chickens, fences, flowers, friends, gardens, neighbors, on closer examination, photography, sunrise, unintended consequences, weather

And it kept on raining…

Looking out the kitchen window that morning I saw some definition in the clouds, so I loaded the cameras and tripods into the car and headed to Hammonds Creek for the sunrise.  It’s only a five or six mile trip to the gulf coast, but before I got there I was seeing drops on the windshield.  Just heavy mist, I told myself.  But it was a downpour just a minute later, so I turned the car around and headed for home.  No sooner did I do that than I saw a promising looking sky again, and no rain.  Again I reversed direction, and again I drove into a torrential downpour.  And yet again the weather was fine on the way home.  Sometimes you have to settle for a sunrise from the backyard.

Also in the back yard are flowers that I was offered by a neighbor I used to talk with when I walked Zoe a longer walk than I had for the last couple of years.  She was digging up some of them because they spread.  You would think that I might have gotten a hint from that, the possibility that one day I’d be trying to get rid of them I mean.  But no, what I saw was red, sort of tubular flowers, and I had read that that’s what will attract hummingbirds.  So on the barest smidgeon of information I brought them home and planted them, and within years I was digging them up, but there is no getting rid of them.  They have made themselves so at home that they have diversified…6-2threepinkfeature5-29white5-29whiteandpink5-29pinkandwhite5-29yellow

But only the ones way out back have these new colors.  Out back in chicken territory.  My neighbor laughed when I suggested that her chickens were responsible, a chicken version of cross-pollination.  Or maybe it’s the morning light back there.  But it has taken several years for these new colors to develop, which coincides with the chicken invasion.  I’m not complaining though, the chickens come over and de-bug my yard fairly regularly.  They are welcome any time!

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backyard visitors, dogs, fences, friends, home, home improvements, live and learn, neighbors, on closer examination, photography, squirrels, unintended consequences

Good fences…

If good fences make good neighbors then how is it that I just love my neighbors on both sides, one on the side without a fence, and the other with whom I shared a length of fence that my uncle remarked was more holes than fence?  He was right, it was pretty hole-y.  But my neighbor’s entire yard was surrounded by fence that was long past it’s prime, and so when some used fencing came her way she started patching the worst areas.  Which gave me an idea, a true light bulb moment.  Since they were putting up fencing anyhow, how about I buy new fencing for the section that we share, and they put it up.  I really am a genius sometimes, ask Ozzie if you don’t believe me.

I wish I had thought to take a picture when it was nice and clean.  Already it has acquired a coating of sand where the grass hasn’t filled in.  Or the chickens flung sand at it, they’ve been visiting lately.  I certainly admired it… at first.  But I’m over the novelty of it and now it just looks… boring.  There used to be more to look at.2-10fencetextureI went looking through my photos to see if the fence showed up in any of them.  I took this picture because I was trying to take photos of the wood texture.  You see it was a bit see-through.  Zoe liked that aspect of it because she could keep an eye on what was going on over there in case she was missing something.2-10fencesquirrelThe squirrels took to the top of the fence whenever Zoe came zooming out the back door.  Chasing them is her favorite thing to do.  Ozzie, not so much.2-10fencesquirrel2I was able to capture this image because that squirrel likes having his picture taken.  I’d see birds sitting there also, but they weren’t as cooperative so I don’t have a photo of them.  Not that I didn’t try.2-10fencedieselThen there is Diesel.  He has a girlfriend a few blocks away, and he discovered that those boards didn’t really offer much resistance, so every so often he’d make a break for it and they’d have to hunt him down.  Now they know where to look for him however.

So, a new fence.  A home improvement.  Charley was a coin collector, old, rare coins, and patients would bring their old coins in for him to see in hopes they would have a rare one worth lots of money.  He’d tell them whatever they did, don’t clean them.  The color that develops on the old coins is called toning, and the coins are more valuable if the toning isn’t disturbed.  It didn’t matter, they always cleaned the coins.  One did it with a pencil eraser.  Maybe he thought Charley wouldn’t notice.  I never understood the value of the toning, I just took Charley’s word for it.  But it has occurred to me that that’s what is missing from the new fence.  Toning!  A little something extra to look at…

dogs, fences, home, home improvements, nature, photography, rain, sunset, weather

“If you don’t like the weather…

…wait a minute.”  My mother used to say that all the time, and most likely someone famous said it first.  She was talking about Massachusetts, but I beg to differ, Massachusetts is an amateur compared to Florida.  Well, that’s what I say anyhow, and most of the people I know who live here agree.

It was hot and sunny at 6:30, which doesn’t comes a surprise since it’s August in Florida.  Then I heard a crack of thunder just as a severe weather warning came over my phone.  I hurried to get the dogs out before the rain, and above is what it looked like out back.  Around front the dark clouds were taking over.frontview  Then it started to rain so I herded the dogs around to the back door and discovered a gorgeous rainbow.  A double one, or so it looks in the photo.  And as we came into the house I saw the end of the rainbow, it ends on my neighbor’s lanai.  And then it poured.  As soon as it gets dark I think I’ll go out and look for the pot of gold next door.

By 8:00 the storm was essentially over, and the clouds were trying to show the sunset colors.  And my neighbor’s dog wondered what the heck I was doing taking photos in the drizzle.  Isn’t that fence a sight?  My neighbor and I talk about redoing it, but that’s as far as we seem to get.  Don’t want to rush into anything.

That storm was actually Thursday night.  Friday night was in instant replay of the night before, but without a rainbow and with a waterfall on the lanai.  Ah, Florida weather!McNealwaterfall

adventure, fences, natural wonders, on closer examination, special effects, sunset, technology, travel

Armchair traveling…

Have you been on Google Earth lately? Or ever? I went looking for that application on the computer so that I could look up my grandfather’s house for a blog post, and gone was the blue marble ikon I was looking for. I thought I’d somehow deleted the application, but no, it was there, now titled Google Earth Pro, with a gray and white ikon.

The ikon might be less colorful, but I was astounded at what I found when I typed in the address I was looking for. I was essentially a drone, flying over a very clear town, and zooming in so that I was standing in front of the house! A beautiful, full color, photograph of the house that, in this case, was well past it’s prime. And yes, it took a little maneuvering, and while you are ‘walking’ yourself to the actual address you just might make yourself a little sea sick, but so worth it. Maybe not if you are trying to hide, or on the ‘lam’, but for nosy people like me it was great!  Just this morning I visited the Vatican, the Acropolis, and the school where my granddaughter teaches in Bucharest. In the more famous places there are many, many photo links to click on to see the photos that other people have taken in that place and posted on the internet.

And then it hit me while I was at work today!  The Grand Canyon!  What better place to fly over!  Or down into. I’m thinking it has to be like wearing one of those flying squirrel suits and zooming on the air currents… from the comfort of my recliner of course. The tool bar at the top of the screen seems to allow you to save images, or record your ‘tour’. As I zoomed I stopped and took quick photos of my computer screen for you to see.  And kept the tools in the photos on purpose so you’ll know what the screen looks like if you decide to fly there, or anywhere else, for yourself and check it out. It really is a small world these days.

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