Share Six: May 2021: Light Inspired

Well this month crept up on my by surprise. I had my images but when a blog falls in the middle of the week, I get sidetracked. And seriously where the heck did May come from? April was probably the first month since Richard’s hospital stay that I have felt more comfortable heading out and leaving him home alone. Now I am sure he could have been home alone, but after the first crazy reaction to the infusion, I was honestly nervous and have stayed close to home. So far so good, and I am relaxing a little bit day by day. That aside, he is a little tired of me hovering and so it was good to get out.

So this months theme is {Light Inspired} and it was chosen by Janet Douglas of @wiredtothemoon_ and I am excited to see what everyone comes up with.

For me it was finding light in my walks.

This particular walk is really dark and gloomy for the most part but the pockets of light in there always catch my attention. The contrasting colors of the dead leaves, the green leaves and the Spanish moss appealed to me.
I love finding random bits of greenery or plants or even feathers poking their way through the railings on my walk. They offer one of my favorite types of images.
For me the light and color in the background of this Palm Warbler image reminds me of some of the impressionist type art.
New leaves are awesome and this little bunch of leaves was hidden in a dark area but highlighted by the sun.
The sun in the background of this blue jay really captures my attention.
Early morning walk and this Red Wing Blackbird had a lot to say.
I used to photograph the squirrels in our garden so often, until I got banned because the “rats with a tail” were running on the screening. So I was quite pleased to see this little guy feeding on the grounds of the wetlands. I love the autumn looking light in the background. Ironically this was taken about 2 weeks ago.
The light in the wetlands can be harsh, but this particular day was slightly overcast and breezy and I happened to catch these two dragon fly doing the tango. I will say it is a first time catch for me. They barely sit still long enough for you to get a quick shot of them.
Waterdrops on the leaves in the garden. This plant is a pest and drops a lot of leaves and since I am doing the gardening they are not my favorite. We have about 10 of them. However, when the light is right and the rain has just cleared up I love to go outside and capture their colors.
Back on the dark walk, and as I mentioned in the first image, there are just random pockets of light where I find something that catches my attention.
This particular area of the wetlands has lots of trees and so the light shining through created this beautiful bokeh for me and I really enjoy seeing the Spanish moss.

It has been nice to get out again and walk and just breathe deeply for a while. However, the walks are going to have to happen earlier for me because the weather down south has quickly become oppressive and it gives the feel of a lot hot, potential hurricane filled summer. If it stays hot like this that ocean is going to be warming up significantly. Let’s hope not. In the meantime, I am going to try to do my best to get out and about a bit more.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Ceri Herd Photography is up next is up next. I can wait to see what she has to share as I have seen some of her work recently and love it. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_light inspired

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a Story: April 2021

Dove

Whoops this month crept up on me, and I am so late getting this done. I finally feel like we have some order in our house. Richard had his second infusion with no dramatic results, and I felt more comfortable leaving home and not have to worry about anything happening with him. He is having to deal with a rash on his body as a result of the immunotherapy.

This day I decided to go out and walk in the wetlands again. It’s been a while and it felt so good to get out there again. I took a long walk and 3 hours later when I got to the end I felt so less stressed.

I hope you enjoy the walk around the wetlands.

Anhinga
Cormorant
Grackle (Male)
Dead flowers
Cormorant
Green Heron
Juvenile Night Heron
Yellow Wing Darter
Green Heron
Western Pondhawk
Western Pondhawk
Iguana

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a circle blog so take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: April 2021

It’s April, and we have been living under a cloud since mid February, and practicing day to day living. I have not vocalized what the the cloud is, just mentioned that Richard was in hospital. The black cloud we are living under is Stage 4 Metastasized Melanoma. For us this came out of the blue. Richard had been diagnosed with a melanoma in 1987 and had had it removed, a skin graft done, radiation etc. One year later he was back at the doc and they had to remove his lymph nodes. For the next 5 years he was observed and after 5 years, he was NED – no evidence diagnosed. For the last 34 years we have lived as we always had, on the coast, in the sun, paddleboarding, kayaking, camping, suntanning and changing color. We both love the outdoors, and spend a lot of time in the sun. The sun makes me feel good, a color change makes me feel like a new person.

