Bayport, birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, photography, sunrise

Back on track…

1-15sunrise2 copyI went out for a Bayport sunrise the other day and it was pretty, but too cold.  I know you must be getting tired of hearing me say that.  But it was almost a relief that the above picture was as pretty as it got and I could stay in the car.  I have taken a picture of the sign that they have posted there before, but I never used it.  It looks like they are finally going to redo the fishing pier.  1-15billboard copyI’ve taken a lot of reflected sunrise photos at Bayport, I love the way all the channel markers sometimes look to be different colors and almost lit up in the morning light.  Not knowing anything about boating I had no idea what the markers actually indicated.  Now I see that it must be water depth because in all my trips to Bayport, for both sunrises and sunsets, I’ve never seen the water level be low enough for this sand bar to show.  1-15lowtide copy1-14littlebird copyBack in the yard this little bird was out there, teasing me, landing just long enough for me to find him with the camera but flitting off a few feet away before I could focus. This was the best I could do.  Merlin says it’s a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  I’ve probably seen all these little birds before, but finding them in the camera’s view finder is like looking through binoculars.  Now I actually see them.1-15sandhill1 copy1-15sandhill2 copyAnd the cranes were back out there last night.  They seem to have abandoned the mound that they worked so hard to build.  Unless of course this was a different pair. When I see Sandhill cranes around the neighborhood they seem to always be in pairs lately.  But what has struck me is that at least one of the pair looks to be on the small side.  The younger birds setting up housekeeping I guess.  This pair was out there on the original nesting spot from last year, making themselves at home.  At least I hope that’s what was going on…


Bayport, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunrise

The fun of it…

Don’t let the sunshine in the photos fool you, it was freezing out.  By Florida standards at least.  I wasn’t able to stay at Bayport as long as I usually do, but it was mostly the wind that froze my fingers, and that was what got to me.  But for us winter will be over soon, and for that I’m appreciative.

It wasn’t the most spectacular sunrise, maybe that’s why I gave up so easily.  I warmed up on the drive to Jenkin’s Creek, and found an eagle.  But he was across the water and farther away than I’ve been lucky enough to see in him the past.  That was disappointing, but then he took to the sky.  The new zoom lens requires manual focus, and I couldn’t refocus fast enough as he flew, so every time I saw him in the lens I clicked a photo.  I’m amazed that any of them turned out.  When you go out for photos you just never know what you’ll get.  But that’s the fun of it…

1-5bridge copy1-5eagle1 copy1-5eagleflies copy1-5eagleflies2 copy1-5eagleflies3 copy

Bayport, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunrise

Gloomy sunrise…

It’s not as if I expected a great sunrise.  It was very gloomy at home, but since I have driven to Bayport before and found it to be clear right there at the water, off I went.  Not on Thursday though, there was no color in the sunrise at all.  But my new routine when I go to Bayport is to swing past Jenkin’s Creek on the way home to see if I can spot an eagle.  And while I haven’t found an eagle at any other time of day, I’m batting 1000 for finding one at sunrise.  I tried to wait for him to fly away, or do something besides sit there and turn his head one way or the other, but it was cold and I gave up before anything happened.



Bayport, birds, dogs, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, learning, old dogs new tricks, photography, sunrise, technology

Back to basics…

There I was at Jenkin’s Creek, after a lovely sunrise at Bayport.  I pulled into the parking lot and could see a large bird in the ‘wood stork’ tree, but I honestly couldn’t tell what it was.  Lucky for me there was another photographer there, Tony, and he said that it was a juvenile eagle.  I would probably have to have used Merlin to be sure what it was if he hadn’t been there.  I suppose that I look like I know what I’m doing, what with the tripod (which he said isn’t sturdy enough for my lens), as well as the gigantic lens itself.  So Tony got out his phone and was going to play eagle sounds in an attempt to get this eagle to fly for the sake of the photo op.  So, said he, ‘you probably want to increase your shutter speed.’  Nothing will fluster me more than something like that statement, because I still fumble to make those sorts of changes in the camera settings.  I admitted that I’m a rank amateur with this stuff, and because of that we both managed to miss the shot.  Bet he was glad I showed up.  He said he had gotten some good portrait shots at least.


