'scene' along the way, adventure, finding my way, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, leap of faith, making memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, reality check, road trip, sky

Westward Ho, day three…

Fifteen minutes into the drive yesterday had me entering Texas, and soon the initial flat terrain gave way to green hills dotted with brush and stands of trees.  Just to the right of the road was a slightly raised railroad track, and it didn’t take long to see a train, and then a few more.  And, being Texas, everything was bigger.  The views in all directions, the sky, and even the train seemed miles long.  It was a pleasant view and soon reminded me of the cowboy shows I watched on TV as a kid.  I wouldn’t have been surprised to see some cowboys appear over the crest of a hill, wearing their bandanas over their faces, and not for Covid 19, but to chase down the train to rob it.  In those long ago TV shows the cowboys would catch the train, so when I found myself essentially racing a train I voice texted a friend who worked for CSX and asked him how come on TV the cowboys caught the train but I couldn’t out-run this one.  He said that was Hollywood, in real life the train always wins.  When I remarked about how long the train was, and complained about the lack of caboose, he said that in the caboose days the trains used to have five man crews, and now they have only two men working those huge long trains.  And they would like to have a one man crew but the union keeps fighting it.  Bigger trains equal less workforce, he said.  I thought it was just bigger in Texas.

I knew I would stop for the day in Amarillo, so before I left that morning I had checked online for what to see there.  Palo Duro Canyon state park came up right away and I hoped to get there early enough to do the drive through and get some pictures, so I decided to stop at a rest area to change the GPS to the park and drive straight there.  I took the feature photo, liking how the structure stood out against the sky, but the ‘watch for rattlesnakes’ signs made me pause.  I walked up the hill to this little overlook, but not until another gentleman was already there, in hopes he had scared off any rattlesnakes that might have been hanging around.  I was happy to catch another one of those endless trains passing by.  I didn’t stay long though, it was 102 degrees when I was there.07-02-20snakes 07-02-20trainfeature

And, like the day before, as I actually approached my destination the view had changed to this.  I checked the temperature and it had dropped to 64 degrees.07-02-20storm.jpg

Big sky, big storm, and the biggest lightning bolts you can imagine, each one seeming to hit the ground.  Of course I had to change my plan and head to a hotel in Amarillo instead.  Somehow the storm still seemed to be in the distance, to my right and left, so I took my opportunity to take some photos of the displays as you entered the parking area.  Not the photos I’d hoped to get, and I’m still undecided as to whether to head to the park before I leave for Colorado.  We will see what the morning brings.

07-02-20oldtruck207-02-20oldtruck07-02-20Pot07-02-20TXwheels07-02-20wheelfeature

 

following the rules, Just do it, life goes on, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, reality check, Rise and shine, sunrise

Decaf blues…

I think it’s the lack of caffeine that has gotten to me.  I was supposed to cut it out a while back but I compromised and went half-caf.  I hardly noticed the difference.  But a couple of weeks ago I went a little brain dead in Walmart and bought Folger’s Black Silk, a huge tub of it.  There was a crowd in the aisle and I saw the price and bought it, forgetting completely about caffeine.  And of course I can’t waste so I used it up, and then went to Publix and virtuously bought decaf, on BOGO of course.  And I’ve hardly been able to get myself out of the house since.  I blame the lack of caffeine, but it might be the heat too.  So this morning I headed out to walk at 6 AM, when it was cool and breezy.  And got to see a pretty sunrise to boot.  At least it’s something….

06-03=20SMsunrise206-03=20SMsunrise06-03=20SMsunrisebirds

a second look, adventure, birds, changing times, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, reality check

Life’s ups and downs…

Any complaints I have about today have nothing to do with social isolation and have everything to do with technology and how I don’t get it.  There was a time when I thought I did get it, but I was kidding myself.  Seems like a lot of people are frustrated over needing haircuts, but at the rate I’ve been tearing my hair out over my computer issues I’m thinking that that won’t be a problem for me for a while yet.  It was a struggle, but for the moment I have a nice back up drive installed on the desktop computer, and that means my editing program is back to working like a charm.  And I enjoyed using some new editing tips learned in the last few days in our online photography classes.  Thank you to Fearless Leader Jeff.

I stopped at the rookery this morning to see if the cattle egret chicks had hatched, and yes, there are chicks on one nest so far.  And two more nests that I could see.05-02=20catleegret2.jpg

So two new little guys and the three amigos are still standing in the nest and sounding off for someone to feed them.  They really seem to get to spend a lot of time on the nest.  I mean a LOT.  I suspect that with all my computer issues plus the online classes I may have missed the grand finale of the bluebirds in the bird house.  I read that they get kicked out of the nest in only 9 or 10 days, and I’ve seen no bluebird activity in the last couple of days.  Those wood stork teenagers don’t know how lucky they really are.05-02=20amigos.jpg

And how nice that when I got home I got word that the sandhill crane chicks in my old backyard had hatched.  They were less than 24 hours old, but I knew I had to go see them quickly because they will probably be marched off the nest for their first adventure tomorrow.

