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Yesterday my friend Pam and I went on a quest to find the “National Museum of Women in Art”. It was said to be in Deland and since Pam is a member, we thought we would go find out what she is a member of. So we trucked it up to the beautiful, quaint city of Deland, about 15 miles away.  We went to the address on the Google map and it turned out to be the Cultural Arts Center at Stetson University. We wandered in and looked around at the gallery, the work was abstract expressionist by Florida artist, Harold Garde. Every piece was vibrant, really alive and embracing, I gravitated to his “puppet” series, one of a few series he has on display. The exhibit will be there till the 15th of this month –

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But, when we asked about the Women’s Museum, no one had heard much about it. And the women working there as volunteers were quite wonderfully informative. So we back tracked and went walking with our cameras to downtown and ate at Norville Barnes which had excellent food.    restaurantnorville-2_edited-1 Then off we went through the downtown looking for places of interest where Pam can work with her infra-red film.  We found a very cool bookstore with many antiquarian books which I love. Then there was a very fun pet store, Animalia which had terrific snakes and lizards and koi besides other pets. 3beardedlizards-1 Outside there were robins flying all over and they so remind me of growing up in Ohio and seeing those wonderful red breasted birds. 21109robins-1

But still no National Women’s Museum.
We went to take photos of the Wharf, an older building where artist Courtney Canova has painted people on the windows.  21109thewharf-1 And as we walked back to the car, we scame across the Artsan Inn and on a fluke Pam looked up and saw a sign, (no not from God, an actual sign) that read, National Museum of Women in Art. We wandered in and took the elevator where it directed us, the second floor, because there are only 2 floors. And we peeked in all kinds of room and found it. There was a featured artist on exhibit and we found a women who welcomed us there and said yes, this was where Pam was a member. They hoped to host many one person exhibits. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the artist, but she had remarkable detailed work, plus a painted ostrich egg!   3 (this photo from the Artisan Inn itself, not one of mine)
So Pam and I had a great time and had fun discovering part of Deland which I can say I would be happy to live in such a wonderful and friendly town. Everyone we met was so open and nice. Being a University town with Stetson has shaped this into a cultured city with lots of history and charm. I would go back at the drop of a hat.
When I got home I fished, no fish caught, but weather all day was so perfect you could not have asked for a better day to enjoy!    a few more pics:100_4994_00 Methodist Church  21109elizabethhall-1 Elizabeth Hall.

For more visit:   http://offshoot2.wordpress.com

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My beautiful heron has been coming to fish with me for 2 years. I think it is a female after wondering if it was one of the offspring. It could be the wife of the large male. I say that because tonight while fishing, it wisked down about twenty feet from me and watched as I fished. Her head turning toward me as soon as the line held a splashing noise. The heron is highly alert to the sound of a fish in peril. But so is Ringo, he loves raw fish if he can get to them first, plus he will watch for an opportunity to stalk that heron even though the heron is so much taller. The heron either stands in the shallow water or waits in a tree branch overseeing the fishing operation, he is very aware of Ringo. If I catch a fish, I usually have Ringo who will try and get it and the heron who will swoop down to have it – it’s a competitive race and juggling act.
If Ringo sees the heron on dry land, he will not hesitate to chase it away. He won’t do that to the cranes because they stand their ground and won’t hesitate to come right after a cat! The sandhills are dominant. Even the heron knows that!
Tonight as Ringo, the heron and I fished, I caught a small bream and the bigger heron who must have been observing, flew the smaller heron off to try and take the catch. So it’s back to the heron wars and I love it.
The fishing is fun, I can’t explain what it feels like to get a tug on the line, but there is an excitement that sparks a reaction from that tug.  I either throw the fish back, or feed one or two to the herons, I figure it culls the overpopulation of bream.
It is exciting watching all these species interact. There is always something going on down by the lake, that’s why I try and fish almost every night. I find I am taking a huge camera bag down by the lake with my old Kodak and new Sony. The new camera does make a difference, but I am afraid I am going to treat it roughly like my cheaper camera as I love having it ready, lens cap off and sitting in the bag as I fish, which is not professional, but I am only an amateur so I guess that rationalizes that. Oh well, I bought the four year full replacement policy, what’s the worse that can happen, it breaks and they have to replace it?
The last photo is Ringo looking all innocent and sound asleep last night. It has gotten cold here at night,
(low 60’s and for us Floridians, it equates to freezing), Ringo comes in now either after we fish around dark,
(that’s about 6pm these days) or he’ll show up around 10pm to do some serious cutting of ZZZZ’s. Right now, he is passed out on the electric blanket, (yes Northerners, this whimpy Floridian sleeps under electric blanket even with the house temp at 72degrees. Once a Floridian, you always need to feel the heat of the sun even if it is fake and you are sleeping.)
Well, it’s 3:05am, time to go ‘electrifry’ and feel those alpha wave jolts for a few hours. In this economy, dreaming is the only luxury they can’t take away…

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