'scene' along the way, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, gardens, lizards, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, technology

Saturday at the Botanical Gardens…

At the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens that is.  I may never have gone there on a Saturday before.  I say this because it just seemed to be bustling with activity, which isn’t usually the case.  They were getting ready for a wedding, decorating the gazebo, and chairs were set up ready for guests.  It looked to be my kind of affair, small and simple.  I’ll bet it was nice. 10-12gazebo

It was early and the sun was strong and made for deep shadows.  The butterflies in the butterfly garden were scarce, and too busy to sit for photographs.  But the female cardinal was too busy eating berries to worry about me and my camera.10-12cardinal2

But what tickled me most was that the train was zooming around the track.  That was a first.  I’d seen that the track was there of course, but hadn’t seen it in operation.  The gentleman running it says it runs every Saturday from 9 AM to noon.  The track circles a display that includes two little waterfalls, and I happily tried to get pictures but the strong sun and shadows got in the way.  So I used my new iPhone to take shots of the train in burst mode, and it shot a movie instead.  Clearly I need to study up on how to take best advantage of the features of the phone.  And the site wouldn’t let me post the little video.  But I got one shot of the train at least.10-12train

This water feature was new to me also.10-12waterfeatureAnd, what we have most of here in Florida, lizards!10-12lizard

'scene' along the way, finding my way, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunrise, technology, travel

Riverfront sunrise…

Sunrise is an hour later here in Florida, so getting out there for the big event is less of a challenge.  It was a good way to start the day, but it went downhill after that.  I washed the camper and was given my official parking spot for it here at the park.  But I had a heck of a time getting it hitched up to go park it.  I mean a HECK of a time.  I’d still be out there attempting to hitch it up if my uncle hadn’t come back from golfing and helped me.  It had to do with the driveway being on a slant, but still I should be able to do it myself.  Anyhow, parking spot #1, we finally got it parked and unhitched.   That’s when one of the landscape crew showed up and asked if that camper was going to be there full time.  I told him full time but off and on.  Then he said that he was surprised that they gave me a spot that turns into a swamp when we get a lot of rain.  You are a woman, he said, they probably shouldn’t put you where the snakes are.  No, they shouldn’t.  I plan on telling them what I think of parking spot #1 tomorrow.  I can hardly wait to hitch it up again to move it…10-2riversunrise10-2riversunrise210-2riversunrise310-2riversunrisebirdsAll these birds flew in and landed at the same time, it was quite a sight…

a second look, finding my way, learning, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology, travel

Helping hands…

By now we’ve established that I hate, hate, hate, to have to ask for help.  I feel as if I shouldn’t have taken on this trip if I couldn’t handle the details by myself.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t have figured out the issues that have come up on this trip without help from others.  But what has really surprised me is that lately I have also found myself asking for help in the grocery store, and just out shopping in general. And usually the item I was looking for was right there in front of me all the while, but it seems that I wasn’t ever going to find it on my own.

Fast forward to the other day when a young sales girl saw me wandering and asked if she could help me find something.  Instead of my usual immediate ‘no’ I told her that what I’d really like to find is a bag with some sort of outside pocket for my camera, which is by no means dainty, and room enough to carry the basics also.  I had given up on finding something with easy, quick, secure access to the camera, and so far the camera bags I’d tried left a lot to be desired also.  She led me over to the Vera Bradley section, which I had already wandered through, and showed me this crossbody bag, which can be worn in back or swung to the front.  When in front the largest zipper section has easy access, and it’s perfectly sized to hold the camera.  Three other sections are great for the rest of the necessities.  And the fabric is waterproof, and pretty!  I felt like Goldilocks, I had tried many, but this one was just right!

And then there is getting help from the internet.  I looked up my new iPhone with it’s three cameras to see how to use it.  All three pictures were taken from the exact same spot, but one with the extra-wide angle (top), one with the regular wide-angle, and a close up shot also.  Just to see how it worked.  A dial of sorts comes up for you to select your preferred shot, but that will take more practice.  I approached PF Chang last night from the ‘wrong’ I thought maybe they had abandoned their signature horse statue.  I needn’t have worried.  And the sunset was nice as we left…9-26PFCHANGCLOSE9-26PFCHANGfeaturemed

By the time this posts I should be back on the road, heading south!



'scene' along the way, Camping, connections, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends, technology


It was my last day at the campground in Boothbay and I was determined to see as many more lighthouses as I could manage by car.  I had missed the lighthouse cruise the week before and the next was one scheduled for the day after I left.  So I set my sights on Southport.  Have you ever looked at the coast of Maine on a map?  Another camper told me that he had just seen a map on the wall of a friend’s house, and that he had grown up in New England, but he also had never realized that the coastline of Maine is made up of lots of little islands, and/or peninsulas.  I thanked him because I thought I was the only one who had been in the dark on the subject.

