bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, second chances

Buzzing by the gardens…

Yesterday I did what I used to do when I lived in Spring Hill, I dropped by the botanical garden rather than drive past it. I doubted that butterflies would be in abundance in this cooler weather, and I was right. But right there in the butterfly garden I found something I haven’t seen in ages, a big fat bumble bee. And the afternoon light was nice. What a treat.

I was amazed at how solid his wings look in this photo.
He was ignoring me completely as he flitted from flower to flower.
I wish I could claim to have set up this shot, but it was just lucky.
He was still busy when I left.

I love it when a spur of the moment inspiration turns out so well. Life is simple these days, all it takes is seeing a tiny little creature to make my day. Life is good.

family, friends, history, home, making memories, memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, strangers become friends

That rocky coast of…

It’s the coast of Maine that is referred to as the rocky coast, but my childhood favorite beaches of Duxbury, Green Harbor, and Brant Rock are nothing if not rocky. I took Charley to Duxbury on a day when the beach was especially rocky and he was singularly unimpressed. But the two of us Brockton kids share a love of the same places, even if we didn’t ever know each other until 70+ years later. So we roamed, got lost, and roamed some more. And had lunch at Friiendly’s which we didn’t realize still existed. They did, in fact, have Fribbles on the menu, but I resisted, this time anyhow. The feature photo is the Scituate light, a place I never saw until this visit. Just up the coast. We have a wedding to go to this afternoon. Imagine the excitement of this morning for the bride and groom. Then tomorrow we will head up the coast to the actual rocky coast of Maine, where we will explore, and probably get lost, some more.

This stone depicts the grounding of the ship Etrusco on March 16, 1956. My friend remembers this happening, but he is, ahem, older than I am so I don’t remember this at all. The ship ran aground during a ‘devastating St. Patrick’s Day blizzard’, and the gallant members of the Civil Defense communications staff in Scituate managed to keep the lines of communication going which allowed all 30 members of the crew to be rescued.
I hoped to get another view of the lighthouse, and it’s there, in the center, dwarfed by the ships masts. Kind of a Where’s Waldo thing.
Rocks and more rocks.
Brant Rock looking north.
And again but looking south.
The Fairview Inn, where my parents and their friends would go to get away from us kids when we all stayed in cottages at Duxbury Beach for the same couple of magical weeks each summer.
I hadn’t realized I had captured an image of one of the watch towers along the coast. Dating from WW2, and in the process of being restored.
And two Brockton kids wouldn’t head back to Brockton to meet up with old friends at the Cape Cod Cafe without a cruise through Fields Park. I said I hoped I’d see the swans. That you will see Canada Geese is a given.
Just one of the families of swans that we saw.
Tower Hill, where many Brockton kids tobogganed down the hill into the golf course in the winter.

At first we didn’t think we had people in common, even though we grew up in the same home town. But my cousin’s husband proved to be the link between my friend and his long-lost best friend from childhood, so our little reunion at the Cape Cod Cafe last night was worthy of a Hallmark movie. It’s so good to be ‘home’…

a second look, brainstorms, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, hockey, Home Team, perseverance, photography, second chances, storms, weather

Instant replay…

The stage was set. Adirondack chairs in place. The tantalizing aromas of all the various restaurants made it hard to choose just one. Which is why my plan was to get a little something from a few of them, in the interests of providing a fair and balanced report on the festivities. Our first stop was the Brew Pub, where my friend quickly spotted a beer he liked and hadn’t had for a while. You can wander with your drinks, so we headed over to Blush, the wine bar that offered frozen sangria. After I’d seen a photo of that online I knew I had to have one. It didn’t disappoint.

You might think that I had noticed the dark clouds in the background as I took this picture, but I was way too focused on enjoying my drink for that to happen.
Honey feta dip…
After nibbling on honey feta dip and chicken parm meatballs we settled into our camping chairs to enjoy the game.
There were umbrella covered picnic tables to the right and left of the screen, and playground equipment to keep the kids busy. But shortly after we settled in we got a severe thunderstorm warning on our phones. The first time I was here all I paid attention to was the sky, but until that moment I hadn’t noticed the sky at all this time.
A few fat drops of rain fell, and we decided not to leave quite yet. But when we saw lightning we decided that maybe we should head home and enjoy a front row seat to the game from there.

