backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, rain, storms, technology, unintended images, weather

Shake it off…

I was cooking breakfast this morning when I glanced out the sliding glass door and spotted a hawk on the fence. He was spreading his wings much like I see birds doing when I assume they are drying their feathers. But in the midst of the tropical storm we are having any attempt to shake off the water was hopeless. Maybe he was just enjoying a shower.

Considering that I was shooting through a glass door, which hasn’t been washed in quite a while, and out through the screened-in lanai, I’m pretty happy to see this image.
He was facing the other way in all the pictures where I caught him shaking it off, so mostly butt shots.
All the while he did seem to be keeping a watchful eye on things.

This was a day I had written off as having no chance to go out to shoot at all. And I didn’t, I stayed in to shoot. He stayed put on the fence for longer than I might have expected, and when he took off it was down into the neighbor’s yard behind me. I hope he caught his own breakfast. I ate mine once he disappeared. It’s still raining hard, but the wind has let up a bit. Tropical Storm Nicole seems to have spared us.

attention to detail, attitude adjustments, flowers, gardens, go with the flow, growing old, home, perseverance, photography, rain, storms, weather

In the breeze…

Because even though the ‘breeze’ is whipping the rain against the house in sheets, and even though I was listening to it in the dark this morning, it just doesn’t sound like a tropical storm in this area. I hope it’s no worse in the areas that haven’t yet recovered from Hurricane Ian.

I’m told that there was a small opening in the corner of the fence when they moved into this house. And they had dogs, so they planted the bougainvillea in the feature photo to help keep the dogs in. And now it’s the bougainvillea that is threatening to eat Wesley Chapel. I used to prune the small one I had in Spring Hill and my arms would take a beating from the nasty thorns this plant is known for. I had my cat at the vet once and he looked at my scratched up arms and asked, with a horrified look on his face, if the cat had done that. It is a pretty sight, but it would be prettier if it attracted bees and butterflies. And right now it’s waving those deadly fronds like crazy.

I was leaving Sam’s Club the other day and noticed this Rain Tree as I waited to make my turn. I once drove around Spring Hill looking for these trees, always so shapely, for a blog post. My fall foliage, Florida style.
And a rose from the garden of the local library where I went to pick up a few books since I wouldn’t be out in the rain taking pictures for another day or so. Nice library with an unexpected Florida friendly garden.

I have books, actual physical books, to read while I listen to the wind and rain today. I say that I prefer a real book, I’d rather turn the pages, which I’ve been known to try to do when I’m reading on my iPad. But my vision hasn’t been tested since my cataract surgery, and my cheaters don’t seem to be doing the trick as well as I’d like. I’ll probably pull the lamp a little closer also. The joys of aging…

'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, birds, friends, fun, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, rain, sky, storms, weather

Summer in Florida…

My friend announced that he wanted to go to Clearwater yesterday, which made me think of the nesting birds that we hadn’t gone looking for so far. I was sure it was now or never to find the chicks before they fledged, so I sort of hijacked his trip by suggesting we go a little bit farther and see the birds first. Only they weren’t where we found them last year, requiring a plan B. Our second stop was going to require feeding the meter before we even knew if they were there, so he parked while I hurried down to the beach to see what I could see. And I did see several adult birds in a roped off area up the beach a ways. But I began to hear thunder which caused the lifeguards to being sounding their whistles to get swimmers out of the water. I had my cell phone with me and thought I’d get a beach picture before I left, but looking behind me I saw quite the sky.

At first we were amazed at all the lightning we were seeing on the drive home. The claps of thunder and the lightning were almost simultaneous, so we knew the storm was right over us. But when it began to rain we couldn’t keep driving, we had to pull over and wait it out. My friend never did get to run his errand in Clearwater, but I had told him that lunch was on me. And then when we were finally almost home I was amazed at how dark the skies were, but some of the clouds were lit up and looking amazing against the dark sky. We have a photo walk to go to tonight and similar weather conditions are on the menu. But that will be the story for the foreseeable future here in Florida, my adopted home.

