Share Six: January 2023: New Beginnings

Happy New Year! Lets hope that 2023 continues to improve on the previous years. What a pleasure it is to be blogging another year with this fantastic group of bloggers. We have now been blogging at Share Six for 8 years.

The month crept up on us very quickly and it was my turn to pick the theme, so what was more appropriate than {New Beginnings}. I love the beginning of the year. It is a reset. I can look at what I see happening and evaluate what I need to do.

Each year I start out enthusiastically trying to loose weight. This year is no different. I lost some before we went to Macedonia, and then gained it when I came back. My work situation created a fair bit of stress and I, without doubt, am a stress eater. I am also a bored eater. However this year, most certainly for the first half of the year I am going to be eating a lot of lettuce. The reason for that is that we have potential plans to travel to Australia in May and I would like to be a lot thinner by then.

I have also decided that I am going to chill. I am going to work hard not to stress out. 2021 and 2022 were spent worrying about Richard and his health and then worrying about figuring out what I needed to learn for the additions to my job and making sure that I fully understood all of the intricacies of the multiple different tasks I was taking on. This year I am hoping that I can relax a bit more.

I am going to slow down, and cruise as much as I can. Richard is a go, go, go person and I just want to be much slower.

I am going to do my best to keep my head above water and take deep breathes when I need to.

I am going to do my best to not get my feathers ruffled. It takes a bit to get me ruffled but I really do not like it, so the goal is to avoid any form of ruffling.

I want to dance as though no one is looking…

And if I look foolish, oh well…

I am going to hang out with my loved ones, especially my baby boy, Luka. I hope to continue to show kindness and love wherever I can.

I am going to relax and take in the vitamin C. (Carefully though, as we all know Richard story of melanoma. Too much sun is not good for the skin).

I am going to attempt to get more sleep. Being a night owl that is really tough for me. I am awake at 1am and dragging at 8am. There is a up side to sleeping more and it has a lot to do with diet.

I am going to look to others for wisdom and guidance when I do not have the answers myself. But I am not going to be pulling my feathers out over things I cannot control. And if I see, someone struggling, I hope that I will always reach out with kindness.

I hope that I will be curious, but not where it affects others. I want to see as much as I can. Mr Lukie is now going to be going for more walks and outings. I am super excited about the plans for the trip to Australia. This is the homeland of my great grandparents and so I am eager to visit it.

I want to smile a lot more, enjoy the laughter and feel so much lighter in spirit. I hope that we lose some of the heaviness that we have been under the past two years

And when I can, I am going to do my best to have a flipping good time.

And maybe make a splash.

I am not one for resolutions. I know that I can never keep them, but I feel like I can manage these thoughts. New Beginnings are awesome. It means we can let go of the past mistakes, or sorrows or hardships. We can carry forward with us the goodness of life where we choose to.

New beginnings give us opportunities to learn something new that we may not have done before. One of the things I discovered I love is artwork with wood. For the last two years we have gone to an art studio for our work retreat and I hope we get to go again this year. I love the creative aspect of it.

At the end of each year I pull out a new puzzle and start to work on it. It helps to reset my mind, and to dig a little deeper to find those missing pieces. It makes me think again more logically. It helps me to get my mind off everything. When I have finished blogging now, I am heading back to my challenging puzzle.

I encourage you to look at what {New Beginnings} you can put into place in your life. Just make sure that they do not become a burden to you. Enjoy everything you can about 2023, and if life does get tough, try to find the positives within the negatives, those are what will get you through the challenging times. That, and family and really good friends.

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 Elizabeth of It’s Still Life by Elizabeth Willson 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 to  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_newbeginnings.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: November 2022: Nature

Nature for me is the wetlands. I haven’t been a lot lately because Friday has become my Luka day and it’s been too hot to take him in the wetlands until recently. However, it is our get out time, before sleep time. I cannot carry my big lens and push the stroller, so I have had to stick with the 70-300mm. Maybe next time I will give it a try. In addition, every time I stop, he grumbles. Our last walk we had to stop halfway around to have breakfast, and then a bit later for his bottle of water. Overall he is so good. Walking past someone I got the comment “he sure looks chilled”. There is Luka resting his feed up on the food tray. Gotta love this boy!

Woodpecker at the bird feeder with food in it’s mouth
Wood pecker back for a second round.
I’m loving the fall colors.
A red winged blackbird letting me know that I was too close.
An Anhinga looking for breakfast.
More fall colors
A Spoonbill in flight.
I love the defused colors in the background of this image.
A male grackle.
Waterdrops on a Palm branch.

Nature is everything that has life around us. It is getting away from the bricks and mortar and breathing in life. It’s the smells, the fresh air, the wildlife, the scenery that always captures my attention. Working on this blog makes me want to get out and go for another walk.

