Shells in the sky and other Gulf Coast tales

Shell in the sky

Hi, readers.  Still coming to you LIVE from the Florida coast.  Enjoying 1) warmth.  Temps around 74 today, 2)  sunlight.  Sunlight!  Sunlight!!  3)  Not too much wind.  Ahhhh….that adds another six degrees at least.  4)  family.  Oh, lovely, lovely family!!

I just took a poll from family members.  Here’s the scoop.  You can share what you think.  Lately I’ve taken to compressing 90% of the photos for this blog.  It takes ten seconds to upload, versus  3-4 minutes.

The first photo on this blog is non-compressed.  The next eight are compressed.  The last one is not compressed.

I asked Kiah and my mom.  “What do you think?”

They both voted unanimously for me to quit being lazy–although that’s not what they said–and post the non-compressed version.

Ibis pecking in the Bird Sanctuary near the Gulf

Most of these photos come to you from yesterday’s walk.  We walked the same path today.  It takes about an hour to walk from the condo to the beach and back.  Today we had three generations of walkers.  My mom, daughter, brother and me!

It’s amazing, how the landscape changes.  We’re walking an entirely different walk from previous years.  Storms and hurricanes change the landscape.  Where water blocked our path last year, this year it’s clear.

Driftwood, sandy shore

It’s also interesting how the tide changes everything.  Do you see the driftwood above?  Today, at high tide, it lay almost invisible in the rolling waves.

What is this man doing?

Yesterday we stopped, amazed, at the above sight.  A man–perhaps a scientist–looked through his fancy equipment at the–perhaps–tiny insects in the backwater pond.  His dog lay patiently at his side.  A piece of plastic protected him from the mud and wet.  (My mother just insisted he was photographing little birds.)

What a patient dog.

Perhaps he is a famous scientist.  Perhaps he simply pursues this as a hobby.  I wonder what he saw as he peered through his special equipment.  Will we ever know?

Little boy skipping in the surf

It’s fun to watch children play in the Gulf.  They splash with such abandon.  They give themselves utterly to sand and water.

Seashell and seaweed

My mom and I usually walk this alone.  Today was special with my bro and daughter.  We showed them the “jungle” through which you must walk at times to reach the shore.  I asked my brother how his winter had been. It’s hard to think of winter when you’re walking on Florida beaches.

One leaf in white white sand

After our walk on the beach, we tried to stop at the Holiday Inn and buy an orange juice or coffee.  The outdoor tiki bar did not open until 11 a.m.  We wanted to get back to the pool to sun.

We’ve been eating at restaurants like you wouldn’t believe.  Today we visited the Fish House just behind the condominium.  Tonight we’re driving to Naples to eat dinner with my mom’s cousin and her husband.  They are lovely people; it will be good to see them again.

Looks like this driftwood has legs

I am about done with my book.  Anyone have any suggestions for a good book?  A really really good book?  Not a mystery or detective novel or anything.  Some good fiction or historical fiction.  Of course, it has to be available at the island bookstore.  Unless we head to the interior for shopping.

Three leaves in sunlight & sand

I finally talked with #1 son (who celebrated his 28th birthday yesterday skiing in the mountains in Southern California:  HI CHRIS!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!) and #1 husband (HI BARRY!  Great to talk with you!  Glad you had a good gig last night.)

After today, only three full days here in southern Florida.  But we’re not going to think about that yet.  Not even thinking about Lake Superior.  Except some woman at the pool said we MUST talk to her husband. He loves the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  They’re going to visit next summer.

OK, that’s the scoop.  Hope you all had a nice weekend!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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28 Responses to Shells in the sky and other Gulf Coast tales

  1. Kathy –

    After looking closely at each photo, I vote NON compressed.

    I especially enjoyed “One leaf in white sand,” and “Three leaves in sunlight & sand.”

