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.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: September 2021: Quote

Can you believe it is September? A few more weeks and life is going to change again. I will go from being a parent to a grandparent. It is so exciting and a little stressful as well. Having a baby during covid makes my heart beat a little faster.

With all this going on there has not been a lot of photography done. This year has run me down to be honest. But we did try to get a 2 day away in before the baby comes along and Richard and I traveled up to St Augustine. A place we used to visit regularly but have not been for a few years. We did take a detour last year on the way to Georgia and it was so busy we kind of by passed and went away from the historic district.

It turns out that this month Lynne chose a quote and it work perfectly with our St Augustine trip.

“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport”

— Steve McCurry

We love to travel. We have been doing the odd get away. Richard has been a little nervous taking his vacation because he doesn’t know whether he will need his vacation. I on the other hand am conscious that I still have 3 weeks vacation to take.

So we hit the road and 4.5 hours later we booked into a quaint little Bed and Breakfast right in the historic district of St Augustine. It was a 5 second walk to the main street and all the restaurants. A 10 minute walk to the cruise. This trip we did something different, something that we have never done in St Augustine. We took in the winery, the distillery and the brewery. And that was all before lunch. Oops, I needed food. Seriously though, they only give you tiny little glasses which are half full. But if you are heading to St Augustine I would recommend you check them out.

Richard loves the sunset cruises and so that was our goal for the first evening. We quickly grabbed dinner at Harry’s and then headed down to the quay to wait on the cruise. The weather was iffy to be honest and I was not optimistic that I would get anything worth while but I did manage capture a few images I was happy with.

When I looked at this picture I thought that Richard looked like he had been out in the sun all day. This is one of the side effects of the immunotherapy. His skin turns really red. The other side effect is that he gets a very itchy rash.

The boat trip was just a intracoastal trip and not out to sea, but I do enjoy seeing the under carriage of different bridges and this was was not too bad.

The company on the cruise was quite fun, and very chatty which made the slow moving boat a lot more interesting, and I managed to get a few sunset images as well.

We were fortunate that we made it back to land dry and we were able to get back to the guest house and to relax.

Day 2 was a marathon of walking. This was our booze walk, if you can call it that. We headed up through Flagler college, which is an incredibly beautiful university in St Augustine. This was the first time I had actually walked through the college.

On the far side of the buildings grounds, there is a fence that looks like it has been made out of old cannon balls. St Augustine’s history is that this is the oldest city in Florida, originally Spanish founded and occupied in 1565. St Augustine has a really interesting fort that you can visit. Richard would try and find a bit of shade while waiting for me. Me on the other hand was just distracted by all there is to photograph.

With it’s history, St Augustine is well known for it cemeteries and we passed one I had not seen before. Just to the side of the bench I see a little squirrel digging deeply for it food.

Our first stop was San Sebastian winery. They gave us a tiny tasting glass and we made our way around tasting wines at various stations. Some I liked and some I didn’t. We each have our own palate. What I did walk away with was a really smooth bottle of sherry. We also decided to buy some cheese and crackers and have our own little cheese and wine evening in the gardens of our Bed and Breakfast.

Next stop was the St Augustine Distillery where we got to taste, gin, rum, vodka and bourbon. I am a rum person and it was pretty good. The distillery has an eating place upstairs but we had one more stop before we planned to eat, so it was back to walking again until we arrived at Dog Rose Brewing Co.

I am also a beer person, but I tend to stick to something like Heineken, whereas Richard likes IPA. So he is at home at these different brewing companies and I find myself really restricted. When we were in Naples I discovered that a larger kind of works for me, and so I asked to taste a larger at Dog Rose Brewing Co, and I was not disappointed. In fact, after all that walking the first beer went down super fast and the second I took my time.

Last stop was a lunch garden before heading back to put our feet up and relax and catch up on the highlights of the Tour de France.

St Augustine is a great place to visit if you are looking for history. There is so many different areas to seek out that we did not visit this time around. It is definitely worth stopping at if you are heading to Florida.

Just a reminder if you are hitting Florida, remember the suntan lotion and a big floppy hat. It is hot here and you want to take care not to get seriously burned. Richard is dealing with the results of plenty of sun and not enough sunscreen. Melanoma is not something to play with.

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 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_summersun.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a story: August 2021

I feel like I am always doing a nature walk for this group, but honestly that is what I did this week. After being quarantined for 2 weeks, and then an additional week while Richard was quarantined to make sure that he had not caught it from me, and then a baby shower following that, I really have not done anything else.

