Robins, big deal, right? But not in Florida. Not when you have just started taking pictures daily and consequently you do notice when a flock of robins land. And you realize that you don’t see them all the time. And they proceed to splash around in the lake in your (now former) backyard. But I did see them land in this park that I now call home the other day. And I hear them. They are on the ground, in the trees, and in the air. So everywhere basically. And I’ll take pictures because they will move on before too long. I don’t see how you can pay attention to nature and not know deep down that there really is a God…
I have gone out to photograph the eagles and stuck out before, but I can usually count on the nearby Anclote River Park for people, boats, and pelicans. Not yesterday though. There was only a couple of cars in the parking lot which is usually quite full, and with no boaters to toss scraps I guess the birds were off hunting on their own. I did get the image of a bird that I hoped for, it just wasn’t an eagle. No, an osprey was sounding off from a snag above it’s nest, so I was able to get a photo of him.
And low tide at Anclote Gulf Park had some wading birds looking for a snack.
There was a surprise visitor welcoming visitors to Anclote River Park, so I took his picture.
On the way home the Sandhill Cranes were wandering along a retention pond so I stopped to see them. I don’t know why they were such a common sight to see in Spring Hill, but it’s a treat to see them since I moved. As I was looking at these pictures this morning I heard a couple of them calling as they flew over, but they kept going, the calls fading away as they flew.
And here’s the rest of the story, believe it or not. Shortly after I finished writing this post and scheduled it to publish I saw some movement out the window. My desk sits in my Florida room, which is all windows, and working on the computer can be a challenge because I’m facing those windows and the sheers I have hanging on them don’t keep me from struggling to see the screen against the glare of the windows. So through the sheers I saw something walk by, and here’s who came calling.
It is still a rare treat to see them here. But today their timing was impeccable…
One thing is for sure, I have plenty of old pictures to play with while I keep my distance. I had totally forgotten about these ducklings on the lake until I scrolled past them in the computer. And since I talk about all the wildlife out there, and a variety of ducks out there to boot, it now stands out to me that I only saw these two families of ducks out there. Ever.
I had to include this picture of Ozzie out there even if the ducklings blend into the weeds in the water. As I was sitting there taking pictures of the ducklings I realized that Ozzie was laying in the grass not 15 feet from the edge of the water and the momma duck was letting her babies play along the shore without a care in the world. I had already figured out that the wildlife out there paid no attention to Oz, there simply was no hunting gene in his make-up. When Zoe was around she loved to run through a flock of birds on the ground, not to catch one, just to make them fly. It was the labradoodle in her. I once saw Ozzie snuffle a frog on the patio and then walk away. He was a live-and-let-live kind of guy. So I wanted to get a picture of Ozzie with the ducklings so close at the edge of the water, but I had to reposition myself to do it which caused momma to swim a few feet from the edge. You’ll have to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.
And I came across this picture too, of the pied-grebe face to face with his lunch. There was a frond of grass that had blown right across the action, leaving a hazy green smudge. Try as I might with all the new tricks I’ve learned in Lightroom I couldn’t do any better than this to clean that up. Poor froggie, it just wasn’t his day…
This trip down Memory Lane has been fun, a second chance to see photos from the past. When I see them I remember them, and I remember where they were taken, but I’m pretty sure I would never have thought of them and then looked for them. Had I gotten serious about my organization in Lightroom earlier I’d be able to look up photos by keywords when I want to see them, but I always have been someone who has to learn the hard way.
I have discovered pictures of some of the post sitters from my back yard. The post has measurements to keep track of water levels in the lake. The lake was dry for several years after we bought the house, but eventually the water levels came up and the wildlife returned. I frequently was lured into the backyard by one bird or another sitting on that post out there. I would have liked to have found examples of all the birds that used to land on that post. The hawk was a frequent visitor, just keeping an eye on things. And a little blue heron seemed to be out there daily too. Eventually I realized that it wasn’t always a little blue heron, sometimes it was a tricolor heron.
I thought that I’d be able to re-edit the photos with some of the tips I’ve been learning lately, but the past edits are destructive and I can’t take the picture back to it’s original version. And that is the single biggest reason to use Lightroom, and that makes it worth while even if it has been driving me nuts lately. So these photos make me cringe a little, but I am reminded of the German baker I used to work with who always said, “It is what it is.”
Spending the last couple of days going through the photos that were stored on the internal hard drive of this computer has been mostly boring. But sometimes they brought up nice memories too, like the Swallow-tail Kites that spent an afternoon at the little lake in my backyard. I had seen them fly over, you can’t miss the split tail. My ‘best’ shot has him flying out of the photo, so it’s not really my best shot.And I hadn’t ever seen them before, but because of all the pictures I see online every day I knew what they were and dashed out with the camera. I was barely able to get a photo of them in flight at all, but then they landed in a tree out there. I believe that the female landed in the tree and I was surprised to see the male come and feed her. That’s what’s going on in the feature photo. It’s an assumption on my part but it makes me happy to think so. I don’t miss the work and expense of maintaining a home that was too big for me alone, but I do miss my feathered friends.
I think Dad forgot that Mom was in the birdhouse, because I wasn’t the only one surprised when she suddenly launched herself out the door and off to who knows where. My view through the lens was this one, and the feature photo is the next one. Startled him right off his feet, and I didn’t see it until I looked at the pictures in the computer. They got me excited yesterday. I happened to look out the window and Dad was on the drain spout with a nice little worm in his mouth. I immediately got excited that they were feeding babies, or at least he was feeding Mom while she was on some pretty blue eggs. But off she flew, and he gulped down his catch, and I was left scratching my head.
Mom was back and forth the rest of the day, but still bringing nesting materials. She did stop to pose for me though.Dad’s contribution to all this was to sit on my TV antenna and serenade all of us while Mom was busy. All day. All day busy for her, all day as the singing supervisor for him. I guess it works for them…
And this is my new normal. Considering social isolation and the impending possibility of a new little bluebird family right on my doorstep, so to speak. Big heavy lens and big heavy tripod, in the living room, at the ready…