If you like to shop my friend’s location is the place for you with it’s multiple, and very nice, shopping centers within a few miles. But I have lamented the lack of a great spot for the sunrise and/or sunset, based on the fact that I want to see all the way to the horizon line, and having some water for reflections seemed to me to be a must. But I will admit that going out the door for 10 minutes total, shooting a few pictures, and then having my feet up and ready to watch TV in no time flat has it’s advantages.
Things are not always as they seem. The lovely cool-looking waterside view in the feature photos is actually where I sought to recover from the sweltering hot dragonfly photo session I had just attempted. The dragonflies were having none of it, and I didn’t find the shade to be much of a relief at all. I haven’t minded the summer in Florida as much as I have this year. But I got away a lot the last few years. Plus instead of my part time job taking up time and making me feel as if I’d earned some relaxation time in the afternoons, I’m twiddling my thumbs and mad at myself for not ‘doing something’. We did do the fireworks on the 2nd actually, and I posted photos already. But after watching my friend edit his photos I went back to mine and worked on some more of them that I hadn’t used before. But this is the end of them, I think.
A final view of the fireworks. I have no clue what will come next but I suppose I’ll figure that out.
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!
My friend announced that he wanted to go to Clearwater yesterday, which made me think of the nesting birds that we hadn’t gone looking for so far. I was sure it was now or never to find the chicks before they fledged, so I sort of hijacked his trip by suggesting we go a little bit farther and see the birds first. Only they weren’t where we found them last year, requiring a plan B. Our second stop was going to require feeding the meter before we even knew if they were there, so he parked while I hurried down to the beach to see what I could see. And I did see several adult birds in a roped off area up the beach a ways. But I began to hear thunder which caused the lifeguards to being sounding their whistles to get swimmers out of the water. I had my cell phone with me and thought I’d get a beach picture before I left, but looking behind me I saw quite the sky.
At first we were amazed at all the lightning we were seeing on the drive home. The claps of thunder and the lightning were almost simultaneous, so we knew the storm was right over us. But when it began to rain we couldn’t keep driving, we had to pull over and wait it out. My friend never did get to run his errand in Clearwater, but I had told him that lunch was on me. And then when we were finally almost home I was amazed at how dark the skies were, but some of the clouds were lit up and looking amazing against the dark sky. We have a photo walk to go to tonight and similar weather conditions are on the menu. But that will be the story for the foreseeable future here in Florida, my adopted home.
There is an upside to the late sunsets in early summer in Florida. Usually I’d rather have an early sunset so I can be home in time to relax and check my photos. But on this day when we had a meeting of our photography club we could catch the sunset on the way home. Plus this was the first time all day that it felt good to be outside. Actually the first time in many days that it was nice to be outside. And our fearless leader suggested a new-to-us spot to watch the sunset happen. What a find! Thanks Jeff!
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 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…