So what else did I photograph during this particular sojourn to Florida? Plenty. I admit much of it was for a special Mars and Darwin book I plan to give to my parents this year, but there were still moments worthy of sharing here.
(As a matter of fact, that is my husband being silly at a playground. Why do you ask? :-))
We explored new places this time around, including DuPuis Nature Preserve in western Martin County. I drove by the place many times in my late teens and early 20s but never actually visited. I finally got there on our last full day in the wang. I also took my husband to the Port Mayaca Cemetery to show him the mass grave for the victims of the 1928 hurricane. I had been there a few times before and was kind of surprised at the changes I saw with the place. It was my husband’s first time there, though, so I set aside my surprise to show him around. By that point, though, I’d already been handed a couple other surprises.
During this trip, we discovered a park in Sewell’s Point that I had no idea even existed; stoppedd by Bayside Marketplace only to find it way more crowded than I expected; and tiptoed around at least a dozen Portuguese Man O Wars. These new adventures provided contrast to revisiting some of our old haunts. We probably won’t return for at least two more years, and that’s a trip I expect to have a lot of new adventures. Until then, enjoy these slices from South Florida.
I have a lot to catch up on, and for the sake of getting it done I’m not going in chronological order. So let’s kick off with something fun. By fun, I mean birds. I love photographing birds. You should know that by now.
Not surprisingly, one of my favorite things to do when I visit Florida is photograph all the birdies I encounter. If my husband and I are at a park, we’ll trail birds as long as possible. Well, I’ll tail the birds, and he’ll watch me. 😀 The birds amuse us both, but our reactions are far different.
We visited a lot of different places in Florida but didn’t see a huge variety of birds. That was a bit of a bummer, but I managed with what I found. Between beach-dwelling pigeons and a crap ton of little blue herons, I had a field day with photographing these little dinosaur descendants. Had I seen more varieties (including cormorants, roseate spoonbills and sandhill cranes) my head would have most likely exploded. On that note, enjoy my birdy shots! I know I have tons of fun with them. 🙂
As expected, I photographed things besides the livestock at the fair. Whenever we go, I always make sure to at least stop by the Ag-Hor building for some shots.
This year’s visit was a little disappointing in the fruits department, but I am generally happy with my vegetable photos. I also got to see dahlias instead of bonsai/orchid exhibits, which was a nice change of pace. Dahlias are fun to photograph. Their blooms can vary drastically, so I get to experiment with capturing a variety of patterns and textures. Aside from that, I didn’t get as many good photos in other exhibit halls this year as I have in the past. My stomach problems got worse during the times we were in the halls. I got some good pictures, but I didn’t get great pictures. On the other hand, said problems did eventually resolve themselves as the sun went down. That means some awesome nighttime shots! Hopefully next year I’ll be in better shape and will remember to get photos of things aside from the animals and Ag-Hor exhibits. 🙂
A job might be looming for me, but until then, I continue to make local visits and take photos! This batch goes back to mid-June during a day trip to western Wisconsin/eastern Minnesota. It was kind of a warm day, and there was lingering humidity from an earlier batch of rain showers.
My husband and I started our day in the Osceola, WI area for a train trip along the St. Croix River. It was a brilliant day to spend time riding the rails, and there were definitely things to see. That said, we did clip along at points, which meant some of my pictures didn’t turn out all that great. On top of that, my husband sat by the window most of the time, which meant I had to move around a bit to find a halfway decent view. There was also the fact that while there were things to see, a lot of my pictures looked the same or would not necessarily appeal to random passers-by of this photo blog. I did also take some pictures in and around the station. There were a couple groups on the same train as us, so there was a bit of a crowding issue at points. That meant there were people random popping into the frame no matter what I did. 😦
After our train ride, we hopped in the car and went back to Minnesota for a tour of the Franconia Sculpture Garden. It didn’t look that big as I approached it, but the grounds are quite expansive. That was helpful for pictures because I could avoid people even though there was a pretty decent sized crowd there (even outside the children’s workshop being held that day). The sculptures were pretty wild (much more outlandish and riskier in scope than what you might find at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden), and I could have been there all day taking pictures. Unfortunately, a hole in the bottom of my left sneaker let in some of the standing water that was still hanging around the garden. Thus my motivation to stay out and take pictures took a pretty deep nosedive. I still managed to get quite a few shots, though. Narrowing it down to a reasonable amount for the blog here proved to be quite a challenge!
