birds, connections, coping, Florida wildlife, life, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Birds do it…

I’ve been watching all my TV on the internet since I’ve been back in FL, and it’s been educational to say the least.  What has struck me is that no matter how innocuous the title of the show you decide to watch is, like “Love”, it seems to me to have nothing to do with ‘love’ at all.  It must be my age, or it’s the man-woman thing.  Charley had a serious lament in his last years.  As he put it, he was waiting for the day that the supermodels would pull up out front and say, “You, Fat Boy, into the limo!”  He tried to make a joke out of it, but after I heard it enough times I realized that he was serious.  He really did feel like he missed out on something.  And he never responded to any of my retorts.  Like, “Sam Elliot hasn’t pulled up out front looking for me either”, or “have you looked in the mirror lately”, or “so this is something that has happened to everyone you know and you’re the only one it hasn’t happened to?”  I gave up after a while and told him that if the supermodels ever show up out there then just go for it. Youth and beauty are fleeting things, but having a connection to someone, someone to talk with at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

I took friends to the rookery yesterday and of all the shots I took these are the ones that stood out.  First of all I was paying attention to the wood storks especially, because their babies are so darned funny looking.  Last year all you saw were wood stork chicks, but so far I haven’t gotten a good shot of one this year.  But even if I hadn’t been paying attention to wood storks in particular these would have caught my eye because they were the only action going on out there, and their nest was in the perfect light.  These birds have to be a great example of ‘there is someone for everyone’,  Or maybe they just watch too much Netflix…03-22-19birdbrains03-22-19birdbrains203-22-19birdbrains303-22-19birdbrains503-22-19birdbrains6

And life goes on…03-22-19birdbrains4

a second look, childhood, finding my way, growing old, life, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, progress, simple things

The finish line…

I prefer to think that my obsession with downsizing, purging, and getting rid of all the ‘stuff’ in my life that was weighing me down, originated with me.  Or, more correctly, with Charley.  That I started feeling as if I needed to liberate myself from my ‘stuff’ came long before the tiny house movement.  Even though we had sold the house we lived in for 35 years and had to pare things down to make that move, Charley still had tons of stuff he left behind when he died.  And even though I remembered how he surprised me back then by going through his things and tossing/giving away all sorts of things without any agonizing whatsoever, I did agonize over his things.  All his things were treasures, they were worth something, collectibles, as he was fond of reminding me.  I could be tossing away something of value.  My own stuff was junk, admittedly, so it was the physical act of going through boxes that had been sitting on shelves in the garage for years that would get the best of me.  I would tell myself that I ought to just throw those boxes away, don’t even open them I’d think, but I couldn’t seem to do that, and I’d keep on procrastinating.  But now I have finally done it, I’m pretty much at the finish line, spurred on because I wanted to save my kids the torture of going through all my stuff and sorting and tossing it away.  They’ll probably have to do some of that one day but they can rest assured that it is, in fact, junk, so toss away!

So what has made the cut?  What have I managed to keep with me through moves from MA, to IN, to CA, to MD, and, finally, to this little place in FL?  Besides the sewing machines, cameras, computers, and iPhones we have these gems.  Treasures from my childhood, and items that caught my eye over the years.  As I acquired them, the little stained glass candle holder bought in Beanblossom, Indiana for example, could I have ever imagined that it would stay with me, across country in both directions, and be with me here in what I expect is my last home?  Which in reality is my first ever apartment, so to speak.  The first place I’ve ever made for myself alone.  But furnished with the items that I have held close to my heart, that have pleased me, comforted me, delighted me, and carried me from childhood to, ahem, maturity…

finding my way, friends, fun, life goes on, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended images

Ghostly images…

Several years ago a neighbor happened to make a Facebook post about a photography class, Photographing Birds, that was being offered at a wildlife preserve nearby.  I was off that day, and the class started at 10 AM so I had plenty of time to get there, so in that way the timing was good, but the timing was also good for me personally.  After three years of being a bit of a hermit after Charley died I guess I had realized that life was going to go on after all, and as a long-term strategy being a hermit probably wasn’t the best idea I’d ever had.  I believe that it was just the four of us at that class, plus the teacher, and we have stuck together ever since.  Is it photography that stuck us together?  Because we could not be coming to this hobby/obsession from more different personal angles, but yet here we are.  So while I was away my friends had discovered a photography group that is based a lot closer than our St. Pete group, which we still love and participate in, but easy access is easy access.  So I tagged along to a class last night and enjoyed it a lot.  The leader, Carolyn, is a forensic photographer, so as she was explaining the settings on the camera, etc., the frame of reference she would use as examples might be to include everything you were seeing in the scene you were photographing, such as the body, the murder weapon, the blood spatter, etc. and the settings you need to accomplish that.  A very different point of view to say the least.

