Inspired by Life: April 2018

Recently Amy and I went to the Renaissance Fair that was in town locally.  It is always fun and there are many interesting aspects to them.  This year one of the aspects was Falconry.  Just as the Renaissance Fair deals with medieval times, so Falconry began in medieval times.  So it was not surprising to see a display about Falconry.

Now I have to be honest, I am not one for seeing naturally wild animals tethered to a string.  I believe that wild animals should live in the wild.  That’s is why you will not often find me at a zoo.  But I also know that I do not have enough knowledge to fully expand on falconry and the sport it is.  My understanding is that these birds were born in captivity and would not survive being let go.

However, that said, it was a real treat for me to get up close to some semi wild raptors and to be able to photograph them.   The birds that I believe were on display were a Harris Hawk, a Falcon, an Eurasian Eagle Owl and a Barn Owl.

Below are the images I managed to get of these beautiful birds.

The Eurasian Eagle Owl is a stunning bird and they had a pair of them on site.  It is one of the largest owls in the species.  It is nocturnal and hunts for birds and small mammals.  They also hunt for insects, fish, large insects and reptiles.    The male is the provider of food when there are chicks and they will look after the chicks until they are 5 months.

Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:  1647Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1651Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1653Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1664Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:  1761Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:  1763

 

The Falcon that was on display was an incredible looking bird.  I would like to say that it is a Lanner  Falcon but I am not certain.  What I loved about this bird was the incredible feather formation that it is displaying below.  If it is the Lanner Falcon, the bird can grow between 43-50 cm in height.   The bird has light underparts.  The falcons typically eat insect, dragonflies and occasionally small birds.  The Lanner Falcon has a reddish color to the back of its head.

Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1648Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:  1661Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1691Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1746Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1749

 

The Barn Owl was a sweet looking bird and was very affectionate to it’s owner.  The Barn Oul is a common owl and is distributed across many areas of the globe.  They typically range between 33 and 39 cm in height with a wingspan of 80 – 95cm.  Their face resembles the shape of a heart and it is normally white.   The Barn Owl hunts  prey living on the ground.  They hunt small mammals.  The Barn Owl will generally mate for life.  However, if one mate dies, then a new bond may be formed.    The Barn Owl will generally lay 4 eggs in a hollowed out tree or on a cliff.  The female will sit on the eggs and care for the chicks while the male does all of the providing.

Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1687Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:  1699Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:  1721

 

The Harris Hawk is a social bird and often flies in sets.  One display were three birds.  The Harris Hawk is around 46-59 cm in height and has a wingspan of about 103-12-cm.  The juvenile hawk is mainly streaked. Harris Hawks live in sparse woodlands.  The hawk eats small birds, large insects, mammals and lizards.  The female does most of the incubation of the eggs. Interestingly the young stay with the parents up to three years.

Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018: 1755

 

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Inspired by Life.   Please note that this blog is my personal views and does not reflect the views of the blog group.  This is a circle blog. Please take time to visit my fellow blogger Kym Heaton in Australia 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 pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

10 on 10: April 2018

We have had some pretty spectacular sunrises lately what I am seeing on my drive to work.  It’s a bummer because I am always on the highway and not able to stop.  So on my day off I decided to drag myself out of bed and head to the beach while it was still dark.  Deerfield Beach is one of my favorites because of the pier.  So I settled in to wait and watch the sun make it’s appearance once again, and to be grateful for a new day.

There was plenty of cloud cover and I was not sure I was going to get too much, but I loved how the sky changed color as the sun got higher.

Here is my morning on the beach watching the sun show it’s face.

Sunrise at Deerfield Beach: March 23, 2018:

 

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Sunrise at Deerfield Beach: March 23, 2018:

 

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Sunrise at Deerfield Beach: March 23, 2018:

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 10 on 10.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my fellow blogger Lexie Merrit 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 pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

Share Six: April 2018: Lines

The theme this month was chosen by Kim of Kim Sidwell Photography.  Sadly Kim has left us this month and we wish her well.  I know I am going to miss chatting and blogging with Kim.  The theme she chose was {Lines}.

