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Oh My Gosh!!!

I am so excited right about now, I can hardly stand it! Wouldn't you know it? When I received the email containing the news which has me so thrilled, no one was home to call. Isn't that always the way?

After bridge and a stop at the Audubon Bird of Prey Center in Maitland, I came home and checked my email. Well, before we get to that, let's look at a few birds, shall we?

The center is home to injured birds of prey. I've been there before and posted pictures, but I just felt like going again today as it is only a mile or so from where we meet for bridge. In case you are wondering, I'm improving at bridge, having played a 3 No Trump hand today successfully. So, the owls are in a gigantic aviary with wires keeping them safely inside. I used the manual focus to get behind the wires. These owls were way, way up high on a perch. Frankly, I'm surprised this one turned out fairly decently.
It appears that the one on the right must have a broken wing and maybe missing an eye? Poor thing. At least it's not left to fend for itself out in the wild.

There is an open garden where there are hawks, eagles, and owls tethered to stands. Just moments after I arrived, it got windy and rainy--evidence of Irene passing by the state. So, so glad "she" decided to stay out in the Atlantic! I'm not sure what type of hawk this is:
Notice those yellow eyes? We've talked before about how fascinating the color of birds eyes are. This hawk appears to have light blue eyes which is very unusual, or at least my observation of birds makes me think so.
Aren't those markings remarkable? There are three eagles in the garden area and I believe two in a separate aviary. I wish I could tell you I remember this one's name, but I don't.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let's get to the email.

In a quest to improve my organizational skills, I have been applying to shows for next year already, including ones I don't think I'll get into. One such show, Mount Dora Art Festival isn't until February. A little background here--when Bruce made the suggestion that we try and sell my photography, we went to this show to scope out the displays. At the time, I still couldn't imagine doing a show myself, however, Bruce was convinced we could make it work. It was icky weather, but he got some ideas. If you don't want to bother clicking on the link, I'll tell you it is a REALLY big show, as in hundreds of thousands of people attend.

A few weeks ago I sent in my online application with no expectations attached. In case you're wondering, you submit three images along with a shot of your booth. I'm such a scatter brain sometimes I pick three and hope for the best, usually forgetting what I've submitted soon thereafter. Today, much to my surprise and delight, I received an email from one of the directors of the art center in Mount Dora asking ME if I would consider entering one of the three I submitted for the poster!!! Now, if you've not been to many shows, this may not seem like such a big deal, however, believe me, IT IS! They print t-shirts and posters, advertise the heck out of you and the like. Before you get too excited, apparently there are others in the running. They will let me know by next Friday and to be frank with you, I'm sure I have no chance of winning. But if I did.........WooHoo!!!

So, now you know why I'm euphoric at the moment. I know, only too well, that you win some and you lose some. This year none of my submitted images won for the city calendar. Ironically, on the same day I got a thanks, but no thanks letter from the Historical Board, I got an invitation for a celebration at City Hall for the revived fountain. TWO years ago, when I had two images chosen, I donated the money back to help with the cost of fixing our iconic fountain at Lake Eola. I'm not all that happy with the results to be honest. The colors are weird. You be the judge:
It's about time it was fixed! I declined the invitation--it was yesterday afternoon, but an email today says they have some memento for me if I'd like to pick it up!

The food truck craze has struck Orlando. I, for one, am over crazes.
I mean what is Korean BBQ Taco Box anyway? The colors are nice though.

Talk about something crazy--I could not get over this guy's phone at the market Sunday:
How funny is this?

I'm writing this waiting for Mr. Bruce to return. He was not only about 150 miles from the earthquake this week, he's now flying home while a hurricane is nearby. Good grief! 

I'm heading to bed now with a really good book, In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larsen, the author of "Devil in the White City", another amazing book. This guy makes history so fascinating you don't want to put it down. That said, last night I had nightmares about the Nazis. Very unpleasant.

Finally, if you are a fashionista, you may want to check out  Fall Fashion from the New York Times.
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