fences, friends, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography

Off to the races…

The question was, would I like to go watch a speed skating event and take some pictures? Of course I said yes, it was something new to do. Perhaps you, like me, imagined ice skating. Well, if you did you’d be wrong. It was inline skating and it’s not for the feint of heart, or light of wallet.

The boots, the wheels, the frame that holds the wheels, and the little gasket thingies that hold the wheel to the frame are all purchased separately. And then there are the uniforms to buy also. But there was much enthusiasm and good sportsmanship on display as racers of all ages took to the track.

I confess that we were out all day in the sun, and now I’m going through my 573 pictures while enjoying a glass (or possibly two, I’ve lost track) of egg nog. I will quit for now but here are the pictures I’ve gotten ready so far. You may notice that I seem to have discovered a favorite skater. He raced in the ‘over 25’ group, possibly way over 25. No, he didn’t win any of his races, but he didn’t come in last either. Just giving credit where credit is due…

'scene' along the way, adventure, Camping, family, fences, fun, live and learn, making memories, moments, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

Slide Lake

Sunday my cousin and I walked the trail at Slide Lake, a favorite place of hers.  To get there we tackled roads nearly as rough as the one I had been on the week before, the road my cousin said that everyone who lives here knows better than to travel on.  She wanted to find “The Wedding Tree”, a spot where many locals choose to get married, including friends of hers, but she hadn’t ever been there. 07-19-20mooseweddingtreeWe also stopped to take pictures of the red hills and old wagons, plus the horses and cows who were observing us as we checked out the scenery.  One stop to see a couple of ravens who had caught our eye resulted in a quick glimpse of a moose and calf as they were heading Into the woods.  I resolved to go back to see what I could see another time.07-19-20mooseravens07-19-20mooseredhills207-19-20mooseredhills07-19-20mooseredhills307-19-20mooserockface07-19-20moosescene207-19-20moosescene07-19-20moosewagon207-19-20moosecalf07-19-20moosehorses07-19-20moosewagonBut I’m forgetting to mention the Gros Ventre Slide, scene of an event that changed the scene in this area.  And named the lake in the process.07-19-20mooseslidesign07-19-20mooseslidescene

And a tease of sunset on the way home.07-19-20moosesunset

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, egrets, fences, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things, unintended images, weather

A perfect Florida day…

A friend and I went hiking in the woods yesterday.  It was the perfect day for it, cool but sunny, finally the Florida weather I love the most.  We did nearly 7 miles, walking and talking, and stopping for a few pictures.  Not many really.11-13woodedwalk11-13woodedwalklilypads11-13woodsscapeWe kidded that if our mutual friend Betty had been with us that she would have taken a million pictures already.  So I took this one in her honor;11-13woodedwalkbettyweedWe didn’t seen another person, and only saw a deer off in the distance, but in the sand on the trail were tracks of lots of animals.  Linda said that it must be like rush hour in the night with all the animal activity.  We did see a rhino though, not a frequent sight in Florida.11-13woodedwalkrhinoHogg pond was our destination, and we found some egrets gathered there.  I suspect the beginnings of nesting activity.  And there have been great flocks of birds in the air lately.  Usually they are too high in the sky for decent photos, or the camera just isn’t set up for that capture.  These birds were coming in to land however.  Yes, this will be a booming place in the spring.11-13woodedwalkflyover11-13woodedwalkposers11-13woodsflyingegret11-13woodssnaileaterWe had stopped for lunch at a very quaint hot dog shop in Floral City, and then hiked in the Perry Oldenberg wilderness area.  But the jackpot happened as we finished the hike and were ready to leave.  That’s when we saw the cows in the pasture next to the parking lot.  I was looking to take photos like this when I was at my daughter’s house in PA over the summer, but somehow failed to get out and explore the rolling farmland for scenes like this.  People ask what kind of photography I like best, but I think I like the surprises along the way that make it so interesting.  And I’m normally out by myself for photos, but it was nice to be out with a friend…11-13woodedwalkpasture11-13woodedwalkpasturefamily11-13woodedwalkbrowncow211-13woodedwalkbrowncowI thought that all the cows with horns were bulls, but closer examination of my photos disproved that theory.  Not this particular photo, but trust me…

 

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!

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