30 Minutes in the Life: March 2022

Just a heads up – this post is more than 30 Minutes. There was way to much going on on my time out.

We have a wee bit of Irish in our bloodline. My grandmother was born in Halifax, Yorkshire. Her father Michael Nolan, was born in York, Yorkshire of Irish Immigrants. My great grandparents emigrated to South Africa where my mother was born, as was I and my children. However, I do hold onto that tiny bit of Irish history.

It was St Patrick’s day, and so we dragged out Luka’s “My first St Patrick’s Day” bib and headed to the local parade. We grabbed some starters at a local restaurant, some beers and Guinness and family time until the parade started. I have to confess when I go to a parade like this, I honestly expect to hear and see all things Irish. Sadly I was disappointed. Green beads, green outfits and loud hooting does not make it Irish. The parade was not great and so I spent more time people watching, which seemed a lot more interesting.

I needed a low key photo for my 52 Frames project so the two images that you see in black and white were my choices for my low key images. I eventually decided to submit the image of the young lady.

Here are some images from the St Patrick’s Day outing.

The wind picked up, the dust was blowing everywhere, Luka was tired and getting dust in his eyes and Amy was getting stressed. We tried to find a seat at a restaurant and they took forever, and then only gave a seat for 2. He wandered off to try and find out if he could seat four. While we were waiting for the table, the police opened the cross roads, and so we abandoned the table and crossed the road heading back towards our car. Richard did not want to leave with all the traffic so we wandered down the road, and came across an outdoor Italian restaurant playing Irish music and offering corned beef and cabbage. So we hung out there for a while and had another beer. Just before we finished it started spitting, so we packed up and headed to the car as quickly as possible, each of us agreeing that we were glad that the parade was over and vowing we were not getting caught again next year. I needed Irish music, lilting laughter and good beer. Perhaps there will be another time. Or perhaps, we can plan to visit Ireland.

Thank you for joining us, 30 Minutes in the Life is a circle blog and we have some very talented photographers in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month, Kristina Dominianni is up next, and I look forward to seeing what she has to share.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

30 Minutes in the Life: January 2022

Welcome back to 2022 and a new year of 30 Minutes in the Life. Last year we took a sabbatical for the last few months. We were all worn out and, to be honest, I had a new baby in the family and he was taking up a good deal of my time. We have been so excited to watch Luka grow over the past few months and I have been equally blessed that my daughter has allowed me to spend so much time with him. He is such a sweet boy and he brought light into my soul after an incredibly tough year.

But January came around and once again, I wanted to start the year on a positive and healthy note. I was back to work and Friday’s are my only day to play. I wanted to go and walk but I also wanted to see Luka, so I suggested to Amy that we meet at the Japanese Gardens and take a walk through them and have lunch at the gardens. That way I get out to walk and I see my boy as well.

The added bonus was that I went back to her house so that I could watch him while she did some studying.

The Japanese Gardens are beautiful and the weather temperature was perfect so we were able to walk through them and not feel like a bit drip. However, it was a little dull and overcast. If I were walking by myself I would take about 2 hours to meander the gardens but I forgot that I am walking with Amy the road runner. We zoomed through the park at a super fast rate. Apparently she was hungry and wanted to get to the lunch stop 🙂

So here are some images from Morikami Japanese Gardens.

I love this wall at the entrance to the park, and while I was waiting for Amy and Luka I played around.
Just the other day I was talking to Richard about the Azealia plant. We used to have a garden full of them in South Africa, but I have not seen them around in Florida. I was pleasantly surprised to see them in the gardens.
Amy and Luka as we start out our walk. He is not too keen on the sunlight right now, but Amy has since bought him sunglasses and the dude looks pretty cool with them on.
The lake appears to have Koi and turtles in it.
I love the different scenery’s around the lake. These grasses make a nice edging.
Reflections can be found all over the park and this was just one corner at the beginning.
I had my Lensbaby Sweet 35 in the bag and so when I got to the bamboo trees, I played around a bit.
It’s nice to see slight shades of winter amongst all the green.
We had to have a pit stop and so it was a good place to take some photo’s of our little guy.
Ornamental decorations can be found scattered around the park. The walk is very soothing and I often when I go I will find a place to sit and just blank out the noise.
This is the wall to a raked garden. I have sat on the seats just below this wall many a time.

