I’m not entirely sure if this was my first ‘first day’ hike, but it was a wake up call. It doesn’t get much flatter than a hike in Florida, but this one surprised me by being harder than I would have dreamed. All the inactivity of the last months, coupled with the baking (and eating), has taken a toll on me and I will have to change things in this new year. If there is one thing I can do for myself I think it would be drink more water, which seems like a easy enough goal.
A pine warbler was the only living thing, besides people, that I took a picture of, but I found myself surprised at just how colorful the scenery was. Maybe the pretty sky helped by creating contrast, but it was a nice walk.
Will there be a second day hike? That remains to be seen…
I have gone out to photograph the eagles and stuck out before, but I can usually count on the nearby Anclote River Park for people, boats, and pelicans. Not yesterday though. There was only a couple of cars in the parking lot which is usually quite full, and with no boaters to toss scraps I guess the birds were off hunting on their own. I did get the image of a bird that I hoped for, it just wasn’t an eagle. No, an osprey was sounding off from a snag above it’s nest, so I was able to get a photo of him.
And low tide at Anclote Gulf Park had some wading birds looking for a snack.
There was a surprise visitor welcoming visitors to Anclote River Park, so I took his picture.
On the way home the Sandhill Cranes were wandering along a retention pond so I stopped to see them. I don’t know why they were such a common sight to see in Spring Hill, but it’s a treat to see them since I moved. As I was looking at these pictures this morning I heard a couple of them calling as they flew over, but they kept going, the calls fading away as they flew.
And here’s the rest of the story, believe it or not. Shortly after I finished writing this post and scheduled it to publish I saw some movement out the window. My desk sits in my Florida room, which is all windows, and working on the computer can be a challenge because I’m facing those windows and the sheers I have hanging on them don’t keep me from struggling to see the screen against the glare of the windows. So through the sheers I saw something walk by, and here’s who came calling.
It is still a rare treat to see them here. But today their timing was impeccable…
The feature photo is the last picture I took on Tuesday morning. By the time I took it I was freezing. Forty-two degrees might be a warm spell to some, but to me these days it’s pretty darned cold. I had stubbornly stuck with it, even though I suspected that this sunrise wasn’t going to be much to look at. This is the first shot I took as soon as I got to the bridge, when I thought I’d cut it too close and would only have 10 or so minutes to get some photos. It actually took a half hour for the sun to show it’s face.
But nothing much happened as I stood and watched, and moved from one end of the bridge to the other because I couldn’t tell exactly where the sun would, eventually, put in an appearance.
And that’s it, that’s the whole story. Not every sunrise arrives with fireworks in the sky, and with gorgeous reflections in the water. Nope, sometimes the sun just comes up like it’s just another day, no big deal. I forgot that I have a heated steering wheel for my poor frozen hands until I was almost home. My mind was on the oatmeal I was going to make…
I’ve had a little harder time deciding what I wanted to write about this last stop on our Birmingham trip. I had come to Birmingham on a whim after all, and knew nothing of it’s history., so it came as a surprise to me to realize that such an industrial city existed in the south. And with my usual rosy glasses outlook I thought about all the jobs and opportunity it mist have been for anyone willing to work. I took these photos at the Vulcan museum. They came from a display with pictures of groups of workers with these four highlighted. It tells the story pretty well.
The sheer size of the Sloss Furnaces was amazing. You could wander the grounds with machinery towering over you, and you could walk into tunnels under the ground. It was impossible to try to imagine what that place was like on any given day when it was running full steam, the noise of the machinery, the smell of the molten steel, and the heat. Did the machinery cause the very ground to vibrate? Hard and dirty jobs, day after day, and still they worked…
Day one of early voting in Florida found me in a socially distanced line waiting to vote, which is all I have to say about this election. The first election that I actually remember was the 1956 election. I was turning eight, and horrified to realize that Eisenhower might not continue to be president. Since I thought life was just perfect as it was I worried that he wouldn’t be re-elected. Or they could elect my daddy, I thought that would be a dandy idea also. Next up was the 1960 election of JFK, a big deal in MA of course, so that left a lasting impression. But with a voting age of 21, and due to my July birthday, the first election I was able to vote in was the 1972 election. I was living in San Diego at the time, so waiting for my husband to get home from work meant that Nixon had already been declared the winner before I went out and voted with my home state, the only state to go for McGovern.
To be honest I had to look up a list of the presidential elections after that to remind myself who ran, who was elected, and who I voted for. I’m only batting 500, but I actually thought it was worse than that, and for me most of those elections came and went without a lot of emotion on my part. Probably the most memorable one was the 2000 Bush/Gore election, which isn’t surprising. But it so happened that a friend of the family was on the Bush election team, which is probably why my two oldest grandkids were very aware of the election and excited about it. We walked to the polls to vote that morning, the kids rode their new scooters and we were going to McDonald’s for breakfast afterwards. The line was just long enough for it to seem like an event, but not so long that the kids got bored. They were allowed into the polling booth with me and they were given their own “I voted” stickers. For this grandmother it was the perfect educational moment, I just loved everything about that day, until the vote count. It was educational in an entirely unexpected way when my grandson asked me several weeks later, “Hey Mimi, did they ever figure out who won that election?”
The story of this election is still to be written… God bless America…
Note to self; be sure to check the tides before you head to Green Key for the sunrise. It was just dumb luck that the tide was low the last time I went there. Low tide lets you walk out far enough that the shrubbery isn’t blocking your view. But this morning all I worried about was how warm and muggy the morning was even at 6:30 AM, so I doused myself liberally with bug spray and headed out. And sure enough, there was color in the sky, but no view, which sent me scrambling to the nearby bridge where I like to take pictures also. Got there just in the nick of time.
I was really hoping to see the spoonbills at Green Key today also. It wasn’t to be. Next time there is low tide I’ll try again.