'scene' along the way, birds, Florida wildlife, home, Hudson Beach, nature, old dogs new tricks, Osprey, perseverance, photography, sunset, unintended images

On the lookout…

This osprey was sitting on this post when I got to Hudson Beach the other night, and as I drove away I looked for him and he was still there.  He was a distraction because I wasn’t exactly early and I had several spots I wanted to stand for sunset photos.  I hadn’t counted on him as a distraction.  I’ve been too lazy to use the tripod lately, but in low light the shutter speed is long enough that you’ll get camera shake without a tripod.  I was probably a good thing that I already had the camera on the tripod when I spotted him.

Then yesterday I had a pop up on Facebook, and ad for a new Photoshop program that makes eliminating background distractions look like a piece of cake.  I saw the ad first and then opened the pictures of this guy and here I had  photos that needed that program.  Or that feature, but I know you can do that same thing with the software I already have, and learning to take better advantage of the programs is something I keep meaning to do in my spare time?  Why does it feel like I don’t have any spare time when all my time is ‘spare’?9-30Hudsonbeachosprey29-30Hudsonbeachsunset49-30Hudsonbeachsunset5And a couple of shots from the phone.  I sometimes forget to check the iPhone to see what those photos look like, and forgetting to even pull the phone out and take a few shots while I’m out.  But I have the newest phone now, the iPhone 11 pro max, and it takes an extra wide angle shot, so there is the novelty factor.  I think I like it.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, home, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

Sticking close to home…

Home.  On the nature coast of Florida.  Except I don’t think I actually live there any more.  I’m slightly over the line.  Don’t tell anybody though, because I think the nature coast sounds exotic.  Then again I’m in the vicinity of Bayonet Point, which has a certain ring to it also.  I scooted up the road just a bit, to Hudson Beach for the sunset.  I love the Florida sunrises and sunsets, especially when they are only a few miles up, or down, the road.  It’s nice to take off for parts unknown, but home is nice too.9-30Hudsonbeachriver9-30Hudsonbeachsign9-30Hudsonbeachsunset9-30Hudsonbeachsunset29-30Hudsonbeachsunsetcharter

See that bird at the top of the post in this picture.  You’ll be seeing more of him tomorrow.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Camping, finding my way, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

Skyline Drive…

Yes, I had decided that I wanted to visit Skyline Drive again.  It had been a day trip from my home in Maryland, and we did enjoy driving portions of it and taking pictures, but that was a very long time ago.  And we didn’t do the entire drive.  I had forgotten the details, except that we once got a short glimpse of a bear while we drove through.  And, it occurred to me as I drove it on Friday, that I wasn’t the driver on those trips long ago.  No, Charley was my chauffeur, so the day wasn’t as exhausting back then.  Or it was my age.

I started the day in Coventry, RI, and stopped for pictures at The Community Bridge in Frederick MD, which had me approaching Front Royal, VA, the northern access point, about 2 PM.  And that was before I bounced the car and trailer over some RR tracks and caused the camper to become unhitched.  The trailer jack was now embedded in the road, and before I could even get out of the car to see what the heck had happened two very nice drivers were already on the case.  They got the trailer jacked up, they got me hitched up, and I was on my way in no time.  Physically anyhow.  Mentally I was listening to every squeak and groan of the camper and expecting disaster any second.  I started the 100 mile, 30 MPH drive, at 3 PM.  The light was harsh, there was a lot of haze, and the views from the overlooks were repetitious.  My chat with Bob set me back further, and once I left him I mostly glanced at the overlooks and skipped getting out of the car.  But as I drove further I realized that the overlooks on my right, in the west, were becoming interesting.  The sun was getting lower and the clouds looked promising, so I quickly hopped out of the car, took a couple of HDR images, and moved on.  Eventually the sun was low enough that I worried that it would slip out of view before I got to another overlook.  But I was relieved that I did see the sun actually set, and was able to leave the southern point of the park while it was still light.  I found a gas station where I burst through the door and asked the gentleman.”Where am I”?  He replied, loudly, and in his best Southern drawl, “Ma’am, you are in GOD’s country,  Waynesboro, VA.”  For a tiny little town it had the essentials, a Panera where I could plug in the computer and have a bite to eat, and a Walmart where I could join the other campers overnight.  My issue with the trailer hitch had me heading for home after that.  I had hoped to camp and spend several days exploring, but since I couldn’t unhitch the camper there wasn’t a point.  Maybe next time…9-27FrontRoyal19-27skylinedrive19-27skylineview29-27FrontRoyalbluemountains9-27skylinesunsetting9-27skylinesun9-27skylinesunsettingHDRfeatureThe southern end of the drive is where the deer crossing signs are, and the deer were there, just not crossing.  And a sign that said “high collision area”.  Not a thrill to see when you are tired and hurrying so as not to be in the park on those roads in the dark.  And the last thing I saw was a bear, just off the side of the road, and he scrambled away.  He was a cub, quite small.  I wonder where Mom was???

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, connections, coping, death, grief, growing old, loneliness, marriage, memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset

Bob…

His SUV was pulled over at a scenic overlook on Skyline Drive.  The back hatch was open and he was sitting in one of the two chairs he had placed just outside, angled toward the view.  His old=fashioned boom box was playing lovely, soft music, and I thought he was reading, but it turned out he was writing in a journal.  I had also pulled over at the overlook and got out of my car with my camera in my hands.  “You look comfortable,” I said.  “It’s our 50th anniversary,” he said, and I looked  but I didn’t see another person.  “We liked to come here”, he said, and he gestured to the empty chair and said, “She’s right there.”

She had died 7 months before, it was a blessing, he said.  He said that he didn’t want to brag, but his wife was very talented.  She baked and sewed, and she taught him to do those things too.  He said that he has her sewing machine and he is finishing all her projects for her.  They never let the sun set on an argument, he was proud of that.  He said he would always apologize and she would always say that it was okay, and then she would always let it go.  And they had had 10 children, it took him a while to mention that.  He showed me their wedding picture. They were so young.  And I thought of all that still lay ahead of them that day.  He said that he was writing it all down, their whole story, from the day that they met.  He was teary-eyed as he said these things, but he said that he knew that I would understand, and I did.

Skyline Drive was on my agenda from the day I left Florida in the first place.  I wanted to see color, but this color wasn’t the colorful trip that I intended.  I was going to try to be there for the fall scenery and I came close.  And I had just complained about the twists and turns of the roads in PA, and there I was purposely choosing to travel on a 100+ mile road of nothing but twists, and turns, and mountains.  But I was glad I was there today.  It was the perfect day to be there, because it was the day I met Bob…

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Bragging rights…

It was a sunset soccer game and our team won!9-24scoreboard

Here’s the kick for the first goal…9-24theshot9-24Goal#1

See, the ball is in the net (in the corner by his hand), I totally missed that until my daughter pointed it out.

And more soccer moments…9-24theshot29-24theshot39-24theshot4

I probably don’t have to mention that #26 is my grandson.  And as long as I’m bragging I might also mention that he scored the only two goals of the game.  Good job Thomas!