You enter Southport by crossing a bridge, which I did, and then parked to go back to the bridge for pictures.  I rushed when I saw that the ‘drawbridge’ had actually swung open to let a little boat pass through.  And three sailboats were lined up to go through in the opposite direction.  The keeper said that during the summer the bridge operates on a schedule. on the hour and the half hour.  He was very friendly and said that any place I saw a town pier or beach I could go and park for pictures, and off I went.


I spent a lot of time debating what to do when I found Hendricks Head lighthouse.  The view from the beach was a bit obscured, and the only option for a possible better view was to climb a rocky mound on the beach.  It didn’t look too intimidating from a distance, but up close it was slippery and with no good foot or hand holds.  While I debated I told my entire life history to a woman on the beach, Ginny, and met her husband Dave, such nice people.  She said that it was an easy climb, but then she wasn’t climbing it either.  So it wasn’t so much that I chickened-out, but I said to myself that I’m having too much fun, and I have too far to go yet, to risk a trip-ending injury and/or wrecking the camera.  I feel like I’ve been in touch with my five-year-old self recently, but now and then the adult in me needs to step in and lay down the law.SouthportHendricksHeadSouthportHendricksHead2Southportsailboat

I moved on to a dock and got out the big lens and tripod, but it seems like every photo I used was from the 18-400 new lens.  And I’ve wracked my brain looking at the maps to figure out which lighthouses I did see.   I think it’s Burnt Island Light closer in, and Cuckold’s Light Station way out in the distance.  No mention in the book on how that one got it’s name.SouthportsceneSouthporttrapsSouthportscenelighthouseSouthportscenelighthouse2SouthportBurntIslandFinally, one from the big lens, guess I’ll keep it!  I apologize if I’ve gotten the lighthouses wrong.  My mind is boggled, it stopped raining, and all I want to do is head out someplace.  Never know where until I get there!

adventure, Camping, finding my way, friends, fun, gardens, Just do it, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends, technology, travel, Uncategorized

Portland’s Lighthouses…

What a novelty it was to be chauffeur driven to THE sight to see if you see nothing else in Portland. Great company, nice lunch, and now I’ve seen it, and taken pictures too!  The Portland Head Light.  And more!  What a nice day, even if the sky was darkening as the day progressed.  Thank you Joan and Jude!

The Portland Head Light was so impressive that I began taking pictures from the parking lot!


Also guarding the harbor we have the Portland Breakwater Light, affectionately called Bug Light.  Bug light is segmented, which means that if you are in the correct shipping channel you will see a white light, but if you are seeing a red light then you are in danger of going aground.Buglight1Buglight2Buglight3

And we also have Bug Light’s twin sister, the Spring Point Ledge Light…Springpointledgelight1Springpointledgelight3Springpointledgelight4Springpointledgelight6

And off in the distance in these shots you see Ram’s Head Ledge Light.  You may also have noticed why I love the 18 to 400mm lens.  Both of these shots were taken with that lens, hand held.  And with an extra challenge because I figured out later on that I had the lens stabilization turned off.  I was stuggling, now I know why.  Duh.Ram's HeadRam'shead2

Portland.  I’ll be back…PortlandPortlandfort

Oh, did I forget bugs?  There is an exquisite Children’s garden too!Children'sgardenfeature


'scene' along the way, adventure, bucket list, Camping, connections, finding my way, friends, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, technology, travel

Acadia National Park…

I think I have to thank the invention of the GPS for the ability to be on the road, by myself, and managing to get from point A to point B with very little problem.   It was a 2 1/2 drive to Acadia on Friday, not too far to go to check another bucket list destination off my list.  I drove the Acadia Loop Road, stopping at every turn-out to take pictures, even when each one was a view of the same scenery but from a slightly different angle.  My photo group is planning a trip to this park in October, and they’ll probably have the addition of fall colors to enjoy while they are here.  I quickly realized that jumping in and out of the car and attempting to set up the heavy tripod and my biggest, heaviest lens wasn’t going to work so well, so it was back to the new camera and lens.  I hate to admit it but it’s all I use now, and I’m so glad to have it. From my point of view it was a clear, sunny day, with blue sky and puffy white clouds.  The water color was bluer than the sky was.  But the distant scene was in mist, so zooming in for details was frustrating.  A very enjoyable day, but I was glad to get home to the camper…Acadia1Acadia2Acadia3Acadia4Acadia5Acadia6Acadia7Acadia8Acadia9Acadia10Acadia11Acadia12

A friend from Maine messaged me to be sure to go to the Jordan House for lunch, and try the pop-overs.  I no sooner read that and there was the Jordan House, but I must have arrived right after several buses had unloaded their passengers.  So I opted for grab-and-go on the upstairs balcony.  Darn, those pop-overs were calling me.