birds, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, live and learn, nature, Osprey, photography, technology, Tricolored heron

Through the (new) lens…

It had to happen, right? I know you saw it coming, it was inevitable.  A 600 mm lens in stock at Best Buy for virtually the same price as Amazon. In stock at their Clearwater store that is. It was a trek, plus they had lots of ‘call outs’, so short staffed and a long wait to get waited on, but I got one. Merry Christmas to me! Of course I zoomed home, stuck it on the camera, and went out back to try it out. And much to my surprise I saw that there were not two Little Blue Herons out there, there was one Little Blue Heron and a Tricolored Heron. I wonder if that’s been the case all along and I just assumed that it was two Little Blue Herons. I downloaded those pictures right away and was so pleased with them that I headed off to Jenkin’s Creek in hopes of spotting an eagle.

And I thought I did spot an eagle in the Wood Storks tree, after all I could see the white head. But no, it was an Osprey, and he was clutching a fish in his talons. I clicked photos while he feasted.

Then I stopped to take photos of the Wood Storks along side the road,1129woodstorks and overheard a fisherman tell a woman that she should go across the street to Linda Peterson Park to see manatees, so that was my next stop. There I found two young people who kept insisting that there were manatees right there by the bridge we were standing on, but for the life of me all I could see was the reflection of the trees. Then the breeze came up and broke up the reflection, and there they were!  And two nice ladies to chat with as we snapped pictures.

When I look at the photos in the camera I honestly can’t tell how sharp they are, so again, I was really happy when I got to see the results. What a nice day!

coping, dogs, life goes on, loneliness, memories, old dogs new tricks, photography, technology

Significant others…

As the significant male in my life Ozzie leaves a bit to be desired. Oh, he’s attentive enough, and gazes into my eyes adoringly. He can’t seem to resist me when I’m sitting back in the recliner. That’s when he comes over and plops his head down onto my chest… and grinds his chin into me as if he is scratching an itch. Thank goodness that’s all he does these days, because he used to come flying out of the bedroom where he’d been sleeping on the bed, and head straight for me at full speed. 20367_308243312136_1003066_n
I had only a second or two to put down my coffee and put the laptop on the table beside me before he would launch himself into my lap. The bigger he got the less cute this became, especially once he grew enough to seemingly be all elbows. Charley thought it was funny, and wondered why Ozzie didn’t do the same to him. I wished he would have, but no, he only did that to me.
Maybe if he didn’t choose to pester me when I’m actually typing an email or blog post, or when I’m in the middle of placing an online order or paying a bill, I might not mind so much. But it feels like nagging, and for the longest time I told myself that it was nice to do what I want to do all the time. All day every day.  No adapting myself to another person’s needs or wants.  Except for the dogs, but I can tell them to go lay down and they do.  Now all day every day can seem like too much time to fill. Too much solitude, maybe that’s why I’m out for the sunset every night. My version of prowling the streets at night looking for… what exactly? I have no clue, but something is missing.
At my recent doctor’s appointment, at which I was a rock star with my weight loss and fabulous A1C reading, I told him that I’m having trouble finding my way back to my ‘happy place’. He said, “That’s my story, how about you?” Really?  Another comment about online dating? I objected, and even he had to chuckle over ‘Hot Photonut’, but he said that he personally knows lots of lonely men. I told him to pick a couple of healthy specimens and send them my way. He replied that HIPAA would probably object…



birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, life goes on, loneliness, memories, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

On the advice…

…of a friend I went out last night with a dryer sheet on my head, tucked under the back of my visor.  And another one sticking out of my shirt, held in place by my bra strap.  I had considered bobby-pinning one to my head, shades of what Catholic girls of a certain age used to do with a tissue if they found themselves without a head covering to wear to Mass.  My friend had been advised that a dryer sheet would keep the no-see-ums away, but evidently I bought the wrong brand because I think they liked me more last night.  A fisherman told me that these little pests are seasonal and that they’ll be gone once we have our first freeze.  I told him that I wasn’t sure that I was rooting for that to happen anytime soon.  But it is inevitable and at least now I’ll have a reason to be happy about it.

