Come Flying Away With Me

P1050091 I live here! Uhhh, okay on the Western shore of Lake Agnes, which is left of where my finger is pointing:)

I was sitting, okay, actually laying on my leather couch, wallowing in a not so private pity-party thrown to commemorate feeling, low, left-out, dejected, and pretty much blue over not getting to meet my new granddaughter. Then a text exchange with my poor, just-pushed-out-another-8-pound-baby-girl-daughter, left me feeling bitched-out. Yes, Mo does have a fragile under-belly! Don’t you??? If you don’t, you must be a crocodile, although, even they have a fragile under-belly! Anyway, as lunchtime approaches, Tom goes into his usual banter about our lunch options. Now, mind you that we just spent the afternoon in Mount Dora yesterday, at their Street Palooza. Then on the way home we were caught in a torrential rainfall that grayed-out the highway making it impossible to see the vehicles in front of you–very stressful! Add to this that I already drive two-hours- five-days-each-week-to-and-from-work, and a road-trip just to get some lunch was not sounding appealing to me. But flying, well now your speaking my language.


Tom suggested we drive a short distance across the Lake and have lunch at Fantasy of Flight. We did just that and as we were approaching the entrance, I said to Tom, look at those cute little planes. To which Tom replied, yes those are the planes they take people up in. I said, they take people up? I have to go up then. Tom said “well if you really want to, go on then and do it”. I said I will, give me your credit card please:)

Things that Fly in Our Front Yard

This weekend has been an exceptionally good shooting weekend. Although we hung out around the house most of the day Saturday, it still turned out to be a productive shooting day. This was my Saturday pampering day, after returning from Auburndale I stopped off at Lowe’s to buy a few gardening supplies. As I turned onto Lake Agnes Road, I came across a turtle hurrying across the road. Of course I stopped to shoot it!

When I arrived home I was happy to see John, his nephew Paul, and a third crew-member busy working on gathering the debris from last week. They burned most of the stuff and then hauled it off, only to replace it with more aquatic vegetation from their second phase of lake clearing. This is going to be a long process!

Soon the lake became unusually busy with boaters pulling kids playfully on rafts, and airplanes launching from the lake. The hornets became excited and actively chased each other. They left me alone, it seems they too have accepted me as a necessary annoyance in their environment. The dragonflies were all in an uproar over the flames and were scurrying around all over the place. It seemed everything was flying around.

This Sunday morning we had a small green visitor stuck to the glass in our living room. We shot him over coffee LOL! Here are Tom’s images of our Froggy visitor-

The morning was hot, damp, and steamy, as is usual in Florida at this time of year. I like the early morning, with its soft light. Sometimes a low cloud gives the appearance of steam coming from the surface of the lake.

It’s my favorite time to view the Hibiscus while they are still asleep and their pretty petals have not yet unraveled . The morning dew crystallizes on the pads of their stamen. In the morning light they glisten like jewels. I love watching them as they open up to the sun. What a lovely way to welcome the day.

Once the sun was fully out, we quickly took our morning showers, backed up our photography gear, a small lunch bag with hydration, and snacks and headed out to Kissimmee State Park. On the way we drove through the charming historic district of Lake Wales, and other scenic spots on HWY 27.

Tom really enjoys doing wide angle shots and he really captured great perspective shots. Tom’s images are always well planned. He puts a lot of effort and thought into his compositions.

I get bored with landscapes, unless they are really unique. The woods are always interesting, and this park had the best spots for portraiture. Not having a model, I used myself.



Here is the Gallery of my self portraiture shots:

I am really pleased with these. I captured the light, great exposure, and my outfit pops against the natural greens of the woods. I captured the exact feeling or mood I wanted, a hot summer afternoon in Florida. I was after that old Florida feel, and all I needed was a watermelon, and the lake.

Now, here are the shots Tom took of me on a bench I discovered on the side of the road as we left the park. These, in my opinion, are the bomb. Great shots Tom, that’s why I love him:)

So we had a picture perfect weekend filled with good food, good wine, & great shots!



And finally, Tom ended the evening by capturing the evening sky in silhouette



Good Night, Happy Adventures!


