At the Lake

It’s that time of the month again, and I was stumped this month as to what to do.  I have spent most of this month looking out at my back canal or in my office.  My foot is slowly healing but I still have issues with swelling and some days by the end of the day my foot looks twice its size.  So I have limited my walking to the minimum, which means no exploring for me.  Added to that the holidays are over and it is back to the office 4 days a week and a new learning curve.

Richard, however, is itching to get away.  He wants to go on a weekend vacation.  In the meantime, he bought himself a paddle board and is really keen to try it out.  Obviously he wants to go into the surf.  Another challenge, I cannot wear a flip flop at this stage.  So I would be that person on the beach wearing sneakers…not sure I am happy about that.  But I am willing to try.  The weather though is not cooperating, so his next plan is to go to the local park which has a big lake on it.   I agree to that, and so he packs up two chairs, some drinks, the paddle board and off we go.  I have the minumum – my camera and a book.   I hope you enjoy my armchair photography……..

Paddleboarding: January 17, 2015 9597

Richard heads off and I am left to hang out in the beautiful South Florida winter weather.  It was breezy, but when the sun came out from behind the clouds the weather was really warm.  I started to look around at what I could take photos of.  No birds…… so I experimented a bit with black and white, blur and negative space.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9603

Beyond the reeds there was not much else to take photos of so I began to eavesdrop on the lives of others.  A little out of my comfort zone to take photo’s of strangers in public, especially when they are so close by.

There was a guy out on the water with his young son on a jet ski and I have to be honest my heart dropped a little at some of the moves they were doing but both seemed to be having a whole lot of fun.

Paddleboarding: January 17, 2015 9608

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9614

Every time he went past the buoy the Tern took off and had to fly back to it’s post again.  By the way, this was the only interesting bird I saw the entire time I was there.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9623

Fishing is an option at the lake.  This same guy went out on a paddle board and at some point in time he sat down on it and stuck his feet in the water.  Here I am thinking, “Nooo that is not a good idea, alligators live in this area!”  Nothing ate him, but I am not sure you would catch me doing that.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9639

A number of little kids ventured towards the dock where they would hang over the edge and look for the fish.  In fact, one little boy had to be carried away from there crying because he just did not want to leave.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9640

During my meandering, I kept going back to the guy on the jet ski as he made waves around the lake.

Paddleboarding: January 17, 2015 9688

Seems like it is also a great place for girl talk.  Friends walked up a little later and the girl talk was quickly concluded.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9645

This guy arrived and sat a short way away from me.  Clearly he decided that today was a good day to head out with a book, a drink and a cigar and enjoy the beautiful weather.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9672

I watched the two on the jet ski for a while longer, enjoyed the clouds and the weather and waited for Richard to come back. Sometimes it is just nice to drop your head back and bask in the winter sunlight.  I leaves you feeling warm and rested.  I have to confess that it was nice to be outside and not busy working in the house.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9665

Finally the father and son team, gave up and headed back in to have some father and son time on the bank of the lake.  I really enjoyed this sweet scene.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9697

Richard arrived back safely after navigating the Lake and the winds.  He thoroughly enjoyed himself and really wants to get out on the ocean now.  So I guess that will be out next stop.

At the Lake: January 17, 2014 9656

 

 “Looking over the lake, I felt enveloped in the most peaceful, loving utopia”

~ Laurie Kahn

Thank you for joining me this month, remember this is a circle blog, so don’t forget to see what out newest member,  Lupji  has to offer you.  I am excited to see more of his about him and his family and his part of the world.  Make sure you follow the link and see what everyone else has.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

 

 

 

30 Minutes in the Life: In light of the Mockingjay…

30 Minutes in the Life is now live and I wanted to do something different this month, but what to do was the question.  My son, Cameron, works at an archery business, that sells archery equipment, as well as has practice lanes for clients to come in and gain some experience shooting, and hold various archery competitions.

What I remember about archery is limited to my brother, Barry, and his bow and arrow and the points of the arrows barely missing my feet. My brother had these great games that we should play, somehow I was always the one on the wrong end of a very sharp point.

John, the owner of Palm Beach Archery, has been in the business for a number of years.  John first started with a archery store in Boca Raton, however, the business has grown so rapidly, that within 4 years, John found himself needing new premises, and Cameron was part of the big move.