So I decided I needed to work on my camera skills, and off I went to the dog park.  And I easily upped the shutter speed to account for the action I was hoping to capture.  It’s a lot easier when there are no witnesses to my fumbling.  Maybe I’m getting better at all of this after all.

1221doggie1221doggie21221doggie3Obviously the dog in this last picture has zoomed out of the focus point I set, but what I like about the photo is that the leaves he kicked up are perfectly in focus.  That made me smile.  Note to self, perhaps you ought to increase the focal area next time.

And the sunrise.  I never get tired of going out for the sunrise, and sunsets for that matter.  This one got prettier than it looked like it would with the fog.  And it was foggier when I got home than it was when I left.  Practice, practice, practice…


Bayport, birds, Florida wildlife, learning, live and learn, nature, photography, sunrise

RAW vs. iPhone…

Sunday’s plan involved sunrise at Bayport, then breakfast at Panera, all leading up to church at 9, since I totally forgot to go the day before.  It was unusual to have two trucks parked in the little parking area when I got to Bayport, I’m usually the only one there.  Fishermen, I thought, and swung the car around to park facing the sunrise.  As has happened before the sky was already streaked with red, so I hurried out of the car with my iPhone to get a couple of photos in before I got the camera out.  That’s when I saw him, another photographer, with his tripod and camera set up along side the guard rail.  I was startled to see him, and I told him that I hadn’t seen him when I pulled in.  He said that I drove right past him, and I repeated that I had never seen him.  And that’s what had startled me, the thought of just how close did I come to hitting him?  My father once told me an inch is as good as a mile, so I guess it was okay, but alarming.

I don’t know how long he had been there, this other photographer, but he already had his camera recording a photo every 5 seconds.  I asked if he combined them into a video, and he said that he did that sometimes, and posted them on YouTube.  He seemed  excited to talk and told me how great it was to see the particular rays radiating from the sun, which wasn’t actually up yet.  I tried to see what he meant but I’m not sure I did.  He told me what those rays are called, and I said I’d have to Google them, and I would if I could remember now what he said that they were.  He then raved about his camera, that he said has a 2000mm zoom.  He once caught the rings of Saturn in a photo, he said.  He was on to the subject of Copernicus and the curvature of the earth when I had to leave.  Not the quiet, solitary sunrise I’m used to.

So, more RAW photos.  I made my edit preset and then applied it to 63 photos all at once. I thought some came out a little over done, but that’s probably operator error.  There is a learning curve after all.  Like the curvature of the earth maybe.

1218sunrise31218sunrisecrane1218sunrise41218sunrise21218sunrise1And now for the iPhone.  I have ordered a wide angle lens for the camera, and I hope it compares with the wide angle the iPhone gives me.  If not for the zoom I’d have to say that the iPhone holds it’s own very well.  It’s an excellent camera.  And they say that the very best camera is the one you have with you!



Bayport, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunrise

Bayport and more…

I planned to go to Bayport for the sunrise on Thursday morning, and I left in plenty of time, but as I was driving there I could see the red in the horizon and I was afraid I was missing it.  But I didn’t, it just continued to become more beautiful as time went on, a perfect sunrise.  The only thing missing was that Great Blue Heron that usually joins me.


I headed home and passed the turn for Jenkin’s Creek and thought to myself that I ought to stop there and see if anything was going on.  So I turned around and took the turn.  That proved to be a good choice because there was the eagle I keep hearing about, perched all by him or herself in what I think of as the woodstock tree.  I had been told that the eagle used to always be there but that the wood storks had taken that tree over.  Maybe there has been a change of command.   I have to say that even a majestic eagle looks a little silly when he scratches an itch.  How ironic to find an eagle by accident, so to speak, when I spent such a long time looking for one the day before.  I should have stuck with it a bit longer this morning because almost as soon as I put the camera down he took off.  I would have liked to get a photo of that also.  Maybe next time…