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Much ado in the gardens…

We were promised a weekend of perfect weather and that came true, but with spring break in full swing, an AirFest at McDill AFB for the first time in a couple of years, plus a Pride Parade, all happening in downtown Tampa on Saturday, we were worried about traffic. So we wimped out and the Florida Botanical Garden was our destination yesterday. There weren’t so many flowers, but the scenery was pretty.

Gorgeous weather, high 70’s and low humidity.
That must be perfect water lily weather because they looked like they were taking over the world.
It’s free to come here and sit quietly and read a book, which is what I saw people doing.
Okay, there were some flowers. Light Bulb Clerodendrum with a few pinwheel jasmine thrown in.
The bougainvillea are coming back from a cold couple of nights not long ago.
There were full trees of bush allamanda.
Yellow hibiscus. Yellow flowers took the day I think.
I love it when bumble bees land on purple flowers.
The lilies were so pretty that I just had to take their picture along the water, but even as I took the picture I knew they really wouldn’t show up.
A cardinal serenaded us.
Mama alligator, which I might have ignored if people hadn’t been excited to see her babies. I know I’ve been pouting about not seeing babies/chicks lately, but these babies aren’t the ones I’ve been looking for. I suppose their mother thinks they are cute.
People said their were three little ones, I only saw two.
Here she is from an overlook on the other side of the water. A couple were there looking down into the water, so I pointed her out across the way. “Oh”, they said. “That’s where she moved to. She must have had 65 babies right underneath the overlook the other day.” They were disappointed to hear that there were only three of them.
Mirror, mirror on the wall…
You might choose to peek through this pretty opening into the wedding garden. We had seen chairs being put into place earlier. But we arrived just in time to see the ring bearer run back to where he came from, and then get picked up by the man who eventually walked the bride down the aisle and deposited into his seat. I wasn’t ready to capture that moment.
I was ready for this one though. The first flower girl dutifully throwing flower petals, and the little one racing up behind her wailing away.
Then came the bride, who wore a smile almost as big as her dress, which drew oohs and ahhs from our little group of wedding crashers in the doorway. She was followed closely by the photographer who was being paid to take pictures. I think the kids had calmed down by this time.
And she joins her groom. If you are wondering about the pattern on her escort’s jacket you are not alone. I can’t figure it out.

Maybe my title of Much Ados in the Gardens should have read much ‘I dos.’ As things do tend to happen, you just never know exactly what you’ll get when you head out to go shooting. So just keep heading out the door, and be sure to take your camera.

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Time…

It was a gloomy morning, which matched my gloomy mood.  Today we were saying goodbye to yet another friend.  Yet again I would see a dear friend taking her first steps down the slippery slope of widowhood.  I’m five years in at this point, and I now know just how long this process is, this adjusting to life on your own.  At first I found myself astounded that a week had passed, then two weeks, and then a month.  Time, it seemed was relentless.  Impossible as it seemed the days kept passing, and it all became a blur.  Something I recently heard on TV struck me, it made me look online for a quote so I could repeat it correctly.

 

Time is free, but it’s priceless.

You can’t own it, but you can use it.

You can spend it, but you can’t keep it.

Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.

by Harvey MacKay

A silly poem from a friend warmed my heart and brightened this gloomy day for me.  I hope everyone takes time to let the people they care about know that they are loved.  Don’t waste your time, it’s precious…

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Bob…

His SUV was pulled over at a scenic overlook on Skyline Drive.  The back hatch was open and he was sitting in one of the two chairs he had placed just outside, angled toward the view.  His old=fashioned boom box was playing lovely, soft music, and I thought he was reading, but it turned out he was writing in a journal.  I had also pulled over at the overlook and got out of my car with my camera in my hands.  “You look comfortable,” I said.  “It’s our 50th anniversary,” he said, and I looked  but I didn’t see another person.  “We liked to come here”, he said, and he gestured to the empty chair and said, “She’s right there.”

She had died 7 months before, it was a blessing, he said.  He said that he didn’t want to brag, but his wife was very talented.  She baked and sewed, and she taught him to do those things too.  He said that he has her sewing machine and he is finishing all her projects for her.  They never let the sun set on an argument, he was proud of that.  He said he would always apologize and she would always say that it was okay, and then she would always let it go.  And they had had 10 children, it took him a while to mention that.  He showed me their wedding picture. They were so young.  And I thought of all that still lay ahead of them that day.  He said that he was writing it all down, their whole story, from the day that they met.  He was teary-eyed as he said these things, but he said that he knew that I would understand, and I did.