I am sure that with the advent of the movie, The Hunger Games, archery has become an even more popular sport. Right now I can just hear the music to the Mockingjay whispering in my ears.  “Are you, Are you coming to the tree……”

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So I decided to head over to Palm Beach Archery and see for myself what happens at the archery store.  Walking up to the doors I can see people through the Archery sign.  Walking in, there is a buzz of activity. University students hanging out, shooting arrows and just generally having a good time. There are 26 lanes and more than half of them were busy at 2pm on a Friday afternoon.

Palm Beach Archery: January 9, 2015 8863

Bows line the walls and these are far superior to the little bow and arrow that my brother was using to shoot at my toes.  Finally carved and strung to perfection, I was impressed at how advanced they were.  Focus bows offer a low mass weight and custom craftsmanship.  The Polaris bow is crafted from maple and walnut and is ideally suited to a young archer.

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8841

Arrows of different colors, and shapes and sizes are in bins for the clients to purchase.  There are also bins of arrows for clients to use when they practice, if they do not have their own.

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8841

The targets start to look to like pin cushions as the students began to wrap up their time at Palm Beach Archery.  The lanes on either side of the service area all needed their targets changed.

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8851

Katelee arrived to give a student a lesson, and so I asked her if she would be willing to shoot off a few arrows for me.  Katelee was gracious enough to do so.

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8841

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8866

Katelee was very good at this.  Apparently there is much more than just putting a bow in, pulling the arrow back and shooting.  It is far more technical than I could ever imagine.  Each bow has a level to ensure that you are balanced.  There are sights to look through, a wrist sling, and various other things to take note of.  Things my brother’s little bow and arrow certainly did not have.

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8872

She made it looks so easy, yet I know that this all takes practice.  Posture, accuracy, precision can be taught to a new student.

Palm Beach Archery: January 9, 2015 8878

Cameron on the other hand, was easily attracted to the more technical bow called Hoyt Nitrum 30, which is apparently one of the fastest and most accurate shooting bows on the market.  I can vouch for it being fast.  I decided that I would like to try and capture the arrow in flight.  Can you hear me laughing?  The arrow was in the target before I had even managed to put the button down.  The bow has a mass weight of 3.9 lbs.  It has a Zero Torque Cable Guard System, which resembles what looks like a pulley system.  Overall it is pretty impressive.  However, it does not look like your traditional bow.

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8893

Palm Beach Archery: January 9, 2015 8886

This sweet bow,  really look impressive, with all sorts of sensors and levels, however, that comes as an additional cost to the the basic bow.

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8859

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8881

At the end of the visit, I found that I had learned a few new things about bows and arrows.  I was also pleased to see that folk were leaving the building happy and excited, chatting with each other about when they would be back again.

Palm Beach Archery:  January 9, 2015 8841

While I was writing this, I had the background music from the Hunger Games playing.  This has to be one of the most haunting songs I have heard in a long time.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where the dead man called out for his love to flee.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

~ Written by Suzanne Collins

~ Melody provided by the Lumineers

~ Sung by Jennifer Lawrence

I had written and completed this bog, when I headed off to finally see The Hobbit.  I am not sure who was more impressive with the bow and arrow, Katniss in the Mockingjay, or Legolas in The Hobbit, but both made using a bow and arrow look like a walk in the park.

I hope you enjoyed my time spent at Palm Beach Archery.  Remember this is a circle blog so don’t forget to look and see what my sweet friend Karen of Karen Hunt Photography / Remington VA Photographer has for you.  I have loved getting to know Karen and her family over the past couple of years.

If you want to know more about Palm Beach Archery, check out their facebook page, or head over to their website.

If you want to read more about the 30 Minutes in the life group, check out their facebook page, or their website.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

Project 10: January 2015: Glitter

Project 10 challenge this month was Glitter.  The first thing that always comes to mind is the sparkly stuff that you find on decorations that normally stick to you and is a pain to get off.  Not being a big fan of that kind of glitter I decided to Google the definition of glitter.
What is:
glit·ter
ˈɡlidər/
 
 1. verb  Shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light. with the examples “Trees and grass glittered with dew”
 
2. noun bright, shimmering, reflected light, with the example the “blue glitter of the sea”
 
3.  “Tiny pieces of sparkling material used for decoration.
 
