Tag Archive: lagoon



As we enter the last week we will be here for this season, I’m relishing all that nature has to offer us right in our own back yard. Sometimes I’m amazed at how many species of animals live in close proximity to one other – most times amicably. Different kinds of songbirds frequent the feeders without concern for the other. Admittedly, certain birds can be more feisty and chase the more docile away, but basically it’s ok. But – there are dangers that lurk, and sometimes I wonder about the tension that exists for most species – just to exist. Birds, rodents, and squirrels worry about raptors. Fish worry about ospreys and human fishermen. And, all small animals worry about the alligator.

I don’t think they worry in the sense that humans worry. They are programmed to take the precautions that they do, so it comes naturally. It’s not “worry” or any kind of “intellect” or “thought” which which causes their actions. They simply do what their instinct tells them to do with no human emotions attached. Maybe there is an advantage in not knowing the ramifications to their life. They just … “live” … as God intended. (Might we learn a little from this way of being?) However, from the human vantage point, life is hard in nature. And, it’s hard for me to watch as I sometimes project my human emotions onto animals in the wild. I wonder what the percentage is of baby animals in the wild which actually make it to adulthood? It’s different for every species, I know…

Yesterday when we were talking with our neighbor, he told us that last year the ospreys lost a baby which fell out of the nest located across the lagoon from us. The crows are relentless in pursuit of nesting ospreys – tormenting the parents, and working hard to get the eggs – as well as – I think – the babies. According to our neighbor, it was a crow that caused the accident – and they happened to be looking when it happened.

In reading about bluebirds, I was astounded at the predators which can invade bluebird nests – house sparrows, snakes, squirrels, and even cats. I now realize that having my bluebird box attached on a tree rather than a pole is dangerous as it allows more easy access to predators to climb up and get inside. Today these thoughts came to mind when inspecting the bluebird nest area. I noticed on the grass not far from the box some evidence of “something unidentifiable” that appeared dead. It was so small and there were no feathers, nor did it appear to be the right color, but I still wondered if it was a bluebird baby, mainly because of the proximity to the bluebird box. Clearly I am very inexperienced! However, not long after the father bluebird came to the box and I could – again – hear the little bluebirds inside. Maybe it was only one baby? Maybe it was something else? But – I just don’t know.

With all this in mind, my 365 photos will include many parts of nature that live close by to me:

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365 photo #119 – the alligator. I am always watchful when I’m walking not far from the lagoon edge. I’m always looking for a gator head pointed at the shoreline – or watchful that one is silently sunning itself not far from the edge. They are so quiet and still when lying there that sometimes you don’t realize he’s there until you’re quite near. With that in mind, I noticed one on the bank before I went outside the other day. I did go out – but snapped the photo from the safety of the patio – with my 100-400 lens!
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365 photo #120 — the magnolias are out! However, the squirrels love them. As fast as they bloom the squirrels get the blooms and drop them to the ground. I guess they like the seeds therein. So – this tree never covered with these white blooms, but they come out – one at a time – and leave just as quickly

Bonus photos:

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1. Click to see this photo larger, so you can really see the osprey, as he was quite far away. The crow was bothering him – and when he left this perch, he flew with the crow taunting him – in hot pursuit!
2. A gecko on the side of the bluebird box. I flicked him off as I do not want him to get inside. Not sure he’s a danger – but didn’t want him there anyway.
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365 photo #121. We are in a drought now, so we have our sprinkler system scheduled to come on in different spots periodically throughout the day. Just after the sprinklers stopped on these leaves in the front yard, I took a photo of the droplets.

Bonus photos:

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1. Mrs. Bluebird posing for the camera on top of the bluebird box
2. one random leaf – changing color.

I’m not caught up yet, but yesterday I took a sunrise photo walk along Folly Field Beach, and I think I’ll devote an entire entry to that… So — til next time…!

