Florida landmarks, foggy sky, food, friends, fun, growing old, lest we forget, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset

The week that was…

The second day of my ‘old’ friend’s visit, can’t tease her without admitting my own age also, brought us to Longboat Key to visit yet another old friend. Such a lovely spot to sit and talk about life after high school. Another high school friend commented that it must be fun to reminisce about our high school days, but that didn’t seem to be the main topic of conversation. We seemed to be concentrating on what came after high school, raising kids, and grandkids too. And where life has brought us now. How lucky we are to reconnect after such a long time.

Such a lovely view.
It was a nice day to walk on the beach. Our friend said that people were commenting that there were no intact shells on the beach. Most had been pulverized by Hurricane Ian. But this area was spared from major damage.
We decided to head toward Anna Maria Island for dinner but traffic was quite backed up, and the sunset was early, so we stopped at The Beach House and this was our view while we enjoyed our dinner.
I ducked down in front of the sunset watchers to get a few photos. It hadn’t looked too promising to start with, but it just got better. Eventually we all took a few pictures.
Even after the sun had set the sky got more colorful.
Then the stars began to shine through.

The next morning dawned cold, with blustery winds. I headed down to the beach early, to try to capture the look of the surf. It was a bit foggy too, hence the feature photo. My friends chose to try some watercolor painting while I was out taking pictures. Then after a nice lunch it was time to say goodbye and head home again. But there was talk of another visit next year…

The waves were rolling in.
The sun had come out by the time we headed out for lunch. This time the traffic was better so we made it to Anna Maria Island. We got the valet to hold up traffic in order to take our picture. It was too soon to say goodbye…
'scene' along the way, a second look, Amazing artwork, attitude adjustments, birds, boats, facing facts, finding my way, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, sunset

Sunset and sailboats…

When we house hunted in Florida all those years ago the first place we looked was Dunedin. Such a charming town, but I had to face the fact that I couldn’t afford it then, and I can’t afford it now. The reason for this visit was to see the Dunedin Boat Parade, which we attended last year. But this time we wanted to stake out a prime spot to shoot our photos, and since we would be in the area for a morning with the photo group it seemed like a good idea to just head to Dunedin early. I’m not going to tell you what time it was when we snagged the last possible spot right on the seawall, you’d think we’d lost our minds. Not that other people we waiting already. Nope, they had just placed their blankets and chairs extra early. We didn’t have things we were comfortable leaving to save out spot so we stayed, but I will make a note for next time. In the meantime there were a few things to take pictures of as we waited.

This shipwreck caught our eye. I have no idea what the story is, and amazingly people walked on the rocks with their kids to see it up close, and looked like they were going to break their necks as they did it. Thankfully no one did. And by the time the sun set all the rocks were underwater and the boat looked like it was just at anchor out there.
This anhinga seemed happy to fan his feathers on the sail.
Boats came and went all afternoon, including this guy. When my kids were young we had a raft like this one, minus the electric motor, you had to row. My son and his friend used to take it out on the lake we lived on in MD, and they always came back soaking wet. They insisted that they didn’t know what happened, ‘it just tipped over’. So I stealthily set out with the dog on the leash to investigate one day, and saw them happily jumping out of the raft and climbing back in. I’m glad now that he got to do things like that growing up.
As it got darker the lighted boats started out of the harbor to take their place in the parade.
As you can see from the feature photo the sky did develop some color as the sun set. And the birds took to the sky to return to where ever it is that they rest for the night.
I’m quite happy with this photo taken with my new camera. But it’s the only picture that I got with it. Someone needs to read up on the settings in the camera because I fooled with them and it wouldn’t take a picture after that.
I pouted a bit, okay a lot, since I couldn’t take the pictures I’d expected to take, but I finally got out my phone and took a few more pictures.

