Thursday, January 05, 2012

Getting Into The Grove !

No that's not a typo in the's post is about me being in the 'grove' and not in the 'groove' but more of that later.

First up....SQUIRREL !!

Last Monday when it was still warm here, I was on Sebring's Harder Hall course playing my regular game of military golf (left, right, left, right up the sides of the fairways) and this time I'd remembered to take my camera with me. On previous visits, we'd been approached by squirrels (SQUIRREL !!) wanting some of our cheese nibbles so in return, I wanted a photo of them.

I'm no expert of course but I'm led to believe they were monkey squirrels, or eastern fox squirrels, or cat squirrels or even stump eared squirrels. In any case, here is a shot of the only one that stayed still long enough to BE photographed. Frisky little critters.

But back to the park and sticking with the wildlife theme, I braved the arctic temps and went for a walk yesterday afternoon. Along the canal path, the 'usual suspects' were out in the sunshine trying to stay warm but as I've posted many photos of them before, I'll just upload this one.........

Walking on around the edge of the lake, I came to the grove, a lovely tree shaded grassy area used for large outdoor gatherings. It's also next to the cafe, the horseshoe pits, the shuffle board and bocce ball courts and now, the newly constructed pickleball court.

Pickleball ? Oh just Google it !

Yesterday afternoon the grove was empty and with most of the wooden picnic tables stacked over on one side, it was much more open than usual and so the low sun cast particularly long shadows across the grass.

I wanted to take some photos towards the sun and despite the camera having a 'backlighting' option, I found it better not to use it. For one thing, it would pop up the flash, assuming I wanted to take a photo of someone or something in the foreground. This can be very useful if you want to photograph someone with a sunrise/sunset behind them as the camera basically takes two exposures so you end up with the sunset AND the person both exposed correctly. Otherwise the person would be a silhouette.

Another benefit of using a different camera setting yesterday was that I achieved much deeper and, I think, more appealing shades of blue from both the lake and the sky. Certainly more dramatic.

When not looking into the sun, the blues reverted to normal but there were still pleasing views to capture. I love the long straggly 'stuff' that hangs down from many of the trees and almost touches the water. I also tried to capture the peace and tranquility of the area as it really is a lovely spot to sit and ponder life's deep mysteries, even on a relatively cold day like yesterday.

Like why do Jonathan Ross and Conan O'Brian have tv shows ?

There was a sun lit pine cone on one of the few picnic tables set up near the cafe and as it contrasted well with the greens and blues around it, I felt it needed to be immortalised.

By now it was close to 5pm and even in the sun, it was getting a bit nippy. Being a tough Brit, I was out in a polo shirt and shorts but as you can see from this trio of walkers, few others shared my dress code.

It would be another hour before sunset but I couldn't hang around. Let's face it, it happens every day ! As you can imagine, and as you've maybe seen from previous posts over the years, the grove becomes a magical place at sunset. It might also be magical at sunrise but I don't 'do' those. A sunset over water is always photogenic and as long as some lone bagpiper doesn't turn up, I love watching sunsets through the grove and across the lake.

Yes getting into the groove in the grove is one of the many aspects of this park that brings me back every winter.

Btw, thank you to the Anguilla islander who became a blog visitor from 'my' 141st country. Readers from new countries, states, principalities and so on are being added VERY slowly now but all are welcome. I'm still hoping to add The Vatican but so far His Holiness has spectacularly failed to answer my emails.

Maybe I should try Skype.


Daphne said...

Stunning photos and my particular favourites are the tree against the blue sky, and the pinecone.
Both would be gorgeous framed! As would many others of your photos.

rhymeswithplague said...

Spanish moss.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Oooh, that pinecone is a wonderful shot - well done you!!

Looks lovely and peaceful, but I'm not sure about that squirrel. Do they carry plague down in Florida? Or are you just so used to having oodles of dangerous wildlife that you just 'pay no mind' to that sort of thing?

rhymeswithplague said...

No one has ever carried me down in Florida, least of all a squirrel of dubious origin, and I for one resent your implications, Jay.

Silverback said...

Sadly plague has not yet been fully eradicated down in the southern states, Jay. There have been reports coming out of N. Georgia about a particularly nasty and virulent plague (something to do with a lack of personal hygiene and liking your cousins a lot) but we remain vigilant and continue to keep our kids indoors.

rhymeswithplague said...

Fortunately, I know you are not talking about me because I bathe every day (I actually use soap) and I don't like my cousins any more than the next person.

Katherine said...

To bring the comments away from close relations and nasty illnesses and back to the post - I agree with Daphne - amazingly lovely images Ian. Shooting into the sun can result in some really great results.

Milo said...

Liking the pics, especially the wide angle shot looking up at the trees; very nice!

Yeh, is interesting seeing where your traffic comes from, isn't it? I'm up to 189 different countries, the last of which was Montserrat in August 2011.

open face helmets said...

Along the canal path, the 'usual suspects' were out in the sunshine trying to stay warm.

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