OnTheGoWithAmyO.

"Live The Life You've Imagined." ~Thoreau

Archive for the category “TrueStory”

Never Turn Your Back On A Wave!

01102017_thirdwavetooktheshell_aopSO LONG, SHELL!

This is the last photo ever to be taken of this pretty little shell.

Can you see the 2nd wave in the background? Well, behind it was an even bigger 3rd wave. In a matter of about 15 seconds, I was knee-deep in a powerful salt water surge, wobbling to stay on my feet, while the shell was quickly confiscated by the sea.

I politely asked the waves to give it back, but alas, that shell was long gone, baby!

I know, I know: Never Turn Your Back On A Wave.

Oh well, at least this farewell-to-the-shell photo turned out nice. 🙂

Happy Monday, friends. ♥

AmyO.

 

(Photo: AmyOakleyPhotography.com)

Rescue Heroes Save The Day!

12302016_pelicanrescue

One of the many benefits of staying in Port Aransas is that when someone finds an injured marine bird or marine turtle, there is a non-profit organization called the ARK that will help.

This pelican appeared to have a broken wing, and was fighting against the rising tide trying to carrying him out to sea.

I quickly called Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) at UT Marine Science Institute, and within 20 minutes, ARK founder Tony Amos himself arrived on the scene.

I believe this was his son who made the brave capture of the wounded pelican.

The ARK does so much good work on Mustang Island & St. Jo’s, and I’m proud that a portion of my beach photography sales from Amy Oakley Photography is donated to support ARK & Friends of the ARK.

Super Patience for the Supermoon!

I finally got one!

11142016_supermoon2

I left the island by ferry boat late yesterday afternoon, then drove over to Rockport Beach to view the Supermoon.

It was a splendid blood red shade as it peeked over the horizon of the Texas Coastal Bend tonight. There were lots of “oohs & aahs” from the friendly crowd who gathered to admire the brilliant celestial globe gliding higher into the night sky.

While it was the second night of Supermoon gazing for some, it was the first time we had a chance to see it!

This past Sunday night, while everyone else was sharing beautiful photos of the Supermoon, Port Aransas was blanketed under a thick layers clouds to the east that blocked our view. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t find beauty elsewhere in the sky!

The edge of those thick clouds made for a magnificent backdrop as the sun’s final light descended behind the western horizon.

11122016_supermoon2

Later that same evening, the skies tried to clear up. Unfortunately, high-level clouds continued to obstruct my view of the Supermoon like a well-paid celebrity bodyguard.

11132016_supermoonbehindclouds

Several people I’ve met here on the island say that there will be one last chance to see this historic Supermoon with the moon rise tonight.

Hopefully, those pesky clouds will stay away! If not, I’m sure I’ll still find something beautiful in the sky.

Blessings to you,

AmyO.

Keeping A Promise To Myself

11142016_marinasunriseLast night before I went to bed, I said, “I want to be up by 6am so I can take sunrise photos.” At 5:58am this morning, I woke gently, without an alarm.

I thought, “Whoa, that’s cool, but maybe I’ll sleep for five more minutes.”

A voice inside said, “You asked for this. Don’t ask and then not act, or future requests may not be taken seriously.”

So I got up, walked the dogs, and was out the door with camera in hand at 6:35am.

It was such a beautiful morning, with heavy dew that looked like diamonds on the grass. A pod of dolphins was getting warmed up for the day with what appeared to be morning exercises in a watery nook off the ship channel.

A few minutes after taking this photo, a thick fog rolled in, making it hard to see anything 10 feet in front of me! Had I not honored my promise to wake up, I would have slept right through this opportunity!

Words are powerful, even when they’re only spoken to one’s self.

Have a wonderful day, my friends, and I wish you abundant blessings in whatever is on your schedule today.

A True Story: Four friends, an old Cajun man, a Hanging Tree, some vultures, a rural cemetery, and- a dog!

spud01
Last Saturday, we found this little dog all alone in a rural cemetery halfway between Seguin and Nixon, Texas. He sitting in front of a tombstone as still as a statue. It was pure luck (or serendipity!) that we found him.

So grab some popcorn, and settle in for a true short story about four friends, an old Cajun man, a hanging tree, some vultures, a rural cemetery, and- a dog!

It all started when Lorelei and her friend Kim drove from Waco to Seguin last Saturday since they had tickets to an evening tour of a haunted hotel. Since they were so close by, my friend Cheryl & I drove from San Antonio to meet them for an early dinner at Tavern on the Creek in Seguin. (So delicious!)

Apparently an “old Cajun man” told Lorelei and Kim about a haunted Hanging Tree on a dirt road near the town of Nixon that was a must to visit if you wanted a genuine hair-raising paranormal experience.

So, with a couple of hours to kill (no pun intended) before their evening haunted hotel tour, we decided to drive in search of this Hanging Tree. (Which in itself is a big deal, because I tend to stay far, far, far away from all things haunted, but for whatever reason I was game for the adventure… anyway…)

As we turned down side roads, traveling farther and farther away from town, we saw a couple of vultures! But Lorelei assured us vultures actually have a positive connotation* (see footnote), so we all took deep breaths, shared a few nervous laughs, and continued on.

