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.


144: Playing Possum

(Walking on the pond.)

Today we’re having the kind of weather that afflicts us with spring fever.  It’s in the 40s, which feels almost warm enough to break out the summer clothes.  Well, okay, maybe not quite that warm.  There is a brisk wind blowing, keeping things just slightly cooler than it feels like it should be.  The air smells fresh with the slightest scent of false springtime perfuming it.

(Not a sign of spring.)

There is so much melting and thawing going on that it sounds like there is a river running under the snow pack.  The birds sound happier than usual, and we had a most unusual visitor join us for lunch.  It was doubly unusual since this particular creature — the opossum — is nocturnal.  Perhaps the warm up confused the poor thing.

(Heading towards the woods.)

I first saw our visitor while M and I were having lunch.  It waddled up to the kennel/cage we use as a platform for one of the bird feeders.  I think it was trying to get to the suet hanging on the outside of the cage, but it walked into the cage instead and couldn’t figure out how to get to it from there.  After spending about five minutes trying to dig under the cage, it gave up and walked off to one of the bushes near the house.  I thought that was the last I’d see of it.

I went out for my walk shortly after that and guess who I met along the way?  It was our lunch guest, the opossum, strolling in the center of the pond.  It eventually made its way to the woods, but I had plenty of time to watch and take photos.  I don’t think it even noticed me there.

(Moonlit woods?)

I was in the woods shortly before spotting the opossum on the pond, having fun with different settings on my camera.  I mostly played with the white balance.

(Woods at sunset?)

The first photo of the woods was taken with the white balance set to tungsten.  For the second photo I used the open shade setting.  I also fiddled with both in Photoshop because I’m working on a series with an otherworldly feel to it.

Today is day 3 of the 10-day challenge.  I did not want to get up at 6:00am.  Nope.  Not at all.  I hadn’t slept well and wanted nothing more than to try to sleep for a few more hours.  I finally made a deal with myself.  In exchange for getting up and meeting my yoga commitment for the day, I could take a nap later.  Sometimes you have to bribe yourself with something sweet, like a nap.

(Dream sky.)

The yoga was good.  I did a hip opener series, something I badly needed.  All the cross-country skiing is good for building muscle in the lower body, but not so good for flexibility.  I felt much better by the time I finished.

No CD today.  We’re listening to Radio Paradise.

(Sky dreaming.)

69: Capturing sunlight

(Sunlight in the grass.)

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.

~ Aaron Rose

I love the light this time of year.  The days may not be as long but the light we do get can be amazing.  It’s almost as if we get extra “golden hours” to make up for the shorter amount of daylight.

(Tangled with sunlight.)

Obviously I can’t go around pointing my camera directly at the sun.  Well, I could (and I have) but it’s not a good idea.  Most of the time it doesn’t work.  The flares that result from all that bright light can be interesting although usually what comes out is a terribly bright, terribly washed-out-by-the-light halo effect.

(The high light.)

During yesterday’s walk my eyes were drawn towards the grasses and dried flowers, the lines of sunlight and shadows, and the sparkles on the water.  It was a fortuitous time of day.  The light was almost perfect.

(Long shadows in the woods.)

The area pictured above is where my dule of doves reside.  They finally located the log with the grooves in it.  The one where I’ve been putting out bird seed.  It is probably my imagination but the doves didn’t seem to go as far away when they flew off yesterday.  One even came back just after I poured more bird seed into my makeshift feeder.


Today’s walk wasn’t as brilliant.  It is warm, windy, and wet outside so it was another under-the-umbrella walk for me.

(Lit up in the wildflower meadow.)

I did take a few photos today.  I’ll get to those in a minute.  Yesterday was so pretty that I’m not ready to leave it yet and switch to the gray, rainy day.

(Sparkles at the back of the pond.)