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_ 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 to  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_nature

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: October 2022: Moody

{Moody} is the theme for this month and when I picked my images I have to be honest moody was kind of where I was at.

That morning I had attended the funeral of a colleagues husband who had passed away of cancer. I felt sad, down and frustrated. But this funeral also felt very close to home. You see Richard, in February 2021, was diagnosed with melanoma, and for a while we did not know which way things would go. It’s such a lot to process and it is hard to know what to say to the person who has been diagnosed. Then things seemed to turn for the better for Richard, and we hope and pray that it continues that way. In the September 2021, my colleagues husband was diagnosed and the following September 2022, he was dead. Sitting there, reminded me that life is so fragile, it could have been me sitting in that position.

I went home that day and posted the following on Facebook “Life is short. I was feeling philosophical last night. I am sure the wine helped. I had spent time with a friend whose husband had passed away. He was so young. Today I attended his celebration of life. It’s these moments that remind me of how grateful I am for my family and friends. It is also a reminder to tell those I love, how much I love them. Give them the hugs they may not want because I don’t know whether I will be able to hug them again. Don’t let those moments slip away. Life is short and time waits for no one.”

Life is precious and the unexpected can happen at the drop of a hat.

My mood remained moody and reflective. We have recently had a lot of bad weather. Wet, overcast, depressing, rainy weather. I am fortunate that I work from home but sometimes I still end up driving in the rain. That kind of weather makes me stressed and somewhat moody. Tuesday’s pre-hurricane Ian weather was a fine example. We knew there was a hurricane coming in. Wednesday the office was going to be closed, as were the clinics. So Tuesday I decided after my morning zoom meeting to head across to the clinic. Mmm, here comes the rain again. It was so dark, and moody, and heavy that you could barely see in front of you. Even driving home it was not great. Already we were feeling the effects of the incoming hurricane’s outer bands.

You sit waiting for the path to become clear, then you sit and watch to see whether the path will change. Hurricane Ian did not change it’s direct path but it did wobble to the south. Had it gone a little further south, I think we would have felt a bigger impact.

From 8:30pm Tuesday evening the emergency sirens on the east coast of Florida kept going off. It went off 4 times between 8:30pm and 5am. I have to confess, hurricanes we have been through, tornado’s not so much. We have a couple of safe spots in our house – our laundry, our downstairs guest bathroom. and under our staircase. None have space for more than 1 person. I have to confess – I went downstairs for the first siren, stayed downstairs until after the second siren, and then I went upstairs to bed, only to be rudely awakened by the next two sirens. I could not see myself spending the entire night down in the bathroom or laundry.

It’s 5am and your mind is foggy. You walk to the bathroom and switch on the light and it is a huge relief that you actually have power. The wind, rain, lightning and thunder through the night was hectic, and it was only the outer bands of the north east quadrant of the storm that we were experiencing. Then you turn on the TV and discover that the tornado touched down 20 minutes away from where you live. In fact, halfway between where we live and where both kids now live. The touchdown was actually on the main road they turn off of but a little way away from them. The first thing you see is the damage to the communities where the tornado came down. It hit a big retirement community, possibly the one next door and the Home Depot. It hits home that it could have been you while you were sleeping. And while the emergency notice said “go to your basement of safe room” the reality is that no one in South Florida has as basement in their home.

This was a first hurricane for Daniel, and he said it was loud and scary. Little does he know what it is like when it actually hits you. 2005 we were hit by Hurricane Wilma, and it was bad. That was our first and last hurricane season without shutters. I watched Richard stand, with a towel wrapped around his head, a thick jacket on and jeans, pushing the bowing glass doors outwards against the wind. The eye hit us on both sides of our property.

That said you walk around in a fog. 5am is way to early for me. Luka was coming down. I was worried about what the weather would be like. Turned out that other than light showers, the day was okay. And then we waited and watch the storm go in on the West Coast of Florida and said a prayer of gratitude that it was not coming in to us. I have a photographer friend who lives in that area and she said this was the scariest thing she has ever been through and hopes never to go through it again.

The rose amongst all of these moody moments is Luka. We had him Wednesday to Friday afternoon. Amy was in Spain on business and Daniel is a teacher and so once the storm was passed, school theoretically would start, but the day care was closed. So he came to Granda and Nuala which turned out perfect in that our offices were closed Wednesday and Thursday and I don’t work Fridays. Each day we thought school would start again. Daniel did end up going in on Friday but they had no air conditioning or electrical power, so he came back home. Luka being in our home brings joy. His laughter and giggles are a blessing. Even those whiney moments are blessings. And when you try to put him to sleep and he is not tired (or even overtired) he is up and down on the bed like a crazy child. Just when you think he is about to go to sleep the cat jumps up on the bed and off he goes again. Eventually he will go to sleep with me almost asleep next to him on the bed. I shift him to the crib and then 1am his is awake and wanting comfort. So into the bed he comes. Richard did that one night and then complained that Luka sleeps like a starfish and he moved to the spare room. But to watch Luka wake up and see the smile on his face chases away the cobwebs, the moody feelings and brings a smile to my face.

