'scene' along the way, adventure, changing times, friends, leap of faith, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, reality check, road trip

Day trip…

The plan had been in place for a while.  A trip to the Venice rookery was how it had started, and then I tossed out the idea that we could stop at the causeway bridge for sunset photos. on the way back   I wanted another chance at taking photos there because I had been so unhappy with my first ones, and my friend had always wanted to go to that bridge and didn’t know where it was.  So we made a plan, set a date. and in the meantime we ‘leaped ahead’, time wise.  Now there were more hours to fill, so we added in the Myakka River State park, which is only a half hour from the Venice rookery.  It was a beautiful day to be outside, and I have 913 photos to go through, minus the feature photo.

By the time the day arrived the news that had been breaking about the Coronavirus had us wondering if we should cancel.  But what we had planned was all open air and we knew we’d see people in small family units only, and so we went.  Traffic was very light, it’s obvious people are heeding the warnings, and I do feel a little guilty for going.  So I won’t be heading out for anything like this again for the duration.  But I am happy to have 912 photos to keep me busy for a while.

'scene' along the way, adventure, Florida wildlife, kids, leap of faith, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

On the wild(er) side…

 

If you are ever at the intersection of Welland Road and Roach Road on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive then look to your right and the feature photo may be the view you will see.

12-28apopkaintersectionNo, the feature photo was not taken on a kayak trip, thank Heaven!  If it had been I’m not sure what exactly would have happened next.  But I wouldn’t bet money against me getting flustered enough to tip over the kayak and… well, I’m not sure what would happen next but I never want to find out.  I’m told that they don’t see kayaks as dinner, but surely they smell warm flesh, and fear!

12-29alligator1

How delightful to have flowers in your alligator shots…12-29alligator212-29alligator3Do you see the smirk on their faces?  The little upturn at the end of their smile?  I don’t think they are worried about much of anything.  What do they eat?  And how often?  After all, they are huge, and healthy looking.  And they really weren’t far away at all, but somehow standing on the shore of an inlet with other people gives a sense of security.  As long as I think I could outrun at least one of them.12-29alligator4reflect

I frequently forget to notice reflections when I’m taking pictures.  But I did notice this one, two alligators for the price of one.12-29alligator-boyAnd then there was this boy, so sure that he had everything under control.  As we drove into my son’s development once there were kids on bikes riding on the road and an alligator sunning itself on the far shore of a retention pond.  The idea that I was seeing kids and an alligator in my field of vision all at once made a huge impression on me.  This kid told me that he had once been three feet away from an alligator.  And that’s exactly the sort of thing to give me nightmares…

finding my way, Florida landmarks, fun, leap of faith, making memories, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, technology, unintended images

Sunset people…

When a sunset vista consists of water and sky only, then you know you are going to need a little something extra in the foreground of your photos to make a more interesting composition.  I decided that people in silhouette would be a great option at Sunset Beach, so that’s what I was concentrating on when I struck up a conversation with a couple who were sitting on a bench enjoying the evening.  Turns out they are also from Massachusetts and have been fixing up a nearby house, and they go out each night for the sunset.  The husband asked if I had a phone.  He said that he was watching me taking pictures and liked the way the light fell on me and thought it would make a good picture.    So the feature photo is his photo of me, taken with my phone.  I love these chance encounters.  Am I too trusting?  I was asking myself that as I handed him my new expensive phone and walked away.  But these were very nice people, and this encounter was an extra added bonus to an already nice day.12-15sunsetgoldenhour12-15momandgirl12-15people12-15silhouette212-15sunsetbeach212-15sunsetbeachsilhouette

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, Just do it, leap of faith, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Warner-Boyce Salt Springs, the annex…

Almost immediately outside the gates to my home park is this little nature trail, which I had walked down before with friends.  But the other day I was by myself.  It’s part of a bigger park that’s a few miles down the road, but this part is small, and quiet.  It was sunny, which is why I was out in the first place, but I was surprised that my car was the only one in the parking lot.  But I started down the path anyhow, hoping to see, I don’t know exactly, I guess I was ready to be surprised.11-18saltsprings3

