a second look, coping, family, finding my way, growing old, life goes on, perseverance, photography, reality check, sunset, the big picture

Thoughts of winter…

Something caught my eye and I looked up to see a brilliant sunset going on just outside the window.  It caught me by surprise, it seemed too early in the day for the sunset, I thought, and yet there it was.  And as quickly as I noticed and hurried to take a picture, it was gone.  Used up, faded, and forgotten, aside from photos.

Much as I found myself feeling during my recent visit with my daughter and grandchildren.  Oh it was an enjoyable time, there were no problems.  Almost anyhow.  All was fun and games the whole visit, until I happened to glance into a mirror and found my mother looking back at me.  I never think of my age, I pretty much feel as good as ever so it hasn’t demanded attention.  But there it was.  Undeniable.  I’m old. I’m as my mother was during the last years she visited with us.  I remember how distant it felt to me to notice the signs of aging etching themselves into my mother’s face.  I saw that it was happening to her, but somehow I never considered that I would also age in the same way.  There is a lot of life written on my face, now that I look at it.  I earned the wrinkles and the gray hair.  So while I notice the changes in myself, I will try to remember that each sunset seems to reach it’s most glorious just as it slips below the horizon.  It’s a good thought, it’s a reason to keep going.  So yes I’m old, but my light is still burning, and I don’t think it’s even close to burning itself out, not yet…12-06wintersunset

'scene' along the way, fantasy images, fun, go with the flow, making memories, moments, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, sunset, technology, unintended images

Airport sunset…

An airport isn’t the worst place to find yourself with time on your hands.  Especially when there is an observatory available, and you decide to wander to get your steps in and also see what the sunset brings.12-04airportsunset5

The observatory had angled windows which quickly became my obsession.  Until I looked up and saw that a plane was flying across the sun, but I didn’t have time to get that photo.  So I alternated between looking for the sunset reflections and waiting for planes to take off toward the sunset.  And there was a little bit of Christmas too! 12-04airportsunset412-04airportsunset312-04airportsunset212-04airportsunsettree

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, fun, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, technology

Tuesday night at the library…

Not just any library, I’m talking about the main branch of the Clearwater library.  And not any old Tuesday night either, it’s very other Tuesday night after we’ve gone back to Eastern Standard Time.  That’s when they allow patrons, with and without cameras, to access the roof and watch the sunset.  Access is granted about a half hour before sunset, and once the sunset is over the roof is closed again for another two weeks.  My photo group plans a trip every chance we get, and we collectively cross our fingers that the weather will cooperate.  Tuesday night was a good one for this activity.  I’ve also been there when I nearly froze to death and didn’t take a single picture.  But that was the exception, this is Florida after all…11-27roofview211-27roofview11-27anothrview11-27cherryontop11-27librarysunset3I double-checked and we have a photo walk to the library every other Tuesday night, but the rooftop is available every Tuesday night in Eastern Standard Time.  In looking that up I discovered that there is a gym there, and that you can check out power tools.  Now I find that surprising!  It’s worth a visit, don’t you think?

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends, sunrise, technology

Thankfulness…

When it comes to being thankful I would be amiss if I didn’t mention Walter.  He’s not exactly a new friend, he’s the young man I’ve talked with before while watching the sunrise at Aripeka.   But now we’ve exchanged names and phone numbers, and that’s because he has had a recent encounter with One-Foot Fred.  And he even took a picture!    Be still my heart!  I had mentioned Fred to him since he gets to a lot more sunrises in Aripeka than I do.  I told him that Fred used to be on the bridge with me every time I was there, but then he disappeared.  I don’t think I’d seen him for a year, but that includes time I wasn’t even in Florida.  So I asked Walter if he’d ever seen Fred and he hadn’t, but I did tell him that I’ve been told by several fishermen that Fred still comes around now and then.  So the minute Walter noticed that the heron he was watching only had one foot he knew it was Fred.  I had only watched him as he posed for me on the bridge, but Walter watched him fishing.  Fred would use his stub to take a step but would have to catch himself and balance as he landed on his other foot.  Walter was impressed with his obvious adaptation to his new reality.  Walter also mentioned that it’s probably lucky that herons stand in the shallow water and wait for lunch to come to them.  He was pretty impressed with old Fred.  I’m so happy to hear this news and know that Fred is okay, and so happy to have a picture also.  Thanks Walter!11-27aripekasunrise11-27aripeka311-27aripekaonefootfred

a second look, adventure, childhood, family, fun, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, technology, travel

