connections, moments, nature, photography, Pine Island, simple things, sunset, unintended images

Photo moments…

Oh go out, I thought to myself, if nothing else you’ll be able to gas up the car. So off I went again, to Pine Island on a day that was overcast and not promising as far as the sunset goes. But I needed some more shore bird photos so off I went. And, as always, there was something unexpected going on at Pine Island. These people were feeding bread to the seagulls, which is probably frowned upon, but it made for some interesting photos. They were having fun and I have to say I caught their enthusiasm.

The sunset itself wasn’t much, just a hole in the cloud cover where some of the sunset light could come through. But what was surprising was that the sky opposite the sunset was prettier than the sunset promised to be. Plus the sky to the left of where the sun was setting was also full of streaks of light. The prettiest sky of the night.

I saw a young man heading toward the sunset with his camera, but he stopped to chat with a couple who were there for the sunset. They told him they didn’t want him to miss his shot, so when he headed over to where I was with my camera I pointed out the gorgeous sky to the left. We had a nice chat while we both took pictures. Then he wanted a shot of himself with his camera. He had intended to use his tripod, but then he asked me to take the photo and he got out another of his cameras for me to use. This proved to be fun, and I loved using his very nice Sony camera. But I snuck a picture with my iPhone also. In talking I realized that he was the photographer doing the bikini photo shoot the other night. He said he saw me that night, I was the ‘little woman with the camera’. LOL. He’s from NYC, and works for the transit authority when he isn’t out taking pictures. Imagine the photo ops there. Wanderlust takes over when I think of all the photos I’d like to take in this world. Or the photos I wish I’d taken in my life. I have to remind myself that photography as a hobby was a very different animal back when I was his age…


I had this post finished and ready to be posted this morning, and then the tables were turned when he sent me a photo he took of me!  I love what photography has added to my life…


birds, blessings, connections, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, photography, Pine Island, simple things, sunset

I’m thankful…

My last trip out for the sunset had me on the opposite side of the beach from where I normally go. It was high tide, and the shore birds were scarce on ‘my’ side, so I checked the other side and was happy to see them there. As I was looking at the various birds, looking for different ones to photograph, an older man nearby commented about the birds. He had never seen so many, he said. He was here in Florida and none of his family could believe he was here so he wanted to take a picture. He had been sick, he said, but two weeks in Florida had fixed him right up. He seemed quite pleased. But not with his photos. He wanted to take pictures that would show the birds and the sunset, but I told him that as long as the sunset was behind the birds you would only see them in silhouette. He understood what I meant immediately and moved up the beach to take more pictures. When he came back he was excited to show me his photo, and held up his little old phone, which was ‘repaired’ with scotch tape on the corner. But it took a decent enough photo, with the birds highlighted by the sunset. He happily wandered away, saying that he was going to send it to his daughter.

I know I really go out for the sunset to take pictures of my own, but these sorts of little exchanges with strangers are equally important to me.  I’m thankful for the human spirit that allows us to connect with each other, if only for a moment.  I hope you have many reasons to be thankful also.

natural wonders, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

The Florida Sky…

We bought our house in 2005, but didn’t actually move to Florida permanently until 2008.  That means we made many trips down from Maryland, and we always hated to leave and go back.  One of the things that I would notice as we made the drive ‘home’ was all the palm trees.  I never got tired of looking at them.  But the sky was the most amazing thing to notice.  Was it bluer?  Is it just that Florida is flat so somehow the sky seemed bigger?  I never stopped appreciating the sky, and I guess I still love it since I enjoy the sunset and sunrise so much.

I took the feature photo during the dog walk yesterday.  The term ‘cotton candy clouds’ came to mind.  It was so pretty, and I knew that if those sorts of clouds were in the sky at Pine Island then they would reflect the light of the sunset beautifully.  Not that I really need an excuse to go out for the sunset.

1120sunset11120sunset21120sunset41120sunset61120sunset31120sunset71120sunset51120lastsunsetphotoNo green flash though.  And the last photo, taken from the parking lot as I had to tear myself away and go home.  Until the next one…

birds, Florida wildlife, learning, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset, weather

Blowing in the wind…

The whole reason I went out for the sunset last night was because the rain had stopped, the cloud cover was breaking up, and I expected a lot of ‘fire in the sky’ out of the sunset.  Not so, and I know why.  It was the wind!  I suppose that Pine Island being a peninsula is why it’s always so windy there, and that’s the blessing that lets you come out for the sunset on the hottest of summer days.  But last night it would drive me off the beach as soon as the above picture was taken.  And I think it blew the clouds away.

