Tell Me a Story: April 2015

This month my plans fell through. I had planned to go down to Fairfield Gardens in Miami.  However, the weather predicted rain and I did not want to drive 1.5 hours and then walk around gardens in the rain.   Then the actual outing I was going to was cancelled and to be honest I have felt tired lately, and decided to just take a walk locally.  So I pulled out the Macro lens and went to the park very close to my home.  At the entrance to the nature trail they have a Butterfly garden.  This is where a spent a bit of time.

The Mockingbird is the state bird of Florida, and they tend to sing endlessly.  Today there were a few flying around.  It is spring in Florida and birds are singing and mating and laying eggs.  We have a mockingbird in our garden and every so often I wonder if it will ever tire out it’s voice box.

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I love Butterflies but they are really hard to photograph.  They never stop for too long and it take a lot of patience to wait for one to do so.  Below is a Zebra Longwing Butterfly.

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Bees are another insect that is hard to photograph.  They are always so busy flying from one plant to the next.  You have to catch them when they are gorging on the nectar or collecting pollen.

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Butterfly gardens are full of plants that attract these insects to them.  It is always so nice to sit back and watch them hover around.  I would love to plant a butterfly garden in my back yard

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The Cassius Blues (Leptotes cassius) is a minute little butterfly that flits from plant to plant.

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This Bee really got it’s head well into the plant. I was interested in why Bees need nectar or pollen.  Interestingly nectar provides an energy source while pollen provides protein and fats.  I did not know that.

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Butterflies are such delicate insects.  Quite often they look quite raggedy by end of their life cycle.  This butterfly has a big chunk out of it’s wing as you will see in the second image.

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Another Mockingbird flitted into the trees.  They seemed to be out in abundance this day.

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Last image is again of the Cassius Blues (Leptotes cassius).  I feel like these butterflies are not much bigger than my a 50 cents piece.

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“Life is short. If you doubt me, ask a butterfly. Their average life span is a mere five to fourteen days.”

~ Ellen DeGeneres, The Funny Thing is …..

This is a circle blog, so please head on over to J Garcia Photography’s page and see what she has for you.  Janelle is the newest member of our group.   I know that you will love what she has to share with you.  I so enjoy being part of this group and collaborating with other photographers.

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

30 Minutes in the Life: April 2015: Walking in creativity..

March was an interesting month of nothing works. I struggled with a pinched nerve in my lower back, making it hard to sit for too long so editing had priorities.  I need to finish my son’s photo’s.  I went out once to the beach, but did not like the images. The sun was shining too bright and they were boring.  I went to the wetlands and it was overcast and while there are a lot of tiny chicks, I wanted to do something different.

When the reminder went out on Wednesday that links were due on Friday, I went into cold sweat.  Ugh – where did time go.  No images, no prospects, no ideas.  To add to that it was raining.  What to do out of the rain and in this city.  A part of me wanted to go to the Holocaust museum.  I have just recently finished a book on the prisoners of Dachau, and it was the Holocaust remembrance this month.  However, it appears there is no museum in Boca Raton.  After a quick search Thursday evening, I decided to take a leaf out of my friend Colleen’s page, and head off to the local museum.

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Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1167

There is something about a museum that reminds me of a library.  There is sort of quiet reverence as you walk in.  A feeling of awe at the incredible talent that you are about to look at.  The quiet reverence, was not quite there on Friday.  The feature display was on Helena Rubenstein.  I have to confess, I do not know anything about her.  However, I will say that there was a gaggle of women, walking through the display that made it virtually impossible to view the display, and added to that I could not take photos.  So I headed upstairs.  Come walk with me……

You will learn something new about me today.  I love abstract art.  I am not the conventional painted picture type of person.  My first area that I walked, I found so much to stimulate my visual senses.  The first set of images  is from the artist Bhakti Baxter.  This Miami born artist quickly grasped my attention with two unique pieces of art.  The first was this series called “An Intelligible Sphere, 2006” .  The artwork was created out of EPS foam, plaster and paint.

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Moving through the following rooms, I found wall murals of vibrant colors and incredible detail.

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And rooms of more traditional artwork sculptures, paintings, black and white images.  The image that shows you the women in detail was actually hollowed in and I am not sure that I saw all the detail  when I was looking at it.

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The second of Bhatki Baxter artwork was name “Inflorescence, 2013.  The intricate detail of the center of this flower was just amazing and I was drawn into it.

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Metal work by Anthony Caro and John Chamberlain were unique and very different.  Anthony Caro is actually Sir Anthony Caro, a British born abstract sculptor.  He uses found industrial materials.  His style is classified as modernism.  John Chamberlain was an American sculptor, who specialized in using automobile parts, vibrantly painted and twisted into varying shapes.  His art would fall into the abstract impressionism category.

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I called this the piano room.  The sculptures aside, it reminded me of the stories I have read of previous times of earls, lords and ladies gathered around a grand piano.  Where rooms are lined with the artworks of the masters.

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At the end of the passage way and in front of Bhatki Baxter’s artwork was this intricate design of shiny gemstones titled Angels and Ancestors by Wendy Wischer.  American born, Wendy Wischer works in a variety of media.