I don’t think that this particular technique was related to her work per se, just a fun exercise in what your camera can do.  To use a gauzy flowing drape is an obvious choice of prop for these pictures, and those were the pictures I was liking as I looked at the images in the camera.  Then I got home and was tired, and I didn’t like the images at all.  But this morning, with a cup of coffee, I liked them more.  And really liked the images without the flowing robe also.  03-12-ghostlybetty03-12-ghostlycarolyn03-12-ghostlycarolyn2  Now to think of a way to use the technique.  Someone suggested shooting in a graveyard and having a ghost rising out of a grave.  Now that has potential…

a second look, family, finding my way, friends, life goes on, loneliness, memories, perseverance, photography, simple things

Rock-a-bye…

I don’t remember how it is that I came to have this little rocking loveseat.  I mean I always loved it, but it sat in my father’s den when I was a kid.  It was a little out of the way, and I can’t say that I ever sat in it much, but I loved it.  The small size just fit, and it rocked, I loved that.  When my mother was downsizing after my father died I vaguely remember that we borrowed a truck and Charley helped me get a few of my mother’s treasures and bring them home to Maryland with us, and this was one of them.  It’s completely threadbare now, which is why those throws are covering it.  Not only threadbare, but whatever foam was padding this chair has long since disintegrated.  That is probably due to my daughter’s kids.  By the time it had migrated to her house it was already over 30 years old, and the wear and tear the my two oldest grandchildren put on it took a toll.  But that was probably the first time that little chair felt loved.  I remember that my daughter used to lay infant Kara on it, and Kevin would rock her gently to sleep.  When they moved I reclaimed it, and I’ve had it ever since.  It lived in my little upstairs den a few years later.  Kevin looked around that room, he was sitting on the loveseat at the time, and he told me that it was a very nice room.  I don’t know if I ever was so touched to get a compliment as I was to get that one.  Maybe it’s that it’s small.  That may be what appealed to me about it when I was a kid also.  The room would look better with a bigger chair there, it would look more balanced.  But sitting in it now feels like a hug from an old friend, and I love old friends…

family, finding my way, fun, life, life goes on, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, simple things, sunrise, sunset

Getting to the finish line…

After enduring the cold up north recently, and finding myself back in Florida, you might think I have been out soaking up the sun.  Or swimming, I wanted to get back to swimming.  But I have reached a point whereby I couldn’t function with all the clutter in this place.  I said something to my uncle about how I was making headway in getting this place cleaned up, and he responded, “Really?” I guess it doesn’t show when you have been going through endless boxes of photos and finding the keepers.  So I haven’t been out with the camera, and my social life has taken place on Facebook for two days.  But last night I headed out to the races just as the sunset was winding down.

It probably isn’t what you imagined, this particular evening of horse racing.  But my cousins had been telling me how much fun it is for a while now.  Here they are at the starting gate…03-03-2019startinggate

And they are off!  #5 has taken an early lead…03-03-2019inthelead

Someone near and dear to my heart was announcing the race.  Ten races in all, plus a hot dog.  Yes, a fun evening…03-03-2019announcer

And here we are, another day dawning in Florida.  I’m not sure that I can stand another day of ‘organizing’.  Gee, maybe the bluebirds are out…03-03-2019sunrise

'scene' along the way, a second look, egrets, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Life on egg shells…

Day-to-day life in my new neighborhood is actually quite convenient.  I’m saying this with one full day here under my belt.  But everything from movies, to car washes, grocery stores, and even our little mall, is right here.  Even Michael’s and JoAnn’s!  And as I’m running errands I’m aware that the little rookery is also right there.  Why wouldn’t I stop?  My cameras are usually with me, along with my tripods (3), and yesterday I bought a three-step step stool specifically for the nice wide steps and the over-all sturdy appearance of the thing.  It will live in the car also, because a short girl never knows when she’ll need a boost.  Or to see over a fence and photograph whatever is on the other side.  Besides, until and unless I tackle the shed there won’t be any other place to put it.  So it was off to the rookery, and I was a little disappointed that there didn’t seem to be much happening.  It looked like siesta time.  And then I spotted chicks in a great white egret nest.  And some in a wood stork nest too.  I know there were more chicks because I could hear them calling for food.  But the decibel level wasn’t what it will be soon, because I realized that all those birds were sitting on eggs.  Not so much nest building going on, just egg-sitting.  02-28-2019egret402-28-2019egret502-28-2019greategret+102-28-2019woodstork102-28-2019woodstork302-28-2019woodstorkbaby It wasn’t all just nativity scenes though.  These two great white egrets seemed to be under attack by this out of place looking anhinga.  It looked as if there was a question of who was going to nest where.  They hadn’t resolved the issue when I left.02-28-2019fighting02-28-2019fighting2