Lines … well lines on a paper and it is associated with homework.  Nope that is not going to work.  The blinds are made up with lines but there is only so much I can do with that.  Standing in lines will get old pretty quickly.  None of the definitions really spoke to me either.

So I decided to add to the theme and chose to do Leading {Lines}.  Two of these images were taken in the past week, the rest over a period of time.

 

Sunrise at Deerfield Beach: March 23, 2018: 2557

Friday morning I headed down to the beach to watch the sunrise.  This is taken standing under the pier.

 

Denver Vacation: March 16, 2013

Taken heading through a tunnel traveling from Denver to Breckenridge.  Luckily I was the passenger.

 

Hutchinson Island: January 21, 2017:

This bridge is found over the Jupiter inlet and I love the lines of the amazing structure.  I happened to be sitting at a restaurant just beyond my view.

 

MSD High School Walk for our Lives:  March 24, 2018: 3140

Last week we did the March for our Lives.  Parking was an issue and so I parked at the local University and we caught a shuttle bus.  After the march this line seemed incredibly long.  They made us walk to the very front of the line to get on the buses.

Sanibel Island:  December 4 2015, 0465

I love the lines on this bridge.  Once again I am under the bridge.  This is the over pass that links the mainland with Sanibel Island.

 

Bahia Honda: May 24, 2013 7231

This image is taken between the highways down in the Florida Keys.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six.  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 Elizabeth at Its Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Wilson 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.

Now it is your turn. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at Share Six and come and share your images on the theme {Lines} throughout the month of March.  A new theme will come out on April 6.

Remember you can follow us on Instagram at @sharesix  and tag your images #sharesix_lines.

You can also find the Share Six webpage at http://www.sharesix.wordpress.com

We look forward to seeing your images on the theme {Lines}

Tell me a story: March 2018

The Renaissance Fair is always a fun event to visit.  Lots of characters, lots of laughter, lots of beer.  It always fascinates me that folk who are just visiting often do so in character.

There are so many interesting things to see and do.  Amy and I headed out there one weekend.  I had warned her that it would be a long day.  We got there as it opened at 10am and did not leave until 5pm.  Besides for sampling the beer and finding some Moroccan food to eat, both of us walked away with a henna tattoo.  Pity they do not last very long.

This weekend I believe the theme was Vikings and Barbarians but I felt like I saw more maids and sultans.  Despite that we had a great time.  I took lots of images and am only sharing a few of them for you to share in our day.

Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:

The welcoming committee

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Fair Maids awaiting

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Sultan

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Jewelry on display

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The Dark Side

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Making music

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Beauty on a ribbon

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Circ de Solei at the Ren Fest – this got a little bawdy

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Fancy Hat

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Fancy headware

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Musicians playing bawdy music

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Musicians playing bawdy music

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Her clothes are the opposite of the first image.

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Jewelry

Rennaisance Fair: Deerfield Beach: February 25, 2018:

Artistic display in the air

If you get a chance to visit a Renaissance festival, I would encourage you to do so.  They are a whole lot of fun.

This is a circle blog and I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has got up to this month.  Follow the link here to see what my friend Kim of Kim Sidwell Photography has for you this month, Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

30 Minutes in the Life: March 2018

March 24th, and this is a culmination of 5 weeks of pain, 5 weeks of anger, 5 weeks of tireless planning, 5 weeks of being strong in the face of such devastating sorrow and heartbreak.  March 24th is the day that we marched for our Lives #Marchforourlives.

I will confess upfront that my blog images are taken over more than 30 minutes but I wanted to get all of the images in.  Please forgive me!

I have been pretty vocal on my feelings about yet another gun horror, yet another senseless shooting and yet another person dying at the hands of a shooter.  Parkland’s is just 20 minutes from my home.  Yesterday Amy and I made the decision to walk.  We chose to walk at the site of the mass shooting, to represent and give our support to this hurting community.