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Back in the piano room I found a variety of artists that caught my attention.  American born, Blacombe Green was active in promoting the acceptance of abstract art.  Marcel Gromaire was French born, and mostly painted on social subjects. His style can be defined as Social Realism.  This style of art draws attention to the poor and the working class.  And then I found one of my favorite artists, Pablo Picasso. Spanish born, Picasso, had a variety of styles.  Traditionally trained, he went through various phases of art, the blue period, the rose period, cubanism, surrealism.  This image is of Fernande Olivier, Picasso’s first mistress, being part of his life from around 1905 -1912.  She was his subject for various portraits during that period.

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I wandered off down the hall towards what I thought would be more African artwork, and I was not disappointed.  However, I will say that I would not like to run into any of those masks on a dark night.  The top one is kind of scary.

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Heading back to the stairway I stopped at the glass art.  This has always fascinated me.  My mother used to love those clowns of multicolors and these reminded me of those.  The amount of time and effort that goes into this type of art work never ceases to amaze me.

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Back downstairs, the noise level vibrated and I have to be honest heading towards the new display was not something I chose to do.  So I meandered past the display and headed to the far end of the hallway to a series of televisions depicting various facets of Shannon Plumb.  I did not know who she was and so had to read up on her.  She displays life in cinematic studies ranging from a humble person to the legendary figures.

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Last but not least was the work of Izhar Patkin.  Take your breathe away kind of work.  My photo’s do not do it the full justice it deserve.  I walked into the room and it was floor to ceiling tulle curtains, painted with various scenes.  The theme of the artwork, is defined as “You tell us what to do” based on a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.  Patkin was born in Israel and now currently lives in New York.   From what I can see the images are painted onto layers of tulle creating this beautiful and stunning effect.  I can tell that I stayed in that room for a while.

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Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1181

I have lived in this town for 15 years and this is the first time I have been to this gallery.  I have to be honest and say that I really enjoyed my time there on Friday.  I hope you enjoy seeing it through my eyes.

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“Others have see what is and asked why.  I have seen what could be and asked why not”

~ Pablo Picasso, Pablo Picasso:  Metamorphoses of the Human Form: Graphic Works, 1895-1972

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 minutes.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my friend, Lynzi Berg Photography / Hamden Connecticut Photographer and see what she has for you this month.  Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.

If you want to know more about 30 Minutes in the Life head over to their facebook page, or to the blog page.

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

Sharetographers: Share Six: April 2015: Tasty…

The topic is tasty.  Oh boy, this is my challenge.  I could do chocolate, but then I would be forced to eat it all.  I thought about a salad but that was not capturing my attention.  Recently on facebook there was a recipe going around that I had downloaded because it really looked interesting.

Let me start out by saying …I am not Julia Childs…!!  I can cook but it is most definitely not a passion.  My mother could bake, I did not get those genes.  Cooking for me is on an as needed basis.  Richard needs and so I cook.  I cook every day, but I will be honest, it is basic cooking and nothing fancy.  I could not be bothered and do not want to waste my time in the kitchen.

The gene I got, was having my nose in a novel.  I would rather time travel, to lands of swords and dynasties, than hang out in a kitchen cooking.

However, I told Richard I was making breakfast on Sunday and I was taking photographs.  He went cycling and I meandered downstairs for my cup of coffee.

I pulled out the recipe and gathered the ingredients.  Another confession….I am really not good at following recipes.  I think I added my favorite foods, which were not in the recipe….mushrooms and peppers.  Richard was interfering, and  when I discovered that he had used all the onions for his turkey burgers, I sent him off to the shop.  Double score.  I got rid of the interference and told him to buy me some flowers.

Let me say this, the end result in my opinion is never the same as the photo that which I am working towards.  However, it was not bad.  Down side, it takes way to long to prepare and if you are having guests over for breakfast, you best work fast and not take photo’s of everything.

So this is the combination of a scrambled egg mix, with mushrooms, red peppers, chives and onion flakes added to it, layered on Pillsbury crescents, topped with cheese and bacon and garnished with additional cheese on top. One additional piece of advice – don’t take the Pillsbury crescents out until the very last minute.  Fortunately I had bought two containers of them.

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 It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day.

That’s what human life is all about – enjoying good things!

~ Julia Childs

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

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

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

 

Sharetographers: Share Six: March 2015: Where I stand……

As a mom, I have always prayed for my children.  Endlessly……  I’d  pray that I would bring them up to have good manners.  That they would be children of integrity.  That they would know love and give love unconditionally.  That they would be independent.  That they would have solid values. That they would be socially conscience.  That they would love and respect the people in their lives.  For the most part I believe we have done okay.

They are both great kids.  Different in many ways.  Cameron has a strong faith and a compassion for his fellow man.  He has volunteered with youth in our church for about 7 years.  That brings him joy.  Amy on the other hand, is a strong independent young lady.  She has strong convictions of what is right and wrong.  In a different way Amy is serving the community.  Come September she hopes to leave with the Peace Corp for Macedonia where she will teach English to students.

