Goodbye Acadia National Park

Near the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. Acadia National Park, Maine.

M and I are heading home tomorrow.  I am so glad we had the opportunity to visit and explore Acadia National Park and a little bit of Maine.  I’ve had this area on my list of places to visit for years.  Many thanks to the park rangers and volunteers in the park.  Everyone has been friendly and extremely helpful.

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169: Pictures of nature inside a camera*

Today's sunrise

After watching the sunrise this morning I turned on the television to watch one of those morning news programs.  And after seeing what happened in Japan, I don’t feel in the mood for the originally planned fun post.  I’ll save it for another day.

The beach at sunset yesterday

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

The pier at sunset

Today was our last full day in Florida.  M and I are heading home tomorrow. We had amazing weather throughout most of our trip.  Today was no exception.

We’re going to the square (or whatever they call it) this evening.  They have live jazz music in the square on Friday evenings.  It will be a nice evening for it.

That’s about it from Florida.  I have tons of photos to go through so I’m sure you’ll be seeing and reading more about it in the weeks to come.  It will help keep me warm while we finish out winter.

Flying away

I’ll see you again from the Bogs.

*Another search engine term title.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow

This week’s photo challenge (as you can tell by today’s post title) is Shadow.  One of the great things about being in Florida is all the sunshine.  The great thing about all the sunshine is it made it relatively easy for me to capture some shadows for this week’s  Weekly Photo Challenge brought to us by The Daily Post.

As I sit here typing, the early morning sun is creating all sorts of shadows and patterns in the room.  I’m tempted to get out the camera and take a few more shots, but that way leads to never getting this post ready to publish.

We had another beautiful sunrise this morning.  There were clouds on the horizon again.  I like watching the light play subtly on the clouds as the sun makes its way above the horizon line.

Day 168

Meeting my outdoor commitment here in Florida has been easy.  Today, though, brought some storms and by tomorrow it will be significantly cooler.

This morning's sunrise

M and I did get out and swim for a while this morning.  Since there was no lightning to go with the heavy rain, we figured once we’re wet, we’re wet.  Why bother to seek shelter?  Especially if the idea was to get wet in the first place?

Storm moving out to sea

Around noon some serious looking clouds moved in on us from the west.  We postponed our walk to lunch until there was a break in the rain.  (Have I mentioned that this is another car-less vacation for us?  We’re becoming experts at the car-less vacation.  We get loads of exercise that way and never have to worry about parking or paying to park.)

I really enjoyed watching the way the clouds and rain moved over us and then out across the ocean.  It’s not something I get to see everyday, nor is it something I would usually get to see so well demarcated.

Another interesting facet of the storm was a large gathering of birds.  There were the usual gulls along with an assortment of terns, pigeons, and turkey vultures (the turkey vultures, we were told, are wintering here).  It was difficult to capture in still photography.  I wish I’d thought to turn on the video but I was busy watching and trying to take the occasional photo.

Wind on the waves

The ocean calmed down considerably once the first round of heavy rain and wind moved through.  The temperature dropped almost 20 degrees.

After the storm

The clouds move in, the sun shines, the rain falls while the sun is shining and makes you wonder where on earth (or in heaven) can it be coming from.  The snowbirds have a two-word phrase for it all:  That’s Florida.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that since we arrived.

We met a man from Canada a few days ago who explained to us that we are not snowbirds.  A snowbird is someone who stays for a month or more (he stays for 3 months every year).  Since we are here for only 10 days, that makes us snowflakes.

Funny.


167: Bogs boots in the tropics

This morning's sunrise

The sunrise today looked a lot like yesterday’s.  There were lots of clouds and I had to wait for the sunbeams to shoot through the clouds.  It must have rained overnight.  There were puddles on the balcony and the sand was wet.

It got windy again, although not as windy as it was those first few days.  There were some pretty big waves out there this morning.

Lizard

This is not the curlytail lizard that was sitting with me on the pool deck yesterday, but I think it is a curlytail lizard.  I spotted this guy on our way to lunch.  He was hanging out near one of those expensive-looking, gated, condos-on-the-beach.  I often wonder about those places.  I never see people there.  Maybe no one can afford them.

Curlytail lizard on the beach

This is not the guy from the pool deck either.  But I did catch this one with its tail curled.  It was kind enough to sit there long enough for me to take several shots.  I’m having similar luck with the birds around here too.  The wildlife doesn’t seem to mind people too much.

Skimboarding

Yesterday evening we watched some guys skimboarding.  A couple of them were quite good at it.  A couple of them were not but I give them lots of credit for trying no matter how many times they fell down.  It was all very entertaining and looked like fun.

I’m going to wrap this up.  I keep looking out at the ocean, my mind and spirit wanting to be outside rather than in here.  I hear winter will be welcoming us back to the Bogs when we return.  Might as well enjoy the warmth of Florida’s great outdoors while I can.

8)

Post title once again courtesy of my search engine terms.  My thanks to go out to the folks who come up with such great topics.


163: Beach watching

Sunrise this morning was lovely.  The winds were still blowing and gusting like crazy, and there were a few times when I thought I might get blown away, but it’s still wonderful to be near the ocean and watch as the sun appears to rise from the water.

(Fake sky, real palm trees.)

Today was moving day for us.  You see, the resort where we stayed last year and moved to today rents apartments/condos on a weekly basis only.  We decided we would add two extra days to our stay this year since a one-week stay means two of those days are taken up by travel.  We wanted a full week to enjoy the beach.  So we had to book two nights at another place.  Nothing is terribly cheap here, especially if you have an ocean view.  But we didn’t do too badly.  The room was small, but served its purpose.

