Posted on October 26, 2020
This month I am going to do something just a little different for my 30 minutes. I am going to do 30 minutes of editing because it took me way longer than 30 minutes to capture these little guys.
I love dragonflies. Their mechanics are pure perfection. Have you ever looked closely at their wing formation. The design is fantastic. Along with the back of their heads. I am always amazed at what they look like/ I cropped in an image so that you could get a closer look. Their eyes are so huge and they watch every movement you make. Have you ever watched a dragonfly chew? Oh my, it is so cool. So here are a few dragonfly that I captured over 2 days, plus a few of my favorites. I have tried my best to identify them, but I could be wrong. Don’t hold that against me.
The best thing about dragonflies is that they eat the mosquitos. The sad thing is that in the circle of life, they become food for the birds, and the lizards. Red wing Blackbirds love dragonflies and I have seen them shove an entire dragonfly down a chick’s throat.
It’s either feast of famine for the lizard. He was not having a lot of success while I was watching him.
Please continue to stay safe, wherever you are in the world. Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life.
Posted on October 13, 2020
I love flowers….period. One way to make me happy is give me flowers. Each week I go to the local store and try to find something I really love. This week it was these. I was sitting looking at the flower center the other day and wondered what they would look like in macro. So I got to play and enjoy the results.
Posted on September 30, 2020
Can it be that September is almost over. 3 Months and it will be Christmas again. I feel like I just had Christmas the other day. I have officially been working from home for 6 months now. There are days when I live in 4 walls. The cats were keen to get outside and so I picked up my macro and went out into the garden.
While watching the cats, I walked around and took some flowers, weeds and got down into the long grass knowing that later that day the grass was going to be cut.
Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives. This 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 Photography is up next and I can’t wait to read what he has to share.
Posted on September 28, 2020
This little man means the world to me. He is a rescue cat. He was living on the street and sometimes in Amy’s sun room. She has been feeding him. When Amy went to the Peace Corp she asked me to take him and give him a home. I did not think Richard would buy into it and honestly I worried he may be feral. When I went to bring her and her stuff back home, I took the cat carrier up with us. Since then Simba has transitioned into my heart and I love this boy with just about everything I have.
A routine visit to the vet for dental work has turned into something else. I appears that Simba had fluid and inflammation in his lungs. My local vet asked me to take him to Ft Lauderdale to a specialist vet who looked at the x-rays, concurred with my vet, and treated him for heartworm and gave him an antibiotic. It appeared that we could be dealing with a cat who has asthma, although he is totally asymptomatic. We agreed to wait a few weeks to do another x-ray. The few weeks passed, and I changed out anything that could cause allergies, asthma etc. On my vacation week we did the hour trip back to Ft Lauderdale to the vet. I dropped him off and then found myself at a loose end for a couple of hours. So off I went to the park where the burrowing owls are.
On my way across the heavens opened, and I was not sure what I was going to find when I got there besides wet looking owls or no owls because they may have moved into their holes. I have decided that owls are like cats, when the camera comes out they look away.
I made my way across 3 squishy waterlogged entrances to reach the owls. None of them are really near the edge of the roadway except the first couple of pics. Since I had not planned on rain I was walking in flip flops that quickly became slip flops.
At one point it started to rain a little harder than before and I hung out with my camera under my shirt until I got a little closer. Of course, the next picture is a total fluke. The owl was …shaking to get the water off I guess. You can see the water spray going off of him. It was shaking so hard that it became a little unbalanced
Where ever you find Burrowing Owls there area is cordoned off as they are protected in South Florida. So 4 posts and some rope to stop you going any closer. Quite often you will find them sitting on top of the posts.
The most I managed to see together were two. Sometimes I have seen up to 5 but that is normally in Spring when they are breeding. The owls are less that a standard ruler for the most part. They are the cutest little birds I have seen and they are constantly watching you, watching left and right and up above them for any kind of attack.
Around the time I called it quits, due to the rain, the vet phoned me to say that Sims was ready and I could come and pick him up. The downside was that his lungs were still inflamed. That means we now have to go down the asthma route. I had changed his litter to a wheat litter but I really hate it and so do they, so today we got some 99% dust free litter, that has no fragrances or dyes. In addition he start steriods this past week for 2 weeks, and he is going to be switched to an mask/inhaler combination soon. In a couple of months we will do another x-ray with the hopes that there is some kind of improvement.
Please stay safe, wherever you are in the world. Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Janet of Janet Crouch Photography. Check out her Facebook & Instagram page as well.
Posted on August 31, 2020
This does not happen very often but there is the occasional times in the year when both 30 Minutes in the Life and Tell me a Story go live on the same day and at the same time. In the 30 Minutes in the Life I shared Day 1 in Key West. In this blog I will share day 2.
