'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, go with the flow, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, squirrels

Low tide…

Whenever I go to check on the eagles I can’t help but stop at the two county parks nearby. The Anclote fishing pier can be a great choice for photo ops. Yesterday I got there at very low tide, something I hadn’t done many times at all over the years. How the fishermen even had enough water to cast a line was a bit of a mystery to me. I liked how the Great Blue Heron positioned himself underneath the fisherman in the feature photo.

My Merlin app had to identify this bird for me. A juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron. The tear drop shaped white spots on his wing feathers was the deciding factor distinguishing it from the yellow crowned variety.
And this one? Possibly a Herring Gull, according to Merlin. But then it said , “Some species are better left unidentified.” Maybe that can be my go-to answer when I don’t know what bird I’m looking at. BTW, that’s a crab it was eating.
I displaced this dove who had been on the ground just outside my car when I was leaving. But she didn’t go far and posed for me, so I obliged.
This little guy climbed a fence and up onto a post to pose for me at Anclote River Park.

Our recent trip to Circle B Bar Reserve was the Frank Planes memorial walk, which we do on January 2nd every year. He was a founding member of the photography group many years ago, and I remember Jeff telling us that his pet peeve was all the squirrel pictures that newbies take. I guess I’m still a newbie because I can’t resist them…

a second look, coping, facing facts, finding my way, go with the flow, life, life goes on, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset

Some days…

Some days end in a blaze of glory. Is that day proud of itself for being such a spectacular day from beginning to end? Other days slip away quietly. Perhaps not exactly hoping that no one will notice, but possibly it feels shyly apologetic for not having made more of itself all day long. I relate more to the latter, facing the world from behind the lens of my camera, then communicating with the world from the anonymity of my computer screen. Some days are more inspired than others…

'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, bucket list, connections, finding my way, friends, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, life goes on, making memories, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, travel

Have I mentioned?

I know I mentioned that I wasn’t particularly gracious when I found myself driving the endless hairpin turns as we traveled the last 20 miles to the cabin. But I don’t think I mentioned that the entire rest of my trip was chauffeur driven, including the first part of the drive home. That’s the part with the hairpin turns and the frustrating traffic approaching Atlanta. Whew! So I spent one of the days we were there, the day that it stayed overcast most of the day so the light was soft and the colors were nice, shooting iPhone pictures out the windshield of the car. I have, on occasion, tried to shoot pictures out the windshield while also driving, a practice that I don’t recommend since it rarely leads to a good picture, not to mention the danger involved. But with a chauffeur it was hard to resist trying for shots as the scenery was gorgeous but there was nowhere to stop and take pictures. The feature photo is one of my more successful of those shots.

We were at a higher elevation, as well as the softer light, so the colors really seemed more vivid.
Ordinarily I’d have cropped out the people at the bottom of the picture. But as you can see they are aiming their phones across the parking area. I wonder if they ever turned around and looked behind themselves?
I don’t know that I stand and savor these views since I’m usually in such a hurry to take a picture, as if someone is about to snatch the view away.
Rocks and water again.
The water is so clear.
The sound of the water was nice too, and all the while you were under a canopy of gold and orange leaves.

The drive to get to the Smokies may have been long and frustrating at times, and the lack of wifi for the entire stay, as well as not even having TV for the first two days, may have been enough to spoil the trip for some people. But our focus was to get out and take ever more pictures, so that’s what we did. Plus I had downloaded books from Audible before we left, just to use my points before I quit the app, so we listened to a Vince Flynn book for the two TV-less nights. Now we need to listen to the end to see if everyone lives happily ever after. Which is what we seem to be doing…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, finding my way, friends, fun, go with the flow, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Ups and downs…

The last time I drove Skyline Drive I popped the pop-up off the hitch when I drove over railroad tracks in Front Royal. Fortunately two very nice gentlemen appeared out of nowhere and jacked up the now bent front support and got me back on the road. So I drove the whole way preoccupied with the camper, worried it would pop off again. I know I took pictures and enjoyed the scenery to a degree, but not like I did on this trip down Skyline Drive. The fact that I wasn’t the only driver was both a blessing and a curse because we both really would prefer to be the driver, but we managed to share the driving duties peacefully. But driving that road with its ups and downs, and hairpin turns to the right, and hairpin turns to the left, and stopping at every overlook to take pictures, can wear a girl out.

