nature, photography, sunrise, perseverance, technology, live and learn, moments, life goes on, sky, moon, a second look, 'scene' along the way, Up and at 'em, Rise and shine, One-Foot Fred

Moon Over Aripeka…

I was ahead of myself, photos-wise, and that’s how I like it. I like having pictures from the day before to work on, and a new set of photos in the camera waiting for me. It’s a luxury, like money in the bank. But it also means that this morning I was sitting and editing these photos. taken Sunday, and looking up at the sky over the curtains and seeing lovely pink clouds out the window calling to me. Yelling at me because I wasn’t out there taking even more photos! And since I was in this lovely, no pressure, position to get anything done this morning I started reading articles on photography, which were so discouraging that it made me want to hang up my camera all together. Ignorance is bliss, as they say. And they are right. I have learned an awful lot since I started up again with photography in my retirement, but that doesn’t mean that I can apply much of what I’ve learned when I am standing there aiming the camera at something and clicking the picture. It all flies right out of my head, which implies that I ever understood light metering and/or depth of field calculations. No, I just understand that I’m out doing something I like and having fun. Which, I suppose, is a perfectly adequate goal in itself…

a second look, adventure, fences, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, moments, perseverance, photography

Racing to the races…

It was yet another day with no plan when I happened to look at my emails and saw that I was off the waiting list for the photo trip to Tampa Bay Downs and was now good to go. Only it was 10:15, too late to go was my first thought. Fifteen minutes later I was out the door and on my way. Because, well, why not? And I’m so glad I went, even though there are now three barriers between the track and the spectators, making shooting especially hard for short people, but the weather was good and the company was better. What a fun day!

Just start shooting…
Someone has a booboo…
Lots going on…
This is the photo I wanted to get. The finish line, the huge video screen, and the horse reaching the finish line by a nose. Except they were supposed to be racing in that ideal photo, but try as I might I missed that shot.
I loved this horse’s headgear, and his attitude.
A couple of us walked down to see the horses burst out of the gate. And there he was, my guy in his headgear!
Getting the hooves off the ground is a goal for this type of shoot, or so I’d been told. So when I saw #8’s hooves in this photo I decided that he deserved an A for effort. Now I was rooting for two horses in this race.
And there they both are, and they tried, but neither one won…
Here’s a winner…
The last race I stayed for was a turf race, a little more distance from where we stood, so this was as close as I came to getting all four hooves off the ground at the same time…
Looks like someone was happy with this race, but it’s just a random thumb, I have no idea who it belongs to.

a second look, adventure, birds, family, Florida wildlife, fun, learning, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, safety Harbor

Owl life…

A trip to Safety Harbor for the sunrise always includes the ulterior motive of heading to Philippe Park to see the owls, or at least try to see them. There are always other photographers there, and I usually embarrass myself when I can’t seem to ‘find’ the owls that everyone else seems to have no trouble seeing. Not yesterday though, the Mom was sitting on a branch that even I had no trouble spotting. Seeing Dad, however, took a little more sleuthing, but now that I’m informed that that’s his favorite spot it’ll probably be easier to spot him next time.

I was told that Mom was keeping an eye on the nest while dear old Dad, tuckered out from his night of hunting, snoozed nearby. And in the nest was a curious baby, or make that two of them, easy to see after you finally do realize where the nest is.

And that’s basically it, Mom watches, Dad snoozes, and baby occasionally pops his head up but mostly is hidden down in the nest. The photographers were waiting, wanting to see Mom fly to the nest and get that owl-in-flight shot, but since nothing much was going on I was tempted to leave, my good-byes were on the tip of my tongue. Then a couple of blue jays seemed to be pestering the parents. That blur to the right of Mom was one who photo bombed the shot. Mom’s ‘horns’ came up, she wasn’t happy, but nothing much happened until the crows got in on the act.

Several crows landed above Mom, and several more near Dad, and they were working together, by the sound of their crowing they were quite obviously harassing the owls.

Mom was getting fluffed up, and the photographers got excited that she was going to fly.

