egrets, Florida wildlife, fun, live and learn, nature, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Taking a bow, egret style…

Yesterday I said I ought to look up egrets to see, and be factual about, that behavior of theirs called ‘displaying’.  What I found out made me think I’d create a post for them alone.  And I’m glad I did because gloomy weather may keep me from being out taking pictures today, but I have lots and lots of egret pictures to work with.

It seems that in the late 1800s these lovely birds were endangered due to the fact that their feathers had become much desired in the fashion industry.  But early conservationists were able to protect them, and this is how they became the symbol of the National Audubon Society.  Did you know that?  I didn’t.

So it seems they don’t reproduce until they are 2-3 years old, and the males select the nesting site, sometimes alone but often in colonies.  At first he drives off other birds, but in the close quarters in which I see them I’ll have to take Wikipedia’s word for it for that information.  And then he ‘displays’, fluffing, and stretching, and bowing, and hopefully finding a mate.  They both feed their young by regurgitation, there are some details I could live without, but it’s nice to know that the males do their part.  I had noticed that the birds I was seeing who were displaying did seem to be alone.  Well, as alone as you can be in that situation.  And if they are still trying to attract mates then it seems that the rookery will be a stop of mine for a while yet.  Other photographers I know have beautiful sunrise settings right in their back pocket, so to speak.  This rookery is my very own ‘back-pocket’ opportunity, and that’s a good thing.

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I checked back to see when I first saw the eggs this year, and it was 17 days ago.  Incubation is 23 to 26 days and I have no idea when those eggs were laid.  I’m trying not to hold my breath in anticipation of the blessed event(s), but I so hope that my visitor will get to see this place in full swing.  It really is a sight to see.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, eagles, egrets, go with the flow, natural wonders, nature, nesting, pelicans, perseverance, photography

Making the rounds…

It was owls first on Tuesday, and then we headed over to see the eagles.   As you can see, the ‘babies’ aren’t hard to spot these days.  That cute fuzzy stage doesn’t last long, I think this is their awkward adolescence.  And that shy second chick seems to have gotten over it too.  We didn’t stay long, didn’t wait for parents to put in an appearance,  It was almost a drive-by.

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And if that was almost a drive-by then our next stop at really was a drive-by.  Just down the street is Anclote River Park, and it’s a given there that if there is a post then a pelican will be sitting on it.  So we shot out the car window in true. drive-by style.02-19-20eaglepelican.jpg

We parted company after that, and my trip home took me right past the rookery, so a stop there seemed like a no-brainer.  I was the only one there, but lots of people stop their cars to see what is going when they see you on a ladder with your camera.  They are always amazed and usually have no clue what birds they are seeing, and say that they never noticed the birds before.  And I don’t mind the distraction since things are on hold there at the moment.  Egg-sitting and standing guard seem to be the order of the day while we wait for the hatching to begin.02-19-20eagleegret3.jpgExcept for the egrets.  They fluff out those feathers and ‘display’, I think it’s called.  In one fluid motion they stretch their neck up, and up some more, and then bow down, to no one in particular.  Hmm, I should probably look that up…

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What happened next…

After being out taking pictures for most of the day my relaxation always takes the form of sitting at the computer and looking over the photos, hoping for some really nice sharp ones.  Which is what I was doing yesterday when something got me to look out at the sky over top of my curtains in the Florida room.  I saw the bluebird on my neighbor’s antenna, and the sky.

You can picture what happened next.  I was out the door with the camera, and came to lament that I didn’t have my iPhone with me for the extra wide angle view.  I was up and down the street looking for views of the sky with palm trees in them, and frantically taking pictures.  I may have been talking to myself too.  So when I realized that a neighbor was sitting on his front patio enjoying the sunset and witnessing my wanderings I was a little embarrassed.  “You caught me”, I said.  But he said to come to his patio and see his view.  I think the last photo is from that vantage spot.  He said he’s a photographer too, so he totally ‘got’ my obsession.  Whew, the men in white coats won’t be coming for me quite yet.

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'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Owls, perseverance, photography

Those eyes…

To see an owl in the wild is so exciting.  But to see them at Philippe Park where you know which tree they nest in, and, happily, that tree is right in the open, it seems a bit less than ‘wild’.  But it is.  The camouflage is such that it always takes me a long time to ‘find’ them, even with help, but a treat it is when I do.  Today Mama was on a branch, just keeping watch at first…02-18-20thoseeyeswatchingAnd then she suddenly flew to the nest, a move that had all of us scooting to the other side of the tree for the best view.  Once I found Mom in the nest I was thrilled, but disappointed that while you could see the owlet’s downey head, you couldn’t see a face.  I only knew that that round, fluffy, mound was the baby because it bobbed a little.  And Mom looked down at it so lovingly.02-18-20thoseeyesdoting02-18-20thoseeyesmamaIt wasn’t until I could see the photos in the computer that I realized that I could see the baby’s eyes.  So cute.  It looks a bit like a feline face to me.02-18-20thoseeyesOnly a few of the pictures really showed the baby, but even that was a treat, so it was okay.  Seemed like Mom gave us a little wink, and then it seemed that it was time for 40 winks, and it was time for us to head home anyhow.02-18-20thoseeyesonewink02-18-20thoseeyes40winks

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, bluebirds, Florida wildlife, food, friends, fun, home, life, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology

Family squabbles…

Not my family squabbles though, my family is blessedly free from squabbles.  Nope, this was the bluebirds having an issue over something yesterday.  I myself have been laying low, trying to finish a sewing project that I knew before I even started it that it would drive me nuts before I finished it, and I was right.  And while I was home sewing I figured I could make a pot of turkey soup, after all I was home., but that’s a mess all it’s own with no counter space or dishwasher.  And I’d been reading a book that had lots of old recipes in it, one of which was pop-overs, and I remembered we’d made pop-overs in junior high school home ec class, and they were good!  So I looked in my old Fanny Farmer cookbook and made those too, only they didn’t pop over!  Add glancing out the window as I work and noticing the bluebirds are back, so I pick up the camera which I’ve left at the ready, but I’m just in time for one bird to kick the other one out the door, so to speak.  these are my first pictures from yesterday, finishing with the feature photo, and then the one alone, but only for a moment, and they both were gone.

I’m in a frenzy to finish the sewing project so I can clean this tiny place up because my dearest friend is coming soon.  I don’t have to clean for her of course, but this little place is cute when it’s cleaned up, and besides, she might want to sit down and not sit on a pin cushion, which I did the other day.  Life will be perfect next week when this place is put back together and I will be taking my friend to visit the eagles, and owls, and sunsets galore!  Probably not sunrises though, because I am happy on my own in my little house, but it will be such a treat to enjoy my morning coffee with a friend…02-17-20squabble1

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'scene' along the way, Florida landmarks, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, unintended images

Cloudy skies…

The clouds were dramatic when I looked outside, wondering if I ought to try to go out for the sunset.  I hurried though, because as dramatic as they were high in the sky, they were heavier and darker lower on the horizon.  It turned out that the sunset had it all.

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Plus topless sunbathers…02-16-20GreenKeybarbie

I practically stepped on Barbie before I saw her.  Then when I checked my photos she was in quite a few of them.  But it was getting late, her little girl had to come and rescue her,  it was time to go home.