moments, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise, weather

It was a dark and stormy…

…morning.  Couldn’t resist the Peanuts reference.  As I sat in the dark and quiet with my coffee I realized that I was hearing thunder.  And if I was hearing thunder there was probably some lightning out there.  Which is how I wound up out front of the house in my pajamas, at 4:30 AM, with my iPhone aimed at the sky.  I was using LightningCam2, an app I have had for a while but haven’t used in a long time.  It automatically senses a lightning bolt and takes the picture all by itself.  A no brainer.  But since I’ve used the app I have learned a lot about photography and the photo is horrible, too ‘noisy’.  I tried to ‘fix’ it, but it will never be great so I’m going to let it stand.  Turned it to black and white in Lightroom.6-8b&Wlightningcam2.jpg

My next thought was that if I went to Aripeka not far away, I would have wide open sky instead of the trees and power lines at home.  Even though I was nearly an hour ahead of sunrise the feature photo is what I found when I got there.  A very dramatic sky.  Good thing I was there early because clouds rolled in and spoiled the view before the actual sunrise happened.  And the lightning was too far off in the distance for any more lightning photos.6-8doggoneeasyHDR_easyHDR-night-strong6-8eltoritoSo I was out extra early, it was extra dark, and this little shop close to my house jumped out at me.  Or maybe it’s new.  Cute storefront though with the doggie.  But ElRanchito isn’t new to me, but if the photo is over the top so were the neon colors.

a second look, adventure, friends, fun, go with the flow, live and learn, photography, weather

The best laid plans…

I was supposed to wake up in a tent this morning, having spent my first night ever camping.  But this happened…6-6skydramaThere was thunder and lightning, and then the sun would come out, but only for a few minutes, and then the drama in the sky would continue.  My friend, a more experienced camper, said she has camped in the rain before and it wasn’t fun.  And then she lost electricity at home we decided that we weren’t going camping after all.  So we missed a photo shoot we had planned to go to, which was the reason for the trip in the first place.  And the sky at home last night was fine, the rain had stopped.  Which means nothing about what the conditions were 100 miles away, but I suspect that the shoot happened and wonderful photos are populating the internet even as I type.  Which is why I haven’t checked the group photo site so far this morning.  But I will, eventually…

moon, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology, weather

Moonlight…

The moon wasn’t quite full this morning, but it was pretty.  I thought of the morning that I saw the full moon hanging very low in the sky, and I tried to get out to see it hanging low over the houses at Hammond’s Creek.  Tried and failed.  Twice I’ve missed a moon like that.  So I headed out this morning just in case this moon might be the one I capture, but no.

And it wasn’t raining, but it also wasn’t the prettiest sunrise.  But there will be another one tomorrow there always is.

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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!

Heros, honor, photography, soldiers, weather

Honoring our heros…

I’m so thankful that a photographer friend suggested we go to the Memorial Day ceremony at the Florida National Cemetery.  It was to be held rain or shine, and we prepared for the worst, but the weather was kind to us and it was a beautiful day for a very moving ceremony.

That it was a day of flags was obvious as soon as we entered the property.  The road was lined with flags, all gently moving in the breeze.  But as we followed the twists and turns of the road to find the parking area as we took each turn we saw field after field of grave markers, each of which were graced with a flag.  Volunteers had placed those flags the day before, and as they did they read each and every name of our deceased heros aloud.  And they did this in weather that was anything but kind.

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Flags of each state also lined the seating area.  As the Hernando High School band played a medley of all the services theme songs the veterans in the audience were asked to stand to be acknowledged, which was the first time I teared up.5-28Memorialday2The riderless horse was another emotional moment.  And as the cavalry, provided by the  Pasco Posse, marched we were treated to bagpipers playing Amazing Grace.  Yes, emotional.5-28Memorialday3Soon it was time for the 21 gun salute.  Which is extremely loud when you have a front row seat, so to speak.  I can see the smoke from the guns in this photo, it’s faint but it’s there.  Taps was played next.  A lone bugle, beautifully played…5-28Memorialday5

I’m ashamed that it took me all these years to attend a Memorial Day event.  As the daughter, wife, and mother of veterans there is no excuse.  It was a very emotional and moving sort of day.  And as I’m writing this I hear the rain pouring down.

perseverance, photography, technology, the big picture, unintended images, weather

Alberto…

The only living things that are appreciating Tropical Storm Alberto right now are the weeds that live in everyone’s yard.  They are growing like, well, weeds.  Last time this happened I had to hire landscapers to tame the jungle that had grown up when I wasn’t paying attention.  In the grand scheme of things complaining about the rain is rather pathetic.  It’ll stop sometime.

I took the opportunity to take some night photos the other night because the rain had stopped for a little while, and I really wanted to get out of the house.  I thought I’d ride through Brooksville and see if I could spot some nicely lit up buildings, but I hadn’t gotten very far up the road at all when Chulas lights caught my eye.  And in Brooksville I was surprised to see how pretty the courthouse looked all lit up.  It wasn’t the sort of photo I was going for, but that happens a lot of the time.  It would have been easier to stay home, but sometimes you just need to get out, if only for a little while.5-27chulas35-27chulas25-27courthouse35-27courthouse5-27courthouse2