Tell me a Story: May 2015 …interacting with nature

The images are not perfect but I could not resist telling this story.  You have probably seen me posting this little red Cardinal on my photography page in Facebook.  It is a beautiful bird and as a nature lover I love seeing new and interesting birds in my back garden.  However, this bird is driving us nuts.  Our windows have a reflective shield since the summers in Florida can get really hot.  It appears that this little Cardinal probably can see trees and reflections in the window.  Since it is spring and mating season, it is probably looking for a mate.  Unfortunately the one in the reflection is not responding.

It keeps flying at the window, sitting on the edge and pooping on the deck.  So yesterday Richard cleared the deck, pressure cleaned it and then painted it.  Prior to doing that he hung old curtains over the window to stop the bird from checking out it’s reflected mate.

The Cardinal is still hanging around.  It keeps flying off and landing on the wild orchid.  I am convinced that spike is going to break soon.

I was working in my study and suddenly Moonshine, my inherited cat, and such  a sweet one at that, took off from my desk, growling as only cats can growl.  Apparently the Cardinal found another window and another mate.  Only this time there is a furry monster in the picture.

Moonshine looking for the Cardinal.

So the Cardinal flies up to the window and peaks and sings, and Moonshine spends half her time falling off the window sill trying to catch the cardinal. The glass looks terribly dirty close up, but the reflector is scratched and worn from over 15 years of being attached to the window.  Added to that I am not climbing out on a double story roof to clean them.

The Cardinal looking in the window

Moonshine was all action, trying desperately to catch the bird, and ended up very frustrated when she could not.

Moonshine was on one side of the glass and the Cardinal was on the other.  The silly bird keeps flying up to the glass.  I can only think it sees itself in the reflection, but today it targeted my office, and Moonshine hangs out in there.  She was so frustrated that she could not get at the bird.  The bird of course kept on flying up to the window.

For the entire afternoon she either stared at the windowsill or climbed up to find the bird.  Where is that Cardinal?

Where is that Cardinal?

It is out there somewhere.  She just kept waiting.

She's waiting for it to come back again

And then she would stretch up to the ledge and peer out through the window.  Waiting….for the right opportunity to spring up and catch it.

Where is it?


Finally they were face to face and she was growling her funny noises again.  The bird on the other hand was happily pecking away at the window.

A little to close for comfort.

and chewing on a berry of some sort.

I can see you cat

We also have mosquito netting for the months when summer is done and the cool air is flowing through.  Mosquito’s are a hazard of life in our neck of the woods, but the netting is a great landing spot for the Cardinal. I’m hanging out – catch me if you can!

I'm hanging out - catch me if you can.

And my poor little girl, keeps attempting.  This has gone on all weekend.  Richard seems to think that the bird will disappear but all it is doing is going to the second story.

It's out there somewhere

It’s out there somewhere

I can sense the frustration of my poor cat.  Moonshine is going to go nuts if that bird is pecking on the office window all day.  In the interim hopefully it finds it’s mate and goes and makes more little Cardinals.  Not sure why it is so instinctive for a cat to want to catch birds.

While not the artistically perfect photo’s, this was great to watch over the course of this weekend.   Please remember that this is a circle blog, so take time to read what the other photographers have for you.  Up next is Sharon Meyer Photography.  Take some time to check out her blog and then follow the circle link and leave some encouragement on the other photographers pages.

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: May 2015

I love it when Mark decides to open up his studio to his meet up group.  Mark sets up all the fancy lighting equipment, and explains to us what he has done and what he aims to get out of the shoot.

We get to hang out and take photographs of the model he has found.  Today it was Rachel’s turn.  Rachel was a beautiful young lady, who was a lot of fun to work with.  She was incredibly patient and willing to try what the 5 photographers asked of her.  As we eased into the shoot so she became more comfortable doing her own moves.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Rachel and would happily do so again.

