finding my way, friends, growing old, home, life goes on, memories, natural wonders, photography, simple things, travel

New England girl…

I hadn’t even gotten the title written onto the page when Charley commented in my ear that I was a girl when Hollywood was a prairie.  That may be true, but what the heck.  My trips ‘up north’ usually result in running back and forth, trying to visit everyone, and not spending enough time with anyone.  Especially my life-long friend Kathy in New Hampshire.  But we had a BIG high school reunion a while back, the one where when your parents had it you realized how old they were getting.  And now it was our turn, and I went to New Hampshire and stayed put, and even then it wasn’t enough time together, we hadn’t run out of things to talk about.  Or places to photograph.  I was seeking stone walls, but found much more than that.  Old chimneys that once had families huddled in front of it, or a pot of stew simmering in it.  “Flower beds’ that would make you smile.  Old red barns, and rocky rivers, not unlike the rocky New England beaches, like Duxbury, that had Charley shaking his head.  Covered bridges, and hints of fall colors to come, but not while I was visiting.  Lake Sunapee, on a perfect day.  And the inevitable stone walls, some of them just outside Kathy’s door.

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And no, Ozzie wasn’t with me in New Hampshire.  I was playing with the Superimpose app and, like magic, there he was…

moon, photography, sky, technology, travel, weather

Moonlight…

It’s not unusual for the dogs to want to go out at 4 AM, but was unusual that it was so light out on Wednesday morning that I didn’t need to turn on the outside light to see them wandering out back.  The moon was big and beautiful, and straight up overhead.  Once it occurred to me that I hadn’t attempted a moon photo since I got the 600mm lens and extender I just had to try it.  Here I’ve been complaining about the cold, and yet I didn’t even notice the cold while I was taking pictures out there.  It was 30 degrees out, according to Siri, but with no wind it didn’t feel so bad.  Or I was so distracted by trying to get the tripod to point straight up that I didn’t notice.

Since that went well I was off to Bayport for the sunrise a little later, and found it to be so windy and cold that I got right back into the car and didn’t take any pictures at all.  Instead I headed to Jenkin’s Creek where the birds were no where to be seen.  So much for always finding an eagle at sunrise.  But at least I have my best moon photo so far…

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The featured photo is one I took quite a while ago and finally decided to see what I could do with it.  The moon was blown out, and I always seem to try to include branches or something besides just the moon in my moon photos, but it honestly doesn’t work well.  I guess the camera wants you to focus on one or the other.  But I liked this picture so I took it into an app called Distressed Effects and played around until I came up with this image.  I have a lot of photo editing apps that I never use anymore.  I’ve often thought that it might be fun to choose a single picture and put it through all the apps that I have to see what I could do with them.  If this cold snap continues to keep me inside I might just try it.

dogs, fun, grandchildren, kids, life, memories, photography, travel, weather

Happy feet…

I last went north a year and a half ago for my granddaughter’s college graduation. Since I was heading that way I got a ‘since you are coming anyhow’ request from my son, could I head there (NY) first and stay with the kids for the weekend while they headed to FL for a wedding?  I was happy to do it.  But I didn’t anticipate that turning on the oven to heat up a slice of pizza and then noticing that the puppy had pooped on the foyer floor, would result in the smoke alarm going off during the poop clean up, which caused me to hurriedly flush said poop, causing the toilet to overflow… and my grandson to call down from upstairs, “Is everything alright down there, Mimi?” Eventually it was, with help from the kids..
I’m reliving that memory because my other take-away from that weekend was that I spent it freezing to death. At the end of May! So I went on a quest for warm slippers, and these were the only ones to be found, and they caused my daughter and granddaughter to roll their eyes at my fashion choices. I didn’t care, I think the only place I went during that visit that I didn’t wear them was the actual graduation itself.
Lucky for me I was straightening my closet and discovered them, just in time for them to save me from our current cold spell in FL. My friend Kathy said she’d have to dig deep to feel sorry for me while I suffered through our 50-something degree weather. So my fashion choices for the day are the slippers, jeans, and Charley’s huge #1 Pop Pop sweatshirt, which is the only sweatshirt I can put my hands on at the moment. The dogs think I look just fine, and they also think it’s time to go out…

