'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, moon, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, reality check

You can’t win them all…

My assumption that heading to the eagle nest for pictures would be a sure thing was definitely optimistic.  Why wouldn’t I think that after Monday’s great day of shooting?  So I went yesterday, determined to get better acquainted with the lens and tripod I hadn’t used for probably a year, not since the last time I had gone out for photos of owls.  As usual there were photographers there when I got there, and I learned that the babies had been fed earlier.  Dad was on the nest with the babies, they said, and we saw Mom fly in and land in some pine trees out of reach of our lenses.  And that’s how things stood for the couple of hours I was there.  My attention wandered to the faint moon still showing in the sky, and eventually I wandered to the fishing pier where I found the tide lower than I had ever seen it.  It was amazing to think that I’ve stood on that pier and watched dolphins swimming right below me, but not this time.  01-16-20momandchicknew01-16-20moonoverthenest01-16-20fishingpier201-16-20fishingpier

When I got home I looked through the pictures I’d gotten, few that they were, and I looked again at what I’d taken on Monday and found a few more that I liked.  And that was that.  But it was a nice day to be outside enjoying the weather and chatting with the other people keeping vigil.  It seemed we all left at about the same time, I wonder what excitement may have happened later.  What did we miss?  Maybe that’s what keeps us going back…01-16-20eaglet01-16-20eaglepluschick201-16-20eaglepluschick01-16-20eaglepants

a second look, birds, cats, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Also at the zoo…

After I tore myself away from the orangutans I went in search of the Sumatran tigers, and the clouded leopard (above).  At the Lowrey Park Zoo of course.1-13-20Sumatrantiger

And the koalas were also high on my list.  I know these are not great pictures, but their enclosure was dimly lit and had reflections on the plexiglass so I’m surprised to have images at all.  The koalas escaped my view on every trip I made to the San Diego Zoo years ago.  Imagine standing under their tree with lots of people exclaiming over how cute they were, and despite having them pointed out by lots of helpful people I never once managed to see them.  And I tried for four years.1-13-20koala11-13-20koala2

I spotted the Lorikeet enclosure and remembered that I enjoyed it last time and headed in.  This time one of the keepers gave this family a little cup of water to hold and the birds descended on them en masse.  It was fun to watch.01-13-20Lorikeets101-13-20Lorikeets2

Even though I knew what to expect from the Macaw flyover I still failed to get a photo of them in flight. 01-13-20macawfour

I was ready to leave when I got a heads up from another photographer that the Florida leopard kittens were going to be displayed in their enclosure soon.  I pictured tiny kittens and of course I headed for their area.  But no, these brothers were born last June, but it was still fun to see them. 01-13-20floridapantherkittensAnd yes, there were other monkeys at the zoo.  But in looking over my pictures I also discovered more orangutan photos I missed yesterday.  Is it any wonder?  I probably had 100 of them or so to choose from.01-13-20monkey1-13-20orangutan1-13-20orangutan2

I love the zoo.  And this one offers you a deal.  Buy a one day pass and get admitted for free for the rest of the year.  That was what I planned to do but another photographer I chatted with is a member of the zoo, and a member can bring a guest in with them, so when he offered to have me be his guest I graciously accepted.  Thanks for that Frank, it was very nice of you.

backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, go with the flow, home, home improvements, life goes on, nature, neighbors, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Be it ever so humble…

This birdhouse of my uncle’s has seen better days, but it has hosted families of bluebirds for at least a few years now.  And two years ago I came over to his house and stationed myself out front with my tripod and camera and captured the action as they were feeding their young.  But last year the blue birds were chased off, evicted sort of, by another, larger bird, and they didn’t raise a brood in this house, so my uncle moved the house across the street to what is now my house.

Lately there has been a lot of activity at the birdhouse, and the other day I finally tried to see what bird was paying attention to the house, hoping for bluebirds of course. But I could’t see what they were so I took a few pictures, but I still couldn’t say for sure what they were since was getting dark out, and it was even darker under the carport.  But I heard some activity early yesterday and I saw a bird actually leave the house and fly to the palm tree close by.  It turned out to be a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  This may explain why the entrance hole is not the precise hole that it once was.  This bird has done some home improvements, made it her own.  I can relate.  Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home. 1-7-20meettheneighbor1-7-20birdhouseAh, but I wrote this a couple of days ago and there are new developments.  Seems I wasn’t too far off the mark hoping that it was bluebirds that were interested in the birdhouse.1-8-20Bluebird11-8-20bluebird21-8-20bluebirdfeatureAnd the other possibility is that there is an odd couple in the neighborhood.  Stay tuned…1-8-20oddcouple

