Thursday, June 9, 2016

5-12-16---bye bye Florida!

You would think we would have learned from the kids' and hired young bodies to load our truck, too!  But somehow that didn't happen!!  So it was a long, very tiring day!!!  It started out frustratingly when we went to pick up our 18' truck and car trailer from Budget.  Ken went with them because they were cheaper then U-haul.  Now we know why---they may or may not have what you reserve!  Even though we reserved 12 moving blankets over a month in advance, they didn't have any---and didn't bother to tell us in advance that they wouldn't have them.  So I got to make a special trip to Harbor Freights to buy them.  So much for our discounted truck.  But we do get to keep the blankets!  Now we just need to move a few more times.  We dropped the car trailer off by Angie and Josh's house then loaded the rest of the stuff in their garage into our truck, then went to our apartment to finish loading the truck.  Half our garage was also full of their stuff.  At first look, we thought the truck would be way to big, but we managed to fill it pretty well.
They configured the apartments pretty well for moving trucks!
 one of the thousand and one trips down the stairs with stuff.  Did I mention you can hire 2 young dudes to do that for $150!!!!

5-11-16 --- packing up:

Time to get busy packing up.  I didn't figure it would take too long since we've only been here a year and only had a 1 bedroom apartment, but I was a little surprised at how much stuff we did seem to accumulate.
Clothes sort of packed.
 closet somewhat cleared

5-10-16 --- one last trip to Wakodahatchee!

We actually have the apartment until June 2nd, but since we have to be back in St. Louis for a wedding before May 21st, we found an apartment in Buford, Ga. that we can move into on May 14th.   Couldn't see going to the wedding, then going back to Coral Springs just to have to pack up and hit the road again.  So after getting back from Granddog sitting, we only had a couple days before we had to load up our stuff (and the rest of Angie and Josh's stuff), and hit the road again.  But first, I took the time to head back up to Wakodahatchee one last time.  I just hope that by the time we've lived in Georgia this long, I find as many interests there as I have here!
So neat getting to see the wetlands with lots of greenery.
 another young great blue

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

5-4 through 5-10 --- I'm off to Atlanta to Granddog sit:

The time finally came for Angie and Josh to get the rest of their furniture and officially be done with Florida.  So I flew up to Atlanta to sit with the dogs while they came back to get their stuff.  Angie actually came out a few days earlier and spent most of the time packing.  When Josh flew down on the 4th, I flew up to Atlanta.   Since we were basically passing each other in the air, he drove Angie's car to the airport and left it in a day lot.  Of course, after about of month of beautiful sunny warm weather, severe thunderstorms hit today!  In fact, they loaded the plane, pushed away, then said we were going to sit on the tarmac for an hour or so and wait for the storm to subside.  But it really didn't even get bad while we sat there.  No lightening, just a little drizzle; but lots of dark clouds heading our way.  I guess there was a little break in the weather pattern because all of a sudden they said, buckle up, we're leaving.  The ride through the clouds was quite bumpy, but we made it.
 Where we sat for awhile.
heading through the clouds

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5-3-16 --- my last Coral Springs Camera Club meeting:

Today was the day for more judging of pictures.  I submitted 2 digital ones.  Usually I printed out 1 or 2 for that part of the judging, too, but I left after the digital judging was done.  The Blues hockey team are in their 2nd round of play offs and Angie was coming over to watch tonight's game with us.  I thought about not going to the meeting, but I have actually made some friends there so wanted to say good bye.  The first couple times I went, everyone seemed stand offish.  Later I figured out those were basically the ones that have been members for 15+ years.  I guess they aren't going to waste their time on new comers until they're there for awhile.  But I did enjoy talking to several of the other photographers. 
This month's theme was "landscapes".  The hard part for me is---which one do I pick!!!!???? 
Ultimately I went with one from an excursion up into the Yukon while on an Alaskan cruise.  As has happened before, it showed up much lighter on the projected screen then on my computer.  I got dinged for it being too light, but he gave it a 9.
 I also entered a digital picture in the open devision.  Open can be anything.  The one 10 I've gotten in the 6 or 7 months I've been there was a sports picture I submitted---go figure.   Anyway---he actually sounded really impressed with this picture---interesting, colorful, well composed, ... .  Then he gave it a 9, even though he had nothing negative to say about it.  But, again, it did show much lighter then on my computer. 
I will say, I thought a lot of the landscape submissions weren't very good---composition and subjectwise.  I would think that would be the easiest thing to take!   Hopefully I'll find a camera club up by Lake Lanier.  Even though the critiquing was somewhat frustrating at times, I do think I learned a few things.
5-2-16  sunset bike ride along the new Loxahatchee bike path:

Don't know if it's officially opened to bikers, but I saw some on it last time we went there and we're running out of time here so I suggested we go for a sunset ride.  As soon as the sun starts dropping down in the sky, it really feels great out here.  We didn't get too far.  By the time we got over to Loxahatchee, it was after 7pm.  Fortunately we were heading against the wind the first part of our ride.  Only made it a little over 3 miles before we decided we better be heading back since there are no lights out that way. 
Here the buzzards are scattering away from us.
Sort of an odd ride.  One side was mostly concrete down to low brush. 
The other side had a canal next to it.  Did see one gator and a few birds.  
 where we turned around we came upon a road.  If we had stayed on the berm path for another 10 miles, we should have come to the main Loxahatchee Federal Park entrance.  I believe there is a path going all the way around the lake now for something like 50 miles.  A month or so ago I did the path going the other direction which was much more interesting.
 heading back hoping to see a great sunset.
 Ken following along
 not the best of sunsets.
That was about the extent of it.
Going to miss the flat biking of south Florida.  But at least we have a Preserve with trails adjacent to our new place in Buford. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

5-1-16 --- Sunset at Green Cay:

I've been curious about going to Green Cay for sunset, but the sign at the entrance always scared me.  It said open from sunrise until sunset and there were gates.  Didn't want to be there and have the gates locked.  But I kept seeing pictures from sunset that other people took, so I concocted a plan----Ken would go, too, and wait for me outside the gates.  So we went to dinner out that direction, then headed to Green Cay.  Got there about 2 hours early, so Ken decided to walk around the boardwalks with me.  At one point, we asked someone about the gates locking at sunset.  He assured us that we will be able to leave, just noone will be able to enter.  So Ken lived dangerously and stayed for sunset, too.
The boardwalk entrance.
Since I was planning to take sunset pictures, I had my wide angle lens today.
I was surprised how much water was gone!  Usually a lot of the greens are in water.
 this is the berm that was above water, now there's a lot more above water.
 First we did the mile long boardwalk.  This is looking back towards the entrance.
 some of the pretty wild flowers. 
one of the pavilions along the boardwalk.  
The pavilion use to be over water.
This use to be mostly water all the way to the entrance building.
 We heard that the water was low at Wakodahatchee (a couple miles away) because of a bird nest built in the flood zone.  I wonder about that now after seeing how low Green Cay has gotten, too.  We've also heard the excess water is being sold to golf courses.  We haven't had rain in a while and it's beginning to show.
another view of the dried up water way.
At least there were a few areas that still have water.
 another pavilion in the forested area.
some more pretty wild flowers.
I still enjoyed the walk.  There's still a lot to look at.
here a turtle and a tri-colored heron are eyeing each other.
 this use to be one big lake, too.
This dead tree is usually in water.
 The almost dry waterbed made for an interesting turtle trail.
some moorhens wandering around in the mud.
creative moorhen foot prints.

more of the board walk.
and more wild flowers.
the east end of the boardwalk.

 it was getting late enough we started hearing lots of frogs, but didn't see any. 
 There aren't too many birds here anymore.  They all seem to like Wakodahatchee better, but there were quite a few green herons here.  This was the 4th or 5th one I saw.
Then this one flew in.
after doing the mile loop, we still had quite awhile before sunset, so ended up doing about half of the half mile loop, too (up to where it meets the boardwalk we already did).
 another berm and lots of greenery where the water use to be.
 heading back to the entrance.
 one of the diving birds that entertained us while we waited for sunset. (Royal tern)
back to the main entrance.
 looking east from the patio in back of the main entrance building.
a purple gullinule decided to join us for awhile.
The sun peaking over the main entrance building.
 one of the birds diving for dinner.
a Royal tern getting ready to dive 
not the most spectacular of sunsets, but somewhere different for a change.

even saw "Crooked Jaw" while watching sunset.  Apparently he's had the crooked jaw for quite some time, but it doesn't seem to affect it's eating.  He's a big gator.  Noone seems to know how he injured his jaw but it's been that way for years.

one last picture.
and we're out of there.  Didn't even have to spend the night!  The auto gate opened to let us out.