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I’m still into birds, but have decided not to make another bluebird my photo of the day. Yes – I am taking daily photos of mom and dad bluebird as they come in and out of the box. I stand close (but not too close) so that I can hear the babies squeal as one of their parents brings in a new worm or bug for them to eat. As each day goes by, their chirping and squealing gets louder, and I now can almost hear them when standing on the patio! It warms my heart to hear them, knowing I have a nest only a few feet from our house. I remain clueless as to when the eggs hatched to how old the baby birds are and when they might fledge. I searched on the internet to learn how long the babies are in the nest before they fledge, and it’s about 16 – 22 days. From the audible sounds of them – it’s possible that it could be next week… I’ve been reading up on what to do with the birdbox after they have fledged, and, from what it says in this site, it’s important to immediately clean the nest out of the bird box, then wash out the box because they might start all over again in only a few days. Bluebirds have several broods a season. We’re only here until a week from Monday – a little more than a week, so we may not be able to clean out the box. 😦

But – I digress…

Yesterday’s photo of the day will be something NONbird. in the front yard of our house, I love my sego palm, so today’s photo is a close up of the branches and some pine tree droppings that fall on them in sometimes artistic ways…

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365 photo #117

Now – for the bonus photos – – and yes – they will be birds! 🙂

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1. Cardinal in the tree. Clearly there are turf wars with the male cardinals in our yard now. During nesting season this is very common
2. Here is Daddy Bluebird carrying one huge bug into the nest for the babies dinner! 🙂

For today’s 365 photo, I found a great blue heron fishing in our neighbor’s yard in front of the lagoon. I took lots of photos and here’s one of a close up of this upper torso. He was so focused on his fishing that he barely had time to be worried about me slowly getting closer to him to get the photos.

Speaking of nests, the great blue heron is still on his nest high up on the tree that overlooks the lagoon in our yard – only a few feet from the bluebird nest. I find it fascinating that they both are so different, yet are nesting so close by each other. Might we humans learn a bit about peaceful co-existence from our birdie friends?? I don’t know the status of eggs / babies, as I can’t see from the ground vantage point.

Here is the the great blue fishing:

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365 photo #118

Bonus photos:

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1. a soaring osprey. Not that great a photo as I clipped one of it’s wings, but I’m learning….
2. portrait of that fishing egret.

Don’t expect much in the way of bird photos once we go north. Nothing like this anyway…. 😦


Ok … I admit it. I’m addicted to birds! I never thought this would happen, as this interest has come later in my life. When I was a child, I could not identify any birds, except maybe a robin. My mom had feeders outside her kitchen window, but I didn’t watch or even notice them much. Then a few years ago, I met my bird loving best friend, Claire, then took up photography. Though I’m still very ignorant on bird identification, I’m slowly learning the names of the birds in my backyard.

With that said, my 365 photo will — again — be of the female bluebird bringing in a huge bug to feed the babies. You can click on this photo and see it much larger. And, it was especially exciting for me to note that when I stood somewhat close to the bluebird box, I could hear the babies chirping – probably begging for food. At that time, I don’t think either parent was inside, as I had been watching them go in and out, and the babies were probably calling for them. My box is a side loading box, and it would be much too invasive for me to watch.

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365 photo #116

I hope we have not left for Long Island before they fledge. Since I’m not sure when the eggs were laid, nor when they were hatched, it’s hard to predict, but I think it will be iffy that we’ll still be around. We have only 1 1/2 week left here. What a bummer to leave in the middle of this!

Also — the great blue heron is still sitting on the nest, but the male isn’t around much anymore that I have seen (unless they switch roles).

Bonus photos:

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1. A male cardinal in the bush — letting himself be seen in the bright sun!
2. The one non bird photo — some weeds growing by the edge of the lagoon

I cannot believe how many birds are flying around our yard. I go out with my camera – or not – and stand quietly and they are flying – almost as if in a frenzy. They are feeding on the grass, and flying back and forth from the trees on either side of the yard, often stopping off at the feeders to have a nip of seed. I can hear them in the trees calling to each other – but usually can’t find them. These birds are busy and very focused, and sometimes squabbling for “turf” or “territory”. I suspect we have lots of nests around, and these birds are busy trying to feed and raise babies. Except for the great blue heron and the nest in the bluebird box, I don’t know where the other nests are. The seed in the feeder is being eaten faster than ever before. Even though there is great activity, and they are more visible than usual, they are very hard to photograph, as they are just out of sight, or extra skittish if in sight.

