'scene' along the way, a second look, blessings, changing times, connections, finding my way, friends, leap of faith, life goes on, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology, unintended images

Those photo ops…

I’ve been disappointed in myself lately. I haven’t been out for as many sunrises or sunsets. Maybe I was just too lazy, I thought. Or maybe, just maybe, the morning coffee with someone to talk with was the reason. And chatting over dinner might just result in the sunset happening right outside the window and I never noticed. So I’ve given up one obsession for another, well, maybe not obsession, but certainly a lovely distraction. I feel very lucky. And those sunrises and sunsets keep happening, so that when I do head out the door there they are. The big question on this day, which was last Monday, was whether we would reach Edgewater Park before the sun sank totally beneath the horizon. Traffic was annoyingly slow, and we were actually heading to a photo editing opportunity in Clearwater, so we weren’t stopping for the sunset. Nope, I was just shooting out the window of the car as we now seemed to be whizzing past. I was happy to see that I managed a couple of usable shots. And a selfie!

Just made it!
Oops!
'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, dogs, dolphins, Florida wildlife, fun, Hudson Beach, Just do it, making memories, moon, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, unintended images

Photobombs…

Lately I seem to be way too willing to decide that I’ll just stay home, I won’t go out for the sunrise or sunset. There are too many dark clouds, I tell myself, or the morning is kind of foggy. Last night was no exception. I was driving up Rt 19 and there were heavy dark clouds to the north, but when I turned into my street and looked towards the west I saw blue sky and nice puffy clouds. So I told myself to go out to see what I could see. That turned out to be a wise, or rather, a lucky decision.

As usual the houses on the inlet had their faces turned to the sun.
The moon was looking pretty also.
The sunset itself was doing a great job of making me happy that I came out.
It was low tide, and the rocks were exposed off the walkway, but for some reason several dolphin decided that this was the night to put in a first ever, for me at least, appearance at Hudson Beach.
Back and forth they swam. And they leaped out of the water! I have seen dolphin here and there before, and I’ve always wished for them to breech, but this was the first time I ever had a chance to try to get a picture of them in action.
Of course I wish it was a ‘better’ picture, but I did manage to get one.
Actually two!
The man standing next to me had two big golden retrievers with him, and one of them was VERY interested in what was going on in the water out there.
Even a pelican couldn’t resist a photo bomb as the color reached a peak.

When I hear all the talk among my fellow photographers about the great new cameras and/or lenses that are coming out lately, I am, momentarily at least, tempted to buy better equipment. My stuff is considered adequate, for a beginner. But if I’m honest with myself I’m really not willing to concentrate enough to master the technicalities of setting the camera, or doing more than basic editing. ‘Better’ equipment would probably have required me to change my lens when the dolphin showed up last night, and if he stuck around long enough for me to do that then I probably would have gotten better pictures. So the temptation is there, but it’s fleeting. I appreciate the freedom my current set up gives me. When the mood strikes then out the door I go, and I’m ready for whatever happens next. That feels good…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, finding my way, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, unintended images

And then there is the distillery…

When we arrived at Chassowitzka the other day we stopped at the station to check in and find out if we did or did not have to pay to enter the park. We didn’t, being over 65, in our case way over. But the real reason I was happy that we had stopped was because the ranger asked if we had ever been to the distillery in the park. No, we hadn’t, and once my friend heard that word ‘distillery’, and we didn’t know the park so we were wandering anyhow, we found ourselves following the signs for NJoy. And what a fun surprise it was to find this place after becoming convinced that we had somehow lost our way more than once. If you go keep driving, there will be another sign eventually.

We found a nice brick pathway to draw us in.
This butt-shot view was chosen to eliminate cars from the background. In case you wondered.
Conveniently placed near the entrance is this out house, complete with light switch.
Just to our right we couldn’t help but notice the outdoor bar area.
But the actual distillery caught our eye, with it’s working water wheel.
The coloring on this donkey, (it is a donkey, right?), caught my eye, but he wasn’t interested in posing for a picture.
There were horses and cows in the pasture.
And a pig just outside the distillery itself.
And a charming pond to sit by and enjoy the view.
Perhaps we will have to return for this event.

