'scene' along the way, a second look, attitude adjustments, birds, Florida landmarks, fun, life goes on, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset, technology

Sunset songs…

I’m pretty sure that the Ruddy Turnstones in the feature photo aren’t really one legged. They are the cutest little shore birds and I don’t get to Pine Island to see them often enough. It was a pretty sunset on Tuesday night. And, as I always say, there always seems to be something extra going on there. On this night there were two women playing their guitars and singing old songs that I not only remember and love, but I knew all the words. I wanted to sing with them, if only I had a decent enough voice. But the sunset was also calling me.

Several people did sing and dance with them. And now I see the open guitar cases and maybe I should have made a donation.
This was my view as I walked from the parking lot onto the beach. I hadn’t noticed the music at this point, I was just concentrating of the clouds and hoping the sunset colors would come through.
The birds were flying over, quite a few people were enjoying the view and the music.
Birds kept flying past so I kept shooting.
I was taking a series of shots to turn them into HDRs, but it will take more practice with the camera settings to get that right. But that means I have to go back.

The sky never did light on fire as I’d hoped. But that didn’t spoil my evening a bit.

a second look, attitude adjustments, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Real life…

The feature photo was my first glimpse of the parent eagle keeping watch over the nest on Tuesday. I was riding my trike up the trail, and saw this view of him through a break in the foliage. From right in front of the nest I couldn’t see that eagle at all. I was prepared to hold out to see the baby eaglet though, meaning that I was ready to sit on my trike while I waited. But the reality was that I stood with my camera on the tripod, my right arm up with my finger on the shutter, putting pressure on my shoulder which has been giving me an issue for a while now. I caught a glimpse of what I thought might be the other parent flying in, so I stood there waiting, and shooting, and the first burst of photos was of the empty nest. And then as I scanned my photos in the computer I saw a glimpse of the other eagle flying in with a prize, just not the prize I might have expected. It was a bird, not a fish, and knowing that explains what another onlooker and I were wondering about. After he landed that eagle was obviously tearing at something and tossing whatever it was shredding out of the nest. Feathers! I was a little disappointed that the baby didn’t get up a little higher to see him or her better, but I did manage to see him and get a picture while he still looks like a baby. I missed that stage completely last year. So here is the sequence of events, some but not all of the pictures since there were over 20 photos from only the second or two that it took for him to land.

I had no clue that he had anything in his talons when I took this picture. I was just happy to be ready with the camera.
Realizing that I had the series of photo in focus really made me happy. The camera’s ability to do this is what made me decide to buy it.
This is when I figured out that it was a bird for lunch.
It’s always a treat to see those wings catch the light.
He got down to business cleaning his catch right away.
Soon both parents were on hand.
They were keeping an eye on some vultures who were buzzing the nest.
Finally, a little head. I took so many pictures because I could see the head bob movement, and then I had to go through those zillion pictures hoping for a bit more than this tease of a view.
A little better view.
I think he was tired of waiting for a tid-bit.
The squeaky wheel thing works in nature also, or so it would seem.

I was packing up the camera when I noticed two vultures buzzing the nest with a vengeance. I wondered if they were hoping this eagle would chase one of them, leaving the nest unguarded. Thankfully the eagle did a lot of yelling, but didn’t leave. But I did, leave I mean. I hope those good parents keep up their good work.

attitude adjustments, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, hockey, Home Team, making memories, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, technology

USF hockey…

The nearby Advent Health Skating Rink is the home rink for the USF hockey club’s games. Between the USF games themselves, and the free skate rinks, there is a good crowd there on any night we’ve gone to a game. But Saturday night’s game was beyond anything we had seen before, as far as a standing room crowd goes. We found standing room in the upper level that allowed for three people at a time to have a great view of the ice. I was the fourth, so I only took shots for a couple of minutes myself, but I shot on burst mode and assumed that with all the fast action I’d get a shot or two that I might want to use here. That proved to be a little optimistic. As you can see by the feature photo, the night’s game was billed as the “War on I-4”, because of the rivalry between the USF Ice Bulls and the Knights of UCF. It definitely wasn’t UCF’s night as they lost 10-0.

They rolled out the red carpet for the Bulls mascot to drop the ceremonial first puck.
Then the Ice Bull’s mascot and the Advent Health Mascot got the crowd going to start the game.
This was the extent of the action shots I managed to get.

It’s fun to go to these games because most of our photo shoots are an hour or more away. But this rink is just a few miles from home. The next time we go it’ll probably be a smaller crowd to deal with, which won’t necessarily improve my photos, but I will try to take advantage of having a view of the ice, and maybe a seat too!

