a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, connections, family, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, home, life, life goes on, live and learn, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Close to home…

I don’t mind seeking out new places to see and take pictures, but I also appreciate when a photo op comes to me. Right in my own back yard, or front yard, or even across the street. I was outside sitting and chatting with my aunt when company dropped in. He was on the run as he turned the corner of the walkway in a hurry, like he was late. He probably heard our voices and thought we might be sitting and eating, and inclined to share with him.

He wandered off and returned several times as we chatted. No, we don’t feed him, and it bothers me that he is so comfortable with people. We are probably his worst enemy. And he wasn’t the only recent interloper. The other day I heard the sandhill cranes unmistakable call, and as I wondered where they were I saw them walk past the window where I was sitting at the computer. I picked up the camera and went out and sat on my front stoop, where they stopped to look for a handout, and then, surprisingly, they began to dance.

Even as I took these pictures I lamented that my car was parked in the driveway and there was just no way give the dancers a prettier backdrop. But I thought it was nice of them to drop by to entertain me for a few minutes. Then I went inside and sat back down at the computer…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, finding my way, home, life, life goes on, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset

Simple skies…

Talking with a friend the other day reminded me of how much my husband and I enjoyed looking at the skies here in Florida. I remember driving to the house from the airport and we would point out the beautiful clouds to each other. And the palm trees were a marvel also. We spent three years traveling from Maryland to our home in Florida, just visiting, but anticipating the day when we would make it our permanent home. That was fifteen years ago now, and I’m still marveling at the skies and the palm trees.

And so Florida eventually became our permanent home, except the word permanent doesn’t hold as much meaning for me as it did 15 years ago. I’m pretty sure that I would have been horrified if I’d have had an inkling of where 15 years would bring me. I would never have believed that I’d feel so at peace as I do. Just looking at the sky and seeing what each day brings…

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Hunting for ducklings…

After the sunrise I decided to swing by the pond in my community to look for the family of ducklings I had heard about. There were 13 to start with, and they were down to 9, so I wanted to see them soon. I’m jealous of my photographer friends who can, sometimes literally, sit on their patios and take gorgeous sunrise and sunset photos. Lovely views come with higher prices I’m sure, so it’s a trade off, but when I hear of a photo op that’s so close to home it’s a treat and I don’t want to miss it.

But someone else was also watching the pond along with me. An osprey up in the tree on the right hand side. I nearly missed seeing him at all. Was he looking for the ducklings also? I had to google it to know for sure, and found out that they eat 99% fish, but small animals and birds are also possible. So maybe I was happy that the duck family wasn’t there. And I was happy to see the osprey take to the air, but mostly for the photo ops…

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Jasmine sunrise…

I had lived in Maryland for three years before I met Charley, so by then I knew my way around fairly well. But he was a native, and he quickly figured out that I used the main roads to get wherever I was going, so he made it his mission to teach me all his shortcuts. Which meant that he never took me the same way ever, he showed me a different way to get to each of my usual stops every time we went out. It took me a long time to actually learn all his shortcuts, but I suddenly went from knowing one way to get places to knowing five ways to get places. Since I’ve moved a year and a half ago I’m reminded of that because the GPS always takes me back roads to go places. That has really confused me because I find that I’m at intersections of roads that I’d have bet money didn’t cross each other. But because of the GPS I crossed Rt. 19 on a side street so close to home that it’s ridiculous, and found a ‘rotary’, (MA speak for a roundabout/traffic circle), with a pond in the center. And it faced east. It occurred to me right away that if I could find a place to park my car I imagined that that little pond might be a good place to view the sunrise. And it was. This morning. A year and a half later…

While I was watching the sky I noticed an egret fly to the edge of the pond and proceed to concentrate on staring into the water, hunting. Maybe he was so intent on breakfast that he failed to notice me, but he kept repositioning himself and each time he did he got a little closer to me. But as I stood there I was also aware that I was standing in sand, in my flip flops, and hoped I wasn’t standing on a fire ant mound. Which is probably why I twitched when I felt something touch my leg, and off he flew.

After the GPS took me on a very convoluted route to where I was going yesterday I have my doubts about just how reliable it is. I wonder if it had me traveling in circles when I was 2500 miles from home and wouldn’t have even realized it? I had doubts about Charley’s shortcuts too. One of them had you go from one cloverleaf immediately into another, and then one more. He really liked that one. It made me dizzy…

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Home…

Home is where the recliner is, and where I am.  Finally!  Four long days of driving later, dodging thunderstorms the last 200 miles, but I got here.  My uncle parked the camper for me and my aunt provided dinner, which was so nice of them.  I will self quarantine for a bit, but only after I run out for coffee in the morning.  It’s good to be home…

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Oasis…

This oasis is located just minutes from sunset beach.  If I wasn’t such a wimp I might have stuck around for sunset, but I didn’t, mostly because I know I will be back many more times in the future.  You see this oasis belongs to my son, his new-to-him house, where I spent the day yesterday eating my DIL’s great food and drinking bullfrogs.  And enjoying this wonderful backyard.06-15-20Mike'syard106-15-20Mike'syard206-15-20Mike'shottubbers06-15-20Mike'spetunia06-15-20Mike'spinkflower06-15-20Mike'stinypurpleflowers06-15-20Mikeorange06-15-20Mikepink206-15-20Mikeyellowflower

This house was owned by a landscaper, which of course shows.  My DIL’s challenge is to use the app she downloaded to look up what the plants are as they bloom, and what care is required.  My son may have thought that the lack of grass meant a no fuss backyard, but after taming the Mexican petunia yesterday he was planning to ice his back after I left.  The kids?  Well, it may be a race to the hammock…