a second look, bugs, butterflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, learning, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things

Photography groupie…

Seriously, that’s what I am, a photography groupie.  I see photos from lots of photography groups online, and when I see that someone has seen the nearby eagles I become possessed with heading over to see them too.  Same with the owls.  Lately it’s been butterflies.  A friend just took a fun field trip to a butterfly garden a couple of hours from here, and just then butterfly pictures started showing up online.  So I Googled butterfly gardens nearby and came up with Hammock Park.  If you are looking for a big, lush butterfly garden then this one isn’t for you.  I didn’t know how I felt about walking the trails in the park by myself so I had nearly given up when the butterflies suddenly appeared.  Today I am headed to a macro photography class, so, as usual, my timing could have been better since I was taking close ups today.  Just means I’ll have to get out there and have a do-over!  And try to do better!4-19-19monarch14-19-19bug24-19-19buttshotforbetty4-19-19bugfeature4-19-19monarch34-19-19bug24-19-19monarch2

connections, egrets, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, nature, Osprey, perseverance, photography, simple things, strangers

New friends…

Part of the charm of heading over to the rookery is that there is a Twisty Treat ice cream stand right there!  So you can tell yourself that you are going to take pictures, but in the back of your mind you are thinking ice cream.  Yesterday I had my priorities straight, I got the ice cream first!  Okay, you do have to drive across the parking lot and tuck your car in behind the buildings to unload, but I then found myself marching towards the fence with another gal, a like-minded gal, because we were both lugging a three step ladder and cameras with nice long lenses.  It must have looked like we planned it.  So I made a new friend yesterday, and had a very nice time as we took pictures of the chicks, and talked about photography in general.  I told her about our camera club, FCCP, Florida Center for Creative Photography, and I told her that there are a lot of people my age in the group, but younger people also.  Mentioned because she is young, the years that I wonder where they went are still waiting to unfold for her.  But she said she likes people my age, and at that moment we were kindred spirits.  The big difference was that when the osprey we had been watching hover in the air over the rookery finally made his dive and came up with a fish, her camera battery didn’t die like mine did.  The most dramatic moment of a nice afternoon and I missed it.  But really I didn’t miss anything, I made a new friend…4-15-19twochicks4-15-19thisbig4-15-19ospreyegretfight34-15-19ospreyegretfight24-15-19ospreyegretfight4-15-19incoming

a second look, childhood, finding my way, growing old, life, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, progress, simple things

The finish line…

I prefer to think that my obsession with downsizing, purging, and getting rid of all the ‘stuff’ in my life that was weighing me down, originated with me.  Or, more correctly, with Charley.  That I started feeling as if I needed to liberate myself from my ‘stuff’ came long before the tiny house movement.  Even though we had sold the house we lived in for 35 years and had to pare things down to make that move, Charley still had tons of stuff he left behind when he died.  And even though I remembered how he surprised me back then by going through his things and tossing/giving away all sorts of things without any agonizing whatsoever, I did agonize over his things.  All his things were treasures, they were worth something, collectibles, as he was fond of reminding me.  I could be tossing away something of value.  My own stuff was junk, admittedly, so it was the physical act of going through boxes that had been sitting on shelves in the garage for years that would get the best of me.  I would tell myself that I ought to just throw those boxes away, don’t even open them I’d think, but I couldn’t seem to do that, and I’d keep on procrastinating.  But now I have finally done it, I’m pretty much at the finish line, spurred on because I wanted to save my kids the torture of going through all my stuff and sorting and tossing it away.  They’ll probably have to do some of that one day but they can rest assured that it is, in fact, junk, so toss away!

