backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, nature, on closer examination, Passing time, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, Rise and shine, unintended images, Up and at 'em

Random stuff…

The feature photo, and only photo that I know about at this moment, is the uninvited company I found out on the lanai this morning. I have resisted becoming attached to this lanai after loving the one at my old house. There is no lake here, no pond critter serenades, but the birds do sing so that’s something. But this morning I found myself at eye level to a creature that I quickly realized wasn’t a lizard. Lizards are so common, and mostly keep their distance, but this sticky-fingered creature was eyeing me up. As I was doing to him. So he retreated into the corner and then climbed to the very top of the corner brace. I thought that I would have to warn my friend when he came out because this little guy would be directly over his head if he sat in his usual chair. But Tampa Bay Lightning fans who have endured a disappointing play-off game and then a frustrating drive home aren’t given to getting up early the next morning. Maybe it’s the effort of growing a beard in solidarity with the players, a long-standing tradition I’m told. It’s currently in the whisk-broom stage, but I digress. It turned out that my fears as to the little guy’s jumping weren’t unwarranted, because he jumped onto the end table, landing with a thud, which is when I took his picture. Looks like he needed to wipe his chin after his breakfast. By this time the sun was baking me, the coffee was cold, and it was time to go in. I hope this guy finds his way back outside as stealthily as he found his way in, so I don’t have to check the corners of the roofline before I sit out here again…

'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, brainstorms, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Passing time, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

The Good Neighbor Trail…

I stumbled upon a website that gives you all the info you could want about all the trails we might like to ride in Florida. Or anywhere else also, but I stuck to looking at the trails that were supposed to be in the immediate area. I quickly discovered that their idea of ‘in the area’ and mine were a bit different. I also decided that most trails were going to be a ride out and then reverse and ride back the way you came. But you could tell from the information given if a trail was going to be mostly out in the sun, an important consideration for this area, even if it is newly into spring. It’s been hot in the sun when it hasn’t been raining. Ah Florida, my adopted home.

We decided on riding the Good Neighbor trail because it really was pretty close by, and also because it begins at the Brooksville Train Depot and Museum. We knew it wasn’t open that day, but the weather was too perfect to miss a chance to be out riding, like a couple of kids.
The road off to the left of this picture wasn’t very busy with cars, and the intersections we needed to cross weren’t worrisome. There also wasn’t a lot of traffic on the trail itself, so my expectation of riding side-by-side was actually possible on this ride.
We heard birds in the trees, but didn’t see wildlife beyond the occasional butterfly or dragonfly, and they didn’t stop for photos. But maybe we were riding and talking and missing what may have been going on around us, I guess I’ll never know.

It is kind of funny how easy it is to feel the kid in you come out as you pedal a bike. The feeling of the breeze in your face is the same after all, the wrinkles don’t matter. Maybe it’s the lack of immediate responsibilities that makes it feel so free. Just don’t tip over would be the biggest concern, and when your bike is actually a trike that possibility is less likely. Yup, the investment in this trike was a very good idea, now we get to go out and play, in a very grown up way of course.

a second look, birds, brainstorms, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Passing time, perseverance, photography, simple things, Tricolored heron

A proposition…

The proposition? Head to the rookery and then stop at Ford’s Garage for pretzels and shrimp. And beer. Now that sounded like a really good idea.

I took a lot of pictures of these two. They were hamming it up a bit.
These tricolor herons were two by two also.
Hiding in the foliage, but I spotted him.
But he didn’t stay long.
Waiting to be noticed perhaps.
Off he goes.
Time out for a drink.

And speaking of having a drink, it was time for us to head to Ford’s and belly up to the bar. That beer was nice and cold, the shrimp was spicy, and the pretzels can’t be beat. The perfect finale to the day…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, brainstorms, friends, fun, live and learn, making memories, old dogs new tricks, Passing time, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Largo Central Park…

I have been saying that I wanted to go to Largo Central Park for a while now, even before I bought my electric tricycle. So off we went yesterday, only to discover that I mis-remembered the name of the park I wanted to go to. This wasn’t the park I remembered, but it was all good. This park happened to have a train meet going on. The tracks are part of the park, but the trains are privately owned and the public doesn’t get to ride, not that anyone seemed to mind. It was a beautiful setting with lots going on. I liked the statues a lot too. And I felt like one of those kids riding along on my bike, having fun.

