adventure, Florida landmarks, go with the flow, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunset, weather

Talking photography…

There are days, like my big Friday photo safari, where you find yourself taking photos all day long.  Then there are days, like today, when you wind up doing a lot more talking about taking photos, and editing photos, than you do taking new photos.  But if you are lucky, like me, you were out for the sunset at Fred Howard Park on Wednesday night.  Followed by a quick trip to the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs for a few night photos.  But it was odd to not be surrounded by lots of tourists on the street, and lots of the shops weren’t lit up as late as I was there, so I headed for home and waited to work on the photos until today.  After all the rain we have had lately it was so nice to be outside in the sunshine, and then a pretty sunset to boot. This weather cycle is going to be with us a bit longer, and there is more thunder and lightning out there even as I type.  I’m thinking an Ark might be in order…5-23Rustybellies5-23beachHDR


birds, blessings, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, nesting, Owls, perseverance, photography, technology

Update from Philippe Park…


I am revisiting the owl photos from Phillippe Park which were posted in February because there is news to report.  When I heard that there was an owlet at the park I headed there asap, and because of how wonderfully birders share their information I was able to find the tree.  The nest was surrounded by photographers most every day, present, but respectful of the nest.  They dubbed this owlet Charlotte, they alternate male and female names every year.  So this might have been new to me but it’s an annual event.  I only went there to photograph the owlet twice, and shortly after the second visit the photographers reported that Charlotte had fallen out of the tree and scratched her eye.  She was taken to Sarasota for rehab, and several unsuccessful attempts to return her to the nest ensued, and there was much debate among birders as to whether she should have been taken from the nest at all.  But there is good news to report.  She was recently returned to the nest area in Philippe park and is reported to have a parent with her in the trees.  All of my info is second hand, or actually third hand, but I choose to be happy and hope that that owl has a long life ahead of her in that beautiful park.

Looking for photos of the owlet has reminded me that I have never set Lightroom in my computer to fully take advantage of the abilities of the program to organize your photos.  You can tag your photos, and then a search for ‘owls’ would have brought up all my owl photos.  You can rate your photos as they are imported into your computer, or you might choose to color code them, and Jeff, fearless leader of the group, talks about how quickly he can find a photo he might be looking for among his thousands of photos.  But I’m a beginner, and he also talks about the silly things that beginners think they need to do.  Like delete unusable photos one by one, when it’s also possible to tag the photos you will eventually delete and then purge them in one fell swoop.  It drives me crazy when he talks about beginners and the silly things that they do, mostly because it’s as if he has been reading my mind.  A little, or possibly a lot of organization is needed, I see that now.  Alas, I don’t have new photos to share, but these are the ones I used previously.2-15winglet2-15owletvignette12-15owlet42-15owlet32-15owlet22-15owlet13-7owls83-7owls73-7owls63-7owls23-7owls33-7owls4

fantasy images, flowers, fun, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Fantasy flowers…

There was this window of opportunity between torrential downpours, and I took full advantage.  I zipped over to the Y and swam laps, then I raked leaves like a good neighbor, and in doing so I noticed some tiny pink flowers in the Purple Queen.  And the Plumbago, and a lovely Magnolia blossom.  You know what happened next… but you might not have expected that I turned to Waterlogue, Prisma, and Glaze, because I was out of time, and options, and sunshine…





learning, natural wonders, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology

Chasing the sunset…

After seeing that possibly elusive opening in the clouds on Saturday night I stopped for the sunset on the way to Hudson beach.  It has been suggested to me by more than one fisherman that Hammond’s Creek bridge isn’t the best place in Aripeka to take sunset photos.  They both said to go to the next bridge down.  Not knowing exactly where they meant for me to go I kept glancing to my right as I drove, to find the spot and to make sure that the promise of a beautiful sunset was still on the table.  And I came around a bend to see the prettiest setting for the sunset that I’d seen in a while.  I turned the car around and found a place to pull off the road, and climbed over the guardrail to set the camera up as far off the road as I could.  My landing zone was probably 6 square feet.  Standing on that little road, at a hairpin bend in the road, in the twilight, was probably not the best move, but it was a great shot.  Not the one they told me to look for though, guess I’ll try to find that next time…5-20sunsetHDR25-19aripekasunset

And from the iPhone a panoramic shot, straight out of the camera…iphonearipekasunsetWell, I did resize from the 56 mp size that it was.  Yes, the color really was that dramatic.  And I took so many pictures, but all of the same exact scene.  There was nowhere else to look from that little spot.  After you’ve been looking at the photos in order to choose the few you’ll use they begin to look normal, then you check the post later and that’s when you’ll see how strong the colors are.  But with another day of thunderstorms ahead this post will probably be published as is.  Just another day on the Nature Coast…

live and learn, moments, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology, unintended images, weather

Hudson Beach at night…

Lately I see gorgeous HDR photos posted by friends online, photos that make me want to take some of my own, although it’s not easy.  But there is only one way to figure out these HDR night photos and that’s to get out there and try.  So after being cooped up with rainy weather for days I saw an opening in the clouds and just had to get out there.  Hudson Beach was my best bet since I didn’t think my window of opportunity was going to last, possibly not long enough to even get there, so I opted for the closest possible place to shoot.  5-20sunsetHDR4


There is an ice cream parlor on the road that ends at Hudson Beach, and that’s the photo I set out after.  When it didn’t work out  I still had ice cream on the brain. so I made one last stop at the little ice cream shop near my house, the one where I used to get Kahlua Fudge ice cream cones.  And if anyone had come outside and asked me what I was doing I probably would have gotten another one last night.  It would have been the ultimate sacrifice for my art, but they didn’t, and neither did I.


bunnies, Florida wildlife, home, life, nature, on closer examination, photography, unintended images

Busy bunny…

Lest you think there are only birds in the backyard, here is another resident, but one I don’t see all that often.  Maybe that’s because of the Plumbago out back.  They were a bit overgrown, with a lot of naked lower branches, which is why I took the hedge trimmers to them the other day.  I suspected that I had bunny burrows under them, so I didn’t take them all the way to the ground the way I noticed a neighbor had done with his.  I did cut off the few flowers that were present though, apologies to the butterflies I’ve just begun to notice out there.

When I do see a bunny out and about I usually suppose that it’s just munching on greenery.  I was a little surprised to see this bunny busily gathering mouthfuls of foliage.  Not seeming to be chowing down, but to hide the opening of her burrow maybe?  If only she had stayed a little more still so I’d have had a few more clear shots.  My blurry shots outnumbered the good ones by a lot.  I suspect that the operator of the camera was really the culprit…


The dings in this bunny’s ear make me remember that it’s not a Disney movie out there every day, but a struggle to live another day.  Obviously this bunny won at least one battle for survival.5-17bunnyplanterThis little guy was at the botanical garden, where I didn’t find bees or butterflies, or even a snake.  It was a bunny kind of day.