Today’s 365 photo will be what I believe to be a juvenile male cardinal. This is the same cardinal who was one of yesterday’s bonus photos. It’s my opinion that he’s brighter than a female cardinal – and I see some red on his belly and side making me think that his color is changing. But — I am only guessing. Check out the seed he’s dropping from his mouth! 🙂 (Taken from inside the house from the sliding glass door.

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365 photo #115

Bonus photos:

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1. This is not a well composed or good photo, but it’s an interesting one. I caught the female bluebird flying out of the bluebird box!
2. three birds on the edge of the lagoon. Not sure what they are

It’s been a week since I’ve updated my 365 photos. All photos have been taken, but time to post has been at a premium.

Wednesday of last week’s photo was taken at the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament on the last day that cameras were allowed. It was the day of the pro-am, where one pro is paired with three amateurs. Ray and I found ourselves following John Daly, the golfer with a colorful personality, who also loves brightly colored, neon golf attire. I am finding myself intrigued with him, probably because he runs counter to the conservative, classic persona of the average golfer, and he appeals to my sometimes rebellious nature! He is the spokesperson for Loudmouth golf attire, and I’m always curious as to what he’ll be wearing each day. According to some of the volunteers of the tournament, he’s very cordial to fans. He made the cut this year, but ended up with a +3 – not “winners circle” material. But – he hasn’t lost his touch and gave us some of his legendary long drives. Yet – for such a long hitter, he has quite a “soft touch” around the green. I got some photos of him during the pro-am, which will be my 365 photo for last Wednesday, April 11th:

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365 photo #102. John Daly on the 15th hole, wearing The Naughty Cards print pants.

Bonus photos from the tournament:

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1. John Daly with his caddie and his girlfriend – wearing matching shorts!
2. Nice view off the 17th hole
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1. As we were arriving at the tournament that day the guys who were sitting at the entrance saw me with a camera and pointed out a red tailed hawk in a tree very close by, and pointed it out to me – as well as to anyone who had a camera. I didn’t have my long 100-400 lens, but I can’t believe how well this photo turned out with my 18-200 lens! Why was he so tame? The guys wondered if there was a nest he was guarding. Poor hawk! He must have been nervous with all those people!
2. Media trucks — tall antennas for TV reception!

After that, cameras were not permitted at the tournament, so I had to get all my photos either prior to going up – or after we got home.

 

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365 photo #103 – front yard landscaping as seen from the side – including a sego palm
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365 photo #104 – sweet squirrel as seen through the sliding glass door.

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365 photo #105 – simple flowering weeds by the edge of the lagoon. Sometimes the small and mundane is the most beautiful

 

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365 photo #106 – bluebird – one who I believe is nesting in our bluebird box. I’ve been watching the box and see activity every day. It’s usually the male that flies in and out. I *think* this is the female, though.

Bonus photo:

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Male bluebird looking out of the box – just before exiting. It’s difficult for me to photograph them, as they don’t hang out near the box long as they are going in or out.

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365 photo #107 – female cardinal on our feeder

I have two more days of photos, but I think they deserve an entry all their own….!


Yesterday was the first day of the annual Heritage Golf Tournament. Ray and I traditionally get tickets, and went up on the first day – just to scope it all out to see what would be there, check out the merchandise tent, have some lunch, and take photos. Cameras are only permitted prior to the actual beginning of the tournament on Thusday, so yesterday and Wednesday are my only chances. (I am not going up today). Not much was happening at the tournament itself, so most of my photos were of Harbourtown, as one walks through this “tourist town” to get to the Harbourtown clubhouse, where one enters the tournament. There are lots of shops, the harbor is full of yachts, the Harbourtown Lighthouse stands above, and of course condos surround it all.  So – today’s photo will be from our walk to the tournament. I hope that I get photos inside the tournament on Wednesday.

