'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, facing facts, Florida landmarks, history, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography

The University of Tampa…

I first became aware of the wonderful spires of the University of Tampa when my photo group met to photograph sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa. After the shoot we walked to a nearby Irish Pub that sat along the river, but across the river you could see the spires of the University. The waitress said that people come to that area to take pictures of those spires with the sunset colors behind them. We attempted to do that once, but it wasn’t a great sunset that night. Now I’ll be wanting to try, try again.

We have ridden the water taxi along the river walk and had a slightly different view of the buildings several times since then, but this time we were attending the Holiday Stroll at the Henry Plant Museum that is located in that main building you see below. So, finally, a chance to see the building up close. Which is when I realized that it’s much too enormous to do justice to in a photograph. For me anyhow. That main building is Plant Hall, built in 1891 as the Tampa Bay Hotel. The hotel featured 500 guest rooms, a casino, and a race track. Guests might choose to hunt or fish, or quietly sit and listen to a concert on the grounds, and possibly enjoy tea while they listened. There was a struggle to make a profit however, and eventually the city of Tampa bought the property after Henry Plant died. Endowments by several prominent families provided enough money to keep up the property and expand the university also.

The doors of the feature photo are in the center of this view of the building. Through the doors you enter the grand hall, where students come to register, and other administrative offices are there as well. If you walk through you will exit to the rear of the building which is just as impressive as the front, as you will see.
I lamented the back view of this statue in the above photo, so I had to take a photo of the front of it.
This is the view from the front steps of the building. You are looking across a beautiful garden, and also across the river, at the ‘beer can’ building, that I also enjoy catching a glimpse of when we come to Tampa.
I find this architecture just amazing.
The detail boggles my mind.
Perhaps this statue represents the hunting dogs who resided here in the hotel’s heyday.
When I walked through the grand hall and exited through the doors I immediately saw the golf carts that I thought would ruin my pictures. But I did love the two round porches, and it took me a while to notice the photographer sitting at the base of the flag pole, and the little girl striking poses for him at the top of the steps.
I love looking at the porch, but I suppose sitting on the porch would be nice also.
Visiting on a Saturday during Christmas break meant there weren’t lots of students walking the paths, and not only that, you could park in the faculty parking lot too.
I have wanted to see a good view of this large round minaret so I was pleased when I spotted it.

Yes, this was a visit to do the Holiday Stroll, and we did. And it was lovely. I will post the pictures in the next day or so. I think this trip will have to be a holiday tradition from this time on. I never realized that new traditions can be just as meaningful as the memories of past holidays that we hold dear.

'scene' along the way, a second look, Amazing artwork, attitude adjustments, birds, boats, facing facts, finding my way, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, sunset

Sunset and sailboats…

When we house hunted in Florida all those years ago the first place we looked was Dunedin. Such a charming town, but I had to face the fact that I couldn’t afford it then, and I can’t afford it now. The reason for this visit was to see the Dunedin Boat Parade, which we attended last year. But this time we wanted to stake out a prime spot to shoot our photos, and since we would be in the area for a morning with the photo group it seemed like a good idea to just head to Dunedin early. I’m not going to tell you what time it was when we snagged the last possible spot right on the seawall, you’d think we’d lost our minds. Not that other people we waiting already. Nope, they had just placed their blankets and chairs extra early. We didn’t have things we were comfortable leaving to save out spot so we stayed, but I will make a note for next time. In the meantime there were a few things to take pictures of as we waited.

This shipwreck caught our eye. I have no idea what the story is, and amazingly people walked on the rocks with their kids to see it up close, and looked like they were going to break their necks as they did it. Thankfully no one did. And by the time the sun set all the rocks were underwater and the boat looked like it was just at anchor out there.
This anhinga seemed happy to fan his feathers on the sail.
Boats came and went all afternoon, including this guy. When my kids were young we had a raft like this one, minus the electric motor, you had to row. My son and his friend used to take it out on the lake we lived on in MD, and they always came back soaking wet. They insisted that they didn’t know what happened, ‘it just tipped over’. So I stealthily set out with the dog on the leash to investigate one day, and saw them happily jumping out of the raft and climbing back in. I’m glad now that he got to do things like that growing up.
As it got darker the lighted boats started out of the harbor to take their place in the parade.
As you can see from the feature photo the sky did develop some color as the sun set. And the birds took to the sky to return to where ever it is that they rest for the night.
I’m quite happy with this photo taken with my new camera. But it’s the only picture that I got with it. Someone needs to read up on the settings in the camera because I fooled with them and it wouldn’t take a picture after that.
I pouted a bit, okay a lot, since I couldn’t take the pictures I’d expected to take, but I finally got out my phone and took a few more pictures.

