Archive by Author

Magnolia Bees

4 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Yesterday after the rain, I noticed that the magnolias in the back yard were blooming. I knew there would be bees after the pollen that falls conveniently in the cup shaped pedals of the magnolia blossom. The bees love to collect it and take it back to their hive. I set my phone on slo mo and enjoyed seeing honey the bees. Little did I know some drama was happening.

There are three bees. Two of them have collected lots of pollen in their pollen basket on their legs. The third one has none. Instead of the third one getting pollen itself, it is trying to grab it off the legs of the other bees. So amazing, we miss so much in nature in this hurried and noisy world. 😳

Melody’s Adventures-Mantees

14 Apr

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Another wonderful adventure in diving fresh water is to swim with the manatees. This is typically done just with snorkeling gear. There are not many places you can do this because in most places it is unlawful. However, in Crystal River, Florida in Citrus County, you can experience one of the most wonderful encounter with nature you can have. 

There are rules and guidelines for interacting with them. Since manatees are an endangered species, they are protected by law. But here your encounter is up-close and personal.  Local tour operators and nature guides provide a variety of options for experiencing these awesome creatures. From swimming, kayaking, and paddle-boarding to snorkeling and diving, there are many ways to meet a manatee while you’re here! You can also rent a boat and spend the day there. This is my favorite thing to do.

I will never forget my first experience. We rented a boat and headed for Kings Bay. It was winter and the manatees come here for the warmth of the springs around the area. Once we spotted some, we slipped into the water with our mask and snorkel.

 The water was a little cloudy and I couldn’t see very far in the distance. All I could see was something huge swimming towards me. I had seen many manatees from the boat, but when this massive creature came into view, fear came over me for an instant. This beautiful creature was the size of a Volkswagen. Once I realized that manatees are such gentle creatures that never intend to harm you, I became ecstatic at the thrill of this moment. I reached out my hand and we made contact with each other. I stoked it’s thick rough skin. It gently turned itself over for a tummy rub. Not all, but many manatees enjoy the human touch. Maybe these are mermaids after all. 

Melody’s Adventures, Cave Diving

31 Mar

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Fresh water cave diving

Diving fresh water is completely different than salt water. Lakes are not very exciting since there aren’t the colorful fish and plants like the sea. So I decided to try cave diving. 

The Florida Aquifer  has a massive underground system of limestone that looks like a honey comb. Many lakes, sinks and springs are formed when the surface of the land dissolves and falls into the aquifer below. This allows the diver to enter the system.

 The temperature of the aquifer is a constant 72 degrees. The water is so clear, it looks like air. When you adjust your weights, so you don’t sink or float, you can fly like a bird in the air. It is the most wonderful feeling. 

As soon as I dip below the water, I immediately feel as though I am in a giant aquarium. As I enter the cavern , I can look out and see the sun glistening in rays that move with the motion of the water. The only sound you hear are your bubbles and breathing. It is so peaceful and relaxing. 

One day, there were three of us swimming down a long cave tunnel beyond the cavern. We had our safety line with us that would lead us out when we returned. We noticed an unusual formation off the main tunnel, and swam over to it When we got inside and looked around, someone got too close to the bottom and kicked up the silt with their fin. Silt is a layer similar to dust. When it is disturbed, will fill the area and block out your vision.

 We could see the white silt starting to roll upwards and fill the area. It only took seconds to create a white out where we couldn’t see our hands in front of our face. Not only were we blinded, we didn’t know if we were upside down or not because we were weightless.

 So we held our life saving  line and I headed out first. I slide the line through my hands following its direction when I hit a wall of rock. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t go any farther. Panic set in. I couldn’t communicate with anyone because I couldn’t see them. Finally after taking a few breaths, my hand followed the line under the rock. It had slipped under it. I was able to go around and get my wits together. I could only hope everyone else would be able to follow the line and not panic.

 I finally swam out of the silt and waited for my dive buddies to emerge. Everyone was shook up, but safe. That was the last time I explored a cave.

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Melody's Adventures

24 Mar

Salt Water Scuba

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

I have always been an adventurer, even as a child. I had so many questions, Oh how I would have loved the Internet then to ask a million questions.

Whenever I am by a body of water, I am always intrigued by so many questions. What lives in it? What is under the surface? What is in the depths? What treasures live there?

The element of water has always intrigued me. I am mesmerized by it’s reflections, movements, sparkle, the feel of it on your skin, the pleasure of weightlessness and the quenching of my thirst. It is the most important life force on this planet.

When I was in my thirties I decided to take scuba diving lessons. Since I live in Florida, it is a must for exploring our diverse water systems. The classes were hard and it was a rugged adventure going for all my diving certifications. It took bravery, strength and will. It wasn’t easy, but the drive of wanting to explore the earth took over and gave me the necessary skills. Scuba diving is like exploring another planet. It is not for everyone, but I would like to share my experience and awe with you. 

There are two kinds of diving. Fresh water and salt water. After the basic dive certification, I was ready for a salty reef dive. The main mode of transportation to get to a reef is on a dive boat. It is a fast and enjoyable ride out to the reef. However, I must take motion sickness med’s beforehand. I have a sensitive stomach and I end up feeding the fish my breakfast when the boat stops if I don’t put on a Dramamine patch.  Not fun. Once at our destination, when the captain says ready to dive, we sit on the edge of the boat and fall backwards into the clear, blue green water. As soon as the bubbles move out of the way, we turn tail and head to the bottom. As soon as I look down, I am in awe when I get my first look at the most incredible world below. A salt water reef is a magical place of colors, shapes, textures, movement, sizes and it’s all alive. Your eyes can’t take in all that is there. There is not only beautiful fish, but amazing corals, crustaceans and mystery creatures. It is another living blessing from God.

