Share Six: October 2019: Pink

For Share Six this month we will be doing our final Disease awareness highlight for 2019.

For all of you ladies, and men, out there, this month is Breast Awareness Month and pink is our color.  I have a cousin who was diagnosed and fought to win against breast cancer.  Two years ago, a fellow photographer was diagnosed with breast cancer and I followed her journey, prayed for her recovery, and have witnessed an extraordinarily strong woman have to deal with a painful part of her life. Our own Janet Douglas is a breast cancer survivor as well.

South County Park: July 4, 2017: 5692

Now I will confess to being a bit of an ostrich.  If I stick my head in the sand it will go away.  Honestly, the less I know the better I feel.  That way I do not have to worry about anything.  But I know that is not the best way to look at life.

Lily: March 13, 2017: 9320

However, if I am worried about it I will definitely do something.  I had never had a mammogram.  I had heard that they hurt like hell.  I was staying away from that lady and the jaws of death…  And then I had a pain in an area that I should not have had pain in and so I pulled up the big girl panties and headed off to the gynecologist who automatically sent me off for a mammogram.  I sucked it up, only to find that I either had an exceptional radiographer or it was not as bad as I had been led to believe.   Turned out I had muscle pain.  That was good news but I will be honest and confess that I was a little nervous.  I know that I will need to go for another one in the near future.  I won’t put it off for too long this time.

Green Cay Wetlands: August 22, 2015 6171

Ladies check your breasts regularly.  If you are bathing or showering take time to feel for changes in the normal structure of your breasts.  Look for a change in the size and shape of your breast.  If you have pain in your breast, don’t let it go, get it checked out.  If you are not breastfeeding and have nipple discharge, get it checked out.  If you find a lump in your breast or under your arm, get it checked out.  Be proactive, rather than reactive. The consequences of pushing it aside could be a long and heartbreaking journey, which you may survive or you may not.  Don’t let it go.  Take a look at the CDC site for more information on breast cancer

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While it may be uncommon, Men, you don’t get off Scot free.  Like woman, if diagnosed early enough you have a good chance for cure.  Watch out for thickening of the breast tissue, or a random lump that is not painful.  If you have changes to the skin area of the breast. If it is red, dimpled, puckering or scaling, get it checked out.  Discharge or changes to the nipple area, get it checked out.  For more information on cancer in men, take a look at this site at the Mayo Clinic

Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4388

Remember be proactive, rather than reactive.  While we have not had breast cancer in our family, my husband has had a melanoma, that spread to the glands under his arms.  I knew the fear of being newly married with a husband who now had one of the deadliest cancers I knew of.  He survived but it could have gone the other way.  My dad was not so lucky.  He had pancreas cancer. His time was very short once diagnosed.  Don’t leave it.  When it is too late, it is definitely too late.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: DFebruary 4, 2018: 0409

What are some of the risk factors for breast cancer:

  • Getting older
  • Genetic Mutations
  • Reproductive history
  • Having dense breasts
  • Personal history of breast cancer or some non cancerous breast diseases
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Previous treatment using radiation therapy

 

Bokeh:  November 14, 2017: 6756

Some of the ways that breast cancer is treated:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Radiation therapy

Some of the side effects of treatment:

  • Hair Loss
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Skin Changes

Most of my information has been researched on the CDC site

If you are dealing with breast cancer, you have my heart.  The journey I followed with my photographer friend, has been up and down, good days and bad days, laughter and tears, sometimes more tears than laughter.  She has been strong.  She was fighting for her life, for the opportunity to have more years with her husband and her young children.  It has not been easy for her, but she has stayed strong, and even on the hard days she has been as positive as she can be.

Out on the back canal: May 27, 2018: 4961

This month the theme color is pink.  I have to confess pink is not my favorite color.  Added to that work has been crazy and I did not have time to go out searching for pink.  So today I am sharing some of my favorite pink images I have in my files.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9577

This last image speaks to me.  While in New York in July ’19, I saw a lady selling photographs which I really loved.  However, we were just starting out on our day’s activities and I could not see how I could carry it around, take photographs and not damage the image.  Walking along the highline, I happened to look down at the Chelsea Market and spotted this image on the side wall of the Chelsea Market and I fell in love.  The artist Kobra did an amazing piece of work not only on the Chelsea Market wall but further along as well. I will confess that there was a street light in the middle of my image which I painstakingly took 5 hours to remove to get the end result of this image.

