Posted on January 25, 2021
So, January is practically over. It has been a tumultuous start to the year, just when I thought things were going to be better for all of us. Some days I just need to get away from it all. For the most part I am hibernating in my office working fortunately. Aside from the virus, and the political stuff, my daughter and her husband packed up their apartment in preparation for it being sold, and along with their 2 cats, moved into our house. So we are a family of 4 adults, 4 cats and 1 bird. My Ms Moo is not a happy cat right now. She is scared of her shadow and now Amy’s two cats are stalking her. She is in hiding most of the time. Snow has also taking to staring down the bird.
In addition, I joined 52 Frames. So this is my 4th project 52 for the year. I feel like my goal so far is to get out and take the photo’s I need for each week. This weeks theme was water. There is a great pond up at the national park that I love to take photos at. So Thursday evening I packed up 5 lens (17-40 mm, 28-135 mm, 70-300 mm, 150-600 mm & Lensbaby Sweet 135) and I headed up to the park to check out the owl, take photo’s of the pond and watch the sunset. While our property backs up to the edge of the Everglades there is no access into the area from our home. We are also separated by two small canals.
In the end my 52 Frames image was taken at the sunset and I will post it here as it is the only image in black and white.
The owl was high up in the tree so it is really hard to see him that well. The female is in the nest and she seems to sit behind the main part of the tree. This was the best I could get of him.
It always fascinates me how the the setting sun changes so much. I started out at the pond and the light was this golden brown color.
I headed down to the water line at the edge of the Everglades and I really did not think this was going to be a great evening. The cloud was thick and low and I was not going to bet the full sun. It felt dark and sort of dingy for a sunset. I also did not realize that I had moved my FStop to 9. Obviously I must have done it up near the owl. I started out with the Lensbaby Sweet 35. One of my P52’s is to use the Lensbaby Optics that are taking up space in my lens drawer.
From here on out it was a case of changing lens to get wide angle, a bit closer, much closer and super close. One of my favorite things that typically happen at sunset is the birds flying by. Quite often, although it did not happen this evening, you get to watch the murmuration of the grackles and that is a beautiful dance in the sky. Below is a flock of Ibis flying by.
People aside, we often get a number of different species, below is the Great Blue Heron.
Fly by’s happen fast and you have to keep watching. Below is a larger flock of Ibis, all heading south. I would love to know where that land up each evening. I have no idea what bird is in the second image below, but chances are it was a slow moving Ibis.
Grackles will fly into the area in the hundreds. On Thursday there were not that many but I was so glad I had brought up with beast with me to get in super close.
What was pretty neat was that the Grackles on the edge of the water were taking a bath at sunset. Hence the first image and the water drops.
As the sun got lower the sky got more reddish orange and really intense.
More Ibis below as the sun is setting. From the silhouette, the birds in the second image look like a flock of cattle egret.
At this point I kind of figured the sun was done, and the mosquito were going to be out shortly, so I headed back to my car. I could not resist turning around to take a silhouette.
Halfway done the ramp, I discovered my friend walking up. She told me not to leave, she wanted to talk to me, and she convinced me that the final rays would get better. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. This time it certainly did. The sky lit up and I was so glad that she told me to stay.
Nothing like kayaking at sunset in a alligator infested water. Oh yes, there are often alligators swimming in the water.
Finally the mosquito’s got to much for us and we headed back to the car. I managed to capture the last silhouette before diving into my car, with a couple of mosquito for company. Nothing like being bitten all the way home.
The Florida Everglades is a grassy, slow moving river, a natural marshland, which is habitat to hundreds of animals. There are various different different areas to the Everglades. There are the mangroves at the coast, the sawgrass marshlands and the pine flatwoods. You will find endangered species like manatee, American crocodile, and the Florida Panther.
This particular park, that I go to, has walking trails, and it would not be uncommon to have an alligator cross the trail in front of you. I recently saw Turkey Vulture eating a dead animal. There is a lot of birdlife if you get out and walk, and the owls have come in to nest. Two weeks ago there was a pair of mating Sandhill Cranes. There are also Bobcat in the park.
The walking in the area is great. I managed to get out and do a two mile walk but I was constantly watching for Alligator on the edge of the banks. I didn’t see Alligator but I did see a great big iguana. Unlike the wetlands, here we are on the same level as the Alligator.
When the bushes behind out house were cut short we used to be able to see the deer running along the edge of the Everglades past our home.
The park is great for walking, however, my this is by far my favorite spot to go and watch the sunset.
Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Stacy of Threadbarems. You will definitely love what she shares. I am always inspired with what she has to offer.
Posted on January 4, 2021
Yes I know that it looks weird, we are already in January. What with our live falling 2 days after Christmas we opted to postpone it a week to today. My 30 minutes are going to have to be done in two parts, one today and one tomorrow. There are just to many images.