Sometimes you will even see things that make you stop breathing. Scary things that are part of this life, their life. Barracuda with their big teeth, big eyes and daunting behavior of staring and following you. I remember one scare in particular when I was snorkeling in the sunshine and swam through the shadow casts by a bridge. My eyes couldn’t adjust for the light right away, but when It did, I was face to face with a barracuda looking right at me. Fortunately I didn’t have anything shiny on,  which they are attracted to. They are just curious. It was a great experience. 

Next week we go fresh water diving!

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Green Sea Turtles

17 Mar

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

As a nature photographer, I am also an opportunist. Meaning instead of focusing on one particular subject like landscapes or portraits or flowers to photograph, I open all my senses to see what is interesting, beautiful, something that tells a story, or more so, something that reveals God’s world and His creatures.

Most people want to present the gospel speaking what is in their hearts through the Holy Spirit, hoping their words will be living and enlighten the soul of those we are sent to witness to. I have always been disappointed in myself when I try to speak what is in my heart. It is a struggle for me to put thoughts into words. So sometimes I feel God has given me the ability to share the gospel through visual words from nature with my camera. So we will never forget for a moment, the home we were given as a gift of love to nurture us and sustain us and all creatures forever. I am so sad that man has treated it so badly.

My drive and pleasure in photography is to stimulate an awareness and connection to our natural world. To understand and connect with the vastness of love and purpose a single flower or a great creatures of the sea can reveal.

 One morning I went to our lovely beach in Titusville, Playalinda beach before sunrise. I was hoping for a nice sunrise picture, but I also kept my eye on possible sea turtle activity. I was disappointed I had not seen any turtles laying eggs on the beach. As I walked along checking turtle markers, I saw something in the surf. I thought it was debris being tossed by the waves. I got closer and to my delight, it was two green sea turtles mating. They were so focused they didn’t notice me for some time. They didn’t realize they were so close to shore.  I just clicked away, my heart pounding and I could hardly contain my excitement. They usually mate underwater, but I was so blessed to experience them right before me, something so rare. I wish them well for the rest of their season and hope there are lots of little ones to populate our ocean. 

Thank you God for all our heavenly and earthy gifts.

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
Thank you for your interest.

Exploring Night Photography

10 Mar

Melody Hendrix

A Time to Live

Successful and rewarding photography is a lifetime of  learning as with any hobbies or career. With every new morsel of enlightenment comes excitement in taking that knowledge and being creative with it. Once you learn a new technique, you can’t wait to put it in motion.

One weekend my dear friend Pat and I stayed a few days in near St Augustine right on the beach. It was a quiet beach with a pier in the distance not too far away. As photographers, Pat and I are used to getting up hours before sunrise. We love to capture beautiful Florida sunrises. On our first morning, we woke up about 4 am. Pat tells me she has been taking classes on low light and night photography.  She encouraged me to walk down to the beach to practice what she has learned. I thought it was a little eerie, but agreed. When we walk out the back door of the hotel, it was pitch black. There were no lights at all on the beach and we needed a flash light to find our way down to the water. At this point I thought my dear friend had lost her mind. She thinks we are going to take pictures in the dark, where there is no light at all. 

There was a little light coming from the pier in the distance and twilight was about an hour away. In-spite of my hesitation, she was excited about this venture and encouraged me to follow her lead. So I did.

We walked to the waters edge, and put our cameras on our tripods. She explained the camera settings to me and I complied. We must set up our cameras to take a very long exposure. This means that unlike our eyes that see light, the camera collects light. So once the shutter button is pressed, the camera keeps collecting the ambient light until there is enough to make an image. 

So I pointed my camera towards the pier, made sure my tripod was firmly pressed in the sand and I pushed the shutter button. I heard it open the shutter, then I waited……. and waited….. and waited. I thought something was wrong, nothing was happening. Then at last, I heard the click of the shutter closing. Then I waited and waited for the image to come up on the lcd screen. 

Finally the image appeared and I couldn’t believe my eyes. This is the picture I saw. Not only did the scene appear, the color of the twilight was beyond my expectations. The cobalt blue of twilight is the most beautiful color. You can slightly see it with your eyes, but when the camera collects it, it is deep and intense. This is one of my favorite pictures, and one of my favorite photography experiences.   

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
 
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
 
 
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
 
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
 
Thank you for your interest.

Otters, Sloths and a Cute Fox

3 Mar

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
 
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
 
 
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
 
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
 
Thank you for your interest.

God’s Creatures-Part 4

18 Feb

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Cats!

God’s Creatures- Part 3

11 Feb

Melody Hendrix

A Time to Live

Birds

Do you have a favorite bird at the Zoo?

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
 
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
 
 
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
 
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
 
Thank you for your interest.

God’s Creatures~Part 2

4 Feb

Melody Hendrix

A Time to Live

Photos from the zoo.

Zebras!

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
 
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
 
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
 
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
 
Thank you for your interest.
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