Sunday, March 8, 2015


We recently went on a little excursion to one of the barrier islands off SW Florida's coast with visitors from 'up north'. The morning started off with somewhat unseasonably low temperatures and we tried to huddle down as the small boat whisked us across calm waters.

After taking 'the tram' (a pickup truck pulling a wagon) to a beach on the far side of the island we set up base camp for the day's stay. I'm not sure when this fellow arrived - in fact, he may have already been there when we set up - but he wasn't shy at all. I was able to walk to within a few feet of him as he posed to have his portrait taken. You might wonder how I know this was a male - any self-respecting female would have straightened her feathers before allowing a photo.

While waiting for the forecasted weather to arrive, we decided to explore a bit of the island. After following trails for some time we returned to 'camp' along the shoreline. By now the fog had crept in and covered the strait rather than giving way to the promised sunshine but we hardly noticed as we discovered some of the life forms along the shoreline and marveled at the power of the Creator.

everything fits neatly inside the protective shell including the eyes

this one looked ready for action as I stared him in the eyes

and these sea urchins looked like they would give an inattentive beachcomber a nasty surprise

Monday, January 19, 2015

A fair feather friend

First I want to thank all you lovely people who came by and left words of comfort and support on my previous post - they were much appreciated. I hope you'll excuse me for not having come by lately but my motivation was lacking. I'd always considered myself a fairly strong individual but Sasha's passing struck me (and my wife) particularly hard. I'm sure (or at least I've been assured) that time softens the sharp edges but for now some of the lustre has gone from the thought of going out on a photo shoot, alone. However, I still try to follow the ABCs of photography when we go out.

And so, recently we spent an afternoon on Boca Grande. The promised forecast of some sun and 'warmish' temperatures didn't materialize but I did meet an interesting fellow on the beach who had positioned himself closely behind a couple of fishermen. Unfortunately I had only taken a wide angle lens (17-40mm) vs the whole arsenal and so I had to rely on the stealth approach. You might imagine how hard that would be on a wide open beach. He seemed intent on watching the fishermen (in vain it turns out) for a scrap of fish to be thrown his way so I made it to within about 10' (3m for you metric types) of him before he decided I had encroached sufficiently on his margin of comfort. I had been taking some shots during my approach in case my next step would cause him to take flight.

At the 10' mark, however, he took a step away every time I took a step closer until he ended up standing in shallow water. And that's where he drew a 'line in the sand' apparently for when I tried to narrow the gap between us one more time he decided to leave for safer ground. I did manage to get a few shots of his getaway (which I cropped due to my focal length limitations). Check him out below.

where the 'stand-off' took place


Monday, December 29, 2014

The Saddest Decision ...

I'm writing this early because I won't be able to later ...

After over 13 years of love, loyalty, and companionship, the time has come for us to say goodbye to our beloved Sasha. I've been caught in a struggle between my head, which is telling me it's the right thing to do, and my heart which says we can keep looking after her for a while yet. We've known this day would be coming but I haven't been able to acknowledge it.

Sasha's spirit is still willing (and her 'attitude' is as apparent as ever) but her physical ailments have significantly impacted her quality of life. When I see her struggle to get up or hobble along for even a short distance or groan with pain when we have to roll her over to sleep, I know the time has come. When she looks at me trustingly with her big soft brown eyes or tucks her head under my chin when I sit beside her on the floor, my conviction wavers.

The wheels have been set in motion, however, and I have to keep telling myself it's the right decision. And yet ...

Come celebrate her life ... (I had earlier written 'commiserate with me' but I think it's more appropriate to remember how she's enriched our lives):

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Juxtaposition (jŭkˌstə-pə-zĭshˈən)

I hope I can repeat after Paul (from Philippians 4:11) "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." 

Our daughter's place - where we'll be in 4 weeks:

Where we currently are:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fallen Leaves

Why should I be the first to fall
Of all the leaves on this old tree?
Though sadly soon I know that all
Will lose their hold and follow me.
While my birth-brothers bravely blow,
Why should I be first to go?

Why should I be the last to cling
Of all the leaves on this bleak bough?
I've fluttered since the fire of Spring
And I am worn and withered now.
I would escape the Winter gale
And sleep soft-silvered by a snail.

When swoop the legions of the snow
To pitch their tents in roaring weather
We fallen leaves will lie below
And rot rejoicingly together;
And from our rich and dark decay
Will laugh our brothers of the May.

[Robert William Service 1874 - 1958]