The event was well organized.  We drove to Florida Atlantic University to park our car and take a shuttle through to the park where the event would host speeches and the start of the walk.  It was a first time for me riding on a school bus.  We were dropped off as close to the park as the buses were allowed and we walked with the masses though the police entry point and onto the field.

Voter registration was in place, along with bottles of water and snack bars being handed out.  Sunscreen was a necessity, and yours truly did not use it, and I now look like a raccoon.

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Speeches were made and at times I cheered, and at times I cried.  Students voiced their fears, frustrations, sorrow and anger.  Parents shared their losses. One young girl who had been shot in the knee stood up to talk.  My heart went out to her.  Safety is needed for these children.  Safety from guns.  Safety when they are in the classrooms.  It saddens me that children have to ask for bullet proof windows and doors.  How did it get to this?  How is it that our schools have effectively become their prisons?

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In closing 17 students stood up and represented each person who had been murdered on that fateful February 14th Valentines Day shooting.  Each one said “I walk for…..”.  My heart breaks again as they say this.

MSD High School Walk for our Lives:  March 24, 2018: 3026

And then the walk began.  We were to walk 2 miles to the school.  As I looked around, I was overwhelmed at the number of people who had attended the Parkland’s function, knowing full well that many had traveled to DC to march in Washington.  People respectfully exited the field and waited until the 17 representatives lead the way ahead of the crowd.

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The walk was well done.  There were no difficult situations.  There was chanting of slogans, there was #enoughisenough.  There was a purpose to the march that joined us all together.  I was proud to walk alongside Amy for this cause.

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And suddenly there was quiet.  There was respect.  Each person walked passed the memorial silently honoring those who had died.  For me, I had been there the previous week.  I, in a previous blog, compared visiting the memorial site to a visit I made to Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany.  The moment overwhelmed me and it was hard to comprehend what had happened here.  For Amy, this was a new moment which she said she felt haunted by.  She had friends that had attended Margory Stoneman Douglas High School.  It was hard for her to take all the emotions in.

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And then we walked the 2 miles back to our original start, back to our bus, so that we could take the shuttle back to the car.  I will confess, for someone who had foot surgery just 6 months ago, the 2 hours of standing through speeches, and the 5 miles of walking did takes it’s toll.  My feet hurt and my body aches and my legs have started to seize up, but I would do it all again.

MSD High School Walk for our Lives:  March 24, 2018:  3134

I, once again, commend these children for their courage, for their amazing words, for the willingness to take the lead on this issue.  As I listened to Emma Gonzalez give her speech, I commend her for her courage.  6 minutes and 20 seconds of silence.  6 minutes and 20 seconds that it took for the murderer to kill 17 people and injure another 15.  One of them is still in hospital.  In her words “Fight for your life before it is someone else’s job”.  These children, should not have to do this, but I am so proud of them for taking a stand against the senseless slaughter of civilians in this country.

MSD High School Walk for our Lives:  March 24, 2018: 3013

The USA that I came to love is more than this.  It is more than the stockpiling of weapons.  It is more than the NRA paying for the election of an official.  It is more…..lets stand up and make it more.  My prayers is that these children “Do not go gentle into that good night” (Dylan Thomas).  My prayer is that they continue to fight.  In November many of these students will be able to vote.  They are registering to vote.  I see change on the horizon, and the politicians really should be watching closely.  The children have spoken in a way that no one expected.  Now is the time for the politicians to be talking about gun control and putting parameters in place that require all purchase of guns to be subject to a 3 day waiting period, a background check that includes mental stability, a database that tracks the movement of guns, and the stockpiling of guns and ammunition by individuals.  The March did not just happen in Parkland’s or Boca, or Delray or even DC, it is happening country wide.  It is time to wake up.