My 30 minutes technically ends here but I am going to continue with our walk through the gardens.

Natures colors on a dull overcast day.
I often stop and think about how creative nature truly is with it’s designs and it colors.
Another beautiful raked garden.
Through this section there are waterfalls, and small winding rivers, that quiet your mind.
This image of is of the rooftop of a wooden gateway that separates the previous area with that of the Japanese house. We did not visit the house this time.
However, we did need to take a pic of Luka with the Budda. I told Amy they looked similar. Luka got tall and filled out pretty quickly for his 3 months. Now he needs to get moving to loose all that baby fat.
By passing the Japanese house we followed the walkway through the trees and open spaces. I loved seeing the air plants growing out of this tree
Another sign, however small, of winter in south Florida.
I saw something out in the water and was not sure what it was until I zoomed in. For me this is a sad sight, but a common one when temperatures drop in south Florida. The iguana freeze and if they are in trees above water, and they fall out the trees, they will drown. If they are on the ground apparently they will come to life again as the temperature warms up. I cannot vouch for that as I have not seen that happen. A cold winter really reduces the number of iguana in the area. I am going to be watching the 3 I see outside on the trees. While many don’t like iguana, I really do.
The end is in sight. Just beyond those steps is the restaurant, and Amy is in a hurry to get her food and to stop the grumbling in her stomach.
Nature gives us such beauty if we just take time to stop and look. It isn’t always about the animals. Plants bring a smile to my face as well.

If you haven’t taken a walk in nature for a while, I would certainly encourage you to do so. As we head into another covid filled year, getting outside into the fresh air is a good way to restore harmony to your soul, and to just refresh in general.

30 Minutes in the Life is a circle blog and we have some very talented photographers in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. Ashley Soeder Photography is up next. She is sharing a delightful new puppy so I can’t wait to see what images she has to share. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Webpage or  Instagram  page. Definitely check out her incredible art.

Share Six: January 2022: Abstract_22

Happy New Year and welcome to the year 2022. I am so grateful to see the back of 2021. I am excited to see what this year has to offer and praying that life does not get so crazy like it was last year.

Starting out with 2022 on a bang, Janet of @wiredtothemoon_ has chosen the them {Abstract}. We have done this them some years ago, so that will explain the _22 on the end of the hashtag.

I looked up the definition of “abstract art” to see what the internet would come up with. Here is what I got:

“art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colors, and textures.

I love abstract art to start with. I have abstract art on the walls in my home. However I took a different take on it this time around. I looked at {Abstract} in nature. Very often I get that impressionist kind of feel to the photos.

I love the out of focus feel that the lensbaby gives a sunset.
Branches in the wetlands. What you don’t see is the Little Green Heron that I cropped out. He had hopped into the trees to hide from me. I loved the effect that the gray branches gave on natures background when out of focus.
In this image I was looking for a “breaking the rules” image and so I had a flower on the extreme right of the image. I cropped it out and now I have an abstract image of the reeds in the wetlands.
Again another out of focus post crop. My focus was on a Great Blue Heron but when I looked at the background I loved the impressionist feel that this image gave me.
Lensbaby and bokeh. What more can I say. For me the abstract of this is all of the crazy bokeh in the image
While I would love to say that this is an alligator submerging it wasn’t. I managed to capture the tail end shot of an Anhinga diving for food in the lake.
In the forefront of this image was a female Grackle. I love the soft out of focus effect of this image that creates and abstract feel.
This image was the top of the nesting area where the Great Blue Heron were building their new homes for spring. I loved the eeriness of the branches reaching out. Bokeh always gets me as well.
Cropped out of this image was a dragonfly, but the background is again something I would put on my walls.

Technically the next three are not in the wetlands but I did love the abstract feel of these images.

I had gone to the wetlands, and driving home with no cars on my side of the road, and the lenbaby on my camera. I held the camera up to balance on the steering wheel and just took a series of images of the oncoming cars. This kind of pic is up on my wall.
For this image I was trying to get movement but it functions as abstract as well. I was running water into our kitchen basin and shooting with a macro.
An for a little bit of crazy abstract, a garden flower and some fun and games in photoshop.

Thank you for joining us as we start out yet another year of photography sharing.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly talented friend Janet of @wiredtothemoon_ up next is up next. I can’t wait to see what she has to share. You can see more of her work by clicking on her  Instagram  page. Definitely check out her incredible art.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_abstract_22

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a story: December 2021

I chose to go for a walk. I encouraged Richard to go for a walk with me. Life is a choice and lately I have not wanted to make choices, but I also know that I need to get out of the 2020/2021 rut and start making better choices for myself and for life in general.

So we went for a walk. I needed that. I needed to be out in nature and breathing in the fresh air and just reveling in the beautiful joy of creation.

This park has been closed for about 6 weeks while they did maintenance in preparation for the birds coming in to nest. Already the Great Blue Heron are showing signs of building nests and doing their mating dances. Soon the Woodstork will come in and take over, leaving no space for any other bird to nest. They come in droves and by the end of the season they are just too much. Everything stinks around their nests and I am glad when they start to exit. I remember a time it was exciting to see these prehistoric looking birds, but these days I am over it.

Tri-colored Heron
I believe that the bird above and below are Eastern Phoebes.
An Iguana in it’s mating colors
One of the first nests of the Great Blue Heron. They have been pushed to the far side of the reserve where it is not easy to see their nests.
And of course, I happen to see the first Woodstork checking out the new digs.
I believe the image above and below are of a Common Yellowthroat. Not sure if it is male or female.
This little green heron was walking along the boardwalk when it spotted me and hopped into the trees. It was trying to be incognito.
A Tri-colored Heron, shaking of the water and drying out.
There was a group of Glossy Ibis in the water scavenging for food.
I needed a minimalism photo for my 52 Frames project and this is a definite go to for me.
There was also a group of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks hanging out feeding.
Last but not least, the Great Blue Heron, definitely is a favorite of mine and this one looks like it is standing sentry over a nest.

The weather is beautiful in South Florida even though it is winter. I watched Richard go outside today and open up the umbrella so that he had shade. The temperature low was 63F and a high of 83F. I was looking for a little cool weather for winter, but at this rate it will be summer again and I will be wondering where winter was.

Thank you for joining me today. This is a circle blog so look out for my friend Beth of Beth’s Photo Blog and check out what she/he has to share.

Wishing you a wonderful 2022. I hope it improves on 2021.

Share Six: December 2021: Autumnal

This month’s theme was chosen by Ceri Herd Photography and the theme is {Autumnal}. South Florida does not really see much in the line of autumn unless I go looking for dead leaves. I heard someone say we are having our third quarter of summer. It sure feels like it most of the time.

However, we headed ever so slightly north to Tampa just before Thanksgiving. I was not expecting to see much change in color, but we have had a few days of cold. It’s about a 5 hour trip for us from east to west and then north, and we detoured to the South African shop, to get some loved snacks to have at our destination.

I always go with a long list of things to do and we always par it down to the time frame we have. But it is good to have options. Tuesdays post, I shared our time at the Salvador Dali museum, a very interesting place to visit if you like interesting architecture, and some incredible artwork. I am a big fan of Dali’s abstract art.

Another item on my list was to head to a wine farm I had found just out of town. It was called Keel & Curley Winery, and from what I understand they made all their wines and beers on the property. So off we went, and 45 minutes later we headed into what may be called “country” living and finally arrived at the farm.

It was a quaint, farmhouse, turned into a tasting room, and beyond that gardens to meander through. Since tasting only started at 12pm, we took a walk through the gardens. Much to my surprise I found some {Autumnal} color, perfect for this months theme.

From the tasting room we headed outside to a large covered patio, nestled against the small dam. Growing on the edges of the dam were these beautiful colored trees. Beyond the dam was a covered outdoor private gazebo, where a wedding was taking place.