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365 photo #100 – the marina with the Harbourtown Lighthouse in the background

Bonus photos – all photos can be clicked to see them larger in Flickr:

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1. colorful shops line the marina
2. The Liberty Oak — with seating – where there are often concerts in spring and summer
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1. Pa-li-ne – yacht – probably the largest yacht moored there. For some reason I’ve gotten a lot of hits on this blog using the search word “Pa-li-ne Hilton Head” – so this yacht has some kind of interest – though I am clueless as to why! I know nothing about it, except that it’s huge!
2. The Harbourtown Golf Links clubhouse — where you enter the tournament

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The condos which surround the marina

Today Ray went up to the tournament to work at the Rotary concession booth, so I decided to stay home. Today’s photo is an alligator in our lagoon. As I was going outside to check on the Great Blue Heron nest, I heard this splash not too far from me — a young alligator (he’s not all that long) splashed back into the lagoon from where he was sunning on the bank. Alligators are to be taken very seriously. Yet — they have just as much fear of us as we do of them. He could sense my movements – even from the distance I was – and moved away.

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365 photo #101

Well — that’s not totally true! I’ve just chosen not to make them one of the daily photos. That’s not to say that I didn’t take a few bird photos, but they are all “more of the same”: great blue herons and bluebirds, and I’m into “variety”! I also a shot of a ground feeding sparrow, but he, as well as the great blue heron will be bonus photos.

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365 photo #95. An iris of some kind. My inlaws used to own this house before we did, and they were the ones to plant most of our landscaping, so it has been fun, over the years, to see what we have here. I was not familiar with this flower, but did some research and it’s an iris. Interesting color! The blooms do not last long, and after barely a day, they are drooping. I photographed this bloom (and a few others) at it’s prime.

Bonus photos:

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1. a branch of a sego palm in our front yard with leaves which have dropped on it.
2. great blue heron still is on the nest in the tree in our yard.

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365 photo #96 As I was along the shore of the lagoon looking to take more photos of our great blue heron nest, I shot this view of a neighboring house and lush vegetation and the reflection of them in the lagoon. Sometimes it takes a photo like this to help me see how much greener the grass and trees are as spring truly arrives on the lagoon.

Bonus photos:

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1. ground feeding sparrow on our patio – eating the dropped seeds from our feeders above. Interesting how he is camoflaged with the patio stones and you can hardly see him!
2. red tip hedges in our front yard

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365 photo #97 It was a raw, cold, gray day for most of yesterday so I chose to take the photo inside. It didn’t get much above 55 degrees, which is very unseasonably cold for Hilton Head Island! I went out to scout out photos, but was uninspired. So — this photo is some of the red earrings on my earring holder. As you can see, I hang them in “color coded” fashion! I purchased this two sided earring holder (which holds 80 earrings on one side) recently from a vendor at “Springtime Made in the South” craft fair in Savannah. I also have another single sided earring holder which is partially full (and another empty one so I have “room for expansion”! Do the math! Yes – I own a lot of earrings – which I’ve collected since college when I first got my ears pierced. Just as an aside — this is not the extent of my red earrings. More red earrings are located on the other side, too!

Unlike yesterday, the weather is clear and crisp today — perfect for our planned trip to Savannah today — so expect a photo from there for today’s photo!


I have returned from Pennsylvania and now have a little more time to post. It took some time to go through all my photos, edit them and get them uploaded, but that job is done now.

