'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, Florida landmarks, life goes on, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Day two dawns…

I checked the weather app on my phone, and when I saw that it was 61 degrees and clear I knew I’d head out to the park for sunrise.. It was overcast all day yesterday, day one after the hurricane came through, and I thought there would be a good potential for a really great sunrise, but when I got to the park and saw the heavy dark clouds I wasn’t so sure.

What I imagine when the app says that it’s ‘clear’ out isn’t what I found. But the mere thought that it was ‘sweater weather’ would have gotten me out regardless.
I was still feeling optimistic at this point.
This was as nice as the sunrise got this morning.
Heading for home there was no mistaking that shape at the top of the light post.
He stayed put for a photo or two, but when I tried to walk around to see him head-on he flew off.

When I got to the park and sat down on the bench I was greeted by mosquitos that seemed all too happy to see me. I was less happy to see, and swat, them. Day two after the hurricane, and the photos of the devastation south of us are heart breaking. The most I have seen in my area are some small sections of fencing down. Now anticipating another landfall in Charleston, I have to hope that they also are spared.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, boats, changing times, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, perseverance, photography

Floating along…

If you are at Armature Works for a car show, or just for lunch, then you are on the Riverwalk. The river being the Hillsboro River, and there are lots of places you might like to visit along that river. The easiest way to travel up, or down, the river is by water taxi, and you might choose to get an all day pass and get on and off the boat to explore all there is to see. We, however, just rode one round trip and called it a day. Until next time.

You pass under a few bridges as you travel on the river. The tour guide pointed out that you must make an appointment to bring a larger boat through the bridges, and should you miss your appointment you would incur a $25,000 fine. Plus they would have sent out crews to open the rest of the bridges for you, which might make your fine $125,000. So don’t be late.

The round building is known as the ‘beer can building’, for obvious reasons.
At one end of your trip you will find the American Victory ship. Built mostly by women during WW2, it remains fully operational. Tours of the ship are available.
The schedule for the Lightning has been released, so we’ll soon be inside, looking out, rooting the team on.
Testing the camera’s abilities by shooting these little doves as we sailed on by.
I heard the guys sitting behind me talking about a rainbow but I had to go up and join the captain to see it.
This picture has it all. The water taxis, the beer can building, and yet another of the bridges. And cranes along they way also, an ever evolving landscape.
Are these minarets out of place in an urban landscape? They adorn Plant Hall, which now holds the administration services of the University of Tampa, but was once home to the Tampa Bay Hotel. A visit to the museum here will have to be enjoyed another day.
Plant wanted something exotic as a design for his hotel, so Architect J.A Wood designed a Moorish Byzantine style building, which was popular in the Victorian period. The hotel only remained open for 40 years, from 1891 to 1932, but was visited by Theodore Roosevelt and Clara Barton, guests who helped it earn its status as a National Historic Landmark.
A nearby church echoes the theme.

What a nice way to spend a day in Tampa. The afternoon clouds were arriving right on time, and we were safely home relaxing when the storm rolled in.

a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, making memories, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, technology

Butterfly garden…

The thought of another rainy day had me a little down in the dumps yesterday. But when the sun came out in the early afternoon we decided to go to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden with our cameras. The last time I was there they had recently pruned all the greenery back, and I thought it looked a bit sad. This time the greenery was lush, almost overgrown, and the butterflies were seemingly frantic in their activity. The feature photo is the two black butterflies who were in constant motion, chasing each other and flitting from flower to flower. After the fact I thought of the adjustments I might have made in the camera to help stop the action, fearing I hadn’t gotten any sharp photos. I’m actually surprised to have gotten a couple.

I guess they slowed down a little.
This garden has the luxury of lots of shade, and many tables and benches that you might chose to stop at to relax. You might even bring lunch. I used to pass this garden almost every time I left the house, now it’s a little out of the way, but not too far.
I love this little castle planter. I can’t resist taking a picture every time I visit.
This sculpture is finished now, carved out of the trunk of a tree that stood here. What a beautiful addition to the garden.
While my friend looked at the train garden I was excited to see this big yellow butterfly, who posed rather nicely for me.
I really didn’t get as many good shots of him as I thought I had. The new camera has a ‘joy stick’ that you can move with your thumb to adjust your focus. It’s not natural for me to use that yet so I cut off pieces of his wings in a lot of shots.
The train garden sits like a little oasis surrounded by the train tracks. The owner runs the trains on Saturdays, at least some Saturdays, and there is a button the kids can push to make the sound of the train whistle. Tucked away in that foliage are two little waterfalls, but you will have to take my word for it since they were well hidden.
This train station seems new to me. Those passengers will have to wait a while for the next train.

