Small town parade

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I went to Chesnut Park early Saturday morning. It was very quiet and very few animals were around. I walked the entire park in less than 2 hours so I decided to stop by Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home. I got stopped by the 4th of July parade coming through. I caught the tail end of it before walking over to the pier to look for manatees. Safety Harbor isn’t a small town out in the boonies. It’s really just a small neighborhood wedged in between Tampa and Clearwater. It sits on the water in upper Tampa bay and has a few shops and restaurants. At first I wasn’t going to stop and head home but instead I parked blocks away and I was glad I did. It was a fun way to start the 4th of July while Brett was at the gym.

Please let the sun go down on me.

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The view from Tampa Bay Watch looking out at the Fort Desoto boat ramp.

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It was a perfect night for a wedding party.

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The sun was going down and the heat was fading.

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The bride and groom picked the perfect place.

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Beautiful view.

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My friend Abby and her husband got married in early February. After a belated trip to Italy, they threw a big party for all of their friends to celebrate. The Tampa Bay Watch facility sits right on the bay before you head into Fort Desoto so I had to bring my camera. After late afternoons of rain for several days, we got lot lucky with sunny skies. It was a perfect night for everyone.

Skywatch Friday

My first glimpse of the Grand Canyon – Skywatch Friday

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We flew into Flagstaff and after dumping our stuff at the hotel, we headed for the Grand Canyon. This was our view along the way.

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Lots of small farms in the middle of nowhere. Although, we were only a half hour outside of Flagstaff so it’s not that remote. The scenery on the drive over was beautiful. Lots of forest, mountains and tumbleweeds.

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Peaking over the edge, this was my first glimpse.

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It was breathtaking!

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Scraggly dead trees were everywhere. They looked like trees you would see in a haunted movie.

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We walked for a while. Looking over the rim at each point.

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Of course, late in the afternoon, the sun was coming in hard. There were shadows everywhere and the colors across the canyon looked washed out.

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The view back to Flagstaff. We passed a big wind farm.

I’m going to be at risk of boring you with my tons of vacation pictures. Hubby and I took a week off and went to Arizona with some friends near the end of June. It was our first trip to Arizona. Really, my first real vacation out west, excluding many work trips to Las Vegas. We spent two days at the Grand Canyon and two days in Sedona. I took about a billion pictures. Both with my Nikon and my Iphone. I wanted to travel light so I did not take my longer lenses. I only took my 18-105mm and my wide angle lens. This was going to be a landscape only trip, no animals. But I couldn’t resist taking tons of pictures of the birds we saw. All with my 105mm lens. I’ll be posting tons more about our week later but wanted to kick it off on July 4th. Nothing says “Happy 4th of July” like the Grand Canyon.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Visiting my parents on Memorial Day – Skywatch Friday

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I had read that the Bay Pines National Cemetery decorates the gravesites with flags on Memorial Day so hubby and I stopped by when we were out running around.

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Trying to be creative with pictures of my parents gravesite. They are buried here together.

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Hubby was sitting on the bench in the back while I took pictures. The cemetery was packed with people visiting.

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Most people had left flowers but a few had other strange items on the stones. This one had an unopened can of diet coke. Was it their favorite drink?

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The entrance to the cemetery.

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It was a beautiful day!

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My dad’s official picture. He was 19 when he left for WW2. He was in the war for 2 years before coming back to Florida. He died in early 2001 from health issues.

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My dad and Jack Benny somewhere overseas.

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Of course I kept my eye out for wildlife at the cemetery. Cemeteries always have good birds. There’s a small pond near my parents grave. We walked over to see what was in the pond and we found a duck family swimming around. Across the pond were great blue herons, great egrets and a spoonbill. The trees all over the cemetery were full of woodpeckers.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday