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…
backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, neighbors, perseverance, photography, turtles

The interloper…

I heard the ping as a text came in, and discovered that there was a soft-shell turtle in my neighbor’s pool.  So of course I grabbled my camera and headed out the back door.  When my neighbor heard my screen door slam she called for me to help her.  But it was more fun to take pictures.11-26interloper111-26interloperfeature1

He was a speedy little thing.  Catching him looked easy, so Sue’s husband took over and he also found out that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. But he was caught eventually.  I just hope Sue doesn’t have to try to catch anything smaller than him with that net.11-26interloper2These are snapping turtles, see how he has the net?  I’m sure he’d love to chomp on Sue’s finger too.

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11-26interloper4She told me to get ready, that he’d make a bee line for the lake, but that didn’t happen.  It took persuasion to send him on his way.  And one last photo of Wilbur, in case you were wondering how he’s been doing.  Of course things are usually a lot less exciting, but I have loved living next door, having a front row seat so to speak.  Lots of fun without the responsibility.  Sue doesn’t acquire her menagerie, often they are deposited at the doorstep by her daughter, but sometimes they just wander in on their own.  She says I’ll miss all the lakeside drama, and she is right…11-26Wilbur

chickens, fences, flowers, friends, gardens, neighbors, on closer examination, photography, sunrise, unintended consequences, weather

And it kept on raining…

Looking out the kitchen window that morning I saw some definition in the clouds, so I loaded the cameras and tripods into the car and headed to Hammonds Creek for the sunrise.  It’s only a five or six mile trip to the gulf coast, but before I got there I was seeing drops on the windshield.  Just heavy mist, I told myself.  But it was a downpour just a minute later, so I turned the car around and headed for home.  No sooner did I do that than I saw a promising looking sky again, and no rain.  Again I reversed direction, and again I drove into a torrential downpour.  And yet again the weather was fine on the way home.  Sometimes you have to settle for a sunrise from the backyard.

Also in the back yard are flowers that I was offered by a neighbor I used to talk with when I walked Zoe a longer walk than I had for the last couple of years.  She was digging up some of them because they spread.  You would think that I might have gotten a hint from that, the possibility that one day I’d be trying to get rid of them I mean.  But no, what I saw was red, sort of tubular flowers, and I had read that that’s what will attract hummingbirds.  So on the barest smidgeon of information I brought them home and planted them, and within years I was digging them up, but there is no getting rid of them.  They have made themselves so at home that they have diversified…6-2threepinkfeature5-29white5-29whiteandpink5-29pinkandwhite5-29yellow

But only the ones way out back have these new colors.  Out back in chicken territory.  My neighbor laughed when I suggested that her chickens were responsible, a chicken version of cross-pollination.  Or maybe it’s the morning light back there.  But it has taken several years for these new colors to develop, which coincides with the chicken invasion.  I’m not complaining though, the chickens come over and de-bug my yard fairly regularly.  They are welcome any time!