As I said in the other blog we decided to head to Key West for the weekend. At some point you get tired of not seeing anyone, not doing anything other than working at home and not going anywhere. For Rich and I traveling is something we are trying to do more of and so to be stuck at home has been challenging especially for Rich.
We booked into a local hotel overlooking the harbor area and it turned out to have the perfect view. It also had a great swimming pool that we were able t cool down at, given that the summer heat in South Florida is so oppressive. I spent about 2 hours in the pool chatting with the 4 other guests escaping the heat. I love Key West with it’s authentic buildings and quirky well know stories. Key West has so much character and here are a few of them buildings that share it.
Day 2 saw I head into the town area. I was on a mission to find Mango Body Wash. The hotel had it in it’s showers and oh my it was so good. Rich wanted some T-shirts and I was also hoping to find some bath bombs that I had found in the hotel as well. I found the mango bath wash, he got is shirts but I bombed out on the bath bombs.
Roosters, hens and chickens are a common sight wandering around Key West. Six toed cats is another interesting view in Key West. It was sad to see the iconic Sloppy Joe’s closed. However, it did seem that it was temporary.
After doing the necessary shopping, we decided to head to the local Key West First Legal Rum Distillery for a free tour. If you are in Key West check it out. The tour is about 15 minutes and it is just a small warm area that you walk through. It’s awesome that they have ceiling fans to cool you down.
Step 1 tells us that they use Florida sugar cane in crystal form from the juice to create a unique flavor that allows us to drink a clean, clear and flavorful Legal Rum.
Step to the Tanks 1, 2, 3, 4 are where the cooking beings. This is their recipe buried beneath the floor with all the old bottles. The bubbles are the yeast breathing as it eats sugar and turns it into alcohol. The more vibration the more production, so they play music at night to keep the yeast moving.
Step 3 tells us that the brown wash that comes from the fermentation tanks, has the alcohol “stripped ” out of it. It’s like a magic trick, first it’s brown, now it is clear. All alcohol comes out of a still clear
Step 4 tells us that now that they have the stripped alcohol, they will distill it again 6 times. Why? They want the Legal Rum to come out in a lower proof so that it has flavors butterscotch, banana, and hints of vanilla. It says they also don’t want to give us a hangover, so all impurities are taken out.
Step 5 tells us that High Proof Legal Rum goes into the Chefs pot, travels through the copper which is filled with carbon activated charcoal. Rum should be warm in your chest, not burn your tongue.
We had the opportunity to taste raw rum and to do some rum tasting. I tried Coconut Rum and Key Lime Rum and Raw Rum. My favorite even though I typically like Coconut Rum, was the Raw Rum, and we left with a bottle of Raw Rum and some sampler Rums.
If you want something interesting to do on a hot day in Key West definitely check out the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery.
Beyond that we meandered along the wharf taking in the ships and views along with the opportunity to check out a healthy school of tarpon. We stopped for a cooling beer and watch the tiki boats heading out again.
Lastly Key West is always my favorite place for sunsets. Like I said in the other blog that I was disappointed not to be heading out on a boat but at the same time I did not want to be among the crowds. The sunset did not disappoint.
Being Key West refreshed me for the next few months. We have at least one more travel trip this year unless Covid puts a stop to that. I have found a cabin in the woods in Georgia. We are hoping that we will get to see the changing colors in the mountains.
Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives. This 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 Photography is up next and I can’t wait to read what he has to share.
Posted on August 31, 2020
And so the year goes on. A few more weeks and we will be back to the birthday months and they run back to back, September, October and November. Who plans like that? Me I guess. Another month of working from home, and seeing so few people. Lots more zoom calls, and relying on the television to show us what is happening in the US. At some point we decided that we needed to get out.
I did some research. Key West is a quick drive for us – 4 hours and we are there. I decided to stay at The Marker Hotel which is situated right on the harbor area and upgraded to a harbor view room for a two nights stay. We very rarely stay in a hotel but it was our anniversary weekend and I felt like staying in something a little more formal. I will give you a heads up – this is going to be a longer post than normal.
It’s good to be back on the road again. We headed down early on Friday morning and to be honest the roads were pretty quiet. We expected a quiet Key West. It’s always good to see familiar landmarks. The first image tells me I am close to Long Key State Park, just north of Marathon. Seven Mile Bridge tells me that Bahia Honda State Park is not too far away. Seeing the boats in the ocean, just remind me that Key West is not far away.
