30 Minutes in the Life: May 2020

The stay at home is kind of lifting in Florida, we’re in Phase 1. I confess to being a little skeptical about numbers in Florida. That said I have been at home for the past 2 months with a partner who hates to sit still. Me I love it. I love working from home, although I need to learn when to stop. That is probably my biggest problem. You don’t pack up and drive an hour home, so you carry on working. I am getting better, but even as I write this over the long weekend, I know there are things I need to do.

For the past few weeks I have noticed some friends heading out to the local section of the Florida Everglades, Loxahatchee National Park. I mentioned to Richard that it was open and that if he wanted to go out we could go there and hopefully not encounter to many people. This is typically my sunset spot and on any given night it is kind of lonely and there may be at most 10 of us.

Right now, I have not been going to the park because my zoom lens died and I have yet to get another one. I am challenged with what I want. Of course, I want the 150-600mm lens so that I can get up to the eyeball of the creature that I am photographing but the thought of carrying that lens around has me reconsidering. I also want a lens I can travel with.

So we headed out with our chairs, our tumblers of wine, and I took along my 17-40 mm lens, and my 24-135 mm lens. So no close up of the sun heading down, but that was okay because it turned out there was no visual of the sun and the evening was very cloudy.

When we got to the park half of the county was visiting as well. So we tried to practice social distancing and set up our chairs away from folk and then sipped wine as we waited for the sun to set.

In these images I played around with my 17-40 mm lens and I really loved the super wide angle the this lens offers. I cannot wait to use it in different settings.

In these images I switched to my 28 – 135 mm lens. This was the closest I was going to be able to zoom into the horizon.

I had bought the 18 -40 mm lens after using my daughters fish eye in Rochester. We were also supposed to be on the road in August, or rather on a plane 😦 , and I wanted the 18-40mm lens because I had visions of super wide open images. However, I am not sure that I see this happening. I am going to be pretty disappointed if it doesn’t. We had plans to visit my son in law’s family in Macedonia, and the kids were going to have a wedding reception for his family.

We were heading from there down to the Lake at Ohrid in Macedonia and then on to Skopje. From Macedonia we were off to Croatia, starting out Dubrovnik, then heading up to Split. then further north to Zagreb. From there I had plans to head to Berlin. I have traveled through places in Germany, but never to Berlin.

So with all that potentially on hold, I kind of suggested that maybe by the end of the year Australia may be an option. This is a trip we really need to do. So we have to weigh up where this virus is going to take us in a few months and what international travel is going to look like. Do we really want to be on a plane again? And landing in a foreign country may mean having to go into quarantine for 2 weeks. That’s like your vacation time. May as well just stay at home.

Looks like the virus is going to rain on our parade. As did the clouds in the distance. Fortunately for us, it never made it to where we were sitting.

We were happy to be honest, just to be outdoors and for me taking the sunset again. I tried to use people where I could to create silhouettes.

Silhouettes are a favorite of mine and there is that part where you don’t have to pose someone and the look is kind of natural and they are not aware that you are taking their pic.

Luckily the sun was starting to set and I was hoping that I could get something out of this cloudy sunset.

Evenings like this on the Everglades is always fun. You become the food source for all sorts of bugs, my favorite being the mosquito and the yellow fly. The yellow fly is actually worse for me as I react to it as I would to a bee sting. Nice sweet swelling that is as itchy as can be and normally results in me swallowing anti-histamine before I get any real relief.

I have learned to make sure, that even in summer, that I have a long sleeve sweater with me. That way I can try and stay away from being part of the food chain.

There were a few local fishermen hanging out, along with a couple of gator on the far side of the water. The Everglades is a natural habitat for gator. We have kayaked inside the waterways and come across all sizes of gators. It is kind of creepy, especially when the water is low or when the gator goes down under water. I keep wondering where it may come up and pray that it is not right alongside the kayak.

As the last of the sun was setting, I switched back to the 18 – 40 mm lens to try to get a few more wide angle images. The clouds created dynamic dark images with that tiny flare of light.

