'scene' along the way, adventure, Amazing artwork, attention to detail, bucket list, exploring new places, fantasy images, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Just do it, learning, making memories, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, the big picture, weather

Sanding Ovations…

I have always wanted to see the sand sculpture event at the beach, but something always prevented me from heading to Treasure Island. And it was not on my mind at 2 AM on Friday when I walked out the front door to look for the lunar eclipse and got rained on. I hadn’t seen a notice that the sand sculptures were even happening, but, lucky for me, my friend did, and off we went. You can see from the pictures that it was a perfect day, hot in the sun but with a wonderful breeze to cool you off and keep the kites aloft. Traffic was surprisingly light driving there, and I was delighted that I had easy access to the sculptures without people in the way. I neglected to notice all the commotion in the background of my pictures while I was taking them. And with the tools in Lightroom and Photoshop I could have knocked my head against the wall trying to remove them, or I could not worry about it and assure myself that I’m presenting an accurate picture of the event. But I’m sure there are lots more people and distractions going on today and tomorrow as the event reaches full swing.

You can see that this is a work in progress. I have no idea when the judging will take place, but I was blissfully unaware of the unfinished aspects of some of the sculptures while I took pictures. They will be on display through the holidays, barring weather related damage. This one is Neptune’s Organ.
Lest you worry about my hydration during this event you’ll be happy to know that we drank Liquid Death while we walked around. At one point I was holding two cans of this when a gentleman asked me how my drink was, and was disappointed to realize it was water. Not even fizzy water. Many people probably shook their heads over this old two-fisted drinker.
This ” tort-a-potty” was one of the first stops of the day.
I didn’t catch the name of this one, something about a mermaid trapped in the kelp.
The DJ was playing some really fun music as we walked around, and he announced that someone had just told him that since he was located beside a sculpture named ‘whale wash’ then he ought to play Car Wash, and he did!
This one was Pilotfish. Those portholes were actually openings to the other side, with different faces looking out on that side.
The hiney on this one caught my eye so I took this picture. As the day went on there were plenty of bikini clad gals walking around showing almost as much hiney as this.
I made it a point to take another photo of that last sculpture and totally missed seeing that he was kissing that scuba guy kite who hovered over us all day.
This is the pregnant mermaid. I love that the little toy rocking horse is actually a sea horse.
Biting the arm that feeds you.
A mighty battle…
The flip side of the battle sculpture was this fresh fish sign.
When you don’t pay attention to the activity in the background you might wind up with a picture you could title “Off With His Head”.
This castle sculpture was placed at the far end of all the sculptures, and was the biggest and most elaborate. I was happy that I could crop the photo and only have a couple of people in it. For scale, LOL, but not really.
This might have been the more interesting view of that castle sculpture, if not for the tools of the trade all on display. I’m surprised that they didn’t show when I took the picture from the other side.

You can certainly tell which photos were taken with the sun behind the sculptures and which had the sun on their faces. As usual I was happy to be out talking pictures in such a fun environment, it’s only when I look at the pictures later that the details of backgrounds and shadows really hit me over the head. But there was so much going on, rows and rows of vendors and a great selection of really good food to choose to eat, that I just happily clicked away. It might be worth another trip next Friday…

a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, fun, learning, live and learn, making memories, moments, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunset, the big picture, unintended images

Modern life…

There was a lot going on at Pine Island on Sunday night. Larger groups than are probably supposed to gather were clustered at the various picnic tables. Delicious smells wafted by on the breeze, while kids played and chased those gulls, and a photo shoot took place in anticipation of a new addition to a family. One group erupted in a chorus of ‘happy birthday,’ and the drummers of the drum circle kept up their beat, while the dancers twirled and swayed.

When I took the feature photo I had no clue how much I would like it, and how many directions it took me as I looked at it. My friend and I had watched the girl in the hammock and her two friends as they struggled to get the hammock successfully anchored between the two trees. It was comical and I thought that I ought to be shooting video, and now I wished I had. But in going through my pictures I didn’t single this one out to start with, but eventually I saw that the girl was sitting up so I started to crop it to be just her and her two friends. But then I thought I saw two more pictures in that one image; the two guys over to the right, standing beside their cooler, each with a bottle of beer. And also the two girls way over to the far left, one pointing back over her shoulder to where the sunset would be happening shortly. Even the man walking past, head down, staring at his phone, told another story. I didn’t want to crop the photo, I wanted to keep it as it is. I liked the thought of so many separate people, each with different joys and sorrows, all choosing that moment to escape their every-day lives and come out and enjoy the sunset. Together, yet separately.

I thought I was done with this post, but I went back through the photos with an eye toward ‘street photography’ and this one jumped out at me. The photographer, the drummer, the biker whose shirt matches his bike, the beer drinkers still drinking, and, way over to the right, on the far side of the retaining wall, the photographer and his baby-shoot subjects. Hmm, I thought I needed to go to a city to do street photography, but I stand corrected.

Look! There’s a bird on his fingertip! LOL.

That guy is still on his phone, missing the whole thing!

a second look, coping, family, finding my way, growing old, life goes on, perseverance, photography, reality check, sunset, the big picture

Thoughts of winter…

Something caught my eye and I looked up to see a brilliant sunset going on just outside the window.  It caught me by surprise, it seemed too early in the day for the sunset, I thought, and yet there it was.  And as quickly as I noticed and hurried to take a picture, it was gone.  Used up, faded, and forgotten, aside from photos.