(The sun, just out of sight.)

all this time
the sun never says to the earth,

‘You owe me.’
Look what happens
with a love like that —
it lights the whole

~ Hafiz

Today’s Walk (the official version)

It’s close to 60 degrees here in the Bogs today.  I gotta tell ya, it’s one of those days when “Bogs” suits the area well.  We must have had a lot of rain overnight.  According to one place I looked, we’ve had 3.19 inches for the month of November.  All that precipitation is not helping with the pond draw down.

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I found Winter’s footprint while I was out and about.  I’ll show it to you in just a second.  First I should warn you that it involves death.  I’ve been pondering the depiction of death on my blog as part of my year-long journey/commitment.  Should I show it?  Or not?

Since the start of my commitment I have encountered death four times on my daily walks.  The deer (which I did show), an oppossum (which I didn’t show), and today there were two field mice who look to be some sort of casualties of drowning or last night’s gusty winds blowing over the pedal boat.

Death is part of the cycle, especially this time of year.  None of us seem to mind looking at the leaves on the trees as they go out in a blaze of glory.  Maybe that’s because it is only a shedding of leaves and not the death of the tree.  But I don’t believe many of us want to see the body of a dead animal.

So.  You’ve been disclaimered.  I cropped out as much of the field mouse as I could and still retain the impression of a footprint.  The ice was in this shape when I found it.

(Perhaps you would never have noticed the mouse if I hadn’t mentioned it?)

46: From place to place

(A child’s rainbow)

M and I are home again.  The cats were very happy to see us.  Well, not really.  They were napping.  I’m not sure they even realized we were gone since it was such a quick trip.

(Miss Madison)

This morning’s Thanksgiving breakfast was a lovely feast.  There was an assortment of breakfast foods including the much-anticipated chocolate-chip pancakes.  When Emma throws a party, she goes all out.

(Time to rest.)

Emma had a lot going on yesterday, including going to a concert with her mom last night.  Both of them must be exhausted.

M and I hung out with Maddy and her dad again during the evening while Emma and B were out enjoying the concert.  I got my very first Maddy hugs last night.  I’m still thrilled and excited and all that good stuff.  I’ve held Maddy, of course, in the past when she was a baby but now that she’s a toddler, she can be more than a little shy with us.  Part of the reason for that is we don’t see Maddy and her sister as often as we’d like.  Everyone is busy and life gets in the way.  That makes these get-togethers all the more special for us.

Just before we left last night I asked Maddy for a hug and she not only gave me a hug, but she stayed there, ready to drop off to sleep.  It was nice.  I was afraid I’d have to win her over again this morning.  Nope.  She gave me another big hug before we left to come home.

(Cornstalks in an Amish farm field.)

We pass through some Amish country on our way to and from Columbus when we go to visit the kids.  Every fall I think about stopping to take some photos of the cornstalks.  This year I finally remembered.  I need to be a little taller to get a better photo.  I couldn’t shoot over the fence.  I would have tried to get closer and shoot through it but the way was paved with poison ivy.

(There are still leaves on the linden tree.)

I went out for my walk shortly after arriving home.  It’s a mild November day here in the Bogs.  If we got snow while we were away, there is no sign of it now.  The sun is shining, there are a few high, thin clouds, the temperature is in the 40’s, and it’s a little breezy.  The sunshine, exercise, and fresh air were a good combination after all the car time.

(Creek-side reflections.)

I came across a dead possum at the beginning of my walk, on the path that runs through the once-hayfield, future-woods.  I’m not sure why it was dead but it has obviously been a source of food for some of the other animals around here.

(The shadows grow longer.)

I guess that’s about it from the Bogs for now.  I have some unpacking to do and then I should see about making something for dinner tonight.

I hope your weekend was as wonder-filled as mine.  😀

(Today’s view of the pond.)

Art attack: At the end of the day…

(178:  Maple tree at sunset.)

. . .  the shadows grow long.

Thanks, Kel, for another Art Attack prompt.