'scene' along the way, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, kids, learning, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Brooker Creek Preserve…

Today was a day like many other days.  It was day one of my new resolve to eat better and get more exercise.  I’ve been there before, but I’m always sure that this time it will stick.  So I decided to walk this morning and walked out the door to very pretty skies.10-5morningsky110-5morningpalm

The next stop for the day was Brooker Creek Preserve.  I’d never been before and I expected to walk the bird trail and take lots of bird pictures, but that’s not what happened.10-5fromthebridgeThe view from the bridge was lovely, but there were no birds to be seen and I was disappointed to start with.  But I quickly discovered that this is exactly the place to go to for a nature adventure with kids.  I was especially impressed with the area set up for the kids to have some hands-on interactions with nature.  They could pet the pelts of some of the animals they have probably seen in the area.10-5pelts

And get to match the scat (that’s poop in layman’s terms) to the animal that created it.10-5scat

Or hold a caterpillar, which will become a monarch butterfly.10-5caterpillars

Or make a caterpillar craft…10-5caterpillars2

And a slideshow was playing up on the wall and one of the images caught my attention.  I’ve seen these lichen many times here in Florida but didn’t appreciate what I was seeing.  I liked them because there is sometimes a ‘face’ in the pattern on the bark.10-5lichen

And in the butterfly tent the kids were given q-tips that they could dip in fruit juice to attract the butterflies.  This little cutie’s name is Charlotte and she totally made my day!10-5cutie

Half the fun of being out with the camera is that you never know what the day will bring, but it’s always fun.

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Bragging rights…

It was a sunset soccer game and our team won!9-24scoreboard

Here’s the kick for the first goal…9-24theshot9-24Goal#1

See, the ball is in the net (in the corner by his hand), I totally missed that until my daughter pointed it out.

And more soccer moments…9-24theshot29-24theshot39-24theshot4

I probably don’t have to mention that #26 is my grandson.  And as long as I’m bragging I might also mention that he scored the only two goals of the game.  Good job Thomas!

'scene' along the way, bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, fun, gardens, kids, life goes on, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, travel, weather

Kids Day…

It did occur to me that going to a venue such as the Heritage Museum and Gardens might not be the best choice for a weekend visit.  But it was supposed to be such a nice day, and I hadn’t been out for several days before, so even realizing that it was ‘kids day’ didn’t stop me.  Kids got in free on Saturday, and lots of activities were set up for them to enjoy while they were there.  Maybe everyone had as much trouble with the maps as I did, because yes, we entered together, but as I walked the paths I had no problem seeing the gorgeous landscapes and taking pictures without lots of people in the shots.  And I started taking pictures before I had even bought my ticket.  I was attracted to the flowers, but as I looked more closely at the flowers it was the bees that caught my attention, and then the butterflies, and even a little moth. HPpinkflowerbeeHPblackbutterflyHPblueflowerbeeHPorangeflowermothHPearlybee

It was the carousel that I had spotted on the map that I had set out to see.  But there were numerous paths intersecting each other, and signs pointing this way and that way, enough so that I kept getting distracted.  Almost right away I heard a waterfall off to my right.  I attempted several pictures but quickly realized that there was a lily pond at the bottom, and yes, there were paths to go there.  So I set off down the hill to take pictures, hoping there would be dragonflies.  And yes, there were dragonflies, but I got ridiculously excited to see the little turtles on the lily pads.  When some kids showed up I think I totally forgot that I’m not a kid and got excited to point out the turtles.  That got the kids excited, and they all were standing precariously close to the rock edge of the pond, switching positions, trying to see.  And when I spotted a frog on a lily pad the excitement level went up a bit more.  Now they were quite excited to be pointing out things to me, and for several moments I was that five-year-old self I’ve been looking for.  Then I noticed one of the moms standing beside me and I had to apologize since they were probably wishing the kids were watching a little more calmly.  She said it was fine.  I thought it was fun.  ‘Kids day’, in more ways than one.HPwaterfall.jpgHPturtleHPdragonflyHPfrog2HP2turtles

 

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Ready or not…

Time marches on in spite of me.  Sometimes I just need to process things.  I want to stop and think, catch up mentally when things seem to be moving impossibly fast.  I first remember feeling this way when my kids were really little.  They grew and changed so quickly, and I remember thinking that I wanted to put them in deep freeze for a second, just to catch up.  When they first started making announcements that you knew weren’t just a repetition of what you had said to them, but were an original thought of their own.  They became people, right before your eyes.

I have two sets of grandkids, the ‘big kids’ and the ‘little kids’, with a very large gap between.  As the two oldest grew up I was just as astounded as when my own kids did the same, but I told myself at least I still have the little kids.  Now the little kids aren’t little anymore, and the oldest one graduated from high school the other night.  I have an amazing set of grandkids, as I know we all do.  They are my greatest blessing, that and the fact that my kids are the people who raised these amazing kids.  But I’m scratching my head over the whole thing.  And the bug bites, but mostly I’m scratching in amazement because I tend to get lost in my own thoughts now and then, but then I resurface and come face to face with life’s milestones, ready or not…grad12

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The adventure begins…

First stop was with my cousin in Charleston, an easy 7 hour drive from home.  It was foggy for the first few hours, I may have to rethink leaving at 4 AM because those hours were stressful.  But I got there early with lots of time to visit, and take in the wild life in the area.  And there was plenty of wildlife!05-07-19Maireadclose05-07-19maireadclose2

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05-07-19Siclose

 

05-07-19partyAnd an 11 and 4 year olds birthday party.  What’s a visit without a little cake and ice cream?  Such a fun day!

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Savoring the sunset…

I had left the house that morning, Wednesday to be exact, and as much of a plan as I had in mind was to go to Home Depot.  But from there I decided to go check on the eagles, and then Anclote River Park, and then the rookery. There were two tempting photo ops with the photography group scheduled for that night, both of which involved shooting the moon-rise, but they were an hour or an hour and a half away, and I was tired.  But it was on my mind to get out there so I headed back to Green Key park, and I was so excited over the pictures I thought I might have gotten that I didn’t even allow myself to look at them until now.  I was afraid they hadn’t turned out the way I hoped they would, plus I didn’t want to rush them.  But this morning I finally decided that the time had come to see them, probably because I’d seen some incredible moon-rise shots from the group and I was hoping I wouldn’t feel like kicking myself for missing that opportunity. And no, I don’t, but why didn’t I think to stay out for the moon-rise also?  Okay, kicking myself a little, but that cloud cover was pretty intense.03-22-greenkeysunset2Saw this as I was walking to the beach from the car.  I so hoped they’d still be there when I got set up!03-22-greenkeysunset103-22-greenkeysunset303-22-greenkeysunset403-22-greenkeysunset503-22-greenkeysunset603-22-greenkeysunset703-22-greenkeysunsetfeature03-22-greenkeysunsetfeature2