a second look, adventure, friends, fun, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, weather

Sunset with friends…

It had been a very long time since I’d been out shooting with the group that came out to Crystal Beach last night. I’m afraid that I was so happy to see them, and had so much fun talking with them, that I stayed in one spot and shot the same photo over and over again. Yes, the sun sank into the water eventually, but the biggest difference in my pictures was the people on the pier. We had a drink at Molly Goodhead’s afterwards, and while I was there I caught a bit of the Lightning game where another friend was rooting them into tying up the playoff series they are in. It was a nice night all the way around.

When I was leaving to head to the shoot I had a ‘severe thunderstorm watch’ on my phone, but as you see there were just enough clouds last night. There will be a sunrise in this group’s future very soon.

a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Lazy daze…

It was HOT. Not the day for a later start for the zoo than usual. We found the animals to be lazing around, keeping cool. The feature photo is Randee and Riplee, I think, who tucked themselves into the small cave just at the edge of the little waterfall in their enclosure. I couldn’t fault mama for that, even if the droplets were showing in my photos.

The pink netting was a popular item among the orangs. Here the big male has draped himself with it, and then sat and tenderly, it seemed, groomed this female. I used to think he kept to himself all the time, but I the last few times I’ve been there he has played with young ones and now this nice interaction.
Here are Randee and Riplee again, and a few more droplets.
One of the young ones, on her own.
A ‘wild’ butterfly, who calls the zoo home by choice.
I loved the look of this shack, which is actually part of the manatee treatment facility.
This cougar was having a siesta.
I have given up on taking a non-closeup of a giraffe. There is just too much of them. Plus I love their eyes.

It was about at this point that I was thinking about suggesting we call it a day, but my friend asked if I wanted to see the elephants and giraffes before we go. Obviously we did, and I was quite happy that I hadn’t shot that idea down. On one visit to the zoo the elephants were in their pool area, and a quite small baby had fallen over into the water and provided quite a hilarious photo op for all of us there as he flopped around. Ever after that day I have wished for them to be in the water, and I said that out loud yesterday, and I got my wish. The smallest elephant of the group, the same one I wonder, headed to the water.

He stayed on his feet, and squirted himself thoroughly while backing further and further under the waterfall.
The adult elephants didn’t join him, or even come close to keep an eye on him. He knew how to keep cool.

I sort of wished that little elephant would squirt us, or maybe not, but it did cross my mind. While I was watching him I forgot about the heat for a little while, but after this stop we headed home. ZooTampa is small enough, and shady enough, and close enough to home, that an early morning trip for a couple of hours is enough to make this photographer happy.

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sky, strangers become friends, sunset, Uncategorized

Lost and found…

A reader recently told me not to worry about using ‘old’ pictures, though the ones we were talking about that day were only a month old. These photos were found on an SD card that I apparently had put away upon getting a ‘better’ SD card. The photos were from 11-9-2019, and were taken at Pine Island. It seems I have abandoned Pine Island for sunset photography these days. I haven’t been back since they decided to keep charging the $5/car entrance fee even when you are arriving 20 minutes before sunset. But these photos have reminded me how much I enjoyed the sunsets there, and of the connections I’ve made there also, so perhaps I will rethink my position on paying the fee. I probably used these photos in a blog post back then, but seeing them on the card doesn’t give me a clue about that. And Lightroom has had some fabulous upgrades to use since then. The skies look very much like our current skies, so there is that at least. I sometimes feel as if I temporarily lost, and then found, myself these last few years. All in all, being found is a good thing.

The feature photo is of the beach and sky to the left of the actual sunset. This photo is taken to the right, which would make it towards the north. Very different sky.
It was early yet, but down in the corner you see people settled into their chairs to watch the show.
I don’t know if I expected as pretty a sunset as it turned out to be.
Not a lot of people waiting for sunset, but some.
Low tide adds some interest to the scene.
Finally the sun was dropping below the clouds.
Another photographer with his own perspective on the sunset.
Touchdown! Finally.
I took many more shots as that sky darkened. But this is my last shot from the parking lot as I got ready to leave.

Pine Island is now calling me. Not tonight though. We will be (hopefully) celebrating a Lightning win at one of our favorite places to belly up to the bar tonight. Or drowning our sorrows, it remains to be seen.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, connections, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends

Flappers…

I never thought of myself as particularly OCD, but it seems I am when it comes to my photos. I always want to use them in the order in which they were taken. And God forbid that I went out for pictures and then happened across a situation where I got more and ‘better’ pictures afterwards. That’s what constitutes a dilemma for me. So I already had pictures from the Tampa rookery when I left for my recent trip to NH, and I only got around to looking at the rookery pictures today. They are from Mother’s Day, judging by the ducklings in the feature photo. Would anyone have known that these aren’t current pictures? Of course not, but I know they aren’t current and it bothers me. But not enough to just chuck them and go out for newer pictures.