Most of all I pray for the other half of their lives.  You pray that your children will find someone who will treat them well.  Who will respect them and love them.  In turn you pray that your children will reciprocate with the same feelings and emotions.  My desire is that Cameron will always be the man we have tried to bring him up to be.  Strong, and yet tender.  Not afraid to show his feelings.  To treat his partner with the respect she deserves.  To know that when times are tough there are there for each other.  I pray that Amy will always know the softer side of her beautiful spirit.  That she will be respected.  That she will always feel loved and cared for.

This February,  Cameron made a commitment to a young woman who shares the same values and principles as him.  Kathryn is a beautiful young lady with heart for young children.  Her passion and training is with young children who suffer from autism. Together they compliment each other so well.  They are playful at times, serious when they need to be.  They are committed to living their lives centered on their faith.  We are so glad to have Kathryn join our family.

I cannot wait to see what the journey ahead in life has for them.  My prayer is always that they would be strong in times of trouble, have a willingness to listen to each other when they don’t see eye to eye. and be supportive of each other.  And that when the children come along, they will understand what it means to be a unit, undivided when it comes to making the tough decisions.

From where I stand…. Both Richard and I are extremely happy to have Kathryn join in as part of our lives.

I had the privilege of taking some photo’s of them last weekend.  But I have been asked not to post and “people” photo’s until they are all done. However, my 6 images are of the ring Cameron gave to Kathryn as a pledge of his commitment to her.

Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014 9027

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Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014 9045

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Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014 9057

 

Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

~ 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

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

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

Tell me a Story: March 2015: I heard a rumor…..

I was in Nashville when I got the message “Where are you?  When will you be home?”  It was Sunday and my return home was due to be Friday afternoon.  My message told me that there were new kids in town.  Ugh!! I am sitting in Nashville and life for the new kids is going to change so quickly.  And then when I get home, they may not be there!  Patience is not my strongest point, but I will have to wait.  We arrived home late Friday, exhausted and ready to just chill and do nothing.  My brother was home with us for the weekend.  I took him to the wetlands, however, even the “spring” sun is not a comfort zone for him.  Unlike me, he burns very easily.  So after the first wetland, we went back home.

Monday I packed up my camera.  Time change has happened and I thought that I would head to the wetlands after work.  Well that did not happen.  I ended up working longer than I expected and the weather changed.  I am chomping at the bit.  I really want to go.  My biggest fear is that the parents will leave town with the new kids.

Tuesday we had an out of office meeting very near to the area I needed to be.  So once the meeting was over, I decided to head over to the wetland and try to find the new kids.  Ironically I walked most of the wetlands, only to find that had I walked in and turned right, they would be halfway down the bank.

Once I found them I sat down in awe and did not move for the next hour.  I was so close to them.  The parents did not seem to mind.  In fact coming right up to in front of me and dug for food.  I sat still and watched.  Here are my photo’s of the new kids.  They are Sandhill Crane colts.  They are about 2 weeks old and unsteady on their legs, but are the cutest things to see.  Their wings are tiny so they do not offer much in the line of balance.  Their legs are long with knobbly knees.  When they sit their legs bend backwards, and they just plonk down.  They also tire very easily and so they may have been following the parent and suddenly they sit down and sleep.  I hope you enjoy the awe and beauty of brand new nature.  A first for me and such a treat.

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Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8610

“In a world where thrushes sing and willow trees are golden in the spring, boredom should have been included among the seven deadly sins.” 

~ Elizabeth Goudge, The Rosemary Tree

I love creation.  I love life.  These little lives bless me immensely. To be able to sit on the ground and enjoy watching their activity was so special. I hope that you enjoyed seeing them.  Hopefully I will be able to get back and see them again as they grow.  Spring is splendid in the wetlands right now. The Great Blue Heron chicks are growing.  The Woodstork chicks are growing.  The Great Egret is laying eggs, as is the Tricolored Herons.  New life is abundant and I am in love with it.

This is a circle blog, so please head on over to Kelly’s page and see what she has for you.  I know that you will love it.  I so enjoy being part of this group and collaborating with other photographers.

If you did not see yesterdays post, know that I spent the early part of March traveling.  Watch out for the blogs on my trip to Nashville, Tennesse and also to Columbus Georgia. You can read our first stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee here.

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

 

30 Minutes in the Life: March 2015: We’re on the road again….

March has been a busy month.  I traveled to Columbus, Georgia on the 5th.  Returned home on the 9th and left for Nashville, Tennessee, on the 12th. In-between that I had to run payroll, and sit in a 4 hour meeting.  Why Nashville??  Country music…mmm, let me say right up front, this girl grew up on Rock and Roll.  Country did not play a huge part in my life.  My brother was flying into Nashville for a 4-day conference, and since he lives in South Africa, and I live in the USA, when he is in town, it is always my desire to spend as much time as I can with him.  His initial plans had him flying back out home the day the conference finished. So we agreed to travel to Nashville.

