a second look, friends, fun, perseverance, photography, silliness, simple things

Back to the zoo…

It was off to the zoo for us on Sunday. A shoot with a friendly bunch of photographers. We got there just as the zoo opened, but before the tiger made an appearance, and even the orangutans were no where to be seen. But a keeper came to the primate area and called for RanDee and RipLee, and they came out of their enclosure. She tossed them pieces of fruit, and the rest of the orangutans joined them.

I shouldn’t play favorites, but I have followed this little guy since his birth almost two years ago, and yes, he is my favorite.
The mother/son bond between these two is amazing to watch. What a good mom she is.
It would seem as if I don’t see any other animals when I visit the zoo, but that’s not quite true. But almost.
It came as a huge surprise to me that another orangutan baby was born a few months ago and it escaped my notice altogether. Gotta love that hairdo.
This mom looks very individual to me, and she has bangs.
Finally this baby looked up so we can see him. Or her.
Dear old Dad.
The family that plays together…
Finally, not an orangutan. That’s a manatee, coming up for air.
He’s saying hello.
A panther taking a cat nap.
Cooling off
Keeping an eye on things.
She offered to let a boy touch this rat snake. He looked even less thrilled than I would have been.
Wait, one more of the cute little guy. He’s getting so big.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, boats, changing times, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, perseverance, photography

Floating along…

If you are at Armature Works for a car show, or just for lunch, then you are on the Riverwalk. The river being the Hillsboro River, and there are lots of places you might like to visit along that river. The easiest way to travel up, or down, the river is by water taxi, and you might choose to get an all day pass and get on and off the boat to explore all there is to see. We, however, just rode one round trip and called it a day. Until next time.

You pass under a few bridges as you travel on the river. The tour guide pointed out that you must make an appointment to bring a larger boat through the bridges, and should you miss your appointment you would incur a $25,000 fine. Plus they would have sent out crews to open the rest of the bridges for you, which might make your fine $125,000. So don’t be late.

The round building is known as the ‘beer can building’, for obvious reasons.
At one end of your trip you will find the American Victory ship. Built mostly by women during WW2, it remains fully operational. Tours of the ship are available.
The schedule for the Lightning has been released, so we’ll soon be inside, looking out, rooting the team on.
Testing the camera’s abilities by shooting these little doves as we sailed on by.
I heard the guys sitting behind me talking about a rainbow but I had to go up and join the captain to see it.
This picture has it all. The water taxis, the beer can building, and yet another of the bridges. And cranes along they way also, an ever evolving landscape.
Are these minarets out of place in an urban landscape? They adorn Plant Hall, which now holds the administration services of the University of Tampa, but was once home to the Tampa Bay Hotel. A visit to the museum here will have to be enjoyed another day.
Plant wanted something exotic as a design for his hotel, so Architect J.A Wood designed a Moorish Byzantine style building, which was popular in the Victorian period. The hotel only remained open for 40 years, from 1891 to 1932, but was visited by Theodore Roosevelt and Clara Barton, guests who helped it earn its status as a National Historic Landmark.
A nearby church echoes the theme.

What a nice way to spend a day in Tampa. The afternoon clouds were arriving right on time, and we were safely home relaxing when the storm rolled in.

classic cars, family, friends, fun, Just do it, memories, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine

Cars by the river…

I’m not sure why I wanted to go to the car show yesterday. Maybe it was the location, along Tampa’s riverwalk, with the water taxi readily available. And all the good food we might choose to eat at Armature Works. There was a nice crowd, lots of families, but it was the older cars that interested me. There seemed to be a lot more interest in the ‘muscle cars’, and much reviving of engines too, but they all looked alike to me. And those motorcycles in the feature image weren’t cars, but they looked good sitting side by side.