He also told me that I had missed the eagle.  It had been across the way in the same tree where I had seen him before.  He says that the eagle was always in the trees where the wood storks are roosting now, but now they have taken that one over.  1127storksI should have gotten great pictures of an egret catching his dinner, and flipping the fish over and over until he got it into position to swallow it.  I had that cheap new lens attached to the camera and was afraid to switch to my other, better, zoom lens.  Better quality wise, but I don’t know if the distance would have been too much for it.  If I had known how long he was going to play with his food before eating it I might have gone ahead and switched.  I couldn’t wait to go home and see what I got, which wasn’t much.

1127egret11127egret2I gave up, switched lenses, and headed to Pine Island.  And quickly captured this photo from the parking lot for fear that it would change before I made it across the beach.  1127sunset1

I’m thinking that I need to find new places to go to take pictures.  But in order to do that I might need to change my work schedule and I’m finding myself fearful of doing that for some reason.  Charley has been talking in my ear lately, he had been fairly quiet for a while, but he used to tell the young patients who complained about working, “If work gets in the way of your social life then quit work.”  As always he was being sarcastic when he said it, and that’s how I’m hearing it in my ear.  Sigh…




moon, natural wonders, photography, sky, weather

On the other hand…

The sky doesn’t only contain the sun, with it’s gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.  Sometimes when the dogs get me out in the middle of the night I’m amazed at the beautiful moon and stars, and try to take a picture.  Getting a decent picture of the moon has proven to be more of a challenge, but I just said I like a challenge.  It helps when there are clouds to soften the light, or so it seems.  It will require a lot more practice…




Bayport, boats, Florida landmarks, nature, photography, sunrise

A good morning…

1125featureOzzie got me up at 1 AM. and also at 2:45 AM, which is when I gave up on sleep and started the coffee.  But the good thing about that was when I finally thought about going out for the sunrise there was time to go to Bayport.  I haven’t been there for what seems like quite a while, so I was excited as I drove up the road.  But as soon as I turned onto Rt. 50 towards Bayport the fog rolled in.  Pea soup fog.  I thought about turning around but I’m glad I didn’t because I drove out of the fog before I got to the park.  It was nice and clear, with the glow of sunrise already beginning.  This little memorial was something new, I couldn’t help but wonder what the story was.

1125memorial My favorite sunrise photos include the reflection of the palm trees in the inlet, but there were boats leaving one by one, so as soon as the water calmed back down another boat would come through.  Good thing I like a challenge.



And I also always like the pastel reflections of the sunrise.


1125sunset1All in all a very good morning…


birds, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset


I have made the same promise to myself over and over again, but I always seem to break it. I say that I will not do any online shopping at 4 AM anymore, because I have learned that my judgement is impaired, probably by lack of coffee. I seldom buy things and return them, but when I do return them they are often a 4 AM purchase.
My latest middle of the night purchase was a 500 mm camera lens, which included a few extras in the box, and a year of Amazon prime. And free shipping. I wasn’t expecting a lot since was only $89. And within days it was waiting for me when I dashed home at lunchtime to let the dogs out. I quickly put it on the camera body and went out back and took a few not-so-great photos, and I’ve been toying with the idea of sending it back ever since.
But I decided to take it out with me this afternoon, and bring the tripod because part of the problem with a zoom lens like that is holding it steady enough to keep the picture sharp. If I spent $13,000 (!) on one it would come with onboard stabilization, but since that’s not what I bought I assumed that this lens would require a tripod. Plus I had read the instructions by this time, and I was supposed to use manual mode. To test the lens I decided to go back to Jenkin’s Creek, in hopes of the eagle being across the way. It wasn’t, but the wood storks were back in their tree, along with a Blue heron, so I got lots of practice. But the no-see-ums were there also, so I moved on to Pine Island where I found new birds (to me), a pelican, and a very cute little boy.


The new birds were double crested cormorants.  I haven’t spotted them before.  I could see them well enough to know they were different, but I was disappointed in the photos.  Thankfully, Merlin recognized them despite not being a great photo.1124cormorant

This cute little guy was very far away, I’m most impressed with the amount of zoom based on these photos.  1124littleboy31124littleboy21124littleboy1

Did I forget the sunset?  Of course not, but took this with my iPhone.  And as the sun set the horizon seemed to be on fire until nothing was left but the burning coals effect.  Another nice night, and with the time change I’m home by 6:30.  Nice for an early riser like me.  Are the photos tack sharp? No they aren’t. But did I have $89 worth of enjoyment out of it? Yes, I think I did…1124sunset1124burningcoals