coping, facing facts, finding my way, history, life goes on, perseverance, photography

Fence sitters…

A lizard came to join me and another photographer as we stood on ladders peeking at the goings-on at the rookery near my house. The term fence-sitting came to mind, and I realized that that’s a term that could apply to me. When I’m being kind to myself I could call it a virtue, being able to see both sides of an issue. My husband wouldn’t have been quite so kind. He was a more volatile personality, frequently mad at someone over what seemed to me to be not such a big deal issue. So I’d point out how that other person might be viewing the issue and my husband would get mad at me then, for ‘always taking the other guy’s side’. But he listened. Maybe it’s my Facebook feed lately. It’s full of stories of courageous women in history who spent their lives getting involved, making the world a better place for all of us. I wonder to myself what I would have thought if I’d lived back then, as if the world couldn’t use some improvement right this minute. In my own little universe I spent my life as a peacemaker. My lifetime has seen some incredible events take place in the world at large, but for those I’ve just looked on, sometimes in horror, but I’ve essentially been riding the fence. A watcher while this runaway train seems to keep building up steam…

a second look, Florida landmarks, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, history, making memories, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Sunken Gardens…

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, perfect for a trip to the Sunken Gardens in St. Pete. It was warm enough that the cool shady paths were very welcome, even in December. I have seen it referred to as one of the ‘old Florida roadside attractions’, and, at 100 yers old, as Florida’s oldest ‘living museum. It seemed that lots of people had decided that it was a perfect day to visit.

I haven’t visited at Christmas before, so the poinsettia tree was surprise to see.
The paths meander and criss-cross.
Good thing there was a map, though we were lost a lot of the time.
A flock of flamings waded in the fountain.
Azaleas were blooming.
The train garden was chugging along.
Orchids.
More orchids.
Blossoms on a red vein maple.
Small waterfalls were tucked into the foliage..
And larger waterfalls too, with some impressively large koi fish swimming about..

The news last night was full of snowy images and I remember that cold reality. I think I’m right where I belong.

'scene' along the way, adventure, chickens, courage, exploring new places, friends, fun, history, just imagine, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pigs, road trip, travel

Oconoluftee Visitor Center…

This feature photo needs a title. How about “The Little Outhouse in the Smokies?” We were still on our first full day of our trip, and we had heard that this visitor center had a great farm display, as well as occasional visits from elk. We thought we could plan our trip, acquire some maps, and, hopefully, see some elk. We didn’t see them that day, but stay tuned because we did eventually see them. I look at these scenes and think of how hard life must have been in those days…

Here you have the farm house, amazingly devoid of tourists. Like us! LOL.
The house again. It was explained that the owner split the logs and used the halves on opposing walls. A skilled technique.
Further signage pointed out that pigs were essential on a farm in those days. They had large litters of piglets and they provided sustenance.
This rooster really did seem to be ruling the roost, but he did tolerate all the visitors well.
I liked this view of the barn from the walking path better than any of the other photos of it that I took.
Here we have the barn and some of the equipment that might have been used. The fencing surrounded the corn crop, another essential to the quality of life in those days.
More farm buildings, those are corn cribs in the back.
Flowers along the river.

Another objective of the trip was to practice using filters to improve your landscape photos as well as to photograph falling waters and make the water appear more silky. I was new to long exposure photography, but I did manage to get a couple of pictures. I had to toss most of the ones I attempted to take. It seemed that every bend in the road revealed a scene that made you want to stop the car and take pictures. And we were still on our first day in the park.

It will take a lot more practice to figure out this technique.
There were rocky little waterfalls in every stream along the roadside. Many opportunities to take even more pictures.
a second look, adventure, attention to detail, friends, fun, history, making memories, perseverance, photography

Movie time…

Now that we have been home and caught our breath a bit a trip to the Tampa Theater seemed like a good idea. The Sunday matinee, we thought we bought. But somehow our tickets were for the alternate showing of Thursday evening. I had been to the Tampa Theater before, for a tour, and I took pictures and posted them. Being there in a crowd full of theater goers intent on buying their popcorn, and in some cases, alcoholic beverages, made taking photos this time a little more difficult. I could see the ceiling however, see the feature photo, and so I started shooting.

This is not your average movie venue.
The view as you enter.
This is the light in the ceiling directly over my seat. The attention to detail is amazing.
Just a peek at the surroundings.
Some theater history was presented.
Suddenly the audience was clapping and I wasn’t sure why. Then I saw that the organ, and organist, was rising up from the floor of the stage as he played. He entertained us for a while and then he slowly disappeared back into the nether regions of the theater.
The opulence of the place amazed me. Even the trip downstairs to the ladies room maintained the theme, except for the ever-present hand sanitizer to spoil the photo. I tried to remove it in Photoshop but it was beyond me.
And then it was time to go home and we got to see the marquee in it’s full glory
'scene' along the way, adventure, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, fun, history, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Asheville…

Eventually we did reach the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which put us in range of Asheville. We only spent a day there, which was way too short. We would like to spend more time in the area this fall, wouldn’t that be a perfect place to see fall color? But once in Asheville we spotted the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, and headed in that direction to take photos. We didn’t expect to be allowed in, welcomed even, and told to take all the pictures we cared to. So I took a lot, but with the trusty iPhone. Our trip south was about to being in earnest, and even when you have had a nice trip the thought of home begins to sound very good.

What a beautiful sight, we wanted a closer view.
A lovely set of doors, but we entered by a side door.
And the interior was just as beautiful.
People were quiet, respectful of our presence in a holy place.
Beautiful stained glass windows surrounded you.
The interior details were amazing.
Another beautiful view.
But, soon it was time to leave.
And the workmanship was amazing to see even as we exited the church.

As I write this I still don’t know what we missed seeing in Asheville, we left the next morning. But we enjoyed our visit and left wanting to return.

'scene' along the way, adventure, changing times, exploring new places, Heros, history, just imagine, learning, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Puckett cabin…

Continuing the theme of life along the Blue Ridge Parkway long ago we have the Puckett cabin. Home to ‘Aunt’ Orelena Hawks Puckett, who’s story left me astounded. Here is a photo of the sign that left me so amazed.

In case you are reading on your phone and can’t read the writing on the photo, she began her career in midwifery after age 50, and delivered her last baby in 1939 at age 102. She rode horseback or walked to care for her patients. The sign says that she never lost a mother or baby through her own fault. But, most upsetting to me, is the fact that she bore 24 children and none lived past infancy. I can’t help but wonder what the reasons for that were. And to realize that she was a hostage to her own body to have become pregnant all those times, which would have been enough to drive anyone over the edge, but she served her community all her days. To say that life was hard in those days is such an understatement.

To be honest I can’t remember if this photo was taken before or after we saw Puckett cabin. Not that it matters, but you can see that the scenery along the way had changed a lot from the scenery along Skyline Drive. We stopped for other displays along the way, more mountain homes, and a pond at which I spotted the white butterfly.