There were a LOT of boats, and it was a very long day. But by the next time this event rolls around again I’m sure I’ll be ready to try, try, again. I’ll make sure I’ve conquered the camera by then.

backyard visitors, birds, facing facts, fences, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Gray and gloomy…

I should be ashamed to be lamenting over every day that isn’t sunny. In the summer I tell myself that I’ll accomplish lots of stuff when the weather breaks. Then when it’s in the 60s I think it’s too cold to do anything. Yes, I’m spoiled, I’ll admit it. We will have to put out some bird feeders for the various fence sitters I’ve been seeing out back. This one posed in front of the dark shadow of the neighbor’s lanai, making the day look that much gloomier. He stayed put when I opened the door to our lanai so I didn’t have to shoot through the screening. Nice of him.

This is a Northern Mockingbird. If he had been facing the other way and I was looking directly at that long tail I wouldn’t have had to look him up.
They have an amazing repertoire of songs they sing. They are very common in this area, and everywhere actually.

Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family near and far.

'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, courage, facing facts, foggy sky, friends, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Greeting the day…

It was back to the bridge along the side of the highway for the sunrise this morning. When I walked out my front door I saw a lot of low, dark clouds, but I decided to head the few miles to see what I would see. It’s a busy road, a major north/south route, three lanes in each direction with a median. The sidewalks have cement barriers, so it doesn’t feel as reckless as it might sound. And speaking of sounds, you know what I hear as I look at the scene and plan my shots? I hear a rooster, sounding as out of place as he could be.

This was my first shot. Actually a 5 shot HDR image. Enough color to make me glad I headed out.
As time passed the color mellowed out.
I walked to the far end of the bridge to see these boats better.

The rooster wasn’t the only thing I heard this morning. Across the road, so across all six lanes of traffic from me, was a guy having an argument with someone. Himself? Was he on his phone? I couldn’t tell, and I wasn’t hopeful that the color would magically become amazing, so I walked (fast) down to my secluded parking spot and headed home. It was the first time I’ve ever felt uncomfortable when I’m roaming in the morning or at sunset. My house is ready for the possible storm that’s coming. It’s sure nice to have friends because I wouldn’t want to ride one out in a mobile home.

attitude adjustments, birds, blessings, coping, ducks, facing facts, friends, perseverance, photography, storms, sunrise, weather

A new attitude…

It may look as if it was the same sunrise that I’ve seen three days in a row now. No clouds to really pick up the color, it just sort of faded away. And the little birds that I’d tried to shoot the day before didn’t show up, though some of the usual suspects were there. So you might think it was a disappointing morning, but it wasn’t. Because last night I finally got my car back from the shop. And it looks, and even smells, like a brand new car! I had intended to clean it before I brought it in but I didn’t get around to it, and now I’m glad I didn’t bother. The hold up was the replacement shutter that cools the engine. You wire it one way or another depending on the build date of the car, information that would have been helpful to include with the new part, but it wasn’t. So anyhow, this morning may look the same, but I have had an attitude adjustment now that I have wheels! I confess that I was getting a bit pouty as time wore on. My chauffeur is off the hook. I got no attitude from him, he’s nicer than I am.

This really is a new picture, even if it looks exactly the same.
Waiting for sunrise.

The car looks so great that I’d like to wrap it in bubble wrap and never drive it again, but there is a potential hurricane to get ready for so I’ll just cross my fingers and hope we are spared again…

'scene' along the way, exploring new places, facing facts, flowers, food, friends, fun, Passing time, perseverance, photography, weather

Fresh Market at Wiregrass Mall…

I think I expected vegetables. There were plenty of bakery items, which I reluctantly passed by while polishing up my halo. A small sea of vendor tents, which we also saw last night at the nearby First Friday event. We saw them as they were being taken down just in time for the torrential rains to pour down. But it was a beautiful day today, but hot. This was supposed to be our first stop, then we thought we might head to Safety Harbor to see if we might see the launch from Cape Canaveral, but when we saw that it was scrapped again we headed home. Perhaps the storms will hold off tonight and we’ll see a sunset. Maybe…

We forgot to stop back here to check out the coffees before we headed home. We said we’d check out the bakeries too.
Hippie’s candles, love the name. I saw several CBD vendors also.
The kindest thing I could do for this hibiscus is to not take it home with me.
I think these cut flowers were struggling in the heat.
Tiny little cactus flowers.
And roses…
I thought that the white leaves were the flower, with the orange in the center. Maybe the orange is the flower?

This event is held on the first and third Saturday of the month. Soon it will be perfect weather for it, but we are still trying to escape the heat at the moment.