The news we got on February 15th took a lot of processing. We are told that sometimes melanoma can spill to the organs and go dormant for years. On finding out this news you go through stages of disbelief, anger, fear, acceptance, and what’s next. What’s next is 2-3 years of immunotherapy every 3 weeks. He had a bad reaction to the first round and he ended up back in the emergency room after I called 911. Round 2 has gone well. The only side effect is a rash. Tomorrow he will have round 3.

I will confess to be hovering, checking in, wanting to have him leave me notes if he goes out. I think it is driving him nuts. But the reality is that I am worried about the “what if”.

Melanoma is one of the deadly cancers. Metastasized melanoma, means that it has gone from your skin, to your lymph nodes and organs. Richard has melanoma in his small intestine and in the lung. Stat rates are not great, but I believe we have a mighty God, and there is power in prayer. Richard has a multitude of people praying for him, for which I am very grateful.

Day to day living means you continue to work, but time off becomes time together. We are starting to say we need to begin checking off our bucket list. Despite Covid, we are going to start doing things together that takes us away, and out of town.

The other night I suggested that he join me to watch the sun set. He decided he would go walk along the edge of the canal and get his exercise in while I photographed the setting sun.

It was nice to arrive and see old familiar faces and to be able to chat to them. I have been concerned about going out for indefinite periods of time. So this was good for me. One of my good friends just recently lost her husband to cancer, so for me it was reassuring to see her smiling face and to see that she is looking so well.

It was also a good opportunity to meet new folks and to learn a little bit more about them. Richard returned just as the sun was setting and joined us as the sun went down. Chatted a little bit before we left. I know that these are the kind of evenings I want to share with him.

We have a bucket list that we want to get to ticking off. So in the immanent future we are lookin at a trip to Naples in Florida and not in Italy (unfortuantely). Richard would like to go for another sunset cruise, and I am always up for catching the setting sun. As soon as Australia opens up for visitors, Richard has said we need to go. He wants to see his mother and siblings. I have family over there that I would like to see as well.

So much has to change in what and how we do things. Eating habit have had to go almost to the side of vegetarian, lots and lots of my favorite (ugh) green veggies. One of the biggest things to go is sugar. Cancer apparently loves sugar.

Day to day, that is what we now know. Day to day becomes your visual image. While we will plan ahead, we are also limited to the medication regime and the side effects.

So today is my 30 minutes with my husband watching the sun set, and praying that the medication does what it needs to do. If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life. This is a circle blog. It’s a small circle this month. Please follow the link to see what my very talented friend, Janet Crouch Photography, has to share this month.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: April 2021: Growth

This month’s theme was chosen by Liz of It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Willson. The theme is “Growth”

In the last 8 weeks I have grown in ways that are hard to describe. When you receive news that is heart stopping you have two choices, to fall down or grow up. I had to grow up. But it is hard to put that kind of growth into images. It is the heartbreaking, soul destroying news that leaves you wondering what is next. Next becomes day to day. How do I do day to day, I am not sure.

I have taken up gardening. Not by choice but because it has become a necessity for me to take over responsibilities that Richard cannot do right now. I really don’t enjoy it, but it has to be done so I have done it. Last week I picked up all the leaves, and weeded the garden. This week I cut both front and back grasses. While I was outside I spotted these flowers shooting up from the ground. Emerging out of my gardening experience, is my theme {Growth}. The best part about it is that my Sims came out and joined me while I was lying in the garden taking the pic.

Some years ago we must have planted Amaryllis bulbs. I recall getting some in a vase and when the flowers died we planted the bulbs in the garden and forgotten about them. Just like the St Joseph Lilly’s, the Amaryllis blooms around Easter time. This year they are a little early and the St Joseph Lilly’s are a little late but they open up into such beautiful plants that I was so happy to capture them while they were in their growth stage.