'scene' along the way, adventure, exploring new places, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, rain, storms, sunset, unintended images, weather

Those late sunsets…

There is an upside to the late sunsets in early summer in Florida. Usually I’d rather have an early sunset so I can be home in time to relax and check my photos. But on this day when we had a meeting of our photography club we could catch the sunset on the way home. Plus this was the first time all day that it felt good to be outside. Actually the first time in many days that it was nice to be outside. And our fearless leader suggested a new-to-us spot to watch the sunset happen. What a find! Thanks Jeff!

Not one but two bridges in view. And me without my camera. But as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you, and I’m never without my iPhone.
At first I wished I was on the sunset cruise boat, but as things progressed maybe I ought to count my blessings.
I was beginning to be more interested in the clouds as time went on.
A quarter turn to my right and this was the sky.
This blue heron watched the sunset with us. I turned this way for the sky but the reflections won me over.
Now the race was on, Would the sun drop under the bridge before the rain began to fall?
The answer to that was that it was a draw. We took shelter under the covered pier, but that was useless because it was raining sideways.
We were two drowned rats sitting in the car waiting for the rain to let up before driving home. We could hardly see the pier we had just been standing on. Still a good night, regardless.
a second look, foggy sky, Hudson Beach, nature, perseverance, photography, rain, sky, storms, sunset

Hedging my bets…

“How long do you stay after the sunset?” asked my friend.  She commonly posts spectacular pictures of a sky full of color, taken from Safety Harbor, an hour south of me.  A mile from her house I might add.  She assured me that the sky after a thunderstorm is prime timing for a great sky.

So I saw this and headed out, but not south since the storm was heading that way.  I hedged my bets and headed to Hudson Beach where I could shoot from the covered pavilion if necessary.  It was.611-20badcloud

I made it under cover just in time for the skies to open, and I quickly discovered that the upper part of the covered pavilion was no cover at all, and descended to the bottom level and started shooting.  Looking at my pictures I thought my lens was dirty, and then I realized that it was the drops cascading off the roof that I was seeing in my shots. 06-12-20HDRHudson06-12-20boats

The fishing boats headed out despite the storm.  There was thunder and lightning, but behind me.  I couldn’t help but wish to see lightning out on the water.  And I began to have no faith that the sky would light up because wooly looking dark clouds were descending, and I got drenched getting to the car.  To leave you have to drive around a loop, and as I did I thought I saw the clouds breaking up so I continued around and parked again and took these shots with the iPhone, in the rain.06-12-20iphoneafter06-12-20iphoneafter2

I tried to leave, I really did, I drove around that loop two more times, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave.  I stopped once more, for one more photo and then I headed home…06-12-20iphoneafter3

'scene' along the way, finding my way, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, rain, road trip, sky, weather

Heading east…

He looks so young in the picture.  So young that she remembers how she felt about him when they met.  She hadn’t seen the picture in a long time, and the rush of feelings it produced surprised her.  Those were good years.  And since she was back ‘home’, back in New England, she wanted to sit in that same restaurant, be in the same place where they once were happy.  Just once more.  And she wanted it to be today, but she had awoken to rain on the roof.  Rain that sounded like it was going to stick around, even though the weather report said mostly sunny for the day.  She told herself that it would stop, the clouds would break up.  Drive in the rain she thought, then the sun will come out when you get there.  The urge to go proved too much and she set out east, to the tip of Cape Cod.

In case she couldn’t take pictures she stopped for the orange flowers that she was seeing everywhere on Cape Cod.  She made a mental note to do a day of all the flowers on the Cape.  Beautiful flowers spilling over fences and stone walls, but she’d do that another day.  Today she was on a mission.

orangeflower

Along the way she turned at a sign for Fort Hill, thinking she might get pictures.  The road climbed the hill, but there was a parking lot handy and she pulled in.  The rain had stopped and she was about to walk down a trail towards the ocean but a sign stopped her.  It said, “Deer tick habitat,” and she hesitated.  Another hiking couple arrived, and the husband insisted that if you take a head to toe shower, and he waved his arms to illustrate what he meant, you won’t have a tick problem.  He knew because he had had Lyme disease four times, he said.  Not feeling reassured she drove the car up to the top of the hill and found a parking lot with a view. And was encouraged by the sky.

panoramafromFtHillflowerviewbenchview

It did seem that the clouds were breaking up, but once she continued her drive it began to rain in earnest.  Still she continued…