'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…

a second look, blessings, connections, coping, courage, facing facts, finding my way, friends, fun, growing old, history, leap of faith, learning, life, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset, technology

Things have changed…

I wrote my tag line, “Life on my own, on the Nature Coast of Florida”, on the fly in a class I took on How to Start a Blog. We walked out of that two hour class with the bones of a blog in our laptops, all we had to do was write, so I did. And I have enjoyed it a lot. But lately I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud. Actually I have been feeling that way for a while now. After all, once I moved two years ago I assumed that my new county wasn’t considered part of the Nature Coast. But I checked with Siri just now and she says I’m good. Not a fraud, at least not over that part of my tag line.

But the ‘on my own’ thing isn’t as true as it used to be either. I am still on my own, but against all odds there is now someone sharing my life, and also sharing my photo ops. Another photographer, so the whole being out for photos, and also processing them later on, is lots more fun these days. And we are on the cusp of our first adventure together, heading off to visit relatives and take pictures along the way. I probably would have bet money against this ever happening, but it certainly has been a welcome addition to my life in general. So that ‘never say never’ thing? Well, I guess that’s good advice…

'scene' along the way, changing times, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, history, learning, live and learn, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park…

If I had read the signage at the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park I might have looked at the site a little differently. Old ruins are frequently the subject of photographs, and this one was only a short distance from Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park and required only a walk across the road to see it in its entirety. So it was a no-brainer to drive the two miles and see what was there. But in looking it up this morning I found myself surprised to read that it is the ruins of a forced-labor farm owned by David Levy Yulee. Once Florida became a state Yulee was elected to the Senate, and after Florida seceded from the union he became a member of the Confederate Congress. That he was an ‘enslaver’ was startling to read, maybe because of the terminology, or maybe the current political climate is making me take these statements less for granted than when read in a textbook years ago. He is also given credit for helping establish the network of railroads which became a boon to Florida’s economy. There is a much bigger story represented in this small space than I would ever have imagined.

adventure, boats, brainstorms, exploring new places, friends, fun, go with the flow, history, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, weather

The witches of Salem…

1692 was not a good year for witches, or people perceived to be witches, in Salem, MA.

This is the witch memorial. Each stone slab is engraved with the name and date of death of a person who was hanged for being a witch.
We did no homework ahead of time, so if these people have stories we didn’t learn them.
There were no crowds at the memorial on Tuesday. Possibly because the main stops were only open Friday-Monday at the moment. As was the Visitor Center, so we were without maps, and wandering on our own.
These murals caught my eye.
This was an interesting sign, and there were many opportunities to get your fortune read. I’ve always been afraid to do that, I guess I prefer to stumble along in the dark.
This shop in particular caught my eye, but we didn’t go in.
A chuckle at the front door.
The waterfront seemed like a good bet for photos.
Loved this figurehead.
The shoreline was quiet.
The sky was so pretty.
This is the home for aged women. I should have asked if they had an opening.
I love it when flowers spill over a fence like this.
Up one side.
Down the other.
A passerby told us to look up the oldest candy shop in America. The building wasn’t as old looking as others and I’m not sure that we would have gone in without a heads up. They told us that in 1802 a British woman was shipwrecked off the coast and was brought ashore penniless. But when the villagers learned that she had been a confectioner they bought her a barrel of sugar, and the business was born. Gibralters were the first candy made and sold in America.
200 year old candy remains in the glass jar in the case on the shelf. I liked the cash register.
I bought these to share with someone special, provided I can resist them for a few more days.
'scene' along the way, adventure, bucket list, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, fun, history, Just do it, making memories, moments, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Lighthouses…

Something is wrong with this picture. Not the actual picture. No, the idea that climbing up the 214 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse only burns 24 calories, there is something wrong with that number. Most landings announce how many steps you have left as you climb, something that didn’t make me pant any less hard. Some landings had benches and they did help get me to the top. In my anticipation of seeing this lighthouse I expected my view to be of the lighthouse plus ocean, which didn’t materialize. As a matter of fact the little park around the lighthouse is small enough that I had to mostly rely on my iPhone for photos. This is the first lighthouse I ever climbed, and I will admit the view was great, both on the way to the top and from the top itself. But one bite of cookie would negate the climb, that is just wrong…

The path from the parking area to the lighthouse.
The main event with the sun sinking behind it.
Yes, it’s pretty, and 214 steps to the top, keep that in mind.
I was dizzy just taking this photo.
One young man took these steps at a run, two at a time. I called him out for showing off.
I would never dream of what hard work this job would have been, at least in 1874.
I wouldn’t try anything that requires a parachute.
How they did it.
There were windows around every turn as you climbed, and they framed the view beautifully.
See what I mean?
At first there was a nice breeze.
The breeze got stronger as you climbed.
So happy it was a nice day.
Getting blown to bits was worth the view.
So pretty.
You never know what corner you may turn and find a like-minded photographer.

Was it comforting to read that you will spend another 11 calories climbing down the steps? Not so much…

adventure, Charleston views, exploring new places, flowers, gardens, history, Just do it, learning, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Middleton Place…

When I told my Uber driver that I was planning to go to Magnolia Plantation he immediately said that I should go to Middleton Place. I have friends who would have planned ahead and learned some of the history of both of these places, which of course I didn’t do. Middleton Place was every bit as beautiful as the day before, possibly because the two gardens are only a few miles apart and full of azaleas. This is the country’s oldest landscaped garden, is what the brochure said, and it’s also a National Historic site.

Welcome to Middleton Place.
Landscaped paths, but which way to go?
I affectionately dubbed this Swan Lake, though the brochure calls it the reflection pond.
More paths, definitely landscaped.
Do I know them? No, but she was cute…
I was surprised to see that you open the gate and walk into the sheep’s territory. I was looking at this live oak before I noticed the sheep, but I took the picture before I realized how many more sheep, and live oaks, I’d see.
Maybe I’ll go this way.
If I got the story straight this is the Wood Nymph, and it’s the only statue that survived the Civil War, and it survived because they buried it to keep it safe.
After a while I have no idea where I am, I just explore the view.
A couple spent a long time trying to point this alligator out to me, but I didn’t notice it until I walked a little further along the path. I suspect it’s not real, it’s too perfect. And I remember an incident where my friend and I went out of our way to take pictures of swans that turned out to be made of plastic. The swan in this post is most decidedly real, just sayin’.
The Middleton Oak. It is estimated to be between 900-1000 years old. Three major limbs have had to be removed. That it was allowed to remain in an otherwise formal garden setting was most unusual for the times. The signage said that this oak served as a trail marker for Indians long before our country was founded.
All that remains of the main house. The paved path at the top of the stairs marks the central hallway of the house that was in burned by Union troops in 1865, and then leveled by the Great Earthquake of 1886.
A wedding would take place here later on. What a great venue.
The views never end.
I couldn’t choose the best view.
Beauty everywhere.
Weavers in action.
I took a close up picture of the House Museum, but I liked this view better.
This little boy told me that his father taught him that if you approach a kitty slowly and put your hand out then he’ll know you are his friend.
My last picture of the day. I might have gotten excited to see the horse and not paid attention to where I was walking, or not, but either way no harm was done.

I hope there will be many more visits to this area in the future because both of these gardens deserve another visit or two, and there is more to see in the area also. I bought a tee shirt in the gift shop that says Middleton Place, because that is/was my kids’s last name, and it was mine for 10 years or so. I mentioned that to the clerk and she asked if I was a descendant, if I had said I was I wonder if I’d have gotten a discount…