Most of you know by now that we are outdoor people, summer people, beach people, and I love to sleep in until 7:30 in the morning.  The only time I wake early is my days I go to work, and the days we are on the beach.  The days on the beach, I will wake up before the sun rises and make some coffee and head down to the beach.    Normally you are just getting the first rays of sun and the photo is fairly dark and grainy.  You will find the Plovers at the edge of the water looking for breakfast.  I enjoy watching the wave crash over as the sun sparkles on the droplets that rise from the pounding of the wave.
Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler, Florida, September 7, 2014 72
Standing under the dock as the sun breaks the horizon is always a sense of awe for me, as the sun glitters on the water, shimmering brightly.
ST Augustine: Sept 12 2014 8844
ST Augustine: Sept 12 2014 8828
The sand glistens with tiny radiant drops of light, gold in color.
Gamble Rogers State ParkL September 9, 2014 7373
And among those glistening drops of light, a little friend slowly emerges out of his home, to a brand new day and a new adventure.
Gamble Rogers State ParkL September 9, 2014 7918
I am easily drawn back to the beauty of the morning as the sun radiates off the surface of the water turning everything golden in color.
Gamble Rogers State ParkL September 9, 2014 7376
Back to the little crab and up much closer .   He ventures out into the new day.  A day that is bright and warm.  The sun shining on it body, and the promise of a good day ahead.
Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler, Florida, September 8, 2014 74
Of course he does have to watch out for the plover who is on a food mission at the edge of the water.  Crabs are fast though and if I moved a fraction he was back down his hole.
Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler, Florida, September 8, 2014 73
It was a fascinating experience to watch him clean house.  Perhaps it was a her, but cleaning house was what it did.  Scooping up balls of shiny wet sand he would bring it from down in its house, up to the surface level of the of the beach sand.
Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler, Florida, September 8, 2014 74
The day has begun, the sun is glinting on the water,  the surf is up, the waves are ready to challenge, and we are ready to play.
Anastasia State Park; St Augustine; Sept 11, 2014 8353
The downside of this day was that the surfing experience cost Amy her Go Pro.  It was not fastened securely enough to withstand being dumped by a killer wave.  Ok so killer is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the picture, scraping along the bed of the ocean while the Go Pro videos the fishes in the big big ocean.
“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach,in every grain of sand,
there is the story of the the earth”
~ Rachel Carson
I hope that you enjoyed my interpretation of glitter – the shimmering, reflected light.
If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

Reflections of an English teacher…

The Face That Launch’d A Thousand Ships

Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies!
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
Instead of Troy, shall Wittenberg be sack’d;
And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest;
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
And then return to Helen for a kiss.
O, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appear’d to hapless Semele;
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa’s azur’d arms;
And none but thou shalt be my paramour!

~ Christopher Marlowe

 

As I reflect on the movie “Dead Poet’s Society” and how the character played by Robin Williams  played an interesting role in the life of his students, I am reminded of a similar teacher when I was at school.  I was 15 years old, second year in high school, and gaining a whole lot of new teachers.  I already had my thoughts on some of them.  English was one of those subjects that I was okay with but 1977 this teacher changed my whole view of English and how much fun it could be.  I learned to love reading novels. I could not get enough of poetry.  I loved to write (not so much being critiqued).  I loved topical projects although speaking them in class was always a little nerve wrecking.

Over the years, I have had numerous teachers, but there are few that really stand out in my mind.  Most of them fall within the English, History or Photgraphy category.   Donald McKenzie was my final year English teacher and also the photography teacher.  Vera Castleman was a teacher that I worked with on photography, as well as speech and drama.  David Randall was my technical drawing and speech and drama teacher.  William Smith was my history teacher.  Today I learned of the passing of another teacher that stood out in my mind as a teacher who made an impact on my school life.  Patrick Collyer was my English teacher second year in high school.

He was young, he was energetic, he was fun.  Patrick did not just make English another subject you had to complete in school,  He made English enjoyable.  He made you want to read more.  He inspired you want to learn more.  Poetry was not just an English lesson but a History lesson as well.  I fondly remember the week we were to read a poem about Helen of Troy, and Patrick came into class and said this is the poem we are required to complete but before we do that here is a little bit about the poem…..3 days later we finally got to reading the poem.

He was a man before his time in so many ways.  He had yet to be jaded by students who did not care, nor the rigors and boundaries of a school system. Patrick only spent one year as my English teacher, but for me, it was a year that brought about change for me.

Today if you look at my bookshelves, you will find poetry books, novels, set books from years ago, books that I hold onto and value.  I have become a book collector.  I love the feel of books.  I love to meander through the pages of time.