I had the opportunity to meet an old friend for breakfast on Friday morning. I have not been able to see her since her husband passed away earlier this year from Covid. We have tried to schedule a time but it kept getting postponed. By finally that time of blessing happened and I loved just being able to sit and spend time with her.

After breakfast I decided to take a walk through the wetlands. I needed to stretch my legs, and also to walk that food out. So that is what I did.

The wetlands is really quiet now. The wood stork have finished breeding and moved on and while there are still a few nesting birds, the amount is minimal. But I hoped that I may find an iguana and some dragon fly. I was not disappointed. Here are some images from my walk.

This Grackle was the first bird I came across in an area that the Wood Stork had vacated.
A Great Egret flying across my view
A juvenile Wood Stork still hanging out.
Alligator Flag creeping into the boardwalk
This looks like a Blue Dasher dragonfly with a badly damaged wing.
This bird is part of the Gallinule Family. I am going to assume it is a junior but I am not sure which kind.
The grasses have grown really high with all the rain we have had and this tricolored heron was attempting to do some fishing.
This picture brought a smile to my face. Yes, there are signs of fall and hopefully this really excessive heat will start to abate soon.
I don’t often see a Common Gallinule climbing on the branches. This is a common sight for the Purple Gallinule though.
Another sign of fall, falling leaves
My first encounter with an iguana but it was a little ways away.
A squirrel who looks like she is feeding babies.
New fern life
And old fern life
A four spotted pennant dragonfly
A closer encounter with an iguana who is in it’s breeding colors.
The peacefulness of the water lily.
Another sign of fall. Yes, Yes, Yes.
I think this is a Flame Skimmer
And then my fun encounter with an iguana. It was in the pathway. I took some photos and took a couple of steps closer and then next thing it squeezed it’s body between the flooring of the boardwalk and the edge of the wooden fencing. You can see the gap underneath my signature.
A close up of this incredible looking creature.
Phew, I escaped that human.
I love when you catch the Glossy Ibis in the sunlight. You can get a small glimpse here but they are so beautiful when the colors in their feathers really shine.
Nature’s still life – although it was on moving water I just loved the combination of natures falling leaves,

Walking out in the wetlands in the mid day is hot, and I have recently actively decided to wear cover up. Learning Richards story, with his melanoma, makes me realize just how important it is to have significant cover when I am out in the heat.

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 Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

Share Six: August 20201: Floral

This year has not been the best year for me. From February until now each month seems to have brought it’s own series of personal drama and stress, directly related to immediate family. July was almost over and I thought we had dodged the bullet and I was ready to celebrate a change in fortunes, and whalla, I am not feeling well. Seriously, I have spent the last 15 months working from home, avoiding people, staying home particularly this year and now I am sick.

Florida, probably one of the most relaxed states in as far as Covid is concerned, has practically done away with all protective mandates, and is ready to be back to business as usual. For some that may be fine, for others not so much. Richard is high risk, and for the most part I am not willing to risk his life, so we have been doing things cautiously and avoiding close contact with unknown situations.

We have been away twice but in both situations we controlled as much of the trip as we could, making sure that he was adequately protected. But you become complacent and in the one place that I thought it would be okay, I did not wear a mask, and despite being vaccinated, 2 days later I found myself dealing with symptoms of Covid. I put it down to generally being run down physically, close proximity in a closed office for about 2 hours and no mask. I am at Day 5, under quarantine, and have a blog to put together.

Fortunately I had walked in the wetlands this month. Ironically as I was walking through I thought to myself that it was time I actually showcased some of the beautiful flowers that I see there. Typically you go to see the birds, sometimes a gator, or a hawk or owl. But I don’t actively go looking for flowers. This particular day they stood out to me.

So since I am homebound, unenthused, and sleeping a good part of my afternoon away, I figured I would pull up the flowers from my walk and share them for this theme – {Floral}

We have always been outdoorsy people. We have lived to be in nature. I love to walk in the wetlands on a regular basis. I try to remember sunscreen, but honestly I prepack my camera the night before and roll out of bed with very little thought to putting sunscreen on or picking up a hat. Added to that I tend to walk at the hotter part of the day, because I know there will be less people there. Now I am second guessing myself. I have a hat in the back of my car and I put sunscreen by my bag. The summer sun is super hot right now.

Life and death, has suddenly become very relevant in our lives right now as we focus on Richard’s health. 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. Each day has become a memory making day.