Let me start out by saying that Richards idea of a road trip is to get in the car and drive until we reach out destination.  My idea of a road trip is to meander.  Stop off here and there and walk around and take in the sights.  I guess for the most part the person in control of the wheel has the most say. Added to that he decided that we should listen to country music to get us into the spirit of all things country.  We left late Thursday afternoon, our destination being Valdosta and an over night stay.  Early the next morning we headed out, with another 8 hour journey on the clock.  Richard had made the decision to drive through the center of Atlanta, rather than do the ring road.  The weather had changed and it was bleak and wet.  The stress levels were high as we navigated the HOV lane and the Atlanta.  We did not know if we needed to stay in the HOV lane or jump out when the directions changed.  The atmosphere was charged….Rich and I will never do the Amazing Race together, that is all I will say…

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 18, 2015 4062

Atlanta was finally over and we were back to normality, and the rain had lessened to a drizzle, and we began to relax and enjoy the hills.  Actually after Florida I am pretty taken with the hills. 15 years of flat, and a bump in the road is a real pleasure to view.  I began spotting signs to different places like Rome, and Lebanon and Chatsworth and felt like I was traveling the world.  Actually the road trip would do that.  It is a long long way out of Florida when you are driving.

Just as the rain stops I see the sign Chattanooga.  Just the previous weekend I stood at the edge of the Chattanooga River in Columbus, Georgia and it was such a pretty sight.  So I decided I wanted to go down to the riverfront in Chattanooga.  Oh boy, that messes with the driver and his plans to arrive in Nashville at a specific time.  I had not planned to stop in Chattanooga or I would have done some research, but spontaneity is the spice of life.  We had now been driving some 5 or so hours, and this wall graffiti is the first sight I see as we drive into the city.   Here is where my 30 minutes starts.

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

Mmm…donuts and coffee.  Right then I could have done with that.  Well lets be honest, coffee would have been good.  Donuts very rarely find their way into our lives.  So as we drive along “my scenic route” all I am seeing is factories and dock like views.  Hello, Sharleen, this is a harbor town.  Just as Richard is deciding that he has had enough we start to see some signs of residential areas.  Actually they reminded me of my visit to England, with the terrace houses.

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Something else that stood out to me that was so different to the lush green of South Florida, was the brown starkness of the trees.  Pretoria, South Africa looks a lot like this in winter.  The house are face brick, the grass is brown and the trees are leafless.

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The first sign that we have arrived at the river front was this beautiful building, which I have since found out was the Tennessee Aquarium.  Had I known I may have asked to stop a little longer.

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Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4102

We are in Chattanooga, actually managed to find the riverfront, and we get out the car.  Oh man, it is cold.  We were already seeing signs of summer in Florida.  The warm days were happening and the humidity level was climbing.  So to get out of the car at 47F/8C, it was cold.  The Africans do not do cold that well.

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They are also not dressed that well for 47F.  I will confess though that Richard generally does not appear to feel the cold in his feet and legs, he always complains that his chest is cold. Today I think his legs and feet were also cold.  Me – hands, feet, face, they are all cold, and if they are cold I am cold.  However, I am also stubborn and determined.  I am going to walk as much as I can.

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To the left of the pier was this beautiful little lady, the Southern Belle.  Designed by Captain Alan L. Bates, she was one of 3 Riverboats built around 1985.  The Southern Belle now cruises the Chattanooga River offering lunch and dinner cruises.   Back in the 1800’s these riverboat cruises were a common sight as the boats went up and down the Chattanooga River

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To the right of the pier is the Market Street Bridge.  The draw bridge did not open while we were the but it was still pretty spectacular to see.   This visit really lent to black and white photos.  The day was gray but I did not want to take away from the color that I did see.

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In front of me was an old warehouse with graffiti all over the wall.  I love graffiti.  The building was pretty shabby and looked derelict but I loved how the colored writing stood out.

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By this time, I had turned around to hear Richard muttering something about going back to the car.  Nope I am not, I am still going to walk. So I said I will see you at the car.  This is where I am heading….

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Looking down from the pier, I quickly realize that walking on the grass is not an option.  The land was sodden, and the puddles were huge.  In the areas where I did go on the grass, it was squishy and my jeans ended up wet.

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So I headed off the bridge and along the pathway.  I am really taken with the trees.  I love the starkness of them.  They remind me of our home back in South Africa.  We lived in Pretoria for 7 years, and this was winter.  brown and dead.

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I cut across the grass towards the Riverboat.  Perhaps not the best idea, but I was starting to feel cold.  I decided to take the direct route. However, I paid the price with wet jeans for the rest of the trip to Nashville.

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I fell in love with this walkway.  The first image was going up it towards the bridge, the second was the same walkway heading back to the car, just slightly closer to the car than the bridge.

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Clearly one way to see Chattanooga is by bicycle, but the only place I am heading right now, is back to the car.

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A brief stop, a glimpse at a place different to home, and then 30 minutes later we are back on the road again.  Country music a happening, and Richard advising me that we are not stopping again other than to get coffee.  Goodbye Chattanooga, maybe will will visit again one day.