I was not the only person with a camera out there. Actually it is a popular spot for photographers and you never really know what kind of sunset you are going to get. Our day is done and all that is left to do is pack up and head home.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for chilling out with the sunset.  

I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Janet of Janet Crouch Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook and Instagram pages as well. 

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a story: April 2020

I apologize to my other bloggers, last month was crazy with the whole switch to working from home and trying to come up with new scenarios on how to meet clients.  Hello telemedicine, but it certainly has been a journey.

We are still on the stay at home status, and so there is not a lot to photograph. Maybe I should be doing one a day but somehow I spend most of the day at my computer working.

Friday last week, I decided that I needed to get some vitamin D, and headed out to the deck to try and grab a little bit of sunshine.  While the weather is hot, it is really overcast and there is not a lot of sun grabbing going on.  Once the deck clouded over, I picked up my macro and decided to walk around our small garden and see what captured my attention.  Here are a few things from the garden.

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Tiny berries shooting of the variegated leaf tree that Richard plants everywhere

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Dead spikes of a evergreen plant out in the garden

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One of seven spikes of a tree orchid that is attached to my palm tree.  The ants clearly love the sap of the buds.

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The start of the third pineapple growing in the garden. And yes, it really looks like the colors in the image.

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The upper spikes of the older pineapple.

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One of the many succulent stems of the tree orchid attached to my palm tree.

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New buds on a very spiky plant.

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The opened version of the above buds.

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Berries from the chopped down palm tree flowers.

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A brand new palm frond coming up in the garden.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  Days are not overly exciting right now, but I would rather do this and stay safe than go out and end up getting sick.

This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. My friend LUPJi Photography is up next and I can’t wait to read what he has to share.

 

Love:  October 18, 2015 2172

30 Minutes in the Life: April 2020

In the 2020….. (How does the song go “In the year 2525, if man is still alive
If woman can survive ~ Zager, Evens”).  Earlier today I saw someone added an “in the year 2020…” a Facebook post with the idea that this would come up in their memories.

So what does Corona Virus Stay at home look like for you?  For me, it is still work as normal, in fact a little more than normal, but it has to be done so I am going to do it.

Richard has his office downstairs, I have my office upstairs.  Hoodini (the quaker parakeet I rescued) is moved out of my office into the spare room every morning, Ms Moo sits at the closed door whining to get in and Sims just ignores everyone and everything.  That is us, day in and day out, work and Zoom meetings make up my days.  Sunday evening we have managed to set up a Zoom games evening with the kids who are not close by.  It adds a little variety.  When necessary I will go to the shop, but so far I have managed to keep that to once a week.  I have been out of the house a total of 6 times in the last 5 weeks.

So for this month, my 30 minutes is really my editing time.  I thought I would get us on the road again.  We traveled a fair bit the last two years, and I found I was not able to keep up with the editing on all the trips.  Today I am going to go back to Maine, and a charming town that I got to visit with a friend.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0810

My friend Karen had married and moved to New Hampshire a few years ago.  When we decided to go up that way I connected with her to see if we could meet.  I also knew she spent a lot of time hiking in New Hampshire and I thought I would pick her brains on where to go.  She went one step further.  She decided to drive through to Maine and we went on a road trip.  First to the Ogunquit Musuem, then stopped by a lighthouse, then drove through to Portsmouth.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0811

This is a quaint little seaside town.  All of them are quaint to me.  Not sure how little they are though.  But for me the immediate town was so interesting.  I love the old brownstone buildings and the cobblestone pavers or brick sidewalks.  Today was an overcast day but luckily when we arrived in Portsmouth it stopped raining.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:9768

The first stop was at a small street side bar called Portsmouth Gas Light Co, for lunch.  Of course, when in the north we had to have lobster rolls (and this was a first for me, both being in the north and the lobster rolls).  Karen and I shared and I can promise you that was more than enough food.  When I compare it to the ridiculous lobster roll we got in New York, this is amazing.  It tasted it good, and it was super filling.  Added to that we were able to indulge in the local brew.  I am a Heineken kind of person, and they were able to come up with a brew that matched my taste.  If you are in town, I highly recommend stopping by.   

