'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.

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.

a second look, finding my way, learning, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology, travel

Helping hands…

By now we’ve established that I hate, hate, hate, to have to ask for help.  I feel as if I shouldn’t have taken on this trip if I couldn’t handle the details by myself.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t have figured out the issues that have come up on this trip without help from others.  But what has really surprised me is that lately I have also found myself asking for help in the grocery store, and just out shopping in general. And usually the item I was looking for was right there in front of me all the while, but it seems that I wasn’t ever going to find it on my own.

Fast forward to the other day when a young sales girl saw me wandering and asked if she could help me find something.  Instead of my usual immediate ‘no’ I told her that what I’d really like to find is a bag with some sort of outside pocket for my camera, which is by no means dainty, and room enough to carry the basics also.  I had given up on finding something with easy, quick, secure access to the camera, and so far the camera bags I’d tried left a lot to be desired also.  She led me over to the Vera Bradley section, which I had already wandered through, and showed me this crossbody bag, which can be worn in back or swung to the front.  When in front the largest zipper section has easy access, and it’s perfectly sized to hold the camera.  Three other sections are great for the rest of the necessities.  And the fabric is waterproof, and pretty!  I felt like Goldilocks, I had tried many, but this one was just right!

And then there is getting help from the internet.  I looked up my new iPhone with it’s three cameras to see how to use it.  All three pictures were taken from the exact same spot, but one with the extra-wide angle (top), one with the regular wide-angle, and a close up shot also.  Just to see how it worked.  A dial of sorts comes up for you to select your preferred shot, but that will take more practice.  I approached PF Chang last night from the ‘wrong’ I thought maybe they had abandoned their signature horse statue.  I needn’t have worried.  And the sunset was nice as we left…9-26PFCHANGCLOSE9-26PFCHANGfeaturemed

By the time this posts I should be back on the road, heading south!

 

 

'scene' along the way, gardens, history, home, learning, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Shaking it up…

Canterbury Shaker Village was the destination yesterday.  I was so distracted by the dramatic sky that I didn’t spend a lot of time wishing for a prettier day.  Well, when it was raining on us and we were taking shelter under a crab apple tree I may have wished for a better day.  But the porcupine in the tree was kind of fun, but he just plain wouldn’t say cheese so I don’t have his picture.  And we munched on huckleberries that were growing on the apple tree like a trellis, so it wasn’t all bad.  A sprinkle here and there was as bad as it got.

We took the guided tour of the village and that was well worth it.  The volunteer guide was terrific, and it was quite amazing to hear of the accomplishments and work ethic of the Shakers.  I was lamenting that I had been so distracted by the dramatic sky, which doesn’t always translate into great pictures, that I didn’t think I had taken any interior pictures.  Thankfully there were a few.

Shakerorgan
The organ was purchsed for use during their raucous prayer meetings, but it was too tall and they debated whether to raise the roof or drop the floor.  As you see they dropped the floor, because raising the roof would have cost them dormitory space above the meeting home. 
Shakerouthouse
This is a three hole outhouse.  Using an outhouse seems bad enough, but using it three at a time really boggles the mind.

The rest of these are just the grounds of the village.  The members lived in dormitories.  They were issued 120 garments each upon their arrival in the village.  These were their only possessions.  Their laundry facility was amazing.  The Shakers invented the first washing machines and sold them to hotels and hospitals around the world.  The garments were washed, dried, folded, and returned to the proper person by a system of baskets.  They were delivered by the children of the village, to the proper building, identified by letter, room number, closet or drawer number, and the initials of the owner.  Very efficient.