Growth happens and we have no choice but to go along with it or falter. We as a family have chosen to grow with our current situation and to embrace each day as it comes along. Tomorrow is a new day and we want to make the most of each day so that life is made up of memories that we can enjoy and embrace.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Kathy of KG Ledbetter is up next is up next. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_frozen

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a Story: March 2021

I have pretty much been homebound since mid February. Richard came out of hospital after spending 10 days there. Recovery is a 6 week stretch if he can actually sit still and not damage any of the work that has been done. We all have a bit of cabin fever, however, I am trying not go out and catch anything as it could impact his immunity. So I have stayed home for the most part.

My best friend was flying into town from 3 days with her daughter and two grandsons. I really wanted to see her. She listens to me on the phone each day, and encourages me, laughs with me and picks me up when things are tough.

I decided I would go an spend some time with her. I took my camera along so that I could shoot the 3 images I would need for this week not thinking I would get my blog as well.

They were fishing at the pier. I have to confess that I was worried about too many people, and there were quite a few. However, I kept my mask on and did not touch or make contact with anyone. Brody, my friends 5 year old grandson, was attempting to fish, or perhaps his mother was encouraging him to attempt to fish. He never did catch anything but she really wanted him to have the experience of fishing off the pier.

The highlight of standing waiting for him to finish was the Pelican. They kept diving for the bait and the fishermen kept chasing them away.

I love the “Watch your step” sign. It is almost as if the Pelican was following the directions.

Look at the wingspan of the pelican. It is stunning. I love how the feathers are displayed both in the image above and the one below. Nature is so incredible, and these feathers give the bird the ability to fly. Wow.

This Pelican managed to find a tasty treat.

I was trying to inconspicuously get a photo of the fishermen in the image. Clearly I got caught out, but they did not seem to mind.

Something that really bugs me about fishing in general, is often the carelessness of leaving fishing gut wire around, and the birds get caught up in it. This bird, which looks like a Wilson’s Plover, appears to have it wrapped around both feet. Its feet look badly deformed and unfortunately we were not able to catch the bird to cut the fishing gut wire away. Nature is precious. I want people to take care of it and pick up anything they should not leave lying around.

In the picture above, the Pelican decided that there was a piece of fish under the bottom of the wooden railing and it tried to pull it out, but only succeeded in pushing it off and into the water.

This bird, which looks similar to a female Grackle, decided sushi was on the agenda for the day. It wasn’t content with just one piece, it stuffed a whole lot of bait into its mouth before flying off.

The Pelican below decided it was back for more fish. It grabbed the fish and turned to gobble it up and in the process dropped it, then looked down and spotted two of its Pelican buddies fighting for this tiny piece of fish.

The birds were fun and entertaining and to be honest their antics and the time with my friend was just what I needed to revive me. So much so that when we went to lunch I suddenly felt exhausted, and wanted to just take a nap.

Friends are a balm to your weary soul. They lift you up when you are down. They encourage you to hang in there and to stay strong. Good friends are what you need when your world is suddenly turned upside down. I am so grateful for my friend.

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a small group of bloggers so when one or two are out it seems like it is a quiet month for blogs however, this is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: March 2021

Welcome back to another 30 Minutes in the Life. February was a difficult month for our family and heading into March I just really needed to get out and do some walking.

It’s late winter, the beginning of spring and the wetlands is slowly coming alive with birds. Mating is happening, nests are being built, in some cases eggs have been laid and in other, the chicks have hatched and are demanding food. What I love about this time of the year is the beautiful feather displays and the gorgeous mating colors that you see. The Snowy Egret develops these beautiful wispy trailing feathers that are used to attract the attention of the males. The coloring around the eyes is just beautiful.

As per the last number of years, the Woodstork fly in and take over all of the mating areas. I used to love it when I first saw them, and the chicks are really cute. However, they arrive in droves and take over the area that the Great Blue Heron would use, and by the end of the season, it is really smelly.

The male Anhinga develops this beautiful coloring around their eyes, and this almost mohawk like feather display on the back of their neck.

Mating happens and in some cases it almost appears somewhat aggressive.

If course the result of the mating is typically 2-3 chicks that totally harrass the mom for food. The first time I saw an Anhinga chick feeding from the mom, I almost gagged. Seriously that head goes right down the mom’s throat while the other two are trying their hardest to get in there as well. It really does not look like a pleasant experience at all for the mom.

