'scene' along the way, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology

Ospreys and more…

I have been to the rookery nearly every day since I bought my new camera.  Not the latest greatest Canon camera, but decidedly an upgrade.  So I was excited to go back to the rookery to use the new camera, with the 600mm lens.  And in addition to that I saw pictures of some wood stork chicks and now I was on a mission to see them for myself.  But all, literally all, of my pictures came out terrible.  A much higher percentage than normal.  But once I saw them on the computer I figured out what the problem was, I thought, and went back again the next day but with the same result.  Now I was worried.  Today I went back to the rookery and used the new lens that came with the new camera, which isn’t as much of a challenge to operate without a tripod and just the fence to use to steady the lens.  And not so many distractions since I had the place to myself after a while.  It’s always operator error…

Seeing an osprey at the rookery was a first for me, but not for the other photographer who was there when I got there.  He pointed out the osprey nest up high on some sort of telephone post, in plain sight, so it had obviously been there all along.


Chinsegut Conservation Center, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, history, learning, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended consequences

History come to life…

I wasn’t expecting a history lesson when I went to join my photographer friends yesterday.  It was to be a hike, and I was welcome to join them.  They hike a LOT, and volunteer at the Chinsegut Conservation Center, and are currently editing/updating a history of the Chinsegut Hill property itself.  So our hike was on property that is not open to the public, but of course we were conscientious and didn’t leave anything behind us, or remove a thing, unless it was ticks.  After a hike they usually remark about how many ticks they have found on themselves afterwards, which is a big reason that I don’t join them often.  “Stay on the paths and you should be all right,” they said, and then the paths disappeared, and on we trudged.

The history lesson concerned the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, which I’d heard of but honestly knew nothing about, but I looked it up this morning.  This turned out to be the most popular New Deal program of the time, 1933-1942, and it provided unskilled manual labor for unmarried young men ages 17-28 during those difficult depression years.  They were provided with shelter, clothing, and food, plus a wage of $30/month, $25 of which was required to be sent back to their families.  They labored on lands owned by local, state, and federal governments, and this program was not only a boon to the men and their families, but also led to an appreciation of the outdoors, and the need to protect our national resources.  Chinsegut Hill benefitted from the labors of these men, who built the buildings on the property plus improved the wonderful acres of natural environment, preserving it to this day.  When Betty and Linda first saw this property it was old and worn, but in pristine condition, buildings intact, dishes on the table, a bible beside the toilet, and equipment in the fields.  As if people had just walked away.  But it was recently vandalized, windows broken, and the buildings are now locked.  As Betty said, nature is reclaiming what was hers in the beginning.

So now you know what you are looking at, if you have stuck with me this long.  And as I have written this it has occurred to me that I forgot to check myself for ticks.  Excuse me…03-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILLBROKENWINDOW03-26=2019ChinsegutHill503-26=2019ChinsegutHill403-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL303-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL203-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL03-26=2019ChinsegutHilltruck

There were a lot more photos I still needed to go through, but I’ve just started saving them to my external hard drive.  It’s getting back to them that’s the problem.  But you get the point.

a second look, Florida landmarks, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, photography

Howard Park…

This post has been sitting as a draft for months and months.  Written long before I ever thought about making the changes in my life that are now a done deal.  I left it there so that one day when I didn’t have a post to write I could use it.  So today’s the day evidently.  Now I’m nostalgic for the photo ops in Florida, not unlike how I was feeling about needing to get back to the people and places I loved in my long ago youth.  I think of my ex-husband telling me that I’d never be satisfied.  I think he was talking about my never-ending list of home improvement projects, but no matter what he meant at that moment I suspect that it was truer than I ever thought…

Long ago my friend had mentioned to me that their favorite place to go when she used to visit this area was Fred Howard Park, in Tarpon Springs.  Thinking of that I brought two of my grandchildren there quite a long time ago now, but I didn’t look at a map and had no idea that there was a causeway and a beach there.  That fact came to me recently when I saw a wonderful photo posted by a new photography friend, and it featured a lifeguard chair with sunset colors. It was wonderful.  And in my photography group it’s been said that studying others’s photos and trying to emulate them is a learning tool, so off I went.  I found the chair, and had to wait while beach goers were rousted off of it by the ranger who was there, and even then it was a challenge to compose a shot because the sun was setting to the right of the chair, darn it.  I did post some shots from that shoot, but I have found more, some on the iPhone.  I need to go back again, it’s a pretty park.6-7howardparkchairHDR6-7howardparkpalms

And from the sponge docks on the way home…6-7teaexchange

'scene' along the way, Florida landmarks, learning, memories, on closer examination, photography, road trip

Heritage Village…

On Saturday three of us club members from Hernando County made the trek to Clearwater to have our camera sensors cleaned.  A wonderful perk of club membership.  Florida Center for Creative Photography, or FCCP, for those who may wonder.  Haveing made a bit of a trip we asked where we might go to take some pictures while we were out, and we settled on Heritage Village.

On a sunny day the colors were vibrant, and it clashed with the notion of seeing those days of old in sepia tones.  In truth I looked to see if I could tint the pictures that way, but I grew impatient, so you are seeing what we saw.

The general store came first…12-3generalstore12-3shopping

Then the train station…12-3crossing12-3allaboard312-3allaboard2

And, of course a garage.  It even smelled like a garage…12-3outtolunch212-3outtolunch12-3heritagegarage

How about a barber shop, complete with a photo bomb by Natty Boh…12-3nattyboh12-3barbershop212-3barbershop

And a one room schoolhouse…12-3schoolhouse212-3schoolhouse

I’m not squeamish, but the doctor’s office blew me away a little.  Instruments displayed under glass, and numbered so that you could find out what they were used for.  I’m sorry, but they looked brutal.  I wonder what the survival rate for surgical patients was back then.  I did take a photo of the first dental X-ray machine, and the birthing chair which was surprisingly short, and complete with a sink for the baby to be delivered into. Again, brutal.  Next time I’ll concentrate on the instruments more.12-3openwide12-3birthingchair.jpg

And some scenes of everyday life in the village…12-3kitchen12-3heritagespinning12-3office12-3redwheels12-3bedtime

Seems appropriate for the outhouse to be the grand finale of the visit!  It was a fun day!12-3outhouse

fantasy images, Florida landmarks, fun, history, learning, photography, special effects, technology

The ‘atmospheric’ style…

When the Tampa Theatre was built in 1926, the movie studios controlled the production, distribution, and venues where their movies were played.  John Eberson was the most sought after movie house designer of the times, and he pioneered the ‘atmospheric’ style, of which it was said that the Tampa Theatre was his favorite design.  Movie goers were to be transported, for several hours at least, to exotic courtyards, under moonlight skies complete with stars.  The theater survived the  Great Depression and WW2, but by the 70s it took a monumental effort to rescue this theater from becoming a parking lot.  Today the Tampa Theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places, and hosts more than 600 events each year.  Tours are held several times a month and the one I attended today was quite informative and entertaining.  And I learned that a silent film is scheduled to be shown on June 2nd, complete with a live orchestra.  There aren’t many people with the skills to play the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, and we were treated to a few tunes played for us today.

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Even with the new camera the size of the spaces in the theater were a challenge to photograph.  Even in the theater itself it’s hard to get far enough away to see it all in your viewer with the balconies overhead.  The starry, starry sky effect is quite lovely, and the photos don’t do it justice.  This was a fun way to spend a rainy day.  Thanks to the photographer friend who suggested this as a photo op.  I looked it up this morning and found I had just enough time to get myself there for the tour.  Must have been meant to be!

P. S. Love the new camera!