a second look, backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, foggy sky, go with the flow, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

All that’s missing…

Maybe the birds were extra hungry on Thursday morning after the thunderstorms the night before. The hawk had landed on the fence but he was looking into the yard behind me. I picked up the camera and shot some pictures through the sliding glass door plus the lanai screen, so considering the circumstances I liked the feather photo a lot.

Who scared who? Carolina chickadee vs. downey woodpecker.
The fruit and nut cake is a hit, and I think I’d better buy a replacement soon.
The Carolina chickadee likes to play king of the hill.

Today I am ready. I have a seat set up on the lanai, and my tripod is in place, but the birds are missing. Isn’t that always the way?

They announced themselves, loudly. Three of them.
I hoped they’d leave us alone when the mealworms ran out.

Did I say I was ready? Well, I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was because the little Manfrotto button that attaches the camera to the tripod is missing. I’ve left a trail of them over the years, but lucky for me I can order a new one. Or buy a better tripod…

a second look, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Figuring it out…

My trips to the rookery have been disappointing for a while now. Nests that I knew were there were tucked into the foliage, making them impossible to see. But I have now discovered the secret to seeing the chicks that were growing up in those nests. Just wait for them to grow up and leave home. Maybe they are teenager-equivalent now, and mom and dad are having trouble keeping them at home. So it was a couple of days ago that I ‘found’ them, sort of. We were there earlier in the day than we usually are, so maybe that’s another secret I figured out. It was a fun day at the rookery. That’s the snowy egret chicks in the feature photo, not hiding anymore.

Here are two of the snowy chicks, one tip-toeing to sneak up on some unsuspecting creature, and the other one feigning no interest in what was going on.
When I saw this snowy chick down beneath the nest at the water line I was afraid he’d fallen out of the nest. Could he get back up, I wondered? Then I saw that he was busy hunting bugs for lunch and I decided that he was fine.
I think that the black crowned night heron chick was a bit dazed and confused as he stumbled into the daylight.
He seems to have quite a nest tucked in there, lots of places to pop up and say peekaboo!
I think he is ready to find some lunch now.
I haven’t gotten a picture of a glossy ibis in quite a while. But this one flew down to the water right in front of me, and dipped his bill in for a drink.
That must have looked like a good idea to this Woodstork because he quickly followed suit. I guess they are drinking buddies.
The egret chicks were sounding off, loudly. Calling out to anyone who would listen I guess.
It seems like every year, no matter which rookery I visit, there are three nearly grown Woodstork ‘chicks’ standing at attention, quietly waiting to be fed? I call them the three amigos.
But nearby I spotted these two fuzzy headed cuties.
This log usually has an anhinga or two spreading its wings to dry. But on this day there were two romantic turtles whispering sweet nothings, or so I surmise!

The other new thing I noticed that day was the aroma. Not the most pleasant part of the day.

backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Wake up call…

This morning’s wake up call was the crows, apparently sounding off because my cup feeder needed filling with meal worms. Or so I assumed. I glanced out the window to a bit of color in the sky so I was off to the park asap. When I came home I found a crow on the new fruit and nut cake I’d put in the suet feeder, plus cardinals, a downey woodpecker, a tufted titmouse, and a Carolina Chickadee all vying for a turn at the feeders. I discovered that they didn’t mind me coming out onto the lanai and opening the door so I didn’t have to shoot through the screen. My favorite is when the photo ops come to me. Can’t ask for more than that.

If I hadn’t had to fight with my sweatshirt to get it right-side-out I might have gotten out a bit earlier when the color may have been better. But I’m not complaining. It was a very nice morning. All this before I even had my first cup of coffee!

attention to detail, attitude adjustments, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, home, live and learn, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

That zoo visit…

Lemurs hardly ever can be seen in their entirety, meaning that long tail in a picture.
We wandered for a bit since the orangutan enclosure was being tended to by the keepers.
I am convinced that our pets are totally content when life follows a routine and they know what to expect. But looking at that face I have to wonder, what do they think about?
When big daddy emerges he makes quite an impression.
Finally, mom and baby emerge into the morning sunlight.
Is she checking out her audience?
Another pose that makes me wonder what they think about.
All of the wildlife preserves in our area are also inhabited by wild birds who recognize a great place to live. These ducks seem to enjoy life in the zoo.
I saw this little bird land on a post, and since my camera was ready to go I took its picture. Merlin says it’s a house sparrow. But as sometime’s happens, when I saw the photo in the computer I was distressed to see that it’s leg is deformed.
Not a bird but a bird of paradise. The first picture I took at the zoo that day.

