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.


a second look, finding my way, healing, history, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, unintended consequences

Hokey Pokey…

“You put your right foot in, you take your right foot out”…  The song came to mind this morning as I sat in the dark and quiet with my coffee.  At about a month since I actually moved myself into my new place, as opposed to just moving my stuff into my new place, I think I’ve got it settled.  Maybe.  But all this arranging and rearranging in here started because of how dark it was out in the Florida room.  And the fact that I realized that the windows would take tension rods so I wasn’t going to have to actually install anything.  That’s what got me started.  I made a cat quilt wall hanging for my mother years ago, and it found a home hanging over the ugly, metal trimmed window out there,  It looked cute, I thought.  But the unintended consequence was that it made the kitchen work space darker.  So take it down or figure out how to ‘dress’ that kitchen window? 04-08-19catquilt04-08-19HLshelvesI wasn’t sure I’d stick with this peg board until I came across two of my all time favorite pictures, one of Charley with a 4 pound lobster he ordered in Provincetown years ago, and the one of me making a very rude, and might I add out-of-character, gesture.  I believe they both were taken on the same trip home years ago.  I didn’t realize that I had copies of those pictures, and the bird photo holder that’s never held a photo must have been waiting for this moment.  We look so young.  So it’s still a little dark in that kitchen corner, but for now I’ll just turn the light on and enjoy the memory.  Charley in the kitchen is so appropriate, he was a great cook.  The puzzle pieces are still falling into place.  It may not be time to do the Hokey Pokey and turn myself around quite yet, but it’s getting there…04-08-19Docandme

home, home improvements, live and learn, losing it, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended consequences

April Fool’s…

This isn’t a post about Sandhill Crane chicks, and yes, there are two now.  Nope.  At this exact moment I have taken a lot of photos in the last few days, some of which are nice (I hope).  And they are in this computer, well, I downloaded them to the external hard drive, and I have figured out how to find them, and I think I have figured out how to get them to open in Lightroom from here on in.  At least I hope so.  But this picture took over an hour for me to find, and editing has been torture because every step brings up the dreaded twirly-whirly thing as the computer thinks about it and decides whether to cooperate with me or not.  So I get sick of it and get back to sewing, which then has me wandering the house looking for the scissors/screwdriver (I’m hanging curtains), etc. Whatever I had in my hands a second ago is now lost.  Always.  And the house is a wreck because I cannot do a home improvement project without making a mess.  Usually all this would send me out the door for more pictures but that hardly seems useful at this point.  There is an upside to all of this though.  You may remember me complaining over and over about losing the TV remote, or not, but it’s a theme of mine.  Well, I found them, six of them, and I took a picture, but that’s lost in this computer also.

So it’s April Fool’s Day… and the joke is on me…

Chinsegut Conservation Center, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, history, learning, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended consequences

History come to life…

I wasn’t expecting a history lesson when I went to join my photographer friends yesterday.  It was to be a hike, and I was welcome to join them.  They hike a LOT, and volunteer at the Chinsegut Conservation Center, and are currently editing/updating a history of the Chinsegut Hill property itself.  So our hike was on property that is not open to the public, but of course we were conscientious and didn’t leave anything behind us, or remove a thing, unless it was ticks.  After a hike they usually remark about how many ticks they have found on themselves afterwards, which is a big reason that I don’t join them often.  “Stay on the paths and you should be all right,” they said, and then the paths disappeared, and on we trudged.

The history lesson concerned the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, which I’d heard of but honestly knew nothing about, but I looked it up this morning.  This turned out to be the most popular New Deal program of the time, 1933-1942, and it provided unskilled manual labor for unmarried young men ages 17-28 during those difficult depression years.  They were provided with shelter, clothing, and food, plus a wage of $30/month, $25 of which was required to be sent back to their families.  They labored on lands owned by local, state, and federal governments, and this program was not only a boon to the men and their families, but also led to an appreciation of the outdoors, and the need to protect our national resources.  Chinsegut Hill benefitted from the labors of these men, who built the buildings on the property plus improved the wonderful acres of natural environment, preserving it to this day.  When Betty and Linda first saw this property it was old and worn, but in pristine condition, buildings intact, dishes on the table, a bible beside the toilet, and equipment in the fields.  As if people had just walked away.  But it was recently vandalized, windows broken, and the buildings are now locked.  As Betty said, nature is reclaiming what was hers in the beginning.