Do you think she was counting heads? There were 14 of these little cuties at the time. I haven’t seen them since to see how many are still tagging after mom.
I don’t know that I’d ever have noticed this juvenile black crowned night heron chick if another photographer hadn’t pointed it out to me. It stayed on that branch the whole time we were there, so I went back and took more pictures of him every now and then, but he mostly just sat there.
I thought he just sat there but then I came across this picture.
This rookery has some birds I don’t commonly see, such as this young glossy ibis. I was fully prepared to call him a reddish egret until I noticed that long, curved beak.
The reason there seems to be so many tricolor herons at this rookery is probably because many of them are juveniles who are flapping their wings and zooming around the area.
Not to be outdone in the flapping department is this juvie wood stork, who still yells for his Mama.
This snowy egret isn’t so flappy as it is fluffy.
Note the ‘golden slippers’, which are how I check myself as to who I’m looking at.
Eventually these little wood storks grow into their beaks.

My interest in birds snuck up on me. I bought a DSLR first, spur of the moment (it was Christmas after all), and when I sat in my backyard with the camera birds were what was there to pose for pictures. I’m not sure I’d ever heard the word ‘rookery’ until I started paying attention to the photos online, and then found the camera club. A long time ago I realized, and sort of kicked myself over the realization, that I never actually made a plan in life, I just let myself go where the wind blew me. Now I see it blew me right where I belong.

a second look, Amazing artwork, attention to detail, connections, facing facts, finding my way, flowers, friends, fun, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip

The facts of life…

Visiting Lake Winnipesaukee before Memorial Day is either the best or worst time to visit depending on your point of view. The only activity seemed to be the shop owners preparing to open their doors for the season. There were no boats in the boat slips, no people lining up to buy ice cream, or swimming in the little beach. My cousins grew up nearby they told me that Weir Beach was a destination for teenagers back in the day. On this day there was room to take in the scenery, and wonder if you might return to ride the train. For now it was a peaceful scene.

Across the street from the beach you find beautiful old Victorian houses, some receiving touch ups before the tourists return.
The boat slips were empty that day.
A few hanging baskets of flowers were in place, soon there will be baskets everywhere.
The hills were alive in shades of green as the new leaves fill in the scene.
A New England scene isn’t complete without a steeple.
A walking path leads you around the lake, and past ever changing sculptures done by local artists.
There was a lot more to this sculpture, a whole series of circles, but I liked the scene through this opening.
I should have taken a picture of the hand written sign requesting that if you see Canada geese on the grass please shoo them away. We didn’t bother this one.
This was my third visit to this lake, and I knew that this pretty gate was just waiting for us to see what we might see through it’s ‘window’.
This just might be my all time favorite photo op prop.
The path around the park continues around the lake, with more flowers and sculptures to see, and geese to shoo is you care to..

We nearly missed this last statue. We only saw it as we returned to the car. But that’s when we saw a big sign that featured the image of this man with the cardinals, so we took pictures and then we headed home. Visiting New Hampshire isn’t a childhood memory for me, my visits have come in these later years of life, visits to reconnect with an old friend. Those connections in life are so special, words can’t do it justice, but this place has come to feel like home to me also. I have been alone these last years of my life, but not really alone, having a friend who is dear to your heart makes all the difference.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

Catching up…

Sometimes you just can’t win. I’m not talking about my recent trip to NH, that was great. I had taken a Covid test ahead of time and masked up for the trip, just to be careful. It was on the way hoe that I dropped the ball. I totally forgot to mask up, and when I realized it I still didn’t do it. So I came down with a cold that has had me doing next to nothing since I’ve been back. Add to that computer issues, and instead of working on pictures I took while I was away I’ve been obsessively ‘working’ on Wordle, Quordle, and Octordle, and that’s about all I’ve been doing. Good for the brain I suppose, at least that’s something.

Beautiful New Hampshire. I brought the Florida heat with me, but this scene looks nice and cool.
We never did spot the Canada geese chicks that everyone else was spotting daily.
I so enjoy the chipmunks that are everywhere, or underneath the bird feeder at least.
This Chipping sparrow looks like he is related to the chipmunk.
Goldfinches enjoyed the bird feeder after we solved the squirrel problem.
Mr. Goldfinch was harder to capture in a photograph than the Mrs. was.