Tag Archives: Nature Photoblogger

Bears!

26 Nov

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Our talented and delightful nature photographer, Melody traveled to the Smokys in the fall. As usual her photos are outstanding. This is her bears story-Onisha

We had explored our favorite area in the Smokys, Roaring Fork motor trail. So lovely. We did see a mama bear earlier the day before, but couldn’t really get a good look much less a photo. That afternoon we went to eat at the Alamo just outside Gatlinburg.  One of our favorites. 

The waiter was quite talkative and said he also worked for FEMA. He said something interesting. That because of the fires, he thinks nature is trying to replenish itself and the bears are having twice as many cubs as before. Normally 2 and now 3 or 4. So with that in mind, the bears were all trying to eat and gain weight before winter.

This Mama had two cubs and they were right by the road. After seeing all the people getting out of their cars clicking their cameras, Mama told the cubs to climb the tree while she looked for food. And they did.

Mama went over by the water and lifted large rocks in the stream perhaps looking for crayfish for some kind of goodies. 

The cubs were growing weary of waiting in the tree and got a little scared with all the people at the bottom.

. The boredom finally got to them and they climbed down and ran as fast as they could to Mama. It was just the cutest experience I have ever had.

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.

Pollywogs

29 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

A few months ago, in some pollywogs that took up residence in my broken water fountain.

 

 

I had never really looked at them close up. So I photographed them.

 

 

They are comical little creatures. Then they transform into cute little frogs.

 

 

 

 

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.
Melody

Masterpiece of God

10 Apr

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

 

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.
Melody

Family

31 Oct

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Cherish your family and friends
For they are your treasure,
A God given wealth
beyond measure.

 

 

 

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.
Melody

After the Storm

12 Sep

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

White Mountains, New Hampshire~Covered Bridges and Waterfalls

29 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

It was peak fall colors in Lincon, New Hampshire. We arrived at Rivergreen Resort right on the Pemigewasset river. Our home for 2 weeks. It was breathtaking. We set out on the Kancamagus Highway to see the beauty of the White Mountains.

 

 

 

We set out to photograph the fall colors, covered bridges and water falls. Being from Florida this was breathtaking beauty. It was cold, rainy and overcast. A disappointment to most, but perfect for photography.

 

One of the first places we explored was Sabbaday Falls.

 

 

The falls were spectacular. There was much more to the park. It was all amazing. We spent most of the day there.

The next day we went to North Woodstock to see Clark’s Bridge.

 

 

 

Clark’s Bridge

Location: East of U.S. Route 3 in Clark’s Trading Post on Clark’s Short Steam Railroad

Clark’s Bridge was originally built in Barre, Vermont, in 1904 as a part of the Barre Railroad, to span the Winooski River. In 1960 the railroad line and the covered bridge were abandoned. The bridge was dismantled in East Montpelier and taken to its present site. The bridge was reassembled on dry land next to the Pemigewasset River. It was positioned over the river in 1965 and is still used as a part of Clark’s Short Steam Railroad. It appears to be the only Howe railroad bridge left in the world. Howe Truss; 116 feet long.

Our next covered bridge is the Saco River Bridge

 

Saco River Bridge

East Side Street

Conway, NH, 03818

Location: 0.4 miles north of the junction routes 16 and 153 on east side of road. In Conway Village go north on Washington Street and turn right at the fork; this is East Side Road.

This bridge, built in 1890 by Charles Broughton and his son, Frank, carries East Side Road over the Saco River a short distance north of Conway Center. In 1850s, Jacob Berry and Peter Paddleford built a covered bridge to replace a crudely framed log bridge that had collapsed at this site. The 1850 bridge stood until the Swift River covered bridge crashed into it in 1869 after that bridge was swept from its abutments. The bridge was rebuilt by Allen and Warren of Conway but it was destroyed again by a tannery fire in 1890. The existing structure replaces the one destroyed by the fire. Paddleford truss with added arches; 224 feet long. There is a small parking lot on the northeast side of the bridge.