Mother Theresa, born Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, in Skopje Macedonia, is one of the women that I admire.  Simple, humble and caring, she tried to emulate unconditional love all her life to the women of India.  In 1948 Mother Theresa began her missionary work to the poor.  She labored in the slums of Calcutta. To be willing to give your all, humbles me.  She humbles me. 

On a side note, I hope to go to Macedonia next year, to celebrate the marriage (18 months later) of my daughter to her husband Daniel with his family.   

Mahatma Ghandi, was born in Gujarat, Western India.  He trained to be a lawyer, but when that was not working out so well, he traveled to South Africa to assist an Indian merchant in a law suit.  Ghandi stayed in South Africa over 21 years, actually living in a area not far from where I grew up, years before I was born.  The house had been memorialized over the years.  He was a civil right activist in South Africa.  In 1915 he returned to India.  In 1948 Ghandi was assassinated on his way to a prayer meeting. If you have not ever watched the movie, check out Ben Kingsley in his role as Ghandi. It was excellent.

In the words of Mother Theresa “Peace begins with a smile“, and that is what I see in both faces in this image.  Let us try to spread love with a smile, with all those we come in contact with.  Remember to be proactive rather than reactive.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist  Janet Douglas and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_pink

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Tell me a Story: September 2019

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9249

Today is one of those months where I have two blogs go live in one day.  Earlier on I shared some time in Central Park, New York.  This blog I am going to share our trip to Staten Island.

For every foreigner, New York is that illusive place you hear about, along with Miami, and LA.  It’s in the movies, it in books, you hear about it on television and you feel like you have to visit.  I have seen Miami.  I have now seen New York.  LA will have to be on the trip down under.

Along with New York comes the Statue of Liberty, the welcoming beacon to all of those immigrants so many years ago, and one that today’s immigrants also look to and are thankful for the opportunity to be in the USA.  I am one of those immigrants.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9069

While we are immigrants, all of my family still live in South Africa.  This trip was about spending time with my brother and his wife while they were in the USA.  Today’s adventure is just a small part of our day.  We were going to Staten Island, Dumbo, Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, World Trade Center and the 911 Memorial Site.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9071

So we were up early and off to the train station.  The train arrived and there was standing room only.  This was the early morning commute. We were squashed into the compartment like sardines in a tin.  It was hot, sweaty and I felt profoundly grateful that I did not have to do this every day, and very sorry for those that did.  And yes, the compartment was air-conditioned but honestly – way to many people.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9077

In the pre-planning phase of the trip, we had looked at the cost of the trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the number of people who visit it on a daily basis and the length of time it took.  None of us wanted to go down that avenue. We also had a jam packed day of activities and this was just a small part of it.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9078

So a tip to any traveler who wants to see the Statue of Liberty but does not want the cost, crowds and length of time it takes, take a ferry boat ride to Staten Island.  It is free.  It also goes past the Statue of Liberty.  If you have a good camera and a great zoom lens you will get some fairly decent images.  I guess here is the time to make my stupidity confession.  While packing my camera lens, I somehow packed my heavy macro lens instead of my 300mm zoom lens.  Bummer, but at least my lens I used for the trip was a 24-135mm so I had some level of zoom in it.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9084

The trip takes about 40 minutes each way and one of the goals was to get the New York Skyline.  I feel like that is what this blog is about mainly.  I managed to get one I was happy with and you will see that I have edited it in a number of different ways.   The image above is linked to my maiden name and so I could not resist taking the Hudson River.  New Jersey on one side and New York on the other.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9249

Above is my color edit of the New York skyline.  The day was overcast and we had had a few drops of rain.  No fun for a photographer but it did add to the mood of the black and white images.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9087

Ellis Island, so history goes, was in use from 1892 to 1924 and was used as the immigration access point for over 12 million immigrants.  Annie Moore was the first immigrant to step through the doors of Ellis Islands immigration center.  Annie, age 15, was traveling to the USA with her 2 younger brothers in order to meet up with her parents.  All immigrants needed to successfully pass a medical test proving that they had no illnesses.  They also had to pass an interview proving that they could support themselves in this new country and prove that they had sufficient funds with them. After 1917 they also had to prove that they could read.   The island had two nicknames,  “Island of Hope” and in contrast “Island of Tears”.  For if you did not pass any of the tests you were sent home.  From all accounts families got separated at this process.  According to the records April 17, 1907 was Ellis Islands busiest day.  11747 people were processed through the facility that day.