You will see this post on Saturday morning, and on Saturday evening we will have an opportunity to have an instant replay of this particular adventure. Hopefully the Lightning will win this time, and the storms will not materialize to keep us from sampling more of the tempting treats available. Rest assured, I see another frozen sangria in my future…

'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, bucket list, connections, finding my way, friends, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, life goes on, making memories, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, travel

Have I mentioned?

I know I mentioned that I wasn’t particularly gracious when I found myself driving the endless hairpin turns as we traveled the last 20 miles to the cabin. But I don’t think I mentioned that the entire rest of my trip was chauffeur driven, including the first part of the drive home. That’s the part with the hairpin turns and the frustrating traffic approaching Atlanta. Whew! So I spent one of the days we were there, the day that it stayed overcast most of the day so the light was soft and the colors were nice, shooting iPhone pictures out the windshield of the car. I have, on occasion, tried to shoot pictures out the windshield while also driving, a practice that I don’t recommend since it rarely leads to a good picture, not to mention the danger involved. But with a chauffeur it was hard to resist trying for shots as the scenery was gorgeous but there was nowhere to stop and take pictures. The feature photo is one of my more successful of those shots.

We were at a higher elevation, as well as the softer light, so the colors really seemed more vivid.
Ordinarily I’d have cropped out the people at the bottom of the picture. But as you can see they are aiming their phones across the parking area. I wonder if they ever turned around and looked behind themselves?
I don’t know that I stand and savor these views since I’m usually in such a hurry to take a picture, as if someone is about to snatch the view away.
Rocks and water again.
The water is so clear.
The sound of the water was nice too, and all the while you were under a canopy of gold and orange leaves.

The drive to get to the Smokies may have been long and frustrating at times, and the lack of wifi for the entire stay, as well as not even having TV for the first two days, may have been enough to spoil the trip for some people. But our focus was to get out and take ever more pictures, so that’s what we did. Plus I had downloaded books from Audible before we left, just to use my points before I quit the app, so we listened to a Vince Flynn book for the two TV-less nights. Now we need to listen to the end to see if everyone lives happily ever after. Which is what we seem to be doing…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, boats, cats, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset

Hooters…

I’ve been meaning to go back to Hooters. For wings yes, but really for the sunset. Another photographer’s photo had clued me in to the view from the deck at the Hooters in my neighborhood, and on my last trip there my shenanigans with the camera didn’t seem to bother anybody. I must have mentioned it to my friend because last night he suggested we go there, so off we went. I was a little disappointed to see that the string of lights that had hung at the dock weren’t there this time. They went a long way to making me like the shots I had gotten there before. And as I stepped out onto the dock I remembered that last time there was a kitty out there and I thought it was a shame that she wasn’t there this time. I had taken a lot of pictures of her, which had amused me no end. I opened my mouth to mention the kitty to my friend and there she was…

She was strolling among the customers.
She decided to investigate my phone, and when I scratched her ears I think I made a friend for life.
I saw the lights coming on as the evening grew darker, and I hoped for a colorful sunset.
There was some color, but I hoped for more from the sunset. This was as good as it got.
When we drove in I was pleased to see that this little bait shop was still in operation, and I said that on the way home I wanted to stop for a photo when it was dark and the lights were on.

The feature photo is a panorama taken with my iPhone. Even if it wasn’t the prettiest sunset ever, it was a pretty enough night to make me happy. And there is always next time to look forward to…

a second look, blessings, connections, coping, courage, facing facts, finding my way, friends, fun, growing old, history, leap of faith, learning, life, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset, technology

Things have changed…

I wrote my tag line, “Life on my own, on the Nature Coast of Florida”, on the fly in a class I took on How to Start a Blog. We walked out of that two hour class with the bones of a blog in our laptops, all we had to do was write, so I did. And I have enjoyed it a lot. But lately I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud. Actually I have been feeling that way for a while now. After all, once I moved two years ago I assumed that my new county wasn’t considered part of the Nature Coast. But I checked with Siri just now and she says I’m good. Not a fraud, at least not over that part of my tag line.

But the ‘on my own’ thing isn’t as true as it used to be either. I am still on my own, but against all odds there is now someone sharing my life, and also sharing my photo ops. Another photographer, so the whole being out for photos, and also processing them later on, is lots more fun these days. And we are on the cusp of our first adventure together, heading off to visit relatives and take pictures along the way. I probably would have bet money against this ever happening, but it certainly has been a welcome addition to my life in general. So that ‘never say never’ thing? Well, I guess that’s good advice…