Fun with Feathers

Some days when I go out with my camera, I have a destination in mind.  Other days, I just set out hoping I’ll find something to shoot.  Today was one of those days.  And what I found was some feathers.





All Aboard!

Tavares Florida, calls itself America’s Seaplane City.  When you go there, you can usually see a seaplane or two lifting up of plopping down on Lake Dora.  That was the plan when I headed there this morning.

But hey, plans change.  Because not only does Tavares have planes, it has trains.  I was already at the rail station taking some photos when I heard the whistle announcing The Royal Palm Railroad pulling in.  Found out that the line runs on the weekends to nearby Eustis and Mount Dora offering rides with a 1940s theme.  I even pursuauded this cute little hostess who was welcoming passengers to pose for me.


Another fun day traveling to a few of the small Florida towns near my home.



Back in the day, I loved to go antiquing.  It was so much fun finding a new little shop and then browsing for interesting treasures from the past.  On a good day I’d find that perfect something to add to my collections or decorate my house.  Nowadays, when I go antiquing it’s not to collect items but to photograph them!  I took these shots the other day at a cute little place called Cottage Gardens in Wildwood, Fl.

In addition to two cluttered houses, (for antiques shops, that a good thing!)  there are lots of rusty, grungy things in an outside back yard.

My favorite “find” turned out to be the very first shot I took:rows of flower pots on an old bench in front of some old window pane with wavy glass. A very good day of antiquing!


Lotus Flower Trio

One of the things I love about photography is that you can start with the same simple subject (in this case a flower) and then depending on how you compose and process, end up with completely different images.   Here are three takes on the lotus.  They aren’t the same exact flower but all were shot the same day in the same location.

Mystery Solved

Couple of weeks ago I spotted these leggy brown pods growing near a pond.  What intrigued me was the way the black seeds were still entrapped, even though insects, perhaps,  had eaten away at the pods.  It reminded me of little bird cages!


After posting this image on the sites of several Facebook photography groups I belong to, and mentioning I had no idea what kind of plant this was, several people suggested milkweed.  But I didn’t think so.  It got me curious so I returned to the scene of the crime and realized that the pods were growing among plants with yellow blooms.  Ah ha.  More research and I discovered these are the pods of wild canna lilies.  Mystery solved!


Horsing Around at Sweetwater Wetlands Park

This past Saturday I decided a trip to one of my favorite nature haunts, Sweetwater Wetlands Park near Gainesville, was in order.  I was thinking I’d get some bird photos and maybe a few flower or landscape shots, but the big surprise was the Florida Cracker Horses that were calming grazing in and around the marsh.


I had no sooner left the parking lot, read the sign that said to proceed with caution around wild horses, when BAM!  there they were right in front of me!  So, preceding with caution, I started clicking away.  A few were on the gravel road that circles the wetlands, while a few more were actually in the swampy water, munching on grass.  People were wisely obeying the signs and giving them space, but they really could care less.



Gas Pump Still Life

This vintage gas pump surrounded by ornamental grass seemed to say “take my picture.”  So I did.  After adding a painterly effect to the photo, I used a squiggly brush in Photoshop to make a haphazard white border.

Some More Butterflies

I’ve been on a butterfly kick lately. There is a nice butterfly garden nearby with tons of butterfly-attracting plants which means tons of butterflies which means tons of butterfly photos. That means on rainy days (and boy have we been having rainy days) I can always cull out a few images that I’ve not yet worked on to see what I can come up with. Since these two were posing on the same little daisies, I decided to give them the same texture background.


A Summer Beauty

A few weeks back I went out about dusk and ended up at the The Villages Polo Field.  There were a few polo ponies grazing in the adjacent field and so I positioned myself by the fence and started shooting.  They were super friendly, I must say.  Each one came up to me to say hello and then, after allowing me to give them a few pets,  they meandered back to grazing.  I decided to get a little creative with this photo, adding the yellow flowers and butterfly along with a favorite texture.

The Markham Hotel

As Hubby and I were driving down Beach Blvd in Gulfport, Mississippi I spotted this fantastic old building out of the corner of my eye. It was definitely an OMG moment:  that rusty fire escape!  But we were headed to another destination so we didn’t stop.  But would you believe that on the way back to Biloxi, we decided on pizza and when I Googled us up a restaurant it was right across the street from my building!

A little research revealed the historic Markham Hotel opened in 1927 with a grand ballroom, pool and rooftop garden, and stayed in favor with the “in crowd” for many years.  However, as newer, more modern hotels came into vogue, the Markham’s popularity waned. It ceased being a hotel in the 1960s and was used for office space for a few years.  After Hurricane Katrina ripped off its roof and flooded the building, it was sold to an New Orleans attorney and left to deteriorate more.

I had fun experimenting with different grungy textures to accentuate the rustic feel of this building.  Oh, and the pizza was excellent!