backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, life, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

There’s a new kid in town…

On Thursday morning when my neighbors had checked on the Sandhill crane nest there were still two eggs in it.  Dad wanders the little lake in my former backyard, but periodically he returns to the nest and Mom seems to take that opportunity to stand up and turn the eggs, and maybe take a little swim.  A sort of coffee break, Sandhill crane style.  And the nest is a total departure from what they had built in the past.  It’s not out on the island further from the shore.  They built quite the mound, and located it perfectly for pictures, if you don’t mind negotiating the fire ant hills in the next yard down, and walking out onto the little old dock that has been there for years,.  The dock sits at the back of that yard, sad and unused, and in the 12 years that I lived two doors up it’s never had water even close to it.

By mid-day I had gotten the word that one of the eggs had hatched, and I got there as fast as I could.  I know from the past two years that the family was going to hang around the nest for only a day or so, but then they would march off at sunrise and return at sunset.  The first time that happened two years ago I came home from work at lunch time and there were two adult cranes out there but no babies.  What a moment, I was so upset.  By that time I was thoroughly invested in that little family.  But it must have been another pair because come late afternoon the family returned, all four of them, and I came to realize that that was going to be their routine.  I read that a Sandhill crane chick must walk three miles a day, right from go, to develop those thigh muscles.  I realized then that watching them raising their babies wasn’t going to be for sissies.  I will go back today and hopefully find two little chicks out there having swimming lessons.  And when one of them rolls down the side of that steep mounded nest I will restrain myself, as I had to on Thursday, because this is nature, taking it’s course.03-28-19sandhillchick603-28-19sandhillchick503-28-19sandhillchick403-28-19sandhillchick303-28-19sandhillchick203-28-19sandhillchick1


'scene' along the way, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology

Ospreys and more…

I have been to the rookery nearly every day since I bought my new camera.  Not the latest greatest Canon camera, but decidedly an upgrade.  So I was excited to go back to the rookery to use the new camera, with the 600mm lens.  And in addition to that I saw pictures of some wood stork chicks and now I was on a mission to see them for myself.  But all, literally all, of my pictures came out terrible.  A much higher percentage than normal.  But once I saw them on the computer I figured out what the problem was, I thought, and went back again the next day but with the same result.  Now I was worried.  Today I went back to the rookery and used the new lens that came with the new camera, which isn’t as much of a challenge to operate without a tripod and just the fence to use to steady the lens.  And not so many distractions since I had the place to myself after a while.  It’s always operator error…

Seeing an osprey at the rookery was a first for me, but not for the other photographer who was there when I got there.  He pointed out the osprey nest up high on some sort of telephone post, in plain sight, so it had obviously been there all along.


Chinsegut Conservation Center, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, history, learning, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended consequences

History come to life…

I wasn’t expecting a history lesson when I went to join my photographer friends yesterday.  It was to be a hike, and I was welcome to join them.  They hike a LOT, and volunteer at the Chinsegut Conservation Center, and are currently editing/updating a history of the Chinsegut Hill property itself.  So our hike was on property that is not open to the public, but of course we were conscientious and didn’t leave anything behind us, or remove a thing, unless it was ticks.  After a hike they usually remark about how many ticks they have found on themselves afterwards, which is a big reason that I don’t join them often.  “Stay on the paths and you should be all right,” they said, and then the paths disappeared, and on we trudged.

The history lesson concerned the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, which I’d heard of but honestly knew nothing about, but I looked it up this morning.  This turned out to be the most popular New Deal program of the time, 1933-1942, and it provided unskilled manual labor for unmarried young men ages 17-28 during those difficult depression years.  They were provided with shelter, clothing, and food, plus a wage of $30/month, $25 of which was required to be sent back to their families.  They labored on lands owned by local, state, and federal governments, and this program was not only a boon to the men and their families, but also led to an appreciation of the outdoors, and the need to protect our national resources.  Chinsegut Hill benefitted from the labors of these men, who built the buildings on the property plus improved the wonderful acres of natural environment, preserving it to this day.  When Betty and Linda first saw this property it was old and worn, but in pristine condition, buildings intact, dishes on the table, a bible beside the toilet, and equipment in the fields.  As if people had just walked away.  But it was recently vandalized, windows broken, and the buildings are now locked.  As Betty said, nature is reclaiming what was hers in the beginning.

