a second look, backyard visitors, home, life goes on, nature, photography, sky, sunset

Home on the Nature Coast…

Maybe it’s all the driving I’ve done lately, but since I’ve been back in Florida I’m having trouble catching up mentally with where I am physically.  While I was in New England I said I was ‘home’, and I was home, back to where the kid in me feels restored to the surface.  Now I’m home in Florida, but is it home?  Not sure anymore.  What struck me as I drove up to the house for the first time in six weeks was that everyone’s lawns were so green!  A sure sign that we had a lot of rain while I was gone.  It rained all day my first day back also, so I went out back when I saw some birds milling around once the rain had let up.  The ducklings!  I was glad to see them, five surviving.  And I caught up with my neighbors who said that there is only one Crane colt now, no one knows what happened to the other one. 7-28colt.jpg

With the clouds breaking up the sky looked promising, so I drove to Aripeka, the shortest possible sunset drive, and liked the light on the houses at my first stop, but the sunset itself didn’t look like it would be the best view.7-28aripeka3

So I went to the little spot I’d noticed before, right on a bend of the road that feels a little scary as people take the curve a little too fast.  There isn’t much opportunity to vary your shot, but I love this view.  And the colors built, and then extinguished themselves like a candle flickering out.  I’m back…7-28aripekasunset27-28aripeka47-28aripekasunset1

adventure, friends, fun, natural wonders, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

The Flume…

New Hampshire sunsets happen behind layers of mountains, but if you are lucky you see the sky light up before it’s done altogether.

On Saturday we found the trails I was looking for on Friday, when we made a last minute decision to go to the Flume Gorge.  With it’s wooden walkways, and an 800 foot gorge, it sounded like a beautiful sight to see.  And while there was a nice trail to follow to get to the walkway, that trail was straight uphill.  The struggle to get up the hill was real, and the fellow hikers were encouraging to each other as we made our way up the hill.  Fortunately there were benches and boulders to sit on to rest as you headed ever upward.  I thought that instead of climbing every mountain we were sitting on every bench, and when I said that out loud I heard a few people around us laugh in agreement.     Here and there along the way we saw people who had gone off the trails and made their way onto the boulders in the river, usually for photo ops.  (Not me, I had my hands full just getting up the hill).  And there was one guy who was doing his darnedest to make a rock pyramid by trying to balance a triangular rock on one of it’s points and get it to stay long enough to take a picture.  It was giving him lots of trouble, that was obvious, so we kept on with our climb, but when we reached an overlook the people up there were excited because they could see that this guy had succeeded.  There he was down below in the gorge, taking pictures of his creation.  I have no idea how he managed this feat, if smaller rocks were helping to keep it in place, or possibly mud?  It’s a mystery.

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That this gorge was discovered in 1808 by a 93 your old woman who happened across it while fishing is especially amazing to think about.  I’ll bet there weren’t any benches for her to sit on back in her day.  And I ought to mention that there is a bus available that will take you up the trail to the walkway, and back down.  But we are tough, or possibly just stubborn, we made it on our own…

adventure, backyard visitors, friends, fun, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

Friday the 13th…

It started innocently enough, with a call from Kathy’s daughter.  She proposed a photo op at The Weirs, and she wanted to pick us up in her convertible for the ride.  As Kathy and I were trying to load all our camera equipment, as well as ourselves, into the car she likened us to Thelma and Louise.  But we were off, and though the sunset wasn’t much to speak of the area was good for night photography.  We wandered and took pictures, a fun time.  It was on the way home that Friday the 13th asserted itself.  That’s when Kathy’s granddaughter called to warn her mother to be careful when she came home because ‘there’s a bear in the garage and he won’t leave’.  I assumed it was a joke, but we soon figured out that it wasn’t.  The bear had been there a while and nothing Kathy’s son-in-law had done, including shooting the gun a couple of times, had budged the bear.  As would have been the case in any good horror movie, Jen’s cell phone was dead, so she dropped us off and headed for home with the vague plan to blast the horn as she drove up the driveway in her little convertible and made a mad dash into the house.  So if bears vs. alligators is the question, I’m pretty sure my answer would be neither.  And yes, she got home safe.  But the Fish and Game people said that until the bear attacks a big-ish animal, rather than only having killed the neighbor’s chickens, they can’t do a thing.  Hmm, suddenly the idea of running into a bear while camping in New Hampshire doesn’t sound as far-fetched…

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blessings, family, friends, memories, photography, road trip, sunset

From the porch…

This was my last NY sunset, at least for a little while.  I’ll go back to pick up Ozzie of course, but there is no date for that so far.  This is my time to spend with my daughter and her family in PA, and it’s pure chaos here.  But in a nice way, just busy, happy kids, all going in different directions.  I remember my mother being overwhelmed when she would visit my house all those years ago, and when she said it was too much I was a little insulted.  Now I guess it’s my turn to find my head spinning as I take it all in.  I will be taking my camera with me wherever we go, but finding a peaceful time to sit and write might be difficult.  But that’s okay.  I came for the people, and the hugs, the computer can wait…

family, friends, nature, photography, road trip, sunset, travel, weather

Lazy summer days…

The photography guru who is the head of my group at home would be rolling his eyes over the idea that I spent all day yesterday instructing my friend in the art of photo editing in Lightroom.  I did stress to her that this is my interpretation of what was taught to us, not to be taken as gospel that this is how it’s supposed to be done.  We took pictures, visited with friends, and kept our activity to a minimum in this heat.  Heat to rival Florida, but no one up here seems to be equipped with A/C, not as we are in FL.  Hardy New Englanders endure the winters, I thought, but I had forgotten about the summers.  But next week will bring relief, or so they say…7-2boatHDR7-2gazeboHDR7-2naughtynellie's7-2tracktor7-2goldfinchYes, we had ice cream, just sayin’

'scene' along the way, finding my way, moon, nature, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

P-town…

That would be Provincetown to those non New England natives, at the tip end of Cape Cod.  The trouble with Cape Cod is that it’s not as little as I think it is.  Wait, that’s actually my problem isn’t it? I keep assuming that I can get anywhere I want to go on Cape Cod in five minutes, which is optimistic at best.  Add the tourists in the summer and you really can’t go anywhere in five minutes.  So when I saw that I had an hour and a half to go to get out for the sunset I assumed that I’d get to P-town with plenty of time to spare, but I barely made it.  Partially because I just drove west without an actual plan, I mean how could you miss driving to the tip end of the Cape.  But when there were multiple exits off Rt. 6 I had to choose one that would hopefully bring me to a spot with a view to the west.  I chose Race Point Beach, which I hadn’t ever been to before.  I was glad I did…

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As the sunset wound down I was looking for the center of town, the bars and restaurants that I remember.  But in my floundering around I crested a hill and found myself in an old cemetery with this view ahead of me.  The Pilgrim Monument.  Clearly I will need to do some further investigation, in the daylight next time…