Charming faces.
A girl and her kitty.
Puppy too.
Oh the trees.
This train was fast!
Around it went.
Raising the flag.
I loved the faces.
So fun.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, foggy sky, friends, fun, life goes on, making memories, Passing time, perseverance, photography, road trip

St. Armands Circle…

I had driven though this area before. A road trip, complete with bulldog. So as tempting as this area had looked we chose to get to our hotel and settled in, with a take out pizza, rather than shop. Somewhere there are pictures of the lovely sunset we watched from the beach right outside our room that night. But this night was another story. On this night we had prepared for a chilly evening, after a day without sunshine at all. But the temperature was about 60 degrees and the air was soft, balmy even. I was surprised to see that the restaurants were all open air, but it was comfortable. We ate at Cha Cha Coconuts, which I have to mention because the name so perfectly fits into the whole, colorful, evening. A fine evening with an old friend indeed.

Our view while we enjoyed our dinner. Bubbles floated past compliments of a nearby business.
I haven’t been out for night photography for a while. Thank goodness for the iPhone.
Apparently someone was tempted to have dessert.
Window shopping is always fun. Except at the real estate windows with current local listings in the millions of $$$. Like $20M! I was out of my comfort zone.
Of course we continued to wander the circle.
Forgive the reflections in this picture, especially because the worst of the reflections are on the Fenway Park picture, which was the picture I wanted to highlight. I imagine that this shop would be a sports enthusiast’s dream.
I wouldn’t argue with this sentiment.
More colorful windows to lure you inside.
So tempting to go in.
There is something for everyone on the circle.
I failed to notice the statuary until my friend pointed it out. All donated by John Ringling.

What a treat it is to find yourself in the company of an old friend from your high school days. I know I never imagined that I would ever be the age I am now, and I know I wouldn’t have imagined living in Florida, or any other of the details of my life as it stands right now. But here I am, and it’s all good. “God is good”, to quote my friend.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, eagles, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Passing time, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, safety Harbor, simple things, sunset

In search of photo ops…

I used to head out earlier in the day for my photos than I seem to do now. Sunrise, and then whatever other stop I wanted to make. The beauty of that was that when I came home I had something to do. Namely, work on my pictures and turn them into a blog post. If I had multiple pictures from more than one stop then so much the better, I had fodder for multiple blog posts. Having those pictures in the camera felt like having money in the bank. Silly I know, but that’s how I think.

Yesterday started out a lot later than I’m used to. First stop was the eagles, but not much was happening there so we moved on to the owls at Philippe Park.

I’ve seen pictures of the two eaglets on this nest, but nothing much was doing in the afternoon. Siesta time maybe?
People were exclaiming that Mama owl had turned her head. They could see her ‘horn’, they said. I tried and tried but for the life of me I couldn’t see Mama, but I took pictures of where I thought they were telling me to look. And later on I discovered that I had been looking at her all along.
Before Jr. ever popped his head up I had gotten Mama after all.
And there he was! So cute. And there is another one also. We are heading back to try again today, with lenses with longer zooms. This is ridiculously cropped, but I still like the picture. I took lots of pictures once he popped his head up, but this is the only one that you can really see his Mama.

And then it was time to head to Clearwater to meet with our photo group and have dinner. But the timing conveniently allowed for a stop in Dunedin for the sunset. It was a more successful day of shooting than I thought it was while I was pressing the shutter button all afternoon.

I like this angle because of the rocks.
I wish a sailboat had been out there, but it was too cold and windy for that to happen.
The clouds were amazing, even if they were a bit dark.
I love when the sunset lights up the buildings on the shore.