New York: July 20-24, 2019:

I always thought the Statue of Liberty was built as a beacon welcoming foreigners to it’s shore, but reading history today tells me otherwise.  According to history the statue of liberty’s origins lay in France. Edouard de Laboulaye presented the idea to the sculptor Frederic Bartholdi.  Bartholdi designed, raised funds and chose the location of where the statue would be situated.  This statue was to be a gift from the people of France

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9106

The statue was built in a number of stages and shipped to the USA. Gustave Eiffel, famously known for the Eiffel Tower, was hired to build the internal construction of the the statue, an iron grid structure would give support to the statue.  The outer form was constructed from copper which has oxidized and turned green over the years.  The statue is meant to represent the freedom and liberty of the United States Government.  She was designed and modeled after the goddess Liberatas.  Enlightenment of the world is symbolically represented in the torch that she holds up high, and the tablet represents the law.  The tablet has an inscription date in Roman numerals of July 1776.  The chains at her feet are said to represent breaking free from tyranny.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9249

Above is my silhouette version of New York City.  Black and white city images add character for me and are definitely one of my favorite ways to see a city.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9126

In the distance is the view of Jersey Island, New York City and Brooklyn to the right with a slight glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.  Before we knew it we were looking forward and at the arrival point to Staten Island.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9144

Staten Island is not a small island, and we did not have the time to explore much there but we did get to walk along the waterfront for a short bit of time.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9151

As we were arriving so ferries were preparing to leave.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9152

The waterfront area was colorful and interesting and we quickly found a Starbucks to get our early morning java.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9162

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9163

Below was one of my favorite views on Staten Island, and so while my brother and sister in law were visiting the pharmacy, I took the opportunity to head back to this area and take some photo’s of this statue.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9167

Of course, for me, I love to see this kind of artwork in black and white so I have detoured from color here to fill my need to see city scenes in monochrome.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9169

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9171

This was the last hazy shot from Staten Island of New York City before we headed back to the ferry to do the 40 minute trip back to the mainland and on to Dumbo.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9178

Clearly people love to have fun out on the water and it was great to see these jet ski’s out and about.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9248

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9097

Some interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty:

The green exterior of the Statue of Liberty is copper that has changed color due to oxidation.

If you are up to climbing the statue right to the top of the crown, plan on being fit, you will need to navigated 354 steps.  In fact I am not sure that you are allowed to do that anymore.

The statue’s  face is supposed to represent the mother of the sculptor Bartholdi.

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were most likely to see the Statue of Liberty first.

The total weight of the statue is approximately 225 tons.

The spikes or rays sticking out from the crown are supposed to represent the seven continents and seven seas of the world.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9249

My last interpretation of the New York City Skyline – gritty and grainy.  New York City has it’s own unique character and a dense population.  This is added to by the sheer volume of visitors to the city.   Some areas I found a little dirty and other areas I loved.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9255

As we approached the landing bays again, I was struck by the multi-levels of this city.  Amidst the tall glass structures are these small buildings and at times I felt the view upwards looked a little like stepping stones.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9272

The docking area has these protection areas built between each docking station made up by numerous posts of wood, preventing ships from bumping up against each other.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9273

We are out of the harbor and our view right now is of Brooklyn Bridge.  Yes, we are heading there and yes we are going to cross it.  So it is off to the train station again to catch the “under the river” train to the town of Dumbo, where we will begin our walk to the bridge.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 9292

This was a once in a lifetime shot for me, as the train was coming in.  I attempted it a couple of other times and did not get what I was looking for.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month.  Mindy Sauvageau  is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.

 

 

 

30 Minutes in the Life: September 2019

It’s July, it’s the hottest day in New York City and yours truly is not in air-conditioning, no!, we are walking through Central Park.  Welcome to 30 minutes in the Life and this is mine plus a few additional minutes 🙂

You may remember that I did a quick overview of the New York City trip.  Honestly, that was 15 of about 1500 images.  Since the Rochester training trip my life has got a little hectic and honestly I feel like I do not have the time to go out.  I have become in the last couple of months a workaholic because I know I have a deadline to pull together a brand new system and ensure that it is ready to go live before the end of the year.  No pressure here, but it makes it a little harder to get out and go walking in the city looking for photo’s to take.  Added to that South Florida is miserably hot.