So what has made the cut?  What have I managed to keep with me through moves from MA, to IN, to CA, to MD, and, finally, to this little place in FL?  Besides the sewing machines, cameras, computers, and iPhones we have these gems.  Treasures from my childhood, and items that caught my eye over the years.  As I acquired them, the little stained glass candle holder bought in Beanblossom, Indiana for example, could I have ever imagined that it would stay with me, across country in both directions, and be with me here in what I expect is my last home?  Which in reality is my first ever apartment, so to speak.  The first place I’ve ever made for myself alone.  But furnished with the items that I have held close to my heart, that have pleased me, comforted me, delighted me, and carried me from childhood to, ahem, maturity…

friends, go with the flow, moments, nesting, perseverance, photography, simple things, sky, sunset, weather

Shivering in Florida…

The weather wasn’t cooperating for the owl photo shoot a friend and I had planned for yesterday morning.  We did get to see the owls, but we are going back tomorrow.  And the sunset looked dubious, but it was the last Tuesday night for the sunset from the rooftop of the Clearwater library so we went in spite of the ominous skies.  And from the first moment we were there we were so glad we went.  In spite of the fact that the wind was relentless, making you very glad you had your tripod.  And with temperatures in the 50s we were freezing.  Not Cape Cod freezing, but cold, very cold.  But those rays of sun streaming through the clouds were an amazing sight.  Worth the chill.  This was the last of the shoots from the rooftop for this season because the sunset will be too late once we change the clocks this weekend.  Glad I made it.03-05-19library2

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a second look, family, finding my way, friends, life goes on, loneliness, memories, perseverance, photography, simple things

Rock-a-bye…

I don’t remember how it is that I came to have this little rocking loveseat.  I mean I always loved it, but it sat in my father’s den when I was a kid.  It was a little out of the way, and I can’t say that I ever sat in it much, but I loved it.  The small size just fit, and it rocked, I loved that.  When my mother was downsizing after my father died I vaguely remember that we borrowed a truck and Charley helped me get a few of my mother’s treasures and bring them home to Maryland with us, and this was one of them.  It’s completely threadbare now, which is why those throws are covering it.  Not only threadbare, but whatever foam was padding this chair has long since disintegrated.  That is probably due to my daughter’s kids.  By the time it had migrated to her house it was already over 30 years old, and the wear and tear the my two oldest grandchildren put on it took a toll.  But that was probably the first time that little chair felt loved.  I remember that my daughter used to lay infant Kara on it, and Kevin would rock her gently to sleep.  When they moved I reclaimed it, and I’ve had it ever since.  It lived in my little upstairs den a few years later.  Kevin looked around that room, he was sitting on the loveseat at the time, and he told me that it was a very nice room.  I don’t know if I ever was so touched to get a compliment as I was to get that one.  Maybe it’s that it’s small.  That may be what appealed to me about it when I was a kid also.  The room would look better with a bigger chair there, it would look more balanced.  But sitting in it now feels like a hug from an old friend, and I love old friends…

family, finding my way, fun, life, life goes on, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, simple things, sunrise, sunset

Getting to the finish line…

After enduring the cold up north recently, and finding myself back in Florida, you might think I have been out soaking up the sun.  Or swimming, I wanted to get back to swimming.  But I have reached a point whereby I couldn’t function with all the clutter in this place.  I said something to my uncle about how I was making headway in getting this place cleaned up, and he responded, “Really?” I guess it doesn’t show when you have been going through endless boxes of photos and finding the keepers.  So I haven’t been out with the camera, and my social life has taken place on Facebook for two days.  But last night I headed out to the races just as the sunset was winding down.

It probably isn’t what you imagined, this particular evening of horse racing.  But my cousins had been telling me how much fun it is for a while now.  Here they are at the starting gate…03-03-2019startinggate

And they are off!  #5 has taken an early lead…03-03-2019inthelead

Someone near and dear to my heart was announcing the race.  Ten races in all, plus a hot dog.  Yes, a fun evening…03-03-2019announcer

And here we are, another day dawning in Florida.  I’m not sure that I can stand another day of ‘organizing’.  Gee, maybe the bluebirds are out…03-03-2019sunrise