This was a bittersweet time. My mom is very ill – so critically ill that we all felt it necessary to go see her. She was in Abington Hospital in suburban Philadelphia for almost three weeks. Despite having been discharged to a skilled nursing care facility, she still remains ill, though stabilized. Over the course of her hospitalization, our family surrounded her, including grandchildren and one great grandchild. Despite the worry, stress and exhaustion we were feeling, it was also a time of family bonding. I took a photo each day and they are a visual way of documenting my time in PA with Mom. To conserve space because I have so many photos, they are all shown in a smaller size. However, you can click on any photo to see it larger in my Flickr account.

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1. 365 photo #76 — A photo of the lagoon only a few minutes before we left Hilton Head on the day we were informed how sick mom was – and that we needed to come see her. A storm was brewing, and as we left town the most ferocious thunderstorm hit as we drove off of Hilton Head Island. It wasn’t lost on me that storms were brewing in my life, too….
2. 365 photo #77 — We stopped at a Hampton Inn in Fayetteville, NC that night – and the next morning I took a photo of the sunrise as we were leaving to go the rest of the way to Pennsylvania.

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1. 365 photo #78 — In Mom’s hospital room there were some lovely flowers…. 🙂
2. 365 photo #79 — For the first 3 days in Pennsylvania, we stayed in the Garden Hilton Inn, and I took a photo of the room that night. It gave us our own space for a few days. However we moved over to my sister’s house and that was good, too – to be closer to family. I nearly forgot to take a photo that day, and this one was taken at nearly midnight!

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1. 365 photo #80 — This is the view from Mom’s room, showing the York Road garage. It’s an “average” hospital room view, and at least she had a window. Some rooms do not, as they look out into the lobby
2. 365 photo #81 — More flowers in Mom’s room — an amyrillis which my brother brought with him shown against the window shade.

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1. 365 photo #82 — A white board in mom’s hospital room. It gives staff information, like the name of the nurse and student nurse on duty, and the date. But – we wrote all over the board, too 🙂
2. 365 photo #83 — The tower on Abington Hospital — and it’s the hospital’s logo. This was taken after sunset as we were leaving the hospital.

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1. 365 photo #84 — Since we were all in town, my siblings and I celebrated my sister’s 60th birthday — a few days early. We had dinner out together, then went back to my other sister’s house to have this delicious cake.
2. 365 photo #85 — An interesting stoplight – with trees in the background – on Susquehanna Road on our way home from the hospital. It was around sunset time when we took this photo.

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1. 365 photo #86 — Again I nearly forgot to take a daily photo, and realized this as we were getting ready for bed. In the room where we stayed, my sister had this cute little tiger – and he made a nice photo!
2. 365 photo #87 — Mom’s room was in the Widener Building at Abington Hospital, and this is the lobby, as taken from the 2nd floor, where Mom was located. They have a great coffee shop there were I stopped daily to get a cup of flavored coffee to take up to the room with me.

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1. 365 photo #88 — This was the day Mom was discharged by ambulance to the nursing facility. Our car was parked in the York Road Parking garage on the top level – and we could see the skyline of Philadelphia from that vantage point. As we were leaving to meet Mom at the nursing facility, I took this photo.
2. 365 photo #89 — On this day we left Philadelphia to return home to Hilton Head. We did the entire trip in one day, and when we arrived my first photo of the day was of my sweet Felix. I missed my kitties SO MUCH while we were gone… But – they were well taken care of by a good pet sitter.

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365 photo #90 — This was our first full day at home – and I discovered that during our trip I had managed to break the glass of the filter over top of my 100-400 mm lens. I couldn’t unscrew it, and there was concern that I’d bent the filter, or – at worst, the lens itself. At the suggestion of the Best Buy Geek Squad, I got one of those rubberized “jar openers” and that did the trick – and the lens itself was not bent. Thankfully the broken glass of the filter did NOT scratch the lens and all is well. This photo — the first I took with that lens after realizing it probably was ok — is of some fungus growing around a stump of a downed tree.

I’m not caught up with my photos yet, but think that this is enough for one entry! More to come later…!