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On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

~ Willie Nelson

And so we are off to Nashville, the city of music, country music.  Keep a look out, for my visit to the Country Hall of Fame.  Yes I did it.  I discovered that someone decided that Kris Kristofferson was country.  I thought he was folk.  Goes to show what I know.  Now I knew Willie Nelson was country, but I kind of liked him because he was eccentric.  More in another blog.

Also look out for the blogs of the Gaylord Oprey, the Parthenon (although I have to add that I somehow deleted all of my images and will have to use my brother’s and Richards images), a night in Savannah, and a short stay in Gainesville.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 minutes.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my sweet friend Sophie James | Bluebells on the Green Lifestyle Photography, Glasgow, and see what she has for you this month.  Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  I had a peek at the single images we share and they all look great.  I cannot wait to read their stories.

If you want to know more about 30 Minutes in the Life head over to their facebook page, or to the blog page.

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

 

 

365 -2015 One day at a time: February 2015

Day 32:  February 1, 2015

I took a walk into the wetlands today.  I like to get out and clear my head a bit after a busy work week.  I love the intricacy of a spider web.  It always amazes me how beautiful they are built.

Green Cay Wetlands: February 1, 2015 0712

Day 33:  February 2, 2015

Orchids remind me of my father.  Whenever they bloom, I can picture him inside his shade house pottering with his many orchids.  They bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.

Outback on the Canal:  February 2, 2015 0906

Day 34:  February 3, 2015

I have looked at this tractor a number of times driving to work.  I recently was invited to join a group that works in textures and this was my first attempt to create a textured image.

Enroute work: January 3, 2015 0919

Day 35:  February 4, 2015

Say hi to Heuy, Dewey and Louie.  They hang out on the back canal waiting for the ducks to finish up with the seed.  They are also very good at aerating the grass.

Outback on the Canal:  February 4 2015 0960

Day 36:  February 5, 2015

Thursday was one of those late days when I knew I was not going to get home in time to get any photo’s and I had not got some in the morning.  Stopping off to pick up some roses not only pleases me but it allows me to take my daily image.

Rose:  February, 5, 2015 0989

Day 37:  February 6, 2015

It’s Friday and I am at home.  I love spending the day outside.  I hate it when I have to clean house.  Today was a have to clean house kind of day and so my photo was taken out in the garden.

Outback on the Canal:  February 6, 2015 1073

Day 38:  February 7, 2015

I walked in the wetlands today but decided to my daily photograph would be something different.  I love weeds, they are very pretty when you get up close.  Today I decided I like the common blackjack.

South County Park:  February 7, 2015 1129

Day 39:  February 8, 2015

It is Sunday and I am back out in the garden watching the critters.  This tiny little Palm Warbler (I believe) has been hanging out around the garden.

Outback on the Canal:  February 8, 2015 1375

Day 40:  February 9, 2015

It’s Monday and back to work, so a quick step outside in the morning to feed the ducks.  Hewy and Dewey are out.  Not sure what happened to Louie this morning.

Outback on the Canal:  February 9, 2015 1596

Day 41:  February 10, 2015

Early morning Tuesday and a quick breakfast shot before I head out on the road.  I am gone for the next few days.

Outback on the Canal:  February 10, 2015 1612

Day 42:  February 11, 2015

Wednesday morning and I am in Gainesville, Florida, at the University of Florida Dental Department.  My daughter Amy is having surgery.  I am trying to escape the Dental Office Police (aka the front desk assistant) who was insisting I sit in a chair and wait for 2 hours.  With the excuse that I was taking my coffee cup and jacket to the car (which I did – so no lies), I managed to escape from that chair.  Winter is very evident in Gainesville and the change is scenery is very beautiful.

Escaping the Surgery Center: February 11, 2015 1639

Day 43:  February 12, 2015

Surgery seemed to go well for Amy.  Today it was Xeno’s (the rat) turn.  She was having surgery to remove some mammary tumors that had developed on her little body.  She was at the vet until 4:30, so Amy and I decided to visit the Sante Fe Rehabilitation and Training Zoo.  This Ocelot was one of the animals we got to see there.

Gainesville: February 12, 2014 1738

Day 44:  February 13, 2015

The pain kicked in on Thursday evening, but Amy asked me around lunch time today if I wanted to go to Paynes Prarie.  I had mentioned that I wanted to go and look for wild horses.  Of course I did not get to see the wild horses but I did manage to see a Bald Eagle in the wild and there was the obvious highlight of spending time with my daughter.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1867

Day 45:  February 14, 2015

Having been gone most of the week, I was glad to get home to Richard and Moonshine.  I missed being with both of them while I was away.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2044

Day 46:  February 15, 2015

Today is a day to relax.  I was tired from all the driving.  I just wanted to sit on the bank and watch the world go by.   This Dandelion blossomed in the grass close by to where I was sitting.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2065

Day 47:  February 16, 2015

It’s Monday morning and I head out to feed the ducks before I head off to work and the canal has this awesome fog all over it.  This appears to be the start of the foggy season.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2073

Day 48:  February 17, 2015

There were  no images this morning and nearly none in the evening.  I stopped along the road on my way home to capture this sunset.

