Wednesday, October 1, 2014

St Mary's Episcopal Church

St Mary's Episcopal Church

St Mary's Episcopal Church in Rockport, Massachusetts has been open and running since 1872

"The first services were held in the Odd Fellow's Hall building in 1872, with the Rev. D. Reid, the Rector of St John Church in Gloucester officiating. In 1885,  19 members organized as St. Mary's Mission. Bishop Phillip Brooks inaugurated services in the present building in 1892." (

St Mary's Episcopal Church Window Detail.
After some extensive searching, I was unable to find out any other information on this beautiful church, unfortunately.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This shot was taken from in the car through the window, while the car was on the highway going through South Boston. I was amazed that it came out as well as it did.

Does anyone know the name of this church? I tried for hours looking it up on Google, but couldn't find a match. Any help will be appreciated.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dahlia Bud

Back side of Dahlia Bud
This photo was shot two days before it came in as a full bloom. I like the colors of the backside and the freshness and firmness of the bud. There are about 20 different types or species of Dahlia. This particular species when in full bloom are deep pink in color, like the outer petals around the edges, and round like a pom-pom. They are stunning flowers.

This image was captured at my son and daughter-in-law's home in South Windsor, CT.

Let me know in the comments what you think of it.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

View From the Porch

View from the porch
My son and daughter-in-law's house has an upstairs porch. Last year, there were a lot of tall trees that hid this beautiful view. When I spotted the scene, I knew at once that I had to capture it. This shot was taken through the glass on the porch. The building in the foreground is their shed. It's built to look exactly like their home.

We don't see many mountains in Florida, so this was a real treat for me. That's one thing I miss about New England. Connecticut sits in a valley between 4 mountain ranges: The Berkshires, Hanging Hills, Metacomic Ridge, and the Taconic Mountains. Although I was raised in this area, my Geography isn't great. I couldn't tell you what mountain range that is in the background. As a matter of fact, if I didn't look up the ranges on Wiki, I wouldn't have known there were 4 different mountain ranges. It doesn't help that the locals have differing names for these ranges. Of the 4, the only one I've ever heard of is The Berkshires. We had names such as Case Mountain, Meridan Mountain, Talcott Mountain, and Sleeping Giant. I believe Sleeping Giant is part of Meridan Mountain. Maybe I should have studied my Geography or taken the time to learn about my state when I was younger.

If anyone from CT sees this post, maybe you could tell me which range this is. This photo was taken in South Windsor facing Northeast. Let me know also, how you like the photo in the comments below. I always appreciate the feedback.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Luna Hibiscus Seed Pod
It had just stopped raining, and I just had to go out and shoot something. So, my son and I went looking at their pretty much spent Fall garden. I was looking for water drops to shoot to try to capture the garden in a water drop. That's one thing I've never been able to accomplish. It just never works out well for me. I finally did it, but that's not the photo I decided to post tonight. It'll show up in a later post, so if you want to see it, you'll have to check my blog out often so you don't miss it.

These Luna Hibiscus seed pods were just begging to be photographed. The water drops on the leaves, and that deep purple color with the light green pods just captured my eye. It helped that the lighting was perfect for this kind of shot as well.

I hope you like it as much as I do. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hint of Fall Color in New England

Bolton, CT
While I was on vacation in Connecticut, I realized I planned the date about 10 days too early to see the amazing foliage in New England. The weather was very good; only 1 rainy day in the 10 days I was there.

My son, Joey, and I took a day trip to Bolton. We were born and raised in CT, but we came upon this little pond in a park we'd never heard of. What a surprise! The leaves were just beginning to turn and it made for just a hint of color. There was a lot of vegetation on the pond, so we had to look for a fairly clear area when we spotted this tiny island in the pond. There were just a few reds and yellows to add a bit of color to this photo.

Let me know how you like this photo in the comments below.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meet Tom-Tom

This is Tom-Tom. He is my son and daughter-in-law's cat. Tom-Tom is roughly 1-year old and is a rescue cat. He's part Maine Coon, and I wish this photo could show you his actual size. He's already 14 lbs! 

At first when I arrived, Donna told me he was kind of skittish but she felt that he'd warm up to me after a while. He stayed on the stairs while he gradually stuck his head just between the bars to sniff me. Little did Donna know, that I have a way with animals. Within 3 minutes I was petting him. I was there 10 days and most of the time he was following me around. 