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0826

Another favorite of mine is street art, and we managed to find a few interesting murals to capture our attention.

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Walking the city was fun, and we soon headed down to the Piscataqua River that separates Portsmouth, New Hampshire from Kittery, Maine.

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We found a beautiful garden square that was a riot of color, carefully planned out and very appealing to the eye.

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0837

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We continued on crossing one of the local traffic bridges and walk along the waters edge enjoying the beautiful sites in front of us.

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The image below caught my attention because of the beautiful reflections in the water.

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We landed up along a quay of yachts and fishing boats which may or may not have been situated on North Mill Pond.  It’s been over a year, what can I say.  The bridge in the image is called the Memorial Bridge and it is a vertical lift bridge.  This bridge allows commercial boats to pass through.

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This bridge replaced an earlier built bridge that spanned this river from 1923 to 2012.  On the original bridge there was a plaque that read “Memorial to the Sailors and Soldiers of New Hampshire who gave their lives in the World War 1917–1919.”  This plaque was moved to the newly built bridge.

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0858

We headed down to the Strawberry Banke Museum, side stepping into a historical grave site area.  I am a big fan of wandering through, reading the different tombstones.  I love history and these tombstones were very interesting in design.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

The tombstone about was that of Capt Tobias Lear who died November 6th, 1781.  According to the notes found on an onsite notice board, “Lear was a mariner of Portsmouth whose home, now a historic site, is a few blocks from Point of Graves on Hunkering Street.  His son Tobias Jr, Served as President George Washington’s private secretary.  The elder Lear’s gravestone was carved by John Homer and displays the realistic skull and cross bones for which he is known“.

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Another one that had clear writings on was the tombstone of Mary Blagdon. The tombstone says “Here lies the body of Mrs Mary Blagdon wife to Doc. Samuel Blagdon Aged 75 years.  Died Dec y 11th 1735.  I found the images on the tombstone interesting and wondered who chose the design on this woman’s tombstone.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

We passed the South Meetinghouse on Macy Street.  The building of this beautiful building was completed in 1866, and in those days cost $9,600-00 to complete.

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We walked down some side streets and this stairway caught my attention with all it’s number plates on it.  It certainly was creative, as was the front door of another house we passed.

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We found two new friends (for a short period of time) sunning themselves outside now that the rain had gone.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

We walked passed some alley ways where I captured this beautiful spiral staircase.

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And then we were back at the water’s edge, having walked along a boardwalk of restaurants.  I loved looking at the tug boards and fire rescue boats.

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In the distance we could see the Memorial Bridge we had walked past earlier.  We were on the other side of the bridge looking down towards it.

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In the opposite direction is the stunning Piscataqua River Bridge which spans the Piscataqua River.  The bridge connects Portsmouth. New Hampshire with Kittery, Maine.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

The bridge has 6 lanes and arches high above the river, eliminating the need for a lift bridge for boats.  The structure is this incredible mass of metal work that is absolutely stunning.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 9445

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this this small but oh so interesting seaside town. I hope you enjoyed getting out and about with me.  I look forward to the day we can pack up the suitcase and head out again.  I am still holding out hope for my Eastern European trip in August. 

Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Janet of Janet Crouch Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook  and Instagram pages as well. 
30 minutes contributor

Share Six: March 2020: Morning

Good {Morning} to you from Bar Harbor in what feels like the wee hours.  Oh yes, once again we are back up and heading out to watch the breaking of the day.  Bar Harbor is perhaps one of the most beautiful sunrises I have experienced, and I have sat through quite a few.  Something we had learned over our days in Maine, is that the fog rolls in and out quite unexpectedly.  This morning was no exception.

When we first arrived, I actually thought that the fog was an island.  However, it kept moving closer.  The weather was chilly for such an early morning, but we took coffee along with us.  I moved around a bit on the dock to try and catch the boats heading out for their early morning fishing, and then back to try my best to capture this gorgeous boat in the sunrise.