  2. Aphrael says:

    Personally, I compress my pictures quite a bit. I also resize them to 800×600. I am very conscious of how much bandwidth it takes up. It is a blog. For reading, not displaying photographs. And I don’t get that many clicks to pictures uploaded anyway. The way I see it, if someone liked a picture enough, they would e-mail me and ask for a better copy. Just my 2c.

    PS, sounds like you are having a stunning holiday. I’ve slacked on reading your blog and need to catch up. Enjoy the holiday!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Aphrael, thank you for visiting. It’s been a wonderful holiday, indeed. Can’t believe the time is going by so swiftly. I have never compressed any photos on my blogs before the last two weeks. I get lots of people who say they just come over to look at the photos…and don’t read a single word. And they upload ’em quite a bit. It’s hard to say. Maybe I’ll compress some and not others. Thank you for your advice!

  3. Cindy Lou says:

    My favorite today? “Three leaves in the sand” – the white, white sand in the background looks like snow! When I was 4/5 years old and we lived in the Pensacola (sp?) area, my folks used to take us to the beach and tell us that all the white sand was what snow looked like – they’d be all excited and us kids just looked at them like they were crazy as we skipped into the surf!

    Happy belated birthday, Chris – if you’re 28 already, I’m getting old! Seems like just yesterday, you were here @ school! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hard to believe, Cindy Lou, that you never saw snow when you were a kid. Bet you were surprised when you finally learned the difference between the white sand the white snow! It is even harder to believe that Chris is 28. Wow! (But of course WE’RE not getting old…)

  4. Dawn says:

    You could just insert one noncompressed picture in each blog and see if there is a trend to that one always being a favorite. Without telling us which one. I’d hate for you to spend 10 min each! We’d probably see fewer photos! LOL! But I do love the 3 leaves in the sand…and also the one leaf in the sand….and one is compressed and one isn’t. So …whatever!

    I’ll email you seperately with a titles of a few of my favorite books that I’ve read lately. Going over to my goodreads list to check for 5 star books for you…

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, I have kinda been monitoring this during the last couple of weeks and most people have commented on the non-compressed ones. And it’s not 10 minutes each, more like 3-4. Thank you for your list of book titles (will email you back later.) I love having a good book list like that!

  5. Fountainpen says:

    Yes, Kathy… are two of my favorite books: one a novel
    and the other, reflections:

    First: THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD, Zora Neale Hurston

    Second: FOR THE TIME BEING, Annie Dillard


    • Kathy says:

      Fountainpen, Annie Dillard is on my “must read” list and will look at the Hurston book too. Now, just need to get to a bookstore! (After writing down all these wonderful suggestions.) Thank you SO much.

  6. p.j. grath says:

    Love the two shots of sea grape leaves. Love sea grape leaves. Have you read any of Peter Mattheissen’s novels set in south Florida? KILLING MR. WATSON or subsequent sections, versions of the same true story? Some people like Carl Hiassen–me, not so much. But it’s nice to read about the place you are, so you can still BE there while being in your book.

    • Kathy says:

      Pater Mattheissen’s book sounds like a good one to read while down here. We have the cutest little book store just up the road. It is small, but has lots of good books. Will look for that one, too. But I can only buy one book while down here. Otherwise, will have to throw out some clothes from my suitcase in order to get home!

  7. p.j. grath says:

    About compression. Resizing? I’m used to dealing with dialup connections at home and know some of my family, friends and readers also have non-highspeed, so I always resize, making images smaller. They look okay to me on the screen. I save the full-size versions in case I want to print them out. I mean, if you stop compressing, I won’t be able to load your pages once I get home! But then, I’m still back with the dinosaurs–back before their names were changed!