Today I have been preoccupied. My mom – who is 90 years old – has been admitted to the hospital. I do not want to go into detail, as my family is private. The Internet and all it’s potential breaches of privacy are threatening to them. I mention them very little on this blog, and have had to be careful about what photos I make public on Flickr.

I’m about 800 miles away from my mom. And — suffice it to say — I’m nervous and a little scared, and feeling a tad introspective.

So … with this in mind, when a freak thunderstorm was about to arrive, I went out to take photos of the approaching storm. It’s kind of a metaphor for my life now, as I know there are storms ahead of me which I must weather. I sat outside (before it started to rain) and watched the approaching clouds get closer, and the rumbling thunder get louder. First it was sunny, which gave an eerie glow to the dark clouds and landscape. Then the sun went away. I drank some left over morning coffee – and immersed myself in “the calm before the storm”. While I was sitting there, the Great Blue heron, who has the nest in the nearby tree came back to his station, and began his nesting / mating call — that gravely moan I was talking about in a previous entry. It brought a sense of sadness over the earth – maybe a foreshadowing of things to come for me, though I hope not too soon.

this photo is taken while the sun was still shining on our lagoon, but the storm clouds were clearly marching closer.

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365 photo #73

I’ve been busy over the last three days, but the photos have been taken and it’s finally time to post.

I have so many photos to choose from for February 22nd. My childhood friend, Connie visited for a day on her way to be with her daughter and family. I cherish these visits, as we have a lot of history … good history!. We may be separated for a year (or more) at a time, but when we get together, it’s like we never were apart. Conversation flows … and, that’s an understatement! 🙂 Plus – she travels with her white lab, Maggie. I’ve never been much of a dog person, but Maggie has won over my heart, not to mention that the cats did very well with her. There were a few “fluffed up” kitty moments with minimal hissing, but it was short lived, as Maggie doesn’t chase them. They always have time to quickly retreat to the safety of “high places” in the house.

Connie has a blog, too: View from the Empty Nest. It’s full of insights — the kind that come while walking Maggie! Many are thoughts I’ve always had, but I never “thought” to “think” them! (I know — that doesn’t quite make sense…!) Check it out — it’s a good read!

On the one full day Connie was with us, we looked for “photo ops” in beautiful spots, both at home and in the neighborhood. First there were some photo ops right on our lagoon. Then we went into Whooping Crane Conservancy. After a quick lunch, we took Maggie for a walk on Boneyard beach. As we drove there, we made a stop along the side of the road where there’s another lagoon and aquatic life often hang out. As I type, I still can’t decide which photo will be chosen for this. All I know is that I will include several bonus photos!

Ok – – here we go — an alligator in the swamp inside Whooping Crane Conservancy:

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365 photo #53

And — of course there will be some bonus photos:

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1. fall foliage lives on inside the Whooping Crane Conservancy…!
2. Ibis well hidden in the brush in Whooping Crane Conservancy

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1. Ibis on the lagoon at home
2. I wonder what those cormorants see??

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1. Anhinga – drying it’s wings
2. Maggie — such a sweet white lab — on the beach! 🙂

Connie left first thing the next morning – but I kind of remained sluggish, and didn’t get out for photos. Suddenly it was 10 p.m. and I hadn’t even picked up my camera – so yesterday’s photo is a wall hanging — something my son gave to me for Christmas one year. I love the haggard expression the kitty. Reminds me of me when I’m not in a good mood! 😉 When I was younger I had a photo copy of this picture taped to my refrigerator, which said “I have a handgun and PMS, any questions”. Kind of said it all!

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365 photo #54

Today I looked to our cats for the photo. The weather started out ok, but it’s now reduced to rumbling thunderstorms and tornado watches…. This is Felix — “birding and squirreling” behind the draperies!:

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365 photo #55

Bonus photo: On Tuesday night I won honorable mention in the camera club competition – category “windows”. It’s the first ever ribbon for me:

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This isn’t the EXACT photo I submitted as it had to be resized just slightly for printing, and I enhanced the saturation a small amount, as well.
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