Part of this day we planned to walk in Central park and then head to the Natural History Museum to cool off and spend the hottest part of the day inside there.  I think a million other people had the same idea.  So off we go, water in hand, camera bag on my back, and a bus ticket in my hand.  We arrive at Central Park and need to cross the road.  I have this image in my mind of looking up a New York City street with iconic taxi’s in my view.  Moving and taking pics is not working so I get to the side of the road and stop to get my images.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8972

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8778

Lesson one.  When you are out with people who are not taking the same photographs as you, keep an eye on them.  Oh yes, I lost them. Of course, they did not keep an eye on me either.  They wandered off, not waiting for me.  I went down the way I thought I had seen Richard go.  Walked down this off beaten pathway with a stranger who also seemed to be “lost” and eventually came out at the through road.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8783

Crossing the road, I discovered I was in Shakespeare’s Garden.  No family but the garden was really pretty.  So I meandered around the gardens, which I might add were really tranquil and finally decided that since I had not found them I should go back to the through road and try and figure out where the castle was.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8787

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8790

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8793

I did not find the maps terribly user friendly.  The WhatsApp group had gone silent despite a number of messages being sent by yours truly.  Finally I stop at a concession cart and ask for directions on how to get to the castle.  The seller gives me directions and off I go.  Once again I am following a road blindly.  There were no directional maps nearby and my gps now tells me I have a long walk around the lake, so I plod on.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8798

Just as I am passing Romeo and Juliet and then a major row of toilets, my phone rings (which it could have done far earlier) and it is Richard asking me where I am.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8801

Umm, I am on the other side of the lake looking at Belvedere Castle.  Yip.  Probably if I had looked really closely, I could have seen them all glaring at me.  However, If I had gone the way they had gone I would not have seen then next few beautiful views.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8803

New York: July 20-24, 2019:

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8808

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8809

Off I plod again.  I say plod because my feet are kind of sore already.  Remember that post op feet are still not what they should be.  They still get sore pretty quickly.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8817

Finally I arrived the Belvedere Castle, to the faces of 3 unhappy people.  Oh well, you can’t win them all.  At least I got the spectacular (in my mind) front view of the castle over the lake.  I certainly enjoyed the views from the tower looking over central park.  Richard told me to walk through the castle, while my brother and his wife went walking down by the lake.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8845

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8824

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8825

New York: July 20-24, 2019:

Once I was done we headed down to the lake and enjoyed the cooler tree covered pathways.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8848

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8850

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8855

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8864

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8867

We walked back around towards the castle and up onto the lower level to take the short cut back to the main road.  Apparently the short cut that I should have taken.  I traveled the long road.

I traveled the long road
Just so you would listen
I traveled the long road
Just me and my intuition
No body seemed to understand just why I left with the clothes on my back
They asked why such a drastic change
I just know that my decision will put me on track
That’s why I traveled the long road
So I can smile again
Feel good inside again
Maybe even laugh again
Hey yeah yeah, I am going to travel
~ Jully Black
🙂 🙂 🙂

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8875

Richard went off to find the bathroom, and while I was waiting who should arrive but my brother and his wife.  So we waited for Richard before heading off again.  As you can see I quickly got behind.  This set the tone for the rest of the stay.  They walked ahead, I meandered, stopped, smiled and caught up.  They rested while waiting for me, so the minute I caught up they moved on – no rest for the weary that was for sure.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8876

We did head back to central park another day but the upper end of it.  It wasn’t as interesting as the lower end to be honest, but there was one stop we made at a pretty lake.

New York: July 20-24, 2019: 8878

So that was Central Park, done and dusted.  Did I like it, yes although it was a little stressful and seriously hot. I think we were all overheated.  Next stop was the Natural History Museum.  Richard is not a big museum fan and after 60 minutes I got a call to say he was leaving.  I kind of headed out as well.  We stopped grabbed some lunch and shade, tried the WhatsApp again for the other two but no luck, so we headed down to Times Square and Grand Central Station.

Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, making us now 11 active bloggers, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Ceri Herd Photography and see what she has for you this month.  I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.  If you have time I have a second blog going simultaneously of our trip to Staten Island.

Share Six: September 2019: Gold

It’s September 6 and it is a bitter sweet day for me.  Bitter because my piece of gold is not with me, and sweet because the memories do not go away.  Happy birthday Mom, you are my piece of gold and I love all those sweet memories that I carry in my heart.

Hello and thank you for indulging me my moment of memories.  Today the theme is one we have done before but honestly it is such an important reminder of what so many people experience this silently.  It is heartbreaking when we loose a loved on, even more so when it is a child.  “September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, so for all of September we’ve decided to team up and join forces with @thegoldhopeproject to help spread awareness!!

If you or your family have been affected by cancer then you know how hard it is to walk that journey.  I could not imagine having my child suffer from cancer.  It was hard enough watching my boy go through surgery after surgery for 9 years for a bone disorder, but at least I knew that, unless something went horribly wrong in surgery, he would be going home with me.  Yes, we had long recuperation periods but that boy is now 30 years old and I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to walk that journey with him.

For those of you that don’t know, The Gold Hope Project is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of photographers who aim to provide free portrait sessions to families battling pediatric cancer. As photographers, we understand how truly important it is to document our children’s lives, and what better gift to give to parents going through such a tremendously difficult time!

In addition to pairing young warriors with photographers, @TheGoldHopeProject also works to raise funds for pediatric cancer research! If you want to participate with us this month, here are just a few things you can consider:

1. Tag your Instagram gold photos with the #TeamUp4GoldKids (for features) and #theGoldHopeProject (to spread awareness). You will have a chance to be featured on one of the MANY participating hubs for the month of September!
2. Go to goldhopeproject.com and see how you can apply to be a registered photographer!
3. Donate! It DOES make a difference!

Two weeks ago, when Richard asked if I wanted to go to the beach to watch the sunrise I wavered.  He wanted to go out on his paddle board for a while.  While I hate waking up in the morning, I am always keen to watch the sunrise, I just wish I did not have to wake up to do it.

I was not thinking about the theme when I took these images but this really worked out perfectly for this month’s gold theme.

Sunrise: South Beach, BR: August 11, 2019: 9912

Sunrise: South Beach, BR: August 11, 2019: 9967

Here are a few Childhood Cancer Facts

– Cancer is the #1 disease killer of kids in the US.

– Childhood Cancer is more than a dozen types of cancers combined including tumors, leukemia and lymphomas.

– The causes of most childhood cancer is unknown. Childhood cancer cannot be prevented.

– Many childhood cancer treatments are the same that existed in the 1970s.

– 1 out of 8 children with cancer will not survive.

– Childhood cancer research receives 4% of the annual budget from the National Cancer Institute. That equals 195 million for all 12 types of childhood cancer. Adult cancers receive the renewing 96% of the budget.

– 9 children are diagnosed with a brain tumor everyday.

– 43 children are diagnosed with cancer each day.

Sunrise: South Beach, BR: August 11, 2019: 9925

Sunrise: South Beach, BR: August 11, 2019: 9971

Help to be a part of highlighting Childhood Cancer Awareness and remember you can:

1. Tag your gold photos with the #TeamUp4GoldKids (for features) and #theGoldHopeProject (to spread awareness). You will have a chance to be featured on one of the MANY participating hubs for the month of September!
2. Go to goldhopeproject.com and see how you can apply to be a registered photographer!
3. Donate! It DOES make a difference!

Sunrise: South Beach, BR: August 11, 2019: 0008Sunrise: South Beach, BR: August 11, 2019: 9954

 

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Elizabeth of It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Willson and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

Tell me a Story: July 2019

Summer in South Florida is hot, and this year has recorded some of the hottest temperatures.  I, for one, am very grateful for air conditioning.  As I get older the more I am wanting cooler weather.  I feel like we should be watching the issue of climate change more and more.