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 Elizabeth from It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Willson is up next is up next. I can wait to see what she has to share as I have seen some of her work recently and love it. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_summersun.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a Story: July 2021

Its been a while since I walked in the wetlands. With Covid I have tried to stay away from crowds. Richard’s health has been my primary reason for avoiding them, Covid being a close second.

In fact as I write this I am battling with a Covid headache that is pretty blinding to be honest but I wanted to get my blog done in time, and I slept all afternoon so right now I am wide awake. Yes, I was exposed to Covid and tested positive. And yes, I have been vaccinated. It is a good reminder that even though you are vaccinated you can still be exposed and contract Covid. The upside, if there is an upside to contracting Covid, is that the vaccination reduces the effects of the Covid significantly and in theory, I should not land up in hospital, but I still have another 6 days of quarantining to go. Bummer for my husband, because he has to go 5 days past my 10 days of quarantining.

That said, it was nice to get out and walk in the wetlands a few weeks ago and just to shut off my mind from all the happenings and to just focus on nature and the peacefulness of my surroundings. This year has been pretty awful for our family and each month has brought something new since February. I thought I was going to survive July, but clearly that was not too be. Hopefully since it will run over to August, nothing else will happen in August.

But below are some of the wild life I managed to capture while out walking.

Purple Gallinule Chick – I love them, they are so ridiculous looking. They are all legs and have these tiny wings that clearly they grow into.
This is a Green Heron, that really blended well into this algae that is covering the water.
Dragonflies are one of my favorites and this Blue Dasher was in abundance in the wetland.
This Black Crowned Night Heron was fishing at the Gator Pools. Based on the name probably not the best place, however it’s been a long time since I saw a gator in this particular pool.
This Pig Frog was probably what the Black Crowned Night Heron was looking for, or maybe it was fish. Every so often this pool has an abundance of them hanging out in the water.
This particular perch is a favorite spot for the wet Anhinga to dry out it’s wings after it’s fishing expedition in the water. These birds are also randomly called a snake bird because very often all you see is it’s head sticking out of the water.
I love the wing span of this Purple Gallinule as it tried to find it’s balance on the thin branches.
There was a random duck hanging out in the water – I am not sure which kind this was.
I found another Anhinga drying it’s wings in the the trees near the waters edge. An interesting thing about these birds is that cannot fly very far with wet wings, so they will get to the nearest safe spot and the will spend the next while with their wings extended drying them out.
I believe this is a pair of Erythemis Dragonfly that I found mating.
One of my favorite birds is the Redwing Blackbird. The reason I like them so much is their chicks are too cute. I remember photographing a set over a period of 8 days and they are just incredible.
Another sweet bird is the little Grebe. They are incredibly shy (or maybe scared) but if you appear they tend to duck into the water and swim away. They are fast swimmers and typically land at the other side of the pool of water before you have time to think about it. I managed to capture this one and then one below
Grebe
Another common dragonfly to the area is a Four Spotted Pennant.
Not so common and I love finding them is the Scarlet Skimmer Dragonfly. It is also known as the Ruddy Marsh Skimmer.
I came across this very raggedy White Peacock Butterfly. I have to wonder how it’s wings got so damaged and how it actually manages to fly.
These Tri Colored Herons are so friendly and you can get pretty close to them before they fly off.
Blue Dashers as I mentioned earlier are in abundance in the wetlands.
There was a mix of birds at this particular pond. First up was the White Ibis.
This White Heron, crossed paths with the White Ibis and got chased away. This pic made me think it was saying something to the effect of “I will hide here and no one will see me”
Last at this pond was the beautiful Glossy Ibis, whose feathers simmer in the sunlight.
Walking a little way away I came across a Morph Blue Heron. From what I understand this is when the Heron is transitioning from it’s white to blue phase. It’s pretty cool in the morph phase I have to be honest.
Last but not least joining them in the pond was this Tri Colored Heron. Obviously wanting to get in on the fishing.

Walking out in the wetlands in the mid day is hot, and I have recently actively decided to wear cover up. Learning Richards story, with his melanoma, makes me realize just how important it is to have significant cover when I am out in the heat.

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 Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: July 2021

Part of our time away in Naples was spent on the boat trip whose ultimate destination was Marco Island. Marco Island is list as a barrier island in the gulf of Mexico. It hosts many resort hotels, beautiful beaches and some incredible shelling, if you are into that.

I will confess that when we booked this tour, I was not expecting to go there. I expected to spend time trolling the islands. That said the beach is beautiful, and there were many beautiful treasures found on the beach. Richard had a great time picking up shells, which he brought home to put on our deck area.

Marco Island has always struck me as the upmarket area of the west Coast of Florida. This quartet reinforced my idea.

