Friday, December 30, 2011

Tangerines, Treetop Farms, Canal Blvd.

One of the joys of "Winter" in North Florida is that it's when the citrus starts to produce. We were at Delia's riding lesson and I saw this tangerine tree, just ripening it's first fruit. We have lemons ready on Roscoe with grapefruits due to sweeten up in a month. The kumquats are covering two trees and the limes and oranges are close. I love Winter.

Northside, Jacksonville

We had to go to the North side of Jacksonville to get a helmet and boots for Delia's riding lessons. I have always loved the look of rusting galvanized pipe and chicken wire.

Penguin, oops, Pelican, Jacksonville Beach Pier, Christmas 2011

There weren't many people fishing on Christmas morning so this guy had slim pickings as far as handouts.

Pay-per-view binoculars, Jacksonville Beach Pier

The only thing that has changed about these little machines since I was a kid, 50 years ago, is the coin slot.

Ticket lady, Jacksonville Beach Pier

When we take our Sunday walks we always go out on the pier. This delightful lady is always at the window with a smile and a funny remark. She's worth the price of admission alone.

Delia's door, Roscoe

Anyone who thinks humans aren't territorial hasn't had children. Give a child a room, teach them to write and about the second thing they write is a Keep Out sign at the entrance to their territory. This is Delia's.

Snowbirds on their way south.

Every Fall we have a parade of boats down the Intra Coastal Waterway. Our dock sticks out into the ICW. Usually the northern boats start in October and the ones from the lower states come in order, with the Georgia boats coming in December. This was a Canadian boat coming down on Christmas day, when all of the other Canadians have been here for 6 weeks.

Autumn in North Florida

We have had an unseasonably warm Fall. It is now eight days into Winter and we'll see 74 degrees fahrenheit today (23.3 celsius). While recovering from my hematoma, my photography was limited by mobility and energy levels to the immediate surroundings. These limitations tested my seeing. It is almost always easier to photograph the"new" than the familiar.

Our leaves fell in late November and have quickly dissolved. These were both taken in my driveway.

Meyer lemons, backyard, Roscoe

This tree amazes me. At the beginning of the summer it lost most of it's leaves to leaf borers. It budded out and set fruit but only had a few leaves so I wrote off the idea of many lemons. Slowly over the months, it added leaves and the fruit hung on. Now it looks like this and they are the best Meyer lemons we have had.

The Meyer lemon came over from China and is thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. It is thin skinned and is a bit sweeter than other lemons. It doesn't ship well due to the thin skin so they are hard to get. These will stay ripe on the tree until next April or so.

Knockout rose, garage, Roscoe

The last of these until March.

This is all Carl Weese's fault! With an assist from Mike Johnston.

This is my Panasonic Lumix G3, with the wonderful 14mm lens on it. I came to it in a roundabout way. I am a longtime reader of The Online Photographer, a wonderful blog by Mike Johnston about photography, philosophy, cameras, Wisconsin, art, single parenthood, and the godless, communist Packers (I'm a Giants fan and still haven't forgiven the Lombardi Packers). Because of Mike I have added Pentaxes to my equipment bag, mostly due to the review of the 35mm f/2.8 macro, one of my three favorite lenses ever. From his blog I was directed to Carl Weese's blog, Working Pictures. I loved it for the photography and the occasional writing. Carl lives in NW Connecticut and travels about the area, including New England, taking pictures as he sees them and carrying a pair of huge cameras to record old drive-in movie theaters before they disappear. We used to live in Vermont and my best friend lives in the area of CT near Carl so all of the subjects in his pictures look very familiar, even the weeds.

About a year ago Carl did a self portrait in a mirror and I noticed that he was using a small camera instead of his Pentax. I wrote and asked what it was and learned it was a Lumix. He was in the process of trying to add the G3 to his collection. It was just out and he got lucky and got one. We were about to go to France and a small camera that took large camera quality pictures looked to be just what I wanted. I couldn't find a G3 so I went for the closest thing out at the time, a GF3. It had no viewfinder but was even smaller. If you read my other blog, Two Weekes in Provence, about 3/4 of the pictures were taken with the little wonder. I was amazed at the quality of the files. Luckily I had bought the 20mm f/1.7 lens at the same time. What a lens, sharp and so clear.

When we got back from France the only thing I missed was a viewfinder. The G3 was still not being sold but the G2, it's predecessor,  was discontinued and selling for under $300. I got that and loved having a viewfinder. Lenses were added, the 14mm, Olympus's 17mm and 90mm and a large 45-200 zoom. All of the prime lenses are gems and the long zoom (and the kit zoom for that matter) punch above their weight. I added the G3 when it became available and like it's size over the G2. The only thing that I don't understand is a feature that they removed. On the G2, if you put your eye to the viewfinder you see the image there. If you take your eye away the image switches to the screen on the back of the camera. Very intuitive and handy. On the newer G3 they have a dedicated switch that you have to hit to switch where the image is. I hate it, but the rest of the camera is so good that I live with it.

So, as you can see, this is all Carl Weese's fault.

Places I'd like to sit 2

This is an old, funky  plastic chair that was rescued from the woods and pillowed up. It is out front and I occasionally sit in it to be the trainer for my granddaughter (as a horse) as she does laps of the driveway. It is one of my favorite chairs.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bicycle, Ponte Vedra Beach

After a workout one day, I went to the pool and sat at a table and read my latest mystery, a Norwegian one about Harry Hole, a cop in Oslo by Jo Nesbo. Wonderful series. I looked up to see this little tableau just as the sun hit the bike.

Love is peace, towel detail, Jacksonville Beach

OPEN, Jax Beach

Snappy dresser

I was on a walk when this woman, beautifully dressed, came out of a house and strode to her car, just as the sun broke out.

Grasses, Ocean Course, Ponte Vedra

This is the time of year when all of the small plants start to change for the winter. With part of the grasses turning to tan you can really see the textures.

Foxtail ferns.

My little tribute to Paul Caponigro

Paul Caponigro is a wonderful photographer. One of his iconic pictures is of a herd of white deer running under some large trees. He apparently spent a long time preparing fr it and the result is magic.

These deer wouldn't move for me!
If you want to see the picture that I'm referencing go to: 

Magnolia trunk, Roscoe

Delia, Garden,Roscoe

Last of the Datil peppers.

Soon we'll have a frost and the fresh peppers will be gone, alas.

Carwash, Shell station, A1A, Ponte Vedra Beach...A cautionary tale!

I get my gas at the local Shell station, mainly because I can use my grocery card to get a discount on gas and because it has a good automatic car wash. I filled up my car and noticed that the car wash was empty, a rare occurrence. Figuring that I was home free, I sat and figured out my mileage, only to find that this out-of-state Volvo driving weasel had snuck by me and ordered the super deluxe (read, 5 minute long) wash cycle!

Never assume.

At Lulu's

Lulu's is a fantastic little restaurant just down the road from us. True Florida fish camp food and the best fried shrimp in the known universe. They always have an eclectic group of cars in the parking lot.