'scene' along the way, Amazing artwork, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Just do it, learning, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, Tricolored heron

Technology…

Yesterday I had a comment or two about the ability of the new camera, a Canon r7 mirrorless camera, to take a huge number of shots in a burst. I usually have it set to do just that if I’m photographing birds, or wildlife at all really. Just in case something exciting happens. So let me explain that I feel hardly any responsibility for these photos I’m posting today. The feature photo is the first in a sequence of 10 photos that the camera took in less than a second. My contribution was to see the lighting and reflections, and I anticipated the Tri-color Heron would take off. I wanted the tracking in the camera to follow the bird, and it did. these are the 10 consecutive frames that it took. Makes me happy to think that my investment in this camera has turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would be. I used the r 100-400 lens, made for the mirrorless Canon cameras, and not expensive at all. Or as these things go.

The feature photo is the take off, this is frame #2.
Stretching his wings in frame #3.
Full wing extension in frame #4.
The dive for the prize in frame #5.
Putting the brakes on with his wings in #6,
#7, will he come up with lunch?
I thought/hoped he caught his prey, but apparently not. #8
Not this time, #9
And then he flew away, out of the nice light.

We spent the beginning of the walk looking into the morning sun. I didn’t bring my visor so it was tough. It was lucky that this sequence happened in such nice light. I will give lots of credit to luck, and that’s okay.

a second look, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, birds, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, kids, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

Sarasota Audubon Nature Center…

We nearly missed this center located adjacent to the Celery Fields trail. The sidewalk we were riding led us past the beginning of the trail and over to the Audubon center. It wasn’t open since it was past noon, but the multiple bird feeders set up outside were amazingly busy. When we first stopped to see what we could see there were little kids there, talking excitedly and running back and forth to grab snacks from their mothers. But I can’t say that the birds, and there were lots of them, were bothered by all the action. We were bothered however, so we decided to go get some lunch, and when we came back to the feeders we were there by ourselves. That was much nicer.

There must be some truth to the saying that ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ Or so it would seem.
In the light I thought they looked slightly green-ish, mostly because that’s what I hoped they’d be. I hoped to see painted buntings, but we didn’t. These are brown headed cow birds, and I’ve never seen them before.
I think I probably have seen them before, but didn’t notice them being different from all the other little brown birds.
A red-winged black bird in non-breeding colors. I had to look this guy up, thank goodness for Merlin.
We see cardinals daily on our bird feeder. This one kept to himself, mostly in the bushes or on the ground, and was gone fairly quickly.
The blue jays didn’t stay put long also, but this one stopped at the bird bath for a drink.
It’s that ”birds of a feather’ thing again. I was excited over the purples and blues of the feathers in this photo, but Merlin says they are common grackles. I think they were the most abundant birds at the feeders.
Red-wings share a snack.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy kids, and their conversation was fun to listen to, but they were lined up across the table part of the picnic table viewing spot, making it tough to frame a photo. Their mothers were around the corner, paying no attention, as the kids came and went with their juice boxes and snacks, which included slices of watermelon. So in the feature photo, the slice of watermelon in the bird bath, placed by the Audubon folks or the kids? Guess we’ll never know.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, birds, bugs, bunnies, butterflies, egrets, exploring new places, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

Celery Fields…

A couple of years ago I spent a day being chauffeured around by another photographer, seeing many birding spots that day. Celery Fields was one of our quick stops, since we were in the area. But my over all impression was that it was rather flat and we didn’t take pictures there that day. Maybe we stopped with a different view that day, but I never added it to my mental ‘must see’ locations. Our intention in going this time was to ride the trails and see some birds that a friend had photographed there. But we quickly found that those long slow dirt trails were going to be too much for our trike and scooter, so we rode on the sidewalk and found plenty beautiful subjects to shoot.

I’m always on the lookout for bees and that’s what I hoped this was. I didn’t have the right lens on the camera and it didn’t seem to be focusing as I wanted it to, but I took some shots anyhow. I’m glad I did. The feature photo seemed to have the same problems also, but turned out okay.
This is the view we saw, definitely not flat. Each turn of the trail revealed yet another hill to climb.
Though the people on the hill caught my eye. I think he was being sent to retrieve his brother. I wish I’d rolled the zoom back a little.
If this guy had been lost he was found in the end,
This egret was the reason we did ride on the sidewalk, which revealed a few more photographic subjects.
I thought this was a glossy ibis, but I had to check to be sure and it is, but he’s in his non-breeding plumage.
A little blue was hanging out with the egret and ibis also.
We missed a great opportunity to get pictures of this immature red-shouldered hawk when we first arrived. Lucky for us he flew into the trees nearby and posed a while.
I saw the beautiful color of this fella’s feathers, but when he turned his head I was a bit disappointed to see that it was a turkey vulture. But I suppose they have their place in the big scheme of things.
This little bird was high in a tree so I had to zoom to the max, and then look it up on Merlin. It’s a loggerhead shrike, which I’d heard of but seeing it was a first for me.

It’s a shame that we didn’t look up info on this location before we visited because there is a lot more to be seen here. But we’ll be back…