That said, I had a free Friday and decided to take a long overdue walk in the wetlands.  Between being sick, working like crazy to pull together some major changes, and having traveled a significant amount already this year, I found I really did not have the time or the desire to go to the hot, humid wetlands.  But this Friday I did.  I woke up early and headed out before 8am.  OK, for some that is not early but for me on a Friday on my day off from work it is.  Knowing that I was going to spend the rest of my day off working, I headed out.  Did I say it was hot?? Freaking hot really.  By the time I got back to the car I was dripping wet and dehydrated, despite the bottle of water I carried.

Here are a few of my favorites from the walk.

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0062

Wild fruit

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0068

Anhinga

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0071

Four Spotted Pennant

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0093

A water drop on a pond apple

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0233

A wild flower peeking through the railings

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0123

One of my favorite styles of shooting, leaves on the railings

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0186

Ready to re-seed

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0212

Shallow depth of field

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0266

Blue Dasher

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0221

Wild Hibiscus

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0227

Hibiscus Bud

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0271

Scarlet Skimmer

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0285

Fir leaves on the railing

Green Cay Wetlands:  August 16, 2019: 0300

Halloween Pennant

As you can see, not a lot of bird life.  I think they left the wetlands at 7:45 am to find some shade 🙂  Truthfully, until the weather cools down a bit, I may hold off walking in the wetlands.  We have had rain every day for the past 4 weeks and that just pushes the humidity levels up so much higher.  I am wilting!

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. Mindy Sauvageau is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: August 2019

I have been to Viscaya at least 3 times before.  It is a place I can go visit and never see everything.  Each time I go back I see something different.  This month Daniel was car hunting, and so he and Amy were going down to Miami to look and see what they could find.  Amy asked if I would like to go to Viscaya since they was down there and I was happy to.   Welcome to the home of John Deering, Viscaya.

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Born in 1859, in Maine, James Deering, retired in his mid fifties.  Due to health reasons, James Deering decided to build his home in South Florida.  It was hoped that the warm, sunny climate would improve his health.  And so in 1910 began the plans to build his new home.  James Deering, from everything I have seen was an interesting man and one I think I would have enjoyed having a conversation with.  In 1952, Viscaya was transferred to the county and opened as a historic property well worth visiting.

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As you walk around the opulent house and beautiful grounds one thing that stands out is that there is a number of influences and from what I have read he was fascinated by travel, legends and mythology.  Neptune is seen around the house and very much in the gardens.

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The house is rich with beautiful timeless pieces that illuminate the surroundings and the stunning wall hangings.

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The ceilings match the opulence of the home and the walls reflect the very South Florida look.

 

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Ornate edgings and beautiful doors are just a part of this beautiful domed walkway.

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Heading up the stairs we came across stunning stained glass doors that have stood through the ages.

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In corners and domed display areas you will find statues of interest ranging from local to international, of people or of mythology.

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There are decadent sitting rooms rich with drapes and ornamental objects on display.

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As we pass by a window we got a view of just a small portion of Viscaya’s beautiful gardens that lead up to a pavilion area.  But beyond these gardens to the left and right are more gardens, and this time I spent time exploring those gardens.

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This is a bed that little girls dream of and in James Deering’s house, many guests stayed in.  Life, from what I have read, was spent in Viscaya over the winter months, very often with family or guests.

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This stair case is a favorite of mine and as much as I try to lean as far over I can never quite get the full spiral.

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Having explored the upstairs we went down and decided to venture out into the hot hot summers day of South Florida.

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There is some beautiful stain glass windows just before you go outside and I love the view you get of the gardens through them.

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We are outside and you are seeing just a portion of the house that faces the Bay of Biscayne.

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To the right, by way of a pathway, and over a bridge stand a beautiful portico.  A favorite spot for photographers taking wedding pictures, or Quinceañera, for the 16 year old Spanish girls birthdays.

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To the left another bridge that appeared to go down to a set of steps where perhaps guest stepped onto a boat.  Since the last time I was down here this area has been badly damage, I can only assume, by one of the hurricanes that has passed over this area.

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My understanding was that the barge was built as a break water structure.  That said history has it that James Deering and his guest would be ferried by boat or gondola to the barge for afternoon tea and at times cocktails.

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A large part of the estate is built with coral and you will see this throughout the gardens.

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Beautiful ponds of water lilies are visible as well.

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Lining the walkways are a series of statues

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And again you see the influence of international travel with the sphinx typically found  in Egypt.