A few minutes later, I spotted a Texas Historical Marker sign and asked if we could stop at it. (In hindsight, don’t horror movies always start with someone saying, “Hey, let’s stop”?!)

Lo and behold, the marker was in front of a small, very quiet, gated cemetery in the middle of nowhere with large oak trees that I’m sure look spooky at night.

As we read the historical sign, I saw what looked like a stuffed animal in front of a headstone. “Is that a dog?” (Famous last words to an animal rescuer, ha!)

Yes, it indeed was a little dog. All alone.

He was very scared, and didn’t make any movement until we got close to him, then he crawled submissively to us and rolled over on his back.

We whistled in case maybe there were other dogs or puppies (there weren’t). The little dog had a few fleas, but otherwise looked to be in excellent health.

So we loaded up the pup, and – with fingers crossed for luck – went looking for his family. We drove a quarter mile here, a quarter mile there to see if any neighbors recognized this little guy. No luck, so we ditched our search for the Hanging Tree and headed back to town.

Since everyone else had a husband or boyfriend saying, “Cute, but NO!”, the little dog went home with me.

I named him “Spud” and he is a wonderful dog! He’s about a year old, potty-trained, crate-trained, doesn’t bark, doesn’t whine, doesn’t chew things up or scratch on the RV bathroom door. He’s friendly, walks well on a leash, and all around happy (but like a magnet to me).

I took him to Banfield on Sunday morning for a microchip scan, and since there was no chip, he got a collar, dog food, flea treatment and dog bed at PetSmart thanks to a farewell gift card a couple of months ago from my Waco rescue friends, Michelle, Fallon, Julie, Dot, Kim, Danielle and Casey.

On Tuesday, I took Spud to a Vanguard low-cost vaccination clinic for full vaccinations, heartworm test (Negative! Yay!), heartworm prevention and dewormer. I have requested an appointment from the local low-cost spay/neuter clinic for neuter and microchip. Hope to hear back from them soon.

Spud gets along “like peas and carrots” with my rescue dog Sofie Darla, and people keep asking if I’m going to keep Spud. For now, my answer is “I’m keeping him until he gets neutered, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

I am still checking lost/found pet sites near the area, just in case anyone is looking for him, but I know the odds are low.

On the bright side, this whole experience has spurred a couple of new short story ideas about puppies in the cemetery… paranormal is not my usual genre, but I’m always open to new ideas, especially when there is a happy ending for a little dog.

By the way, I wonder if we were to go back to look for that old Cajun man if he’d still be there. Maybe he was that little dog’s guardian angel. Or maybe the little dog saved us from paranormal ambush at the haunted Hanging Tree… We’ll never know. (Insert Vincent Price evil laugh here!)

#PhotoJournal #WriteOn

* Vulture Animal Totem: The Vulture is the symbol of death and rebirth, the mother symbol, and represents purification. For those with this totem, you will be noticed more for what you do than how you appear… The Vulture promises us that no matter how difficult things are at the moment, rescue and change are imminent. (~http://linsdomain.com/totems-t-v.htm)

The Bonus Of A Goal Buddy

228_TrainTracksSideViewPPTDO YOU HAVE A GOAL BUDDY?

Time may give us the illusion that it is infinite, but it’s not. One day, each of us will reach the end of the line in this journey called Life.

It’s quiet moments on back country roads like this that make me ponder:
• How am I spending each precious minute of my day?
• Am I wisely investing my time and energy towards achieving that which is important to me?
• What activities bring me the most joy in accordance with my Major Goals and Life’s Purpose?

There is something powerful about writing down a goal, but I believe there is added empowerment in speaking that goal out loud to a trusted friend. There is accountability. There is encouragement. There is the gentle nudge on those days when the goal seems impossible.

For more than 10 years, I’ve had a Goal Buddy – my best friend, Suzan.

This unique aspect of our friendship allows us to motivate and inspire each other in our individual journeys, to take small steps on a daily or weekly basis towards bigger goals, and to celebrate the victories, both big and small.

On occasion, I’m faced with a challenge where a goal no longer brings joy to my life, or it no longer serves a purpose towards my Major Goals or Life Purpose. At those times, like the song says, I have to be strong enough to ♫ let it go ♫.

Tomorrow morning, Suzan and I will have an early morning conference call to review our individual 2nd Quarter accomplishments, and stake a claim in what each of us wants to achieve in the 3rd Quarter of 2016. These conversations light a fire in my soul that make me appreciate every minute in the day.

I’ll note that when we first started these Goal Buddy Reviews, it was on a weekly basis. Over the years, however, we’ve hit a comfortable stride with our progress so that we only do Goal Reviews at the end of every quarter, and at the beginning of each New Year.

My Suggestion: Life is short. Make it count. No regrets. Figure out what’s important to you, grab a trusted Goal Buddy to share your vision, then create a road map to keep you on track!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
AmyO.

 

A Dragonfly’s Message

SONY DSC“The dragonfly spirit animal invites people to keep a light, positive outlook no matter what.”
~Elena Harris, SpiritAnimal.info Editor
 
Change is sometimes uncomfortable, yet it is needed for growth.
 
