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The Golden Hour

Yesterday morning I was out riding at this time of the morning. Letting Baxter out the back door, I noticed a lovely full moon, along with a reddish sky. Because Bruce was up early for his flight to Houston, I got up as well to get a head start on the day. In photography lingo, the hour around sunrise and sunset is called "the golden hour." Your most interesting photographs are said to come during this time, however, I'm not so sure about that. Of course those who write that sort of stuff probably don't take pictures with the same abandon that I do! Nonetheless, I did enjoy the challenge, beginning with the full moon which I love against the blue sky.
 You can just see the pale pink on the horizon in this one:
I was standing on the bridge over the canal between Lake Gatlin and Lake Conway in Harbor Island when I took this one. So Florida, isn't it? 

Oops, I got a little ahead of myself. Taking Waterwich into Harbor Island, I kept looking up for a good spot to take the moon photo--there are big trees galore everywhere--when I glanced to my left and what should I see but THE EAGLE! It's been months since I saw him/her and I was beginning to think I'd never have an eagle sighting again. Sadly, the golden hour barely worked in this instance because I needed more light to get a shot before he flew off.
In quite the coincidence, I heard this story on "Here and Now" later in the day about people gathering daily to watch a bald eagle nest in Connecticut. People who never considered themselves birdwatchers have purchased expensive binoculars to watch the nightly show! Can you blame them?

I was on my way to Milennia for another return and thought to myself: "self, there is a Kirklands there, why not pop in a see if your piece is there?" Good grief it was!
Obviously, Sun Dance put the graphics on the photo. This is one of our neighbors tree, taken in mid-day. So much for the golden hour! On my way to the mall, this truck was in front of me, and I could not help but think about my friend Bev who has had her share of "nuisance wildlife" to deal with at her home. Now she will have the number if another occasion arises.
Do you see the gray sky? Nearly every single day it's been like that, and frankly it's been getting me down. Complaining about all the rain to Bruce, he replied that if we lived in the Southwest, I'd be praying for this type of weather. He has a point.

Back to our golden hour series, as I made my way back home, the sun came up, and it hardly gets more golden than this:
I had a few other errands to run including a trip to Big Lots. Checking the web site for their operating hours, I came across some reviews of BL. Seriously, this review business has gone crazy. Here is a particularly silly one:

"The Cash register Employees they touch customer hands without their consents which constitute a battery that victimized the customers. Also the store is carrying evil products. So consequently Big Lots at colonial Plaza is an evil corporation."

On my way there I stopped at a home on the corner of Bumby and Walnut that has a super garden. This time the owners were out and were more than happy, or so it seemed, to tell me all about their garden where butterflies were abundant.
What I learned from Tom was that in order to really get seeds from your spent flowers you must let them completely die on the vine, cut them and keep them that way until next season. All you need do at that point is shake them and the seeds will fall right out, unlike how I sat and plucked them one by one and still have no flowers. Every single day I learn something new and useful! 

On the Bumby side of their lot they've made a little spot for people to rest if they choose to. A sign, made especially for them, reads, "Welcome to TomDale Garden." Isn't that sweet?
Angela called the other day from Rhode Island where she is spending five weeks to escape the Florida heat. From what I've been seeing of the weather, she took it with her, but that's another story. She had two questions for me:
  • Her mother is visiting from England and wants to know why the American media keeps calling the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Apparently she is quite bothered by this, and wants an answer! According to Angela, she is NOT Kate Middleton anymore and should not be called as such. I told her all I could figure is a lack of knowledge as to the protocol? Anyone care to answer her question?
  • Then too, she was mad as a hornet because a story ran in the "Orlando Sentinel" about a soccer tournament her son Michael was involved in. Apparently, after the final game, which Michael's team won, the parents and players from Miami went ballistic, and all sorts of mayhem followed. She wanted to know why didn't they write anything good about the tournament? I suggested she write a letter to the editor expressing her sentiments to which she replied she did not have time. Whatever......
I did it for her, and I see it is in today's paper. I think it took all of about ten minutes. So much for her excuse.  

It was a sad occasion but it felt good to be back in a church. I really do miss everything about going to church on Sundays. They went straight for the gut opening the service with bagpipes, followed by one of the greatest hymns of all time, "Amazing Grace." Because I rarely sing, I definitely noticed how reedy my singing voice has become. It never was any good, but now it is worse. Cheryl, sitting beside me, was probably appalled. Bruce is pretty much used to it! The church was beautiful with the altar graced by a glorious floral arrangement:
It was a lovely service for a man I only knew through his wife, who seems to be holding up fairly well. In case you are wondering, I took no further pictures--I do have some manners.

Finally, I came across an article in the "Times" regarding the passage of time as you age. Below is a portion of the article which I thought you might like to read.

The question and the possibility it presents put me in mind of my father, who died a few years ago at age 86. An engineer by training, he read constantly after he retired. His range was enormous; he read about everything from astronomy to natural history, travel and gardening. I remember once discovering dozens of magazines and journals in the house and was convinced that my parents had become the victims of a mail-order scam. 

Thinking I’d help with the clutter, I began to bundle up the magazines for recycling when my father angrily confronted me, demanding to know what the hell I was doing. “I read all of these,” he said.
And then it dawned on me. I cannot recall his ever having remarked on how fast or slow his life seemed to be going. He was constantly learning, always alive to new ideas and experience. Maybe that’s why he never seemed to notice that time was passing. 

So what, you might say, if we have an illusion about time speeding up? But it matters, I think, because the distortion signals that we might squeeze more out of life. 

It’s simple: if you want time to slow down, become a student again. Learn something that requires sustained effort; do something novel. Put down the thriller when you’re sitting on the beach and break out a book on evolutionary theory or Spanish for beginners or a how-to book on something you’ve always wanted to do. Take a new route to work; vacation at an unknown spot. And take your sweet time about it. 

 Another day, another installment of Camera Crazy. What will happen new today? Well, Matt and Tom are arriving for a four day stay in the summer. That is new and let's all hope our state lives up to it's nickname for a few of those days. The Sunshine State indeed.
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