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There is beautiful color in the gardens and whenever, I see Anthurium I am reminded of my mother.  She loved this beautiful waxy looking flower, and while my father grew orchids, below them he grew Anthurium for my mother.

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I have walked these gardens many times but this was the first time I really looked more closely at these statues.  Shown here were mermen holding pots on their shoulders while being overseen by driver.

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Reflections depict that which is above, and this statue with all its glory, has two interestingly strange looking lions at the top.

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We walk up the side steps to a beautiful pavilion, which back in the day was known to James Deering’s guests as the casino.  From the top of the pavilion there are levels of this beautiful terraced waterfall and on either side a series of steps.

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To the left and right are secluded areas not unlike a small atrium.  The inside was built with coral and, in its hey day, this appeared to be a fountain with seating to either side of it.

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On the outside of the area were statues of mermen and mermaids, almost guarding those that entered in.

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Beyond the steps more ponds with water lily and on occasions I have spotted a great big frog.

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This was probably my favorite image of Amy and Daniel.  They took a fun one just before of them on either side of the pillared portico.  I asked them to stand together for this one.  Granted by now we were all beyond hot and sweaty.

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As we are walking back to the house there is a water fountain with frogs and iguana at the edges of it.  This was not the frog that I saw in the pond either but the size does not seem far off it.  Just joking.  I loved how the water drops float across the image.

If you are heading to Miami, and who doesn’t want to go to Miami at some point in the visit to Florida, take some time out in your visit to stop by Viscaya.  In fact, take a few hours to go through the house and the property.  Winter is probably a better time to do it but whichever time you go, know that you are in for a blast into the past, and a treat that will keep you looking and wishing you could have seen everything in one visit.  I know that some day in the future I will visit Viscaya for a 5th time.  I don’t think it will ever grow “old” for me despite the age and time period of this beautiful building.  I hope that you enjoyed taking a walk with us.

Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, making us now 15 bloggers,  and so I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal  of Crystal Bella Photography, and see what she has for you this month.  I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.

 

Share Six: August 2019: Summer Days

Summer days, and the livin’ is easy….I can just hear the bluesy voice of Ella Fitzgerald.  I think of farms, and apple picking and the breeze blowing through my hair.  This is so not happening for me this month.

Summer days typically for me are on the beach and Richard playing the laid back Jimmy Buffet.  But this month it most definitely was not.  No this month we picked the hottest weekend to visit New York.

Why New York in summer.  Well it goes back to connecting with my brother again.  He was off to Philly but wanted to spend some time in New York. I opted to skip Philly and cross off another item on my bucket list and visit New York, along with a grumbling Richard.  I will give him credit – he always said never again – but he hung in there and went along with the plans.

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The Castle in Central Park

I am going to use this blog to kick of the New York trip images.  What can I say New York, New York,  I was glad to cross it off my bucket list.  First impressions are that the transportation is fantastic, but at times you feel like a sardine in a tin can.  The people are friendly, so we found on the buses and at restaurants.  The streets are dirty, smelly and busy.  The traffic flows, despite the enormous amount of congestion caused by the taxi’s stopping at random.  The honking drivers certainly lived up to my expectations.  New York City is just that, a bustling city.  Tall buildings, endless construction and a large amount of people.

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A view of the city from Central Park

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Street Vendors outside the Natural History Museum.

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One of the many city streets

That said there was a lot to see in New York, that was incredibly interesting.  Just plan well.  Do yourself a favor, buy a metro ticket.  The subway and the bus system were a great way to get around.  For just $33 we got a pass for 7 days and we really used it.  Just a reminder that if you are flying in to LaGuardia Airport you will need to get your metro card and then a ticket at the bus stop before you get on the bus. Not sure why because you do not pay any extra.  They just use your metro card around the city.  If you are heading out of JFK just remember that the subway going to the airport will not take unlimited metro cards.

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The subway from the Staten Island Ferry to Dumbo

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Just one of the many city reflections

We were in New York from Saturday to Wednesday.  We flew into LaGuardia airport and caught a bus to the cross street below our destination.  Our destination was West Harlem.  Richard, as per usual, said it was just a short walk to our rented Airbnb.  Hats of to Shama for an awesome apartment.  However, we had to get there first, and our short walk was directly uphill, in the stinking hot weather, dragging carry-on luggage and a heavy backpack thanks to camera equipment.  30 minutes later, sweating profusely, gasping for air (that is me not Richard, and I am totally convinced I am now asthmatic), we crest the hill and it dips downwards ever so slightly and I am beginning to think that maybe, just maybe I will be able to breathe again.  That is before I realized that we had to take our tired selves, the carry-on and backpack up three flights of steps to the apartment.  But what a pleasure it was to finally be able to stop and enjoy the beautiful apartment we had rented.

