'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology, Uncategorized

Sunset drive…

Our Tuesday camera club meeting always takes place at 6 PM on Tuesday night. The lovely park that we pass by on our way to the meeting is always pretty, but it’s the sunset that changes. Not too long ago the sky was on fire as we approached the park and I worried that I’d miss the sunset completely. This week’s meeting at 6 PM had us early for the sunset, but not too early for the sky to be amazing. So I held my phone out the car window and kept the burst button down. If you are a photographer, whether a pro or just for fun, you are used to going through a LOT of pictures to find the few that you like a lot. In this case there was an unusual amount of photos taken, but as long as I find a couple to use I’m happy. Life is good.

A possible proposal?
Love the clouds.
I was inside for the sunset itself, I’ll bet it was gorgeous.
I would imagine that someone enjoyed the sunset on one of these benches.
birds, nature, photography, friends, fun, adventure, Florida wildlife, perseverance, natural wonders, nesting, a second look

It’s that time again…

Love is in the air. Activity at the rookery is picking up.

Hmm, I hope their nest is basically ready, looks like it will be in use before too long.
Lots of individuals in their breeding plumage, just waiting for that special someone to come along.
The cormorants seem to have gotten a head start. This tree looks like a cormorant condo, babies are getting big.

This is a fun time of year for photographers as we enjoy the perfect weather, while nature provides lots of opportunities to be out with our cameras.

adventure, birds, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, pelicans, perseverance, photography

Pelican Paradise…

Looking at my pictures from Homosassa Springs I had to think that it really does appear to be a pelican paradise…

This is a brown pelican.
And this is a white pelican, and the bumps on his bill means that he/she is in breeding plumage.
Here we have a Black Crowned Night Heron. He is a wild bird, living here by choice. Smart bird.
Here we have an immature Black Crowned Night Heron with an adult in the background.
They aren’t afraid of people. This one was on a branch close to the walking path.
And here is more proof that they aren’t afraid of people. The woman in the glasses is getting ready to feed the pelicans. She said that they try not to feed the wild birds but these three look pretty hopeful to me.
The pelican in the center was the winner this time.
That little immature night heron looks a bit disappointed to me.
This is a Crested Caracara, who looks too pretty to be a raptor who will chase off vultures in order to feast on their left overs.
This is a little Burrowing Owl, who finally opened one eye to peek at what was going on. We are planning to take a trip to Cape Coral to see them in their natural habitat soon.
When ever I see a pretty view like this I grab my iPhone to take a picture.
Doesn’t he look flirty?
Did you know that the flamingos have black -tipped feathers? I sure didn’t.

I don’t know what drives us to go out and take pictures as often as we do. But it is especially fun to have friends who love to be out there taking pictures together. And what a beautiful place to live to be out with our cameras.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Natures little dramas, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

A fish out of water…

The splash that you see in the feature photo is usually the first thing that catches your eye whenever you are out by a body of water taking pictures. The jumping fish are called mullet, and the fishermen catch them by throwing nets off a pier and gathering them up. I think I assumed that they jump for the fun of it, but one day when we saw dolphins along the fishing pier at Anclote Gulf Park people said that they were chasing the mullet, and quite a fun (for us) episode ensued. Life and death was at stake. We were at Homosassa Springs park on this particular day when we saw a splash across the water. Since then I have always tried to get a picture of a ‘fish out of water,’ but it has proven to be an elusive shot. My new camera with its burst mode gave me some shots, finally, but what I got wasn’t what I expected.

In this case it was a cormorant who was gazing on the water looking for lunch that started the excitement,
You can barely see any of their body, just their neck and head, as they swim. And his potential lunch is that ripple ahead of him.
And there he is, my first fish out of water. I don’t know what I expected exactly, but not two googly eyes looking at me.
I had to laugh as I looked at the pictures, I think the fish looks like a cartoon.
You get the idea. I’ll spare you the rest of the series since he stays in this same position throughout, just rising higher until he is up in front of the greenery, and then comes back down exactly as he went up. I have no idea if he managed to escape his fate on this day. But I was rooting for him.

It’s an adventure to go out for pictures, not knowing what you may find that day. And it’s also fun to click through your pictures later on the computer and find out what exactly you did get.

a second look, adventure, attention to detail, friends, fun, making memories, nature, pelicans, perseverance, photography, technology

Homosassa Springs residents…

What a perfect day we chose to visit Homosassa Springs State Park. The weather couldn’t have been better, which the visitors appreciated, but the animals seemed to be enjoying it also. It was warm enough that the people didn’t need a sweater, but not so warm that the animals were hiding in the shade. Sometimes you see the foxes just pacing along the borders of their enclosure. The one in the feature photo looks to me to be just enjoying the day. Shortly after I took this picture it closed it’s eyes and went to sleep.

