a second look, backyard visitors, bugs, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Hummingbird moth…

You are not only going to have to indulge me a little with this post, but you’ll have to use your imagination also.  There I was, just heading out with Ozzie to check the mail and something caught my eye.  I see enough posts of birds and insects that when I saw this creature I knew instantly what it was, and that when I see posts about them people are quite excited to see them.  So I was excited, but didn’t have a camera with me, or even the phone.  I know Ozzie thinks I’m nuts when I suddenly make a mad dash into the house, but he’s used to me.  Lately I’ve been less than successful with what I have thought to be my easy, and unbeatable, iPhone technique to catch butterflies.  Lock your focus in on a flower about three feet from your camera, then chase the butterflies around shooting bursts.  I get a LOT of photos that way, but usually some are usable.  But this moth was as hard to capture as an actual hummingbird.  He zoomed frantically around the flowers, his wings especially never stopped moving, and he liked to hide in the depths of the plumbago.  At best these photos only prove that yes, I did see what I thought I saw.  And you know what, most of the images of these things that I’ve seen online aren’t a lot sharper.  So these are as good as it gets.8-4moth58-4moth48-4moth38-4moth28-4moth1

Of course I googled them and they appear in warm climates and like honeysuckle type flowers.  Excuse me while I go check the honeysuckle growing on my neighbor’s shed…

a second look, backyard visitors, home, life goes on, nature, photography, sky, sunset

Home on the Nature Coast…

Maybe it’s all the driving I’ve done lately, but since I’ve been back in Florida I’m having trouble catching up mentally with where I am physically.  While I was in New England I said I was ‘home’, and I was home, back to where the kid in me feels restored to the surface.  Now I’m home in Florida, but is it home?  Not sure anymore.  What struck me as I drove up to the house for the first time in six weeks was that everyone’s lawns were so green!  A sure sign that we had a lot of rain while I was gone.  It rained all day my first day back also, so I went out back when I saw some birds milling around once the rain had let up.  The ducklings!  I was glad to see them, five surviving.  And I caught up with my neighbors who said that there is only one Crane colt now, no one knows what happened to the other one. 7-28colt.jpg

With the clouds breaking up the sky looked promising, so I drove to Aripeka, the shortest possible sunset drive, and liked the light on the houses at my first stop, but the sunset itself didn’t look like it would be the best view.7-28aripeka3

So I went to the little spot I’d noticed before, right on a bend of the road that feels a little scary as people take the curve a little too fast.  There isn’t much opportunity to vary your shot, but I love this view.  And the colors built, and then extinguished themselves like a candle flickering out.  I’m back…7-28aripekasunset27-28aripeka47-28aripekasunset1

backyard visitors, birds, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Hummingbirds…

My first photography instruction was on photographing birds.  Alice, the teacher, said that if you just stake out a spot and stay still the birds will eventually not mind you being there and go about their business.  Sure enough, that’s what happened that day.  And it happened in Kathy’s yard yesterday when I staked out her hummingbird feeder to see if I could get a good picture.  Those little birds are fast, and at first they would zoom away as soon as I clicked the shutter.  Maybe they got extra hungry, but eventually they stuck around long enough for me to at least try to capture them.  It wasn’t easy.  I’d try to blame the camera for not being able to shoot more exposures per second, or the tripod for not being sturdy enough, or even the birds for their frantic ways, but I have to admit that it was me.  But the beauty of this open-ended trip is that there is always tomorrow…7-12hummer17-12hummer27-12hummer37-12hummer47-12hummer5

adventure, backyard visitors, friends, fun, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

Friday the 13th…

It started innocently enough, with a call from Kathy’s daughter.  She proposed a photo op at The Weirs, and she wanted to pick us up in her convertible for the ride.  As Kathy and I were trying to load all our camera equipment, as well as ourselves, into the car she likened us to Thelma and Louise.  But we were off, and though the sunset wasn’t much to speak of the area was good for night photography.  We wandered and took pictures, a fun time.  It was on the way home that Friday the 13th asserted itself.  That’s when Kathy’s granddaughter called to warn her mother to be careful when she came home because ‘there’s a bear in the garage and he won’t leave’.  I assumed it was a joke, but we soon figured out that it wasn’t.  The bear had been there a while and nothing Kathy’s son-in-law had done, including shooting the gun a couple of times, had budged the bear.  As would have been the case in any good horror movie, Jen’s cell phone was dead, so she dropped us off and headed for home with the vague plan to blast the horn as she drove up the driveway in her little convertible and made a mad dash into the house.  So if bears vs. alligators is the question, I’m pretty sure my answer would be neither.  And yes, she got home safe.  But the Fish and Game people said that until the bear attacks a big-ish animal, rather than only having killed the neighbor’s chickens, they can’t do a thing.  Hmm, suddenly the idea of running into a bear while camping in New Hampshire doesn’t sound as far-fetched…

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adventure, backyard visitors, bucket list, family, friends, memories, moments, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Next stop…

Next stop on the bucket list for my Home-Sweet-Home tour took me to New Hampshire.  To my oldest, dearest, bestest, friend in the entire world.  We met as little kids and have been living parallel lives all through the years, though, sadly, never in the same state.  New Hampshire means critters, lakes, and far off hills, or maybe they are the mountains that my ‘mountain man’ friend spent his life hiking and camping on.  Backpacking, is how he did it.  Now that I have camped in a camper I’ve been told that I can claim to be a camper!  Works for me…7-2chipmunk7-2finch7-2lakeside17-2lakeside27-2lakeside37-2pleasantlake7-2takeaseat7-2church7-2stream7-2weeds