birds, boats, Florida landmarks, fun, nature, photography, travel

Tarpon Springs

A visit to Tarpon Springs is a must for tourists when they visit the Tampa Bay area. It is noted for having the largest Greek population of any town in the US, which is largely because they came to work the sponge industry that is part of the history of the area, and that continues to a lesser degree to this day. There are restaurants, Greek of course, plus boat tours, plus shopping. plus…  wait, I’ll let you see for yourself.

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adventure, fences, natural wonders, on closer examination, special effects, sunset, technology, travel

Armchair traveling…

Have you been on Google Earth lately? Or ever? I went looking for that application on the computer so that I could look up my grandfather’s house for a blog post, and gone was the blue marble ikon I was looking for. I thought I’d somehow deleted the application, but no, it was there, now titled Google Earth Pro, with a gray and white ikon.

The ikon might be less colorful, but I was astounded at what I found when I typed in the address I was looking for. I was essentially a drone, flying over a very clear town, and zooming in so that I was standing in front of the house! A beautiful, full color, photograph of the house that, in this case, was well past it’s prime. And yes, it took a little maneuvering, and while you are ‘walking’ yourself to the actual address you just might make yourself a little sea sick, but so worth it. Maybe not if you are trying to hide, or on the ‘lam’, but for nosy people like me it was great!  Just this morning I visited the Vatican, the Acropolis, and the school where my granddaughter teaches in Bucharest. In the more famous places there are many, many photo links to click on to see the photos that other people have taken in that place and posted on the internet.

And then it hit me while I was at work today!  The Grand Canyon!  What better place to fly over!  Or down into. I’m thinking it has to be like wearing one of those flying squirrel suits and zooming on the air currents… from the comfort of my recliner of course. The tool bar at the top of the screen seems to allow you to save images, or record your ‘tour’. As I zoomed I stopped and took quick photos of my computer screen for you to see.  And kept the tools in the photos on purpose so you’ll know what the screen looks like if you decide to fly there, or anywhere else, for yourself and check it out. It really is a small world these days.

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adventure, dogs, memories, nature, on closer examination, photography, travel

The Lure of the West…

It was 1991 when my husband decided that he wanted to take a trip ‘out west’, to see for himself the landscapes we used to see in the westerns on TV when we were kids. So he made a list of places to see on the trip, which included the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, the Rockies, and everything in between. It was my turn to try to impress upon a person who had grown up on the East Coast just how vast ‘the west’ really was. My introduction to this fact was when I was visiting my (now ex) in-laws in Colorado Springs and I got a brilliant idea for what we could do that day, we could go to the Grand Canyon! They laughed, and I felt silly, but to a New Englander when something is in the next state over it’s a day trip.

We got travel brochures from friends who had been to various places out west in the past, and lots of advice as to what to be sure to see. This was in the dark ages, before computers, and GPS, and even cell phones! My husband decided that what he wanted to see was all available in Colorado, so that’s where we headed. I had my new 35mm camera and I took lots and lots of pictures. It wasn’t hard to find 1 hour photo developing places, so we didn’t wait to get home to start enjoying our pictures, and I put them into an album, with notes, right away. Thankfully, since I can at least have some idea of where they were taken. But it is so frustrating to look at this album now, in this digital photo age. I want to pinch them open to see the details better, and adjust the exposure. I can see that some of them really would be great pictures… with some adjustments. Oh to be able to be there now and taking photos! I want a digital do-over!

 

We brought our dog, Nugget, with us on this trip.  We thought she was on her last legs at the time, but the Colorado air must have done her a world of good because she lived to be 18 years old.  She loved the trip, I took her picture once I noticed that she was always looking out the side of the car with the best view.