connections, coping, finding my way, growing old, home, life, life goes on, loneliness, memories, moments, photography, sunrise

Just listen…

“Just listen,” I said for the umpteenth time.  It was so frustrating that my mother was so dismissive of the music I was loving at the time.  Roughly age 15 or so.  It was Simon and Garfunkel for heaven’s sake, beautiful music, and elegant words.  How could she not listen and be moved?  It made me so mad.

And of course I didn’t think it was the same thing at all when I was in the car with my son when he was about that same age, and on the radio came the latest trend in ‘music’, a rap song.  There was nothing elegant in those lyrics, or if there was I couldn’t get past the un-elegant parts to hear it.  I would snap my fingers, pretending to be snapping to the beat, which there wasn’t any that I could hear.  I was sure rap would be a flash in the pan. 

Will that rap music be something he looks back on eventually and feel that it was written just for him, as I am doing now with Simon and Garfunkel?   I found something in their music that spoke to me back then, and, if anything, it speaks to me more now, decades later.  “How terribly strange to be seventy”, they said.  Yes, it is, and I’m not quite there yet so I’m having my moment over it in advance.  It’s a cliche isn’t it, old people’s minds going back, living in the past?  Hanging onto their memories?  Is that what’s happening to me?  Am I Slip-Sliding Away?

https://youtu.be/CeqPTb0DwGw

adventure, backyard visitors, birds, connections, Cranes, Florida wildlife, friends, life, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Here we go again…

As you can see from the feature photo, our new Sandhill crane chicks have arrived.  To you it’s obvious, but it wasn’t to me when I came home from work to see the adult cranes across the lake with no babies in sight.  I didn’t worry at first, I just grabbed the camera and went out there to look through the telescopic lens.  And as was the case last year, my neighbor was out working on his yard, so I alerted him and we looked together and couldn’t see the chicks.  I don’t know how long it took.  I kept telling myself it was hopeless, and to go in and change out of my work clothes, but still I stayed out there, looking.  There is taller grass out there, greener too, so the little ones might just be out of sight I thought.  And the two adult cranes were feeding pretty close together, more so than usual it seemed, and recognizing that I stuck with it.  And then I finally I spotted one and called to my neighbor to see it.  He spotted the second one a bit later.  Four hours later I finally called it quits for the day.4-16cranes44-16cranes54-16cranes34-16cranesx34-16chicks14-16cranesx3-24-16sailinghomeI had no thoughts of writing a blog when I took a class on how to start a blog.  I had found some photography classes and was trying to learn to use the features of the camera that I had bought on a whim, and was lucky enough to have last year’s crane family to photograph just a month after buying the camera.  I took the blogging class because I enjoyed the people I’d met in the classes, and I thought

]it would be interesting.  So by the end of the class we had the framework of the blog in our computers, but the real incentive to write was to tell the story of last year’s crane family.  If for no other reason but to get the whole saga straight in my own mind.  It’s fourteen months later and my life bears very little resemblance to what it was then.  I’m more ‘connected’ than I was, to new friends, to old friends, and to a larger group of photographers who have expanded my view immensely.   I know I spend a lot of time thinking about the past, enjoying the memories, but I have more faith now that there are memories yet to be made…

birds, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, life, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, simple things, storms

The good and the bad…

The good thing about dragonflies is that they return to the same spot all the time.  So you can get yourself ready, get the camera focused, and you’ll be ready to take your photo when he returns.  The bad thing about dragonflies is that they return to the same spot all the time.  And when they do come back they tend to land in the same position again, so you are ready to take the picture, but it’s the same picture every time.  I wish they would do something surprising now and then.  At least they are out back daily, giving me photo ops when Mama Sandhill crane sitting on her eggs becomes less than exciting.4-13dragonfly4-13dragonfly1-24-13dragonfly24-13dragonfly34-13dragonfly44-13dragonfly5

And, speaking of taking the same picture over and over, you probably suspect that my Sandhill crane on the nest photo is the same one and I’m reusing it periodically.  But I’m not.  I was worried when I was away over the weekend, worried that I’d miss the new Sandhill crane chicks hatching.  I was so lucky to be on the spot to watch as it happened last year, so I was happy to see her still on the nest when I got back, that I didn’t miss anything.  And poor Mama has been out there through two really bad storms, and still she is out there.  And her mate is there also.  I love that guy.  But I see that the grass surrounding the nest is longer than it was last year, I hope it will be easy to see the chicks with my big new lens.  But then they didn’t spend a lot of time on the next last year anyhow, so it will be fine. She said, optimistically.