So now you know what you are looking at, if you have stuck with me this long.  And as I have written this it has occurred to me that I forgot to check myself for ticks.  Excuse me…03-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILLBROKENWINDOW03-26=2019ChinsegutHill503-26=2019ChinsegutHill403-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL303-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL203-26=2019CHINSEGUTHILL03-26=2019ChinsegutHilltruck

There were a lot more photos I still needed to go through, but I’ve just started saving them to my external hard drive.  It’s getting back to them that’s the problem.  But you get the point.

'scene' along the way, Hudson Beach, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology

Just in time…

I had to stop for gas, it was a must.  And because my account was once hacked at a gas station I always walk in and pay with the chip.  But the clerk was apologizing because she had been attempting to get rid of an ‘inappropriate’ song on her phone, and dropped it onto the computer, so the guy in front of me was in an endless loop of ‘insert the chip/swipe the card’.  And I was already later than I meant to be.  The sunrise waits for no one, but lucky for me it’s only 4 1/2 miles away now, so I made it.  Seems like I was just in time.03-25-19Hudsonbeachsunstboats03-25-19Hudsonbeachsunsetcanal203-25-19Hudsonbeachsunsetcanal03-25-19Hudsonbeachsunset203-25-19Hudsonbeachhouses303-25-19Hudsonbeachhouses203-25-19Hudsonbeachhouses

'scene' along the way, connections, coping, death, finding my way, grief, healing, life goes on, marriage, memories, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Questions without answers…

I honestly don’t know what Charley would have thought of my current camera obsession.  That I’m alone now is probably an advantage since I can hop out of my chair and into the car for sunrise photos at the spur of the moment.  He wouldn’t go anywhere until he was showered and dressed, and he always smelled heavenly.  Skunk-piss he called it, and I still have some and take a whiff now and again.  When the time has gotten away from me I’ve been known throw on the clothes from the day before and head out, and I don’t know that I even comb my hair when that happens.  It’s a factor of leaving the house in the dark when no one can see you, and then it’s light out and you head for home and want to hide.  With a little more preparation I’ve been known to stop at Panera for an accessory cup of coffee and a treat.  Yesterday after this shoot I got a cinnamon crunch bagel, which I had forgotten even existed.  I didn’t need the reminder.

So, it’s a toss up really.  Charley might have been annoyed with me over my endless photo shoots, or he quite possibly would have bought himself a better camera than mine and it might have been a competition.  It could have been fun, but I guess I’ll never know…03-24-19sunrise103-24-19sunrise203-24-19sunrise303-24-19sunrise403-24-19sunrise503-24-19sunrisefeature

'scene' along the way, friends, fun, go with the flow, perseverance, photography, solitude, technology

Deadly photos…

Just so you know, no forensic dummies were harmed in the making of these photos.  But there is a new, to me at least, photo group in my area, and it’s led by a forensic photographer.  This makes for interesting conversations because as she describes setting your camera a certain way she talks about how that setting would apply to her work;  photographing blood spatter, or bullet wounds, or, gulp, the body.  So when we went to a cemetery to shoot pictures and she asked if we wanted to recreate a crime scene  I couldn’t help myself, I asked which one of us was going to be ‘the body’.  But she said, “No, I have a head.”, and we all looked around at each other.  LOL.  My new van hasn’t been completely empty since I loaded it up and headed north, but what she carries around in her car is a heck of a lot more interesting, or possibly alarming, than what I carry with me  It was a very interesting lesson, but my reaction was that it would be a tedious process to take the zillion photos and do it in such a manner that you haven’t distorted anything.  If taken properly the photographs should allow investigators to recreate a crime scene very accurately.  This gal created a specialty of forensic photography at Syracuse University because she saw a need, after realizing that in the past most of these forensic specialists were handed a camera and expected to take the pictures with no training at all.  On the job training, I guess.03-23-2019cemeteryLydia

At any rate, these photos have nothing at all to do with me.  It was just a setting with lots of light and shadows, and friends to spend time with.  A great opportunity to take the HDR photos that I love with the new camera and lens that I opted for the other day.  It was only a matter of time.  These particular friends are a bad influence on me…03-23-2019cemetaryfeature03-23-2019cemetery203-23-2019onthecross03-23-2019obelisk03-23-2019holytrunk03-23-2019Flowerygrave03-23-201903-23-2019cemeteryfeatureJust a little bird in a far off tree, checking out the new lens.  I’m a happy camper!