Heading home:  Feb 17, 2015  2092

Day 49:  February 18, 2015

Today was a special treat.  I got to celebrate in the retirement of a volunteer who had volunteered with our organization for over 30 years, at the age of 90 years old.  Oh my, what a treat. What a character and what character.  Marian shared her stories of her life, and my only response to her was to write them all down.  She served in so many capacities during her lifetime.  I hope I can look back on my life as Marian did with hers, and say I made a difference.

Marian's Farewell:  Feb 18, 2015 2229

Day 50:  February 19, 2015

Driving home from work today, saw these guys watering their crops.  I could not help but stop and enjoy the sunset and all the activity going on.

Heading home:  Feb 19 2015  2292

Day 51:  February 20, 2015

Day 51 and it is Friday and the weekend has started.  I pottered around the house until about 2:30 and then decided to go for a walk in the wetlands.  What a thrill it was for me to see Bobcat in the wild.

Green Cay Wetlands:  February 20, 2015 2476

Day 52:  February 21, 2015

Lake Worth, Florida has an amazing Street Art painting weekend and this was the first year that I got to visit.  I know I will be going back.  To see more of this street art click here.  I was pretty impressed with this living statue.  I have seen this before and I am always amazed that a person can keep still for that long.  I remember as a child an uncle timing me to see how long I could sit still.  It was not very long,  I can promise you that.

Lake Worth Street Painting:  February 21, 2015 2532

Day 53:  February 22, 2015

Sunday afternoon and it is a lazy day.  Dinner time is outback on the patio, enjoying the sunset.

Outback on the Canal:  February 22, 2015 2650

Day 54:  February 23, 2015

This was by far my favorite morning.  It was so foggy outside and I was driving out.  I drove past this young boy walking, decided to turn around and head back down to the beginning of the road and take the photo.  Some days you just have to do that.

A Foggy Morning: February 23, 2015 2660

Day 55:  February 24, 2015

After work today I decided to do a quick detour to the Wetlands to see what was happening with the chicks.  Of course, they are growing.  However, my favorite shot of the day was this Woodstork flying into the rookery and the Anhinga throwing a fit.  The Wood stork was just a little too close to their nest.

Wakadohatchee Wetlands: February 24, 2015 2759

Day 56:  February 25, 2015

Nothing happening out back this morning.  Ms Squirrel sleeps late when it is cold.  I managed to get a quick shot of her before I had to head out to class again.

Outback on the canal: February 25, 2015 2845

Day 57:  February 26, 2015

Today was a rough day photograph wise.  There was nothing happening out back before I went to work, and I worked late so by the time I was driving home it was starting to darken.  I also stopped to get groceries so I got home around 7pm.  No light, but I did have an Arum Lily in a pot and so it had the privilege of being my model today.

February 26, 2015 2862

 

Day 58:  February 27, 2015

I was sitting out on the back on the bank watching the critters, and Big Blue decided to go fishing.  I loved watching him do that, however I wasn’t too crazy when he caught and swallowed the fish.

Outback on the canal: February 27, 2015 2916

Day 59:  February 28, 2015

Today I remember my father and my brother, both who were born on February 28. My dad passed away in 1995, and Mark died at the age of 5 in the year 1962. I never had the chance to know my brother, but his memory through the stories of many lives in my heart. Both are missed dearly, both are loved.

Family:  February 28, 2015 2952

 

 “Everything in the Universe has a rhythm, everything dances”.

~ Maya Angelou

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

 

 

Project 365 …For mothers just like me: February 2015

Project 365 – For mothers just like me…is a group of moms with young children who graciously allowed me to tag along with the group as an accountability group for taking photographs.  Both of my children are much older and living out of home.  I hope to continue with this group as I have enjoyed every moment of my time spent with them and getting to know each family.

 

Day 32:  February 1, 2015

Walking through the wetlands is always a pleasure for me and there appeared to be a feeding frenzy of Woodstork and Ibis.  I managed to catch this Juvenile White Ibis as he flew in.

Green Cay Wetlands: February 1, 2015 0847

Day 33:  February 2, 2015

The Blue Jays give the Squirrels a hard time in the mornings stealing their peanuts before the Squirrels have a chance to finish one.

Outback on the Canal:  February 2, 2015 0896

Day 34:  February 3, 2015

Sunsets out back are always a beautiful and peaceful time of day for me.

Outback on the Canal:  February 3, 2015 930

Day 35:  February 4, 2015

Early mornings are never great for me but it does help when I get to see a beautiful magenta sky.

Outback on the Canal:  February 1, 2015

Day 36:  February 5, 2015

Roses are some of my favorite flowers.  I wish they lasted longer. I loved playing with the sepia tones in this image,

Rose:  February, 5, 2015 0996

Day 37:  February 6, 2015

I happened to wander outside and find this Glossy Ibis hanging out on the back canal.

Outback on the Canal:  February 6, 2015 1031

Day 38:  February 7, 2015

We got to go to a birthday party in the park.  What is nicer than watching the beautiful butterflies settle on the tiny little plants.

