'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, connections, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends

Flappers…

I never thought of myself as particularly OCD, but it seems I am when it comes to my photos. I always want to use them in the order in which they were taken. And God forbid that I went out for pictures and then happened across a situation where I got more and ‘better’ pictures afterwards. That’s what constitutes a dilemma for me. So I already had pictures from the Tampa rookery when I left for my recent trip to NH, and I only got around to looking at the rookery pictures today. They are from Mother’s Day, judging by the ducklings in the feature photo. Would anyone have known that these aren’t current pictures? Of course not, but I know they aren’t current and it bothers me. But not enough to just chuck them and go out for newer pictures.

Do you think she was counting heads? There were 14 of these little cuties at the time. I haven’t seen them since to see how many are still tagging after mom.
I don’t know that I’d ever have noticed this juvenile black crowned night heron chick if another photographer hadn’t pointed it out to me. It stayed on that branch the whole time we were there, so I went back and took more pictures of him every now and then, but he mostly just sat there.
I thought he just sat there but then I came across this picture.
This rookery has some birds I don’t commonly see, such as this young glossy ibis. I was fully prepared to call him a reddish egret until I noticed that long, curved beak.
The reason there seems to be so many tricolor herons at this rookery is probably because many of them are juveniles who are flapping their wings and zooming around the area.
Not to be outdone in the flapping department is this juvie wood stork, who still yells for his Mama.
This snowy egret isn’t so flappy as it is fluffy.
Note the ‘golden slippers’, which are how I check myself as to who I’m looking at.
Eventually these little wood storks grow into their beaks.

My interest in birds snuck up on me. I bought a DSLR first, spur of the moment (it was Christmas after all), and when I sat in my backyard with the camera birds were what was there to pose for pictures. I’m not sure I’d ever heard the word ‘rookery’ until I started paying attention to the photos online, and then found the camera club. A long time ago I realized, and sort of kicked myself over the realization, that I never actually made a plan in life, I just let myself go where the wind blew me. Now I see it blew me right where I belong.

a second look, blessings, cats, friends, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset

Easter sunset…

When the day begins to wind down you will find me in a comfy chair with my feet up, probably watching Jeopardy. And that’s usually the end of my day when I’m home, but if I’m at my friend’s house I will be looking at the TV, but with a view of the window over the front door. Sometimes that view includes some wispy clouds that begin to glow pink, and that will roust me out of the chair and out the front door. Rushing down the street a little way brings me to the feature photo view.

The closest option for view is this one, steps out the front door looking down the street across the way.
And I pass this view between the two.
And this kitty has usually just settled onto my lap for a snooze when a glance out the window sends me out the door. She was a feral cat, fed by the neighbors who moved away. She was parked on the lawn beside an empty food bowl when my friend took up the feeding routine. Then she started napping on his lanai, entering through a ripped screen. That led to short trips into the house, and the rest is history. Sweet kitty.

This time of year is a challenge. Do I go out to see if the sky is on fire, or to I stay put to see who wins Jeopardy? Sometimes it’s not an easy choice.

'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, brainstorms, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Passing time, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

The Good Neighbor Trail…

I stumbled upon a website that gives you all the info you could want about all the trails we might like to ride in Florida. Or anywhere else also, but I stuck to looking at the trails that were supposed to be in the immediate area. I quickly discovered that their idea of ‘in the area’ and mine were a bit different. I also decided that most trails were going to be a ride out and then reverse and ride back the way you came. But you could tell from the information given if a trail was going to be mostly out in the sun, an important consideration for this area, even if it is newly into spring. It’s been hot in the sun when it hasn’t been raining. Ah Florida, my adopted home.

We decided on riding the Good Neighbor trail because it really was pretty close by, and also because it begins at the Brooksville Train Depot and Museum. We knew it wasn’t open that day, but the weather was too perfect to miss a chance to be out riding, like a couple of kids.
The road off to the left of this picture wasn’t very busy with cars, and the intersections we needed to cross weren’t worrisome. There also wasn’t a lot of traffic on the trail itself, so my expectation of riding side-by-side was actually possible on this ride.
We heard birds in the trees, but didn’t see wildlife beyond the occasional butterfly or dragonfly, and they didn’t stop for photos. But maybe we were riding and talking and missing what may have been going on around us, I guess I’ll never know.