There was one more adventurous chick, Mr. Independent, off on his own a bit.  And he seemed to have plenty to say about life in general.05-02=20littlenewguy2.jpg

And then hidden in the grass close to mom a more cautious chick.  05-02=20littlenewguy.jpg

It was a good day.  Progress was made and time is passing.  The next county south of us is opening swimming pools next week.  I don’t know if I feel like it’s too soon, and I don’t know if I can resist when they open up here also.  We’ll see.

 

a second look, facing facts, learning, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, reality check, technology

Delete, delete, delete…

You know what?  Yesterday I said that my technology issues weren’t because of anything I did or didn’t do.  I said that because I had been attending an online photo class with my group and our leader said that some of us are using computers that just don’t have enough power to work well in Lightroom.  It wan’t the first time he talked about us beginners and our approach to photography, and I always feel like he’s been looking over my shoulder because he has a knack for bringing up something that’s had me tearing my hair out.

But in this case at least the issue was me being a bonehead.  I bought my desktop computer because of the storage issues I was having with my laptop. I needed to preserve my laptop so that I would have it to use while I traveled.  And I did buy an external hard drove for the computer, but it was a challenge to figure out how to get the photos to be stored on the external drive.  So in the meantime I proceeded to go out and take pictures and let them live on my brand new computer hard drive, and I didn’t give it a second thought because 1T of storage would never get used up.  Right?  Wrong.

All of which explains why I’m sitting here going through the thousands of pictures that are taking up space on my hard drive, and deleting them.  One by one.  And coming across a few I liked here and there, but hundreds of them are just junk that I won’t ever miss and didn’t know they were there in the first place.  Hundreds of pictures of dolphin fins, taken just in case you could catch a fabulous picture of one leaping out of the water.  Which, of course, never happened.  Delete, delete, delete…

These are from the Dunedin marina, and the feature photo is a hawk who happened to pose for me in my former backyard on a day with perfect light.  04-29-20dunedinmarina2.jpg04-29-20dunedinmarina.jpg

a second look, changing times, following the rules, leap of faith, life goes on, losing battles, losing it, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, reality check, unintended consequences

Feeling frazzled?

Haven’t had a haircut in a while?04-24-20gatorlandreeditfrazzled04-24-20gatorlandreeditfrazzled2

Or a color?04-24-20gatorlandreeditneedacolor.jpgAre the kids driving you nuts?04-24-20gatorlandreedit2.jpg

And what about a pedicure?04-24-20gatorlandreeditpedicure.jpg04-24-20gatorlandpedicure.jpg

And forget about teeth whitening.   And while you are at it save your money on braces.04-24-20gatorbraces.jpg

You can skip the eye take up too.04-24-20gatorlandeye.jpg

Leave those golden slippers in the closet, you’re not going anywhere.04-24-20gatorlandgoldenslippers

Because social distancing is the order of the day.04-24-20gatorlandreedit1.jpg

We are all in this together. But we can all hope that when this national nightmare is over we will be back to our gorgeous selves in no time.  Well, kinda gorgeous.04-24-20gatorlandparrot.jpg

'scene' along the way, backyard visitors, flowers, home, moments, perseverance, photography, reality check, Rise and shine, technology, unintended images

Social isolation…

I’m alone so much of the time that the ‘isolation’ part of this whole thing is no big deal to me, but the timing wasn’t great. I had just resolved to start swimming again, my favorite form of exercise, but the pool is now off limits.  The beach is also.  But I can walk.  And as I walk I am amazed to hear the songbirds, though I usually can’t see them.  So when I did see this bluebird perch in the tip top of the tree it tempted me to take it’s picture with my phone.  I’m surprised it turned out as well as it did.  With photos on the brain I couldn’t help but stop to take pictures of this beautiful hibiscus shrub at someone’s front door.  The sun was right behind me, I had to angle myself to keep my shadow off the flowers.  The shrub was loaded with blooms, it was pretty spectacular in the sun.

03-23-20hibiscus03-23-20hibiscus203-23-20hibiscus303-23-20hibiscus3This last picture was taken the next day with my little Lumix lx5 camera, which I had tucked away and nearly forgotten was there.  It’s a point and shoot, easy to carry, and I wanted to take the same shot as the iPhone shot from the day before, just for fun.  It must have been the same time of day because the shadow is in the same place.  I should carry it with me more often.