South County Park:  February 7, 2015 1127

Day 39:  February 8, 2015

It is Sunday and after church I headed for the wetlands.  The Great Blue Heron chicks are growing and I am missing out on seeing them.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands:  February 8, 2015 1486

Day 40:  February 9, 2015

It’s a work day and I fed the ducks and then gave Ms Squirrel her 3 peanuts and headed off to work.  I love that I can have these brief moments in time to enjoy nature.

Outback on the Canal:  February 9, 2015 1587

Day 41:  February 10, 2015

I have to laugh at these little Grebe’s.  They will swim happily down the canal until they see me.  Then they duck under water and swim past me and pop up so far down the canal that taking a photo of them is pretty useless.  I wish they were a little braver.

Outback on the Canal:  February 10, 2015 1604

Day 42:  February 11, 2015

I am up in Gainesville and it amazes me how air plants and Spanish Moss have taken over the trees.

Escaping the Surgery Center: February 11, 2015 1654

Day 43:  February 12, 2015

This was such a sweet sight.  I walked outside one morning to see all these stray/feral cats hanging out outside this door.  A short while later they all had piles of food on the sidewalk.  I am so glad that someone takes the time to feed them.

Early in the morning: February 12, 2015 1665

Day 44:  February 13, 2015

We walked through Paynes Prairie today.  What a thrill it was to see a Bald Eagle in the wild.

Gainesville: February 12, 2014 1980

Day 45:  February 14, 2015

I am back home and like always I wandered out onto the bank to find this tiny sunflower growing on the edge of the bank.  Seems like a sunflower seed must have been carried from the ducks bowl and dropped on the bank.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2040

Day 46:  February 15, 2015

Sunset out back from the patio is always special.  It is nice to be able to chill and just enjoy.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2072

Day 47:  February 16, 2015

It is Sunday morning and breakfast time for all of us, including Ms Squirrel.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2080

Day 48:  February 17, 2015

Today was a work day with nothing happening in the morning.  I managed to get home just in time to grab the sunset.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 17 2015 2095

Day 49:  February 18, 2015

Today was a special day.  We said farewell to an amazing volunteer who has spent the last 30 years volunteering with our organization.  Marian served during the 2nd World War, she worked as a missionary in a number of countries.  She has a rich history, and at 90 years old she has decided to move closer to her sister.  As she closed out she was wondering what opportunities she would have to serve in her new home.  Oh, to be someone like Marian.  To be able to give unconditionally knowing that you do not expect anything in return.  I hope she takes time to write down her life history.

Marians Farewel: February 18, 2015

Day 50:  February 19, 2015

I happened to be watching the sunset driving home when I spotted these guys watering their plants.  Fortunately there was a pull off point that allowed me to stop suddenly.  I loved watching the movement of the water across the sky.

Heading home:  Feb 19 2015  2294

Day 51:  February 20, 2015

This was a special treat today – I have only seen this once before and I was so thrilled to see a Bobcat in the wild.  Not only did I see one but shortly after that a second one came in.  What a beautiful sight.

Green Cay Wetlands:  February 20, 2015 2455

Day 52:  February 21, 2015

Something different today.  I went to a street painting expo in Lake Worth, Florida.  The street is their canvas, chalk is their tool. The mind is limitless as the images slowly emerge.  You can see more of this event here.  I loved seeing all these shoes neatly stacked at the side of the road.

Lake Worth Street Painting:  February 21, 2015 2510

Day 53:  February 22, 2015

Hewy and Dewey are out on the canal today, but I am not sure where Louie is.  The day is pretty gray and this photo really leaned towards a black and white photo.

Outback on the Canal:  February 22, 2015 2624

Day 54:  February 23, 2015

Monday morning was another gray day.  When I went outside to feed the ducks it was really foggy.  Driving out of the community I spotted an opportunity for a eerie sort of image.  I had to stop and turn around and go back to the start of the road to catch this photo.

A Foggy Morning: February 23, 2015 2659

Day 55:  February 24, 2015

After work I did a detour past the wetlands to check on the baby chicks.  I was pretty excited to see these tufts of fluff.  Anhinga chicks are so sweet.  There are 3 chicks in this nest.

Wakadohatchee Wetlands: February 24, 2015 2731

Day 56:  February 25, 2015

It is Wednesday morning and the Blue Jays are stealing the Squirrels food again.  The come in packs and before the Squirrel knows it all her peanuts have gone.

Outback on the canal: February 25, 2015 2842

Day 57:  February 26, 2015

Arum Lily and Anthurium remind me of my mother.  She had both growing in her garden.  She enjoyed having them in a vase in her house.  Those were the two flowers you could guarantee to see displayed.  I love both of them as well.  This Arum Lily is sitting on the window sill of my office.

February 26, 2015 2863

Day 58:  February 27, 2015

Hewy and Dewey headed into the water, but Louie was not interested and getting his feet wet.  Big Blue was fishing and they were curious.  It was a beautiful time out on the bank.  Big Blue, the Great Blue Heron, Hewy, Dewey and Louie, the American White Ibis, Mix and Match (since I never know if they are the same Mallard Ducks), Ms Squirrel and the Blue Jays, all made my day.