And the Little Blue Heron who is always on the post out there.  I can’t help but take pictures of him almost glowing in the sun.  Not the same photo all the time, it just looks like it.4-13littleblue

adventure, childhood, connections, friends, kids, life, life goes on, memories, photography

Old friends…

There was, after all, a lot to lose. My most treasured memories stem from the neighborhood that I lived in from ages 4 to 9. It doesn’t look at all the same now, it seems to have shrunk. I know this because I drove past it this weekend. I was there to visit with my lifelong best friend, but also to spend a little time at ‘home’. But there was also the fact that a few months ago my sister contacted my constant partner in crime from back in those days. It was a fluke that she spotted him online, and once she messaged me that she had contacted him I was tempted to contact him, but also a little afraid. All my life, it seems, when I would roll out a favorite memory of mine, my mother would jump in and insist that I had it all wrong. I would see it perfectly clearly in my head, but be told that I was wrong. Then when my daughter got to be about 12 or so I found myself in the same situation, my memories being corrected by my daughter. Clearly my memory was suspect. To my mind, back then we were like the kids in the Charlie Brown cartoons, with parents who were vaguely in the background. We were free, to climb trees, and swing on a rope swing out over the river, and there was even a garage roof we used to jump off of, grabbing a young tree trunk that would bounce us up and down a few times before we let let go, and then we would climb back onto the roof to do it again. I don’t recall sneaking to do these things, it was just what we did. If our parents knew it seemed to be okay. Even when my shoe fell off as I rode the rope swing over the river, I only remember watching it float away, I don’t remember going home to confess.

So making contact ran the risk of ruining those memories I’ve hung onto for all these years. To be told I was wrong, or, worse, to be greeted with a blank stare. But from my sister I did know that he remembered us, that much was a plus. But still it took me a month of thinking about it to actually message him, and over the weekend we were finally together. It is at least 60 years later, and those years most definitely have taken their toll on us both, but that cherished connection was still there. I think all the kids who grew up in that neighborhood in the 50s remember it the exact same way. It was a perfect time to be a kid. I thought we ought to climb a tree, but instead we talked, and talked, and talked some more. He told my sister that I was the first girl he ever kissed. I don’t think we said goodbye 60 years ago, we were still so young. But we kissed goodby this time, that same sort of kiss as from 60 years ago. He laughed and said that now I’m the first and also the last girl he’s ever kissed. I still think that next time we meet we ought to climb a tree…4-9Nausetlight

birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, life, nature, nesting, photography

It takes a village…

It seems like that might describe the goings on at the rookery.  Do each of the egret or stork parents tend only to their own offspring?  When they are in such close quarters I mean?  I’ve heard that the owlet that had to be removed from the nest at Philippe Park has been brought back to the nest twice, only to fly to the ground immediately.  And the parents haven’t been seen in the vicinity for a while now.  So they are trying to locate another set of owl parents in hopes that she will be accepted.  Assuming that they have seen this done successfully before then I have to wonder if it happens in nature.  I have no answers for this, just questions…

3-17storks23-17egrets13-17storks3-17egrets23-17egrets53-17egrets43-17egrets3

birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, life, nature, Osprey, photography, sunset

More from Honeymoon Island…

It was a little like watching a horror movie.  A front row seat, so to speak, for blood, guts, and gore, and you couldn’t look away.  Because it was all taking place in full view, lit perfectly, and you were watching through your 600mm lens with extender attached!  An Osprey landed in a tree with a fish in it’s talons.  Another photographer announced his arrival, and we all turned our attention to this latest development.  As I watched they said that he would eat the head and eyes first, and then bring the rest to the nest.  While nice clear shots is what I’m usually looking for, this was Mother Nature at it’s most brutal.  They were right, and I have photos, but I’ll spare you.

3-14Osprey13-14Osprey23-15osprey3.jpgAbout this time we returned to the Nature Center where we hoped that low tide would have brought lots of birds there to wade and eat.  There were only two however, a Great Egret and a Great Blue Heron.

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So it was off to the Dunedin Causeway to finish off the evening with the sunset and then head for home.  Another destination to enjoy here in paradise…

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