Quite often you will find the Woodstork pairs hanging out together, but this time of the year, the male will head off to the trees to find sticks to bring back to the nest.

Anhinga love fishing for food. However, once they have fished, they have to hang out in the trees to dry off their wings. Neither the Anhinga or Cormorant seems to fly far before they need to stop and spread their wings.

Lurking, and I say lurking because that is what they do in season, is the Alligators. You tend to find them hanging out below the nesting areas in case a chick falls out. If the birds are stupid enough to hang out on the lower branches they could easily become food for the gators.

This gorgeous Snowy Egret is in its mating finery. I love the wispy feathers and the lime green eye make up that they sport.

This is often why you hear of so many kills by an Alligator. They hide in the reedy water so that you can barely see them. The Moorhens are a common food source for the Alligator, as are turtles. Even so, you will see them take out bigger birds as well.

I am with this Black Bellied Whistling Duck. All it’s buddies were in the water. This one not so much. I can hear him thinking “I am not putting my feet into that water, who knows what lurks below”.

Sunning itself in the trees is the Green Iguana. The Green Iguana is not native to South Florida, but they sure do love the climate. Typically they are found in South America. Somehow they made their way to the States. While I love Iguana, many do not. People find them invasive and they breed like crazy. A really cold winter will affect the Iguana populations, with many of them dying. Other times, crazy as it sounds, the Iguana goes into a frozen state and will fall out of the trees. As the weather warms up so does the Iguana. During mating season the male Iguana can turn a bright orange.

I happened to capture this beautiful display of feathers by the Snowy Egret. It flew into the trees and tried to balance itself in the wind.

Last but not least is the litte Cattle Egret in it’s mating colors. I love the orange mohawk, and the fluffy tail feathers. He had a mate sitting higher up in the branches on her nest.

There is such beauty in nature that always amazes me and with all the chicks about to hatch I can’t wait to take another walk in the wetlands.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life.

This is a circle blog. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Meagan Dwyer Photography, she is about to get the party started. You will definitely love what she shares.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: March 2021: Frozen

It’s March and time for Share Six. Still trying to keep with the simple themes, that everyone can be a part of Kathy of KG Ledbetter Photography chose the theme {Frozen}. For anyone above Florida, frozen seemed like a good choice, but in Florida the weather is 86F and there is nothing frozen about it unless I am inside the freezer.

I had to wonder what my options were. I thought about trying to make ice bubbles in the freezer, but I was not sure that it would work. Right now we have our kids living with us temporarily and that means the freezer is full up with everyone’s stuff. I also through of freezing flowers but that really did not work for me. Below is my one and only attempt. I love fresh flowers and it did not feel right to me to freeze them.

So I had to put my thinking cap on again. What is frozen in South Florida. Drinks, of course! What better than to have a cool refreshing drink on a hot, hot day. So here is my take on the frozen theme. I will confess only one of the drinks is alcoholic and it really tasted good. But with Richard just out of hospital, Amy not able to have anything alcoholic right now, Daniel who is not a big drinker and me who only really drinks beer, there seemed no reason to make anything alcoholic.

For the first drink I used an Ice Drink, Strawberry Kiwi Flavor, and mixed it with ice in the blender and added to the biggest wine glass in my collection. I then topped it with a strawberry and some pomegranate seeds. It actually tasted pretty neat. I imagine you could add something alcoholic to it if you wanted but it was pretty refreshing on it’s own.

For my one and only alcoholic drink, I made decaf Hazelnut ice cubes and once they had set added them to the mug and poured Bailey’s over it. It definitely gave it a pretty nice flavor.

For a refreshing drink, I froze melon, cantaloupe and watermelon balls in the freezer over night. I mixed that with a sparkling water and topped it with crushed ice and decorated with lime and mint. I loved the colorful effect of this drink.

Next I chose to make a Blue Powerade mixed with crushed ice and topped with Organic Blueberries and decorated with lime and mint. I love this glass that we were given in the year 2000. The numbers make up part of the stem. The flute is so fine, that I rarely use it for fear of breaking it.

