Saturday, February 22, 2014

Serendipity At Best Buy and Again In The Street

Before I get to the serendipity part, let me share this bit of background information.
I haven't done much in recent years, but I've carved a few things in my life, mostly walking sticks and canes with Florida wildlife or marine life themes.
Often, while carving, I would reference a treasured set of the Ashton's reptile field guides for some needed detail. I've had them for years and they are battered and stained as any good field guide should be.
Now to the serendipity part ...

 Last week, after an awesome eye doctor visit, I went into Best Buy to look at cameras.
I'm not very happy with the wildlife shots I get from my one year old Sony DSCHX200 camera. It does a lot of great things, but it is not fast enough or good enough in low light for my personal needs.
It's actually the reason for the slow down in Pure Florida posts.
(Email me if you want to buy it ... at a discount.)
So, I was hoping to look at the DSLRs in Best Buy with a replacement in mind.
A Best Buy sales associate came up to me as I was looking at cameras and asked me if I needed any help.
I told him my dilemma and he gave me some great information about why that camera wasn't a good choice for bird and critter photography ... whew ... that was reassuring ... I knew it couldn't be me.
I've only been an avid photographer for about 40 years ...
So where is the serendipity part?
I'm getting there, be patient.
In our conversation I asked about another camera I had ordered for Cedar Key's Science Department. As soon as I said science he asked me what science I teach, I said "everything", and he pulled out his phone to show me a photo of a beautiful tortoise.
In the conversation he mentioned he lived on a 200 acre wildlife preserve and raised exotic tortoises.
Then he asked me if I had ever heard of Ray and Patricia Ashton.
Well, of course I had, they are the co-authors of my favorite Florida reptile and amphibian field guides.
"Well, " he said, "They are my parents. I'm Kevin Ashton"
So, then we had a REALLY great conversation about his late father and the books.
Pretty cool.
My girl Sara N. Dippity was right by my side that day.
Yesterday, she showed up again, but this time it was in Cedar Key...
This bit of serendipity involves a little background information too.
Longtime Pure Florida readers know I raise my beloved heirloom Datil Peppers and that I offer Datil Pepper seeds for sale through Pure Florida.

Sometimes the orders contain just an address, but sometimes they contain notes and even pictures from the customers.
Repeat customers frequently send me a shot of how well their plants grew ... love that.


Okay, okay, but you have to know the former to see the coolness of the latter.

Yesterday, the principal sent us an email that said we could go home a little early, but I dawdled at my desk for a half hour or so, finishing up a few things.

When I did finally walk out, I paused at the desk and chatted with Miss Angie and Miss Charlotte before exiting the building.
That's important, because serendipity is always about exquisite timing.

I walked across the tiny Cedar Key School parking lot to my JEEP and opened the passenger door to sling my backpack onto the seat.

As I did, I noticed an SUV drive past, stop, hesitate, and then turn around ... the way a tourist does when they decide to ask you a question.

Sure enough, the SUV pulled up close and stopped.

The driver was a friendly looking guy.
As he stopped, he said,

To which I replied,

We laughed and chatted for a few minutes in the middle of the road ... this IS quiet Cedar Key after all.

He's one of my repeat Datil Pepper customers with an address that is really quaint and easy to remember, in fact that's how he introduced himself.

Although this was our first meeting in person, I recognized the name and address immediately.

He and his wife were visiting Cedar Key and happened to ride by the school JUST as I walked out to my JEEP.
He told his wife that must be the Pure Florida guy, it's a red JEEP parked at Cedar Key School, so he turned around on a hunch.

I'm so glad he did, it was a great dose of serendipity and one that made my day.

A few minutes either way and we would not have crossed paths.

And for that, Miss Sara N. Dippity, I thank you.



threecollie said...

That just gave me cold chills. Wow, what a wonderful world!

Caroline said...

Sara is an awesome gal!
BTW, I just replaced my Sony DSC-HX20v, had it for a year and literally wore it out! Apparently the point and shoots are not meant to be used to take pictures on a 365 basis which is what I do.Panasonic Lumix now rides in my pocket every day.

Miz S said...

Timing is everything! How cool!

Mark P said...

That is cool.

As to the camera, a few years ago I debated and agonized about whether to get a DSLR. Don't. It's much better than non-DSLRs for focus and response.

Sayre said...

Love it when Sara comes to call!

robin andrea said...

These are such GREAT stories. I love them. When Miss Sara N. Dippity comes knocking on your door it's always such a treat!

Anonymous said...

I use a Nikon D3000 and LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I saw this camera and the D3100 (which has video capibilities) at Sam's recently(here in GA) for a great price. I was tempted to get a 2nd D3000 for our family's use. I can personally recommend this camera for nature photography, as well as action/sports...or in my case marching band. (I'm the photographer for my sons' HS band + our church. I'm not a professional, but experienced hobby photog.) My hubby takes lots of bug/flower pictures, while I take all the family, kid, dog and band pictures.
A good low light/action lens is also essential to great pictures. You might look into that, too. I use a 50mm f/1.8 I found via Amazon.
Good Luck!
Donna Mc

R.Powers said...

Thanks to all for the comments and thank you especially Donna for that info. I have been looking at that very family of cameras ... thinking of the D3200 as a price compromise between the new D3300 and the D3100.

amarkonmywall said...

How cool is that? Making friends with your pepper seeds...I love it. Which reminds me- I need seeds! I'll submit an order. :-)

Julie Zickefoose said...

I will never forget seeing you roll up in the immaculate red JEEP during the Space Coast festival and realizing that HERE in front of me was PURE FLORIDA in the flesh. I think I squealed. I know I made a fool of myself. I'm sure the Datil customer was similarly smitten.
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