And if you are paying attention you may be wondering how a religious community that practiced celibacy managed to have children on the premises.  Shakers took in orphans and educated them as well as trained them in trades.  They were not automatically considered Shakers, because the belief was that you couldn’t make a decision as important as that one until the age of reason, age 17 – 21.  The more I learned about this group the more I admired their practices.  Each person worked at a job to benefit the whole, in 30 day shifts, and everyone rotated through every job required.  In that way no one was stuck in the less pleasant jobs and these rules applied to everyone, including the elders of the village.  The guide didn’t elaborate on the perceived benefits of celibacy, we’ll all have to ponder that one…Shakerouthouse2Shakerouthouse3ShakerredbuildingShakerredbuilding2shakersculptureShakersistersshopShakerskyShakersky2ShakerfeatureShakerdoorShaker1

'scene' along the way, boats, Heros, history, learning, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology, travel

Harborwalk…

I saw Boston’s Harborwalk while on the bus tour the other day, and I knew I was going to have to make that my first ‘hop-on-hop-off’ stop on the tour.  I did a lot of walking that day, a lot.  But it was pretty, and the weather was great.  And I had a fun conversation with an insurance man who was also enjoying the view.  He had a camara like mine, he said.  “Do you shoot RAW?” he wanted to know.  “Do you know Lightroom?” was his next question.  Thanks to my awesome camera group, the FCCP from Clearwater, FL, I was able to say yes to both questions.  But he got me with his next question, “Do you use back button focus?”  Funny thing is I had just attempted to read an article about exactly that.  Attempted is the operative word here.  I found it a bit abstract, but now I’m determined to figure it out.  Because once he caught me up in a question he was happy to rush back to work.  LOL.  No, not laughing.  Gonna have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.Harborwalk1Harborwalk3Harborwalk4Harborwalk5Harborwalk6Harborwalk7HarborwalkHoodHarborwalkteapartyboatHarborwalkteapartyboat2The bus tour driver had pointed out the Hood milk bottle as we cruised to the next stop.  And the yellow boat where they reenact the Boston Tea Party, throwing plastic bins of tea over the side and then hoisting them back in again.  He had lots of interesting things to point out that proved too difficult to photograph.  Like the glimpse down an alleyway where Boston Latin used to be.  Boston Latin is the oldest public school in the country and several founding fathers graduated from there.  We passed a spot of green among the buildings and it turned out to be a very old cemetery where three of the signers of the declaration of independence are buried.  He even pointed out a bar where Sam Adams used to hang out, directly across the street from the cemetery where he was buried.  He said you can have a cold Sam Adams while you pay your respects to an even colder Sam Adams.  Lots of history in not a lot of square footage in Boston.

'scene' along the way, fun, history, Just do it, learning, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology, travel, Uncategorized

Leaving Hyannis…

Leaving Hyannis continued to reveal lovely images as we pulled away from shore.  I do love the new camera with the terrific zoom capability, but it’s the fact that you can get clear shots without the tripod that puts it over the top.  A tripod on that rolling deck wouldn’t have been fun to try to use.  And the zoom let me see a woman using some sort of mystery device, at least from my point of view.  I saw it as a black frame with two pieces of glass and couldn’t imagine what it was.  I put the picture on my Cape Cod group and they thought it was just an iPad!  She was taking pictures, LOL.leavingHyannis1leavingHyannis2

outdooractivityoutdooractivity2There was nothing to see but water and sky after a while, but then I noticed a shape breaking the horizon line.  I wondered if it was a lighthouse, but through the camera’s zoom I could see the triangular shape of sails.  The boat was the ‘fast ferry’, and it was really moving, and of course there was some rock, so trying to get a picture seemed futile but that didn’t stop me.  I probably took more shots of that than I did of anything else that day.  Especially because of the blinking light.  It was performing exactly as the lighthouse lights do, steadily on and off.  I asked about that on the Cape Cod group also, but no one seemed to have an answer.  It did not seem to be moving, it seemed to be stationary.  It is still a mystery.Nantucket1Nantucket2Nantucket3Nantucket4Nantucket6Nantucket5And then Nantucket came into view.  Even the harbor seemed quaint to me as we approached.  I forgot to look for the Brant Point lighthouse until we were right on top of it.  I believe I heard that it’s the second oldest and and also the smallest lighthouse.  But I heard so many facts about the history of Nantucket that day that I was boggled so I will have to try to do some research before I try to repeat them.  I had arrived…