coping, finding my way, leap of faith, life goes on, perseverance, photography, simple things

Validation…

When I was newly divorced, give or take 40 years ago, I drove my ex-husband and his then girlfriend now wife, crazy.  I called him.  A lot.  No, not to fix a plumbing leak or anything.  I called because I found the day-to-day responsibility of raising the kids to be a bit overwhelming.  We were a Navy family, living far away from all family, and having few friends.  No one else knew my kids well besides him.  And what if I dropped dead?  He would have to take the kids on immediately and I wanted him to know where they were ‘at’.  I needed to feel that he was up to speed with them. So when an issue had come up and I had handled it I would call him, tell him what had happened and how I had handled it, and he would always tell me I had handled it just right and he wouldn’t have changed anything.  If a divorce can be a good thing then we had a good divorce.  I needed validation.

Which all came to mind this morning when my soft-boiled eggs turned out perfectly.  I must still be seeking validation because I get quite pleased with myself when that happens, and I feel like the universe has given me a little pat on the back.  And then I won my very first game of solitaire this morning.  I have a solitaire-playing friend who suggested that my shuffling skills aren’t the greatest, but I choose to be encouraged that my life-changes that are underway have me on the right track.  In spades!  I’ll take validation any way I can get it.

Bayport, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things, sky, sunrise, weather

Sunrise by the slice…

While the sunrise itself seemed to struggle this morning, it was the reflected color in the opposite sky that caught my eye as I arrived at Bayport.  The layers of clouds glowed golden for a while, and then became lovely pastel blues and pinks.  I wasn’t alone there this morning, sharing the scene with the occupants of two other cars.  Then one of them set off their car alarm and couldn’t seem to turn it off, but it was time to leave anyhow, and soon enough came the rain.

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birds, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, life, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, simple things, storms

The good and the bad…

The good thing about dragonflies is that they return to the same spot all the time.  So you can get yourself ready, get the camera focused, and you’ll be ready to take your photo when he returns.  The bad thing about dragonflies is that they return to the same spot all the time.  And when they do come back they tend to land in the same position again, so you are ready to take the picture, but it’s the same picture every time.  I wish they would do something surprising now and then.  At least they are out back daily, giving me photo ops when Mama Sandhill crane sitting on her eggs becomes less than exciting.4-13dragonfly4-13dragonfly1-24-13dragonfly24-13dragonfly34-13dragonfly44-13dragonfly5

And, speaking of taking the same picture over and over, you probably suspect that my Sandhill crane on the nest photo is the same one and I’m reusing it periodically.  But I’m not.  I was worried when I was away over the weekend, worried that I’d miss the new Sandhill crane chicks hatching.  I was so lucky to be on the spot to watch as it happened last year, so I was happy to see her still on the nest when I got back, that I didn’t miss anything.  And poor Mama has been out there through two really bad storms, and still she is out there.  And her mate is there also.  I love that guy.  But I see that the grass surrounding the nest is longer than it was last year, I hope it will be easy to see the chicks with my big new lens.  But then they didn’t spend a lot of time on the next last year anyhow, so it will be fine. She said, optimistically.

And the Little Blue Heron who is always on the post out there.  I can’t help but take pictures of him almost glowing in the sun.  Not the same photo all the time, it just looks like it.4-13littleblue

fun, perseverance, photography, simple things, special effects, technology

Baseball and fireworks…

Last week the photo group went to opening day of the Clearwater Threshers baseball team.  They were playing the Dunedin Bluejays, and it turned out to be a very enjoyable evening.  During the ballgame the photo to get is the ball on the bat for the hitters, and the ball just leaving the fingertips of the pitchers.  I got neither, I tried though.  I had 477 photos, none of which even came close.  More practice is in order.  But all was not lost, the other photo op of the evening was the post-game fireworks.  That was a little more successful, thanks to advice from the group.  A 10 second shutter speed, I’d never have come up with that on my own.  You couldn’t see what you were getting on the camera, you were flying blind.  I will go again since this photo op comes up a few times during baseball season.  Senior price of admittance is $6, lots of fun for just a little money.

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flowers, life, life goes on, nature, neighbors, photography, simple things

Flower stalking…

No, this isn’t my yard.  This is the front lawn of the house directly behind me, across the lake.  Last spring I spent a lot of time with my camera trained on the back of this property, waiting for the Sandhill crane family to return to the lake in the late afternoon. I felt a bit like a stalker.  And if that’s how I felt then, I really felt it yesterday afternoon when I went back after the dog walk and stopped to take a couple of pictures of their front yard.  Charley and I had owned our house for a while before we happened to visit during the several weeks in the early spring when the azaleas in this yard are in full bloom.  They weave their glorious way between and around the oaks, a patchwork of pink, red, and white flowers standing out against the green of the lawn.  The photo doesn’t do it justice, but it is never in full sunlight, always in dappled shade, so not so easy to photograph. Maybe the shade is why it’s so pretty.  But the hours and hours that the owners spend tending their property, dueling riding mowers and all, surely must have something to do with it.

Seeing their yard must have made me remember some flower images I had just seen online.  They were taken at the Florida Botanical Gardens, and included some butterflies and bees. So I went to our local botanical garden just down the road from me and wandered down the paths with the goal of reaching the butterfly garden in mind.  But I found that all the shrubs had been cut back and there wasn’t a flower, or a butterfly, in sight.  Which tells me it’s time for me to do the same thing to my plumbago and bougainvillea bushes, and soon the butterflies and bees will be back in my own yard.  Every year the azaleas lead the charge, spring is coming…2-27purpleflowers2-27bottlebrush2-27azaleas2-27Japanesemagnolia12-27Japanesemagnolia22-27japanesemagnolia42-27Japanesemagnolia3I don’t think I had taken note of the Japanese Magnolia before, but with so few flowers in sight they stood out.  Seems I’m always taking note of something I’ve never noticed before…

finding my way, natural wonders, nature, photography, simple things, sunrise, technology, unintended images

Older and wiser…

When I let Ozzie out in the dark and quiet it was drizzling, which made me give up on the notion of joining the photo walk at John Chestnut park this morning.  And an alternative plan I had thought of was to go to Philippe park and visit the owlet.  I heard that she is flying between the branches now, and it was suggested that spotting her might be a bit of an exercise in Where’s Waldo since she would be camouflaged quite well in the thick Spanish moss hanging on the trees.  But then I saw a photo that had been posted last night that showed her falling out of the tree, and she has been taken to a raptor rehab, and will hopefully be returned asap.  With that sad news I decided that I’d stay home and take care of the house, but head out to 7:15 Mass first.  I was oblivious to the sunrise until I took my first right turn to head west, and spotted this.2-25Sundaysunrise2

I had to stop, I just couldn’t take a chance that there might be a better place, a better angle to take a picture.  Then I got to the corner and stopped again.  That’s where I took the feature photo above.  I felt like I was racing the clock, not because I’d be late to church, but because I hated to stop when I expected that the best view would be at the church itself.  It sits up on a bit of a hill, and I was arguing with myself that I should just quit wasting time and get there before the color started to fade.  But this last is the view from the church, not the wide open view I had expected.  What did I used to do when I saw these incredible displays that nature puts on fairly regularly but I wasn’t ‘into’ photography?  Did I not notice?   Should I just credit technology, since carrying an iPhone means I’m never without a camera, so that’s the inspiration?  Or just admit to myself that it’s probably that older and wiser thing…2-25Sundaysunrise