This month Share Six’s theme is {Morning} and this is mine.

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

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If you have not been to Bar Harbor, then it should be on your bucket list.  Not only is it a quaint town, but it is also the gateway to the Arcadia National Park.  A park well worth visiting.  Added to that you are right up near the Canadian Border as well, and a ferry ride to Nova Scotia.  We stayed in the town limits, and walked up and down the streets and down to the waterfront.  There were a lot of interesting little shops to browse through.  The highlight of the town was we had one of the best calamari we have ever had and we also got to eat lobster tails, (something we don’t often do 🙂 )

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0362

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Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  I love sneak peaks – they are always amazing.  This is an incredibly talented group of ladies.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Michèle of Michèle Tremblay Photo and see what she has for you this month. To check out her Facebook page click here and her Instagram page here.

Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_morning

 

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Share Six: February 2020: Out of Focus

Did I say Share Six was going to take us out of our comfort zone this year.  Well so far it has.  I chose the theme this month and yesterday realized that I had not got all six images, so some quick work had to be done.  This month’s them is {out of focus}.

I lean towards abstract images as being some of my favorites.  There are ladies in this group that excel at these images, and leave me green with envy.  I wanted to attempt this myself.

Lensbaby is a great way for me to get an out of focus image.  Sunsets are a favorite time of day  So what a great time to get images.  I headed out to the wetlands to play and see what I could come up with.

A.R.M Loxahatchee National Park: February 239, 2017: 8396

This was another lensbaby image.  Partial blur.  I love black and white images and played around until I got the finish I was looking for.

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In camera motion or my attempt at taking a photo from a moving vehicle.  I am definitely going to try this again.  We were out at St Petersburg, had just watched the sunset from the beach and were now heading towards the Sunshine Skyway.  I decided to pull at the camera and slow the settings and see what I could come up with.  Not perfect but I am okay with it for a first attempt.

St Petersburg: Dec 15, 2019: 8891

Another Lensbaby and post edit combination. While the container was out of focus the straws were more defined.  I played around in Photoshop until I got the result I was looking for.

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This photo was also taken heading towards the Sunshine Skyway just outside of St Pete’s. This time I was passing some bushes.  It’s kind of creepy but I love the wave effect of the water.

St Petersburg: Dec 15, 2019: 8892

Last but not least, I had a friend visiting and we took her grandson to the park to wear off some of his energy.  The park was amazing for that.  Next to the climbing area was a carousel.  I knew that this was going to be one of my out of focus images.  The color images was great but the black and white created the mix of definition which I loved.

BFF Beach and Park:  January 25, 2020: 9754

I am by no means an expert in {out of focus}, but practice and more practice will be what helps to make it better.  I hope that you enjoy the topic and feel like you are stretched a little bit further as well.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  I love sneak peaks – they are always amazing.  This is an incredibly talented group of ladies.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Liz of It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Willson and see what she has for you this month. To check out her Facebook page click here and her Instagram page here.

Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_macro

 

 

30 Minutes in the Life: February 3 2020: San Antonio Riverwalk

We traveled so much last year that I did not have time to edit all the images that I took.  So I decided to go back and do some editing today and share the photos I had not shared when we visited last year.

San Antonio Riverwalk was definitely something I had read about, and something I wanted to see.  This is definitely more than thirty minutes but I wanted to keep all the riverwalk images together in my blog. I have shared a few images on the Riverwalk last year, however, there are more photo’s that I did not share.

The hotel that we stayed at opened directly out onto the Riverwalk and so we walked out of the building and onto the buzzing walkway of restaurants and people.  Lots of people. Clearly the easy was to see the Riverwalk would be to do a ferry right, but we don’t do easy.  We walked.  To be honest it was not a lot of walking.  We ventured out for breakfast and then we were out again for dinner. Most of the restaurants were to the right of our hotel.  Some of these are the restaurant walkway and some are of the road less traveled 🙂

Meander with me as we head along the Riverwalk…..

