a second look, adventure, birds, boats, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, Natures little dramas, pelicans, perseverance, photography, second chances

A perfect day…

Yesterday really was a perfect day. I wasn’t the only one who thought so either. Just look at all the fishermen on the Anclote Park Pier. 73 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. And everywhere I went the birds cooperated for some pictures.

This shipwreck is still hanging around at the Anclote River park.
After all the pictures I’ve taken of pelicans I never actually looked at the little hook at the end of their beaks. It looks like a claw. Oh my.
I heard, rather than saw, two pelicans splash into the water as I stood on the pier. I realized that one of them had dived for a fish and immediately panicked that he’d gulp it down before I could get a shot. Not quite though.
He dipped it back down into the water a couple of times, but it was lunch after all.
All along I’d seen pelicans and seagulls diving into the water, fishing as only they can. But when this seagull dove in nearby this same pelican took off after it. I assume to steal it’s catch. The chase was on.
I couldn’t tell if the seagull feared for it’s life or just wanted to hang onto it’s lunch.
In the end the seagull made it’s escape, with it’s lunch intact. Not good news for the lunch.

Sometimes you wait and wait for a photographic moment, and other times they come at you left and right…

a second look, attention to detail, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Eagle parenthood…

When I took the feature photo I wondered if it would be only photo I’d get today. But the eagles came through again.

I wasn’t as prepared to wait out the eagles today, I had no trike to sit on and no tripod. And yet I was there quite a while. I enjoyed a conversation with another watcher, and I declared that if I left I just knew that something would happen right away, and I’d miss it. But all I had seen by then was the adult on the eggs was rustling around a bit. I hoped that meant that it was time for a changing of the guard. I saw her pop her head up, but I didn’t realize she was calling to her mate until I saw the pictures on the iPad. The other watcher left, and yes, in a few minutes the action began.
I thought I saw the other eagle possibly flying in, so I rolled the zoom back out a bit, looking for one to land, and started shooting. I didn’t realize I’d caught the eagle on the nest as it headed out.
Suddenly the second eagle was just above the nest, and sounding off. But after just a minute or two it flew down to the nest.
And then she flew.
The burst mode on the new camera gave me at least 15 pictures of this descent into the nest.
I haven’t gotten many shots of eagles in flight so this sequence made me happy,
He landed on a branch, not on the nest as I had expected.
Once the new eagle had settled on the nest I looked to see if the first eagle had landed anywhere nearby. She stayed only a minute or two and she was off.

While waiting for something to happen I was a bit hopeful that the eggs had hatched already, if only because I thought that there would be more activity to see. Soon I think…

adventure, attitude adjustments, birds, black and white, exploring new places, friends, fun, nature, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Wilderness Conservation Park…

We’ve been bundled up and hiding from the cold weather for a few days now. Not all that cold according to my northern friends and relatives, but too cold for people who have lived here for any length of time. But today we just had to get out for a little while, so we went to a new-to-us park and rode the trails for a little while. I loved the beautiful reflections in the river, the Hillsborough River, even with the cloudy conditions and the temperature that might have reached 50 degrees. It was a nice ride, then it was time to head for home and heat up some of the turkey soup to warm up.

The water was like glass.
Beautiful scenery.
While I concentrated on the egret on the shore a tricolor heron flew through the shot.
The path was only a mile or so until you arrived at the river overlook.
I noticed a lot of white fungus on the trees, but I once read that if you see the pink fungus that means the air is especially clean. There was much more of the pink fungus than I’ve ever noticed before, I breathed deeply.
One of my pictures turned black and white as I worked on it. I kind of like the way it looks.
This is another picture of the little palm warbler who flew onto a nearby branch and posed for me. You see him, or her, in the feature photo also. I hope the birds and animals are keeping warm enough.

There are a few more nights of freezing overnight temperatures on tap, but the new year will bring back our wonderful warm Florida weather.

'scene' along the way, adventure, antiques, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, blessings, connections, exploring new places, finding my way, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography

A Holiday Stroll…

And then we strolled through the Henry Plant Museum that was all decorated for Christmas. A fellow photographer says that he has been to this event twice before, and it’s never the same thing twice. I would love to come back again next year…

