Macro flowers

I just purchased a(nother!) new camera, the Sony A6400; it offers enhanced low light also being small and light (almost too small!) and while it doesn’t have the massive zoom of my other high zoom cameras although with the 18-200 lens I also purchased, it’s pretty good!

Testing the opposite view, I used the macro feature to take close-up views of flowers on my morning walk around town … none of these are edited (except for size); color/etc just straight from the camera – and I’m very impressed!

Frank Lloyd Wright at Florida Southern College

On our way back from St Pete Beach earlier this week, we stopped at Florida Southern College to see a collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings known as “Child Of The Sun“. Quite a lovely set of buildings spread down the slope of the college campus; most only visible from outside but nice to see anyway – and the couple (chapels) we could go inside, helped gave an idea of the colored-glass-in-wall lighting effects …

(see also this)


Back to The Chihuly Collection

Staying near St Petersburg for a few days, we enjoyed a second visit to the beautiful glass sculptures of the Chihuly Collection; photos are encouraged (so nice compared with most places!) so here they are:


We also watched a glass blowing demonstration – which was very splendid and interesting, going from a blob of glass to a big curvy dish a little like the last images above (though with stripes of color rather than those more intricate designs):

We were told that you can’t really see the final piece till it’s fully cooled (a day or more later) so the colors can settle!


Back to LunaSea Alpaca Farm

A few weeks ago we visited nearby LunaSea Alpaca Farm and had a great time interacting with the animals there – especially the new born! And Kate wanted to visit there too, so we returned today (also with a few other friends, Denise, Resa, and Donna).

Once again a great time; the young we saw last time were a bit older but there were new young – including Loralai born just this past weekend, and especially curious about visitors to her home! Lots of pictures, as always …

Epcot and Magic Kingdom with Kate

We have another visitor, this time Margaret’s sister Kate over from England – and of course we’re back at Disney! On Sunday we went to Epcot (after breakfast at Boma with friends Pedro & Laura and Christian) doing Soarin’, Spaceship Earth, Figment, Living With The Land, and NEMO (and some great butterfly views!). We gave up walking round World Showcase because Kate’s not used to the Florida heat …


On Monday (later in the day to catch the fireworks) we went to Magic Kingdom; there we did Buzz Lightyear, TTA, Haunted Mansion, Small World, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, and Winnie The Pooh (after fireworks – really quiet so we rode twice in a row!) … and of course the amazing castle projection / fireworks show:


A fun couple of days!


Visiting Chicago

We’ve just returned from a few days in Chicago, our first trip there and a great city to visit so long as you don’t rent a car (which we didn’t); we stayed right in the skyscraper center next to the river, and had easy walking along the riverside, down to The Bean, over to the Navy Pier – and then clean reliable train service out to further parts of the city.

It was cold when we arrived, warmer another day, cold again – we bought hats and wore a coat most of the time; we walked, and took loads of photos. Our hotel room overlooked the river and Trump Tower, for when we weren’t out walking …


We took an “architectural river cruise” with Wendella, learning about the skyscraper history and getting great views as we traveled through the lock and out to Lake Michigan, and back …

We (twice) watched all the bridges open to let tall mast yachts through (a very slow process with so many bridges, opening one-at-a-time!)


We walked to The Bean (Cloud Gate), spectacular and beautiful art!

In the evening we watched Art on theMart, a somewhat strange and soundless projection (sound is supposed to be available from the website but it was unconvincing); some great night time views from the riverside too:

There was more too, shopping, pizza (of course), and endless chocolate; a great vacation!