'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…

'scene' along the way, a second look, death, finding my way, grief, growing old, history, life goes on, memories, moments, perseverance, photography

Rose Hill…

Not every trip out to take photos is the uplifting sort of trip that warms my heart. Yesterday I went out to explore a cemetery that I’d seen a while back when the GPS had routed me from one destination to another. I was at a traffic light and noticed a cemetery with a big water feature, and it seemed like a spot that would have an east facing view for the sunrise. I made a mental note of it, and while I thought of looking for it again from time to time I never did, until yesterday. It was easy enough to figure out where it was when I looked at Maps, a big green oasis, and I saw the name Rose Hill. The GPS had me pass up my destination and do a u turn to come back to it, and then it said to take a right, even though I saw the pretty lawns and water of a beautiful cemetery to the left. I took the right, and entered a sad little cemetery with lots of sand and weeds and no green lawns or water feature. It was hard to figure out where I could park the car, I was afraid I’d drive over a grave. I got out and walked a bit and took some pictures, but my heart wasn’t in it. I felt like an intruder. While it first seemed like a sad little place, it wasn’t forgotten by any means. Pops of color were everywhere. Graves were being visited, people were being remembered. That I wanted to come to this place for my photo ops felt very wrong. The wind was out of my sails, I headed home.

Yes, I did stop at the neighboring Cycadia Cemetery, but that feeling of being an intruder stayed with me. I took a couple of pictures and left. It just wasn’t the day for it I guess…

a second look, changing times, childhood, facing facts, family, grandchildren, history, learning, life goes on, live and learn, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, responsibility

Early voting…

Day one of early voting in Florida found me in a socially distanced line waiting to vote, which is all I have to say about this election. The first election that I actually remember was the 1956 election. I was turning eight, and horrified to realize that Eisenhower might not continue to be president. Since I thought life was just perfect as it was I worried that he wouldn’t be re-elected. Or they could elect my daddy, I thought that would be a dandy idea also. Next up was the 1960 election of JFK, a big deal in MA of course, so that left a lasting impression. But with a voting age of 21, and due to my July birthday, the first election I was able to vote in was the 1972 election. I was living in San Diego at the time, so waiting for my husband to get home from work meant that Nixon had already been declared the winner before I went out and voted with my home state, the only state to go for McGovern.

To be honest I had to look up a list of the presidential elections after that to remind myself who ran, who was elected, and who I voted for. I’m only batting 500, but I actually thought it was worse than that, and for me most of those elections came and went without a lot of emotion on my part. Probably the most memorable one was the 2000 Bush/Gore election, which isn’t surprising. But it so happened that a friend of the family was on the Bush election team, which is probably why my two oldest grandkids were very aware of the election and excited about it. We walked to the polls to vote that morning, the kids rode their new scooters and we were going to McDonald’s for breakfast afterwards. The line was just long enough for it to seem like an event, but not so long that the kids got bored. They were allowed into the polling booth with me and they were given their own “I voted” stickers. For this grandmother it was the perfect educational moment, I just loved everything about that day, until the vote count. It was educational in an entirely unexpected way when my grandson asked me several weeks later, “Hey Mimi, did they ever figure out who won that election?”

The story of this election is still to be written… God bless America…

a second look, adventure, Heros, history, learning, live and learn, moments, perseverance, photography

The battle…

In truth the northern troops seemed to be in overwhelming numbers on the battle field,  while confederate troops took the field in smaller contingents.01-18-20brooksvilleraidboy201-19-20confederatesoldiers

It was confusing to watch and try to decide which side had the upper hand.01-19-20grayfires01-18-20brooksvilleraidboy01-19-2020confederatetroops01-19-20unionshoot.jpg

The calvary took the field while canons fired on both sides.01-19-20cavalry01-19-20canonclose01-19-20calvaryshoot.jpg01-19-20horseback.jpg01-19-20twohorses.jpg01-19-20northovercomes.jpg

The dead and wounded were left laying in the field.01-18-20brooksvilleraidwounded

This old confederate soldier watched two of his fellow soldiers fall in the fighting.01-19-20oldman

He took up the charge by himself, which proved to be a futile attempt in the heat of the moment.01-19-20charge01-19-20nursing

In the end it appeared that the north had taken the day.  But at the end of the battle the dead and wounded arose, and both sides participated in a salute to past and present soldiers who have fought and died for our country.  If only all wars could end this way.01-19-2020finalsalute.jpg

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Heros, history, learning, live and learn, moments, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

The Brooksville Raid…

The Brooksville Raid was not a civil war battle but a skirmish, which had no clear winner.  Perhaps that’s why the reenactment weekends are structured by coin toss as to which side wins.  And the other side wins the next day.  A very civilized way to do things I suppose.  The gates open at 9 AM and the battle doesn’t happen until 2:30, so there is a lot of time to wander in the encampments where the reenactors spend the weekend, not just reenacting the battle but reliving life in the camps also.  They wander through the crowds in their costumes, the troops practice their drills, and it does help you to imagine what life would have been like for those poor soldiers.  Maybe not so poor on a gorgeous, sunny Florida day, but that wasn’t always the case now was it?

01-18-20brooksvilleraidflags01-18-20brooksvilleraidmedicinewagon01-18-20brooksvilleraiddrumsandpipes01-18-20brooksvilleraidcoffeewagon01-18-20brooksvilleraidcanoncrew01-18-20brooksvilleraidpraying01-19-20brooksvilleraid4horses01-19-20brooksvilleraidcamp;ife01-19-20brooksvilleraidcarryingtheflag01-19-20brooksvilleraidexchange01-19-20brooksvilleraidgirls01-19-20brooksvilleraidhoopskirts01-19-20brooksvilleraidmermaid01-19-20brooksvilleraidredhead01-19-20brooksvilleraidsupplies01-19-20brooksvilleraidthreeladies01-19-20brooksvilleraidtwocamp01-19-20brooksvilleraidwares01-19-20brooksvilleraidsasparilla

Sarsaparilla, I hadn’t had it before.  Choose your bottle and fill it for $5, and refills are $2!