Santa is there to greet you as you’re buying your tickets. It’s so overwhelming to see those lovely rooms, the carpets, the wall hangings, and the lovely pieces of furniture.
Then you step into the hall, with doorways all along the length, and a beautiful tree to draw you in. Look at the carpet, and all the displays all along the way. I tend to think in terms of the pictures to take, which sometimes makes me miss the lovely details that I’m photographing.
The beautiful Christmas tree sitting at the end of the hall was lovely.
Now I don’t know what order the rooms were seen in. But if I remember correctly this room was first one I saw, and then I knew this event was something truly special.
Just passing from room to room was a treat.
Who wouldn’t love the bottle tree.
My friend totally missed Santa’s elves in a display case in one of the rooms. Or was it in the hallway?
A lovely bedroom display. A beautiful display of fans to decorate the tree.
This doorway gave us a peek into the gift shop.
I wonder if they got new hats for Christmas?
Nutcrackers on display.
Even the teddies got presents. I also took a picture of the tea set which is when I noticed the little lizard, or possibly it’s an alligator, on the teacup and decked out in a bow.
One room was dedicated to Florida’s role in the Spanish American war…
But Christmas was also represented here.
This suggestion of a soldier writing home really got to me…
This room was dedicated to women’s pastimes, which included accompanying their husbands at fishing or hunting. But also suggested relaxing with a cup of tea or listening to a concert out on the lawn.
What a wonderful way to celebrate, and think of the Christmas traditions of long ago.

We decorated the tree with decorations that we each have accumulated over the years. A real collaboration. We spent the first Christmases of our lives in the same place, without ever meeting, and then life took us to different places through the years, but now we are spending Christmas in the same place again. But together this time. And I have to say that the Christmas spirit has found me again, and I’m very glad that it’s back.

'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, facing facts, Florida landmarks, history, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography

The University of Tampa…

I first became aware of the wonderful spires of the University of Tampa when my photo group met to photograph sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa. After the shoot we walked to a nearby Irish Pub that sat along the river, but across the river you could see the spires of the University. The waitress said that people come to that area to take pictures of those spires with the sunset colors behind them. We attempted to do that once, but it wasn’t a great sunset that night. Now I’ll be wanting to try, try again.

We have ridden the water taxi along the river walk and had a slightly different view of the buildings several times since then, but this time we were attending the Holiday Stroll at the Henry Plant Museum that is located in that main building you see below. So, finally, a chance to see the building up close. Which is when I realized that it’s much too enormous to do justice to in a photograph. For me anyhow. That main building is Plant Hall, built in 1891 as the Tampa Bay Hotel. The hotel featured 500 guest rooms, a casino, and a race track. Guests might choose to hunt or fish, or quietly sit and listen to a concert on the grounds, and possibly enjoy tea while they listened. There was a struggle to make a profit however, and eventually the city of Tampa bought the property after Henry Plant died. Endowments by several prominent families provided enough money to keep up the property and expand the university also.

The doors of the feature photo are in the center of this view of the building. Through the doors you enter the grand hall, where students come to register, and other administrative offices are there as well. If you walk through you will exit to the rear of the building which is just as impressive as the front, as you will see.
I lamented the back view of this statue in the above photo, so I had to take a photo of the front of it.
This is the view from the front steps of the building. You are looking across a beautiful garden, and also across the river, at the ‘beer can’ building, that I also enjoy catching a glimpse of when we come to Tampa.
I find this architecture just amazing.
The detail boggles my mind.
Perhaps this statue represents the hunting dogs who resided here in the hotel’s heyday.
When I walked through the grand hall and exited through the doors I immediately saw the golf carts that I thought would ruin my pictures. But I did love the two round porches, and it took me a while to notice the photographer sitting at the base of the flag pole, and the little girl striking poses for him at the top of the steps.
I love looking at the porch, but I suppose sitting on the porch would be nice also.
Visiting on a Saturday during Christmas break meant there weren’t lots of students walking the paths, and not only that, you could park in the faculty parking lot too.
I have wanted to see a good view of this large round minaret so I was pleased when I spotted it.

Yes, this was a visit to do the Holiday Stroll, and we did. And it was lovely. I will post the pictures in the next day or so. I think this trip will have to be a holiday tradition from this time on. I never realized that new traditions can be just as meaningful as the memories of past holidays that we hold dear.

a second look, attention to detail, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise, weather

Twelve minutes on a Thursday…

I don’t know exactly what time it was when I decided to wander into the kitchen and warm up my half cup of coffee in the microwave. But as I passed by the dining room window I glanced out and saw a fabulous red cloud out there, and I’ll bet I was out the door in only a minute or two. As you can see it was a quick trip out for the sunrise this morning, and as I worked on my photos less than an hour later the National weather Service announced a tornado warning for this area. I’m glad I got out there when I did.

I practically held my breath as I rushed to the corner to see a wide open view of the sky. I had grabbed the iPhone and it tells me that this was taken at 7:02.
It’s hard to decide whether to stop for a photo or keep rushing before the whole scene just disappears. 7:03
Thankfully it didn’t disappear. Still 7:03.
Finally I was able to take the shot I had set out to take. 7:04.

The sky started to get duller, so I took a panorama with my phone, which I used as the feature photo. And then the ibis flew in, and they formed a line walking towards me in a row along the shore. I thought it might be cute to get the phone down low and take their picture as they approached, and though that didn’t pan out I took this last picture and watched for another minute or two as the sky faded.

Taken at 7:12.