I had just enough time to zoom out a little to give myself room when both owls took off, and those crows did too. I wish I’d gotten sharper shots, but I have to say I was glad to get them at all. From the groans I heard around me I think several people were caught off guard. And that was the finale for the day, for me at least. If the crows were intent on raiding the nest it didn’t work, not this time, and the owls returned to their chosen spots to continue their watching and snoozing…

A beautiful day in a beautiful park, but I get up so early to get to the area for sunrise that I’m too anxious to head home to explore the park and just enjoy it…

a second look, facing facts, fantasy images, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Just do it, let it go, life goes on, live and learn, moments, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, road trip, safety Harbor, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Sunrise, by the skin of my teeth….

I really ought to plan my photo trips a little better, but somehow they do seem to work out, one way or another. So maybe flying by the seat of my pants isn’t all bad. But looking up the travel time to Safety Harbor at 5 AM (30 minutes), and expecting it to be the same if I left at 6 AM, wasn’t my smartest move. I had less than 5 minutes until the sun peeked above the horizon this morning, I made it, but barely. Another photographer informed me that I had missed a beautiful moon set though. I have the app (PhotoPills) to let me be more aware of these photo ops, but I still haven’t learned to use it. Sigh. And still another photographer chose to inform me that I should get rid of my lens and buy the one that he had. I think this is the first time I’ve run into someone like that, photographers are generally a really nice group of people. I’m sticking with my lens, it’s the person behind the camera who leaves a bit to be desired sometimes.

LensBall gives you a different perspective, especially when the views are limited…

a second look, family, fun, kids, life goes on, memories, moments, nature, Passing time, perseverance, photography

Growing up orangutan…

Of course I took four times as many pictures of the orangutans yesterday as I did of all the other creatures at Zootampa. The problem was that RanDee wasn’t presenting her three month old baby boy to the camera as nicely as she did last time. As usual she was huddled with her mother DeeDee, who seemed to be grooming her daughter and watching over her grandson. Those orangutans don’t just appear to be a close knit group, they are family, three generations together. Their interactions are so much fun to watch, and I know it’s not just me because the rest of the onlookers were delighting in the young ones at play and as they noticed the newest addition. Little kids loved watching them play also, but then they were ready to go see the elephants, or the tiger…

I didn’t ‘see’ this photo until the third trip through my images.
I couldn’t resist cropping it in closer also.
I’m usually happy to get a shot of this littlest of the big kids, but yesterday she was photo bombing my shots.
She didn’t sit still for long though.
A sweet kiss from mommy.
I always wonder what they are thinking.
Meanwhile someone decided that dousing herself in sand was a great idea. I distinctly remember holding my son upside down and rubbing his head so that we’d leave at least some of the sand in the sandbox. It’s hard to believe I did that when I look at him now.
This looks to me like a mother passing knowledge to her daughter. How much communication do they have I wonder?
Not a care in the world.
Just hangin’ around, passing the time.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, changing times, ducks, following the rules, fun, Just do it, life goes on, Nature's beautiful creatures, Passing time, perseverance, photography

Spending time, not money…

I narrowed my choices for the day into cleaning out the inside of the car, or go to the zoo. I told myself that going to the zoo was my ‘saintlier’ choice since I’d be taking advantage of my pay-for-a day and visit for a year pass. It’s only a deal if you use it.

This little one was all by himself on the little waterway between the monkey enclosures. I loved the ripple he made as he frantically swam upstream, and had just wondered where his mother was when a posse of ducklings came into view.
This looked like a scene from a movie to me.
Something big must have been going on since there were all these guys in tuxes standing around.
Meet and greet with the Galapagos tortoises.
A possible bad hair day.
If you walked down to the viewing area you can get a picture of a rhino’s eye. From up above you can see just how close you can be to them. Judging by size this is the ‘baby’ white rhino.
I love how well they have landscaped around the primate/monkey sections.
I guess it’s that time of year since the planting areas had lots of new plants set in place, waiting to be planted. It will be pretty.
You can wear your heart on your sleeve but this guy wears his on his nose.
This house sparrow hangs out with elephants.

Another day gotten through. There is no goal in mind exactly, just to get through this whole, strange, time we find ourselves in. I’ve been wondering if we’ll know when it’s over, or will it just fade into a new way of living…