Teachers are very often overlooked in the bigger scheme of things, but it is teachers to whom we entrust our children to take care of them, to educate them, and to instill in them a passion to learn.  Patrick Collyer was a teacher that I could look up to.  He intrigued me with the stories, he drew me in. My school lost a great English teacher when Patrick moved on to teach at a different school.

I will remember him with great fondness, and a gratefulness for the passion he instilled in me.

In the words of Walt Whitman 1865, 

 O Captain! My Captain!  

 

 

Encountering Burrowing Owls…

If you have never encountered a Burrowing Owl, then you are missing out on a real treat.  Burrowing Owls are exactly what they called.  They nest in burrows in the ground.  July 2014, I had the privilege and pleasure, of observing these cute little characters. A friend had mentioned that she knew where some were and would take me to see them.   I was pretty excited.  If you have not gathered this by now, I love nature.  I grew up taught to appreciate and respect nature, to keep a reasonable distance so as not to encroach in their natural area, and to only take photo’s.

Burrowing Owls are just over the length of a ruler in height and small in frame.  The Male tends to stand taller than the female, and the female tends to be heavier in build than the male.  That aside they look very similar.  Juveniles lack the spotting on the front of the owl.

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 3968

Our first encounter was a very shy Burrowing Owl.  It watched us from the inner sanctuary of it’s burrow.   Once we realized it was not going to come out we moved on to the next cordoned off area.

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 3922

Our first glimpse of this little one was of it deep inside it’s hole.  But the interesting thing about Burrowing Owls is that they are very curious and do not seem to be afraid of coming out when there are people around.  The area has sufficient space between the cordoning and the burrow for it not to feel threatened, but close enough for a zoom lens to pick it out.   Curiosity won the day and slowly but surely this little one emerged.

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 3922

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 3954

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 3944

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 3948

This particular Burrowing Owl seemed to be alone, or the mate was still hiding in the burrow, and we were interested in viewing a family of Owls and so we moved on to higher ground and a new spot.  And this is where we came across a pair of Burrowing Owls, and all the fun began.  This is truly where I fell in love with these curios characters.  Enjoy their antics.

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 3977

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4054

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4015

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4000

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4007

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4006

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4022

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4023

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4010

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4025

Burrowing Owls: Davie: July 25, 2014 4057

Sadly we did not get to view an entire family and most definitely this would be a trip worth taking again in late April after the chicks have hatched.  If you get a chance to view a family of Burrowing Owls I would encourage you to take the opportunity and go and see them.  They are amazing little characters.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

Capturing the Year – 52 Weeks Photo Project

Capturing the Year – 52 Week Photo Project is a Facebook group of photographers whose aim is to take one photo a week on a specific topic for a period of 52 weeks.  I joined this group mid 2014 so this is my second year that I am posting with them.

Week 1:  Just for Fun:

Many people hate them but I truly love Raccoon.  Not growing up and seeing them on a day to day basis, I really love it when I do see them.  Yes, I know that they are sneaky, I’ve learned over the years that they will steal your food when you are camping.  But there is something so beautiful about them that just really draws me in.  Today as I walked in the wetlands I found this Raccoon at the top of a dead palm tree.  Clearly it has burrowed into the palm tree to make it’s home.

Green Cay Wetlands:  Delray Beach:  January 3, 2015 8429

Week 2:  Jewelry

The topic jewelry was not hard for me – I immediately knew what I wanted to use.  The setting however, was a different story.  I could not make up my mind which one I preferred, so in the end I submitted them both.

The first setting I used involved a hat, a broach and a string of pearls.  The jewelry and the hat are things I have inherited. The hat is a weird story. When my mom died I flew back home to close up her home, and in the sorting and the packing I came across this 50’s type hat. For some weird reason I put the hat on and walked around in it for hours. My brother thought I was nuts. The pearls and the cameo were gifts from my grandmother and have a lot of sentimental value. I don’t wear either very often but I do love them both.

Capturing the Year 52 weeks:  Topic - Jewelery: January 11. 2015

Because I was feeling indecisive and in a black and white mood, I did a second shot. When thinking on this topic I remembered doing something similar in a wedding shoot and I wanted to see if I could create the same effect. The cameo and pearls were my grandmothers and I have a lot of good memories of her. The Bible belonged to Richards grandmother and she passed it down to him before she died. Faith is a strong foundation of my life, and am always reminded that this bible is an inheritance passed down from generation to generation.