None of the muscle cars winked at us.
I chatted with the British owner of this car. He was more interested in talking about how he found that model car at an antique shop and haggled the price down to $20. And, of course it was that display that caught my eye.
Are we marbleizing our cars these days?
This isn’t what I imagine a Rolls should look like. And no hood ornament.
The hubcaps were sexy though.
How do you go over a curb in these cars? So many of the cars, new and old, were low like this. I can’t imagine what the point is, or why you need a running board at all?
I didn’t quite nail the head-on view of this hood ornament did I?
Not so many hood ornaments to photograph at this show, but there was this.
And this license plate is a mystery to me.
My uncle wanted to give me his old caddy to drive into Boston to school every day. It was pink, and finned, a bit like this one. I would have had to find two parking spaces for it.
The same uncle borrowed my father’s car and it got stolen, so he loaned us his VW bus. I’ve loved them ever since. If they ever start selling the latest VW camper van in this country I might get in line to get one.
This was the star of the show for me, a ’56 Chevy Bel Air. I learned to drive on this car, no power steering, the thing was a tank. You could start from a stop in any gear, and it was three colors after a fender replacement straight out of the junk yard. I took my drivers test on it, after my mother duct taped the holes in the seats first. I couldn’t manage the three point turn, so I stopped, took a deep breath, and finished my five point turn. He gave me my license because I didn’t fall apart and cry, said the instructor.
I ‘get’ this license plate.
The show was from 8 to 11 AM. By 11 most all the cars had left, which might explain why I didn’t notice this car until there was no one parked beside it.

We are well into September but the heat and humidity are still with us. A couple of hours of that will wear you down, but I’m glad we went.

a second look, dragonflies, ducks, fun, nothing's easy, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

More pond critters…

Didn’t I just declare that I’d never borrow my friend’s very sturdy, and very heavy, tripod ever again? Well, today I decided that it was time to try the Tamron 150-600 lens on the new camera (Canon r7). So I loaded up the lens and tripod onto the basket of my trike and off I went to the little nearby pond. I wanted close ups of dragonflies that didn’t require me to crop away more of the photo than I kept. It was hot and I was on a slope, so it wasn’t easy. But I did assure myself that yes, I can use that lens with the new camera, it worked very well. I just need a Sherpa to carry it for me…

Not much of a background for these pictures on a cloudy day.
These teeny butterflies are so cute.
I was so happy to see this orange dragonfly posing for me.
I had to shoot straight down for this picture, so there was water in the sun causing that strong bokeh.
Love the metallic look to the edges of the wings.
Nice reflection.

Next time I try this I’ll load up a camping chair also!

a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, making memories, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, technology

Butterfly garden…

The thought of another rainy day had me a little down in the dumps yesterday. But when the sun came out in the early afternoon we decided to go to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden with our cameras. The last time I was there they had recently pruned all the greenery back, and I thought it looked a bit sad. This time the greenery was lush, almost overgrown, and the butterflies were seemingly frantic in their activity. The feature photo is the two black butterflies who were in constant motion, chasing each other and flitting from flower to flower. After the fact I thought of the adjustments I might have made in the camera to help stop the action, fearing I hadn’t gotten any sharp photos. I’m actually surprised to have gotten a couple.

I guess they slowed down a little.
This garden has the luxury of lots of shade, and many tables and benches that you might chose to stop at to relax. You might even bring lunch. I used to pass this garden almost every time I left the house, now it’s a little out of the way, but not too far.
I love this little castle planter. I can’t resist taking a picture every time I visit.
This sculpture is finished now, carved out of the trunk of a tree that stood here. What a beautiful addition to the garden.
While my friend looked at the train garden I was excited to see this big yellow butterfly, who posed rather nicely for me.
I really didn’t get as many good shots of him as I thought I had. The new camera has a ‘joy stick’ that you can move with your thumb to adjust your focus. It’s not natural for me to use that yet so I cut off pieces of his wings in a lot of shots.
The train garden sits like a little oasis surrounded by the train tracks. The owner runs the trains on Saturdays, at least some Saturdays, and there is a button the kids can push to make the sound of the train whistle. Tucked away in that foliage are two little waterfalls, but you will have to take my word for it since they were well hidden.
This train station seems new to me. Those passengers will have to wait a while for the next train.

It’s a treat to get outside even for a little while. And dinner with the photo group finished the day off perfectly.

a second look, moments, moon, perseverance, photography, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Instant replays…

Wouldn’t it be great if we could roll the tape back a few seconds and correct whatever blunder we just committed? Take our foot back out of our mouth, or dodge the piece of truck tire before it hits the car and causes $2300 damage? Usually we can’t, but I went out this morning and found an instant replay of yesterday morning’s sunrise happening right outside the front door. The only difference was the lens I had on the camera…

Pink clouds, round moon, again.
A close up with the 18-400 lens.
I caught sight of the birds flying across the moon and got excited to try and zoom in and get a close up of that. Once I zoomed in I waited and waited, but I didn’t get that shot.
n real life the light on the birds made them look fabulous. Not silhouettes with that morning light shining on them.

Ever the optimist, I suppose there will be another sunrise tomorrow, and maybe the rain will stop falling, and the shop will be done with my car sometime in the foreseeable future…