a second look, attention to detail, childhood, facing facts, fun, kids, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Smiley faces…

I walked down the block for the sunrise the other day. I’d sort of forgotten about this little park, and the charming little chalk drawings I used to see there sometimes. The last time I was there was the day after a hard rain, and the whole surface was fresh and clean, looked brand new. But this time I saw images that made me smile.

The cute faces in chalk were hard to miss. But when I saw this photo I saw another smiley face lit up in the clouds. Or is it just me?

The color kept building, a pretty sunrise.
As I walked away I noticed message left by a slightly older somebody. Someone is having a birthday, and someone was there, and someone is single. I had to laugh when I read that one.

I’ve thought about buying myself some sidewalk chalk and leaving a message, but I’ve come to my senses. I may feel like I’m in my second childhood these days, but I’m old. I think I’d best leave these kids to their fun and just check in on them from time to time.

'scene' along the way, attention to detail, bugs, facing facts, fantasy images, grandchildren, let it go, life goes on, neccessities, pamper yourself, perseverance, photography

Decisions…

Maybe it’s me. My current computer is the third computer of mine that has left me in the lurch when it comes to Lightroom. Since that is pretty much all I do on the computer it’s no small thing to me. So yesterday I took my 27 inch Mac back to the Apple store and it was ‘admitted’ for further evaluation. I don’t think of myself as a girly girl in the least, but seeing the table of new 24 inch desktops in so many pretty colors has me wondering exactly what I’m hoping as to the condition of the old computer. They are new, pretty, and have the M1 chip. Do I know what that is? No, but it sounds good. I don’t know what $$$ to fix it would be my cut off point, and if I opt for a new computer which color would I choose? Decisions, decisions…

'scene' along the way, birds, facing facts, Florida wildlife, life goes on, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, sunrise, Uncategorized

Sunrise…

Adorable owlet pictures from the night before had me rousting myself out in time to get to Safety Harbor for the sunrise this morning. I left shortly after I took these pictures, and once I saw a friend’s pictures from a little later I clearly left too soon.

The sunrise was a bit concentrated in just one spot this morning.
And then the sun was up, and I was off to the park.

This cute owlet was in a neighboring tree to the nest tree. How nice that he is out from behind all the Spanish moss, but it would have been nicer if he wasn’t hiding behind all the twigs.

Oh that face, twigs and all.

As much as I enjoyed seeing the sunrise and the owlet, it was a sad day at Philippe Park. Dog walkers discovered one of the baby owlets lying under another tree close by. Current theory suspects that it ate a poisoned rat, which I was told is what killed all three of last year’s baby owls. Both of the other babies were in the trees this morning, so that was good news. But I was a little surprised at how sad seeing that little pile of feathers made me. Life isn’t a Disney movie, as much as I wish it was…

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, blessings, bucket list, exploring new places, facing facts, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

Spoonies…

It was a toss up really. Which did I want to see more, Painted Buntings or Spoonies? This trip to Merritt Island was instigated by a gal I talked with when I was unsuccessfully shooting the eagles the other day. It was unsuccessful because I never saw the eaglets that day, but also because when I changed to my biggest lens I somehow upset the settings in the camera and had a hard time getting everything back to normal. As we talked about where to go and what to see she said that she saw ‘hundreds’ of Spoonies at Merritt Island a few weeks before. That statement was what sent me home determined to take a trip soon, like the next day! The fact that the weather was going to be absolutely perfect cemented the deal.

The Blackpoint Drive was the place to see them, stop #11, she said. And she was right! There they were, right on cue. Not hundreds, just a few. And once you are there and seeing them there is only a limited variety of poses that you can get. Standing there looking pretty, with a lovely reflection because you don’t seem to see them on land, is one pose. And the other pose is with their beak in the water, swishing back and forth. That’s about it, so I got a lot of identical shots. But the other shot I’ve seen online is with them flying, their feathers looking gorgeous in the sun. So I was torn when they took to the air, I was disappointed that they were leaving, but I kept shooting.

I couldn’t get over the deep red color on the wing. And what I assume is the ear hole (?) which sometimes shows prominently in the pictures.
As they swish their bill back and forth they unearth small snails, fish, insects, shrimp, crabs, and some plants. Shrimp is what causes their pink coloring.
In looking up their diet I discovered that there are 6 varieties of Spoonbills and they are common all over the world. But the Roseate Spoonbill is the odd ball due to it’s coloring.
I love the ruffled feathers in this shot.
Did I want him to leave? No, but I happily clicked the shutter as he took flight.
Pointed ‘toes’, graceful feathers…
Up, up, and away.
It was the end of the trail, and the next day we didn’t see them except in the distance.