It’s a treat to get outside even for a little while. And dinner with the photo group finished the day off perfectly.

'scene' along the way, a second look, Bayport, boats, brainstorms, Florida landmarks, foggy sky, fun, Just do it, moon, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Foggy sunrise…

It was back to Bayport this morning. I was amazed at how light the sky was as I drove the half hour to get there, but I knew I was going to be at least 20 minutes early for the actual sunrise. There was a haze hanging low to the horizon, but my faith in how Bayport never disappoints is still firmly in place.

There was drama to the actual sunrise, but the reflected colors made for pretty scenes too.
Lots of boats were setting off for a lovely Sunday on the water. Or until the afternoon storms blow in.
I think we need the photographer’s version of this fishing wagon. Less avid fishermen (or women) were sleeping on chaise lounges, while others played their music and cast their lines,
A foggy pastel scene, complete with moon.

Getting out for the sunrise is such a lovely way to start the day.

a second look, brainstorms, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, hockey, Home Team, perseverance, photography, second chances, storms, weather

Instant replay…

The stage was set. Adirondack chairs in place. The tantalizing aromas of all the various restaurants made it hard to choose just one. Which is why my plan was to get a little something from a few of them, in the interests of providing a fair and balanced report on the festivities. Our first stop was the Brew Pub, where my friend quickly spotted a beer he liked and hadn’t had for a while. You can wander with your drinks, so we headed over to Blush, the wine bar that offered frozen sangria. After I’d seen a photo of that online I knew I had to have one. It didn’t disappoint.

You might think that I had noticed the dark clouds in the background as I took this picture, but I was way too focused on enjoying my drink for that to happen.
Honey feta dip…
After nibbling on honey feta dip and chicken parm meatballs we settled into our camping chairs to enjoy the game.
There were umbrella covered picnic tables to the right and left of the screen, and playground equipment to keep the kids busy. But shortly after we settled in we got a severe thunderstorm warning on our phones. The first time I was here all I paid attention to was the sky, but until that moment I hadn’t noticed the sky at all this time.
A few fat drops of rain fell, and we decided not to leave quite yet. But when we saw lightning we decided that maybe we should head home and enjoy a front row seat to the game from there.

You will see this post on Saturday morning, and on Saturday evening we will have an opportunity to have an instant replay of this particular adventure. Hopefully the Lightning will win this time, and the storms will not materialize to keep us from sampling more of the tempting treats available. Rest assured, I see another frozen sangria in my future…

a second look, Florida landmarks, food, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, safety Harbor, sunrise

Rise and shine…

I set the alarm for 4:30 AM, and then was awake from 12:30 on, waiting for the alarm to go off. Of course I’d fallen asleep and was startled when it did go off, but such are the trials and tribulations of a photographer in search of a nice sunrise. Not only a chance to shoot in a fun place with friends, but to go to a new breakfast spot with the most amazing looking waffles ever! At the last minute I let myself be talked into a frittata instead, and now I have to go back for the banana maple pecan waffles that I failed to choose this morning. And the breakfast possibilities distracted me for the last half of the shoot since I was starving. Or I could just win the lottery and move to Safety Harbor altogether, but then I’d be in range of those waffles every morning and that would be dangerous.

The feature photo was my first shot of the morning and this was my second.
The color was so low in the sky that trying to get the pier with the color behind it didn’t seem possible.
Of course that didn’t stop me from trying.
Even with the cloud cover it was a pretty sunrise.
I appreciate a setting that allows you to move around to vary your shots.
This photographer was able to wander while his phone was set to take a photo every few seconds, and then the entire sunrise could be played back in 20 seconds or so.
Leave it to the iPhone to give me a wide enough angle to get the sunrise and the pier in one shot.
How cute is this little spot? Imagine us in that charming courtyard just beyond, enjoying our breakfasts.
Not everyone second guessed their choice of breakfast. A mixed berry waffle, just before the whipped cream slid off to the side.

Fun with friends in Florida, where you can get your activity in early, before it gets too hot, and then nap away the afternoon while the sun blazes away. Or while the thunder rumbles, even if it doesn’t rain. Makes for a perfect day.