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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Maybe no photos for a while

My poor Canon Digital Rebel XTi with the 27m-300mm macro lens took a little swim in the lake last evening. Between the water and the sand it MAY never be the same. Monday, bright and early we will be at the camera shop to see if the camera and lens can be saved. I also will contact my insurance company. I have hope something will work so that I can have a good camera in my hand again soon.

Meanwhile, here is a story. Around the bend in the lake there is a family with several children. Last night I counted 6 but some were probably friends. They have lived most of their young lives on this lake and you should have seen the older boy throw the seine net. Now that is tricky skill even for adults.

As we watched the kids we noticed a large white egret stalking fish in the water by the seawall. When the children came out the bird hopped up on the lawn by the seawall. But he moved TOWARD the kids. Soon there was little more than a few feet and a chain-link fence between them. Then we realized the boys were throwing the fish they were seining out of the lake to the egret. This was obviously not the first time. The kids and the egret had a wonderful time.

Yes, there are photos, but they are on the CF card that was in the wet camera. I pulled the card right away but have no way at this time of reading the card out of the camera. I hope to remedy that tomorrow, but I don't know if the CF card survived.
Friday, February 13, 2009
My Florida Mood
(click on either the picture or the title to go to the full resolution version with materials credits and to read the journaling)

There is a challenge at the Digital Scrapbook Place called "Everyday Me". This week's specific challenge was "My Everyday Moods". I made this layout to explain my mood change between Michigan and Florida. A true Snowbird!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Phenomenon in the Sunset

More of The Walk

Here is a potted Bromilliad blooming happily in a pot hidden under some overgrown bushes. So pretty!
I have no idea what this little flower is. It looks like a spring bulb of some kind. Smells nice, too.
This seems to be one of the many orchids the neighbor used to raise. Most were given away by her daughter last Spring. It is amazing the neglect they will withstand.

Posted by PicasaHere is another Bromilliad planted in the ground and blooming brightly.

A Really Tough Walk

Just before we left last April, our dear next door neighbor passed away. Now her house and the garden she so oved are in the hands of her children. Both are parents and work or have a business and time is scarce to see that the house isn't overgrown. Some of the plants are flourishing, but others are overrunning the better plants.

I decided to take a walk around the garden this morning and survey. I really loved the colors and textures of this palm tree in her front yard.
There are two Jade trees in pots in the front that are growing beautifully.
Sunday, February 8, 2009

Back to Watching Nature

At last, a warm sunny day! After 10 days or so of cold, cloudy, even, sometimes rainy, weather, today is like a real Florida day. I haven't been able to get out and sit by the lake for a couple of weeks, it seems. It is still cool today, but really nice in the sun. It seemed like the Anoles agreed. The little guy above was hiding in the loops of the garden hose a couple of weeks ago. His color and lack of tail identify him. I had chased him out of the screen house, and I am glad to see he survived and that he is growing a new tail.
As I looked out into the lake I saw a Cormorant drying his wings. I have seen them do this often sitting on land or a handy branch, but this is the first time I had seen one drying his wings while in the water. I thought it was interesting.
If you look REALLY hard you can see the cormorant in the water just this side of the break between mainland and the island. That gives you an idea of what a 300mm lens can do.
I have been waiting to see if the Osprey really ARE nesting in the tower. These two shots convinced me. In fact, I THINK I saw babies.
This gives you an idea of how far away and how tall that tower is. A 300mm lens is great but until I get the adapter so I can use my tripod again, this will be about the best I can do.
I was watching ripples on the lake near shore...especially what looked like some kind of bug making a slight disturbance on the water when THIS happened. Think we have fish in the lake?? I can't show relative size here but these were not caused by fingerlings!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cyber-friends CAN be Real Friends

At The Digital Scrapbook Place, a website for scrapbookers who use their graphics programs to build family scrapbook pages, there was a sub-forum started "For All the Grandmas Out There". In two years the forum has grown to a large number of women; grandmothers, grandmothers-in-training, and some youngsters who have a LOT of years to wait for grandchildren. In almost 30 years on computers, 25 on the Internet, I have never been associated with a group that ran so smoothly. People disappear for a while, dealing with family issues and other "real life" but most come back. We care for each other honestly, celebrating births of children, acquisition of new pets, winning honors, and praying and crying over less happy issues.

We have celebrated with Carolyn (Caro) many times as she traveled from Australia to Texas to visit with her sweetheart, Donn. And we have celebrated with her when her dear Donn traveled to Australia to visit with her. We celebrated their devotion and love as it has been for 11 years.

Last month we prayed as Donn became ill during Caro's Holiday visit. It soon became evident that Donn was a lot more ill than most of us realized and many cried when Caro had to leave Donn in a coma assisted in breathing and other functions by machines. She knew she would never see him again. We waited for daily reports and agonized over distance that kept most of us from physically comforting her. Cards, prayers, even some flowers and plants poured in from over half a world away.

Now The Granny Forum is Caro's "soft place to land" as Dr. Phil would say. Donn is at peace, the memorials are over and our dear friend will soon be picking up the pieces. Any time, day or night, she can log on and find friends from somewhere in the world who will read whatever she feels like sharing with us. Even cyber-hugs can comfort. The tears we shed for Caro and Donn were real, the pain for our friend is real, and, fortunately, the prayers are real. We will be there for our friend as long as she wants us.
Sunday, February 1, 2009

"The Otters are Back" and a camera warning.

Suddenly my cell phone rang. It was my Old Dear and some visitors calling from the lake (about 100 feet away) telling me they were watching the otters. Four of them!!! We didn't see them at all last year so we thought an alligator had either chased them away or worse.

The four were playing and rolling for quite a few minutes. I grabbed the camera and did my best to get a shot of the four playing altogether. but Noo-o-o-o-o-o! The camera wouldn't fire! WHY just when I have a chance of a great shot? As I looked at the settings, it fired. Aha! The timer! I had apparently hit that button as I grabbed the camera off the table. This is the best shot I could get.

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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