I admit I have a problem. Okay, I have lots of problems, but that’s not the point. When it comes to photography, I find that I enjoy shooting miniatures. This feels a bit like a cop out to me since these miniatures are often posed a certain way thus taking away some of the work I have to do to set up a shot. Most of the time, I encounter these miniatures when visiting railroad museums with my husband (who is very much a train enthusiast). While he’s taking snapshots of the actual train cars and reading all the placards, I’m scoping out a part of the miniature displays where I can set up shop and work on focusing. It’s a pretty good routine. Now these pictures were taken with Cameron way back in September of last year. I have photographed other miniatures since that time, and you’ll see them in the next installation. I’m not sure when that will be, but I figure I’ll cover some other aspects oh photography before delving into more photos of miniatures.
The thing about miniatures is that I actually don’t encounter them that often. When I do, so far it has been confined to model train sets. The thing is, miniatures aren’t all that easy to find in the United States outside of the model train subculture. There are some exceptions, but anyone looking for variety (me) will have to go to Europe. One miniature collection I’d love to revisit is Madurodam. I visited the Netherlands when I was seven, and one of my favorite events during that visit was going to Madurodam. I have a number of photos from that visit, but I didn’t take them. I’d like to go back and photograph the exhibits myself. I’d especially love to photograph the replicated Schiphol Airport. The planes taxied down the runway but alas did not fly. It was a very captivating sight for a child, and I’d probably have lots of fun photographing it myself. Until then, I’ll seek out nearby miniatures. They’re a nice change of pace photography-wise.
Our Illinois visit took us from Springfield to Chicago, where we spent a few days playing (tacky) tourist while almost mingling with the locals. We hit up the museums and zoos while deciding where to eat by actually wandering the streets of the Gold Coast neighborhood where we lodged for a few nights.
I wouldn’t be inclined to call the experience life-changing, but it was nice to go half-local in our jaunt to the Windy City. Admittedly, the weather was kind of crappy most of our stay. This really only affected our visit to the Willis Tower (which was sabotaged by fog). Not surprisingly, the bluest skies appeared the day we were scheduled to leave, but we were able to enjoy a sunny walk around downtown in the morning hours (after stuffing ourselves stupid at Hash House a Go-Go). The only other hiccup was that my battery died in the middle of our zoo visit, which meant I only got a couple crappy cell pone pictures in the aviary. That was a shame, as the aviary was very active during our visit. Those minor issues aside, I captured a lot of things in Chicago. I can’t help but wonder if the personal duress contributed to this.
Oi! I know it’s been quite a while since I last posted. Truth be told, life has been kicking my rump since my birthday (the end of last month). On top of that, I’m going on vacation…today! I’m heading out to the east coast to revisit some old stomping grounds. I spent a lot of summers in New Jersey during my childhood, and I ended up venturing out to Philly more as I got older. I’ll be posting photos from that adventure sometime in the next month or so. We’ll see what the timing is like there since I also have a trip to Rochester at the end of next month. 2013 isn’t leaving me with a whole lot in the way of free time!
That said, I did get out to the Stone Arch Arts Fest on Father’s Day and almost had my head explode at all the antique cars I could photograph. The fact that there are 70s models showing up at classic car shows is almost like taunting. Next thing I know there will be 80s cars and then 90s cars I remember riding around while in school. It’s official. I’m getting old. In the meantime, here’s what happened when I set my camera on more vivid and pounded the pavement for two hours to get some automotive shots.