I do have to confess though that this is not a straight 30 minutes as I would have only had a 4  images.  What happens in the studio is that we do a set up, then all 6 photographers shoot one after the other, then we do another set up and the same happens again.  So what I have done here is accumulated my shooting time to 30 minutes.








































Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 minutes.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my friend, Julia Cooke – Istanbul Photographer and see what she has for you this month.  Julia has the most incredible images of Istanbul.  Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.

If you want to know more about 30 Minutes in the Life head over to their facebook page, or to the blog page.  There is so much new and exciting happenings going on at 30 minutes that you are sure to want to check it out.

If you want to know more about Limelight Studios head on over to their facebook page.

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

Sharetographers Share Six: May 2015: Floral

As I previously mentioned, Project 10 Challenge is now Sharetographer’s Share Six.  This is the first month that they have invited a guest photographer to join their circle link and I am thrilled to be the person they invited.  I love being part of this group, and with the new changes to the site, there is so many more options to be involved and to learn. Take time to click on the links at the bottom of the page and learn more about how you can be involved in Sharetographers.

This month’s topic choice was floral.  For me that was a sweet, sweet topic.  I love flowers.  My plan was to visit a Botanical Gardens.  However, the prediction of wet weather changed that option and I found myself looking at what flowers I had at home.  I went back on forth on the flowers.  I tried sunflowers, then tulips and finally I settled on the Stargazer Lily.  The Stargazer lily is a hybrid of the Oriental group well known for it’s fragrance.  We started out with one bud opening and it smelled really strong.  By the end I had 12 buds open and the flowers were placed out on the patio where there was a plenty of fresh air.  That was the only way I could breathe. I hope you enjoy my take on the theme “Floral”


In Rememberance of Joy: April 18, 2015 0442

Sharetographers: Floral: April 18, 2015 0589

Sharetographers: Floral: April 18, 2015 0575

Sharetographers: Floral: April 18, 2015 0556


Sharetographers: Floral: April 19, 2015 0692

Sharetographers: Floral: April 18, 2015 0562


“In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.”

~ Okakura Kauzo, The Book of Tea


Don’t forget that this is a circle link, and that there are four other photographers in the link this month.  Please take some time to view their amazing work. Following me is Casey from Casey and her Camera.

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

If you would like to know more about Sharetographers, head on over to their facebook page

P.S.  Don’t forget to sign up for the Sharetographers newsletter when you visit their page.  You will find lots of interesting topics in there.

365-2015: One Day at a time…..March 2015

March has been a crazy month and I am so behind but here goes:

Day 60:  March 1, 2015

Today was the Renaissance Fair and Ray and I wandered for about 5 hours.  I love the atmosphere, the clothes, the characters.  Ray tried on this little hat and I had just snapped the photo when the owner came up and told me that I was not allowed to take photo’s – oh well I got this one.

Renaissance Fair:  March 1, 2015 3043

Day 61:  March 2, 2015

The local shopping center has restaurants in it and clearly they throw away food in the bins that appeals to the local bird life.  The Black Vulture is something I never thought I would ever see close up.

Nature:  March 2, 2015 3536

Day 62:  March 3, 2015

I go out to feed the duck each day and today Ms Squirrel was hanging out and keeping me company.  I love this little squirrel and her antics.

Outback on the canal: March 3, 2015 3568

Day 63:  March 4, 2015

Peanut treats are her favorite time of the day.  Today it was as the sun was setting and I loved how the rays were filtering through her tail.

Outback on the canal: March 4, 2015 3617

Day 64:  March 5, 2015

Today starts the first day of a 5 day road-trip to Columbus, Georgia.  I am heading up there on a staff retreat with 5 of my co-workers.  I learned taking photo’s from a moving vehicle is not easy but I liked what I got of this red barn.

Columbus Georgia Trip:  March 5, 2015 3656

Day 65:  March 6, 2015

We are in Columbus, Georgia and it is cold.  The scenery is so different.  Dry, stark, in some places bleak, but there is a unique beauty that is so different to Florida.  I managed to lock myself out of the warmth, in order to take this image.  I was just lucky that my colleagues were sympathetic to my plight.

