Tag Archives: florida

Ah! So There’s Where the Sun’s Been Hiding

ocean
©2015 T. R. Gates

     I used to think I’d write a lot more if I lived somewhere near the beach. That inspiration would come as I sat in the sun’s rays with the sounds and scent of the ocean nearby. It seems calming, inspiring, mind clearing.

     I need that right now.

     New York can be so dreary during certain times of the year that cabin fever can set in for months. While reading and writing by a warm fireplace seems ideal, the winter blahs tend to hit hard around February to April.

Normally, I could fight it. Enjoy the warm fires, the hot cup of cocoa, and a good book. The ideas just flow. But this long, frigid winter kicked butt. Not just mine, either. Everyone I talked to in this area seemed depressed and miserable. Irritable even. Of course, it didn’t help that the cold made way for dozens of flu and viruses. Get rid of one and another one came along. Or, that there were days so cold we didn’t dare get out of the blankets. My fingers were too cold to even to type.

We all needed a vacation. We needed warmth.

My husband, daughter and I went to Florida to visit his father. It was our 5th trip since my father-in-law moved there years ago. We go every time during Spring break and watch the temperatures and scenery change as we drive south. It’s nice going from frigid, windy, dreary weather to bright, sunny, heat. It’s a nice little break before returning to finish winter. The most we spend is usually on gas back and forth. We visit a few beaches, but my father-in-law’s house is on the lake. It makes it convenient to go out in the boat, or watch wildlife. Which, I admit, distracts me from writing.

Tricolored heron on Bird Island in the center of Cedar Lake. New Port Richey, Florida.  ©2015 T. R. Gates
Tricolored heron on Bird Island in the center of Cedar Lake. New Port Richey, Florida.
©2015 T. R. Gates

If my husband had his way, he’d be out fishing every day for the rest of our lives. If I had mine, I’d be taking photos of the wildlife every day. Worked great for us both as we went out in the boat each day and enjoyed ourselves. (Of course, we had to take our daughter to the mall and to Tarpon Springs since, if she had her way, she’d be shopping every day.)

We find something new each time we visit. In 2013, I took photos of adult and baby alligators in the lake. Keeping my distance, of course. We discovered that large soft shelled tortoises lived there. Both were something that my father-in-law and neighbors didn’t know where there. They were used to the white ibises, great blue herons, cattle egrets, anhingas, wood storks, and a bunch of other types of birds and animals hanging around a tiny island in the middle of the lake. This year, I photographed tricolored herons and glossy ibises, both seemingly new to the island.

Nesting Tricolored Herons ©2015 T. R. Gates
Nesting Tricolored Herons
©2015 T. R. Gates

I had fun taking over 400 photos. Showing a few of them here. As distractions away from writing go, these are some good ones.

Glossy Ibis  ©2015 T. R. Gates
Glossy Ibis
©2015 T. R. Gates

Our week went by too fast. I miss the warmth already. Even so, my winter blues are gone and my creativity has returned. Yay for that! Did I mention I paint too? Well, I haven’t in over a year. With all of these photos, inspirations returned for a few of my creative outlets. Writing is among them. Even though I’d been distracted away from it while vacationing in Florida.

-Trace