a second look, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, Cranes, ducks, Florida wildlife, healing, life goes on, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Life goes on…

Sad as I was over the loss of one of the owlets yesterday, a text from my former neighbor cheered me up. It seems the Sandhill Cranes nested on the lake again this year, and their chicks hatched yesterday. I knew from past experience that the parents will march the chicks off the nest and out into the world almost as soon as they hatch, so I checked on them right after sunrise this morning. I guess I was too early because Mom was still laying down, as in the feature photo, and Dad was wandering in the vicinity. The crane family saga is what started me blogging four years ago, and I’ll be back again in the next few days to try to get some pictures of this year’s crop.

My first photo when I got to the lake. I had seen that a duck had laid eggs, a dozen of them, in the crotch of this tree in my neighbor’s yard. I wanted a picture of the eggs but Mama was standing guard.
Dad was up and keeping an eye on things.
The island that they nest on is shaped like a horseshoe, with water in the center. There was much commotion, splashing and quacking going on. Dad was supervising, but didn’t intervene.
I’ve blathered on and on to my friend about the little blue heron that lives on this lake, and the ibis that were so abundant that I hardly even noticed them after a while.
I have spent a lot of time watching this fella, and hoping to catch him catching something. Seconds after I got there he caught this frog, who I then felt a little sorry for.
All the while I was there Mama Duck kept an eye on me while she tended to her eggs. More babies for the lake.
I mentioned the sunrise, in this case back at Aripeka again.
And One-Foot Fred was there, hanging out right outside the bait shop. I wonder what he was waiting for.

As soon as I got out of my car in my old neighborhood I heard the woodpeckers drilling away. And lots of birds singing in the trees, plus the ducks quacking. A hawk flew into view, twice. The gang is still there, doing what they do, it’s in their nature. Watching them filled a void in my life, and encouraged me to get out and take more pictures. It was a blessing then, and has led to even more blessings now. Life goes on…

a second look, attention to detail, blessings, brainstorms, changing times, childhood, Christmas on the brain, coping, facing facts, faith, family, growing old, Just do it, life goes on, making memories, memories, pastries, perseverance, photography, Yummy

Salvaging the spirit…

I have become a bah humbug sort of person. I don’t say that proudly, or lightly even. I grew up with a reverence for the day we celebrate the birth of Christ, and I loved making Christmas for my own kids through the years. Growing up in a big Italian family there were many treats to be had at Christmas that we didn’t see for the rest of the year. As the daughter of a fireman and a nurse I spent the major holidays at my aunt’s house, with my working parents coming and going, plus lots of relatives dropping in to visit. Special times that I couldn’t have appreciated at the time what treasured memories they would turn out to be. So when I got married and moved away I did my best to recreate the holidays I treasured. I made lasagna for Christmas dinner, something the family had switched over to some time in my preteen years when they decided that they were ITALIAN, for goodness sake, and weren’t going to duplicate the Thanksgiving dinner at Christmas anymore. I made the Italian cookies that are flavored with anise. I made strufoli, the tiny honey balls we only had at Christmas, and, when I could find it, I bought Torrone, a nougat candy that came in individual boxes that were exquisite little works of art in themselves. For many years Christmas was a wonderful time of year. But those days are long past, the kids are grown and gone, and even the grandchildren are grown. It feels like the media has taken over all aspects of life, including the holiday, and you can’t escape the pressure to be HAPPY, to spend more and more money. The meaning is lost, hence bah humbug.

With my bad attitude I have disappointed the new special person in my life who still treasures Christmas. Our first Christmas together and he didn’t expect my usual light-hearted self to just want to get this whole thing over with. We will visit his relatives for Christmas, and when a discussion of what to have for Christmas dinner came up my offer to make lasagna was accepted. That perked me up a little. It really warmed my heart when my daughter said that she is making lasagna for her crew too, and she is making strufoli for the first time in years! Now I will make strufoli too. I collected all my recipes yesterday, and my friend wanted to stop at the nice Italian deli near him, and I wondered out loud if I might find Torrone there. Boy, did I ever! Torrone in the little boxes. Torrone cut into wedges like a slice of layer cake, some topped with chocolate! Torrone packaged in the shape of Christmas trees! I stood there with my mouth open, and possibly drooling, as every where I turned I found Torrone. So, yes, I did find Torrone, and I think I might have found my Christmas spirit too.

