'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, gardens, healing, learning, making memories, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, simple things, The Narrows, turtles

BOGO…

The Narrows came to me in a brainstorm as a place to go with my friend while she was here.  How often do you get to see raptors up close and personal?  Or at all really.  The brainstorm came to me because while we were at the eagles one day we ran into a friend of mine who volunteers there.  I have walked the trails with him while he held a little screech owl on his wrist and interacted with the other visitors on the trail.  It’s such an unusual way to visit with nature.

But this visit was a little disappointing at first.  There were no volunteers out on the deck with hawks, or Sarge the eagle, on their wrists.  They hadn’t changed their policy, they said, but there is a shortage of volunteers to take the birds out.  A group of disabled veterans arrived as we were getting there also, and I thought they were visitors, but in a little while we saw them out with birds on the trail.  One said that the bird he was holding had had a brain injury, and he had a brain injury also.  It’s a heartwarming place to go.  Maybe a 90 minute drive isn’t too far to go to volunteer…02-29-20vet-owl02-29-20vet-owl202-29-20kestrel02-29-20horned02-29-20Egreathorned02-29-20Easternscreech02-29-20barredA volunteer pointed out the dark-eyed owls and light-eyed owls, and said that the dark eyed ones are spectacular night hunters.  Nature has given them incredible night vision, and I have read that owls can see their prey a mile away, so day hunters also have us all beat by a mile.

I had a plan for the next day also.  I was going to take my friend to the Florida Botanical Gardens for a photo walk with my photo group.  For the heck of it I checked to see where it was in comparison to The Narrows, and it was only two miles from where we were at that moment.  So of course we headed there, but on a chilly day in February it was not nearly the amazing place I have visited in the past.  We didn’t stay long at all, but I am glad to know that I can easily visit these two places on the same day from now on.  Kind of a BOGO!02-29-20rose02-29-20hearts

Christmas on the brain, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, moments, moon, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, sunset

Garden flowers…

Of course there were also flowers at the botanical garden the other day.  And it seemed as if the red ones were the ones catching my eye.  Christmas colors.  Christmas on the brain.12-10redflower12-10hibidcus12-10flowerbranchI loved this little donkey planter that sat on a shelf in my mother’s house.  I loved it enough that I claimed it for my own when my mother was the one doing the downsizing.  I still love it, maybe it’s the colors?  So I had just said that I needed to find a little plant to put in it.  Something alive in the house, something to take care of.  Then I went to Publix and the Christmas cactus were on sale.  Just the thing I think.  But my success rate with plants isn’t all that great so I hope I haven’t condemned the poor thing to death,12-10planterWith Christmas on the brain the last couple of days I decided that I needed to find a spot for my tree, but there is no empty wall space in this tiny house.  But where there’s will there’s a way because I found a spot.  I’ve been itching to start sewing again.  Normally that would be such a nice winter activity, except you can hardly call this Florida weather winter.

12-10treeisup

And at the end of our day at the botanical gardens we were seeing a lovely sunset, but had no nice view for photos.  But the moon looked pretty enough.  I hear there is another nice moon expected tonight.  At 12:12 on 12/12.  I hope to be awake to check it out.12-10sunsetmoon

'scene' along the way, a second look, friends, fun, gardens, moments, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, second chances

Christmas garden…

I lived within a few miles of the Nature Coast Botanical Garden for about 10 years, and thought I dropped in fairly often,  But it took my friends who live an hour away to give me a heads up that there was a wonderful Christmas display at the gardens.  Had been in past years also.  How did I miss that?  I didn’t drop in as often as I thought apparently.  But yesterday we roamed and took pictures.  Christmas was on display everywhere we looked.  Everywhere we turned.  It was lovely…12-10Christmasgardens12-10angels12-10angels212-10wingsNot only angels and wings, but snowmen too.12-10snowmanAnd fancy, sparkly Christmas balls.12-10shells12-10orb12-10metta;oc12-10cutout12-10goldballs12-10hedgehogBut I also have a thing for hedgehogs.  Such a cute addition to anyone’s tree.  Especially mine.