The surprise proved to be how different the whole experience was when you are hiking by yourself.  The path was narrow, and as I walked it got shadier, and darker.  And I began to notice that there was water along side the trail.  And I got to wondering what creatures were lurking in the water, or on the path just around the bend.  From my previous trip I knew that the path made a loop, and just as I began to question the wisdom of the solitary journey the trail be gan to get damp.  No, muddy.  And the mud began to pull at my shoes as I took each step.  By this time I wasn’t sure if I would get back to the car more quickly if I turned around or kept going.  So I stayed the course.11-18saltsprings2I began to wonder if I was more worried about four legged predators or two legged predators.  I wondered if it’s legal to carry mace in Florida?  But the reality was the only creature I did startle on the path was a partridge, or maybe it was a wild turkey.  It disappeared into the thick bush too quickly for a photo.  And I walked some more and began to hear traffic noises.11-18saltsprings4

And I was back in the sunshine at the parking lot.  It was an adventure but all the excitement took place in my own mind.  I’m grateful for that…

 

finding my way, go with the flow, Just do it, leap of faith, learning, life goes on, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Details…

I’ve never taken a trip as long as the trip I’ve just returned from, so I’m not an expert at knowing if it’s always a let down to finally get home.  But it was. Maybe it was the fact that I felt like I limped home, what with the broken trailer jack and all.  And feeling dirty and smelly and dying to take a nice hot shower, and finding no hot water, that wasn’t fun.  The water wasn’t stone cold, but it sure wasn’t what I had in mind.  Then I went to my son’s house to pick up the mail that I had had forwarded to his house while I was gone, imagining bringing home a whole box of mail to sort through, and he had exactly FOUR pieces of mail for me.  In five months!  The post office had been returning all my mail as undeliverable.  There was no replacement credit card waiting for me (I never did find the one I cancelled but didn’t think I’d really lost it, just misplaced it).  There was no dividend check from Publix, just a letter wanting me to make my ‘new’ address official.  My primary care doctor had become a specialist while I was gone, so he couldn’t be my primary anymore, which was disappointing since I liked him a lot.  And I now needed to find a new doctor asap since I had just taken my last blood pressure pill.  Maybe that’s what made me so frustrated with all of this, no more BP meds.  I might have thought that the lesson I’d learn from all this would be to never go away again.  But no, my immediate reaction was to want to just run away… but then there is the issue of the broken trailer jack.

I woke up yesterday and started tackling the problems.  First I called my go-to plumber, Billy the Sunshine Plumber.  The first time I needed a plumber here in FL I called them because their name cracked me up.  They are absolutely great, which is why I called them the second time I needed a plumber, and now this is the third time and my uncle is now a believer.  Not only did they solve my problem, but they installed the kitchen faucet I’d bought before I left and then forgot about.  But better than that, they suggested I call UHaul for my trailer jack problem.  UHaul couldn’t help me but they told me to call Rentz LLC, and I bopped over there and they fixed it on the spot, the best $55 I ever spent.

I’m feeling better now, maybe it’s the nice hot shower.  Or the fact that I got a new doctor, and my credit card will be delivered soon, and Publix knows where I live.  Just another example of needing help and finding it, and finding out just how nice people can be.

'scene' along the way, adventure, coping, family, finding my way, leap of faith, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

The ups and downs of this trip…

At one point I was thinking of writing a post and saying that I need to be more level-headed.  I meant that literally, because despite my best efforts at leveling the camper I always feel like I’m walking up and down hill once I’m in it.  But now I find myself  here in PA where nothing at all is level, so it’s a moot point.  This is what I’m talking about…9-24levelheaded

I stood in someone’s driveway to take this picture.  This is the road to my daughter’s house.  You come up the hill and make that hairpin turn, and continue up the hill to the top and make a sharp left into her driveway, which goes straight downhill again.  I’m not sure the van could pull the camper up that hill, and since there isn’t a level spot on her property to park it I didn’t have to even think about trying.  And going down that hill isn’t a picnic either.  I can’t believe that these are the roads that my grandchildren learned to drive on.  The first time I went to FL I didn’t like it because I thought it was too flat.  Flatness has it’s advantages it seems.

But this is the reality of life, in this part of PA anyhow.  I went in search of a covered bridge today and was negotiating hills and turns like this one, except they were skinny two-lane roads where you found yourself encountering oncoming trucks as you crested a hill or came around a turn.  And when I found the bridge, which was in the middle of the woods, there were signs declaring no parking, no stopping, and that it was a tow-away zone.  Really?  There was a place to pull off, but no ability to get a better perspective for photos at all.  I turned tail and went back to my daughter’s house after that.  Thanking my lucky stars all the way that I wasn’t towing anything.9-24coveredbridgeThat is how it works a lot of the time isn’t it?  You’ve avoided disaster, or just inconvenience, but by the skin of your teeth.  No brains or talent on your part, just dumb luck.  Or maybe someone is looking out for you.  I suspect it’s a little bit of both.