MSD High School Walk for our Lives:  March 24, 2018:  3137

I will leave you with the words that the children see each day as they leave school in the afternoon

Be the change

You wish to see in the world

 

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 Minutes in Life.  These are my personal views and not that of the blog group. For the rest of the blog group, please take time to visit my friend and fellow blogger  Liz Godfrey Photography and see what she has for you this month.   Keep following the circle of photographers to see what the other photographers, from the US and around the world,  have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramViewbug and Google+

30-minutes

Inspired by Life: March 2018

In 1987 I stood in the grounds of the Dachau Concentration Camp and looked over the grounds beyond the first row of detention barracks and my breath was taken away and I was overwhelmed with what I saw.  Rows upon rows of concrete slabs filled the grounds in front of my eyes.  And my soul wept and my heart cried out for the loss of untold lives.

Rarely since then have I felt that same lack of breath.  That is, until last week when I finally felt that I could go down to the  Margory Stoneman Douglas High School Memorial Site.  This site sits alongside the fence of the school.  Along one end children park their bicycles.  Police control access in and out of the school and what you see takes your breath away.  And once again my soul wept and my heart cried out for the loss of these 17 precious lives.

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I have chosen to edit in black and white for a number of reasons.  The flowers are all dead, and it detracts in the color images.  I wanted these to be images that told a story that would never die, and lastly, this situation and the necessary changes are black and white for me.  It is time to make changes to the gun laws in the USA.

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Scott Beigel was 35 years old.  A teacher new to Margory Stoneman Douglas High School.  He coached and he counselled.  He was a son, a brother and a fiance.  He died trying to save his students.

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Chris Hixon was 49 years old.  He was the athletic coach and security monitor at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School.  He was a husband and father to four.  He died trying to protect his students.

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Aaron Feis was 37 years old.  He was the junior varsity athletic coach at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School.  He was a husband and a father.  He died shielding his students from the bullets.

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Alaina Petty was 14 years old.  She was a daughter and a sister.  She was a vibrant young lady who loved to serve.  She died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Meadow Pollack was 18 years old and a senior at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School.  She had plans to attend university.  She was a daughter and a sister.  She died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Luke Hoyer was 15 years old.  Just a freshman in school.  He was a son and a brother.  Luke was looking forward to his years in high school.  He died in the Valentine’s Day shooting.

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Alyssa Alhadeff was 14 years old.  She was a daughter and sister.  Alyssa loved to play soccer.  Alyssa was the youngest victim of the Valentine’s Day shooting.

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Martin Duque was 14 years old.  He was a son and a brother.  Martin was described as a funny yet sometimes quiet kid.  He died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Jamie Guttenburg was 14 years old.  She was a daughter and a sister.   Jamie loved to dance and her favorite color was orange.  She died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Gina Montalto was 14 years old.  She was a daughter and a sister.  Gina was part of the marching band winter guard.  She was described as having a smile that lit up the room and a great sense of humor.  She died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Cara Loughran was 14 years old.   She was a daughter and a sister.  Cara loved Irish dancing and the beach.  She was described as a beautiful soul.  She died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Nicholas Dworet was 17 years old.  He was a son and a brother.  Nicholas was the captain of the swim team at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School and wanted to swim in the 2020 Olympics in Toyko.  He died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Helena Ramsey was 17 years old.  She was a daughter and a sister.  She is described as funny and intelligent.  She told her friend to use a book to protect themselves from the bullets. Her friend survived, Helena did not.  She died in the the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Carmen Schentrup was 16 years old.  She was a daughter and a sister.  She loved piano, learned German and was involved in a church youth group.  She died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Joaquin Oliver was 17 years old.  Born in Venezula, he moved to the USA when he was 3 years old.  Joaquin had become a US citizen in 2017.  He was an athlete and avid sports fan.  I related closely to Joaquin, because we had been through the same process as him.  Joaquin died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Alex Schachter was 14 years old.  He was a son and a brother.  Alex was part of the marching band and he played the trombone and the baritone.  He wrote a poem called “Rollercoaster” for a class assignment.  He did not know, when writing the poem, this would represent his future.  Alex died in the Valentine’s Day Shooting.