Columbus Georgia Trip:  March 6, 2015 3696

Day 66:  March 7, 2015

It is Saturday and we have a break in retreat time, before the evening session.  I had two requests I would like to see the Riverfront and I wanted to find a horse made out of tree bark.  I had them driving around for me.  I think we crossed state line at one stage.

Columbus Georgia Trip:  March 7, 2015 3696

Day 67:  March 8, 2015

The church where the retreat was held had the most beautiful stain glass windows and during a break, I was feeling chilly and sought out the sun. Outside I once again noticed the starkness of the plants.

Columbus Georgia Trip:  March 9, 2015 3876

Day 68:  March 9, 2015

It’s time to get back on the road again, and face an 8 hour journey back home.  Rest and retreat was had by all and it was such fun to be together with good friends.  Countryside driving home is farmland and I was happy to get a relatively clear image of the watering system from a moving vehicle.

68/365 Somewhere in Georgia:  March 9, 2015 3915

Day 69:  March 10, 2015

It’s back to work, back to the day to day routine, back to the 1 hour drive each way.  I spotted these Cormorants hanging out on the power lines.

69/365 Enroute home:  March 10, 2015 3995

Day 70:  March 11, 2015

Hard to believe but it is day 2 at work and then I will be off on the road again.  This time to Nashville, Tennessee.  However, today while I was out and about I spotted this little stream to the side of the road.

West Palm Beach: March 11, 2015 4010

Day 71:  March 12, 2015

On the road again, as Willie Nelson would say.  And yes, we off to the city of country music.  Not a very auspicious start to the trip.  Fortunately we were only driving 5 hours today.   I am looking forward to spending time with my brother again.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 12, 2015 4038

Day 72:  March 13, 2015

After spending the night in Valdosta, we got back on the road, another 8 hour journey on the horizon.  We navigated Atlanta and the HOV lane in wet weather with high levels of stress.  As we approached Chattanooga, I decided that I wanted to stop and walk around the waterfront.  Brr…I am back in cold country, however, I was determined to walk this area.  Richard on the other hand, headed back to the car.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4118

Day 73:  March 14, 2015

We are in Nashville, the city of country music.  Heading downtown the the Museum of Country, I came across this bronze statue of Chet Atikins.  The sculptor who did this work was Russell Faxon.  This was also a very interesting day because not only did I find myself walking through a country museum, but also getting excited about a basketball game that I was not even watching.  Apparently Kentucky was playing Urburn in Nashville and Kentucky had just made it through to the quarter finals.  Nashville was full of partying folk from Kentucky, and the spirit was definitely catching. What friendly folk we met.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4084

Day 74:  March 15, 2015

Most of my images are of inside the hotel.  We did a whole lot, including the replica of the Greek Parthenon, but in transferring the images I somehow deleted them all.  Big disappointment when I discovered I had done that.  Not only that but I had written over the history as well.  Lesson well learned. Here I played around with freezing water.

Nashville, Tennessee: March 15, 2015 14088128

Day 75:  March 16, 2015

While my brother was in conference, Rich and I headed back to the city.  A bus trip saw I arrive at the water front and we began walking. Down the hill to the waterfront and the Korean Bridge.  I loved this pic of an unknown woman sitting on the edge of a building.  From the waterfront we headed back onto the main streets, and did some country music listening in a couple of different places.  I will give you this, I am still not a country music convert, but I did enjoy most of what I heard.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 16 2015 4773

Day 76:  March 17, 2015

Tuesday was a lazy day.  After breakfast we took a walk on the outskirts of the hotel, down to the Grand Ol’ Oprey, and on towards the Mall.  I also spent some time wandering around the inside of the hotel.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 14, 2015 5061

Day 77:  March 18, 2015

The conference my brother was attending was done, and we were back on the road again.  I had decided that it would be nice to show him a different part of the South and so we headed off to Savannah, Georgia.  I love this city and could spend hours walking the historical district.  The weather, however,  had a different idea.  The 8 hour journey saw us arrive in Savannah around 5pm and we had enough light to walk the waterfront area.  I love the old world look of this image.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 18, 2015 5223

Day 78:  March 19, 2015

Early morning rise and shine and my brother and I headed out to explore the city before the rain came.  I love the side streets, the back streets, the nooks and cranny’s that you find in Savannah.  I love it’s history, it’s architecture.  I love the feel of Savannah, and I would go back again for the fourth time and still not see it all.  Soon the rain came, and we were back in the car and on the road again.  This time to Gainesville to see our daughter.  My brother had not seen Amy for a year and it was a good opportunity to catch up.  The highlight for Richard was to visit the Gator stadium.