Much as I found myself feeling during my recent visit with my daughter and grandchildren.  Oh it was an enjoyable time, there were no problems.  Almost anyhow.  All was fun and games the whole visit, until I happened to glance into a mirror and found my mother looking back at me.  I never think of my age, I pretty much feel as good as ever so it hasn’t demanded attention.  But there it was.  Undeniable.  I’m old. I’m as my mother was during the last years she visited with us.  I remember how distant it felt to me to notice the signs of aging etching themselves into my mother’s face.  I saw that it was happening to her, but somehow I never considered that I would also age in the same way.  There is a lot of life written on my face, now that I look at it.  I earned the wrinkles and the gray hair.  So while I notice the changes in myself, I will try to remember that each sunset seems to reach it’s most glorious just as it slips below the horizon.  It’s a good thought, it’s a reason to keep going.  So yes I’m old, but my light is still burning, and I don’t think it’s even close to burning itself out, not yet…12-06wintersunset

childhood, family, grandchildren, kids, life goes on, moments, perseverance, photography, simple things, sunrise, the big picture

Ready or not…

Time marches on in spite of me.  Sometimes I just need to process things.  I want to stop and think, catch up mentally when things seem to be moving impossibly fast.  I first remember feeling this way when my kids were really little.  They grew and changed so quickly, and I remember thinking that I wanted to put them in deep freeze for a second, just to catch up.  When they first started making announcements that you knew weren’t just a repetition of what you had said to them, but were an original thought of their own.  They became people, right before your eyes.

I have two sets of grandkids, the ‘big kids’ and the ‘little kids’, with a very large gap between.  As the two oldest grew up I was just as astounded as when my own kids did the same, but I told myself at least I still have the little kids.  Now the little kids aren’t little anymore, and the oldest one graduated from high school the other night.  I have an amazing set of grandkids, as I know we all do.  They are my greatest blessing, that and the fact that my kids are the people who raised these amazing kids.  But I’m scratching my head over the whole thing.  And the bug bites, but mostly I’m scratching in amazement because I tend to get lost in my own thoughts now and then, but then I resurface and come face to face with life’s milestones, ready or not…grad12

a second look, Just do it, leap of faith, learning, life goes on, live and learn, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, technology, the big picture

Call me superficial…

I have a friend who might stand beside me while we look at a beautiful mountain landscape, he would want to climb that mountain, as long as it was 4,000 feet high, while I’m content to take pictures.  I’m an observer, and that’s as far as it goes.  Usually.  Not just mountains, there is no telling what will catch my eye, this building certainly did.  And I had taken pictures, and I believe I put a couple on the blog a while back.  But my cousin suggested that I go inside.  “It’s magnificent,” he said.  And I did that the other day.  I snagged one of the three parking spaces at the side of the building and discovered that he was right.  It is startlingly beautiful. Mind-boggling to me.

Bradford, VT was the first town in the state to receive a charter for a dedicated library.  That took place in 1796.  But it took until 1895 for John L. woods to will $15,000 toward that end, and Lambert Packard to design it, and the Woods Library was dedicated on July 4, 1895.  All of which I looked up just now, thank you Google.  But the population of Bradford, VT is currently 2619, and I don’t imagine it was more than that in 1895.  So I find myself astounded at the architecture and detail of the building.  A gem of a building, not in a big city, but in a small byway in the country, and intended for the people of that town.  And I felt that way just looking at the outside.  But the inside looks like a magnificent gentleman’s library.  The wood working, high ceilings, and attention to detail are a wonder to me.  Credit my lack of education in the arts, we didn’t study much of that in dental hygiene school.  Thanks to my cousins for telling me that I needed to see the inside of that building.  It was well worth another trip…Bradfordlibrary6.26

Right from go the reception area with it’s loft above told me I was in for a treat.  But I had to start with the main reading/computer room.  There was a man on one of the computers, and another one at the table smack in the middle.  I felt badly as I tried to take photos around them without disturbing them.  And circled back in case they had left but they hadn’t.BradfordlibraryPITAguyBradfordlibrarywindowsBradfordlibrarywingchairsBradfordlibraryfireplace

And then the loft area was next.BradfordlibrarystairwellBradfordlibrarystairwelldownBradfordlibrarystairwelllightBradfordlibraryloft

Perhaps I’ve spent most of my life with blinders on, distracted by the glitz and glam, and missing the bigger picture all together.  Here I’m on this road trip in search of my youth, the person I used to be, was supposed to be, and what I’m finding is a new appreciation of all that I see…

a second look, finding my way, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, strangers, sunset, technology, the big picture, travel, unintended images


I’ll admit it, I was disappointed.  I had decided to go to Green Key beach for the sunset at the last possible minute.  At 4 miles down the road it was my only hope for a setting with multiple possible shots, talking about composition here.  I’m not so willing to go miles and miles lately, maybe it’s the anticipation of my first snowbird excursion which is coming up soon. When I arrived I walked to my left from the parking lot which is when I saw that the tide was up and the long shots of the sunset colors in the wet sand weren’t going to happen.  So I took this shot…4=27-19greenkeysunsetAnd then walked to the other side of the beach for the main event, but people kept photobombing the actual sunset shot…4=27-19greenkeysunset24=27-19greenkeysunset3But, as usual, I was chatting with another photographer, so it was a pleasant way to spend an hour or so, but I wasn’t concentrating as much on the pictures I was taking as I was with our conversation.  So when I got home and looked at my photos in the computer I was pleasantly surprised.  Sometimes you don’t know what you have when it’s right there in front of you…