a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, facing facts, Florida wildlife, home, life goes on, memories, nature, perseverance, photography

Feathered friends…

Spending the last couple of days going through the photos that were stored on the internal hard drive of this computer has been mostly boring.  But sometimes they brought up nice memories too, like the Swallow-tail Kites that spent an afternoon at the little lake in my backyard.  I had seen them fly over, you can’t miss the split tail.  My ‘best’ shot has him flying out of the photo, so it’s not really my best shot.05-02=20swallowtail305-02=20swallowtail205-02=20swallowtail1And I hadn’t ever seen them before, but because of all the pictures I see online every day I knew what they were and dashed out with the camera.  I was barely able to get a photo of them in flight at all, but then they landed in a tree out there.  I believe that the female landed in the tree and I was surprised to see the male come and feed her.  That’s what’s going on in the feature photo.  It’s an assumption on my part but it makes me happy to think so.  I don’t miss the work and expense of maintaining a home that was too big for me alone, but I do miss my feathered friends.



a second look, adventure, birds, blessings, Florida wildlife, home, learning, life, life goes on, making memories, memories, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Back in the backyard…

I wasn’t literally back in the backyard, I was revisiting a photo shoot from two years ago.  That was the second year that I watched this Sandhill Cranes couple raise a family right under my nose.  I knew from experience that this would be the one day that those parents would keep the babies right there, close to the nest.  I had been shocked the year before when they had marched the two day old chicks off the nest and disappeared and didn’t return until late afternoon.  I took 415 pictures that day, which I have now culled down to 22 photos.  My first photo was taken at 1:45 in the afternoon, and between the harsh light and the fact that the babies were in grass that was taller than they were, even the new zoom lens I had bought couldn’t get much of a picture.  But still I kept shooting.  My last picture was taken at 5 PM, and by then the light was much nicer and the parents had taken the babies to the edge of the water where they were more visible.  And that’s when they all swam to the nest, which was on a small island in the center of the lake. 04-28-20sandhills404-28-20sandhillbabies304-28-20sandhillbabies204-28-20sandhillbabies

Also on the lake that day was the ever-present little blue heron, and a tri-colored heron. 04-28-20littleblue04-28-20tricolorheron

I think I remember that this was a Pied-billed Grebe.  This was one of the many different birds that dropped in for a visit, and then I didn’t see them again.  The wildlife I saw from my backyard is what drove me back to my interest in photography.  And what a blessing that has become for me, bringing me new friends and adventures.  I’m happy to re-visit these photos while I wait to see what adventures are still to com.04-28-20piedbilledgrebe


'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, connections, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, life, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, nature, nesting, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Flying lessons…

In the beginning there were Sandhill cranes nesting on a little island in the lake behind my house.  They were the first things I took photos of with my brand new DSLR that I had just treated myself to after telling myself that the iPhone camera was great and I didn’t need anything else.  But I was seeing pictures online, and I couldn’t resist the DSLR and it’s zoom, I needed the ability to zoom.  Then there was a photography class where I met some very nice people who are now a part of my daily life, at least online.  And the fateful class where we were taught “How to Start a Blog”.  I stumbled into the class with no intention of starting a blog, I just wanted to spend time with my new friends.  But by the time we left the room the framework was in place and all I had to do is write.  And I had a story to tell.  What I wanted to talk about was this Sandhill crane family that I had been (obsessively) following for a few weeks by then.  These pictures are some of the last pictures of them that I took.  Dad and son, yes an assumption on my part, but I had been anticipating flying lessons and that’s what I think this was.  Or what it appeared to be.  Junior seemed to be imitating Dad, and I think he became airborne for a second.  Weeks and weeks of concentrating on these birds made this a very exciting moment for me.  Everything about my life these days is a direct result of these birds who nested in my backyard through no effort on part.   I hadn’t seen it in quite that way before now.  What an amazing blessing this all turned out to be for me.  I will have to ponder this a while…04-06-20flyinglessonfeature204-06-20flyinglessonfeature304-06-20flyinglessonfeature404-06-20flyinglessonfeature5


'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, changing times, Cranes, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

This is for the birds…

There are disgruntled people in this park.  They are not happy that the pool and hot tub have been shut down because of our current health crisis.  Perhaps they haven’t noticed all the inconveniences, and worse, that are going on all over the world these days.  This too shall pass, hopefully.

Staying home doesn’t mean I have to stay away from the rookery.  Especially if I’m passing right by it.  The decibel level is up, lots of hungry little mouths to feed.  And still they fly in with foliage in their beaks, still building nests.  It really is fun to be there and see people’s reaction when they stop to see what you are taking pictures of.  When my friend was here and I pulled into the little parking lot behind a building she wanted to know what we were doing, were we turning around, she asked. She was so amazed that we had arrived.  In the middle of a busy shopping area, an oasis of nature just doing what comes naturally.

Aren’t the babies just a little prehistoric looking?  I love seeing them…03-14-20rookerywoodstork203-14-20rookerybrotherlylove03-14-20rookerywoodstork103-14-20rookerywoodstork2And the egret family was posing for a family photo, but they never said cheese.03-14-20rookeryegretfamily403-14-20rookeryegretfamily303-14-20rookeryegretfamily203-14-20rookeryegretfamily403-14-20rookeryegretfamily03-14-20rookeryegretfamily2And the sandhill cranes were back again.  They take divots out of the grass when they stab in search of bugs to eat.  I always looked at it as they were aerating my yard.  I imagine there will be a thing or two said about them also…03-14-20sandhillvisitor


a second look, birds, blessings, egrets, friends, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology

One, two, three…

The last trip my friend and I made to the rookery revealed a surprise.  Two surprises really.  First of all, it’s now obvious that there are three chicks in the egret nest.  I wonder where that last one was hiding?  And one is much bigger than the others.  We witnessed the mom take exception to a nearby woodstork, which caused her to stretch out her neck in his direction and tell him a thing or two.  What was funny about that was that the biggest chick was just beneath her doing exactly the same thing.  Spunky little guy.

The second surprise is that there are chicks in another egret nest, but we weren’t able to get photos of them quite yet.  Or count them.02-29-20rookerybigguy02-29-20rookery3chick202-29-20forcefed302-29-20forcefed202-29-20forcefed

It took the 600 mm lens to get these photos, taken while using the fence to steady the lens.  And while I had it in my hands I attempted to take shots of a woodstork who took off while I was watching.  I’m posting them because I was sure that I couldn’t hold the camera steady enough with that lens on the camera without the tripod.  But I did.02-29-20rookerywoodstork02-29-20rookerywoodstork2

My friend has also flown the coop, back to her own busy life.  Friends are our biggest blessings all our lives, but especially now.  I will miss her.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, blessings, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Feathered friends…

Armed with cameras my visitor and I went to John Chestnut, Sr. Park the other day.  She especially enjoyed our walk through the woods in the lovely, warm temperatures.  A far cry from what she left behind at home in NH.  And fortunately for us Siri responded when I had to ask, “Hey Siri, where did I leave my car?”  How fortunate for myself and my fellow Baby Boomers that GPS is now part of our daily lives.  There is a quote that I’ve seen over and over again since I have discovered the camping lifestyle.  It says,  ‘All who wander are not lost’.  I have Siri to thank for that.02-25-20titmouse202-25-20catbird02-25-20anhingas02-25-20cabin02-25-20titmouse02-25-20titmouse302-25-20squirrel02-25-20irridensence02-25-20littlebird