Seriously, that’s what I am, a photography groupie. I see photos from lots of photography groups online, and when I see that someone has seen the nearby eagles I become possessed with heading over to see them too. Same with the owls. Lately it’s been butterflies. A friend just took a fun field trip to a butterfly garden a couple of hours from here, and just then butterfly pictures started showing up online. So I Googled butterfly gardens nearby and came up with Hammock Park. If you are looking for a big, lush butterfly garden then this one isn’t for you. I didn’t know how I felt about walking the trails in the park by myself so I had nearly given up when the butterflies suddenly appeared. Today I am headed to a macro photography class, so, as usual, my timing could have been better since I was taking close ups today. Just means I’ll have to get out there and have a do-over! And try to do better!
It’s the little ones you have to watch out for, isn’t that what they say? Like this little bird in the tree just above Mama Owl. He was hard to spot and harder to capture in a photo. But that little guy was harassing Mama owl to the point of dive-bombing her and making contact. There was a group of us below, way below, all amazed at his daring, and our cameras were clicking. I for one had forgotten all about the fact that Mama should have been my subject. And she was paying absolutely no attention to that little bird. She just sat in the sun and napped. We thought for a second that once Mama turned around and possibly wasn’t facing his nest the bird would give up his assault, but we were wrong. The dramas of nature are going on every day, imagine how many more dramas are unfolding all around us and we have no clue.
That’s the bird making contact on her head! That’s it, a blur with a little bit of feathers or beak. You have no idea how many photos I had to scour to find even this bit of that little bird’s assault. We photographers had fun watching this all happening. If not for the mosquitos I’d have stayed until it got dark, but I had to call it a day soon after this. Nature never disappoints.
Mama finally looked around and we got her face rather than her back.
Such a sweet face on this baby owl.
Then someone showed up with a dog and this one looked very interested, and a little bit fierce.Dad was there but too sheltered in the trees for a good photo. So no one was on the nest while I was there, but one of the gals said that the babies had cuddled together in the nest the night before. Cuddling, that sounds like a good idea.
I feel as if I’ve emerged from my cocoon of ‘settling in’ just in time to have my first snowbird season looming. Suddenly I’m rushing to catch up on some online classes with my photo club, the FCCP, and the one I watched yesterday morning led to an a-ha moment. My new camera and lens are wonderful, and I could get along using them exclusively with no problem. Less to carry also. But one of the first things I did with my new camera was attach it to my ‘big’ lens, the 150-600, and headed to the rookery to practice, and didn’t get a single really good image. How disappointing. But the class I watched yesterday made me realize that my problem with blurry pictures may have been my shutter speed, and I was out the door in a flash, this time in search of the eagles. I parked and began to walk over to see if I saw them at the nest when I saw this; I haven’t seen Great Blue Herons in the tree tops in a very long time. There was an eagle nearby also, but he flew away too quickly for me to get his photo. So I moved on and found this;I had seen lots of pelicans in this spot before, almost looking like a rookery that day, but not yesterday. I decided to swing past the eagle nest on my way home again, and that proved to be the photo op I was looking for;Mom and Dad were in the tree just above the nest. The Princess, as she is known, was in a tree not far away and even closer to the road. She is looking regal isn’t she? But what I hadn’t counted on was a dead armadillo in the road very close to where I had parked. By the time I returned to the car there were vultures on both sides of the road and in the trees, and I had to get past them to get to the car. They are creepy. But then once I was at the car I couldn’t help myself, and so we have these last photos of the day.Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.
This one is from a few nights ago at Cypress Point Park. The plan was to take photos of planes coming in and landing with the sunset colors behind them. What a photo op that would have been. But the winds caused a change of runways at the airport, and even then I came away with 676 photos to go through. So here are a few of the sunset, just a little late. Let me just say that I got distracted by two boys tossing a football back and forth. I was hoping to capture the action of throwing the ball. Then when I reviewed the photos I was very excited thinking since it looked like a bird had thrown my shots. They were potentially nice shots, this was the only one that I could have cropped to not show the football. I left the boy in this shot just to remind myself to keep my mind on what I’m doing.
But there were lots more sunset shots, ones without footballs…And I couldn’t help but watch another photographer in action. I wouldn’t enjoy doing portrait photography. If I’m taking pictures that turn out to be disappointing then I’d prefer that the only one annoyed at me is ME!
That’s what tonight’s photo shoot was supposed to be about. Big birds like this…
We were on a beach near the airport, and the planes were supposed to be coming towards us to land. An entirely different perspective. And we were shooting at sunset so some color in the sky behind them would have been nice. There were plenty of planes, but they were taking off with the wind, and we couldn’t see where the planes coming in were landing. But it was okay since birds of a different sort kind of stole the show.Wait, is that an osprey? Oh, let me zoom…And the prettiest shore bird, a willet I think. I saw another one of the photographers concentrating on him, and later on he said that he thought he caught this guy with a tiny little crab in his mouth. I hope his patience paid off for him.
I took 675 photos, and I have to say I love the new camera and lens. We were panning, so all my photos were taken hand held, and zoomed to the fullest, so I assumed that I was getting blurry shots, but hoped for a few that I liked. Well, my shots weren’t blurry at all. Oh, and the new lens goes from close up to pretty great zoom, like this.
I have so many more photos to go through, but tomorrow morning is another shoot so I need to go to bed. I have to get up early…
The clouds were gorgeous just as the sun came up this morning. But attempting to get the palm trees to be in silhouette against the prettiest clouds proved to be harder than it looked. Plus I was distracted by the knowledge that being out front with my camera was possibly going to cause repercussions with a problem neighbor. I guess the wonderful neighbors in my old neighborhood had not prepared me for the possibilities in a new neighborhood. It remains to be seen if the ideal of blissful life in an over-55 community is a pipe dream or a reality.