Next is the Swift River Bridge

 

 

Location: One-half mile north of N.H. Route 16 at Conway Village

The first bridge at this site, crossing the Swift River, was built in 1850. In 1869, it was swept off its abutments by the raging Swift River and it rode downstream into the Saco River, where it crashed into the Saco River bridge. Debris from both bridges was salvaged and used in rebuilding this bridge. In 1974, the bridge was bypassed in favor of a new concrete and steel structure. Paddleford truss with arch; 133 feet long.

We visited a very interesting town called Bath.

 

 

 

The Bath Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge over the Ammonoosuc River off US 302 and NH 10 in Bath, New Hampshire. The bridge, built in 1833 by the town of Bath, has a span of over 390 feet and a roadbed that is just over 22 feet wide.

The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The bridge was closed to traffic in October 2012 for safety, structural, and cosmetic reasons. After 21 months and $3 million in repairs, it re-opened in August 2014.

There is a famous place in Bath called The Brick Store, believed to be one of the oldest continually-operated general stores in America. Unfortunately, I believe it may have closed since I visited it several years ago.

 

 

 

Another beautiful place to visit it the Rocky Gorge scenic area. 

 

 

There is a foot bridge over the gorge. The foot path on the other side of the bridge gradually ascends a small rise to Falls Pond. Located eight miles west of Conway on the Kancamagus Highway.

 

 

We are the World’s People. That was the Shakers’ name for everyone not a Shaker.

Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury

You can visit the village. It’s a unique architectural and historical treasure nestled in the rollling hills of New Hampshire, with plenty of crafts, foods and gifts to buy.

One more place I would like to share is Echo Lake State Park .

 

 

 

 

One of the popular activities here is mountain climbing. There are eight mountain climers in this picture above.

From the scurrying chipmunks to magnificent water falls, the white mountains are a place of Gods beauty.

 

 

 

Please join me next week to parts unknown.

 

 

 

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.
Melody

Florida Travel~Next Stop Great Smoky Mountains National Park

15 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Smoky Mountains in the fall.

 

                  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g143031-Activities-  Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park_Tennessee.html

I haven’t traveled outside of Florida much, but I will say that The Great Smoky Mountains in the fall is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Being a native Floridian, a flatlander, I was overwhelmed by the mountains and the colors, the rocky creeks and the music of the water flowing over the rock.

 

 

Strangely what I loved the most is looking out and seeing the mesmerizing design from the abstract lines created by the shapes of each mountain and valley. And how each layer is a distinct shade and color. The morning sun outlining it all.  Almost Heaven is the feeling that comes over me. The crisp air awakening my senses. I feel so close to God being in the spectacular beauty of His handiwork. This place the finest candy for my eyes. The images etched in my soul forever.

 

 

We stayed in Gatlinburg, at the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here you will find lots to do if you have kids. It is similar to I-Drive in Orlando. It is also the gateway to 441 the main road through the mountains.

 

 

 

My favorite place here is Roaring Fork, a driving nature trail. This is a must. You drive through it, stopping all along the beautiful creek that runs along most of the way. There are many places to park and hike to falls. This is like all of the Smokies in one gorgeous road through Heaven.

 

 

Also along Roaring Fork are historic buildings.

 

 

 

You can explore them. It’s amazing to see how the people lived. At the end of the trail is a little store you can by goodies.

There are so many beautiful places, but I will tell you about some of my favorites. If you are going there, be sure to do your homework first, make a plan especially if you plan to visit some falls. There are some right on the road and there are some that are very difficult to get to.

Our first stop every morning is one of the few places you can enjoy a sunrise. Newfound Gap.

 

 

It’s an overlook with restrooms and an entrance to the Appalacian Trail.

 

 

Take a walk on this beautiful trail. It’s just beautiful and so are the people you may meet traveling on it.

 

 

Clingmans dome is a popular stop. This tower is at 6643 feet which is the highest point in the smoky mountains national park. The view is spectacular, but the climb up is very difficult. It is a nice paved walk, but half a mile and very steep.

 

 

 

If you go to Cherokee, be sure to stop at Ocoaluftee visitor center. There is a lot there to see.

