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.
Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family near and far.
I found myself to be more affected by the trip to Gettysburg than I expected to be. Those beautiful preserved landscapes got to me. Looking much like they would have in 1863, it was impossible to imagine the scene as troops met in that peaceful looking place, and so many of them died there.
We attended a screening of the movie Casablanca the other day at the Tampa Theater. We did this last August also, but this time the scene depicting the German army occupying Paris stood out to me. Another war, people helpless in the face of armies, and with much different weapons. And then my mind went to the war in the Ukraine, and I’m stunned to think that people are again, or should I say still, experiencing the horrors of war.
If you ever get a chance to go to Gettysburg don’t do what we did. We were going to ‘see’ Gettysburg, only an hour from where we had stayed the night before, and then be on our way back home to Florida. We arrived at a little after opening, around 9:30 AM, seeing the Cyclorama (amazing) and the museum, and then heading out for the auto tour which we only finished by 5PM by rushing a bit at the end. I didn’t ever understand the impact of that battle on the outcome of the war, and my head is spinning as I look at the pictures and try to remember where each one was taken when we have just arrived home this morning. I was as much taken with the beautiful landscape of Pennsylvania itself, as I was by the historical significance of the scenes before me. And yet there are monuments to be seen in the pictures. Three days of battle leaving thousands of soldiers dead and dying in these fields, and a townspeople of less than 1300 to cope with the aftermath. This place is beautifully preserved lest we forget…
All that was missing was the apple pie! An early 4th of July fireworks display following a Clearwater Threshers baseball game. As you will see, the fireworks took most of my attention, but there were a couple of reasons for that. First, and mostly, it was the new netting that has been erected to prevent injuries from foul balls of the line drive sort. So you happen to see a cute interaction between the Threshers mascot and a cute little old lady in the stands, and you happily shoot a picture, but you get this…
It was about this time that I noticed that my camera had dropped under a full charge, and I have misplaced my extra battery. And there were fireworks to come. I remembered being disappointed in my actual baseball shots the last time I was there, and there was no netting to contend with back then, so that was the end of my baseball shots. And the thing about fireworks shots is that you make your settings in the camera, setting an 8 second exposure, and every time your camera shows you a completed shot on the screen you fire another one off. Your camera only covers a small portion of sky, and you have no idea where exactly the next display will come up, so it’s a crap shoot. But on this day I got lucky…
And then there was the fiasco of trying to get off of the parking lot. The close in parking spot we were so happy to find when we got there turned out to be a liability when we wanted to leave. But I’m sure you’ve all been there. Fireworks and baseball at the stadium the next two nights in a row. I hope the weather cooperates as nicely as it did for us, and that they win for them, they didn’t for us. God bless the USA!
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers more than just the fabulous scenery at their stops along the way. Sometimes you find a preserved example of an Appalachian Farm to explore. It was nice to get out of the car for more than a minute or two, to walk a little, and to think of what challenges people faced not too long ago, to make a living in this quiet place.
It was yet another day with no plan when I happened to look at my emails and saw that I was off the waiting list for the photo trip to Tampa Bay Downs and was now good to go. Only it was 10:15, too late to go was my first thought. Fifteen minutes later I was out the door and on my way. Because, well, why not? And I’m so glad I went, even though there are now three barriers between the track and the spectators, making shooting especially hard for short people, but the weather was good and the company was better. What a fun day!