family, kids, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, silliness, simple things, travel

The adventure begins…

First stop was with my cousin in Charleston, an easy 7 hour drive from home.  It was foggy for the first few hours, I may have to rethink leaving at 4 AM because those hours were stressful.  But I got there early with lots of time to visit, and take in the wild life in the area.  And there was plenty of wildlife!05-07-19Maireadclose05-07-19maireadclose2





05-07-19partyAnd an 11 and 4 year olds birthday party.  What’s a visit without a little cake and ice cream?  Such a fun day!

fantasy images, learning, perseverance, photography, silliness, technology


That was the name of the class we took.  In the class we used an actual person posing for us in the same garden area five times, in five different poses, in five different places.  At the end of the exercise you, okay, not me because I didn’t know the camera controls in my new camera so I gave up pretty quickly.  And that’s really just an excuse because I never learned to set the focus where I wanted it in any of my cameras.  But I guess the class was a success since I now know how to do exactly that.  And how to erase an image from one photo and add it to another.  Trust me, it’s exhausting, thinking I mean.  At the end of the exercise some of us had the same person appearing five times in the same final photo.  You have to admit that that idea has potential.

Obviously that would be a lot more impressive than seeing three bunnies, or three Ginny dolls, since I easily could have had multiples of those items.  But a heck of a lot of work went into these images and I’m glad I learned to do it.  I’m sure I entertained the neighborhood while I tried to pose various objects out in the sunshine, and before I could get the camera focused the wind would knock them over.  Or I’d realize that the background of the photo was going to be terrible, which had me on the ground trying to shoot so that the sky would be the background.  I tried, but was futile.  I moved inside and got the bunny photo and called it a day.  But I learned a new trick, and I am an old dog, so that’s something…4=27-19ginyx3


photography, silliness, strangers, sunrise


It doesn’t seem as if you can lump all the fishermen I’ve met at sunrise or sunset photo shoots into any sort of category.  Except they all seem to be friendly.  Take this morning’s sunrise encounter at Hammond’s Creek Bridge.  I was taking pictures, as usual, when he greeted me as he pulled up on a bicycle and marched over and introduced himself.  Keith maybe?  He says he always comes there for sunrise and sunsets but I don’t think I have seen him before.  And I asked him about One-Foot Fred but he wasn’t aware of him at all.  I didn’t see old Fred, just saying.  Anyhow, he asked where I was from, I said MA, and he got excited and said he was from W. Springfield.  So I added that I was from Brockton and he immediately got to talking about Rocky Marciano, and how his mother thinks that Tom Brady is the greatest baseball player ever (that’s what he said that she said).  Then it was on to Carl Yastrzemski, and John Havlicek.  The good old days.  Right about then he pulled a Budweiser out of his pocket and cracked it open, and settled in to watch the sunrise.  You can’t make this stuff up.4-5sunrise14-5sunrise24-5Sunrise4

donuts, Florida landmarks, food, fun, go with the flow, pastries, photography, silliness

The Florida Strawberry Festival…

That I”m a rookie at this photography stuff came home to me again when I realized that I had taken a lot of pictures at the strawberry festival yesterday, but never took one of the actual strawberry shortcake.  I had wondered if I would come away with nothing but pictures of mounds of whipped cream and strawberries, and came away with none.  I wonder if Sunday afternoon might be the biggest crowd of the entire week, but I found myself sucked into a vortex and just snapped photos as the crowd swept me along.  If it’s shortcake you are looking for then you’ll have to get down there yourself, it runs through the 11th…



I found the charm I was looking for in the exhibition hall where they displayed their winning cakes, horticulture, quilts, and lots more.  A large display case held images of all the strawberry queens over the years, but I was a little disappointed that 1948, my birth year, wasn’t represented.  But then I saw that she was in a featured showcase of her own.