 

You can walk the short trail to the river, see historic buildings and you may see some elk in the field by the highway. Also near by is an easy walk to Mingus Mill. It is a working grist mill where you can buy goodies such as freshly ground corn meal.

 

 

There are so many wonderful waterfalls. Many are not easy to get to. So check them out first according to which ones will fit you physically. They are all different and most are challenging to get to.

 

 

 

 

Wildfires in the beginning of this year destroyed a lot, but it is already healing and open to tourism.

Please join me next week. We are going to New Hampshires White Mountains.

 

 

Florida Travel~Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

19 Jun

A Time to LIve

Melody Hendrix

 

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a Florida State Park located near Palm Coast, Florida, along A1A just a short distance north of Ponce Inlet .

 

 

 http://www.washingtonoaks.org/

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd.

Palm Coast, Florida 32137

(386) 446-6780

 

The park is most famous for its formal gardens.

 

It also preserves the original habitat of a northeast Florida barrier island.

 

The park has such amenities as beaches (on both the Matanzas River and Atlantic Ocean), bicycling, fishing, hiking, picnicking areas and wildlife viewing. The original residence has been converted into a visitor center with interpretive exhibits.

The Park’s eastern boundary holds  outcroppings of coquina rock , creating a picturesque boulder-strewn beach. It is full of swirling, sculptured coquina rocks piled along the beach, some sporting circular holes, others forming bowls that create tide pools for snails and anemones.

This unusual beach in Florida is a well-kept secret, hoarded by the locals who refer to it as “The Rocks”.

 

 

One quick stop just before Matanzas is Marineland. Hurricanes Floyd and Irene in 1999 forced the park to close for two months. In 2003, all of the park buildings west of Highway A1A were demolished leaving only the original structures along the Atlantic Ocean. In 2004, the park closed completely for renovations, and reopened on March 4, 2006. In January 2011, Marineland was sold again and is currently being operated as a subsidiary of Georgia Aquarium. The facility, now named Marineland Dolphin Adventure, offers several dolphins encounters, educational programs, and conducts research to help care for marine life in human care and in the wild.

The park has a nice boardwalk and restrooms. The beach is also strewn with outcroppings that appear at low tide.

 

 

A little farther north on A1A is Matanzas Inlet. 

It is a channel in Florida between barrier islands connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the south end of the Matanzas River. The inlet is not stabilized by jetties, and thus is subject to shifting.

 

The above picture shows the inlet at low tide and across it is the Matanzas Monument location. It was designated a United States National Monument on October 15, 1924.

Below is a link to the forts history

https://www.nps.gov/foma/learn/historyculture/the_massacre.htm

Hurricane Matthew caused damage. Below, shows (Sept. 6, 2014) and after (Oct. 13, 2016)  the damage hurricane Matthew did to this area. The storm cut a new inlet between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River near St. Augustine, Florida, stripping away a 12-foot dune and carrying sand into the estuary and altered a part of the northeast Florida coastline.

 

Matanzas Inlet is still a beautiful place. One of the treasures that draws me to this place is the sand. With the changing of tides and blending of the swift moving bodies of water, the patterns in the sand are truly master pieces that are sculpted everyday. Tide pools trap interesting creatures to explore. Lots of birds dine on the abundant food available. This area is loved by fishermen.

 

The rocks that add to the unusual look for a Florida beah appear and disappear with the tide.

 

You must be aware of the tides on the south side of the inlet. You can be trapped by incoming tides and forced to exit through private property.

 

There is beauty in all sides of the bridge. The inlet side, and the beach side. There is also a long boardwalk and parking on both sides.

If you love beach walks, photography, birding,  beaching, hiking or just exploring, this would be an enjoyable little trip.

Please join me next week on our last northern stop along A1A to St Augustine before we head west to the Suwannee River and some visit some springs.

 

 

 

 

 

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.
Melody

Florida Travel~Ponce Inlet

13 Jun

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

The Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

http://ponceinlet.org/

Located 10 miles south of Daytona Beach in the Town of Ponce Inlet.  4931 S Peninsula Dr, Ponce Inlet, Fl 32127

Situated on the north bank of Ponce Inlet where the Halifax and Indian Rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean, the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is a must see for anyone interested in Florida, maritime, or local history.