It took me two days to get the courage to look at my spoonie shots. After shooting all day I realized that I hadn’t quite gotten my camera back to normal. It was shooting jpeg photos, not RAW, and I was worried that none of the shots would be decent. But what that really means is that the geniuses who create the algorithms that edit the photo as you take them know what they are doing. And there was nothing much for me to do except crop. Whew. Another adventure in Florida. At this moment I have no clue what’s next, but that’s okay, it’ll be a surprise to me too.

'scene' along the way, adventure, bucket list, exploring new places, facing facts, fantasy images, finding my way, just imagine, life goes on, live and learn, perseverance, photography, simple things

Those champaign tastes…

I do have good taste, but I also have the beer pocketbook to go with it. A little cottage on a lake, where I could watch the sunrise and/or sunset without racing up, or down, the road. Someplace with quirks, which, to me, suggests a cosy, homey little place. Speaking of the place, I might have found the community in SC while visiting for Christmas. Lake Wylie. Lots of little fingers of land jut into the lake, and the houses on the roads there must have great views, at least in the winter when the leaves are gone. The little park that I found so that I could stop to take pictures was up high, with views in three directions. There was a playground and bathrooms, and lots of designated golf cart parking spaces. But when I got on Zillow I discovered that there are no tiny cottages, or tiny price tags. Sigh. Somewhere there is a cosy little spot just waiting for me to find it. In the meantime I’ll keep dreaming…

a second look, attention to detail, blessings, brainstorms, changing times, childhood, Christmas on the brain, coping, facing facts, faith, family, growing old, Just do it, life goes on, making memories, memories, pastries, perseverance, photography, Yummy

Salvaging the spirit…

I have become a bah humbug sort of person. I don’t say that proudly, or lightly even. I grew up with a reverence for the day we celebrate the birth of Christ, and I loved making Christmas for my own kids through the years. Growing up in a big Italian family there were many treats to be had at Christmas that we didn’t see for the rest of the year. As the daughter of a fireman and a nurse I spent the major holidays at my aunt’s house, with my working parents coming and going, plus lots of relatives dropping in to visit. Special times that I couldn’t have appreciated at the time what treasured memories they would turn out to be. So when I got married and moved away I did my best to recreate the holidays I treasured. I made lasagna for Christmas dinner, something the family had switched over to some time in my preteen years when they decided that they were ITALIAN, for goodness sake, and weren’t going to duplicate the Thanksgiving dinner at Christmas anymore. I made the Italian cookies that are flavored with anise. I made strufoli, the tiny honey balls we only had at Christmas, and, when I could find it, I bought Torrone, a nougat candy that came in individual boxes that were exquisite little works of art in themselves. For many years Christmas was a wonderful time of year. But those days are long past, the kids are grown and gone, and even the grandchildren are grown. It feels like the media has taken over all aspects of life, including the holiday, and you can’t escape the pressure to be HAPPY, to spend more and more money. The meaning is lost, hence bah humbug.

With my bad attitude I have disappointed the new special person in my life who still treasures Christmas. Our first Christmas together and he didn’t expect my usual light-hearted self to just want to get this whole thing over with. We will visit his relatives for Christmas, and when a discussion of what to have for Christmas dinner came up my offer to make lasagna was accepted. That perked me up a little. It really warmed my heart when my daughter said that she is making lasagna for her crew too, and she is making strufoli for the first time in years! Now I will make strufoli too. I collected all my recipes yesterday, and my friend wanted to stop at the nice Italian deli near him, and I wondered out loud if I might find Torrone there. Boy, did I ever! Torrone in the little boxes. Torrone cut into wedges like a slice of layer cake, some topped with chocolate! Torrone packaged in the shape of Christmas trees! I stood there with my mouth open, and possibly drooling, as every where I turned I found Torrone. So, yes, I did find Torrone, and I think I might have found my Christmas spirit too.

The feature photo is a display of containers of strufoli, larger honey balls than the ones we used to make, but it made me happy to see my familiar treats. I wrote this post early yesterday, before a heart-warming (and tear-jerking) message from my daughter showed up online. I was already on my way to finding that elusive Christmas spirit, and now I’m happy to say that my strufoli is made, and my lasagna is coming together. So let me wish a Merry Christmas to all with a happy heart. And the new year? Well, there is always hope…