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Peter Wang was 15 years old.  He was a son and a brother.  He loved JROTC and had every intention of attending West Point Military Academy.  Peter died helping his classmates escape the shooter.

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What I have tried to do is put names to the memorials you see above.  Below in the slide show you will see the scope of the outpouring of grief.

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It was hard to stand there in front of all of these memories and comprehend how this happens in a First World Country like the USA.  How over the past 17 years “mass” gun shootings have gone from one in 2001 to ten shootings in 2017.  The escalation is beyond comprehension and the lack of response from elected officials is beyond comprehension.

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Each time a senseless mass murder occurs, the answer has been trite and the first words out of the mouths of the politicians are “Now is not the time” to talk about gun control.  But until they talk about gun control, these murders are going to continue, and families are going to be left shattered, just like they have at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Vegas, Orlando, Ft Lauderdale Airport, Parklands, and over 90 different mass shootings.   It is time for government to step up and take ownership.  Now is the time to start talking about gun control.

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Today it was not my child, it was not my brother or sister, it was not my husband and it was not my father.  Today it was not your child, nor was it your brother or sister, nor was it your spouse, or your parent, but it could have been.  Would your stand change if Parkland’s happened to you?

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On March 23, across the country the children will be part of the #marchforourlives movement.  I will be joining them.  I do not want to see another child, parent or loved one die in a senseless murder.  I am all for stricter gun control, background checks,  mental health checks, waiting periods, and registries that will track the guns movement and track who is stockpiling weapons.

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Margory Stoneman Douglas High School has produced some intelligent, well versed and well spoken students, who have stood up in the whiplash of diatribe and they have stood strong.  They know that they want change to happen and it looks like they are set to lead the push for this to happen.  Sad that it is the children who will lead this change, and not the adults.  I hope that they succeed in making the change.  Later in the year we will get to vote.  I know how I will be voting this year.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Inspired by Life.   Please note that this blog is my personal views and does not reflect the views of the blog group.  This is a circle blog. Please take time to visit my fellow blogger Kym Heaton in Australia 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 pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

10 on 10: March 2018

The 10th snuck up on me really quickly.  I suddenly realized that today was the 9th and I still had not written my blog.

So last weekend Amy and I headed south to a Scottish Festival.  There is a wee bit of Scottish history in our family on my father’s side of the family.  They emigrated to Australia, and then story goes that my great grandmother was homesick and wanted to go back to Scotland.  So they boarded a boat to head home.  Halfway home she became very ill and they ended up docking in South Africa and never leaving.  My grandmother married my grandfather in South Africa.  He though was also of Australian decent.  So we claim that wee bit of Scottish blood running through our veins along with the Australian, South African and Irish blood.

The Scottish Festival was fun.  Lots of kilts, marching bands, bagpipes, dancing and pole tossing.  Actually, pole tossing aside, tossing rather large metal blocks and hessian bags filled with straw and various other things got tossed as well.  So we experienced our mini highland games.

The highlight for me was English food and I automatically gravitated and salivated over the English Sausage Roll.  My all time favorite and something I miss here in the US.  And of course, beer was plentiful.  It was a great day and added to that we stopped home at the South African shop and filled up on home goodies as well.  A day well spent.  So here are 10 images from the Scottish Festival.

Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 1916Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 1988Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 2024Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 1975Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 1991Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 1932Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 1996Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 1997Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 1995Scottish Festival: Plantation: March 3, 2018: 2040

Overheard as we were walking by a group of men talking was the words of the famous song “The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond”.  The song was written by a MacGregor of Glen Endrick

“Ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road 
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye”

Today we had our little taste of Scotland.  A first for Amy and a second for me.  I have visited and loved Scotland.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 10 on 10.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my fellow blogger Lexie from Alexis Merritt Photography 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 pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.