And while we smile, our heart breaks. Our heart breaks for those who were severely impacted by Hurricane Ian. For those who have lost everything, – their businesses, their homes, their vehicles, and some, even their lives. Hurricane Ian has left devastation on the West Coast of Florida. One of the best ways to help is to find a reputable organization to donate to. We cannot go in there but we can financially help those who can. This is not a quick fix, this is going to take a long time to repair, rebuild or replace that which has been lost.

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_ 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 to  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_moody

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

30 Minutes in the LIfe: May 2020

Well it is June already, but since there were not too many people blogging, and I had a sick baby in my arms all weekend, I opted to request that we wait a week and blog late.

Luka takes up my play days, and unless I get to play with Luka along, I really don’t get to go out as much as I did in the past. However, I love having that one day a week with him, where we can continue to bond and grow closer. His little face lights up bright when he gets to see his Nuala and Granda. There is such big smiles that it just brings such joy to my heart.

Suffice to say I have not got out this month because he is on the 7th week of being sick. The one nurse said to me that day cares are “evil” and I tend to agree. You no sooner send him back to day care and he is off sick again. I guess one has to start adding up how many days you are paying for day care that he is not actually going.

That said I did get one walk in this month. My goal was to see the new babies in the wetlands, but honestly by the time I eventually got to see them they were juveniles already. Here is a few images from my walk.

Flasher lol – This is a typical position for some birds on a really hot day. However what you cannot see behind mom’s wings is some teeny tiny Woodstork. She was shading them from the sun.
These babies are no longer tiny babies, however, they are still reliant on mom to feed them.
The Woodstork take over the nesting areas in the wetlands much to my dismay. There used to be pockets of Great Blue Heron, who have the cutest mohawk looking chicks, but the Woodstork have really pushed them out of the area.
George taking a nap on the berm. What you don’t see is a number of Iguana playing chicken. They are perfect gator food.
This guy was on the other side of the walkway. This is typical mating colors for the Iguana.
These Tri-colored Heron are newbies. There were three in the nest.
Cormorant are some of my favorite birds. The Cormorant in the wetlands are fairly tame and you can walk right up to them, and they will just stare you down. These birds have the most incredible turquoise eyes.
Lazing in the afternoon. Turtle suntan time. I love seeing them especially when there is a group of them hanging out on a log.
Juvenile Great Egret. Not sure where mom was but they were hanging out waiting. What I love about these birds is that there legs bend backwards.
That’s it folks 🙂 The Woodstork certainly have a lot to say for themselves.

It was good to get out and walk again. If I had planned to do it this weekend I would have been in trouble. We have a tropical storm passing over us and dumping a huge amount of rain. Nothing else to worry about although Richard did say that some cars in Miami were up to their windows.

Thank you for joining us, 30 Minutes in the Life is a circle blog and we have some very talented photographers in the group. I always love looking at the sneak peaks and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what she has for you this month Kristina from Hello Olivia Photography is up next, and I look forward to seeing what she has to share.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: June 2022: Light

Well this month has passed and I have done one walk. I have struggled to get out on my free day as I have had Luka and for the past 6 weeks he has been sick. Last weekend when I did plan to go out, I ended up with him spending 3 days in our home. Amy had bronchitis and she did not feel at all well, Daniel was working night shift, and honestly we did not want Luka to catch something else. As it was I took him to the doctor for a check up on his cough and discovered he had another ear infection, and subsequently received another antibiotic. Poor guy spent a good bit of time in my arms.

So I looked through what I had not edited this past year and pulled images for light from there.

This image caught my attention because of the bokeh and the light shining through the wings. This poor Anhinga has clearly had a run in with something, probably an aligator, given the loss of feather. I have to wonder how it is flying to be honest.

Whenever I go to shoot the sunset, I always take my lensbaby, but for some reason I never pull it out. This was one of the light images that I had not edited 2 months ago. This is my favorite spot to get some nice pond reflections. What I like about this image is the reflection of the son on the leaves of the reeds.

Out in the garden and just after the rain. The light was dullish but I was able to capture the waterdrop at the tip of the leaf.

Out on my walk recently I spotted this Iguana in pockets of light. He was on a berm surrounded by trees and there are odd spots that get lit up along the edges. The Iguanas are in mating season and this guy clearly has been fighting as he has a bloody spot on his back that looks like a claw snagged him.

Sunsets are my favorite and sometimes they are average and sometimes they light up the sky. I loved the different shades of light in this image.

Moody kind of light found along a secluded walkway. This are my favorite kinds of images.

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 from @wiredtothemoon 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 pages. Definitely check out her incredible art.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_light

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

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.