birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, photography, sunrise

Close encounters…

Bayport was calling me this morning, for a sunrise photo and maybe see the eagles on the way home.  As I watched the sunrise it seemed not to be going to develop much color, so I decided to switch to the big lens.  I always wondered about the shots I’d see fellow photographers getting when they use a telephoto lens to get a shot that I would expect to want to use a wide angle to capture.  I have to admit, the shots were different, and I liked them.4-13pastelsunrise4-13600mmsunrise24-13600mmsunrise4-13sunset44-13sunset5I did check for eagles on the way home but didn’t see any.  But as I drove up Spring Hill Drive and was just a couple of blocks from home I had to stop for a Sandhill crane in the road.  There were two of them, one in the grass, and I put on my flashers to warn the drivers behind me.  This street is two lanes in each direction, plus a ‘suicide lane’ (as Charley called it) to use if you needed to make a left turn.  It wasn’t until after I stopped that I saw them, the chicks, little ones, just feet off of the street.  The crane I stopped for had moved to the grass, so I took the right hand turn and pulled over, and was very glad to have the zoom lens on the camera.  I walked to the front of my car to hide a little, I didn’t want the cranes to move into the street because they were threatened by me, and I was able to get several pictures before they moved behind some shrubbery.  If they hadn’t been so close to a busy street I’d have followed them, but I didn’t.  What I wanted to do is see if that was ‘my’ Sandhill crane family.  I needed to know if ours were still on the nest, but when I got home the glare of the sunrise was so bad that I couldn’t see, so I called my neighbor to see if they could see mom out there.  I was happy to know that our cranes and eggs were still out there, but now I had another crane family to worry about.  This stuff ain’t for sissies.4-13bytheroad4-13familyfeature4-13ourcranes14-13ourcranes2I took the last two pictures later.  I’m in vigil-mode now that I’ve seen chicks.  Both Mom and Dad were out there tending to things and I was sure I was missing the nativity scene.  But Mama settled back onto the egg(s), and I was a little disappointed, but on the other hand I hadn’t missed anything either.  And the last picture?  I couldn’t resist putting it up because of the dragonfly photo-bomb.  Maybe the dragonflies do do surprising things after all!

1 thought on “Close encounters…”

  1. Well, I just talked with my neighbor and got the rest of today’s story. She was in her car heading the opposite way that I was. And she didn’t realize what was going on at first, it was just her and the car in front of her stopped, and as more cars stopped she watched that family of Sandhill cranes cross all five lanes of traffic. I thought the back up was because of the traffic light up ahead. The first baby hopped up the curb and onto the grass no problem, but the second baby kept falling back down. Sue said she was dying just helplessly watching. It took five or six tries she said. This is not a neighborhood for the faint of heart! And I walked around front after speaking with her and saw two hawks doing ‘it’ up on the light post across the street. The Nature Coast indeed!


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