There were a LOT of boats, and it was a very long day. But by the next time this event rolls around again I’m sure I’ll be ready to try, try, again. I’ll make sure I’ve conquered the camera by then.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, brainstorms, bucket list, friends, fun, making memories, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology, weather

It’s that time again…

Well, almost that time again. The time when our drive to Clearwater for our Tuesday night photography club meeting coincides with the sunset. That means that as we make the long trip down Edgewater Drive I will be shooting photos out the car window with my iPhone. The last time I did that the sunset was fabulous, and I held the phone out the window a bit further and didn’t see myself in the side mirror, or I could crop myself out of the picture. This time we were a bit early for the really great color to have developed quite yet, and I was reluctant to hold my brand new iPhone 14 Pro Max far enough out the window to get myself out of the picture. Maybe I ought to sit in the back seat next time. Nice evening, fun meeting.

We weren’t going very fast, but too fast to have any control over what the scene was actually going to be.
We were early because we intended to stop for photos just a couple of blocks from the meeting place. This looked like a very nice sunset developing, and if there was any place at all to pull over we probably would have.
Now that the weather is cooler we will have to ride our electric vehicles down the bike path from one end of this drive to the other, stopping for pictures of course. Maybe not on a Tuesday though, so we can take all the time we need to enjoy the ride.
birds, fun, nature, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, storms, sunset, weather

Setting the stage…

My vague desire to go somewhere to take pictures on Friday was defeated by the off and on rain and thunder we had all day long. Lucky for me I wasn’t the chef on duty for dinner, so when something caught my eye out the front door I was outside and up and down the street trying to figure out the best view. It almost didn’t matter because the sky was colorful in every direction.

Looking south here.
This is my usual sunrise view towards the east.
Three or four flocks of birds flew through the sky. I don’t usually try to photograph them from my phone, but I’m a sucker for a V formation.
But of course the most color was towards the west.
And this was the grand finale.

Some rainy days just wipe out the chances of a pretty sky. Others just set the stage.

a second look, birds, friends, fun, learning, making memories, moon, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset

Try, try again…

I looked at my Crystal Beach photos again and wondered where my head was when I chose, and edited, photos for my last post. Maybe I should wait an extra day between working on them and posting them to see if I still think they look good. Or I can blame the recent cataract surgery since I have over a month to go before they’ll check my vision again. So this is the same shoot but different pictures.

I guess you can see why I wondered if the sunrise would be extinguished by those dark clouds. On the other hand it’s so fun to see the sun’s rays peeking through any opening in the clouds that are there.
The little blue, or rather un-blue, heron again.
I was excited to see some color coming out in the sky, and we found this natural ‘frame’ for the scene, so I took a lot of pictures of this same scene.
And yes, as the sun began to drop from under the heavy clouds the color came up.
The word twinkletoes came to mind when I saw this picture in the computer.
Flocks of pelicans were flying over. Heading for a roosting spot nearby, or maybe they have many miles to travel?
Still looking for nice foregrounds for the main event.
Gotta love a nice moon shot. And there is a full moon set complete with a partial eclipse coming on Tuesday morning. Very early.
I heard one of those girls comment that ‘this is dangerous’ as she skated onto the pier on roller blades.
And there it was finally, what we were waiting for. The sun escaping those dark clouds and giving us the color we hoped to see.
It was worth waiting for.

The feature photo is the view looking to the south from the pier as I waited for my friends to arrive. I know I mentioned that our visit with friends after the shoot included sitting outside in perfect weather, but did I mention the candlelight? Thanks to Eddie and Linda for their hospitality.

a second look, birds, bugs, Florida wildlife, flowers, fun, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset

All about the birds…

It really was all about the birds last night at Pine Island. Surprising birds if you consider the 5 or 6 chickens that were milling around just outside the entry to the parking lot. They must have headed back to the coop before I could get a picture. But walking onto the beach I saw seagulls in the air, lots of them.

They weren’t flying all the time, but when they did!
Lots of clouds were rolling in.
A little solitude for this one.
I was looking at the sun dipping low and reflecting on the water when the birds started flying through my shots.
So I kept shooting.
Lots of shots.
It seems there is always something going on, and when I saw that this guy’s shirt said STAFF I thought there was an event happening. I guess he was just taking it easy at the end of his day.
This shrub was covered in these flowers that I thought were very pretty. So I looked around for a couple that were in the light and at a good height to get a picture, and this is what I found. I didn’t see the bug at first, and I wish it was a bee or a butterfly, but I guess it’ll have to do.