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GlassMan, Baby Birds, Panthers! Oh My!

This has been some week.

Monday--Angela and Matt's ceremony

Tuesday--Jon "Glass Man" Gardner photo shoot

Wednesday--Cheryle to RT Art, and Catherine for dinner

Thursday--Catherine and I go to Gatorland to see what we can see.

So, here we are on Friday morning, and the time has come to do a short recap.

It definitely brought the neighbors out early. I'd asked Jon to come to the house at 7:30 to take advantage of the "golden hour," which turned out to be anything but golden. More like humid and overcast. What we were trying to accomplish at this early hour were photographs of Jon for his new business installing windshields. He's worked for someone else for years and soon will be going out on his own. Because he'd helped Bruce last summer with the glass project at Church Street, I told him I'd be happy to work for free. We tried all sorts of spots for the car as prop for him to work on, however, with massive trees most everywhere you look, it was not easy. Then too, Maria came out to see what we were doing, Regina stopped during her morning walk, Terri stopped her car on the way to work, and Wanda came out to watch. It's not every day you see a grown woman lying on her back in the grass while a man holds a windshield in the air!
This shot, taken through the windshield of Bruce's car, took some creative body movements as well.
All in all, it was challenging, but fun--definitely not something I've done before. If you've never had a windshield replaced, and I have not, it is interesting to see how it is done. He removed a window in the van, and then replaced it while I took photographs. Serious glue is what holds it in.
Now you know....

Cheryle does some wonderful pastel abstracts, and has been toying with the idea of selling them on a wider scale than she has done in the past, thus a trip to RT-Art to see what they have to offer. Trish gave her a tour while I did some chatting with Stefanie and Kevin who work magic in that office.

Bruce left about midday for his site visit in Tyson's Corner, but not before I took a photo of him after much pleading. I was practicing with the Tamron lens because I am not very good with it.
Gosh, I love this guy!

Catherine, a long term airbnb guest of the Beattys, asked me for help starting a blog. Generally I see Catherine amongst a big group, so thinking it might be nice to get to know her one on one, I had her over for dinner, making this delicious vegetarian dish from my oft-used, Agnes and Muriel cookbook.
Lest you think everything I make is a success, just looking at this rhubarb and peach pie I made for Bruce Tuesday afternoon, you can probably guess that it ended up in the trash!
The crust was super, the crunch topping the same, however, the filling was just terrible! Bruce had a piece before leaving, as did I, but when I went to have some yesterday morning, I thought this pie just tastes terrible, and threw it in the trash. When B got home last night around 9 he learned the fate of this time consuming pie!

I have never met anyone who did not have an interesting life story. Don't you agree?
That said, Catherine may just have one of the most colorful life stories I've ever heard. Born near Glasgow, she modeled in London, attended the Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts, got a psychology degree,  had one marriage, and, a deportation from South Africa, all before 30 years old. Oh yeah, and she's a singer/conservationist as well.
We did not get very far on the blogging lesson because she only had her phone with her, and I'm anything but good on a phone. We did, however, decide to let her use my Nikon D60 that's been sitting in the closet for two years, during a trip to Gatorland, a place she'd never been. We've been discussing her buying a camera, so this was a good way to see if she wanted a DSLR.

Bright and early, we drove the 12 miles to Gatorland. The weather? Not a cloud in the sky, with a mild temperature reading. You would think that after all the times I've been to Gatorland that I would have seen it all, but you would be wrong. The price is definitely right--$10.80 for a senior, of which I am one. We went to see the panther siblings, deciding this is must be the girl, Lucy.
 Very regal looking isn't she?

It's always the birds for me...
You may recall when I wrote here about taking Michele and Annabelle to Gatorland, that there were large numbers of nesting birds. Well, yes, they are still very, very busy.
You might be surprised at how noisy it is with so many, many birds, mostly egrets, herons, and wood storks. Catherine had never seen a wood stork before, and found them to her liking. In the past I've called them ugly, but they do have a certain appeal, what with that scaly head and pink feet.
But it was the babies that thrilled us the most.
Before we'd been there too long, the battery died on the D60 for unknown reasons. Fortunately, I'd brought along my Panasonic, which these are all taken with, and my D5100, which gave Catherine a camera to use. And use it she did, loving every minute. As we walked the boardwalk beside the gator breeding waters, we could not believe these little ones who were so close you could almost reach out and touch them.
The more we watched the more fascinated we became. They looked very, very newly born to us.
So cool to see the structure that supports the feathers, don't you think? The Panasonic did an awesome job, despite having a shorter zoom than the Nikon. One day these little ones will grow up to look like this:
Such an elegant bird, don't you think? Catherine didn't want to miss a thing, so we took the swamp walk, something I've not done for quite a while. Oh, the greens of spring, how I love you.
The day was growing warmer by the minute, so we took our leave, stopping at WaWa on the way home for gas, and a sandwich, another place Catherine had never been. Exciting stuff, heh?

Nancy and I were chatting last night about professional golfers, a subject she is very familiar with. She told me they hit 500 balls a day in practice. Can you imagine? Even the best do that. Is it any wonder, in my quest to become better, I keep shooting and shooting? Not 500 a day mind you, but still every day I practice, something that surprises people that don't know me well. Or, read this blog!

The time has come to pick up my weekly order, the fruits of all that labor. Here's hoping you have a lovely weekend with super weather as is predicted for our area. As to all the mothers reading this, a very Happy Mother's Day to you.

as always,


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