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State of Liberty

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New York City

We took in the city sites.  This blog is just a kick off coverage of around 2000 images taken in the city and there will definitely be more blogs on our adventure.  Instead of going to the Statue of Liberty, at a cost of $21 and getting caught up in long lines, we opted instead to take the free Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty instead.  The boat ride was about 45 minutes each way, and we got to see a small portion of Staten Island as well.  We were also able to get a view of New York from the ferry as we got further away from the mainland.

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Dumbo

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Manhattan Bridge

We caught a subway under the ocean and headed to the town of Dumbo, where we had to stop in at an underpass to have a beer, before we took on the Brooklyn Bridge, with its multitude of people. Rehydrate, rehydrate, rehydrate, not that beer does that but you get where I am going. Dumbo is apparently an up and coming area and I was encouraged to make sure we passed through it.  I loved that I was able to get some “from the ground” up images of the bridges.  When crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, watch out for the bicycles in the cyclists lane because they do not watch out for you.  When you come from Boca, where pedestrians have the right of way, and hit New York, where you are last on the pecking chain, beware of those cyclists 🙂

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Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge took longer than I thought.  I kept loosing the other 3 because they are not photographers and they have not grasped the concept that you need to stop when something catches your eye and not just take the pretty people pics.  If you are walking the Brooklyn Bridge carry water, especially when it is hot.  You will go through it pretty quickly.  Also wear comfortable clothing and shoes. It is an interesting bridge and if you look closely there is graffiti on the railings.  My favorite image was a sign that said in red writing “this is not a lock bridge” and directly below attached to the mesh was a red lock.  The wiring system on this bridge is incredible.  I could have spent all day looking at the bridge.

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World Trade Center – inside

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911 Memorial

On the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge, we walked onward, and I will confess tiredly stopping briefly to watch some street artists.  My feet were killing me, but we labored on until we reached the World Trade Center.  Wow, what an incredible inside to the building.  I was captivated when I looked at the design outside but inside was even better.  And then on to the 911 Memorial site.  It is sobering to know that buildings once stood at this site and so much devastation and loss occurred here on 9/11/2001.  The same day I was in hospital with Cameron, post op his first surgery of many in the USA.  We had just switched on the TV and watched in disbelief as the events unfolded.  This picture just shows a few of the many that lost their lives that day.

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Street Art – Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi

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The Vessel at Hudson Yards

We took in the Chelsea Market, and ventured up the High Line, strolled along the waterfront, had a super expensive lobster roll, before heading across town to catch the bus back up to northern Central Park.  If you are heading to Chelsea Market, head there early for breakfast or a bit later for lunch.  There are lots of interesting places to stop and grab something to snack.  The High Line is an unique overview of the city, built on old train tracks and leading through the city buildings.  You are able to see some captivating art.  You will also see awesome reflections on the various buildings.  And finally you will arrive at the Vessel, a unique piece of art found in the Hudson Yards.

This was our action packed 5 day {Summer Days} and this is just a small snapshot of our days in New York City.  There were other streets and alleyways that we ventured down.  There was up time and some serious down time at the end of each full day of walking.  Dinner in West Harlem was great, we ate curry the one evening, and stopped by a great Italian restaurant the other night.  The upside of renting an apartment we could eat at “home” if we were too tired.  The area I am told is an up and coming area, very eclectic, interesting people, and fun places to hang out at.  Look out for the blogs of New York coming up soon.

In the meantime, I am dying to know how everyone else has spent their summer days this month.  This is a circle blog and I encourage you to follow the links and see what the others have for you.    My friend and fellow blogger Katherine of Cobert Photography follows me and she is super talented and I know I am heading over to see what she and the other bloggers have shared.

Don’t forget to head over to the Facebook Page and the Instagram Page and leave us a photo showing us what your {Summer Days} look like.  Tag it #sharesix_summerdays.