a second look, friends, fun, nothing's easy, perseverance, photography

Back to the track…

Horse racing is back on the schedule for our photo group now that the weather is cooler. Saturday was our first photo walk to Tampa Bay Downs since last April. The weather was cloudy and cool, but eventually the sky cleared and the temperature began to rise. It’s always fun to shoot photos with friends, and make new friends also.

I was pleased to get the iconic shot, all four hooves off the ground. This horse won the first race, and as the tiny female jockey passed by us she said that this day was a one and done for her for the day. Or maybe it ought to be a won and done.
I was quite busy up in the grandstand, looking for a spot to shoot the finish line. Somehow I settled on this spot and failed to realize that I didn’t have the finish line in the shot after all.
Coming around the final turn and we see that this can be dirty work unless you are in the lead.
Another shot with all four feet off the ground. But there is a ‘rest of the story’ for this horse. Before the race started this horse somehow tossed his jockey, who proceeded to chase the horse. (I wish I had gotten that picture.)
The horse led everyone on a merry chase all over the field, then he decided he was done. He was scratched from the race after that.
“He went that a way.”
This is my favorite jockey of the day!

It’s so nice to see more and more photo shoots on the calendar with the nicer weather and the return to normalcy after covid. I used to go out for photos by myself, which meant that I never felt as trapped at home as most people did. But I’m enjoying being with friends, I’ll admit it.

backyard visitors, birds, facing facts, fences, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Gray and gloomy…

I should be ashamed to be lamenting over every day that isn’t sunny. In the summer I tell myself that I’ll accomplish lots of stuff when the weather breaks. Then when it’s in the 60s I think it’s too cold to do anything. Yes, I’m spoiled, I’ll admit it. We will have to put out some bird feeders for the various fence sitters I’ve been seeing out back. This one posed in front of the dark shadow of the neighbor’s lanai, making the day look that much gloomier. He stayed put when I opened the door to our lanai so I didn’t have to shoot through the screening. Nice of him.

This is a Northern Mockingbird. If he had been facing the other way and I was looking directly at that long tail I wouldn’t have had to look him up.
They have an amazing repertoire of songs they sing. They are very common in this area, and everywhere actually.

Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family near and far.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida landmarks, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Walking in the park…

I had two goals today. First I hoped to see the eagles, but I missed them. It was chilly, did that get them up and out early, or were they still cuddled up in the nest? I thought I’d be able to shed the sweatshirt as the morning wore on, but not only did I keep it on, I kept it zipped up as I enjoyed a walk at John Chestnut Park.

I thought I was seeing puffs of feathers in the breeze, but the culprit was this tree, and others like it.
As usual, squirrels were the most abundant form of wildlife that I saw. This little guy was stalking me.
He double-checked to see if I maybe had a treat for him after all.
It was quiet on the boardwalk.
I wondered what creatures were looking back at me from the woods.
Busy little birds, too quick for me.
These little birds were what I hoped to shoot today, but this isn’t the shot I hoped to get.
I wonder if anyone is home?
I had hoped for a deer sighting. I got four shots as this one crossed the street, and they all looked just like this one.
Standing on one bridge looking through the foliage at another bridge, and it’s reflection.
A mini Bernie-doodle! This is proof that he sat still for a second or two…
In case you need to rest a while.
Peaceful scenery.
A final deer sighting, just as I was reaching the exit to the park.

In the heat of summer I long for cooler weather, sure that I’d spend as much time as possible outside if only it would get cooler. But it was 62 degrees in the house when I woke up this morning, time for fuzzy socks and cozy blankets. So I got out a little later than ‘usual’, but what a nice morning it was.

bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, second chances

Buzzing by the gardens…

Yesterday I did what I used to do when I lived in Spring Hill, I dropped by the botanical garden rather than drive past it. I doubted that butterflies would be in abundance in this cooler weather, and I was right. But right there in the butterfly garden I found something I haven’t seen in ages, a big fat bumble bee. And the afternoon light was nice. What a treat.

I was amazed at how solid his wings look in this photo.
He was ignoring me completely as he flitted from flower to flower.
I wish I could claim to have set up this shot, but it was just lucky.
He was still busy when I left.

I love it when a spur of the moment inspiration turns out so well. Life is simple these days, all it takes is seeing a tiny little creature to make my day. Life is good.

a second look, friends, fun, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Growing up…

The orangutans kept us waiting yesterday. The keepers had set the stage, placing colorful boxes front and center, and edible greens were in lots of nooks and crannies in the rocks. I waited a little while, but I had wandered away when they put in their appearance. I got there just in time to see the keepers tossing the last of the chunks of fruit to the waiting orangs. They don’t squabble over the offerings, they politely wait their turn.

It took me a while to find mom and baby in the habitat. I think they were playing hide and seek.
Giving mom a taste.
Is that a little kiss?
At nearly 2 years old Riplee’s mother lets him explore the habitat as he will, but she keeps an eye on him. The boxes seemed to be as interesting as the treats that were waiting for them.
Maybe the boxes were tasty also.
When one of the orangs sits in the sun I consider it an invitation to take a picture.
Or two pictures. Actually there were many more.
Here’s Riplee enjoying himself orangutan style.

With the cooler weather heading our way we’ll be visiting the zoo more often. It’s always a sure-fire photo op.

a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, fun, live and learn, perseverance, photography, ZooTampa

Doing my homework…

We went to a fun photography class on Saturday. It was a refresher class on how to shoot photos at the zoo. The reminders were helpful, even if I didn’t manage to adhere to them as strictly as I might have hoped. Getting your lens up close to a wire fence or a plexiglass window will cause the enclosure to not show at all. Our leader, Jeff, also reminded us to watch out for unfortunate backgrounds for our photos. Try to select a spot with a good background and wait for the animal to to walk into that spot, suggested Jeff. I’m afraid my patience wore out long before that happened.

I decided that catching the elephant munching on grass would do for a shot.
There were lots of kids at the zoo this morning, and they were very excited to see the flamingos.
Jeff used a photo of a giraffe during the class. He challenged us to try to get both eyes in a photo. I did it, but barely.
I’d been skipping the lorikeet enclosure the last few times I’d been to ZooTampa. Now I wonder why.
When you have cut off a body part make it look like you did it on purpose. The kinkajou is missing a very long tail, but only in my pictures.
The Komodo dragon enclosure is directly behind the orangutan playground. But when we arrived the orangutans weren’t out yet, though their greens and lots of colorful boxes were waiting for them. So I peeked through the glass and this guy was right there. I was happy the glass was there also.
An Okapi, possibly assembled by a committee.
Getting an angle on the Spoonies wasn’t easy.
This needle-nosed alligator look alike is usually looking sleepy. Not today!
The tiger was facing away from me. Then he lifted his face into the sun.
Then he turned and looked at me. I didn’t worry about having the lens zoomed in a bit too close.
Someone else was looking at me too. He was big, but the guy next door was way bigger!

As you might suspect, there are a lot of orangutan photos yet to be viewed. They’ll keep me busy tomorrow.