However, Marco Island is also well known for the beautiful white beaches filled with shells, and this was where our boat trip made a stop. We were able to walk along the beaches and pick up shells to take home. I am not a big fan of removing things from nature, but Richard enjoyed picking up a few shells, as did the others who had joined us on the boat ride.

Due to the state of Richard’s health, he has now had to invest in long-sleeved shirts that protect him from the UV rays. While his melanoma are all stage 4 we do not want something else triggering at skin level.

The beaches are vast and for the most part they were empty and we were able to just relax and enjoy ourselves. Below are some of the beautiful treasures we found along the shore line.

I believe that these are Sandpiper wading in the water looking for food. They were in abundance and they blended into the surroundings so well.

The shells were gorgeous and I enjoyed seeing them lying in the sand. Hopefully some critter will come along and make it’s home in them.

Every so often it looks like a coconut washed ashore as well.

The beach was peaceful, calming, and enjoyable. I am sure that if we were out that was again I would like to walk along those beaches again and enjoy the solitude that you can experience when there are so few of you walking around.

As I have mentioned before, Richard and I have chosen to start checking off the bucket list. Why? He has been diagnosed with melanomas. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring. For this trip, we were under a covered awning and Richard wore a hat and a UV50 shirt, and had sunscreen on all over.

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.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life. This is a circle blog. It’s a small circle this month. Please follow the link to see what my very talented friend Janet Crouch Photography, has to share this month. Watch out for the dolphins on the 30th.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: July 2021: Summer Sun

{Summer sun} is the theme this month and summer sun is the time of year typically when we travel. The past two years have been tough because of covid, and this past year has been an awful year for us a family and extended family. There is so much we want to do but this year we just have not been able to do it. We are restricted to Richards infusion dates, and at times, with everything that is going on it has just been overwhelming.

In addition, it has rained virtually every day I have been free to head out. We also have a tropical storm heading into town just to add insult to injury

Sitting on the beach this past week, waiting for the weather to roll in using my cellphone to capture the storm.

I have not even had a chance to get out and take photos. So I have pulled together what {Summer Sun} means to us as a family. It is time to get out and to get traveling and to enjoy what nature has created for us.

It may be local – some early mornings watching the sun rise over the ocean.
Bahia Honda State Park
Sunset at St Pete’s, Florida
Heading out early morning to go hike in the Valley of Fire was one of our favorites.
Sunset Key West, Florida
Sunset over the Gulf – Naples, Florida
Or just watching the sun set in St Petes, Florida
Sunset from the Ferry – Orca Islands back to Seattle
Sunrise on the last day before we headed home – Columbus Georgia
One of our favorite summer sun activities – sunset on the ocean Key West, Florida

Summer is time to get up and get moving, and I have to be honest I cannot wait to do it again. Being stuck at home is the pits. With Richards health being challenged, we are going to be checking off the bucket list as soon as we can.

We have always been outdoorsy people. The typical sun seekers. Sunrise and sunset and everything inbetween. We have lived to be in nature. Life and death, has suddenly become very relevant in our lives right now as we focus on Richard’s health. 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. Each day has become a memory making day.

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 Liz of It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Wilson is up next is up next. I can wait to see what she has to share as I have seen some of her work recently and love it. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_summersun.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

10000 Islands Boat Tour: Dolphins

Another part of the boat tour, was interacting with nature, and in specific dolphin. It is always a thrill to see dolphin and to be honest my greatest memory was in South Africa where the boat driver said to the group of scuba divers, “Dive off and swim with the dolphin. That we did and it was such a beautiful experience. To be in the water with these gorgeous creatures is just such beautiful experience.

While we were not in the water today, it was still a thrill to see these stunning mammals in the water.

When you see a fin coming straight on to you, it’s always wise to be cautious, but side on a dolphin has a curved fin. I remember once in the keys my husband and daughter grabbing the kayak and heading out into the water to follow a fin. Thank goodness it was a dolphin and not a shark. Richard and I have done that up in the gulf. We spotted a feeding frenzy and decided to go and check it out. Turned out the birds were diving for fish and the sea creature that was eating the fish from below was bigger than our kayak. One look below us and I was ready to walk on water. We got out of there pretty quickly.

Photographing the dolphin playing in the wake of the boat was such fun. Those guys sure can swim fast.

I loved the tail out of the water. Kind of felt like it was waving goodbye.

As I said in the previous blog, we were under the shelter of the awning the whole time we were out in the water. However, 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. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.

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 Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.