More often than not when you visit the park this bear is snoozing in the shelter of his ‘porch’, but on this day he was enjoying the sunshine.
Here is another resident who was out and about instead of looking for a place to nap.
This great egret is displaying her breeding plumage, so we know what’s on her mind.
I liked the expression on this pelican’s face. I think there were more pelicans than any other birds here in the pond.
Here you see Lu, the adopted Floridian who was allowed, by popular demand, to remain in place when this facility passed into state control. He has now reached the grand old age of 63 and is retired from his former role as a movie star.

There are a million pictures in the camera from this trip. Or 1357, I lost count. I chose to work on a few pictures of animals that I took fewer photos of and then moved on. The bursts of images that my new camera takes leaves me scratching my head as I try to choose the ‘best’ ones. I will have plenty to keep me busy tomorrow as rain is in the forecast. A great day of practicing with our new cameras, all three of us, and then lunch along the riverside.

'scene' along the way, a second look, attitude adjustments, birds, Florida landmarks, fun, life goes on, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset, technology

Sunset songs…

I’m pretty sure that the Ruddy Turnstones in the feature photo aren’t really one legged. They are the cutest little shore birds and I don’t get to Pine Island to see them often enough. It was a pretty sunset on Tuesday night. And, as I always say, there always seems to be something extra going on there. On this night there were two women playing their guitars and singing old songs that I not only remember and love, but I knew all the words. I wanted to sing with them, if only I had a decent enough voice. But the sunset was also calling me.

Several people did sing and dance with them. And now I see the open guitar cases and maybe I should have made a donation.
This was my view as I walked from the parking lot onto the beach. I hadn’t noticed the music at this point, I was just concentrating of the clouds and hoping the sunset colors would come through.
The birds were flying over, quite a few people were enjoying the view and the music.
Birds kept flying past so I kept shooting.
I was taking a series of shots to turn them into HDRs, but it will take more practice with the camera settings to get that right. But that means I have to go back.

The sky never did light on fire as I’d hoped. But that didn’t spoil my evening a bit.

a second look, attitude adjustments, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Real life…

The feature photo was my first glimpse of the parent eagle keeping watch over the nest on Tuesday. I was riding my trike up the trail, and saw this view of him through a break in the foliage. From right in front of the nest I couldn’t see that eagle at all. I was prepared to hold out to see the baby eaglet though, meaning that I was ready to sit on my trike while I waited. But the reality was that I stood with my camera on the tripod, my right arm up with my finger on the shutter, putting pressure on my shoulder which has been giving me an issue for a while now. I caught a glimpse of what I thought might be the other parent flying in, so I stood there waiting, and shooting, and the first burst of photos was of the empty nest. And then as I scanned my photos in the computer I saw a glimpse of the other eagle flying in with a prize, just not the prize I might have expected. It was a bird, not a fish, and knowing that explains what another onlooker and I were wondering about. After he landed that eagle was obviously tearing at something and tossing whatever it was shredding out of the nest. Feathers! I was a little disappointed that the baby didn’t get up a little higher to see him or her better, but I did manage to see him and get a picture while he still looks like a baby. I missed that stage completely last year. So here is the sequence of events, some but not all of the pictures since there were over 20 photos from only the second or two that it took for him to land.

I had no clue that he had anything in his talons when I took this picture. I was just happy to be ready with the camera.
Realizing that I had the series of photo in focus really made me happy. The camera’s ability to do this is what made me decide to buy it.
This is when I figured out that it was a bird for lunch.
It’s always a treat to see those wings catch the light.
He got down to business cleaning his catch right away.
Soon both parents were on hand.
They were keeping an eye on some vultures who were buzzing the nest.
Finally, a little head. I took so many pictures because I could see the head bob movement, and then I had to go through those zillion pictures hoping for a bit more than this tease of a view.
A little better view.
I think he was tired of waiting for a tid-bit.
The squeaky wheel thing works in nature also, or so it would seem.

I was packing up the camera when I noticed two vultures buzzing the nest with a vengeance. I wondered if they were hoping this eagle would chase one of them, leaving the nest unguarded. Thankfully the eagle did a lot of yelling, but didn’t leave. But I did, leave I mean. I hope those good parents keep up their good work.