backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, home, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

A gentleman caller…

Yesterday I got a surprise when I looked out front to check and see if the trash had been picked up yet.  It had.  But as I headed out to put the trash can away I discovered a visitor on the lawn.  Funny that he was there because lately I’ve been lamenting to myself that I can’t just sit out in the back yard and have photo ops come to me any more.  And birds have been scarce in general, even in places that I thought you would always find them.  It was a young wood stork, smaller than most of the ones I’ve seen.

Of course I grabbed the camera and went out the door for pictures.  This didn’t seem to bother him a lot, he stood his ground and I sat on my stoop and started shooting.  Personally, I think he liked the photo shoot.  He certainly turned this way and that, maybe he was deciding which was his best side.  He also was approaching me, making me suspect that someone has been feeding him.  I understand the urge to do that, and I even had frozen corn and peas which I’ve read is what you are supposed to feed ducks, if you can’t resist feeding them.  But I did resist.  Eventually I’d taken so many pictures, and I wondered what mission he’d been on when I interrupted him, so I went inside.  I couldn’t resist checking to see what he was doing though, but I didn’t have to look hard because he was right outside my front door, looking in.  I hope his interest in people doesn’t cause him problems, but on the other hand I hope I see him again.10-14woodstork710-14woodstork110-14woodstork210-14woodstork310-14woodstork410-14woodstork610-14woodstork5

'scene' along the way, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, gardens, lizards, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, technology

Saturday at the Botanical Gardens…

At the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens that is.  I may never have gone there on a Saturday before.  I say this because it just seemed to be bustling with activity, which isn’t usually the case.  They were getting ready for a wedding, decorating the gazebo, and chairs were set up ready for guests.  It looked to be my kind of affair, small and simple.  I’ll bet it was nice. 10-12gazebo

It was early and the sun was strong and made for deep shadows.  The butterflies in the butterfly garden were scarce, and too busy to sit for photographs.  But the female cardinal was too busy eating berries to worry about me and my camera.10-12cardinal2

But what tickled me most was that the train was zooming around the track.  That was a first.  I’d seen that the track was there of course, but hadn’t seen it in operation.  The gentleman running it says it runs every Saturday from 9 AM to noon.  The track circles a display that includes two little waterfalls, and I happily tried to get pictures but the strong sun and shadows got in the way.  So I used my new iPhone to take shots of the train in burst mode, and it shot a movie instead.  Clearly I need to study up on how to take best advantage of the features of the phone.  And the site wouldn’t let me post the little video.  But I got one shot of the train at least.10-12train

This water feature was new to me also.10-12waterfeatureAnd, what we have most of here in Florida, lizards!10-12lizard

'scene' along the way, birds, boats, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, perseverance, photography

Snowbirds…

The snowbirds don’t seem to have returned to Florida yet.  Well, this one has, but I seem to be the exception.  The October calendar in the park doesn’t list any activities for the month, and when you go to the pool you just might be the only one there.  I went to Tarpon Springs thinking I’d do some street photography, but the streets were emptier than I’ve ever seen them.  Maybe they are all still up north, waiting for the pretty foliage. And my photographer friends seemed to be rejoicing about the return of the birds to the area, but I haven’t actually found them either.  It’s a lull.  Crowds and traffic will be arriving soon.  And so will the birds.  I need to enjoy the moment while it lasts…10-10tarponquest10-10tarponoldboat10-10tarponoctopus10-10tarpongull10-10tarpon3birds

'scene' along the way, a second look, Bayport, birds, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Rainy days…

It’s been raining the last two days.  Not all the time, but enough to keep me home.  Plus there were still issues that needed to be taken care, left-overs from being away for five months.  So I haven’t been out for pictures in two days.  That’s pretty much unheard of.  But, I thought, surely I must have photos that I’ve downloaded into one or the other computer, photos I overlooked for one reason or another.  So the feature photo is an iPhone photo from the Bayport sunrise just the other day.  It’s pretty much a rerun of the ones I’ve posted already.  But it’s the heron I saw that day that caught my attention.  It’s sad to say that while we are happy to see all the birds here, we photographers I mean, the fact that these birds are willing to hang around near people is often what will lead to their demise.  Do you see his leg?  He has fishing line attached there, and often it’s so very much worse looking than this looks.  Maybe someone tried to untangle him and this was the best they could do?  Perhaps.  Often times you’ll see that the overhead wires that line the street where the bridges lend themselves to fishermen fishing there, will be covered in fishing line.  And there was one-foot Fred, the Great Blue Heron who I saw many times, who the fishermen told me lost that foot to fishing line.  It’s upsetting to see.  It seems as if fishermen, who are out in nature as often as possible, would be more respectful of all the creatures out there.  And I have looked and looked at this photo and I have no idea why it appears that you can see through this guy.  I. hope it’s some optical illusion of some kind…10-8woundedheron

'scene' along the way, a second look, Bayport, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Back to Bayport…

I have no idea how long it’s been since the last time I went to Bayport for the sunrise.  Or sunset for that matter.  It was always my favorite place to go, and a place to go when I ran out of ideas for places to go.  And Sunday was a beautiful morning for it.  The fishing pier still hasn’t been repaired, and it felt a lot more rickety than I remember.  There is an underwater shipwreck nearby which is holding up the funds for the repairs. A fisherman told me that and I was dubious, but I Googled it and sure enough that’s the problem.   I didn’t think the heron was going to show up, but as you can see he did.  Seems like things went along just fine without me while I was gone.  10-6bayporsunrise410-6bayportHDR110-6bayportHDR310-6bayportHDRboat10-6bayportHDRclose10-6bayportHDRreverse10-6bayporheron10-6bayporheronegretOn the way home I stopped at Jenkin’s Creek in hopes of seeing an eagle, but I struck out. What I did see was a sign saying that ALL parked cars were subject to a $5 parking fee.  That was new.  I stopped to take pictures of this egret, and I didn’t pay.  I’m such a renegade in my old age.