Outback on the canal: February 27, 2015 2911

Day 59:  February 28, 2015

Tulips are another of my favorite flowers and I had bought myself some on Thursday thinking I would not get a photo in the evening.  And then I took the Arum Lily.  The day was gray and the tulips opened beautifully today, so what better beauty than that of a gorgeous flower.


February 28, 2015 2956

 

 

 

 

 

Tell Me a Story: Paynes Prairie: Hunting wild horses

I traveled to Gainesville to stay with my daughter Amy while she had surgery.  Her surgery was done on Wednesday morning.  Thursday Xeno, the pet rat, had surgery.  Mom had two patients to take care of.  Amy was pretty easy.  The meds kicked in and she slept.  Xeno on the other hand, was a lot harder.  The poor little mite did not understand the need for a great big collar on her tiny neck.  For a good part of Thursday I had to hold her just to keep her still.

Friday Amy felt a little better and the meds did help.  Around lunch time she asked if I would like to go to Paynes Prairie State Park.  I had mentioned that I had seen a photo of wild horses and was really keen to get out and see if I could find them.  So with a swollen face, Amy graciously and courageously went out with me.

I went with all the details and so we made out way to the furthest point of the park where the horses had been seen, parked the car, and started to walk.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1848

Walking through the forest was kind of chilly.  I am fascinated by the Spanish moss that drapes the trees.  The walkways are quiet and restful.  Occasional benches are set along the way for folk to rest.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1856

Vines dangle in mid air from the trees above.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1860

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1851

Walking through the forest did not take to long,  We did not see any wild horses in that section much to my disappointment.  Through the stile and off we go along a dirt road that has obvious signs that horses have been out this way.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1867

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1870

So far we have got to see a Cardinal.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1874

And the real thrill, was to see a Bald Eagle in the wild.  Such a majestic bird, that swooped in and settled on a stump not too far from us.

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1893

The area is very dry and the grasses are in abundance and my sinuses are not happy.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1898

For some reason and I am not sure what it is, some of the images have a crazy pattern in the background.  I am not sure if there was something on the lens or not, but I have re-edited a couple of times and they are still there.  So I am going to leave the crazy patterns.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1897

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1914

It is a beautiful day for strolling along the pathway.  I wish we had walked further but my feet are not up to the long walk.  Amy’s meds were also starting to wear off and she was ready to head on home. That aside we had left Xeno long enough.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1919

Paynes Prairie: February 13, 2014 1937

Back up into the forest and the cool air once again.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1941

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1940

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1961

I have to confess to being a little disappointed that I did not get to see wild horses, but like anything in nature you may see it and you may not and it really is the luck of the draw.  I got to see a Bald Eagle in the wild and I got time with Amy.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1952

I had asked Amy to model for me with a red umbrella.  I only wanted one image but she really got into the swing of things and we go a whole series of them.  For more on the umbrella story you can click here.

Gainesville: February 13, 2015 2008

This was my last day with Amy before I head on home.  I was so glad to be able to be up there when she had her surgery.  As a mom, I always worry about my children and when I know that they are hurting or have to have a general anesthetic, I want to be there with them.  Gainesville is an interesting town and I enjoyed spending a few days there, but it is back to work and the routine of an office again.

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”

~ George Gordon Byron

This is a circle blog so remember to go and check out what the other photographers have for you.  Up next is LUPJi Photography and just a little hint – look out for the snow.  As a Floridian, I have to be honest, I envy those who get to see snow, and yet I cannot begin to imagine spending too much time in the snow.  I will freeze.

You can read the other blogs on Roadtripping to Gainesville – Day 1, Day 2, and Later in the afternoon.

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

Road tripping to Gainesville: Late afternoon day 2

I am cabin bound.  Amy is sleeping and Xeno is curled in tight against her.  Still can’t get over how a rat cuddles.  If they weren’t so stinky I think I would have one for a pet as well.  I decided to embrace the cold weather and head outside for a walk.

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015

Weeds abound on the edges of the road.

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1821

Old houses, my favorite kind, are in abundance in this area.  I loved looking at each of them.  My favorite was the house with the red door.

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1820

Spanish Moss hangs from trees where ever you look.

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1829

I loved this little building for the Progressive Church Administration Office.

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1832

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1836

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1827

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1822

The house that I was staying in had a chimney.  I am not sure this has ever been used.

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1834

This little plant was blowing in the chilly wind.

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1842

Late Afternoon: February 12, 2015 1846

My favorite was of course all the cats that strolled the streets.  There seems like there is a large amount of cats.  Perhaps many of them were feral.

Late Afternoon: February 13, 2015 2035

I loved the stretching this guy did as he woke up from lying in the limited rays of sun.

Late Afternoon: February 13, 2015 2036

Time to head off and meet up with all the other cats.

Early in the morning: February 12, 2015 1665

 

The all congregated outside the door of the local hairdresser.  Walk Ins Welcome seemed to be the appropriate sign for these guy.

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

~ John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

 

 If you are interested Road Tripping to Gainesville day 1 can be found here, and day 2 can be found here.

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