 

Capturing the Year 52 weeks:  Topic - Jewelery: January 11. 2015

Week 3:  Winter

The theme was winter, but that is really hard for someone living down in Southern USA.  Winter happens maybe two weeks of the year.  Floridians pull out their boots, and scarves and winter woolies, and pack them away 3 days later.  So while the rest of the northern hemisphere is freezing and has these wonderful snowy images, I have a gorgeous sunset taking from the parking lot of a shopping center.

Sunset: January12, 2014: 9165

Week 4:  Transportation

This was a week full of transportation.  The first image was taken from a traffic light as the cars pulled off.  It was rainy and wet and had some great reflections.  The second and third were taken on a sunny winters day at the lake.  The last was taken from my back garden as this microlight (or something) flew over.  Not sure I am too crazy about that on a Sunday morning.  It disturbs my peace, and chases my critters away.

Out in the rain:  January 15, 2014 Iphone Pic

Week 5:  From Afar

What can be further away than the sun.  I happened to stop by a park to take a different image and decided that the cloud cover and sun combination would probably suit my topic.  That I got the lake in as well was a real bonus.

Capturing the Year 52 Week Project: From Far Away: Jan 25, 2015

Week 6:  Red

I did not know if I would get the image that I was looking for this week so I settled and went with red roses.

Capturing the Year 52 Week Project: Red: Feb 8, 2015

However, while I was up in Gainesville I managed to get the photo that I wanted.  So here it is..

Gainesville: February 12, 2015 1973

Week 7:  Eyes

My Ms Squirrel is such a sweet little mite, and I love the interaction time I have with her.  Today her eyes were only on her food and me since I might have got a little too close.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 17 2015 2120

Week 8:  Around the house

Books are my strength and my weakness. I have way to many books. I have family bibles, books of encouragement, novels, educational books. I have too many books. So much so that I turned my walk in closet into a library. I hate to get rid of books.

Marian's Farewell:  Feb 18, 2015 2145

 

My4Hens: Project 52

My4Hens Project 52 is a group of photographers who take photographs on a specific subject each week for 52 weeks.  This is the second year I am part of this project.  I find that it stretches me to think outside the box on the best of day.  I hope you follow along as I update each week.

Week 1:  Topic: Fresh

I had originally found a great weed that had just opened up in the garden.  Sadly when I went out this morning to take the photograph my husband had cut the lawn and my great weed was gone.  Walking around the garden I noticed a brand new bud.  We had transplanted this plant some months back and I was convinced it would not survive.  I was pleasantly surprised today to find new buds all over the plant.  So this is my interpretation of Fresh.

M4H: Topic Fresh: 8369

 

Week 2:  Topic: Story Telling

This tiny Bible tells the story of my grandmothers family – their births and deaths. For me, who is interested in genealogy this was a treasure to find. All of this generation and almost all of the next generation are now dead, but it is good to remember them and their stories.

M4H: Storytelling: January 18, 2014 9787

Week 3:  Topic: Light 

Light was a fairly hard topic for me, not having a model, however, I had a lily in my office window and with a little bit of positioning I was able to use natural window light to take this particular photo.

M4H:  Light:  January 23, 2014

Week 4:  Topic: A Part of Me

When you are part of a photography group, you are stretched, without a doubt, sometimes you share happiness, other times you are vulnerable. Today the topic was “A Part of Me” and it took me to a place of memories.

A part of me will never swing on a swing, or spin on a merry-g- round. 27 years have gone by and still there are days when I remember that a part of me is missing. A 4.5 month in the womb, my little baby’s heart stopped beating. And on my birthday that little part of me was removed from my body. Not a year goes by when I don’t think of what could have been. Yet I hold fast to the belief that despite the fact that the heart stopped beating, that my little one was fearfully and wonderfully made, and that one day I will fully understand why this was not to be.

M4H: A Part of Me: January 26, 2015 0186

Week 5:  Topic: Small

For something so small this Caterpillar is sure making a meal of my plant.

Outback on the Canal:  February 6, 2015 1091

Week 6:  Topic: Pastel

I loved the softness and vulnerability of this artwork.

Lake Worth Street Painting:  February 21, 2015 2592

Week 7:  Topic: Perspective

M4H: Perspective: February 24 2015, 2709