But if I was cold, imagine how cold this bikini-clad model was.  They took pictures for quite a while and I never heard her complain.  And I wondered if the wind would interfere with the photos, but maybe not.

1119photoshootAnd didn’t I just question whether photo shoots and tightrope walkers were just a summer thing?1119tightrope31119tightrope11119tightrope2

And it’s tough to have a drum circle with only one drum.  Soon a second one joined them, but as cold as I was I didn’t stick around to see if it turned into a full drum circle.1119drum.jpg

The thing that has bugged me about trying to photograph the Skimmers is that they usually look as if they don’t have eyes.  At least you can see that there are eyes in this photo.  And I can see their longer lower bill, which they use as the skim across the water with that lower bill in the water and scoop up dinner.  Normally I just see them standing around, but last night I saw one in action, skimming across the water, but much too fast to try to get a picture.  At least these guys are easy to spot.1119skimmer1119slimmer2.jpg

But the find of the day were the Sanderlings.  If that’s what these pale little birds are that is.  I’ve been on the lookout for them ever since my photographer friends said I had missed them the night before.  They weren’t there last night to tell me if that’s what these cute little birds are, and Merlin says that they may be Sanderlings or Western Sandpipers.  Either way they are new to me.  It must look odd when I concentrate on the shore birds the way that I do.  I have to look long and hard to start to see how different they are from each other.  And I can identify a few of them now, so I’m learning.  It was a fun, even if freezing, night…1118sanderling.jpg

birds, boats, bugs, eagles, egrets, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunset


I couldn’t see them so I can’t show them to you, but they are the biggest take-away from last night’s sunset trip to Jenkin’s Creek.  I had doused myself with bug spray just in case, so what they attacked was my face and scalp.  Imagine trying to hold the camera steady while your scalp is stinging and things are crawling on your face.  Figures that there were photo ops a-plenty so I’ll probably go again sometime, when the memory fades a bit.

I expected a wood stork and wasn’t disappointed, but he made himself scarce pretty quickly.1118woodstorkThere were kayakers and boaters to watch.  I thought this guy came in a little fast and might crash into the bridge or get tangled in the fishing lines, neither of which happened.

1118baoterI would prefer to think I’d have noticed the eagle on my own, but thankfully it was pointed out to me by a fisherman.

1118eagleLong ago I took pictures from the observation tower in Linda Pederson Park across the street, and I got mad because you have power lines across your sunset pictures.  The tower is closed now, hurricane damage I assume.

1118observation towerThe egret stole the show though.  I think he liked posing, he sure stuck around and did his part.1118egret21118egret31118egret41118egretcloseAnd the sunset.  Always the sunset…1118sunsetcheck1118sunset2

birds, Florida wildlife, learning, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

The Green Flash…

Living alone, wouldn’t you think day to day life would be argument free? Provided I can keep my mouth shut at work, which seems to be harder and harder for me. Nope, I argue every day. Sometimes with Ozzie who pesters me to go out, usually when I have just thought of something interesting to Google, or a bill I have to pay, or I’ve started writing an email or blog post. And always when the HGTV show I’m watching is about to show the big reveal. He has impeccable timing. And ten or so minutes later he usually wants to go out again, but I don’t argue with him then because that’s usually when he poops, so I ought to be glad he asks to go out.
But mostly I argue with myself. Last night I told myself I wasn’t going out for the sunset. I had worked late again, and way too hard, again, and I had walked the dogs as soon as I got home, so I deserved to flop. But I lost the argument and went out, because, I told myself, I spend entirely too much time by myself. Consequently I got to Pine Island in time for the sunset but not much time for anything else. It was quiet though, maybe the weddings and tightrope walkers are a summer phenomenon.
But I did take pictures trying to see what a young gal at Treasure Island had told me about. The green flash, it’s supposed to happen at sunset, just as the sun kisses the water. That’s how I understood it anyhow, so I always took picture after picture as the sun is getting ready to ‘touch down’. This morning I finally looked it up and it’s a real thing, but I totally misunderstood the timing. As the sun is sinking into the water, getting ready to disappear, refracted light causes a green color at the edge of the sun. When the sun finally sets the green outline around the sun becomes a green line across the water for a second. There was a video on YouTube (of course). It will help to now know what I’m really looking for, but I’m sure it will be a surprise if it ever happens. These photos are the sun as it was setting, when I was hoping to see the green flash. Now I have another reason to continue to go out for the sunset…

1117first1117five341117sunset41117last photo