Mojito’s is one of Richard’s favorite drinks, but since he is not drinking, I tried to just come up with something similar. Crushed ice with Roses Lime juice, and topped with additional lime in one of my old fashioned champagne glasses. As kids I remember us drinking Roses lime juice fairly regularly, so this was another refreshing drink to have on hand.

Lastly is my take on a Mimosa. Orange Juice and champagne just do not work for me, they give me terrible heartburn, but I love the look of the drink. So I mixed an orange Gatorade with crushed ice and garnished it with some cantaloupe and lime and poured into one of my cristal d’arques Longchamp crystal flute that I had begun collecting prior to getting married. This is probably the only set of crystal that is not broken.

So that is my take on the {Frozen}theme. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the group come up with and to see all the snow that everyone else but South Florida is enjoying.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Kathy of KG Ledbetter Photography is up next. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_frozen

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a story: February 2021

When Amy needed to do a Black History month article for her work she asked me if I would like to go down with her. So long as we were not in crowds I was good with that. We walked the area of Overtown, and took photographs and visualized the history. Earlier this week I shared my 30 Minutes in the Life blog. If you want to read the blog of my story on Overtown click here.

Moving on we also decided to visit the neighborhood of Wynwood, art district of Miami, and graffiti galore. It was a feast to the eyes. Graffiti everywhere. There is just so much, that I was not sure what to look. We certainly did not cover the entire area. We only got to walk a couple of blocks before we headed to grab some lunch at a local pizza restaurant, and then headed back to the car and back home.

The Wynwood Walls webpage says that “Since its inception, the Wynwood Walls program has seen over 50 artists representing 16 countries and have covered over 80,000 square feet of walls” To read more about the project click here.

I hope you enjoyed the visual tour. This was just a fraction of what there is to explore in Wynwood, Miami.

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a small group of bloggers so when one or two are out it seems like it is a quiet month for blogs however, this is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: February 2021

Greetings from Overtown. I have to confess, I had never heard of Overtown until recently and I have lived in the US for about 20 years. One of the reasons is because I very rarely go down to Miami. I have been to Viscaya but that is really my extent of exploring Miami. I find it a huge city that I will easily get lost in.

What I learned this weekend is the little neigborhood of Overtown has such beautiful roots in History. Established in the Jim Crow era, Overtown was often referred to as the “Harlem of the south”. Back in the late 1800’s Overtown was an incorporated into Miami, mainly at the insistence of Henry Flagler. This railroad construction company’s workers had settled in what became a downtown Miami area and the neigborhood would house many of the black construction workers and their families. Overtown was effectively known in those days as “Colored Town”. Black people were segregated in Miami right up to the 1970’s. Interesting reading on that period of time can be found here.

Overtown is now the second oldest inhabited area in Miami and was home to many businesses. In the 1920’s and 1930’s Avenue G was a hive of entertainment, retail stores and hotels. The first African American hotel was developed in 1921 As we walked the streets of Overtown early one Sunday morning, we were one of the few out on the street. It was the opportunity to really embrace a different vibe to the neighborhood.

Amy’s initial thought was to take the Brightline down to Overtown, but since Richard is not well, my concern is always germs. Especially Covid germs, and so we drove down instead.

Leaving the parking garage, you realize that while the buildings around the parking garage are not historic, you are definitely walking to an older area of the city. Crossing at the crossroad, we are now in Overtown. I can visualize the night life of the 1940’s of Overtown back in the day, with jazz musicians, big bands and artists such as Count Bassie, Ella Fitzgerald and the late great Nat King Cole. All three have their names linked to the history of Overtown. My mom loved the music of that era so I can hear the beautiful melodies playing inside my head. If you listen closely, you may hear the strains of the trombone, a trumpet or the flute, soft voices singing out blues. I can imagine the ladies dressing up and the men looking dapper as they entered the various entertainment centers. Can you hear the excitement? The laughter? The joy? Overtown bustled in the early 1900’s.

Overtown is the home to the famous Lyric Theater (which I quickly resonated with having grown up with my own Lyric theater). The Lyric theater was owned by a black entrepreneur by the name of Geder Walker. The 400 seat theater was opened in 1913 and was described in 1915 as “possibly the most beautiful and costly playhouse owned by Colored people in all of the southland”

In 1989 the Lyric Theater was listed in the National Register of Historic places. Extensive renovations were done to the building.