Lake Clearing Crew

Meet my lake clearing crew, John Everett and his nephew, Paul. These two guys are the hardest workers I’ve seen in a long time. John is not a young man, but I bet he can out-work many 20 something dudes. Amazing work ethics! People who work hard and keep their word truly amaze me. I just don’t find too many people like that anymore.

Now I sound like my grandmother – LOL!

My hibiscus were adorable this morning and I gave in to the urge to take yet more pictures of them:)

I encountered this angry little guy flying around my Curly Leafed Philodendron. He was upset, but made no attempt to sting me, instead, I think he actually enjoyed posing for me . . .LOL!

I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, but I actually think my Yellow Hybrid Hibiscus may come back. The poor thing was victimized by a nasty plant pest that resulted in a systemic effect that deformed its foliage and blooms causing them to curl and shrivel. It finally just stopped  blooming or thriving. We were counting the days till it died, when Tom accidentally backed into the doomed plant with his Cadillac. I worked  to rescue it by feeding it with plant food, and applying an anti-viral treatment, and I propped the thing up with a stake. The plant has been ill for over a month now, but this morning I saw  two buds on it. I won’t know if the Hybrid is on the mend until the buds bloom so I can see if the blooms look normal. I’m hoping for this beauty, it’s blooms are gorgeous!

Bud of hope!

Keeping my fingers crossed:)

The day wouldn’t be complete if one of our favorite feathered visitors didn’t stop by to say goodnight!

Dragonflys, Cows, and The Great Blue

So my Saturday evening is winding down. Tom and I are watching an episode of Duck Dynasty, and I’m multi-tasking and blogging too. I want to document today’s capture. I took my Nikon D300 with my Nikon 55-300 mm/5.6 zoom lens and I shot in shutter priority. Tom used his Nikon D600 with his favorite 20mm wide-angle. It was a beautiful day. I started the morning by sleeping in. I was still fired-up from my Friday-morning (8/2/13) sunrise capture. Shabbat Shalom!

We went for breakfast at the new cafe I discovered last week in Auburndale, which by the way, we both decided was nothing to brag about and we’ll stick to the Kick-Butt-Cuisine at Country Angels! After breakfast we stopped by the local farmer’s market and picked up some peaches, tomato’s, homemade plum and blueberry preserves, and an avocado. The peaches were a miss, but the tomatoes were delicious, we had some for lunch. Later, Tom took me to see a few lake-sides that have undergone a makeover which transformed their shorelines into mini beach-like sandy shores. We don’t plan anything quite as elaborate, but I got a few ideas.

In our exploration of shorelines, we came across an abandoned house that is part of a 33 acre track of land that’s up for sale.

Adjacent to the house we met a small herd of cows. They are such gentle creatures, and among the herd were a couple of young calves still suckling from their momma. It was such a sweet sight. It almost made me wish I weren’t such a carnivore. Of course I couldn’t resist shooting them – with my camera!

However, my favorite capture of the day was the dragon-fly who had animal print wings! Really!

I think these shots are great, especially since I wasn’t using my macro lens. Where did that dragonfly come from? I wonder what type it is. I’ve googled it but can’t find the species. I’ll contact the butterfly museum at the University of Florida. I’m sure they’ll know the species or direct me to someone who does.

Well once back home, The Great Blue paid us a visit. I think he is accepting me as part of the environment and doesn’t fly away as soon as I go outside with my camera. He let me get really close to him today. Wouldn’t you know that I’d forget to reset my camera after shooting the sunrise the previous morning. I had it set for shutter priority with a very slow shutter speed. All my images of Great Blue were blurred. Urghhhhh! And he left, just flew away laughing at me I’m sure.

I was so sad to have missed the shot. But, he came back, and I rallied Tom to his camera. We shot from inside until I couldn’t resist it any longer and went out. Guess what, Great Blue let me get really close to him yet again. I even walked all the way to the end of the dock where he was stalking some prey, and watched him hunt. Then with my camera reset to the proper shutter speed, I shot Great Blue as he flew away to enjoy his meal.

You just have to love nature. It’s all so randomly on purpose. Every where you look, there is beauty to be discovered. An animal print winged dragonfly, a calf nursing, and The Great Blue tolerating my presence in his environment.

Good Night.