Maybe it’s the fact that I pack donuts for a living, but the donut burger caught my eye.  You always hear about crazy fair food, and I was excited to take this picture because it was early on and I expected to take lots of photos of food, but this and the elephant ears were my only food photos.  And I was obnoxious and told the woman that that’s not what we call elephant ears at Publix.  She said that hers were ‘authentic’.donutburgerelephantearI purposely wanted to go to this event alone, as I do most of the time when I’m wanting to take pictures, because I think I’ll drive another person nuts with my photo taking.  But I think that with another person’s perspective my visit might have been even more fun.  So grab a friend and go, but try not to miss the strawberry shortcake!

dogs, home, life goes on, loneliness, photography, silliness

Night life…

On the way out for the sunrise the other day I found myself singing along with the radio, “I love the night life, I love to boogie”, and I cracked myself up. That would be true, I do love the night life, as long as it starts at 4 AM. And that’s if I’m lucky. Sometimes it starts at 3 AM, and this morning it started a little after 2 AM. That’s when I realized that the sound I was hearing wasn’t motorcycles, it was a helicopter. From the sound of it they were right overhead and circling. It seemed like they were concentrating on my house and my yard, even though I knew that that wasn’t likely. I also knew that the dogs would be awake soon, they seem to know when I’m awake and that will get them up and wanting to go out. But what was going on out there? I put all the outside lights on and let Ozzie out, but he didn’t seem worried about anything. I was glad Zoe didn’t want to go out because she wanders more and I really didn’t want to be outside in my pajamas with the helicopter overhead and a potential ax murderer out there. With my imagination in high gear it wasn’t likely that I was going back to sleep so I made coffee.

I must say that when I walked out of the bedroom I was greeted by the most wonderful smell. Clean, deodorized, no re-oderized, dogs! Ozzie got a bath, and Zoe got a bath, haircut, pedicure, and her ears done yesterday. I took a before picture of her, she was in full woolly mammoth mode and quite overdue for a trip to the beauty shop. I intended to take an after photo also, and I thought I might make the comment that if I thought that spending $100 on a haircut for myself would make as much of a difference in how I look as it does for Zoe then it would be worth the money. But when I picked them up Zoe was all dolled up with little pink bows in her ears and a coordinated scarf around her neck. She was too excited to stay still for much of a picture, and, quite frankly, I was embarrassed for her. She is the least girly girl ever, kind of like me, and she looked ridiculous. I left them on her however, because I had to head out last night and I hoped to get a better picture this morning. But those things are coming off before I take them for a walk this morning. A girl has her pride after all.

If there was an escaped convict on the loose out there this morning I wonder what he would have thought if he heard a savagely barking dog taking a bead on him, and when she came out of the darkness she was wearing tiny pink bows in her ears?2-24Zoeafter22-24Zoeafter

flowers, go with the flow, photography, rain, silliness, simple things, sunrise

Two leashes and a bag of poop…

That’s what I had in my hands when I spotted the flock of robins a couple of doors up.  I didn’t have my camera with me on the dog walk either, so photos weren’t an option until I looked for them after I got home.  And the sunrise I didn’t go out for because I expected it to be overcast? Well, that happened, but I did get a photo out the back door. 2-4sunriseoutback

So, what to photograph in the limited time available before the rain?  And close by, because these trips to Clearwater are 100 mile round trips and I’ll be back there again tomorrow night.  Maybe it’s because the chickens next door have been visiting my yard lately, and they’ve de-weeded pretty well, but I thought of the chicks they usually have a Rural King.  But that wasn’t all I found there…2-4ruralkingchicks2-4pinkflowers2-4pink22-4yellow2-4pansy2-4fringe2-4blueBut the real find were the boots!  Now I can join the ‘photo chicks’ I know on one of their photo walks, and not worry about getting my feet wet.  And when I’m not walking with them the boots can live in my bathroom, they’ll fit right in.+2-4beeboots If the nice woman I met at Rural King is reading this, welcome to my world!