As we walked past this beautiful old building we were drawn into the history of this amazing building, the folks that had visited, had played a part in the story telling culture of a lifetime of influencing culture of “little Broadway” The Lyric Theater served the community, was a place of culture and a symbol of the influence black folk had within Overtown.

As we continued to walk I enjoyed viewing the graffiti in Overtown, symbols of struggle, symbols of encouragement, symbols that share hero’s and history.

And yet there is this sense that the big city is encroaching on this historic block. Apartments such as the image below, are on one side of the street and the house above is on the other.

Below kind of depicts what I am feeling. Sure growth happens, but I am inclined to want to keep the old, to revel in this history and understand the stories of this beautiful historical area.

Economic depression happened, and in the 1950’s Overtown was not spared. Development, such as the expressways, cut up the neighborhood, and the population decreased. Progress stopped in Overtown and it became known as a ghetto. Businesses closed, and the neighborhood stalled. Social, economic and physical deterioration grew and contributed to the decline in the area. As we walked you could definitely feel that effect.

And yet there are signs, actually at our feet, that tell us that there is a stirring in the neighborhood to address challenges. Roots in the City established a community garden from an overgrown littered lot and it is florurishing.

The Overtown Preforming Arts Center was created as a community center. Originally this center was known as the Ebenezer Methodist Church, and still today has the outward feel of a church with it’s design. In 1988 it was declared a historic monument and they receive a grant of $3 million to begin the process of restoration. Inside you will find a stage, but this facility is for more than that. It is a gathering place, a place for meetings, a place for receptions.

Walking along the side walk we got a glimpse into an entrance way between Dunne Hotel (1947) and Josephine (1938). Both of these buildings functioned as hotels when the neighborhood was flourishing and blacks were not allowed to stay outside of Overtown. Sadly over the years the buildings fell into disrepair. In 2017 there were reports of potential redevelopment of these building, but it appeared to have been caught up in controversy. Looking further it does appear that the Dunn’s Josephine Hotel is now operational in the heart of Overtown historic district. According to the web page each room honors African American legends and will bring a style and era to the hotel. Suites you can find are the Aaron Douglas King Suite, Ella Fitagerald King Suite, Augusta Savage King Suite, Nicholas Brothers Double Suite, Gwen Bennett Double Suite, and the Nat King Cole King Suite, along with various others. If you head over to the website you can learn about some of the historical people honored by this hotel.

Walking further into the area we came across the mural below that featured themes from the heyday of the city. I tried to search who the artists were featured in the next two murals but was not having much luck. Above these beautiful paintings runs the highway the I95, bearing lanes of traffic, noise and pollution. We did not walk far enough. If we had gone to the other side of the traffic bridge we would have seen a sign painted on the side of the bridge that said “Welcome to Historic Overtown”.

We came across this wall in Overtown that resonated with both Amy and myself. World Peace is something that seems to be lacking of late, and something that both Amy and I would strive to achieve by loving.

And even more murals….

Besides the I95, one of the many developments that cut up the neighborhood of Overtown is the metro rail. Big ugly concrete pillars that scar the neighborhood. Such development leads to the displacement of residents in the communities and eventually the dying of a thriving neighborhood.

The Lil Trap House that we came across in Overtown is apparently a museum on wheels which has stopped in the city for about 6 months. The purpose of the museum is to showcase the cities trap culture. Are you asking yourself “what is trap culture”? You are not alone. So I did a bit of digging and discovered that trap music is a subgenre of hip hop music that includes rap, urban, and swag. This culture apparently originated in the South of USA in the 1990’s.

The image above is one of the murals on the house I showed earlier. Walking out of Overtown I saw this tree that had been cut. I could not help but look at the two images side by side. The second image reminds me of a vibrancy that is no longer.

This road feels like the cross road of Overtown and and the gentrification of the rest of the city. Large parking garages and high rise buildings, luxury condos are the backdrop to the once thriving, but seriously declined neighborhood of Overtown.

Overtown, a neighborhood vibrant in it’s heyday of the 1930’s to 1950’s has sadly become known as the getto of Miami. Destroyed by over the years by urban renewal development and neglect, Overtown sadly reflects this.