'scene' along the way, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, gardens, lizards, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, technology

Saturday at the Botanical Gardens…

At the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens that is.  I may never have gone there on a Saturday before.  I say this because it just seemed to be bustling with activity, which isn’t usually the case.  They were getting ready for a wedding, decorating the gazebo, and chairs were set up ready for guests.  It looked to be my kind of affair, small and simple.  I’ll bet it was nice. 10-12gazebo

It was early and the sun was strong and made for deep shadows.  The butterflies in the butterfly garden were scarce, and too busy to sit for photographs.  But the female cardinal was too busy eating berries to worry about me and my camera.10-12cardinal2

But what tickled me most was that the train was zooming around the track.  That was a first.  I’d seen that the track was there of course, but hadn’t seen it in operation.  The gentleman running it says it runs every Saturday from 9 AM to noon.  The track circles a display that includes two little waterfalls, and I happily tried to get pictures but the strong sun and shadows got in the way.  So I used my new iPhone to take shots of the train in burst mode, and it shot a movie instead.  Clearly I need to study up on how to take best advantage of the features of the phone.  And the site wouldn’t let me post the little video.  But I got one shot of the train at least.10-12train

This water feature was new to me also.10-12waterfeatureAnd, what we have most of here in Florida, lizards!10-12lizard

adventure, Camping, finding my way, friends, fun, gardens, Just do it, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends, technology, travel, Uncategorized

Portland’s Lighthouses…

What a novelty it was to be chauffeur driven to THE sight to see if you see nothing else in Portland. Great company, nice lunch, and now I’ve seen it, and taken pictures too!  The Portland Head Light.  And more!  What a nice day, even if the sky was darkening as the day progressed.  Thank you Joan and Jude!

The Portland Head Light was so impressive that I began taking pictures from the parking lot!

Portlandhead3Portlandhead1Portlandhead2Portlandhead4Portlandhead5

Also guarding the harbor we have the Portland Breakwater Light, affectionately called Bug Light.  Bug light is segmented, which means that if you are in the correct shipping channel you will see a white light, but if you are seeing a red light then you are in danger of going aground.Buglight1Buglight2Buglight3

And we also have Bug Light’s twin sister, the Spring Point Ledge Light…Springpointledgelight1Springpointledgelight3Springpointledgelight4Springpointledgelight6

And off in the distance in these shots you see Ram’s Head Ledge Light.  You may also have noticed why I love the 18 to 400mm lens.  Both of these shots were taken with that lens, hand held.  And with an extra challenge because I figured out later on that I had the lens stabilization turned off.  I was stuggling, now I know why.  Duh.Ram's HeadRam'shead2

Portland.  I’ll be back…PortlandPortlandfort

Oh, did I forget bugs?  There is an exquisite Children’s garden too!Children'sgardenfeature

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, fun, gardens, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Flowers and bugs…

You know I can never resist a flower picture with a bug in it. Especially bugs that look like a little kid’s toy they’d pull behind them as they learned to walk.   I wonder if they have toys like that anymore?  No batteries, just kid power.  Those photos make flower pictures without a bug just look boring in comparison.  These photos are also from the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden.  Such a lovely place to visit, and just a short drive from this campground.  I’m beginning to wonder if a week will be enough time to see everything I’d like to see while I’m here.  And there I was, contemplating heading back home just a couple of days ago.  I usually do  keep my promises, but I don’t always keep the promises I make to myself.  It’s about time I did…flowersandbugsbeeflowersandbugsbeehiveflowersandbugsbirdsflowersandbugsbutterfly2flowersandbugscalipidderflowersandbugsdragonflyflowersandbugsfakeeyesflowersandbugsgardenflowersandbugsgarden2flowersandbugshollyhockflowersandbugsmonarchflowersandbugspinkandorangeflowersandbugspurpleflowersandbugstunnelflowersandbugstwoofthem

I’m told that the green smiley-faced caterpillar has fake eyes on his back to make his enemies think there is a big, bad, bug looking at them.  I just think he’s cute!