Following Hurricane Matthew - Winter 2017 travel blog

out in nature

a perch on the toilet


Every two weeks campground management puts out a booklet filled with scheduled activities. People often say if you are bored here, there is something wrong with you. There's something to do for everyone. If we planned to be here for a short period of time, we would scurry around trying to do it all. But because we are here until mid March and plan to return in future winters, we are taking a more leisurely approach. Today we went to a photography club meeting to see what it's all about.

Ken loves photography. He carries a pricey camera and spends hours in post production, making his pictures into works of art. It often feels like we haven't been somewhere or done something if he hasn't taken a picture of it. My approach is far more indolent. I carry a small, inexpensive camera and am more interested in documenting interesting things that may show up here in our travel blog. As I stand around waiting and waiting for Ken to get that perfect shot, I have learned to appreciate taking the time to really see and enjoy the amazing places we have been.

At the photo meeting I was seated next to Ken and our new friend Doug, who makes his living shooting videos - a thorn between two roses. I wondered what these two experts would get out of the session, unless they were looking for opportunities to take over and share their knowledge, something that has happened every so often at other photo meetings we've attended at other campgrounds.

The vast majority of attendees were men and nearly all of them were more or less hard of hearing. Nothing happened quickly as everything that was said had to be repeated multiple times until everyone had gotten the message. A bit of a chuckle. The main presenter started by saying he didn't know much about the topic he was presenting and by the end, we surely had to agree with him. The second hour people each shared three photos to be critiqued. They varied widely in quality, but everyone was kind and offered constructive criticism and made appreciative remarks. A warm and nurturing environment. Many of the photos had been taken around here and that made things really interesting as we learned about new places to go, especially places where animal sightings are likely. One member has planned a field trip to the lighthouse at Cape Canaveral, a spot that is generally off limits to casual tourists, so we signed up to go with the group next week. I'm sure I'll have the dinkiest camera in the bunch, but at the end of the day my back won't ache.

One member of the photo group was praised highly for the quality of his bird photos. Unlike Ken whose goal is to create beautiful photographs, his purpose is to document new birds he sees. When Doug shared the video he had taken of our resident owls, this man's eyes burned intensely and he demanded to know where that owl was. While we are happy to share our good fortune, we don't want half the park hanging around out site laughing and talking. But we had to tell him and a few hours later there he was with his wife, each of them holding cameras with lenses long enough to kill an elephant. Ken has been getting his best shots out of our bathroom window. If you sit on the toilet, you are in perfect alignment. If you would like to see a professional's rendering of our owl couple, take a look here.

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