There has been significant change and challenge in my own life these past two weeks – losing a beloved 21-year-old kitty, unexpected repairs to the truck and RV, and severing ties with a non-profit that was dear to my heart.
 
As I spend time outside when it’s cool to mediate near the creek behind my RV, colorful dragonflies dance in flight around me, easing my heart. They land on nearby branches to observe me, and I observe them right back.
 
In the world of symbolism, which we as writers carefully and subtly insert into stories, the dragonfly represents the following:
 
• Change
• Adaptability
• Transformation
• Joy, lightness of being
• Seeing clearly through illusions and deceits
• An invitation to dive deeper into your feelings
 
It’s interesting to note that in the midst of chaos and change, I didn’t notice these beautiful, delicate creatures. Now, I see them everywhere!
#PhotoJournal
 

TREE FROG IN THE RV – AUGHHHHH!

This little “escapee” will soon be returning to home to East Texas after finding his way *inside* my RV this morning!

So how did this little tree frog end up hundreds of miles away at the beach in Port Aransas, Texas?

09252015_TreeFrogBESTIt all started when I was staying in Livingston a few months back. I’d see this little tree frog sticking to the RV windows at night, catching “bug dinners” thanks to the bright interior lights.

A few days before I left Livingston, I kept pulling this tree frog off the RV and sticking him on a nearby tree; however, by the next evening, this sticky bug catcher would be back on my rig!

“You can’t come with me,” I’d say.

He proved me wrong.

About a week after I set up here in Port Aransas, I saw Mr. Tree Frog sticking on the bunkhouse slide out.

“Surely not!” I thought, but alas, it was.

From that point on, my evening ritual included making small water puddles for him (and the local toads) as I watered my outside plants.

Often, I’d see him sticking on the side of my RV slide out, waiting for the water and bounty of bugs that followed.

Twice, he was perched on my utility hookups, as if waiting for the nightly “faux rain shower.” He was not scared of me, and would even allow me to lightly drizzle him with water from the hose.

It was an agreeable set up, but now, less than a week away from moving to a new RV Resort on the beach, I was worried that he’d get left behind or worse – a meal for a hungry seagull.

This morning, I was awakened by commotion in the rig!

The cats were after something and, trying to quickly shake off sleep, I ran to the kitchen to find out what they had found.

It was the little frog, sitting in the middle of a ring of cats.

The little frog was completely unharmed, and most likely untouched. My guess is the kitties tried to touch him, and his stickiness freaked them out.

I quickly scooped him up, dressed, and drove him over to ARK (Animal Rehabilitation Keep). ARK is the place that rescues all those baby sea turtles you see in the news, plus injured seagulls and other wounded marine life.

They took him in, and after identifying his species, informed me that tree frogs are in fact not native to the area.

Luckily, one of the staff members has family in the Houston area, and will soon be transported back to Deep East Texas (they took the information of where he originated). In the meantime, this lucky little frog will be kept safe and sound, with all the fruit flies he can eat!

I know it sounds silly, but I feel like this little tree frog and I had become… well, friends. Sadly, much like with ET (from the movies), it’s time for this visitor to go back *home* – to his own kind, to his own world.

Good luck, little tree frog friend. You’ll always be a special memory from my RV travel days!

Midnight Sand Crab Rescue! (You heard right.)

While taking my dog on her final potty break of the night, we found this little sand crab, so far from home (well, a few blocks, but to a sand crab, it’s a mighty long way).

He (or she) was probably a stowaway on a neighbor’s fishing boat.

Thinking quickly, I grabbed an empty Tidy Cat container and scooped him up (no pun intended).

I was going to return him to the shore in the morning, but couldn’t handle the *scratching noise* coming from the tub (real or perceived, we’ll never know).

So I loaded him up in the truck, and just dropped him off at the jetty. We said our farewells and I think he gave me a wink before his sideways journey onward. (I swear I’m totally sober.)

Lucky sand crab now has his pick of beach sand, jetty rocks or warm salt water.

My heart is happy!

09122015_SandCrabMidnightRescueBEST

Is This Your Granny?

02162015_SweetGrandmaI met a sweet, soft-spoken lady in her late 70s/early 80s while walking on the beach at Port Aransas on Mustang Island, Texas, back in February 2015.

This gentle lady was ever-so-slowly collecting shells and we started to chat.

She told me that she was gathering the shells to make a hanging shell display for each her two teenaged grandsons. I could tell she put thought into every individual shell, to make sure it was the best of the best for her grandsons.

I didn’t realize that her reflection was in the photo of this shell at the time, but when I offered her the shell for her project, she accepted.

A second shell I offered her didn’t “make the cut” for her collection. She was very particular about the quality, color and size of shell.

As I left the beach about an hour later, this dedicated granny was still there, so I snapped these three photos from afar.

02162015_SweetGrandma3PhotosI wish I could get these photos to her grandsons so they could fully realize how much effort, work & love went into her gifts.

(c) Amy Oakley, 1027 Productions

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