Beyond the gazebo, was rows of grape bushes, which leant to the feel of autumn. Keel and Curley Wine Farm make their own wines using blueberries. They produce 3 types of blueberry wines. They have a variety of fusion wines.

We meandered around the farm yard, past the animals, towards the blueberry plants. A slight drizzle had us do a u-turn and head back to the tasting room.

Also produced at the farm are their own beers and ciders, and this is where we landed. Richard and Amy like IPA’s, I like a larger, simply because I do not like fruit in my beer. Daniel picked a different beer. I have to say the beer was excellent and we did go back for seconds. Along with that we also shared a couple of flatbreads. Through all of this Luka was on his best behavior and we did not hear a peep out of him, until his bottle was needed.

We left the farm with a bottle of wine, and I bought a Pina Colada mix, which I hope will par well with some good old rum.

If you are looking for a fun outing in the Tampa area, look up Keel and Curley Winery and take that short drive out of town and enjoy some time there, you will not regret it.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Lynne of Lynne Grant Photography up next is up next. I can’t wait to see what she has to share. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page. Definitely check out her incredible art.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_autumnal

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a Story: November 2021

I thought I had one more day to get my blog done, but apparently not, Tell me a Story goes live in the morning. Family vacations are fun, and one of the things I wanted to do while we were in Tampa, South Florida, was to head to the Salvador Dali museum. I honesty did not see it happening, but Amy said she was keen to go, and Kathryn wanted to go as well, so we made a trip of it.

I love Dali’s artwork that goes without saying, but what I had seen from researching the venue was the incredible architecture of the building. I could not wait to get inside and see what there was to see.

Just a heads up if you are visiting, and plan to take photographs. Limit yourself to your camera and 1 lens. They do not allow backpacks in the premises. You have to leave them in your car, or put them in a locker. I understand they are worried about things going missing but to be honest the artwork was not going to fit into my camera bag, and I was not happy that I was expected to leave a $800 camera lens in the car. Fortunately Amy had a diaper bag and I could leave my lens inside there but remember that if you are visiting.

Immediately I am so impressed with the structure of the building, and the lattice type effect of the huge dome window. The internal staircase was amazing. What you are seeing above is the tip of the staircase

Amy and Luka in front of this interesting outlook
The central staircase going from the lower to the upper floor.

The sign next to the cracked effect of the window said the following: “Photographer Lee Miller broke boundaries of convention, technique and decorum to help shape the understanding of our own human possibilities. Our enigma glass is “broken” in her honor. How might you break boundaries?

Salvador Dali was born in Figueres, Spain in 1904, and lived both in Spain and in the USA. I have always know Dali for his abstract work, and love his art, but I did not know that he also was influenced by the Impressionist era as seen above, and at a later stage Catholicism. Below are two of my favorite abstracts.

Daddy Longlegs of the evening – Hope!
Fantasies Diurnes

The above image was titled “Portrait of my dead brother”. What fascinated me is how he created the image using dots and such interesting shapes. From what I read Dali had hope that the mysteries of religion would be revealed through physics and molecular biology. This image is one of the large canvases that he created. To see this in full size is incredible.

Below is a stunning image of a Woman looking out on a sunny day. The title to the artwork says the following ” Gala contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters becomes the portrait of Abraham Lincoln – Homage to Rothko (Second Version). When I look at the image in a small version I see Abraham Lincoln perfectly. When I look at this image I see Gala contemplating the Mediterranean Sea.

Below are two more abstract paintings that appealed to me. The first image is titled “Oeufs sur le Plat sans le Plat” (Eggs on the plate without the plate). The second is titled “Enchanted Beach with Three Fluid Graces. That particular painting really appeals to me.

As I mentioned earlier Dali was influenced by Catholicism, and the was apparent in some of his images. Below the image is titled “Galacidalacidesoxiribunucleicacid” (Homage to Crick and Watson).

Below this image is titled “The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.

There are so many more images and I did not do justice to his famous image “The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory. Go look it up – it is a stunning piece in my mind, and often reminds me of the Pink Floyd some “Time”.