Going to the zoo will work out best when you plan ahead. Getting there when the zoo opens at 9:30 you can expect the animals to be active. The orangutans emerge from their dens to find that the keepers have scattered greens around the enclosure for them to eat. Sometimes they put out various pieces of clothing or towels that the orangutans enjoy draping over themselves. There is a good bit of shade at the zoo all day, but it will get pretty hot later. Of course there is a splash pad for the kids to enjoy, and I suppose a parent or grandparent might enjoy it also. A one day pass can seem expensive, until you realize that you can buy a pass that will get you admission for a year for the same price.

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, facing facts, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, live and learn, perseverance, photography, technology


Saturday was our last scheduled photo walk to Tampa Bay Downs, and we were happy to not have to rush out as early as we usually do when we are meeting with the group. But when we were ready to leave I found I’d left the car keys in the house, so I set the camera down in the tricycle basket while I went to retrieve them. You know what happens next, right? Yes, I forgot to pick the camera back up and off we went without it. I didn’t realize what I’d done until I went to get the camera out of the back of the car when we got there. Bernie asked if I’d rather just go home, but I figured I’d just use my phone and take photos of the people instead of the races. Only my phone was down to 14% battery power. Sigh, but all was not lost since his phone was charged.

Here was a candidate right off the bat…

I guess I now had hair on the brain…

This tee shirt caused me to stalk this guy before I finally got a picture…

Really? Heels at the track when you have a kid to chase around? Or ever for that matter?

We wound up sitting up in the grandstand, which turned out to be a better vantage point than we thought. Even with the phone the photos were interesting, mostly because of the sky.

I even got a couple of horses with all four feet off the ground.

I stalked that little cutie as her family was heading away from me. If anyone had been paying attention I’d probably have been arrested. There is virtually no seating that is out of the sun except for the grandstand. I suspect that that’s where we’ll be sitting when next season’s photo walks start up again. The breeze was fabulous. Not a bad day all in all…

a second look, birds, brainstorms, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Here we go round the mulberry bush…

We hadn’t seen photos of the cedar waxwings lately, so we thought they might have bulked up on enough mulberries and headed back to where they came from. But it’s not too far so we headed out to check on the situation for ourselves. There was plenty of activity in the mulberry trees, but as it was before, the action was deep in the shadows and hard to focus the camera. Which explains the vast majority of terrible photos I took today, plus the surprise of discovering that the bird I was taking pictures of wasn’t a cedar waxwing at all. I didn’t get a decent shot of the cardinal that was there, or the red breasted woodpecker, but at least I recognized them as I took my shots. But several birds were a total surprise when I looked at my photos in the camera.

There was a gray catbird enjoying the bounty.
And this red-breasted grosbeak also came as a surprise. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before.
But the cedar waxwings were still there in numbers, still flitting from branch to. branch.
Thankfully I was able to spot a few of them posing nicely and in the open.
This is as close as I got to getting a shot of one in flight.
Another nice pose.
I thought they might have stripped the trees of berries by now, but there still seemed to be plenty for all.
Lunch is served.

I’m still getting used to the new Canon r7 camera, with its new rf 100-400 lens, plus I also used the 1.4 extender. I have friends who will spend days studying the ins and outs of any new camera or lens that they may buy. I should take a lesson, I still need to study up on this new technology. I always have been a procrastinator. I once said something to my mother about one of my kids being a procrastinator and she asked me where I thought they got that from. Gee, I wonder…