Gainesville, Florida: March 19 2015 7902

Day 79:  March 20, 2015

The last leg of the trip started with a really mist morning drive back home.

Gainesville, Florida: March 19 2015 7923

Day 80 March 21, 2015

Today I took my brother for a walk in one of my favorite places, the wetlands.  I took him to the smaller more populated wetland.  After walking around we headed home to a lazy day of doing nothing.  He is not used to the Florida weather and finds it very hot.

Wakadohatchee Wetlands: March 21, 2015 7987

Day 81:  March 22, 2015

Richard has bought a paddle board and so he was determined to take Barry and I off to the beach.  Richard had fun on the paddle board.  Barry got his feet wet and I drank coffee.  This way to early for me.

A beach day:  March 22, 2015 8233

Day 82:  March 23, 2015

I have said goodbye to my brother again.  I am not sure when I will see him again. He headed back to South Africa and I headed back to work.  I hope he comes over next year, but there is never a guarantee.  Meanwhile I am back to the norm of the environment and weeds are what I played with today.  I pulled out my macro when I got home and got down in the grass.

Outback on the Canal:  March 23, 2015 8374

Day 83: March 24, 2015

After an out of office meeting, I headed to a wetland very close to where the meeting was.  I had heard there was new chicks in town and I really, really wanted to see them.  The Sandhill Crane colts had to have been the sweetest chicks I have seen.  Added to that I was able to get quite close to them. The parents did not seem concerned, so I sat down and stayed for an hour.

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8500

Day 84:  March 25, 2015

Early morning out on the canal.  It is a work day and the ducks are fed and I cannot resist stopping to take this misty feeling out back.

After the rain: March 25, 2015 8676

Day 85:  March 26, 2015

It is Thursday, which means it is Friday for me, and I am on the road to the office.  The sky is stunning and this 2 minute stop was well worth it for me.

Early morning on the road: March 26, 2015 8710

Day 86  March 27, 2015

It’s Friday and its my day to wake up slowly, smell the coffee, brew the coffee, drink the coffee and say good morning to the critters out back.  I love to take my coffee and my camera out on the deck.  Mornings are great and right now there is no mosquito problems.  Today Master Squirrel was hanging out for breakfast.

Out on the Back Canal: March 27, 2015 8788

Day 87: March 28, 2015

It was with excitement and pleasure that I was able to photograph the ring my son Cameron gave to his fiance Kathryn as part of their engagement shoot.  We are thrilled to have Kathryn join our family and we are looking forward to what the future will bring for them.

Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014  9027

Day 88:  March 29, 2015

I have discovered that the Mockingbird is Florida’s state bird.  I have also discovered that it never stops singing.  I am convinced that one day it will loose it’s voice but so far it has not happened.

88/365 (Project 365) Outback on the Canal: March 29, 3015 9081

Day 89:  March 30, 2015

I was out in the garden with my macro lens when I spotted this Damselfly hanging out on the plants.

Outback on the Canal: March 30, 3015 9100

Day 90:  March 31, 2015

It is the last day of March and I cannot believe how quickly March flew by.  Talking about flying by, I found this Dragonfly sitting on the tip of my orchid shoot.  I am convinced it was eating the ants as they were walking up the stem.  Not sure but it seemed to be constantly munching.

Outback on the Canal: March 31, 3015 9156


Thank you for joining me as I challenge myself to pick up my camera and take two photo’s a day.  Sometimes it is easy, other times it is a lot harder.  Look out for the next installment for the month of April.

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