Below I spent some time looking at different angles of this incredible structure before we headed outside to view the Garden.

Kathryn and Cody

I loved the different angles and shapes and reflections I could see in each setting. The dome type effect just fascinated me.

Kathryn and Cody at the famous representation of the Dali mustache.

The artwork above was titled “Christ of St. John of the Cross”.

Amy taking a break at the clock bench.
A tiny bird with a Dali mustache.

The we were back inside at the base of the staircase and I managed to get these last two images before we headed out. I love spiraling staircases and the effect that this had was amazing.

Lastly we snapped a shot of Cody in the gardens. Kathryn struggles with serious arthritis, and Cody is her service dog. He does an amazing job of being there for her to help her along the way. A silent disease like arthritis sometimes has people looking at you and asking what is wrong, why do you need a service dog, why do you need a wheelchair? Like many others Kathryn has good days and bad days, and we are grateful that Cody is there to assist her.

If you are heading to the Tampa area in South Florida, I would encourage you to take some time to visit the museum. Just remember no backpacks, or you are going to be as unhappy as I was heading in.

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

Tell me a Story: October 2021

Saturday the 9th was a long day and well into the late night. Just around 11pm, we became grandparents, as Luka made his debut into the world. I waited up and Amy and Daniel face timed me shortly after he was born. Can I say I fell in love. I absolutely did.

Monday was a holiday for me and I decided to do a quick walk in the morning and then be ready to go and meet our little boy when he arrived home in the evening.

While walking I was giving thanks for the safe delivery, and just taking deep breaths and communing with nature.

Today as I was editing the images, I was thinking it is less about the critters and more about the backgrounds. Minimally, we are seeing signs of fall and I am enjoying the change of season. I cannot wait for winter to reach Florida.

This little Green Heron was hiding out in the long grasses while it’s partner in crime was wading in the waters.,
I love the blending of the colors in the back ground and the softness of the Anhinga.
I took this image a few weeks ago for 52 Frames, but wasn’t totally happy with it, so I took it again,
I came across another Green Heron just hanging out.
There was an abundance of female grackle out this particular morning. I love the colors in the background of this image.
Dragonfly were hard to find today but again I love the weird background that has shown up here.
Another female grackle just hanging out looking for my dragonfly.
It seems like the 4 spotted pennant was the dragonfly of the day.
Clearly this Female Grackle is a mom with teenagers because she has that mean look in her eyes.
I love the faded grass and the bokeh in the background.
Time is everything and I did not see this pod dropping to the floor.

The highlight however, was not in the park but rather in the parking lot. A few had already spotted it and if they had not seen it I probably would have walked right past the the trees but luckily curiosity got the better of me and I turned around and looked at this Red Shouldered Hawk.

I am in awe of how nature is created. The feather’s color distribution is fantastic and so impressive.

Thanks for joining me today on my walk. If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home in February after his melanoma Stage 4 diagnosis. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. While the medication has shown some positive signs of working on reducing the melanoma, we have to be aware that melanoma is very unpredictable and you honestly need to take care.

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

Share Six: October 6 2021: Documentary

I am a days off from becoming a grandmother. 5 to be exact. It’s super exciting and I cannot wait to meet our little guy. If nothing happens between now and the 10th, then on the 11th Luka will make his debut.

Recently my theme for 52 Frames, was “Woman”, and my daughter is my go to woman. Not that she really wants to be. However, she agreed and I headed over with a number of ideas. I liked the idea of really light windows – with a blown out look to the image. I had another idea that involved children’s bubbles. She was not too keen on any of the ideas that I had. She had been trying to get a maternity water image, and so she suggested that I use her GoPro to take some images of her in the water.

Well that was a learning curve. The GoPro kept shifting over to video and she was getting freaked out. Added to that it really is not easy to take maternity shots and all credit goes to her for the poses that she managed to come up with. She came up the one time and said “I used to be able to hold my breath for much longer than that”. In the end we probably took over 200 images. Amy narrowed it down to about 30 images she was happy with and I narrowed it down to one image. However, for my blog today I pulled down a few more images and tried to work with them.