    • Kathy says:

      Pamela, I’m afraid you’re not going to be able to load your pages when you get home. 😦 I only started compressing about a week or two ago. And you’ve been gone quite a while! This is quite an interesting debate. To compress or not to compress. I only know two people who read and who don’t have high speed dial-up (you and Gerry). Have always felt guilty about poor Gerry. She says she loads my page and goes to do dishes. All last year’s blog was non-compressed and all the visual people said they liked that best. Dunno…

  8. Compress, compress, compress. For me it is just fine to read your blog and look at the pictures that illustrate it. For a more visual person, perhaps it makes a difference. But I say walk, write, take photographs, blog, and save time where you can for the pleasures of life.

    • Kathy says:

      You know, I think it does have to do with whether you’re a visual or non-visual person. The people who email about liking my photos are artist types or really visual people. I like some of the non-compressed pictures a lot more…but others seem fine compressed. LIke what you say about saving time for the pleasures of life. Thank you!

  9. Barb says:

    I like your Blog both for the words AND the photos, so I must say non-compressed. I just enjoy the detail and the vividness. I think you’d like STILL ALICE, by Lisa Genova – it’s fiction about Alzheimer’s but reads like a memoir. I found it mesmerizing. I also like Abigail Thomas so I’d recommend A THREE DOG LIFE.

    Have fun your last few days!

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, I just posted today’s blog with both compressed and non-compressed. I did red the book Still Alice and liked it a lot, although became convinced I had Alzheimer’s for the next two days. (Other people have reported the same thing!) Will look up A Three Dog Life at the bookstore. Thank you. It’s so fun to get recommendations.

  10. Dawn says:

    OOH! A Three Dog Life by Abigail THomas is EXCELLENT!!!

  11. janet says:

    I would never call you lazy! But I’m voting with the majority and saying the non-compressed photos are nicer.

    Your photos are making me reminisce on my youth when we visited my grandparents in West Palm Beach nearly every year, either at Christmas or Easter. I have such great memories of time spent on the beach and learning to body surf with my dad and grandpa. Even in his 80’s he was in the water. We would ride from their house, over the causeway to Riviera Beach in his white convertible with its red leather seats. They got so hot in the sun! You had to sit on your towel on the way home or fry your probably-already-sunburned legs.

    Thanks for jogging my memory with your story and the photos. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Janet, what a lovely story about visiting your grandparents on the East Coast of Florida. This is so descriptive that you can feel the wind blowing in the convertible and feel your sun-burnt legs! I’ve never tried body-surfing. I’ll bet that was great fun. So glad to jog your memory. And thanks for your thoughts about the photo compression.

  12. I’m glad it stopped raining so you could enjoy the great outdoors in Florida! I’ve enjoyed catching up on several posts today and appreciate you making them available entirely in your feeds making it simpler to do this in my reader … you do take BEAUTIFUL photographs and share interesting and unique things … like this man and his dog today. Wonderful series of posts.
    Hugs and blessings,

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, the rain did eventually cease in Florida. Glad you enjoyed my vacation down in the south. And thanks for liking the man and his dog. We were so taken by them. An unusual moment…

  13. Jessica says:

    Hi Kathy,

    I got your message. I am glad I got to visit with you even if it was just imaginary LOL I personally like the uncompressed images better but if you want to save on upload time you could resize them a bit. Picasa is free and it is pretty easy to resize photos in. I resize mine down to 640 pixels and have it set up to add my watermark as I am exporting. This still allows for a good photo for folks to view without the excess upload time.

    Glad you had a good vacation!


    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Jessica. It was fun having a dream with a blog-friend in it! 🙂 I am exploring all the different options about compressing and not compressing and re-sizing and experimenting a bit lately. Thank you for your advice. It was a very good vacation.

  14. I think the photographer is Scott Bourne.
    He winters at Fort Myers Beach and conducts Photo Seminars. He shoots Canon and was in the area when you shot this pic.

    • Kathy says:

      Martha, thank you very much for the possible identification. You may be right! You don’t happen to live in Fort Myers Beach, do you? I just returned home from a week-long visit there last week. Took lots of nice bird photos in the Bird Sanctuary–where the photographer was on his belly. (I didn’t get on my belly.) Thanks for visiting!

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