Firstly, let me wish you a very Happy New Year. I know things may look the same as last year and they probably are going to be for a while. What I blogged on yesterday was my thoughts on 2020. As I reflected I acknowledged that there were challenges but I also realized that there were so many things to be grateful for. The trip we made to Georgia was one of the happenings in 2020 that I was grateful for. This year that is what I am going to try and focus on. Looking for the good, things that I can be grateful for.
So today I am going to share 30 minutes of our trip to Tallulah Gorge in Georgia. We were staying in a cabin in the mountains in Cleaveland, really pretty isolated and remote. The property was a single track up the mountain with some cottages coming off it, but aside from asking directions on the first day, we did not see another soul. Actually that was a relief because the single track meant if a car came down someone had to give way and there was not a lot of space to pull off. Amy took her car up, and then never drove down again until the day we left. Daniel and Amy travelled with us, Cameron, Kathryn and Cody traveled in their car. Kathryn has a wheelchair and Cody has special safety requirements
Everyone was in agreement that Tallalah Gorge was a must do on our agenda. I did a lot of homework. I quickly realized that there were going to be some challenges for Kathryn, and probably for me with my feet issues.
One of my goals going to Georgia at this time of the year was to see color, and color we did see, that is for sure. Arriving there I was a little concerned that there were too many people, but honestly it was okay. The park is big and we barely crossed paths with folk and when we did we kept our distance.
Setting out along the pathway the path was pretty level and while rough, so it was pretty easy for the wheelchair to handle. There was a lot of wildflowers along the pathway in vibrant colors. We were heading to the first look out point.
The actual walk down to the fence was uneven and while Kathryn can walk, uneven surfaces are hard for her. With her disease, she struggles to walk for long, but she also struggles to sit for long as well, so she alternates when necessary.
Below we had a great view of the suspension bridge. What I did not tell you is that it is 750 plus steps down to the bridge. Well, that eliminated Kathryn, Cameron & Cody immediately. My logic told me that I would get down the stairs but getting back up the other side may be challenging. This was day 1 and I did not want to find I could not walk for the rest of the week. (Remind me to remind you that unless you absolutely have to have foot surgery, don’t do it. The answer is not necessarily what you expect).
For Daniel, this was a first going away with us as a family, and the first time going on vacation outside of Florida. He was pretty excited and ready to do what ever we wanted.
We made our way to the second look out point. At this point we would separate. Richard, Amy and Daniel were going to go down the 300 steps to the suspension bridge, Cameron, Kathryn and I were going to head along the pathway to the other look out points.
There were enough warnings about health, steps etc to make you think twice if you were planning to do the climb down.
From the top of look out point 2 we had beautiful views of the river below. We did not get as close as Amy, Daniel and Richard but we had a reasonable perspective.
Tallulah Falls, is beautiful and well worth the visit. I reached my 30 minute point and there is still a lot of images to share so I am splitting the visit into two blogs. If you want to follow the rest of the day, check out this link and see what else we got to see.
Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal of Crystal Bella Photography. You will definitely love what she shares. I am always inspired with what she has to offer.
Category: 30 Minutes in the Life, Travel Tagged: #autumcolors, #autumn, #georgia, #hiking, #nature, #naturelover, #naturephotographer, #naturephotography, #river, #sharleenstuartphotography, #suspensionbridge, #tallulahgorgegeorgia, #travelblog, #travelblogger, #travelblogging, #travelbug, #travelbuglife, #travelphotographer, #travelphotography, #water
Posted on February 29, 2020
The Coastline of Maine is beautiful, and we got to explore the area. Heading up to Bar Harbor, Maine, Richard had a goal. Visit Arcadia National Park. If you know anything about me or if you have learned over the past few years, I have had 3 foot surgeries. The words National Park, and foot surgeries do not go well together in my opinion. I know what to expect when I hear National Park. While my feet are okay they certainly are not pain free and after 3-4 hours of walking I need to stop and rest for a while.
One thing that I really enjoyed about Arcadia National Park was the coastline. And yes, it did involve the word “Hiking”. Ever since my 20’s the word “hiking” makes me want to run and hide. I do however, get through it and typically find I have enjoyed it by the end. Hiking in Arcadia National Park is really not the same as hiking in South Africa. In the USA it is more drive to the next parking lot, spend 20 minutes trying to find the furthest parking from where you are actually going and then walking on a pathway/steps etc to get to where you are going.
Arcadia was not far from that although we did get to do some rough climbing over rocks etc. The coastline is rugged and impressive and is well worth the visit. On some of these images I stood at the top of the rocks looking down watching the water come in and go out and kept getting the feeling that I was being sucked into the flow.
If you are visiting Maine, do your best to plan a stop over in Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park. Visit the Mount Desert dramatic rocky coastline and also look out for Jordan’s Pond in Arcadia, or also know as Long Pond. It is definitely a highlight in the area. Look out for our early morning sunrise at Bar Harbor blog coming out on the 6th.
Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives. This is a circle blog. Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. My friend Mindy of is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.
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