The images were taken in jpeg, which had me experimenting to see what I could come up with in Photoshop. The original quality was a murky turquoise color but I had some fun playing around. I didn’t realize how much you can do with a jpeg in Photoshop.

The theme this month is {Documentary} and I am documenting my daughters last weeks of her pregnancy. Below are some of the images that I have decided to use.

The challenge for me was getting that contrast without going to dark. In the second image I had to because I was loosing her face in the light. In the lighter images I feel like the extremities were disappearing into the light. However, the image that I needed and submitted was the one below. This image was selected for one of the top 52 out of over 2000 images, and it was 4th in the number of views that it got. So I was pretty happy overall. What fascinated me as I was editing, was that I noticed a face in the water directly above her. I was not sure if this was a good thing or something creepy. I have had some interesting comments on it, my mom was watching over her, my dad was watching over her, and this looks like the baby’s face. That said, I am still not sure what to make of it.

I am so excited for both Amy & Daniel. We had breakfast with them last weekend and Amy told me that this was the last time she was leaving her home. She is so uncomfortable and starting to get lower back ache. I feel for her because I remember the lower back ache I had. The days are passing so quickly that before we know it the 11th will be here. I cannot wait to see Luka’s sweet little face.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Katherine of Cobert Photography is up next is up next. I can’t wait to see what she has to share. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page. Definitely take some time to check her out.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_documentary

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a Story: September 2021

We have had so much rain that getting out to walk is challenging when you work most of the week. I did get out one Friday in the middle of the day. The wetlands was hot and so humid. However, I was predominantly photographing dragonfly and that takes a lot of patience. Aside from the dragonfly I got to see some interesting critters along the way. I was having some frustrations along the way. My camera needs a service. The dial is not working properly. I hate the thought of having to send it off to Canon, especially now when I am not sure when I will get it back.

The walk is 2 miles long and is all along a boardwalk. The plus of that is you are not at the same level as the gator but you can get relatively up close to them. A zoom lens helps to get it a lot closer without actually being any closer lol.

So dragonfly were on my agenda today. I find them amazing. If you want to see more of the dragonfly I managed to photograph click here.

I always enjoy the Comorant, and both wetlands have at least one that is super friendly. It is not afraid of humans and I was able to get quite close to it.

I am not sure who named this bird but the Green Heron really does not have any green on it. This one popped up on the boardwalk railing as I was taking the Comorant. Of course birds have no shame, and I managed to photograph the poop shoot. Post that he flapped all the water off it’s wings and hung out for a while. I felt like today was angry Green Heron day, and you will see a few more images a bit later.

This is a female Anhinga. They fish for their food, and then once they have finished they will fly to the closest dry spot and they spread their wings and wait for them to dry. The way I understand it, they cannot fly to far with wet wings. I am always in awe of creation and how each wing interlocks with each other to enable a bird to fly. The male of course is far more interesting with white and black wings.

I always love to see an Iguana. This one was hiding out but if you look close at the body you will see signs of orange. To me they are so impressive. To others they are invasive.

A Glossy Ibis is fantastic to see when the sun is reflecting off it’s wings. Todays pic you get a little sense of it but not enough.

Every so often there is a covered walkway and a respite from the heat. If you look up there is a good chance you will find tiny little birds flitting through the trees. They are too fast for this lens. It seems like the lens takes forever to focus on the bird and by the time it does, the bird has flown off.

It’s in the walkways that I love to capture my favorite style of images. There were no leaves along the boardwalk but there were these pine fronds.

The White Ibis is chilling in my favorite tree. It is a great resting place for many birds and in the past I have managed to capture some Roseate Spoonbill in this tree.

I spotted this little Green Heron and took the top pic, then turned away to photograph dragonfly. When I turned back it was stalking across the water with this interesting Mohawk. Look like there is a new barber in town.

Tri-colored Herons are fun, and they normally fly around in pairs, especially the juveniles. There were 3 of them, this one on the railing and 2 in the water. It is almost as if they play tag.

