant that we had to drive through puddles that took over the road in spots.
Trees and sky are your companions as you drive the winding road.
The sky seemed threatening at times, but mostly it was pretty.
Then on the way home we saw this rain falling in the general direction of where we were heading, but we seemed to drive around it. Then it started to rain as soon as we got home. Perfect timing.

The wildlife was keeping a low profile as we drove through. Of course it was afternoon and there is usually more action in the morning and at dusk. Still my friend was happy to see the Florida landscape as it was before people decided to ‘improve’ it…