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3832

The restaurant area is busy.  Lots of people, lots of restaurants, a hive of activity.  There are so many places to eat at.  We had bangers and mash at Mad Dogs, Seafood at Joe’s Crab Shack, Breakfast at the Original Mexican Restaurant and we stopped for beers at Durty Nellies Irish Pub.  Oh and add a few sausage rolls to that order.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3837

On of the things that I really loved about the San Antonio Riverwalk was the mix of old and new.  These arched bridges give the sense of a timeless period long ago.  Similar stone was just at the Alamo and at the Missions.

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Always a favorite of mine is natural wildlife and the riverbanks and the river itself had these beautiful ducks out and about.

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This walkway headed up to another shopping center and restaurants, and was also the pathway to the Alamo.  Starbucks was around the corner and we stopped there on the way to the Alamo We also stopped by Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for dinner one evening,

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3921

The stairway took us up to the restaurants and a busy area givent

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3927

Walking back from the shopping area we meandered down this pathway, past the waterfall and back to the busy canal.  I love the colorful umbrella’s and the pathways of green.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3913

 

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All this walking definitely creates a thirst and this was a great spot to hang out and drink a local beer.  The ducks were swimming up to the edge looking for handouts.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 4090

Heading left from our hotel, the area is quieter, more peaceful and relaxing.  The walk was more meditative.  There were no general restaurants in this area and the few that we did see were the dining areas for a specific hotel.

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Outside the Briscoe Western Art Museum was this incredible set of statues of a cowboy herding cattle.  The stairway below leads to the art village La Villita Art Village.  We meandered through there one of the afternoons.  The last image is of Rosita’s Bridge leading over to the River Art Group.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019:

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 4143

You have the best of both worlds on the Riverwalk.  You have the hustle and bustle of patrons heading in and out of hotels, looking for places to eat, listening to music, and then on the other side you have this quiet, relaxing, peaceful walk.

This was definitely worth the visit and I was glad I could cross it off my bucket list.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this incredible journey in time.  I so enjoyed the mix of the old and new world.
Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal from Crystal Bella Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook page  as well.   I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.  

10 on 10: July 2018

July 4th was a busy day for us.  We were up at 5:30 am to head to the beach to watch the sunrise.  I was going to photograph the sunrise and Richard was going to take his paddle board out on a very flat east side ocean.  Kind of made me think of the gulf.

After that Amy and Richard decided to go kayak.  I went along on the understanding that I was going to be able to walk some nature trails.  That did not happen. They went kayaking and I walked around a very short walk around a park,  took a few photographs watched a group of older men playing baseball, and then found myself on a blanket in the shade reading my book until the eventually came back.

The afternoon brought rain and of course, when the rain stops I head out with my camera to capture water drops.

Last shoot of the day 4th of July and nobody wanted to go.  Richard had been saying all day that he was not interested in going to the fireworks.  Amy decided she was tired and did not really want to go.  I was undecided whether I would go on my own to the park and just stop off somewhere and take my photographs or alternatively just go outside and take photographs.  The rain ultimately helped me make my decision.  I was going to go out back.

So I set up my camera settings, pulled out and attached my tripod and I went outside to do my best to get some fireworks shots.  I live on the edge of the Everglades.  It is the slowest moving river aka a swamp lol.  Obviously in summer we have a mosquito problem.  Our mosquito’s remind me of the ancient of birds a “pterodactyl”.  These mosquito’s are huge and they are mean.  I think I spent more time swatting mosquito’s than I did taking photo’s.  I lasted all of 10-15 minutes and came inside, along with a colony of mosquito’s, before the fireworks finale.

I was not sure what I would get but since this is only the second time I have tried to take fireworks, I was quite happy with what I got.

Out on the back canal: July 4, 2018:

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Out on the back canal: July 4, 2018: 7192

I hope that you all had a good and safe 4th of July.  This is the 17th year we have had the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day, and we are thankful that we have been able to.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 10 on 10.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my good friend Ceri of Ceri Herd Photography and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

 

10 on 10: March 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 10 on 10.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my fellow blogger Lexie from Alexis Merritt Photography and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

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