So now you know what you are looking at, if you have stuck with me this long.  And as I have written this it has occurred to me that I forgot to check myself for ticks.  Excuse me…03-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILLBROKENWINDOW03-26=2019ChinsegutHill503-26=2019ChinsegutHill403-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL303-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL203-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL03-26=2019ChinsegutHilltruck

There were a lot more photos I still needed to go through, but I’ve just started saving them to my external hard drive.  It’s getting back to them that’s the problem.  But you get the point.

chickens, fences, flowers, friends, gardens, neighbors, on closer examination, photography, sunrise, unintended consequences, weather

And it kept on raining…

Looking out the kitchen window that morning I saw some definition in the clouds, so I loaded the cameras and tripods into the car and headed to Hammonds Creek for the sunrise.  It’s only a five or six mile trip to the gulf coast, but before I got there I was seeing drops on the windshield.  Just heavy mist, I told myself.  But it was a downpour just a minute later, so I turned the car around and headed for home.  No sooner did I do that than I saw a promising looking sky again, and no rain.  Again I reversed direction, and again I drove into a torrential downpour.  And yet again the weather was fine on the way home.  Sometimes you have to settle for a sunrise from the backyard.

Also in the back yard are flowers that I was offered by a neighbor I used to talk with when I walked Zoe a longer walk than I had for the last couple of years.  She was digging up some of them because they spread.  You would think that I might have gotten a hint from that, the possibility that one day I’d be trying to get rid of them I mean.  But no, what I saw was red, sort of tubular flowers, and I had read that that’s what will attract hummingbirds.  So on the barest smidgeon of information I brought them home and planted them, and within years I was digging them up, but there is no getting rid of them.  They have made themselves so at home that they have diversified…6-2threepinkfeature5-29white5-29whiteandpink5-29pinkandwhite5-29yellow

But only the ones way out back have these new colors.  Out back in chicken territory.  My neighbor laughed when I suggested that her chickens were responsible, a chicken version of cross-pollination.  Or maybe it’s the morning light back there.  But it has taken several years for these new colors to develop, which coincides with the chicken invasion.  I’m not complaining though, the chickens come over and de-bug my yard fairly regularly.  They are welcome any time!

dogs, home, photography, unintended consequences

It was that kind of day…

I know the sunrise happened because it got lighter out, but it never got prettier.  And when I got home it was no better.3-18sunrise2So I decided to make some oatmeal.  I had added a chopped up apple to my steel cut oats one day, and that was good, but the next day I added a ‘halo’ and milk and that was even better.  Orange creamsicle oatmeal!  That’s what I thought I’d do again when I discovered the milk had expired, but in the true waste-not want-not New England tradition I didn’t let that stop me.3-18orangecreamsicleEven the dogs seemed to just go into low gear, not pestering me to go out multiple times all day.  3-18sleepyBut even lazing around for an entire day can get boring, so by the late afternoon the sun was out, and it seemed like we should be outside also.3-18shadowsWalk the dogs and go out for the sunset I told myself.  Maybe even stop at Chili’s and sit at the bar and have some Southwestern Egg Rolls.  We were almost home, just up around the bend when it all went sideways.  I heard a screen door bang, and first one, then a second pit bull charged out of a house and were bearing down on us, sounding like they meant business.  So what did I do?  I dropped Zoe’s leash on purpose, and I now feel guilty about that, like I was offering her up as a sacrifice.  But in reality I knew she wouldn’t escalate the situation.  It was Ozzie’s reaction that I feared was going to make things infinitely worse, so I hung onto him with both hands.  The first dog had gotten to Zoe when the owners were on the scene, screaming at the dogs and adding to the chaos, but the dogs appeared to be listening to them.  I have no idea what Ozzie and Zoe did in response because I couldn’t take my eyes off of those two dogs.  Low to the ground and very muscular, I just knew how strong they looked.  As the owners herded the dogs back home, apologizing all the while, I realized that we three had not moved one muscle during all of this. Even Ozzie.  We had stood there in silence, like statues, the whole while.  Then they both looked at me and what popped into my head was the old Lone Ranger shows where the townsfolk would look at each other and ask, ‘”Who was that masked man?”  We went home and put on pajamas, well, I did, and cracked open a beer, me again, and that was it for us.  It was that kind of day.