'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, finding my way, Florida wildlife, following the rules, life goes on, nature, nesting, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, unintended consequences

Passing time…

I visited the rookery yesterday and found nest after nest of what appeared to be nearly full grown wood storks, mostly standing at attention.  Waiting for what I wonder, mom to feed them?  I love the expression on the face of the younger one in the feature photo,  I think they are still my favorite babies.   I think this egret mother takes her life in her hands when she shows up to feed her babies.   They tackle her, it doesn’t look pleasant, for mom at least.05-16-20egrets

The cattle egret babies are growing too.  Without an adult on the nest with them it took me a minute to realize which nest was theirs.  05-16-20cattleegretbabies2


A friend told me that the wood storks have taken over this rookery, it wasn’t always this way.  I lived in the area for 10 years before I ever knew that it was there, and now I have to wonder what happens at the end of the season.  I’ve been headed north by this time the last two years in a row, so I guess I flew the coop before they did.  Do they all just fly off one day?  I’ve stopped out of curiosity when it isn’t breeding season and there wasn’t a single bird around at all.  It would be fun to see all those big babies start flapping their wings and taking off, but so far I haven’t seen any practicing.  I’m just as bad.  I feel like flapping my wings and taking off too, but can’t seem to make a plan.

My old friend says that the secret to life is to never make a plan, then everything is always going according to plan.  I wonder how his life might have changed if he had  had a plan.  And my life looks nothing like I ever thought it might despite all the plans I made for myself over the years.  I feel like I should say something profound right about now, but I haven’t got a clue.  Just letting the days pass…


a second look, changing times, following the rules, leap of faith, life goes on, losing battles, losing it, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, reality check, unintended consequences

Feeling frazzled?

Haven’t had a haircut in a while?04-24-20gatorlandreeditfrazzled04-24-20gatorlandreeditfrazzled2

Or a color?04-24-20gatorlandreeditneedacolor.jpgAre the kids driving you nuts?04-24-20gatorlandreedit2.jpg

And what about a pedicure?04-24-20gatorlandreeditpedicure.jpg04-24-20gatorlandpedicure.jpg

And forget about teeth whitening.   And while you are at it save your money on braces.04-24-20gatorbraces.jpg

You can skip the eye take up too.04-24-20gatorlandeye.jpg

Leave those golden slippers in the closet, you’re not going anywhere.04-24-20gatorlandgoldenslippers

Because social distancing is the order of the day.04-24-20gatorlandreedit1.jpg

We are all in this together. But we can all hope that when this national nightmare is over we will be back to our gorgeous selves in no time.  Well, kinda gorgeous.04-24-20gatorlandparrot.jpg

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sunrise, unintended consequences

Before the storm…

Rain was in the forecast, but it wasn’t raining quite yet so I headed out for the sunrise.  I saw lightning on the way over and thought I should probably turn around.  But the sky was prettier than I expected, and the sunrise was lovely and pastel. 1-4-20Aripekabridgesunrise1-4-20FrankieinAripekaI was determined to get my photo for the challenge if nothing else, but there was an added element of fun.  It was Saturday morning and young fishermen were casting their lines over the side of the bridge and pulling in little fish left and right.  I was quite surprised to realize that there were two brown pelicans there, I’d never seen them in Aripeka before.  The fishermen were throwing their fish to them and they were trying to catch them.  It was fun to watch and I thought I’d get a lot of pictures.  But then it happened.  One of the pelicans leaped up and snagged the fish as the fisherman reeled it in.  So it caught the fish plus the hook and the length of line that snapped off with it, all in just a split second.  After that the pelican seemed to be gulping water and trying to swallow the fish but was having trouble doing it.  And there we were, helpless to help.  Suddenly this wasn’t fun anymore, and I wondered how it was that I didn’t anticipate what might happen.  I did call and alert the rescue authorities, but I was told that when a bird is in the water the chances of catching it even to help it was slim to none.  I stopped taking pictures at that point and left.  I heard thunder on the way home.1-4-20Aripekapelican1-4-20Aripekapelican21-4-20Aripekapelicanfeature

adventure, Camping, connections, finding my way, learning, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, unintended consequences

Life lessons…

Route 6A on Cape Cod is a Sunday drive sort of road.  It meanders, and if you are in a hurry it’s probably not your road of choice.  And when your GPS in your phone stops talking with the GPS in the car it’s not such a bad road to be on either.  Eventually you’ll see something familiar and find your way again.

