a second look, dogs, finding my way, grief, healing, life goes on, loneliness, memories, perseverance, pets, photography, simple things, solitude

It’s not about the bees…

It’s not about the flowers either.  It’s about the dogs.  About how living alone, but with dogs, isn’t really living alone alone at all.  You talk to them, or I did anyhow.  And because of them you go out for a walk and find things like a cactus covered in gorgeous white flowers.  And you wonder how it is that you only just noticed them now that you are interested in photography, because you also walked the same route with the dogs for years before that was true.  Walking them also led to fun exchanges with people on the street, like the guy in the convertible who stopped to say, “I didn’t think you were allowed to have livestock in Spring Hill.”  He was referring to the fact that these dogs weren’t the daintiest of God’s creatures, all 250 pounds of them.  And then there’s the breathing.  They were out of the house for a month after my husband died, my son having taken them over while Charley was in the hospital.  I kept the house dark and quiet during that time.  It wasn’t a choice, I needed the solitude.  I don’t know how long that would have lasted if not for the dogs.  When I did bring them home to my quiet house I found myself listening to them breathe.  It was as if the house had come back to life, the house was breathing, and maybe I also took a breath.

I probably wasn’t trying to hold two leashes while I took these pictures with my iPhone 7+.  I used to drop the leashes and step on them if I could, but if not I’d let them go because they waited patiently for me to finish.  Nope, I wasn’t ever alone when they were part of my life.  I miss them.

04-01-20cactusflowerclose04-01-20cactusflower304-01-20cactusflower404-01-20cactusflower5

a second look, coping, courage, friends, go with the flow, home, life, life goes on, loneliness, moments, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, simple things

Striking a balance…

So yes, I am alone most of the time as I’ve said.  And yes, I don’t mind it, most of the time at least.  But today my mind was on how much more fun it was when life was two by two.  Like this…3-28twobirds3-28toucan3-28lovebirds03-31-20twobytwodonkeys03-31-20twobytwocolts203-31-20twobytwocolts103-31-20twobytwohens

Maybe not so much like this though…03-31-20twobytwocoyotes

There’s nothing to do but get through each day the best we can.  As for me, I’ll think about where I want to go when we are all turned loose again….

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, gardens, healing, learning, making memories, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, simple things, The Narrows, turtles

BOGO…

The Narrows came to me in a brainstorm as a place to go with my friend while she was here.  How often do you get to see raptors up close and personal?  Or at all really.  The brainstorm came to me because while we were at the eagles one day we ran into a friend of mine who volunteers there.  I have walked the trails with him while he held a little screech owl on his wrist and interacted with the other visitors on the trail.  It’s such an unusual way to visit with nature.

But this visit was a little disappointing at first.  There were no volunteers out on the deck with hawks, or Sarge the eagle, on their wrists.  They hadn’t changed their policy, they said, but there is a shortage of volunteers to take the birds out.  A group of disabled veterans arrived as we were getting there also, and I thought they were visitors, but in a little while we saw them out with birds on the trail.  One said that the bird he was holding had had a brain injury, and he had a brain injury also.  It’s a heartwarming place to go.  Maybe a 90 minute drive isn’t too far to go to volunteer…02-29-20vet-owl02-29-20vet-owl202-29-20kestrel02-29-20horned02-29-20Egreathorned02-29-20Easternscreech02-29-20barredA volunteer pointed out the dark-eyed owls and light-eyed owls, and said that the dark eyed ones are spectacular night hunters.  Nature has given them incredible night vision, and I have read that owls can see their prey a mile away, so day hunters also have us all beat by a mile.

I had a plan for the next day also.  I was going to take my friend to the Florida Botanical Gardens for a photo walk with my photo group.  For the heck of it I checked to see where it was in comparison to The Narrows, and it was only two miles from where we were at that moment.  So of course we headed there, but on a chilly day in February it was not nearly the amazing place I have visited in the past.  We didn’t stay long at all, but I am glad to know that I can easily visit these two places on the same day from now on.  Kind of a BOGO!02-29-20rose02-29-20hearts

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, simple things

What she said…

If she lived here, my friend said, she would pack up a book and go to the beach every day.  We were on Honeymoon Island at the time, and I had to wonder how it was that it had taken me so long to go to the beach there.  A lovely beach that stretched as far as the eye could see, and not so many people or commotion as the more commercial areas.  On this day it was windy and the surf looked like it might be tricky, but not many people were braving the chill.02-28-20honeymoonbeachview02-28-20honeymoonbeachview2.jpg

I had an ulterior motive for bringing her to Honeymoon Island.  It was the home of the more visible owl nest I’d been told about.  I had been there to see the owls a couple of years ago, and all I remembered about that was that you had to walk a long way on the trails to find the nest.  But once you found it the nest was in the open, much less of a challenge to photograph than the elusive nest at Philippe Park.  There are two owlets in this nest, but only this little guy was checking us out.  An adult was barely visible in a nearby tree.02-28-20honeymoonowl.jpg02-28-20honeymoonowlfeature.jpgThere is an eagle nest on Honeymoon Island also, and we were hiking there with a very helpful visitor we had met, but we decided that the mosquitos we encountered on that part of the trail were enough to make us turn around,  We did see ospreys on nests though, lots of them.02-28-20honeymoonospreywings

And there were the inevitable stops on the way up and down the road.  The snowy egret with her golden slippers was a hit.02-28-20honeymoonsnowy

And I always wonted to make one of these signs for my yard, with arrows pointing to all the places I found dear to me, but all the arrows would point in the same direction.  North.02-28-20honeymoonsigns

a second look, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, second chances, simple things, technology

An orangutan kind of day…

I knew it all along, as soon as I saw the FCCP photo walk to the Lowry Park Zoo I knew that I would go, and that my day would be all about the orangutans.  I hoped there would there be babies, and that wish was granted.  I fell for them when I lived in San Diego and saw them at the San Diego Zoo many times.  And even Frankie fell for them this time, so much so that we brought one home.

1-12-20orangs21-12-20orang91-12-20orang81-12-20orang71-12-20orang61-12-20orang51-12-20orang41-12-20orang31-12-20Momandbaby1-12-20Frankieatthezoo