There have been some proposals for the redevelopment of Overtown that I read. There was one in 2009, another in 2015.

But it is 2021, and it was sad to see the neglect.

Thank you for walking through my 30 Minutes in the Life, and my impressions of Overtown. Blogs like this leave me feeling saddened that progress detracts from the beauty of culture and history.

If you’re interested on the 28th there will be a blog on the art district of Wynwood, Miami. It was a feast for the eyes, and hard to capture it all.

This is a circle blog. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Ceri of Ceri Herd Photography. You will definitely love what she shares. I am always inspired with what she has for us.

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Share Six: February 2021: Silver Lining

There are so many {Silver Linings} when I look back over the past year. Sure Covid is the pits. Wearing a mask is not fun. Not being able to hang out with your friends is super disappointing. However, slowing down has been good. Working from home even better. Not having to wake up early and drive an hour to get to work, is probably the best for me. But how do I put those into photographs?

Another {Silver Lining} is being available for the kids. Amy finally sold her condo (that is another whole story of delays and ridiculous events) but in preparation for the sale, they moved in with us, along with Snow and Rory, their two rescue cats. We are now a house of 4 adults, 4 rescue cats who don’t always see eye to eye. and one rescue bird that screeches all day. That said, it is good having them here. Richard has not been well the past 2 months and so it is another two people to talk to him, and help me to remember to not get stressed out and ask to many questions. Cameron was a silver lining when it came to moving Amy’s contents of her apartment to storage. He traveled 2 hours to come and help move furniture and was a tremendous support to us. Richard was just not up to moving heavy furniture

There are so many little things, but I was challenged a little bit on how to capture them all. In Florida, during covid, you are still able to go to the beach. While I am not actively going to the beach in the day time, I have been when there are limited people there. Amy told me that she was going to the beach one evening to do yoga and watch the Wolf Moon come up. I managed to convince Richard to go to a different beach to do the same. Here was my {Silver Lining}. The beach is open for us. In the evening there is not too many people. While the whole of the USA above Florida feels like the artic tundra, we could still go to the beach. The second part of the {Silver Lining} is that my theme for 52 Frames was Horizon, and the credit was for breaking the rule. I was really looking forward to the moon rising over the ocean.

So I talked Richard into going. He tried to talk me into going to watch the sunset. But no, the moon had it’s appeal. So I packed some cheese and crackers and a small container of wine, and headed off to meet him at work. From there we drove down to the beach.

Let’s talk about love. It is freezing cold, the wind is blowing, Richard hates, hates, hates the cold, and here he is sitting on the beach so that I am not there alone at night. Got to love the commitment here. We got there a little early and found a V in the sand dunes and huddled back in there to try and stay out of the wind. Below is my take on {Silver Lining}, a blustery day at the beach.

There were not too many people on the beach. I could probably count them on one hand. I am sure most of them had the same idea as I did. We all wanted to watch the giant moon come up over the ocean. While I was hanging out I took my 52 Frames image below.

Unfortunately, this was our view. The clouds formation just got bigger and bigger, and so we could not see the moon coming up to start with, and just when I got a glimpse of it emerging another cloud came over. I finally sent Richard back to the car, and waited another 10 minutes to no avail before I called it quits.

The plus side in all of this was I did manage to get one image of the sunset, which I will add looked beautiful driving home.

When I finally got home, I hung out in the driveway until the moon cleared and I was able to get an image of the full moon, before the clouds moved back across to cover it up. Just an aside, the moon reminds me of an orange. I have noticed this before when I have taken photos that there is this circle towards the right hand side, and then what appears to be lines of some sort spanning out from that circle. I have to wonder what that really is, besides my imagination.

I will confess that it was good to be home and inside out of the wind. That started a week of cold weather. The last couple of days have been windy and cold. Cold for this African born South Floridian. Today my fingers were like icicles. Not cold relative to what is happening up north though I am sure, and my heart goes out to all that are experiencing the snow and freezing cold weather.

I hope that you enjoy the {Silver Lining} theme. This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Lynne of Lynne Grant Photography is up next. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_silverlining

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.