What a cool cat! He plays catch with his paws. Joey throws dry food in the air, Tom-Tom stands on his hind feet and catches the food (providing it was a good throw) between his two front paws, then eats the food with one hand just like a parrot. It's so cute to see him do that. 

I'm going to miss this big guy...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Brown-eyed Susan

Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

It's been a long time since I posted on my blog. I've been away from the blog and photography in general. Taking care of my elderly Aunt and working part-time took up most of my time. I had given up my photography clubs and generally wasn't taking any pictures. I don't feel safe walking around alone in the city or the woods, so I just didn't go out. I've joined a couple of groups and plan to try to get out at least a few times a month. Come back here and look for my posts. I do apologize to all my followers for being away for so long.

I bought a new camera, a Canon 6D and a new lens (Tamron 28-300mm EF VC) and went on vacation to my son and daughter-in-law's home in CT. Not being used to the camera or the lens, it was a little difficult finding settings and getting used to the weight. 

We had planned a day trip to Rockport, Massachusetts and I knew I had to get used to the camera fast. So, I walked around my son's yard and found a few flowers still in bloom in Donna's gardens. The one pictured is a Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). 

Brown-eyed Susans are known by several different names, Black-eyed Susan, Brown Betty, Gloriosa Daisy, Golden Jerusalem and Yellow Daisy. It depends what part of the country you are from. These flowers are in the Asteraceae family. They bloom in late summer and most of them had already passed. I was lucky to find this one in decent shape. Another day or two and I'd have missed it.

The foliage still hadn't begun, which was a bit disappointing, but the trip to Rockport made up for me missing the Fall leaves.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Brown-headed Ducks??

For the life of me, I can't seem to find an ID on the internet and in any of my bird books for these ducks. I've never seen ducks that look like this before. They are beautiful, and there's soon going to be more of them around judging from the activity I witnessed at the park the other day.

I found them at the Tomlinson Complex Park in Gulfport, FL. They were swimming around on a little pond alongside the skateboard park. I followed them until I could get a clear shot of them for identification.

Can anyone help me ID these ducks?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) are not only beautiful flowers that smell magnificent, but they are also very interesting. Their stamen are like little flowers in themselves. Unfortunately, Magnolias only bloom for one day, leaving brown, dry petals, which are not quite as pretty as the petals were the day before.

However, the stamen stay to become beautiful soft, red cones which last a very long time. I've never picked up one to see if they are fragrant which makes me wonder why I've never thought to do that before.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Little Blue Heron

This Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) has his work cut out for him if he thinks he's going to find his breakfast easily in this Duckweed (Lemnacae). He looks pretty determined, though. I guess if you're hungry enough, you can remain focused.

This photo was taken the same place as the Red Hibuscus from yesterday's post. I still can't remember where I was. I'm beginning to think it was somewhere in Bradenton, FL near my work.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Red Hibiscus

I found this Hibiscus somewhere in my travels. I can't remember where I shot it. All I know is I also shot a beautiful Little Blue Heron, who was in a pond covered with Duckweed. I only took it a month ago, but I can't remember where I was.

That's really not like me at all. I haven't gone anywhere to shoot except for a park that I just found 4 blocks from my Aunt's house, home and work. I also shot a Swallow-tailed Kite. It's a fairly decent shot, but nothing to write home about. It's the first time I saw one. I wish I could remember where I was because I'd like to find that Swallow-tailed Kite again for a better chance at getting a better shot of him.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pardon my ignorance, but even when I look up the different species of Roses, I can't tell one from another. Maybe one of you can give me a name for this one, I'd be able to attach a caption. This one was on a tall bush or tree on the shore of a pond in Tomlinson Park Complex in Gulfport, Florida.

The entire bush was in bloom, yet there was no fragrance emitting from it even when I went up close to the flowers. It took a while to isolate just one bloom against the sky. I love how that pink pops out against the sky. Whenever possible, I try to photograph flowers this way; it enable me to have a nice, clutter free background.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

The Ruddy Turnstone gets its name for the way he hunts for food. He turns over stones (not quite this big, though) looking for insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. The plumage shown here is his Winter plumage. In the Summer, their plumage on their back becomes a dark orange-brown color, hence the name "Ruddy".