I am sure you are wondering what this is. It’s not a gator. There was an Anhinga fishing in the water. As I took the shot, it dived down again to fish, and this is all I got of the bird.

Last but not least, I spotted this pensive looking Anhinga drying out in a tree as I was getting ready to leave the part. It really spoke to me. It looks like a juvenile based on the color of it’s feathers.

Thanks for joining me today on my walk. If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home in February after his melanoma Stage 4 diagnosis. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. While the medication has shown some positive signs of working on reducing the melanoma, we have to be aware that melanoma is very unpredictable and you honestly need to take care.

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

30 Minutes in the Life: September 2021

“A red dragonfly hovers above a backwater of the stream, it’s wings moving so fast that they eye sees not wings in movement, but a probability distribution of where the wings might be, like electron orbitals; a quantum-mechanical effect that maybe explains why the insect can apparently teleport from one place to another, disappearing from one point and reappearing a couple of meters away, without seeming to pass through the space in-between. There sure is a lot of bright stuff in the jungle. Randy figures that, in the natural world, anything that is colored so brightly my be some kind of serious evolutionary badass ~ Neal Stephenson

Dragonflies fascinate me. They are so incredibly well created. Their body parts interwoven so beautifully right down to the fine hairs on their legs. Their wings are like silk and paper thin. Their eyes bulbous and alert, moving quickly to track what you are doing if you are close enough to them.

But they are a bit of a challenge to photograph. Dragonflies are busy critters, that do not stop for too long. When you are shooting in manual, very often they will fly off before your settings are correct. However, one thing I have learned about dragonfly is that they tend to go back to the same spot they took off from. So with a bit of patience and a willingness to give up 2 hours of my time in the midday sun, I managed to capture some of them on my walk around the wetlands.

Something interesting that I read is that a good percentage of the dragonflies life is that of an aquatic lava. The live in the water as they grow, then eventually pull themselves out of the water onto a branch where they apparently molt to become an adult dragonfly.

In some cases the male and female dragonfly look the same, but the male dragonfly appears brighter than the female dragonfly. In other cases, like the Scarlet Skimmer, the female is a dull brownish color while the male is bright red.

Apparently males dragonfly have 3 appendages with which to grab the female dragonfly, I am presuming in mating season. I can’t say that I have ever seen that. The female appears to be attached by the head to the male. Damselfly are the same.(See the last image) The damselfly on the top is the male and at the anterior of the abdomen you will find the copulatory organs. The male clasps the female on the top of the head and the female bends her abdomen up to the males copulatory organs. By the male bending its abdomen the sperm is forced to the copulatory organs. And there you have it, the creation of new dragonfly larva. Most eggs are laid in mud or water.

Another interesting fact that I read, is that dragonflies are plagued by mites both in larva form and in full dragonfly form. The larva suck the blood of the dragonfly. Gnats are also blood sucking creatures that attach themselves to the wings of the dragonfly.

Dragonflies can travel up to 30 miles per hour. Dragonflies can change directions suddenly, going up, down, forward, backward or left and right.

Lastly, Dragonflies are predators, which is what I really love about them. They eat mosquito’s and flies, and when you live on the edge of the Everglades you have plenty of both. I am very happy when I see dragonfly in my garden.

Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly
Four Spotted Pennant Dragonfly
Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly
Four Spotted Pennant Dragonfly
Halloween Pennant Dragonfly
Halloween Pennant Dragonfly
Scarlet Skimmer Dragonfly
Four Spotted Pennant Dragonfly
Scarlet Skimmer Dragonfly
Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Golden Winged Skimmer Dragonfly
Damselfly Mating

“Magic is seeing wonder in nature’s every little thing, seeing how wonderful the fireflies are, and how magical are the dragonflies” ~ Ama HVannairachchy

Thank you for joining me this month. I love to get out and walk in the wetlands, and seeing the dragonfly really make my day.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life. This is a circle blog. While this is a culmination of more than 30 minutes, I believe these photo’s were taken in about 30 minutes when I realized I had not taken any. It’s a small circle this month. Please follow the link to see what my very talented friend Kim of This One Ordinary Life has to share this month.

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