a second look, go with the flow, home, life goes on, moments, neighbors, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset

What happened next…

After being out taking pictures for most of the day my relaxation always takes the form of sitting at the computer and looking over the photos, hoping for some really nice sharp ones.  Which is what I was doing yesterday when something got me to look out at the sky over top of my curtains in the Florida room.  I saw the bluebird on my neighbor’s antenna, and the sky.

You can picture what happened next.  I was out the door with the camera, and came to lament that I didn’t have my iPhone with me for the extra wide angle view.  I was up and down the street looking for views of the sky with palm trees in them, and frantically taking pictures.  I may have been talking to myself too.  So when I realized that a neighbor was sitting on his front patio enjoying the sunset and witnessing my wanderings I was a little embarrassed.  “You caught me”, I said.  But he said to come to his patio and see his view.  I think the last photo is from that vantage spot.  He said he’s a photographer too, so he totally ‘got’ my obsession.  Whew, the men in white coats won’t be coming for me quite yet.

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backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, go with the flow, home, home improvements, life goes on, nature, neighbors, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Be it ever so humble…

This birdhouse of my uncle’s has seen better days, but it has hosted families of bluebirds for at least a few years now.  And two years ago I came over to his house and stationed myself out front with my tripod and camera and captured the action as they were feeding their young.  But last year the blue birds were chased off, evicted sort of, by another, larger bird, and they didn’t raise a brood in this house, so my uncle moved the house across the street to what is now my house.

Lately there has been a lot of activity at the birdhouse, and the other day I finally tried to see what bird was paying attention to the house, hoping for bluebirds of course. But I could’t see what they were so I took a few pictures, but I still couldn’t say for sure what they were since was getting dark out, and it was even darker under the carport.  But I heard some activity early yesterday and I saw a bird actually leave the house and fly to the palm tree close by.  It turned out to be a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  This may explain why the entrance hole is not the precise hole that it once was.  This bird has done some home improvements, made it her own.  I can relate.  Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home. 1-7-20meettheneighbor1-7-20birdhouseAh, but I wrote this a couple of days ago and there are new developments.  Seems I wasn’t too far off the mark hoping that it was bluebirds that were interested in the birdhouse.1-8-20Bluebird11-8-20bluebird21-8-20bluebirdfeatureAnd the other possibility is that there is an odd couple in the neighborhood.  Stay tuned…1-8-20oddcouple

a second look, live and learn, losing it, nature, neighbors, perseverance, photography, reality check, sky, unintended consequences

Clouds on the horizon…

The clouds were gorgeous just as the sun came up this morning.  But attempting to get the palm trees to be in silhouette against the prettiest clouds proved to be harder than it looked.  Plus I was distracted by the knowledge that being out front with my camera was possibly going to cause repercussions with a problem neighbor.  I guess the wonderful neighbors in my old neighborhood had not prepared me for the possibilities in a new neighborhood.  It remains to be seen if the ideal of blissful life in an over-55 community is a pipe dream or a reality.

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'scene' along the way, a second look, finding my way, neighbors, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, sunset, travel

Sunset by Hooters…

Seriously!  As I do often, I became aware of the photo op potential of the Hooters near me because of the photos taken by another photographer.  Now that I’ve moved it’s even closer, envy worthy even.  I’ve always been jealous of the photographers I know who have photo ops right at their doorstep, and now I do too, kinda.  But my photo op comes with pretzels and beer!  It’s gonna be hard to beat…02-22-19baitshop02-22-19catches02-22-19Hooter's02-22-19hooters202-22-19hooters302-22-19iphone102-22-19iphone202-22-19kittysunset02-22-19ontherun02-22-19woodstork

childhood, connections, family, home, Home Team, Loyalty, neighbors, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Super Bowl Sunday…

I’ve raved about how much I loved my Florida neighbors often enough.  Well, in honor of all our years in Baltimore they gave me this sweatshirt and scarf as a going away present as I headed north to Patriot Nation!  Did they intend for me to wear it on Super Bowl Sunday I wonder?  Did they mean to throw me to the wolves? I got brave and I did wear it on Sunday morning, to breakfast with two of my cousins.  I wasn’t greeted by a crowd of Patriot fans as I walked into the restaurant, which is what I had hoped.  I thought it would be fun to hear(and write about) whatever reaction I got from strangers, but we were early and they were the only people who happened to be there as I entered.  One cousin took great exception to my choice of sweatshirt since he says he hates the Ravens.  The other one suggested that I turn it inside out.  The two waitresses just looked at me skeptically, but served me coffee anyhow.  It was, after all, Patriot Nation, and the specials board reflected as much.  So I ordered the Patriot pancakes that they were so happy to recommend, and I guess they decided I wasn’t all bad.  As I crossed the parking lot to leave I did get a thumbs up from a guy walking past.  He said that the Ravens were his second favorite team.  I didn’t expect that.

I have a picture of my two ‘kids’, who were old enough to anticipate the consequences at the time, but they were taking advantage of an opportunity to get together while my son was visiting PA.  I believe there was a play-off game between the Steelers and the Ravens that weekend, and so of course they were watching in a sports bar in Pittsburgh.  My daughter thoughtfully brought enough Ravens’ gear for the both of them to wear.  I think of  Steelers fans as being on the rabid side, possibly because of my Pittsburgh raised DIL, who I’m surprised allowed herself to be seen with them that night.  If there were any issues beyond good natured teasing they didn’t tell me about it.  Probably for the best.

Well, I think of Patriots fans as pretty darned rabid too.  And I’ve already heard a lot of comments about ‘the haters’, and how unfair it is that everybody doesn’t love the team.  And Tom Brady?  Well, he should be sainted, according to them.  They may think that they are misunderstood but I have no sympathy for them, because they ought to try being a Ravens fan.  Now that’s a team that people seem to love to hate.  Being a sports fan in Baltimore isn’t for the feint of heart.  My mother insisted to her dying day that they were a bunch of murderers.  But then she was a Patriots fan so her judgment is questionable…

IMG_6926IMG_6925Lots of fruit in those Patriot pancakes; blueberries, bananas, and strawberries.  Just wondering  what that was all about.

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Shh, don’t tell them I used the picture…

connections, coping, courage, family, friends, home, life goes on, memories, neighbors, road trip

And then it hits you…

While you’ve been concentrating on all the people you love, the ones that you are heading north to see, there are people here that you love and are leaving behind.  There will be heartfelt goodbyes to say here.  Neighbors who I’ve been blessed to know, and who have helped me feel secure in this first ever time of my life in which I’ve lived alone.  But not as alone as I might have felt if not for them.  And my photography friends, I will see their adventures in photography online, and look forward to being out shooting with them again before too long.  And then there are my coworkers, who were my sounding board as I went through this biggest challenge of my life.  I thought of myself as alone these past four years, but I see now that I haven’t really been alone at all.

I sent a note to a friend’s mother to apologize after sneaking away without saying goodbye.  I told her how much I have always hated saying goodbye.  She sent back a note and said that in her family they say Auf Weidersehen, ‘until we meet again’.   Yes, that’s it exactly, it’s only goodbye for now, until we meet again.

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These flowers were over a week old and still looked great so I took their picture.  It was only then that I saw the lizard photo bomb.
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Winter camping in Florida is just what I needed last night…