a second look, coping, facing facts, family, finding my way, grief, healing, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, simple things

Charley Barley…

Charley was raised by his mother and grandmother to be a dentist, in the footsteps of his grandfather and his great-grandfather. He was to be a dentist as they both were, there would be no discussion, so it was lucky that he had the personality and dexterity for the job. He was born on the same date as Prince Charles, 11-14-48, but that’s not who he was named after, even though I’m pretty sure that his mother identified fairly closely with the Queen. No, he was named for his grandfather, Charles Edward Wingo, and, when questioned, his mother insisted that she never realized that he would probably be called Charley Barley.

A pet peeve of his was that dentists were commonly portrayed as bumbling idiots on TV sit-coms, I heard more than a few tirades about that over the years. But he was quite gracious when patients came into the office for their appointment one day and they had a gift for him, an Avon book, the title of which was Today’s the Day! They couldn’t wait to tell him that the main character in the book was a little piece of barley named, you guessed it, Charley Barley. Yup, roly-poly little Charley Barley blew into the book on a puff of wind, and, spoiler alert, at the end of the book he rides another puff of wind on to win the race. He appreciated the thought, even if the character wasn’t exactly a big improvement over how he thought dentists were portrayed in general. Still, there was a definite resemblance between them.

This all occurred many years ago of course, and many, many changes have taken place in my life since then. If I had been presented with the dilemma of downsizing from the house we lived in for 30 years in one fell swoop I would have agonized over what to keep and what to get rid of much more than I did. But there were three moves which have led me here to my current little spot, and each move required downsizing my possessions yet again. And yet somehow this silly little book is still here with me, forgotten on a shelf for most of the time we had it. I’m not even sure I ever read the story before. So here I am, still sorting through ‘our’ stuff with an eye to paring down some more, but for now this little gem is going back on the shelf, I’ll decide it’s fate another day…

adventure, bubbles, childhood, fantasy images, fun, gardens, Just do it, just imagine, let it go, life goes on, moments, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, silliness, simple things

Float away with me…

Float away with me to a magical world…

Where down maybe be up, and up may be down, and blue bottles grow on trees…

To a place where seashells aren’t always found by the sea.

You might wave to your neighbors as you float by.

Where tiny bees buzz…

And ladies don’t always wear the colors you might expect.

Float away, it’s time to play…

Leave your worries for another day…

adventure, bucket list, changing times, fantasy images, finding my way, following the rules, fun, Just do it, learning, perseverance, photography, simple things, sky, sunset, technology

New toys…

With photography as my favorite thing to do there are a lot of ways for me to spend money on my hobby. I tend to think that I take pictures for ‘free’ since I well remember the days of having your film developed for lots of $$$ and discovering that only a very few of your pictures actually turned out the way you wanted them to. And I have already upgraded my camera and bought several lenses beyond what I started with. And tripods, I’ve bought a few of those. New lenses need bigger and better bags to hold them, and I’m thinking that I ought to buy a wagon of sorts to carry this stuff with me so I can actually use it when I’m shooting. But the reality is that there is only one way to improve my photography and that’s by working on my technique and learning all that I can about how to do better. So I resist buying more stuff, usually. But the Lens Ball has been calling me for a while now. Something different to play with. So I gave in. I took it out at sunset last night, which meant I didn’t have to deal with it getting too hot to hold, a pitfall I’ve heard a lot about, and totally freaked out over the fear of dropping it. It’s heavier than I expected too. So I have only two pictures from last night, but it’s a little something different. Something to help me get through these days, one at a time…

Here’s one taken by the iPhone, and I flipped the image over. The image is upside-down in the lens as you view it to take a picture. Straiss your brain a little to work with it…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, blessings, boats, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, simple things, sky, unintended images

Camera worthy moments…

I had my camera ready in case I saw anything photo worthy on my way to Longboat Key, so when I saw horses on the beach you know I had to stop for a picture. For a brief moment I thought how fun it would be to ride a horse on the beach, and then I remembered my age and thought better of that idea. I also stopped to see the whashed up boat on the causeway again, hoping that the RV would be gone. And it was! But a car with a kayak on top was parked way too close to the front of the boat. Seems you can’t win.

When I heard that there was a lot of driftwood on the beach nearby the condo I really didn’t picture this. Driftwood trees, decorated with shells, was new to me.

My friend found it amazing that this Great Blue Heron let us walk as close to him as we did while we were on our walk.

I also saw two new birds to me, the tiny little Sanderlings, and two Piping Plovers.

On this trip I learned that this is called ‘wrack’. It just looks like ocean junk but it provides an important environment for tiny organisms to thrive. Nothing is wasted in nature.

Social distancing was not a problem on this trip. We had the beach to ourselves, or nearly so. Walking and learning and enjoying the days.

a second look, fun, Just do it, learning, life, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, second chances, simple things

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.

a second look, fun, kids, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, silliness, simple things, technology

Monkey business…

The newest little orangutan at the zoo was still being carefully protected by his mother, but the other young ones were carrying on like little monkeys! Two of them were simply a rolling ball of orange fur with various body parts becoming visible here and there.

Not that they made it easy to get pictures since they were under their rope basket, in the shadows, and I had to shoot with the zoom extended to the max to hopefully catch them between all the obstacles in the way. Not the least of which were the crowds of people watching, and ooing, and laughing as one and then the other got the upper hand. I wore my mask for the entire time I was at the zoo, even when I technically didn’t need to. But it seemed like a good idea to me.

I took over 600 pictures and half of them were too dark and/or out of focus to even think about keeping. But some made me smile anyhow, especially the ones where I wasn’t sure which body part belonged to which one of them.

Here’s hoping you like orangutans because there are a few more of these posts to come.