In 1774, the British put the very first lighthouse on the north side of the Inlet. It wasn’t really a lighthouse at all! It was simply a huge bonfire that was kept burning on top of a sand dune. A real lighthouse was built in 1835 on the south side of Mosquito Inlet.

 

 

This was a round tower made of bricks, and it stood 45 feet tall. Amazingly, the lamp was never lit. Why? The governor never ordered any fuel oil for the light. Next, a storm came and damaged the foundation. Then the Seminole Indians raided it and tried to burn the tower. Finally, in April of 1836, the lighthouse toppled over into the sea. This lighthouse lasted only a year and was never even lit!

The present light station was completed on the north side of the inlet in 1887. The new tower had a lamp at the top that was fueled by kerosene. This little light could be seen for more than 18 miles out in the ocean because it was magnified by a special Fresnel (pronounced Fra-NEL) lens.

 

 

The light station had three houses for the lighthouse keepers and their families, as well as an oil storage building and other small buildings. This light station still stands today! The inlet’s name has been changed from Mosquito Inlet to Ponce De Leon Inlet.

Lighthouse Facts:

The tower is 175 feet tall

It is the tallest lighthouse in Florida

There are 213 steps to the top of the tower

The tower beacon flashes six times in 15 seconds followed by a 15 second eclipse

The light from the beacon can be seen up to 18 miles out to sea

Approximately 2.5 million bricks were used to build the Light Station

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is one of only 12 lighthouses in the country to have been designated a National Historic Landmark.

 Looking up from the ground floor

 

Looking out from the top

 

Staircase and lighthouse window

 

 

Lighthouse Point Park

5000 South Atlantic Avenue

Ponce Inlet, FL 32127

(386) 756-7488

Consisting of 52 acres of pristine land on the north side of Ponce DeLeon Inlet, this park features fishing, nature trails, an observation deck and tower, swimming, picnicking and birding.

 

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The southern tip of Ponce Inlet. The natural beauty of the undisturbed land has been preserved for all to enjoy. Dolphins frequent the shoreline, gopher tortoises can be found in sandy areas, and other wildlife. There is also a designated area for your dog.

The Ayers Davies Lens Exhibit Building houses one of the finest collections of restored Fresnel lenses in the world, including the rotating first order Fresnel lens from the Cape Canaveral lighthouse and the restored original Ponce Inlet lighthouse first order Fresnel lens.

 

 

Smyrna Dunes Park

https://www.volusia.org/services/public-works/coastal-division/coastal-parks/smyrna-dunes-park.stml

From Lighthouse Point Park, you can see Smyrna Dunes Park on the other side of the river.

 

Although only a short distance away across the inlet, it is a distance to drive from one to another. The lighthouse is entered through Port Orange/Daytona and Smyrna Dunes Park is entered through New Smyrna Beach.

The Dunes Park is also dog friendly.

It has long boardwalks to the beach and river.

 

This park is similar as the same activities available and has beautiful dunes also.

 

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Both of these parks are scenic, peaceful and great to spend the day in.

 

 

Next week we will drive north on A1A to Washington Oaks State Park and Matanzas Inlet.

 

 

 

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.
Melody

God and Nature

30 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

By simply pondering the heavens, our eyes may be opened to the reality of God. And it is then that we will see His hand, His presence, in all aspects of nature!
God the Father/Creator is the Source of Nature, its power and grandeur.
God the Son/John 1:1  is the rational form of Nature, it’s beauty and goodness.
God the Holy Spirit/Love  is the Meaning and Purpose of Nature as the power and form come together to provide a magnificent and excellent Habitat for humanity and the rest of flora and fauna.
God is not only Power, but God is Powerful. God is not only Knowledge, but God is Wise. God is not only Love, but God is Good.
God is One and Three.  Power, Wisdom and Love.
Humans are One and Three, Body, Mind, and Spirit.

 

 

 

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.
Melody
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