Fun in the sun

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Yes I took these right into the sun. I was standing on a sea wall looking for ducks and heard a splash down near the beach area at a park in Safety Harbor. The black dog ran in and was barking at the brown dog to come in. They splashed around and played for a while. They looked like they were having the best time in the cold water. The brown dog got tired and went back on the beach and the black dog seemed to stand there like “Come back, it’s not time to leave yet.” He finally shook off and headed back to the beach.

Spring at Hollis Gardens

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Since I was in Lakeland looking for baby swans in early April, I decided to stop by Hollis Gardens. The public gardens are right in the heart of downtown. The gardens were busy with families getting their pre-Easter shots, early graduation portraits, engagement photos, etc. The gardens are very well-kept and pretty. I’m still practicing using my Nikon 85mm macro lens. All of the above were taken with that lens. It mostly cloudy but the sun did peek out a few times. Soon all of the flowers here in the Tampa bay area will start to look a little crispy from the heat.

Shine the Divine mom_badgeweb

Sunshine in the house

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All of the above were taken with my Nikon macro 85mm lens. I’ve been motivated by Deanna’s blog to bring home flowers to brighten up the house. Especially since it’s been raining and cloudy so much lately. Buddy and Spikey are always sunshine with their yellow and orange faces and their happy chirping. Although, Buddy can get really loud if someone else is talking. He wants to be the loudest one in the room. I’m surprised Spikey let me get this close. She’s very shy and a little of afraid of the camera. Not like Buddy, who will come running up when he sees it.  The last two are what’s left of the poinsettia plants from Christmas. I need to plant them outside to see if they bloom again next year. My dad did that. When my parents retired to Florida, my sisters and I would always come down for Christmas. We would bring a poinsettia plant every year. After the holidays, he would plant it on the sunny side of the house. Ten years later the entire side of the house was covered in red poinsettia leaves when we would come to visit.

Shine the Divine mom_badgeweb

Rainy day photography

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The weekend after Valentine’s day was rainy. At least on Saturday. After running errands, doing chores and watching bad movies, I picked up my camera and started taking pictures of the roses from Valentine’s. It’s hard to come up with new ways to photograph roses. I didn’t want to get too artsy. I was playing with the macro lens trying to get as upclose as I could. These are my favorites from the rainy day.

Shine the Divine

Big congratulations to Michael!

My pho-tog buddy Michael Libbe won Grand Prize in the National Audubon photo contest. He was on the cover of their most recent magazine. We met back in 2009 at (guess where, my favorite spot) Circle B Bar Reserve. It was my first meet-up to attend with the Florida Outdoors group from Flickr. Funny and friendly, I don’t get to see him very often now with our busy schedules.  Check out his great story about the picture on his blog. You can also see the article on the National Audubon site here .

Below is his award-winning picture.

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Rainy day photography in the house.

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Above is a little rainy day photography. Fresh flowers from Fresh Market that I happened to pick up on a Friday night after work. It was a rainy weekend in mid-December so I stayed in and did chores, getting the house ready for relatives to visit over the holidays. One week of my sister from South Dakota in town and the next week was hubby’s sister and her family. After a full day of fall cleaning I needed to do something creative so I pulled out my 85mm Nikon lens and did a little practice macro shooting.  After 20 minutes of shooting flowers I was ready to finish the vacuuming.

Another lost birthday.

Today would have been my Dad’s 89th birthday. He died in early 2001. This was the only picture I could find of him with a camera. It was late 1988 and I had gone with my parents to the Botanical Gardens so he could take pictures of the flowers. That’s me on the right with my 80’s hair and 80’s eyebrows. Dad was the one always taking the pictures but I think my Mom took this with her little ole 35mm film camera.

Dad always had 2 SLR cameras with him. One with color film and the other one either had black and white film or slide film. He always had a little notebook in his pocket and when he took a picture he would write down the settings. I always had my film point and shoot so I guess it runs in the family. I just wish I had taken more of an interest earlier so we could have talked about it more.  He also loved birds. He was always taking pictures of pelicans.

Happy birthday, Dad.

542 Botanical Gardens March 88

A Walk Around Vizcaya in Miami – Skywatch Friday

A side view of Vizcaya in South Miami. The gardens were beautiful. While the house was old and interesting, the gardens were more impressive. (Plus, you could not take pictures inside the house.) Vizcaya was built by James Deering between 1914 and 1916. It was his winter home until his heirs donated it to Dade county.

Outside the back door, there was a concrete ship which looked like it was a place to hang out and party. There must have been a bridge leading to it at some point.

Around the concrete ship, you can barely see downtown Miami off in the distance.

Standing outside in the back of the house, I closed my eyes and thought of what it would have been like to live here back then. What, no tv or laptop? Forget it. It was so beautiful and peaceful standing there staring up at the sky. The day we visited was absolutely gorgeous.

One section of the gardens was an orchid garden. So many pretty flowers.

Orchids are so hard to grow. They had them growing outside, mostly in the shade.

If you are ever in south Miami, it’s a great way to spend a few hours.

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