Skyline Drive was on my agenda from the day I left Florida in the first place.  I wanted to see color, but this color wasn’t the colorful trip that I intended.  I was going to try to be there for the fall scenery and I came close.  And I had just complained about the twists and turns of the roads in PA, and there I was purposely choosing to travel on a 100+ mile road of nothing but twists, and turns, and mountains.  But I was glad I was there today.  It was the perfect day to be there, because it was the day I met Bob…

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The second time around…

Visits with my cousin have been few and far between during out adult lives, so when a chance to get together in Portland presented itself I suggested we meet at the Portland Head Light.  She hadn’t been there before, and I knew our GPS devices would get us both to the same place for a visit with a view.  I was a little disappointed that my second chance to take pictures there was also a cloudy day.  But it was much earlier in the day and the sky was brighter.  Plus I had totally missed the cliff walk there, so I was able to take pictures from a different angle than the last time.  It was a last minute, unexpected visit, which are often the best ones.  Also unexpected was this  first picture.  The short guy ordering a lobster roll at the window I’m?  Well, he looks exactly like my husband Charley, whom I lost almost exactly 5 years ago.  He might even look more like Charley than Charley did.  Unexpected is an understatement.  But it did warm my heart to see him there…Charleysighting

headlightinthesunReduxRam'shead1Reduxscene1Reduxscenefeaturereduxview4Northernmockingbirdreduxviewreduxview2

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Nubble, Boon, and Bill…

There was a perfect view of Nubble Light.  That’s it’s nick name, it’s actually the Cape Neddick Light.  But I became intrigued with the lighthouse I saw off in the distance, and whether I’d be able to get a decent photo of it way out there.  I got to talking cameras and lenses with some fellow observers, which got me to get my 150 to 600mm lens out.  The biggest, heaviest one, that requires the biggest, heaviest tripod.  But what’s often the case with that was that at 150 I was still too close for a good picture.  I believe the above feature photo was taken with that lens.

Here you have the full effect of the scene I found as I watched and wandered the site.Nubble1NubbleonemoreNubble2The rocks, the lighthouse on the hill, with workers doing repairs.  And painters, four by the time I left.Painting

Looking left…Nubblelookleft2NubblelookleftLooking right…NubblerightsideNubblebirdscloseAnd the distant Boon Island Light, demanding my attention…Boonisland2NubbleBoatandboon

It was a lovely day, which brought me out of the sadness I’d been feeling on that day, the 5th anniversary of losing my husband.  At the gift shop I enjoyed the banter of an artist talking with the clerks and patrons of the shop.  He admitted he was 90, and a local legend.  Bill Thomson, a former professor of New England History at Salem State College in MA, and author of 26 books.  Now retired he sells prints of his paintings, and he was there that day, and wrote the name of my choice on the boat.  I returned to the shop several times before I made my decision to buy a print.  I love that it will have a history to it when I look at it, and in some way a history that includes Charley.9-3-19

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Still further east…

This is the photo, which I knew I’d seen recently.  I didn’t remember that it was the physical photo that I’d found, and since I’m not home I forgot that I combined it with a favorite, if irreverent, photo of me.  Charley looking so young, it brought back memories.56531238_10157611759037137_3115301287738998784_o.jpg

And Heather, also in P-town, a rare mother daughter trip in the aftermath of Charley’s death, followed by my mother’s death six days later.IMG_1216.jpegI loved seeing the extra footprints in the sand, still do.

The place…LobsterpotMy daughter and I were teary-eyed when we visited together almost 5 years ago.  Emotions were still raw that day.  It wasn’t as emotional yesterday.  I was glad to be there, glad to see the sky trying to cooperate, just glad in general.

And of course there are many more pictures.  I paid $20 to park on the Provincetown wharf.  I came here over the winter also and parked nearly in the same place for free, so if you average it out it’s not so bad.  It wasn’t so colorful last time I was here, but I knew I’d trade the winter grays for the hustle and bustle of summer on Cape Cod. Ptown1Ptown4PtownwharfPtownwharf2