And when you come to the end of Skyline Drive you immediately begin your drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with more ups and downs, and twists and turns. So we stopped for the night in Hillsville, VA. Which my son may remember from an infamous trip we took from FL to upstate NY, dragging a uHaul, and he said, looking at the map, “Mom, there is a road that’s a shortcut from the road we are on to the one we are going to”, and we took it. Much to our dismay we found it had twists and turns, and ups and downs, and we groaned when we saw that we had been driving, however appropriately, through Hillsville! I asked him if I had been driving him nuts by driving too slow over that road and he said no, I was driving him nuts because he thought I was driving too fast! I never imagined I’d spend four days driving that sort of road willingly, and calling it fun!

My first trip to Florida was in 1988 and I came away with the impression that it was entirely too flat. At this moment in time I think that Florida’s flatness just might be its best feature.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, connections, finding my way, foggy sky, friends, fun, go with the flow, history, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography

In the mist…

Do you see it in the mist? The Gurnett Light. One of the few places I knew of that my friend hadn’t been to when he was a kid growing up in my same hometown. So we drove the long, rough, dirt road out to the point where it sat, and had to get 90% there to see it at all in the mist. I dodged raindrops all day to get these pictures, but somehow it didn’t spoil what turned out to be a fun day for us.

You really can’t get close to this lighthouse since it’s in a private community that sits out at the tip of the point. But you can zoom with your lens.
When I googled the Powder Point Light I expected to see the other lighthouse, but this one showed up. It sits right at the start of the Powder Point Bridge and is now a private residence.
And the bridge, once the longest wooden bridge in the country. Or maybe it was the world, I just read it but can’t remember.
Someone watched me taking pictures.
And swimmers on the beach. A
And the lonely lifeguard, watching them.
We had driven through Plymouth the day before. It was a gorgeous day but we couldn’t stop then, and probably couldn’t have found parking since the place was teaming with tourists. So we said we’d come back the next day, and the weather meant that there was plenty of parking.
Those masts are the Mayflower 2. As we drove back and forth to Duxbury the rain would stop, but each time we returned to Plymouth it was pouring again. We wound up drenched.
At one intersection along the way we saw the Toll House sign. The actual Toll House was a cute little white house in Whitman where the toll house cookie was said to be invented. It sat on this corner, and across the intersection was a fabulous fabric store called Saftlers. Both are gone now, replaced with gas stations I think..

I think that if I had had anyone else with me yesterday, and wanted to show them scenery that was close to my heart, they’d have thought I was nuts. But we both loved pointing out all the beautiful old houses along the roads we both traveled as kids…

'scene' along the way, adventure, coping, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, go with the flow, life, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, unintended images

Detours…

I’ll bet you think I’m going to get all philosophical and talk about how you think your life is going one way and then it takes a very unexpected turn. I might be tempted to talk about that, but in this case I’m talking about the actual detour we took yesterday. Off of Rt. 301, compliments of the policemen who had closed the road to all traffic. We knew that something very unfortunate had happened up ahead, and we had a pretty good attitude since we had planned a day of driving that would get us to our stopping point on the early side. I had, however, just suggested that a bathroom break might be in order, and little did I know that it would be two hours before we found ourselves back on 301.

We were on a two lane road, very rural, with standing water along the sides of the road in places, from the recent rains.
When I say ‘we’ I mean ourselves and the many, many huge trucks traveling in both directions. One after the other those huge trucks passed us, most with their right side tires off the pavement and I noticed that they were creating a deep rut on the other side of the road. And still there were more coming.
I wished I could reach my camera when I saw three mules in the pasture here. One was kicking up it’s heals at the other two. It could have been a good picture, darn it.
I suppose I was lucky that I wasn’t the driver at the time, so I could amuse myself by taking pictures with my phone.

It took us over two hours to travel that detour. We saw only one issue, and that was a car driving in our same direction, and she had gone off the road enough that trying to back herself back up the slope probably wouldn’t work. We were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel by then, 301 was just up ahead and our particular nightmare was almost over. We looked at the cars and trucks heading south and just turning onto that sad little road and felt bad that they had no idea what they were in for. And, just as we expected, once we reached 301 we saw that the northbound lanes had been reopened while we were stuck in that detour nightmare. But we were back on the road with no harm done, so we were happy. Later on we learned that a truck driver had overturned and died, causing this whole problem. Day one of this trip was done…