a second look, facing facts, fantasy images, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Just do it, let it go, life goes on, live and learn, moments, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, road trip, safety Harbor, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Sunrise, by the skin of my teeth….

I really ought to plan my photo trips a little better, but somehow they do seem to work out, one way or another. So maybe flying by the seat of my pants isn’t all bad. But looking up the travel time to Safety Harbor at 5 AM (30 minutes), and expecting it to be the same if I left at 6 AM, wasn’t my smartest move. I had less than 5 minutes until the sun peeked above the horizon this morning, I made it, but barely. Another photographer informed me that I had missed a beautiful moon set though. I have the app (PhotoPills) to let me be more aware of these photo ops, but I still haven’t learned to use it. Sigh. And still another photographer chose to inform me that I should get rid of my lens and buy the one that he had. I think this is the first time I’ve run into someone like that, photographers are generally a really nice group of people. I’m sticking with my lens, it’s the person behind the camera who leaves a bit to be desired sometimes.

LensBall gives you a different perspective, especially when the views are limited…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, boats, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Ups and downs…

That’s what the day had, ups and downs. I said that thinking of the photos I took today, but now that I think of it the first example of ups and downs was the off-again-on-again messages I’ve been getting from my car about my tire pressure. I started my day by putting air in my tires because one said it only had 27 pounds of pressure. Then the day warmed up, and by the time I came home that same tire was way over 40 pounds and I imagined it exploding, so I let some air out. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I think I liked it better when my car and I weren’t on speaking terms.

So out I went to take photos on a sunny morning…

Low tide but no wading birds, just wading people.
It was quiet at Anclote River Park.
Two osprey at Key Vista Nature Park. Parks line the water in this area and I stopped at them all.
Sailboats seem peaceful to me.
You knew I had it with me.
Can’t resist the pelicans.
The view along the trail at Key Vista.
A little different view.

But I had started the day watching the eagles, and forcing myself to use my biggest lens and even the extender so that I could get really close shots. I have to manually focus when I use that combination, and that’s a challenge because I don’t trust my vision, and rightly so since I deleted over half the photos I took. But I was delighted that the fledgling was hopping around and flapping his wings, and then I saw Mama flying towards the nest and started shooting. It wasn’t until I got them in the computer that I saw that I did get her, and that she had had a fish with her. I was so pleased. And then I noticed the photography no-no called chromatic aberration. Purple fringing when something very dark is next to something light, caused by your lens, but supposedly fixable. Not by me though, I worked on these photos all afternoon and couldn’t make a difference. If you are seeing them on your phone you may not see it, I wish I could un-see it. Sigh. But it was a good day, good to be outside, good to see the sun.

a second look, coping, facing facts, growing old, live and learn, losing it, Passing time, perseverance, photography, reality check

Staying sharp…

I don’t mean to imply that I do Sudoku to keep my mind sharp. When I titled this post I really meant keeping the pencil sharp, which is the hardest thing about doing Sudoku. Or was, for a little while. I came across this old, yellowed, Sudoku book in a bin not too long ago, so I picked it up and started doing the puzzles again. In order, turning the pages as I went. I went merrily along, after I realized that having my glasses on was a must, and a sharp point on my pencil, and an eraser that actually erased the pencil mark without leaving a dark smudge on the paper. My drawer full of old, sometimes unused, pencils and pens wasn’t cutting it. And then I spotted what looked to be a brand new pencil. Three of them actually. Nice and fat, with perfect points and erasers that appeared to be unused, I loved them. It took me a few days to realize that these pencils were titled ‘My First Ticonderoga’, meant for little kids, or senior citizens with fingers that don’t work as well as they once did.

All was well until I turned the page to the next puzzle and found that I had started the ‘hard’ section of puzzles. They weren’t kidding. So I looked up Sudoku strategies online and I think I may have to go back to caffeinated coffee if I’m going to make heads or tails of what they are saying. Even a sharp pencil won’t help me with these…

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, connections, family, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, home, life, life goes on, live and learn, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Close to home…

I don’t mind seeking out new places to see and take pictures, but I also appreciate when a photo op comes to me. Right in my own back yard, or front yard, or even across the street. I was outside sitting and chatting with my aunt when company dropped in. He was on the run as he turned the corner of the walkway in a hurry, like he was late. He probably heard our voices and thought we might be sitting and eating, and inclined to share with him.

He wandered off and returned several times as we chatted. No, we don’t feed him, and it bothers me that he is so comfortable with people. We are probably his worst enemy. And he wasn’t the only recent interloper. The other day I heard the sandhill cranes unmistakable call, and as I wondered where they were I saw them walk past the window where I was sitting at the computer. I picked up the camera and went out and sat on my front stoop, where they stopped to look for a handout, and then, surprisingly, they began to dance.

Even as I took these pictures I lamented that my car was parked in the driveway and there was just no way give the dancers a prettier backdrop. But I thought it was nice of them to drop by to entertain me for a few minutes. Then I went inside and sat back down at the computer…

a second look, adventure, childhood, coping, facing facts, fun, go with the flow, growing old, life, life goes on, live and learn, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Having fun….

“We never go out to play!”, that was my lament back before Charley and I ever retired. I wanted to go out and have fun, and so I daydreamed about all the fun we’d have when we moved to Florida and had all this time on our hands. I wanted to go biking together, and kayaking seemed like a lot of fun even though I’d never done it. There were state parks to visit, we’d go hiking, and the best thing of all is it would be free, or nearly so. These were my thoughts, but I’m not sure I ever spoke them out loud. We did ride the bikes around the block a few times, but that was about it for outdoor activities together.

And that playful moment may have passed because now when I see people having what looks like fun to me I quickly realize that as much fun as it may appear to be I couldn’t possibly manage to do that anymore. If I ever could.

And now it has hit me that if that was me hanging from these ropes then I couldn’t be taking pictures of my fellow playmates while they are doing the impossible, dare-devil, maneuvers. So maybe it’s okay that I can’t do the things I could once do. But maybe seeing other people having fun is even more fun for me as I watch, through the lens…

'scene' along the way, a second look, egrets, friends, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, life, live and learn, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, strangers become friends, sunset, unintended consequences

Wake-up call…

What started out to be a potentially futile trip out to the sunset on Wednesday night turned out to be a wake-up call. After all there was no guarantee that the sunset would be a good one, and/or that my view would be decent, because I was headed out to try for the ‘shipwreck’ against a sunset sky. But not only was there a promise of some color, but I also met a biker who is on a journey inspired by what God has done for him in his life, and who is on a trip to the four corners of the country to spread his story and hopefully inspire others with their own personal struggles. I realized that it’s been a long time since I met someone and heard their story while I was out taking pictures.

James Rice is his name, and he said he was riding past on his Harley when he noticed the ship and the sunset and stopped to take pictures. I was happy to see that no one had parked on the tail of the boat, giving us a little leeway for photos, and the woman who had parked close to the front had moved her car a few feet over when I asked her to. So I told Jimmy that he could be my bouncer because it was going to be a while until the actual sunset and I was sure that other people would would try to pull in and park. And they did, but they moved when asked nicely. I was more surprised when a couple of young people climbed aboard the boat and settled down to watch the sunset. By then another photographer had joined us and he said, “I guess I’ll have to try again tomorrow”, but I figured the heck with that, and yes, they also moved. What a nice trip out that night turned out to be, for entirely different reasons than I expected. I will think of Jimmy and pray that he stays safe as he travels and shares his story.