'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, finding my way, fun, gardens, making memories, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Mother Meres…

It wasn’t easy trying to get to the site of the festivities in Tarpon Springs the other day, what with so many streets blockaded and such. Eventually I realized that I was close enough to where I was supposed to meet my son to just park (legally) on one of the side streets and walk to the meeting point. That worked well. The trick came when I had to walk back to my car with only a vague notion of where it was parked. I walked the side streets and parking lots to get there, and to my amazement I came across the lovely mural of Mother Meres tucked away on one of those side streets. Of course I took a picture and Googled her story once I got home.

It seems that Mother Meres was born Amelia Petzold Meres in Germany in 1845, and came to the US as a child of 5. In 1882 she moved to Tarpon Springs with her husband and she ran the Fern Hotel there. According to a story published in the Tarpon Springs Tribune this mural was dedicated in her honor in 2010, 84 years after her death in 1923. It credits her accomplishments as planting cyads, which eventually gave the Tarpon Springs Cycadia Cemetery it’s name. She threw the first Christmas Party in the area, and helped to plant trees to beautify the town. If I had done my homework I would have found the Kapok Tree Inn and taken a picture because she is credited with providing the seeds for the tree that gave it it’s name.

After her death in 1923 her gardens became a gathering place for the town, but they were mostly turned into parking lots in the 1950s. So this mural was created to thank her for lasting gifts her love of plants and nature have left for the town all these years later.

This statue sits in front of the library so I thought that it’s story was probably self-explanatory. But what a lovely statue it is, I wish I’d taken time for a few more pictures but we were rushing to the waterfront for the main event of the day. It seems there is more to Tarpon Springs than just the sponge docks…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Chinsegut Conservation Center, facing facts, finding my way, Just do it, life goes on, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, reality check, sky, weather

First day hike…

I’m not entirely sure if this was my first ‘first day’ hike, but it was a wake up call. It doesn’t get much flatter than a hike in Florida, but this one surprised me by being harder than I would have dreamed. All the inactivity of the last months, coupled with the baking (and eating), has taken a toll on me and I will have to change things in this new year. If there is one thing I can do for myself I think it would be drink more water, which seems like a easy enough goal.

A pine warbler was the only living thing, besides people, that I took a picture of, but I found myself surprised at just how colorful the scenery was. Maybe the pretty sky helped by creating contrast, but it was a nice walk.

Our hike leader pointing out the wound from the turpentine industry. There was an equally large one on the other side of the tree also, but still it grows.

Will there be a second day hike? That remains to be seen…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, egrets, finding my way, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Wall Springs Park…

Today I decided that a walk at Wall Springs Park would be a bit more scenic than just a walk around my neighborhood, and it just might include an opportunity to take some photos. It was a sunny but windy day, but hardly something to complain about when so many of my friends and family are snowbound.

I made a stop at the eagle nest both on the way and also on the way home, with no luck. But at the park I heard an osprey calling, and after some looking around I spotted him in a tree.

The butterfly garden at Wall Springs was my last discovery, and then it was on to Anclote Gulf park on the way home.

I get mad at myself when I let a beautiful day go by without getting outside to enjoy it, and aren’t I lucky that there are so many pretty places to go?

a second look, finding my way, Florida landmarks, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, second chances, weather


I had orangutans on the brain the other morning, but instead of dropping everything and heading to the zoo I dithered and it broke the spell. Later I saw pictures of a brand new baby orangutan taken by a friend that same day and I was disappointed that I hadn’t gone. So when the thought crossed my mind yesterday I was out the door in no time flat.

With so many pictures to go through I decided that it would be easier to look at the pictures of other than orangutans, but fair warning, there will be so much orangutan cuteness to come.

The macaw fly through happened just as I entered the zoo. There was barely time to get the camera out of my bag.
I would never have cropped so close except I had zoomed in on my pictures to see if they were sharp and this one popped in and startled me, in a good way, so I kept it cropped.
The baby elephant is getting so big.
I thought they were piping in the sound of a tiger roar, but no, it was this guy.
And a meerkat just because…
Another new baby, a white rhino.
This zebra was nice enough to walk into the sun and get his picture taken.
Getting a full length close up of this guy just wasn’t in the cards…
'scene' along the way, adventure, facing facts, finding my way, following the rules, learning, life, live and learn, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, reality check, travel

Sloss Furnaces…

I’ve had a little harder time deciding what I wanted to write about this last stop on our Birmingham trip. I had come to Birmingham on a whim after all, and knew nothing of it’s history., so it came as a surprise to me to realize that such an industrial city existed in the south. And with my usual rosy glasses outlook I thought about all the jobs and opportunity it mist have been for anyone willing to work. I took these photos at the Vulcan museum. They came from a display with pictures of groups of workers with these four highlighted. It tells the story pretty well.

The sheer size of the Sloss Furnaces was amazing. You could wander the grounds with machinery towering over you, and you could walk into tunnels under the ground. It was impossible to try to imagine what that place was like on any given day when it was running full steam, the noise of the machinery, the smell of the molten steel, and the heat. Did the machinery cause the very ground to vibrate? Hard and dirty jobs, day after day, and still they worked…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, dogs, finding my way, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, sunrise, weather

The day after…

I got to Green Key Beach early, before much color was in the sky. But it was low tide, I knew that because I checked the Tides App when I was trying to decide where to go on this morning after Thanksgiving. I knew that I would be able to walk out onto the sand to view the sunrise, and also across the road the sky would be pretty and the wading birds would be loving low tide. So I had done my homework, I was in the right place at the right time, but when I went to get my camera out of the car it wasn’t there. That wasn’t totally heartbreaking since I had my phone, but I wasn’t happy with myself. But there was a kayaker setting out for a paddle so I started taking pictures.

And the color starting rising with the sun.

And across the street the sky was becoming amazing. Birds were calling, but without the camera with it’s zoom lens I wasn’t able to capture them.

I was the first person there, but boaters and fishermen were arriving. And a paddle boarder, with his dog Layla, who obeyed his command to stay while he got the rest of his equipment.

Just as the paddle boarder paddled away my boater friend returned to his boat with his bucket which he had forgotten, and I knew that I had to wait for him to pull away before I could leave. I knew that that was going to be my favorite shot of the day. And it was.

And on the way home I remembered that when I loaded the car with things to bring to my son’s house the day before I had put everything in the back compartment of the car. So I had my camera with me the whole time…