Now that we’re settled into an apartment, we can do a little less eating out.  That’s a good thing.  Although we’re getting plenty of exercise, I’m not sure it makes up for the calories of all the food we get served in a restaurant.  Not that I belong to the clean plate club anymore.  Still, sometimes it’s hard to resist the food I intended to leave behind or take home, especially when the waiter or waitress takes their time about clearing the plates.  The longer it sits there, the more likely I am to eat it.  I suppose that’s why the diet gurus recommend asking for a take-home box and halving the food as soon as it is served.

We did have to spend a few hours waiting to get into the apartment.  Check out time at our hotel was 11:00am and check in at the apartment was 3:00pm.  So we sat on the deck, watching the surfers, the waves, the people on the beach, and the storm clouds as they approached.  It rained like crazy for a little while.  I hear Florida really needs the rain (and there are some wildfires south of here) so I’m not complaining.  Mother Earth will do as she wills.

I enjoy watching the surfers so I am doubly not complaining about the wind and big waves.  It brought the surfers out today.  It has also brought out the kite surfers.  I have more than a few photos of kite surfers, too, but haven’t gotten around to uploading them yet.

I decided I would much rather show you this guy, skiing on the beach.  The first time he went by, I was so surprised and so busy watching him that I didn’t grab the camera in time (I had it tucked away in case of rain).  I almost missed him on the way back, too.  It was just starting to rain when he passed by again.  Under his hood, by the way, is a thick winter hat.

I looked it up and apparently there are people who miss winter so much that they are sand skiing.  Who’d have thunk it?

(Man ‘o War)

M and I have not spent much time in the ocean yet.  That is partially due to the roughness of the waves and the riptides.  The other part of the blame goes to the jellyfish.  That’s not exactly true.  It’s due to the Man ‘o War, which is not a true jellyfish.  There were many washed up on the beach our first day here and I’ve been giving them a wide berth during our walks on the beach.

I’m not going to get around to finishing up the story of our tour of the Intracoastal Waterway.  Unless we have a day that’s too stormy to get out and about, it’s unlikely I’ll find the time.

I feel spoiled.  As I sit here typing I can watch the waves and clouds (another storm is coming) roll in.  The water is an amazing shade of turquoise, and not nearly as rough and choppy as it has been.

Life is really good.  🙂


162: Blustery sunrise

(Have a seat and watch the sun come up.)

Greetings from Lauderdale By The Sea!  I know I posted the same greeting yesterday, but that was an auto-post composed at home in the Bogs.  Today I’m posting from Florida.  Yay!

We arrived late yesterday afternoon after relatively smooth flights.  I was particularly impressed with how well the pilots handled the landing in Fort Lauderdale where there were sustained winds of 25 mph.  Good job, guys!

It was warm (near 80), sunny, and incredibly windy. After surviving two flights to get here (in spite of my body’s attempts to kill me with panic attacks), I realized it was the cab ride from the airport to our hotel that I should have worried about.  Our driver must be new at his job as well as fairly new to this country as he barely spoke English.  He didn’t seem to know where he was going.  We provided him with Mapquest directions.  Instead of just reading them and then driving, he started driving, directions in one hand, cell phone in the other.  At one point he was driving, looking at our directions, and talking on the cell phone.  He went south instead of north.  We got him turned around and finally he decided to follow the directions M was giving him.  There were a few hairy moments when the driver tried to weave in and out of some traffic, but we arrived alive.

The wind continued to bluster and blow all night, rattling doors and windows, and throwing a few of the pool chairs into the pool.  What is odd about this wind is that it’s the kind of wind I associate with storms or an approaching hurricane, but shortly after sunrise the clouds cleared out and it was sunny with a lovely clear blue sky.  It’s been blowing at about 22 mph today, with stronger gusts that just about knock you over.

I got up early to watch the sunrise, something I love doing when we’re at the beach on the east coast.  I processed the photos through Picnik, mostly so I could resize them and save them to the computer as WordPress was giving me grief when I tried to post the photos using my Flickr account.  I don’t feel like spending all day trying to figure it out.  It might have had something to do with the hack attack.  Or not.  Who knows?

Whatever the case, I can’t see them well on the laptop so I have no idea how good or bad they might be, but they give you a general idea of how lovely it was this morning.

M and I have taken a few walks on the beach since arriving here yesterday.  I forgot how difficult it is to walk the beaches here.  It’s a little like trudging through the snow, only warmer.  Even the sand near the water, which is typically hard packed on most other beaches I’ve visited, is soft and you sink in with each step.  It’s a great workout.

We went swimming (in the pool — the ocean is much too rough, with riptides, choppy water, and jellyfish galore) this morning and then spent the afternoon on a 3-hour tour of the Intracoastal Waterway (for more on the Intracoastal Waterway, see my post from last year).  We got on the Pelican Hopper, a free shuttle bus that runs around Lauderdale By The Sea, and took that to Shooters, a bar/restaurant on the Waterway where we had lunch and then hopped on a water taxi.

I would love to tell you all about it, but I’m exhausted and want to get this post published.  Hopefully I’ll find some time tomorrow.  If not, once I go through the photos at home, I’ll go back and fill in the details.

Even with the ferocious wind, it’s been a great day filled with lots of sunshine, warm temps, and fresh air.  We spent more time outdoors than in.  Meeting my outdoor commitment here will be a piece of cake.