We were early checking in and so we headed off to the beach area. It is not a very big beach and there is a lot of seaweed so not a favorite of mine. However, I love the change colors that we see in the ocean typically caused by the seaweed, depth of water and light. I have been at this beach before when we spotted a shark swimming around. Did I go into the water this time around? Nope but I did work on changing my color again. I am fortunate that I automatically tan. However, I have to be honest, summer is oppressive this year and 2 hours in the sun and I was done. We headed off to eat, and then made our way to the hotel. Air conditioning was on my check off list. Just a side note, one of the things Key West is know for is the Roosters, Hens and chickens wandering around the town. It was quite neat to be able to see the chicks at the beach. Another thing Key West is known for is their polydactyl cats which is a cat with anomaly. The 6 toed cats are also know as Hemmingway cats. Story goes that Ernest Hemmingway was given a 6 toed cat by a ships captain. Apparently while not all of the cats have 6 toes, they carry the gene that will allow them to give birth to a 6 toed cat.
Heading back to the hotel I spotted this tiger. I have never seen it before and I thought it warranted a picture.
Once we cooled down and felt normal again, we ventured out into the heat. It was close to 4pm and we were looking for a place to grab something to eat. We tend to stick to a variety of starters and so finally settled on a restaurant where we could sit outside and enjoy the food. I have to give a shout out to the White Tarpon in key West. Head there for Happy Hour and it is so worth it. We shared calamari and group starter, a mussel starter and peel and eat shrimp starter, along with two glasses of wine and 2 rum and coke. All of that for under $40. The food was good and that probably was the best deal that we got down there. Beyond that we meandered through the wharf are back to the hotel.
Something I have never seen in Key West before, but love that I did, was a pair of manatee. You can read more about them here They are definitely gentle creatures of the water.
Heading back to the hotel, the boats are starting to fill up for the sunset cruises. I was a little disappointed that we did not do a cruise. Sebago is one of our favorite groups to head out on, but to be honest, I am not ready to sit in crowds. While this boat was not crowded, many of the other boats were. I love to be out on the ocean watching the sunset. This time around we were just going to accept that watching the sunset would be from our balcony of our hotel. One of the interesting things we saw was the floating tiki hut. I think it could be cool to do something like this.
And last but no least, we headed out to the balcony to get comfortable and settle in to watch the sunset. No actual sun and the same static pic but the colors were amazing.
I have another blog going live today so look out for Day 2 in Key West. We spent some time visiting a rum distillery, along with walking the town, and taking in the sunset again.
Please stay safe, wherever you are in the world. Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Ivana A L’ala who visited the city that I was supposed to be visiting this week – Dubrovnik, Croatia. I cannot wait to see her pics, even if I have to wait a whole year to once again attempt to head to Macedonia, Croatia, and Berlin. Check out her Facebook page as well.
Posted on July 31, 2020
It’s nearly August. Time is passing one day at a time. I can’t decide if it is slowly or whether it is just way too fast. It’s hard to believe that I have now been at home 4.5 months. I am still busy working, but time seems in limbo. I wake up, make a protein shake, feed Sim, Moo & Hoo and then I sit down at my computer. My problem is that I do not move. I am trying to force myself to go down the stairs every hour and go on the elliptical machine for a few minutes just to move the old joints around.
Each day seems the same, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays we stay at home, most of the time, unless I absolutely have to go out, or Richard has decided he has had enough of home and needs to go out and eat.
I have been banned from feeding the ducks, the birds and the squirrels so I don’t have a lot of wildlife activity in my garden any more – which I will add I hate. Every so often I will get up and drive to a local park to watch the sunset but even that feels like too much effort some days. Other days I will watch it from home.
An update to this is we are stuck at home. Richard tested positive and we are in quarantine. Happily trying to avoid each other. Just remember if you are asymptomatic, it does not mean that you could not test positive. If you come in contact with someone or you know you may have been in contract for longer than 15 minutes and within the 6ft social distancing, remember that you could get infected. He does not have a single symptom that would indicate that he is sick. Wear the mask, keep the distance.
Last week Wednesdays was one of those days that I watched from home. I happened to move Hoo (the quaker parakeet) into the spare room as I was going to have a conference call (only to find out it was cancelled) and I looked out of the window and watched the clouds come rolling in. Below is a pic take with my old cell phone.
It was a little intimidating to be honest. I grabbed my camera and headed downstairs but the sky did not have the same effect.
The wind picked up, thunder happened at a distance but not a drop of rain fell. Clearly it happened on the east side of town. In fact there was a rainbow just a little later that I saw. However, I decided I would head out back and see what the sunset was like given the weather or lack of weather earlier in the day.
My first thought was this was not going to be that great, but I persevered and sat outside with Sims and waited.
And it did not disappoint. Maybe not as spectacular as some of the other days but it was still a pretty sky overall.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what is going on in the world, the world is still beautiful and we can sit back in our own small space and truly enjoy this incredible creation that we live in.
Tomorrow is back to work, and another week will go by, but remember, there is beauty all around us, we just have to take the time to look for it.
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. My friend Beth from Beth William’s Photo Blog is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share