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Spending time…

We weren’t lost exactly. We were killing time waiting to meet with the camera club and found ourselves at the mercy of streets that were closed off, and we got turned around a bit. So I wanted to take a picture, and the idea that there was a dolphin playing in the water was just a coincidence. Trust me, he’s there, almost dead center in the photo.

The next day we decided to go to Mazzaro’s, which I’d been raving about for quite a while, and I know I’ve posted about it in the past. I had raved so much that I wondered if it would live up to my build-up. And what had the pandemic done to the business? But I needn’t have worried. If anything the outdoor murals were brighter, the selections in the gift shop next store were even more irresistible, and the food was still as good as I remembered. The crowds were as big as ever also, which is why there aren’t photos from inside the shop. Trust me, and go there if you ever get the chance.

It’s fun to take someone to a favorite spot and have them be as enthused with it as you have been. Several nice days in a row and now I’m listening to rain on the roof as I write…

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The sunset of life…

I’m definitely older these days, and I think I’m also wiser, in my old age. All my life I was guilty of the mindset that said, “If only I had _______, then life would be perfect.” Sometimes it was something as silly as the perfect piece of furniture for that empty corner, and other times it was a big wish like a ‘dream house’ or, later I scaled back to a ‘dream kitchen’, and patted myself on the back for being less greedy. In the last few years I’ve been yearning to live in a location that would give me a perfect view of the sunset or sunrise right from my own back yard, surely that that would make life itself perfect. But this morning it occurs to me that life is perfect just as it is. And, truthfully, it always was, because of the people I love and who love me back, and the joy of old friends who ‘knew you when’ and love you anyhow. Life is good…

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Life goes on…

As unlikely as it may seem, the day may come when there is a new someone special in your life, and you want to introduce him to your kids. Not that I was worried, but really didn’t I expect to have one of the most fun nights ever. Belly laughs that just wouldn’t quit.

See? Laughing!

There were crabs on the menu at Frankie’s Raw Bar, and this New Englander who found herself in Baltimore for a few decades wasn’t going to miss a chance to eat steamed blue crabs. I consider it a failure, however, that I failed to recognize that it was not Old Bay seasoning, gasp, that they were doused with, it was J&O seasoning instead. My son didn’t pick up on it either, but he didn’t eat crabs in Baltimore for as many years as I did, so he had an excuse.

My daughter-in-law took us on a tour of the back rooms and garden of the place, where we found many surprising things…

This door looked like a potential ‘through the looking glass’ moment, but we didn’t enter to find out.
There were sea creatures in crates, coming or going? Who knows.
And not so sea creatures.
Some possibly escaping.
Beautiful pieces everywhere.
And stained glass pieces to boot.
And what felt like a secret garden.
New life…
And a froggie too.

Life is funny, but when it hands you a gift just take it and be grateful…

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Pink Moon…

Judging by the number of photographers there it was a perfect night for a Pink Moon at Safety Harbor. Yes, it could have been more perfect if the moon would have shown itself through the clouds when it was still behind the Tampa skyline, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining. Just one by one people started saying they were starting to see it showing through the clouds, what a night it was. Some nights are just right.

Lightroom editing saved the day.
While we were waiting.
I thought it was going to be lost in the clouds, but it rose above them and was still gorgeous when we finally left.
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Lessons from the zoo…

The tiger in my feature photo was snoozing the entire few minutes that I stood there taking his picture. I’ve only watched him pace before, pace and pace, and it distressed me to see him so full of tension. But not always apparently, so that made me feel better.

And I sought out the snow leopard because he is a usual favorite and I didn’t get to see him last time. I thought he always slept on one of the branches in his enclosure, but he was in a different spot. I checked the photos in the camera and thought that my camera was not ignoring the mesh fence so I was disappointed. But what I was seeing was the shadows from the mesh ceiling of the enclosure. It was probably noon when I got to the zoo that day, and that wasn’t a good thing. The sun was higher, casting shadows, and the parking lot was maxed out and you had to drive around hunting for a parking spot. Earlier is better.

I forced myself to walk the rest of the zoo and I took a few pictures but the lure of the orangutans was awfully hard to resist.

The giraffe wasn’t cooperating so this photo will have to do.

But I can’t help myself, it’s always going to be about the orangutans for me. Mother and baby spent a long time huddled off in the shadows with another adult. I took pictures without knowing for sure if they were even facing us. I did get a few shots though. It was a good day.

The informative onlooker wasn’t at the orangutan enclosure on this trip, so based on what she has told me in the past I believe that that’s grannie’s hand, giving her daughter an encouraging pat to let her know she is doing a great job with her little one. We all could use a little encouragement now and then.

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ZooTampa

I had orangutans on the brain the other morning, but instead of dropping everything and heading to the zoo I dithered and it broke the spell. Later I saw pictures of a brand new baby orangutan taken by a friend that same day and I was disappointed that I hadn’t gone. So when the thought crossed my mind yesterday I was out the door in no time flat.

With so many pictures to go through I decided that it would be easier to look at the pictures of other than orangutans, but fair warning, there will be so much orangutan cuteness to come.

The macaw fly through happened just as I entered the zoo. There was barely time to get the camera out of my bag.
I would never have cropped so close except I had zoomed in on my pictures to see if they were sharp and this one popped in and startled me, in a good way, so I kept it cropped.
The baby elephant is getting so big.
I thought they were piping in the sound of a tiger roar, but no, it was this guy.
And a meerkat just because…
Another new baby, a white rhino.
This zebra was nice enough to walk into the sun and get his picture taken.
Getting a full length close up of this guy just wasn’t in the cards…