I had already decided that this could make a great venue for a party of any kind. There was lots of seating, a giant fire pit, and the bar of course. If private parties are allowed, I didn’t ask. Tours are offered all day long when it’s open, which is weekends only, and while we didn’t take the tour or even sit at the bar and have a beer this time, we might just correct that oversight when we return. Hours later my friend was still marveling over the idea that back in the woods, and I mean way back in the woods, you could find such an oasis waiting for you.

'scene' along the way, black and white, childhood, fun, just imagine, memories, moments, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sky, unintended images

Just imagine…

I was missing my grandfather’s house yesterday. The gorgeous cloud formations made me remember laying on my back on the lawn, watching the clouds drift by and seeing what surprises I could find in them. I saw a happy little face off to the right in the feature photo.

I wanted to write that it looked like an explosion in a whipped cream factory.
My little happy person is off to the left in this one. Here I see a conversation happening, or is it an argument?
I turned one to black and white because I could. The texture of the clouds was amazing.

Of course by the time I got home and could have laid in the grass the pretty clouds were close to the horizon and the dark clouds were taking over, and I could hear thunder…

'scene' along the way, adventure, exploring new places, food, friends, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, say goodnight, unintended images

Fannies on the beach…

Our last night on the road brought us to Tybee Island for the night. we stopped early and headed off to see the Tybee Island Light Station, which was very nice.

After a few shots we decided to find someplace to have a beer and a little something to eat before we went in search of a hotel for the night. We chose Fannie’s before we saw the bar stools, but once I did see them I knew that we were staying for sure. I mean, what would you have done? LOL.

We dug into the coconut shrimp and they were so good that I decided I had to take a picture. The lemon pepper wings were great too. It’s been a wonderful trip from so many points of view, but I’m so tired and there are too many pictures to go through, so I decided to leave you with some fannies to (hopefully) make you smile.

'scene' along the way, adventure, coping, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, go with the flow, life, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, unintended images

Detours…

I’ll bet you think I’m going to get all philosophical and talk about how you think your life is going one way and then it takes a very unexpected turn. I might be tempted to talk about that, but in this case I’m talking about the actual detour we took yesterday. Off of Rt. 301, compliments of the policemen who had closed the road to all traffic. We knew that something very unfortunate had happened up ahead, and we had a pretty good attitude since we had planned a day of driving that would get us to our stopping point on the early side. I had, however, just suggested that a bathroom break might be in order, and little did I know that it would be two hours before we found ourselves back on 301.

We were on a two lane road, very rural, with standing water along the sides of the road in places, from the recent rains.
When I say ‘we’ I mean ourselves and the many, many huge trucks traveling in both directions. One after the other those huge trucks passed us, most with their right side tires off the pavement and I noticed that they were creating a deep rut on the other side of the road. And still there were more coming.
I wished I could reach my camera when I saw three mules in the pasture here. One was kicking up it’s heals at the other two. It could have been a good picture, darn it.
I suppose I was lucky that I wasn’t the driver at the time, so I could amuse myself by taking pictures with my phone.

It took us over two hours to travel that detour. We saw only one issue, and that was a car driving in our same direction, and she had gone off the road enough that trying to back herself back up the slope probably wouldn’t work. We were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel by then, 301 was just up ahead and our particular nightmare was almost over. We looked at the cars and trucks heading south and just turning onto that sad little road and felt bad that they had no idea what they were in for. And, just as we expected, once we reached 301 we saw that the northbound lanes had been reopened while we were stuck in that detour nightmare. But we were back on the road with no harm done, so we were happy. Later on we learned that a truck driver had overturned and died, causing this whole problem. Day one of this trip was done…