'scene' along the way, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Birds and more birds…

On Sunday I took 650 pictures at Circle B Bar Reserve, and had quite a lot of fun with my friends while we were hiking and discovering the wildlife along the trails.  We three were pretty much together the whole time, yet our phones recorded different amounts of steps for us.  Our taller friend’s phone recorded a lot fewer steps for her, but us two shorter gals numbers were quite similar.  It was the miles that were different.  At 6.5 I had the least, and I believe our taller friend’s phone was approaching 9 miles.  Whatever it was it was a long enough day for my feet to be objecting by the end.  With the recent rain I had opted to wear short rubber bootlets, which allowed me to feel every rock embedded in the trail, and I was regretting that choice by the end of the day.  As fun as it was we were quite ready to call it a day and go find some lunch. 1-6-20woodstorkflyover1-6-20tricolor1-6-20owlface1-6-20osprey1-6-20littlebirdfeature1-6-20Ibisdrip1-6-20GBHinthebreeze1-6-20eagles1-6-20butterfly1-6-20blackbird1-6-20Greategret.jpg

The eagles and the owl were what had the photographers gathered like paparrazi.  Even my bigger lens, which I had chosen not to carry, wouldn’t have gotten the sort of shots that I can get when I visit my usual eagle nest.  And my first ever owl photos were taken at Circle B and they were really nice shots.  This owl was up too high, in the shadows, and obscured by Spanish moss.  And facing backwards.  Nevertheless we three were so excited when we saw our shots in our computers and we saw that we had gotten the owl’s face.  Sort of…1-4-20FrankieatCircleB

The nature center at Circle B has plenty to educate and entertain people of all ages, as well as the occasional flamingo.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sunrise, unintended consequences

Before the storm…

Rain was in the forecast, but it wasn’t raining quite yet so I headed out for the sunrise.  I saw lightning on the way over and thought I should probably turn around.  But the sky was prettier than I expected, and the sunrise was lovely and pastel. 1-4-20Aripekabridgesunrise1-4-20FrankieinAripekaI was determined to get my photo for the challenge if nothing else, but there was an added element of fun.  It was Saturday morning and young fishermen were casting their lines over the side of the bridge and pulling in little fish left and right.  I was quite surprised to realize that there were two brown pelicans there, I’d never seen them in Aripeka before.  The fishermen were throwing their fish to them and they were trying to catch them.  It was fun to watch and I thought I’d get a lot of pictures.  But then it happened.  One of the pelicans leaped up and snagged the fish as the fisherman reeled it in.  So it caught the fish plus the hook and the length of line that snapped off with it, all in just a split second.  After that the pelican seemed to be gulping water and trying to swallow the fish but was having trouble doing it.  And there we were, helpless to help.  Suddenly this wasn’t fun anymore, and I wondered how it was that I didn’t anticipate what might happen.  I did call and alert the rescue authorities, but I was told that when a bird is in the water the chances of catching it even to help it was slim to none.  I stopped taking pictures at that point and left.  I heard thunder on the way home.1-4-20Aripekapelican1-4-20Aripekapelican21-4-20Aripekapelicanfeature

'scene' along the way, birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, Uncategorized

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive…

I’ve been to this wildlife drive before, but it was shortly after a hurricane and it never occurred to me that it might be closed.  But it was.  And it was a two hour drive so it was a disappointment.  I guess that’s why I haven’t planned another trip until now, if you can call it planning when you wake up and kick yourself for sitting around the last couple of days, and decide to go right now.  I found myself surprised at how wide open the landscape was. I’m glad the day turned out to be cloudy.  It just couldn’t quite manage to actually get sunny so the one-way road, that forms an 11 mile loop around the lake, was muddy and full of puddles.   But everyone was enjoying the birds and taking pictures, while we dodged puddles.  There were thousands and thousands of birds, ducks, swimming in the water on each side of the road.  And they were calling, it was loud!  It seemed like I may have been lucky enough to have a good variety of birds in my area because I’d come all that way but my photos are of the birds I commonly see at home.  It was a nice day, but a car wash is in order…

12-28apopkaview12-28apopkatwosome12-28apopkatricolor?12-28apopkalittleblue12-28apopkagrackle12-28apopkaGBHflying12-28apopkaGBF@12-28apopkaflower12-28apopkaegret12-28apopkaduck12-28apopkacattleegret12-28apopkabird112-28apopkaanhinga