Ruddy Turnstones are now classified as being in the Sandpiper family, but years ago it was classified in the Plover family. In the US, this bird is highly migratory and ranges from Washington State and Massachusetts coastlines to the southern part of Chile in South America.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Willet (Tringa semipalmata)

The Willet is a member of the Sandpiper family. Since I am also a Willet on my mother's side, does that make this my cousin? Am I a Sandpiper?
Somehow, I don't see the resemblance. I know I'm leaving myself open to many jokes, but seriously does this explain my love of shore birds?

All kidding aside, the Willet is the only North American sandpiper whose breeding range extends southward into the tropics. They can usually be found alone accompanied by more Sandpipers. They are territorial and will fiercely defend their feeding and nesting territory.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is probably the most photographed bridge in this area. It is a little over 4 miles long and spans Tampa Bay. The bridge connects Pinellas County and Manatee County, passing through Hillsborough (waters) County in Florida. The bridge is 431 feet high, with a clearance of 175 feet. It was completed in 1987 after the old bridge was hit by a ship.

The Travel Channel has rated the Sunshine Skyway as #3 out of the top 10 bridges in the world. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ahhhh Lunch!

When I shot this image, I never realized that this Snowy Egret had anything in his mouth. Once I got it on my computer, I noticed the snake in his mouth. No wonder he was all frazzled. I watched and shot him for about 15 minutes and he still didn't have it in his tummy. 

Meanwhile, another Snowy Egret caught a fish, and this greedy fellow decided he wanted that too! He didn't get the fish, so he was forced to keep on struggling with this snake. 

This is the cropped version of the original image. The whole image shows the two Snowy Egrets about to fight over the fish. I'll save that for a later date.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Southern Magnolia blossom.

You always know when you're in the South when you spot Magnolia trees. Magnolias are one of the most fragrant flowers and they're fragrance can be smelled all over the yard. Even the bark of their trees are fragrant. They were named after the French botanist, Pierre Magnol. 

The Magnolia is the state flower of both Mississippi and Louisiana. 

Magnolias are ancient flowers, so ancient that fossils have been found dating to 20 million years ago--before the arrival of bees.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

The Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus), is about 2 inches long.

The "eyes" are not really his eyes. They are there to scare off predators. Their actual eyes are located at the base of his antennae.

Eyed Click Beetles get their name from their habit of fending off danger by turning on their back, then bending their head and pro-thorax backward and snapping open when straightening out. This produces a loud audible click.

Eyed Click Beetles can be found in the Eastern United States as far west as Texas.

Sawgrass Lake Park is located in St Petersburg, Florida. Visitors there can be reasonably sure of seeing American Alligators in the wild.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Appalachee 2-Room House and Interior

I made a big mistake while at the Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. I took photos of the inside of a 2-room house that was occupied by a family with 10 children and was so impressed with the inside, I forgot to shoot the outside. So, this one will have to do. There were a few houses like this on the outskirts of the property on the nature trail. These are still left for the Archaeologists to investigate and be restored. This is similar to the outside of the house I photographed.

This piece was outside the entrance to the house. If you remember from an earlier post, I stated the women made all the pottery, dishes, buckets and household items. I'm still trying to figure out what this was used for. I should've asked the woman in the house who showed me around, but she had to leave to watch the chickens. There was a hungry Fox around and they wanted to be sure the chickens were safe.

Maybe one of you readers have an idea what this is. It looks like it is some kind of form. It reminds me of an egg darner that my grandmother used to darn socks, but this is way too big for that. It stands probably 2 1/2 ft tall, and maybe 20 inches at the widest part. I'm really curious about this piece. I don't even know what to call it.

This chair was sitting between the bedroom and living area. It looks too ornate to be made by the Appalachees. My guess is that it was brought here by the Spaniards and given to this family. The carving is beautiful. To see it in detail, just click on the picture and it'll come up in a larger view.

The cradle is definitely made by the father. I was especially impressed with the cross on the headboard above the baby's head. The Appalachee Indians were Christian. The Spaniards brought Christianity to the Mission and the Applachees absorbed it.

Other than this cradle, the only other bed in the home is the parents' bed. I would guess the other children slept on the floor. I was particularly impressed with the canopy. I wouldn't have imagined that canopies were used in that era. However, I liked it and it did provide the parents some privacy, I suppose. It is also impressive that patterns were printed on fabric in the 1600's.

I guess I have a lot to learn about history. I recommend my method; it's a whole lot more interesting and fun than it was in school.