The feature photo is a display of containers of strufoli, larger honey balls than the ones we used to make, but it made me happy to see my familiar treats. I wrote this post early yesterday, before a heart-warming (and tear-jerking) message from my daughter showed up online. I was already on my way to finding that elusive Christmas spirit, and now I’m happy to say that my strufoli is made, and my lasagna is coming together. So let me wish a Merry Christmas to all with a happy heart. And the new year? Well, there is always hope…

'scene' along the way, black and white, childhood, fun, just imagine, memories, moments, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sky, unintended images

Just imagine…

I was missing my grandfather’s house yesterday. The gorgeous cloud formations made me remember laying on my back on the lawn, watching the clouds drift by and seeing what surprises I could find in them. I saw a happy little face off to the right in the feature photo.

I wanted to write that it looked like an explosion in a whipped cream factory.
My little happy person is off to the left in this one. Here I see a conversation happening, or is it an argument?
I turned one to black and white because I could. The texture of the clouds was amazing.

Of course by the time I got home and could have laid in the grass the pretty clouds were close to the horizon and the dark clouds were taking over, and I could hear thunder…

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In the mist…

Do you see it in the mist? The Gurnett Light. One of the few places I knew of that my friend hadn’t been to when he was a kid growing up in my same hometown. So we drove the long, rough, dirt road out to the point where it sat, and had to get 90% there to see it at all in the mist. I dodged raindrops all day to get these pictures, but somehow it didn’t spoil what turned out to be a fun day for us.

You really can’t get close to this lighthouse since it’s in a private community that sits out at the tip of the point. But you can zoom with your lens.
When I googled the Powder Point Light I expected to see the other lighthouse, but this one showed up. It sits right at the start of the Powder Point Bridge and is now a private residence.
And the bridge, once the longest wooden bridge in the country. Or maybe it was the world, I just read it but can’t remember.
Someone watched me taking pictures.
And swimmers on the beach. A
And the lonely lifeguard, watching them.
We had driven through Plymouth the day before. It was a gorgeous day but we couldn’t stop then, and probably couldn’t have found parking since the place was teaming with tourists. So we said we’d come back the next day, and the weather meant that there was plenty of parking.
Those masts are the Mayflower 2. As we drove back and forth to Duxbury the rain would stop, but each time we returned to Plymouth it was pouring again. We wound up drenched.
At one intersection along the way we saw the Toll House sign. The actual Toll House was a cute little white house in Whitman where the toll house cookie was said to be invented. It sat on this corner, and across the intersection was a fabulous fabric store called Saftlers. Both are gone now, replaced with gas stations I think..

I think that if I had had anyone else with me yesterday, and wanted to show them scenery that was close to my heart, they’d have thought I was nuts. But we both loved pointing out all the beautiful old houses along the roads we both traveled as kids…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, blessings, food, friends, life goes on, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

Driving Miss Daisy…

Of course I came here to spend time with Kathy, but I also wanted a photo of the forsythia before they disappear all together. They are past their prime, but I’ll forgive them because the lilacs are just starting to bloom. As we drove I told Kathy that it was like Driving Miss Daisy and she said that she hadn’t seen that movie. I can’t imagine how she missed it, so we came home and watched the movie while I worked on my pictures. The day that started at 37 degrees soon was 72 degrees and spectacular. A great day for two old (literally) friends to stop for an ice cream cone for lunch…

If only forsythia bloomed in Florida.
It already smelled wonderful!
This scenery warms my heart.
A closer look.
Such a beautiful day to check Highland Lake to see if we could find the Canada Geese chicks that call this place home.
Coffee Kahlua Brownie was the winner!
'scene' along the way, a second look, death, finding my way, grief, growing old, history, life goes on, memories, moments, perseverance, photography

Rose Hill…

Not every trip out to take photos is the uplifting sort of trip that warms my heart. Yesterday I went out to explore a cemetery that I’d seen a while back when the GPS had routed me from one destination to another. I was at a traffic light and noticed a cemetery with a big water feature, and it seemed like a spot that would have an east facing view for the sunrise. I made a mental note of it, and while I thought of looking for it again from time to time I never did, until yesterday. It was easy enough to figure out where it was when I looked at Maps, a big green oasis, and I saw the name Rose Hill. The GPS had me pass up my destination and do a u turn to come back to it, and then it said to take a right, even though I saw the pretty lawns and water of a beautiful cemetery to the left. I took the right, and entered a sad little cemetery with lots of sand and weeds and no green lawns or water feature. It was hard to figure out where I could park the car, I was afraid I’d drive over a grave. I got out and walked a bit and took some pictures, but my heart wasn’t in it. I felt like an intruder. While it first seemed like a sad little place, it wasn’t forgotten by any means. Pops of color were everywhere. Graves were being visited, people were being remembered. That I wanted to come to this place for my photo ops felt very wrong. The wind was out of my sails, I headed home.

Yes, I did stop at the neighboring Cycadia Cemetery, but that feeling of being an intruder stayed with me. I took a couple of pictures and left. It just wasn’t the day for it I guess…