backyard visitors, birds, facing facts, fences, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Gray and gloomy…

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.

This is a Northern Mockingbird. If he had been facing the other way and I was looking directly at that long tail I wouldn’t have had to look him up.
They have an amazing repertoire of songs they sing. They are very common in this area, and everywhere actually.

Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family near and far.

'scene' along the way, facing facts, fences, history, just imagine, learning, lest we forget, perseverance, photography, reality check, road trip

Remembering…

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.

Fields and fences, beautiful now, as I’m sure they were then. The town was there, and quiet farms, and then the armies came.
The hills, the high ground, sought after by both sides.
I hope you can read this account of the day. I usually zoom in on the signage, but in this place I wanted the landscape to show also.
I used this picture in a previous post, but it does bring the lesson home.
What would it be like to charge up a hill in the face of canon fire?
Another account of battle.
The caption on the eternal flame reads, ‘Peace Eternal in a Nation United.’
Another landscape that I found so pretty, but the monument is in addition to what it may have looked like at the time.
Just as the battle came to the people who settled this land back then, the townspeople now go about their business among armies of tourists who come to remember.

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.

courage, death, exploring new places, facing facts, fences, history, learning, lest we forget, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Gettysburg…

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…

fences, friends, fun, Home Team, making memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sky, technology, weather

Baseball and fireworks!

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…

Did I have a clue in the world that the netting was there? No, I did not. And yes, I was disappointed when I put the photos into the computer and lost what I expected to be my favorite shot.
The camera ignored the netting better than I would have expected for this shot. Not quite the ball on the bat, but close.
I might have been tempted to try to take the dark line of the top of the netting out of this shot, but it does illustrate the dilemma.

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!

'scene' along the way, adventure, antiques, attention to detail, backyard visitors, courage, exploring new places, fences, finding my way, friends, history, just imagine, learning, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Thoughts of the past…

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.

If you stop to think for just a moment you realize that each section of fence was the result of hard labor on someone’s part. The lovely tree we can attribute to God’s handiwork.
Simple home for simple living.
The barn, to shelter the animals who depend on you and also provide their labor as well as food.
We didn’t talk with these photographers, though now I wish we would have. They had a nice camera/lens set up, and a tripod, and they seemed intent on the flowers behind the fence. Or was it something else?
The root cellar, preserving the fruits of your labor for the long winter days.
And the outhouse. We all know how necessary that is.
a second look, adventure, fences, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, moments, perseverance, photography

Racing to the races…

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!

Just start shooting…
Someone has a booboo…
Lots going on…
This is the photo I wanted to get. The finish line, the huge video screen, and the horse reaching the finish line by a nose. Except they were supposed to be racing in that ideal photo, but try as I might I missed that shot.
I loved this horse’s headgear, and his attitude.
A couple of us walked down to see the horses burst out of the gate. And there he was, my guy in his headgear!
Getting the hooves off the ground is a goal for this type of shoot, or so I’d been told. So when I saw #8’s hooves in this photo I decided that he deserved an A for effort. Now I was rooting for two horses in this race.
And there they both are, and they tried, but neither one won…
Here’s a winner…
The last race I stayed for was a turf race, a little more distance from where we stood, so this was as close as I came to getting all four hooves off the ground at the same time…
Looks like someone was happy with this race, but it’s just a random thumb, I have no idea who it belongs to.