Week 9 – #23 Letters

Varsity Letters.23 Letters-1

For this theme, I went to the Palmetto Historical Village and visited the library.  In the library and in the village itself were a number of items from Palmetto’s past.  I came upon a varsity letter with pins and
23 Letters-2a photo of the 1959 High School Football team and best yet –

a 1946 program signed by the team and cheerleaders.
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Unfortunately, the glare was horrible with all the windows and the daylight creating glare on the glass cases with the memorabilia, but I cleaned them up as best as possible.


Week 8 – #8 Common Cliche Phrases

Life is ..

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Life is a Bowl of Cherries  – lyrics by Lew Brown 1931.

Life is a bowl of cherries;
Don’t take it serious;
Life is too mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so;
But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go.
So keep repeating it’s the berries;
The strongest oak must fall.
The sweet things in life;
To you were just loaned.
So how can you loose what you never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries;
So live and laugh at it all.


Here is a link to Ben Vereen singing it.  It starts at about 0:57 .   I had to repost with a new link.

I am posting early – since a number of people just were at the Salon Competition  so they already know it (or a version of it)
A version of this (without the pits) just took 3rd place in the Lakewood Ranch Digital Photography Camera Club.  Hats off and Congratulations to fellow bloggers Mindy Towns for getting 1st place and Liz Cantarine for 2nd place.  I also want to give a thank you to Diane Broda for getting me the Canadian cherries so I didn’t have to wait until February when the Washington cherries would be in our stores.

So when doing your blog images – sometimes they can turn into ribbon winners.

Now that was an artist version using TOPAZ Impressions – Swirly lines  –   and here is the original.

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Week 7 – #34 OMG

Well – if you thought you needed to travel hours down to Key West or over to New Orleans for a parade of brightly colored costumed people, you would be very wrong.

Here are a collection of images of just a few of the many people who participated in the Gecko Festival in Gulfport, FL  this past weekend.  I had been to this festival before but always went early in the morning as usually the heat is too much.  I was meeting a fellow photographer friend who wanted to go later.  Since we were going in late afternoon, and it is mostly people photography which many of you know is not my usual thing, I only brought a point and shoot.  Boy that was a mistake. I am glad we went later as I have never seen the costumes before.  They have a parade of the costumes and select the winner.  I know the challenge suggests only one image, but in order for you to get a feel for this event, there was no way for just one.  The man in white – I am sorry that I was too close and sacrificed his parasol as he surely was dressed to the nines – some of these earn it the OMG.  So here – enjoy a bit of the festival.

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they even involved the dogs 34 OMG-10

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and a late arrival –

34 OMG-15

Week 6 – #43 Single Tree

What is the worth of a single tree?43 Single Tree-2
When I saw this on the list, I had a number of trees in mind all of which would have produced a comfortable feeling image.  But then I went to DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton, FL.   I was presented with the question “What is the worth of a single tree?”   It is not that someone asked me that question, but it was what came to mind when I became a witness to the large tree as you enter the park heading towards the visitor center.  Here stands a Gumbo Limbo tree that is somewhere between 80 to 100 years old and is in crisis.   This tree is majestic.  It is being attacked by a fungus called Ganoderma which is essentially rotting the tree from the inside out.  The disease is blocking the nutrients from the soil to reaching the tree.  The National Park Service has been doing treatments and is trying save the tree for as long as it can, but the disease is incurable and it will die eventually, which will be a great loss to the park and to each of us. The park has had to put up ropes to keep people from climbing on its limbs and pulling at the leaves.  Even with the signs stating the tree is in crisis, people continue to treat the tree with little respect.  The tree is on the National Registry of Big Trees as the largest in the United States.

This type of  tree has had many uses from tea, incense, pirates used for marking where loot was buried, sap used to catch birds and treat gout.  The wood is soft and easy to carve and has been used for carousel horses.  It is quick growing and can be started by seed or in the Caribbean it has been started by sticking branches into the soil to create living fences.  It is wind tolerant and can withstand hurricane winds as well as being salt tolerant.  It just cannot take the cold, so the Manatee River is as far north as it can go. It has been called the tourist tree because the bark turns red in the sun and peels back – looking like sunburned skin. Here is a tree that has endured countless storms, and numerous people and yet continues to provide shade, oxygen, nesting material for birds and is magnificent to look upon.  The branches long with not all covered in leaves any longer and now in need of support.   Just look at the twisting and reaching branches of this wondrous tree.


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A little about DeSoto National Memorial.  The park commemorates the 1539 landing of Hernando DeSoto with 600 soldiers, 220 horses, pigs, war dogs, cannons, muskets and other supplies on nine ships.  This landing marks the beginning of his 4000 mile expedition on behalf of King Charles V through the southern United States in which they traveled from one village to the next taking the food and enslaving the native people as they searched for gold.  A large number of lives were lost because of this expedition.  The park has a visitor center and a replica of a Spanish camp, as well as a nature trail.  The park has a number of activities during the year, including kayak tours (they provide everything you need) from about May to November.  In April, they reenact DeSoto’s landing – Check the park website for the exact date.

Check out this park and the Gumbo Limbo tree before a storm or the disease takes it from us.

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So I ask you – what is the worth of a single tree?