black and white, changing times, facing facts, faith, finding my way, history, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Getting it right…

It was quite a drive from where we stayed in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, to Acadia National Park. We chose to do it on the second full day we were there, and it was a bit disappointing to find so much fog in the scenery once we got there. I waited until we were home to process this particular picture in the computer since Lightroom mobile doesn’t allow for processing HDR. Or I haven’t found it yet. I don’t like the resulting picture as much as I thought I would, so I tried it in black and white and liked it better. But that could just be my mood lately.

I also liked it better when I saw the world in black and white. Right or wrong. The news, the political ads, the ugliness out there feels like an invading army to me. I seem to have misplaced my rosy glasses…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, black and white, exploring new places, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Puffins redux…

The gal from Audubon who rode along with us on our Puffin adventure acted like a bit of a cheerleader. She gave us a talk about their history in Maine as we were cruising to Egg Rock Island, and warned us that it was possible that we might not see them at all. No guarantees. She told us about their habits, how hard it is for them to become airborne, and that we might see them ‘running on the surface of the water’ until those flapping wings took over. So I blame her for the fact that 463 photos of the 1344 that I took on vacation were taken on that cruise. We first came across just a few, but they were close to the boat and in the sun. They might have been the only ones we saw, so I started shooting and pretty much didn’t stop.

Remember the Puffins were bouncing with the surf, and so was the boat, which was another reason to just keep shooting. I wasn’t expecting so many shots to be reasonably sharp.
The groups we saw later were more Puffins but further from the boat.
I carefully checked all my pictures looking for interactions between them, which was a bit tedious, but as far as activity goes this was about it.
But we did see them fly, and probably wouldn’t have appreciated that as much without the Audubon gal telling us that they flap their wings 400 beats/minute to become airborne. I said it before but I just have to repeat it. She said to think of them as “pudgy, slow-moving, hummingbirds.”
Look at the little guy in front, what a graceful little thing he is, LOL.

If I ever see a cute little stuffed animal Puffin I know I’ll have to adopt it…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, black and white, foggy sky, friends, fun, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, safety Harbor, sky, weather

Making the rounds…

Armed with ‘better’ lenses we headed back to the owls the other day, and found pretty much the exact same scene as we did a few days before. One owlet peeking out of the nest with Mom behind him. As we arrived, however, Mom flew out of the nest and onto a nearby branch, and there she posed for a few minutes before flying back to the nest. I was able to get the feature photo before she flew back to her babies. So all in all not such a bad little while in Philippe Park.

Here he is in black and white, which this photo nearly was anyhow.
There are three owlets in the nest, we will have to keep returning in hopes of a little more ‘action’.
I did manage to see Dad in the tip top of the nest tree. I’d been told he was there but usually can’t ‘find’ him.

Then we were off to nearby Moccasin Lake to the raptor rehab there. Again our timing was good since the volunteers were getting the owls out of their enclosures for a few minutes.

Here we have a Barred Owl. I’ve seen these at Circle B Bar Reserve, but not lately.
What a beautiful face on this Barn Owl. I have only seen these at various rehab facilities.
His handler said that if you saw only a skeleton of this owl you would never imagine such a beautiful bird. It is really a small bird with very long legs. He says it makes him wonder about dinosaurs which have been recreated based on their skeletons.
A peregrin falcon.
He definitely had something to say.
It’s amazing that the camera will focus on the birds and ignore the fence for the most part. Red-tailed hawks.

We made a last stop at the Safety Harbor marina. People were gathered on the pier looking down into the water, so we hurried to see what they were seeing. Not wildlife, but a person who said he was licensed to explore the water’s edge to see what was there. It was the only thing to see on a cloudy day, but we went home happy.

A mud crab, said the expert.
A gloomy mid-day scene…
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Clyde Butcher…

Even though I had lived in Florida for eight or so years, I don’t think I became acquainted with the name Clyde Butcher, or his incredible photographs, until I joined my photo group four years ago. Florida Center for Creative Photography, which has taken over my life in a very good and welcome way. When I saw mentions of Clyde Butcher I think I nodded knowingly, to cover my uneducated rear end, and then looked at his wonderful images online. He has published books also, and he has a studio in Venice, Florida, which I am belatedly hoping to visit.

I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago, intending to write a post about them so that anyone who visits the area, (yes, you Maddie), might choose to stop in at the Clearwater Library to see these images for themselves. Though seeing his images online is wonderful, until you have stood next to an image that is taller than you are, or ones that are 9 feet long, you can’t begin to imagine how incredible they really are. And to see what he goes through to take the images and produce such amazing prints is just as incredible as the images themselves. When I took these pictures they looked great in the iPhone, it’s only now that I see all the reflections in them, but I hope it’s enough to whet the appetite to see them for yourself. Perhaps at his studio if you are in the area, or in the library in Clearwater. The display runs through May 2022.

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In a fog…

I confess that I took these photos nearly a week ago. We had to be at the surgery center at 6 AM for my friend to have cataract surgery, and we drove through pea soup fog to get there on time. As I sat and waited I looked out the window and was drawn outside to take pictures. There was a golf course across the street, conveniently located for photos, I thought. Truth be told we had to return several more early mornings last week for follow up appointments, and each of those days were nearly as foggy as that day was. Tomorrow the second eye will be done, so lots more appointments and potential for more drives through the fog. Such are the challenges of Florida mornings when the overnight temperatures are cool.

This is the surgery center property with the golf course across the street.
I thought if I crossed the street I would get better pictures, and eliminate the power lines. The street was surprisingly busy for such an early morning.
Once I had my unobstructed view I didn’t like it as much as I liked seeing the fence, etc.

My friend is also a photographer, and it seems to me as if he has been seeing life through a fog all his own. I can’t wait to see his reaction once both eyes have adjusted to a new, clear, reality…

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Details…

A couple of weeks ago one of the photo club members was at Myakka River State Park and saw a flock of Roseate Spoonbills fly in. “A hundred”, he said. His pictures were amazing, and ever since then ‘Spoonies’ have been on my mind. A very fun Octoberfest party in Myakka City was just the excuse we needed to head to the park ourselves. We went this morning, and after driving the whole park it became obvious that if I was going to get any sort of pictures of the spoonies I was going to have to walk a very wet and squishy path. But I was happy to see them at least. When I got into the car and looked at my pictures I lamented that the turkey vultures had photo bombed the pictures. Earlier in the day I had said that I’m not a detail person, and when I got the pictures into the computer I saw who else had photo bombed the pictures and proved my point. How did I miss that alligator, and why did all the birds just hang around with him?

They did at least keep their eye on that big boy.
These were the most spoonies I’ve seen so far so I’m happy.
I saw this cute guy from the bird boardwalk.
Merlin says it’s a black necked stilt.
I always loved to see the tri-color heron who visited my back yard in Spring Hill.
We saw lots of wood storks and ibis too.
This is a pretty park.

There are many parks within a couple of hours of home that we can go to see birds now that the migration season is upon us.