a second look, birds, coping, Florida wildlife, home, life goes on, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, progress, technology

Why now?

Why has the urge to write again become so irresistible at this particular moment in time?  I already have too much to do, what with downsizing again, and getting ready to head up north as soon as I can organize myself to hit the road.  I remember when we tried to pin-point when exactly we could see the changes in my MIL that would herald her onset of Alzheimer’s.  And I thought it was the move she made at almost exactly my age.  She was living in an apartment temporarily, and had most of her things stored at her daughter’s house, so when she seemed scattered it was quite understandable.  But she never was quite herself again.  Not that I think I’m diagnosable, but right now I have one foot in my house and the other one out the door, and that seemed like the perfect time to go out and buy the heavy duty tripod and Gimbal head for my camera.  The better to take advantage of my last days of heading out the back door to see what I could see out back.  And in anticipation of the photos of snowy landscapes I see in my future.  In this case I was happy I had invested in the tripod when an Anhinga was the backyard visitor yesterday.  Or was it the day before…11-8anhinga211-8anhinga311-8ibis1The Ibis are out back daily, and in large numbers, so I mostly ignore them.  But this guy caught my eye…

a second look, home, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology, weather

One day later…

It doesn’t seem logical, at least not to me.  One day after the sunrise that wasn’t impressive, but the reflected sky was lovely, we had the opposite situation.  From the second I got to Aripeka the sunrise was awash in color.  And if that was so colorful then I might have expected some spectacular reflections also, but that wasn’t the case until the last minutes I was there.  Each day we are treated to something different, and each afternoon we seem to have a thunderstorm or two, which has been keeping me home for the rest of the day.  Not a treat exactly, but with the rain comes the nice green grass… that grows way too fast.8-1reflectHDR8-1dramaticsunriseHDR8-1dramaticreflectHDR

I’m still struggling with the HDR photography.  These three photos are HDR photos created in Lightroom, but the featured image is my HDR photo taken into EasyHDR and letting the program do it’s thing.  One ‘expert’ likes the HDR images to still look natural, but I also like the over the top images I that see online.  My mind is boggled…

a second look, backyard visitors, home, life goes on, nature, photography, sky, sunset

Home on the Nature Coast…

Maybe it’s all the driving I’ve done lately, but since I’ve been back in Florida I’m having trouble catching up mentally with where I am physically.  While I was in New England I said I was ‘home’, and I was home, back to where the kid in me feels restored to the surface.  Now I’m home in Florida, but is it home?  Not sure anymore.  What struck me as I drove up to the house for the first time in six weeks was that everyone’s lawns were so green!  A sure sign that we had a lot of rain while I was gone.  It rained all day my first day back also, so I went out back when I saw some birds milling around once the rain had let up.  The ducklings!  I was glad to see them, five surviving.  And I caught up with my neighbors who said that there is only one Crane colt now, no one knows what happened to the other one. 7-28colt.jpg

With the clouds breaking up the sky looked promising, so I drove to Aripeka, the shortest possible sunset drive, and liked the light on the houses at my first stop, but the sunset itself didn’t look like it would be the best view.7-28aripeka3

So I went to the little spot I’d noticed before, right on a bend of the road that feels a little scary as people take the curve a little too fast.  There isn’t much opportunity to vary your shot, but I love this view.  And the colors built, and then extinguished themselves like a candle flickering out.  I’m back…7-28aripekasunset27-28aripeka47-28aripekasunset1

a second look, connections, friends, grief, healing, home, life, loneliness, memories, photography, road trip, travel

Making assumptions…

Rocks are dependable.  They are solid, strong, unbreakable.  They don’t surprise you, or disappoint you, they are just there.  There are lots of people who might be described by using those same words.  But in the case of this particular rock, and many people, we are just looking at the surface and making assumptions about the core.  Were I to drop this particular rock it would fracture into pieces, a lot like I was feeling I might do not too long ago.  Careful hands have reassembled this rock, and in much the same way I am somehow feeling pieced back together after my visit home.  We are both still fragile, but then aren’t we all?

a second look, home, life goes on, memories, photography, road trip, travel

Signs of Baltimore…

There is nothing that says Baltimore to me more than the Domino Sugar sign that used to stand by itself in the skyline.  The Domino Sugar factory sits toward the end of a peninsula known as Locust Point, which juts into the Baltimore harbor and culminates in the Fort McHenry National Park.  ‘The Point’ was also home to Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, something called Indiana Grain, and other manufacturing plants, due to it’s rail and shipping access.  Baltimore was a blue collar town that has undergone gentrification, as is the case for many East Coast cities.  The main street of the Point area is Fort Avenue, and that’s where our dental office was located, and where we spent 26 years working and enjoying the people of the neighborhood.  The immediate area was surrounded by streets of modest rowhouses, built in the 1880s, that housed generations of people who worked in the neighborhood businesses.  It was the city, and I was leery when Charley wanted to practice there, but he raved about the area, and everything he said about it proved to be true.  There was a corner store across from the office, and when I was in that store I found myself amazed that the other people there were greeting each other by name and asking about each other’s families. I soon concluded that this neighborhood had a lot in common with Mayberry.  The last three years we worked there we also lived upstairs from the office, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed walking out the front door onto a busy city street.  To me it was unique, if I hadn’t lived there I would never had imagined how much of a neighborhood could exist in a big city.

But even as we started our practice the old timers were lamenting how much the neighborhood was changing as new people came in and fixed up.  That should have been good news to a business owner, but Charley saw himself as on old-school ‘Baltimoron’, and those old timers were the people he was there to treat.  It was a good life.

I said that the Domino Sugar sign stood along in the sky, and it did.  But most of the old businesses are gone now, replaced by more lucrative condos and townhouses.  Maybe at a different angle the Domino sign would stand out more, and of course it does when it’s lit at night, but I thought it looked a little sad and lost in the new buildings that now surround it in this picture….  

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, childhood, connections, family, finding my way, friends, home, loneliness, memories, photography

Where am I?

I see that there are some new people who have found this blog in the last couple of weeks, and I thought I ought to explain that the ‘nature coast’ in the title of the blog refers to the several counties along the Gulf coast of Florida just above Tampa Bay.  And, obviously, that’s not where I am at the moment.  This blog came about a year ago due to a coincidence of a class I took and a new camera I had just purchased, not really out of a need to share any profound thoughts or with an agenda of any kind.  I had settled into a comfortable routine in my widowhood, and felt almost smug as I spent my evenings alone at home doing whatever I wanted to do.  And I went on like that for quite a while, until I started needing people again.  My people, my ‘home’, New England, where I grew up and never failed to feel like I belonged when I visited.  People, old friends, family, grandchildren, I needed them all.  So I have thrown caution to the wind and left my little part-time job, and my snug little Florida house, and even the new friends I was just beginning to make, to take a road trip.  And I will stay until my heart, which had felt so empty, has filled back up.  Or until they all get sick of me…7-5church7-5farm7-5shack7-5shack27-5shack37-5townhall