life, photography, on closer examination, grandchildren, memories, fun, moments, life goes on, family

On the way…

We passed this pond every time we went to visit my son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Katie, for a lot of years.  And every time we did pass this pond it nearly took my breath away with how beautiful it was.  And if the dogs were with us, dogs being Zoe and Gleason for most of that time, and then Zoe and Ozzie, once we got to this pond Zoe knew for sure that we were going to their house and she could barely contain herself for the rest of the way.  Which wasn’t far, thank goodness.  But I never stopped to take a picture, I suppose I didn’t expect that heading to Mike’s house would one day be a 21 hour drive north.

After we bought our house with the pond in our back yard, and especially as we had only seen the place twice, plus the neighbor on the left side of our lake kept his yard like a park, I began to imagine that our pond looked like the pond on the way to Mike’s house.  Minus the fountain of course.  And alligators, no alligators in my pond, thank you very much.  But that pond never seems to have the algae that my pond does, I wonder how they keep that down?  At any rate it was a slight bit of disappointment when we settled on the house and I saw the pond again, and saw that it was much smaller, and quite a bit sadder, than the one on the way to Mike’s house.  Oh I love my pond, and I’m grateful to have it, especially after it dried up for a couple of years, but it would be nice…

So I recently found myself passing down this street again, and wishing that Mike still lived nearby, if only because I would have stopped in to use the bathroom.  But on the way home I stopped for pictures, since I don’t know when, or if, I’ll pass this way again…

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birds, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, photography, pond creatures, simple things, Tricolored heron

Where’s Waldo…

I was hoping to see the Tri-colored Heron again, and I got my wish on Tuesday.  I saw him on the post, and brought my camera outside just in time to see him fly to the island in the middle of the lake.  The grasses out there are tall enough that he disappeared completely, and then you’d see his head pop up like a periscope.  I have read that they are a wading bird, and that thought sent off alarm bells in my head.  These pictures are taken right where the Sandhill Cranes nested last December.  I have to wonder if there is dry land enough out there for another nest this year.  I hope so.

So there I was, camera at the ready, and all I could see of him was his head, and I couldn’t see that all the time either.  But every few minutes he would pop up and fly a short distance and disappear again.  Evidently he didn’t want to make this easy for me.  He is so pretty though.  I decided that he really is a new comer, I couldn’t possibly have not noticed him if he’d been out there before.  How nice of him to join us.

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coping, finding my way, healing, life goes on, loneliness, memories, moments, photography, sky, sunrise, the big picture

Finding my way…

I was sitting in the dark and quiet, minding my own business, when a photo of the Super Moon came across my Facebook page.  It triggered a memory of the very first time I went to Hammond’s Creek Bridge for a sunrise, and the moon was also present in my sunrise shot that day.  I thought it really made the shot.  That thought sent me leaping out of the recliner to hurry and get dressed and get to the bridge in case the Super Moon would be in the sunrise shot again.  I only had a half hour until sunrise…

As I drove I could see the moon directly in front of me, when the fog thinned enough to see it at all, and already I knew it wasn’t going to be in the sunrise photo, but I kept going.  As has happened quite a few times already, the reflection of the sunrise was as pretty as the actual sunrise, so all was not lost.  It was worth the hurried trip out of the house.  The moon is in this shot, but you have to look for it.

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I’ve been a little melancholy that I do everything by myself these days, and on the way home I imagined myself trying to get Charley to leap up and head out the door to go with me.  It would never have happened.  Charley used to do his full grooming routine, including ‘skunk piss’, before he would leave the house, including to head to the Y and work out on the machines.  I argued with him about that, because on the way home he would stop at my store when I was working, to shop or to just say hello, and he was always absolutely drenched in sweat, looking like a dirt ball.  Thankfully that was good skunk piss because he still aways smelled good.  Heaven forbid that he show up at the Y not looking his best, maybe it was because of the ‘exercise divas’, as his trainer friends called them.  But no, I shouldn’t lament that I have to head out the door alone to take pictures, because most likely if I didn’t head out when the thought struck I probably wouldn’t head out at all.