I was running errands and wanting to take some pictures, but the reality of the Cape in summer is that you have to pay for parking wherever you go during the day.  Getting out early for the sunrise or after 5 for the sunset is fine, no fees for a quick stop.  But when I saw a sign for Sandy Neck Beach I took the turn, even though it was approaching noon.  The fee for the day was $20, but at the little gatehouse I explained that I just wanted to take some pictures, so the gal let me park next to her car and said that she had no problem if I wanted to walk in on the trail.  I thought that sounded like a great idea, and I headed down the path with dunes to my left and marshes to my right.sandynecktrailsandyneck1It was a half mile trail, according to the sign, and I anticipated being on the beach in no time flat.  The trail was covered in beach rocks, always so silky smooth but big enough to make walking a bit uncomfortable.  At least for a person in flip-flops.  Yes, my choice of footwear was an issue yet again.  And then the rocks were done and the trail was easy, until I came to the sand.  Now I was sinking into soft sand and I decided the rocks weren’t that bad, and with every twist of the trail I expected to see the ocean.  But all I saw was more sandy trail, and the sand was burning hot.  That’s when it dawned on me that I probably should have thought this through more.  I hadn’t thought of that beach ritual of a short dash through the hot sand to get to the water, it had been a long time since I’d been to the beach.  And now I was faced with nothing but a trail of hot sand and the promise of the ocean around the next bend.   I stepped on the clumps of grass next to the path when they were there, and stopped in the shade of a shrub when I could, but that hot sand was all I saw.  The ocean could be just ahead, I thought, and I knew that turning around meant more burning sand.  And then a guy came up behind me carrying his dog.  I had just taken the left fork in the path and asked if the beach was ahead, and he said yes.  He got to the top of an incline and put the dog down, telling him, “Almost there, buddy.”  I got to that incline and saw nothing but more trail, and more sand.  I wondered if I was really doing damage to the skin on the bottoms of my feet, and was quite mad at myself by the time I did see the ocean.  I don’t know which was the more welcome sight, the ocean or the port-a-potties right there as the trail met the beach.sandyneckbeachThe RVs on the beach were a surprise, and you can barely see the little truck in the center.  It was rigged with an awning, and I asked the very nice mother and son if I could stop in their shade for a second.  Maybe I looked worse than I actually felt, aside from my feet, because they leaped into action and gave me a water bottle and wanted me to sit, but I was dying to put my feet in the water.  My plan was to walk up the beach to where I could access the parking lot and walk back on the pavement, and they pointed out the flag on the concession stand and said to head there.sandyneck2sandyneckbeach2I’m glad that I did take a couple of pictures because I hadn’t walked far at all when the young man caught up with me and told me that he had flagged down a natural resources truck and they were stopping to pick me up.  Of course part of me wanted to object, I didn’t need help, I thought, but a ride all the way back to the car was just too tempting.  So I swallowed my pride and accepted the ride.  As hot as that sand was it didn’t do actual damage, I’m happy to say.  But my pride at blundering into that situation, that has taken a bit of a beating.  My faith in the people you meet along the way is still in tact though…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Camping, finding my way, friends, fun, growing old, Just do it, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, unintended consequences

Second chances…

I hit the road again yesterday.  Being in New England has allowed me to decide to attend the big graduation party for my friend’s graduates yesterday, and just get in the car and go.  Since 1969, the year we both got married and I moved away, spending time with my closest friend has required much preparation.  Vacation time, airline tickets, juggling husbands and children, and so for many years the closeness remained in tact, in spirit anyhow, but it wasn’t possible to actually be together.  Time has been our friend as we have gotten older, except for the wrinkles and gray hair.  But we have managed to visit more and more often as time has gone on, daily on facebook, and also in person.  And these years going forward are probably the time we’ll need each other the most.  I’m so glad to be here.  I think this snowbird thing is going to work out just fine…


a second look, live and learn, losing it, nature, neighbors, perseverance, photography, reality check, sky, unintended consequences

Clouds on the horizon…

The clouds were gorgeous just as the sun came up this morning.  But attempting to get the palm trees to be in silhouette against the prettiest clouds proved to be harder than it looked.  Plus I was distracted by the knowledge that being out front with my camera was possibly going to cause repercussions with a problem neighbor.  I guess the wonderful neighbors in my old neighborhood had not prepared me for the possibilities in a new neighborhood.  It remains to be seen if the ideal of blissful life in an over-55 community is a pipe dream or a reality.