I’m thankful for the memories…

I doubt that any amount of editing would have been able to improve the quality of these photos.  The movies they are taken from have been collecting dust for about 64 or so years.  The person behind the camera had his/her own thumb featured prominently in some shots, and each stop to record only lasted a second or two.  Trying to pause the film and take a picture with the phone at just the right moment was a challenge, and I would miss that split second opportunity time and time again.

But I hope you’ll indulge me this trip down memory lane because these pictures represent a favorite memory, and the only real vacation trip my family ever took.  We drove in a caravan with several other families, and I remember it so fondly.  I remember rafting in Ausable Chasm, seeing the colors of the rock walls rising up on each side of the river.  I remember going to Fort Ticonderoga, and the ferry ride on Lake Champlain.  But the memory I remember most is the pony ride at Frontier Town, and how mad as a hatter I was that they didn’t let me just ride that pony by myself.  I was sure I knew all there was to know about horses.  No, not only did they not let me just take off on my own, but they had my sister leading the pony.  If a cowboy had been leading the horse I might have taken it better, or maybe not.  I’m happy to say that it looked like I was having fun so I must have kept my annoyance to myself.  Seeing a movie of exactly the memory I remember best was pretty amazing.  What also stood out as I watched the movie was that I was amazed to see the actors galloping into town during the re-enactment of a bank robbery.  The visitors were right there, milling around, and they just galloped those horses through the town.  I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t fly these days!  And apparently water boarding was a thing too. 11-25train11-25rafting11-25lake11-25cowboyscoming11-25galloping211-25ponyride11-25ponyride211-25waterboarding

I’ve talked quite a few times about how much I cherish the memories I have from exactly this age.  From the neighborhood I lived in then, and the people who made a lasting impression enough on me that I never actually let them go.  And I’ve been so lucky to reconnect with them and to have them in my life again.  And now to actually see that little kid that I was., the me before I let the world beat me into submission, so to speak.  I liked that me, I’m glad to have her back…11-25cowgirlme2Thanks for indulging me this trip down memory lane.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, bugs, ducks, Florida wildlife, flowers, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Main Street…

Errands brought me to Main Street, New Port Richey the other day.  Much to my surprise I noticed a lovely little park there, but couldn’t stop to investigate that day.  So today I made it a point to go back and check it out.  It was a quiet little spot, in that there were not many people walking, but a nearby playground supplied all the happy kid noises you could ever want.  This weather is my very favorite time in Florida.  By our standards it was almost sweater weather, though my Northern friends would think we were nuts.11-26parview311-26parkview411-26parkview211-26parkview1I walked around the lake, mostly because I saw all the birds across the way.  But before I had gotten to taking pictures another walker stopped me to ask if I’d seen the duck on a nest.  I hadn’t, I had walked right past it.  He said there were four eggs there, and he and his daughters had just seen her rearrange the eggs and settle back down on them.  I thought her nest was not very protected, even if getting a photo was a challenge.11-25mommaduckI did get around to taking pictures of the birds, but it was the flowers and the bees that got me in trouble.  I walked across the grass to get close enough to the flowers, but when I turned to go back to the car I found myself walking through wetness in the grass. In my flip flops.  Mud.  I’ve insisted that there is no mud in Florida, but I was wrong.  This wasn’t just mud, it was more like tar, and it ended my travels for the day.  I think I’m glad I didn’t have my hiking shoes on after all, they wouldn’t have survived.  Flip flops, however, have at least nine lives.11-26egret11-26ibiseye11-26flowers11-26bee