Besides, because of that I never know where I’ll be in the next five minutes, it’s a bit of an adventure.  As long as I keep finding my way home again it’ll be okay…

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boats, fun, humor, life goes on, memories, moments, photography, sunset

Christmas Boat Parades…

In most circumstances a sunset photo is the grand finale of a photo shoot, but in this instance it was only the beginning.  I’ve been hearing announcements of boat parades being held in neighboring towns this week, and truth be told, I know they used to do them in Maryland also.  Now I wonder why I never went to one?  But I saw that members of the new photo group were going to the Dunedin boat parade on Saturday night, and I thought it was a good opportunity to join them.  And it’s a good thing I did because it took some finagling to get my camera set up to account for the lights, my lack of tripod, and the movement of the boats, so kudos and thanks to Kate for all her help.

There were lots of boats, large and small, and they paraded right in front of us for judging.  I was tickled by the crowd who cheered for them all no matter how simple or elaborate the decorations.  They even cheered for a guy on a paddle board with his dog, even though he wasn’t part of the parade.  And the police boat when it docked at it’s spot in the marina.  This is the exact area where we spent my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding weekend almost 20 years ago.  I could never have imagined where life would take me all these years later…

 

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connections, moments, nature, photography, Pine Island, simple things, sunset, unintended images

Photo moments…

Oh go out, I thought to myself, if nothing else you’ll be able to gas up the car. So off I went again, to Pine Island on a day that was overcast and not promising as far as the sunset goes. But I needed some more shore bird photos so off I went. And, as always, there was something unexpected going on at Pine Island. These people were feeding bread to the seagulls, which is probably frowned upon, but it made for some interesting photos. They were having fun and I have to say I caught their enthusiasm.

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The sunset itself wasn’t much, just a hole in the cloud cover where some of the sunset light could come through. But what was surprising was that the sky opposite the sunset was prettier than the sunset promised to be. Plus the sky to the left of where the sun was setting was also full of streaks of light. The prettiest sky of the night.

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I saw a young man heading toward the sunset with his camera, but he stopped to chat with a couple who were there for the sunset. They told him they didn’t want him to miss his shot, so when he headed over to where I was with my camera I pointed out the gorgeous sky to the left. We had a nice chat while we both took pictures. Then he wanted a shot of himself with his camera. He had intended to use his tripod, but then he asked me to take the photo and he got out another of his cameras for me to use. This proved to be fun, and I loved using his very nice Sony camera. But I snuck a picture with my iPhone also. In talking I realized that he was the photographer doing the bikini photo shoot the other night. He said he saw me that night, I was the ‘little woman with the camera’. LOL. He’s from NYC, and works for the transit authority when he isn’t out taking pictures. Imagine the photo ops there. Wanderlust takes over when I think of all the photos I’d like to take in this world. Or the photos I wish I’d taken in my life. I have to remind myself that photography as a hobby was a very different animal back when I was his age…

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I had this post finished and ready to be posted this morning, and then the tables were turned when he sent me a photo he took of me!  I love what photography has added to my life…

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birds, blessings, connections, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, photography, Pine Island, simple things, sunset

I’m thankful…

My last trip out for the sunset had me on the opposite side of the beach from where I normally go. It was high tide, and the shore birds were scarce on ‘my’ side, so I checked the other side and was happy to see them there. As I was looking at the various birds, looking for different ones to photograph, an older man nearby commented about the birds. He had never seen so many, he said. He was here in Florida and none of his family could believe he was here so he wanted to take a picture. He had been sick, he said, but two weeks in Florida had fixed him right up. He seemed quite pleased. But not with his photos. He wanted to take pictures that would show the birds and the sunset, but I told him that as long as the sunset was behind the birds you would only see them in silhouette. He understood what I meant immediately and moved up the beach to take more pictures. When he came back he was excited to show me his photo, and held up his little old phone, which was ‘repaired’ with scotch tape on the corner. But it took a decent enough photo, with the birds highlighted by the sunset. He happily wandered away, saying that he was going to send it to his daughter.

I know I really go out for the sunset to take pictures of my own, but these sorts of little exchanges with strangers are equally important to me.  I’m thankful for the human spirit that allows us to connect with each other, if only for a moment.  I hope you have many reasons to be thankful also.