It is kind of funny how easy it is to feel the kid in you come out as you pedal a bike. The feeling of the breeze in your face is the same after all, the wrinkles don’t matter. Maybe it’s the lack of immediate responsibilities that makes it feel so free. Just don’t tip over would be the biggest concern, and when your bike is actually a trike that possibility is less likely. Yup, the investment in this trike was a very good idea, now we get to go out and play, in a very grown up way of course.

a second look, blessings, family, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, life, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Orangutans…

I learned a few things about orangutans yesterday. First of all my dear friend gave me a heads up about a series on National Geographic called ‘Secrets of ZooTampa’. She had watched an episode about orangutans which included footage of Randee giving birth to little Riplee, I saw that message as we were heading out the door to go to a photo shoot with our group, to the zoo! Then a chatty little girl at the zoo told me about another episode, and at lunch after the shoot yet another mention of that series came up in the group. Since I can take a hint, we found the episode last night and watched it. For someone who was so excited to see that baby orangutan I’m ashamed to say that I was completely in the dark about that series. And the take away from the episode was that in the wild orangutans are solitary creatures. The fact that they live together at the zoo, nine of them, grandmothers, daughters, and grandchildren, plus the resident male, is unusual. Their interactions with each other is wonderful to watch, so the idea that they would live solitary lives in the wild seemed sad somehow. All this being said, I took more pictures of the orangutans yesterday than anything else, as usual. And there was still another surprise in store also.

It was a chilly morning, so the activity was to be covering up with blankets as they munched on leaves.
The day would be warm, but they looked cozy as they ate.
There was a bit of rearranging going on.
Dear old dad was covered up also, choosing a plain white blanket rather than the colorful blankets favored by the ‘girls’.
A little family time.

I promised another surprise, didn’t I? Another of the young adult orangutans gave birth about a month ago, a fact that had escaped my notice completely. Apparently this event happened during the day and was witnessed by the zoo-goers who happened to be there. What a photo op that would have been.

This is Hadiah, and this little girl is her second baby. Born February 6th. No news on a name so far.

Evidently I will have many more days of enjoying the baby orangutans ahead of me. What a nice surprise it was to see this new addition. And if Riplee was #9, then we now have 10 orangutans at ZooTampa.

a second look, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, Cranes, ducks, Florida wildlife, healing, life goes on, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Life goes on…

Sad as I was over the loss of one of the owlets yesterday, a text from my former neighbor cheered me up. It seems the Sandhill Cranes nested on the lake again this year, and their chicks hatched yesterday. I knew from past experience that the parents will march the chicks off the nest and out into the world almost as soon as they hatch, so I checked on them right after sunrise this morning. I guess I was too early because Mom was still laying down, as in the feature photo, and Dad was wandering in the vicinity. The crane family saga is what started me blogging four years ago, and I’ll be back again in the next few days to try to get some pictures of this year’s crop.

My first photo when I got to the lake. I had seen that a duck had laid eggs, a dozen of them, in the crotch of this tree in my neighbor’s yard. I wanted a picture of the eggs but Mama was standing guard.
Dad was up and keeping an eye on things.
The island that they nest on is shaped like a horseshoe, with water in the center. There was much commotion, splashing and quacking going on. Dad was supervising, but didn’t intervene.
I’ve blathered on and on to my friend about the little blue heron that lives on this lake, and the ibis that were so abundant that I hardly even noticed them after a while.
I have spent a lot of time watching this fella, and hoping to catch him catching something. Seconds after I got there he caught this frog, who I then felt a little sorry for.
All the while I was there Mama Duck kept an eye on me while she tended to her eggs. More babies for the lake.
I mentioned the sunrise, in this case back at Aripeka again.
And One-Foot Fred was there, hanging out right outside the bait shop. I wonder what he was waiting for.

As soon as I got out of my car in my old neighborhood I heard the woodpeckers drilling away. And lots of birds singing in the trees, plus the ducks quacking. A hawk flew into view, twice. The gang is still there, doing what they do, it’s in their nature. Watching them filled a void in my life, and encouraged me to get out and take more pictures. It was a blessing then, and has led to even more blessings now. Life goes on…

adventure, blessings, brainstorms, exploring new places, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things, turtles

Riverhills Park…

It was not an original idea, going to this park. A few days ago our photo group had a walk to this park, but a prior commitment kept us away. But it was now on our radar screen, and it was fairly close by, so with a couple of hours to fill today we decided to check it out. My immediate reaction to this place was to be stunned by just how peaceful it was. Still water reflecting the beautiful trees, and the clouds in the blue sky. I knew that my phone would capture the scene perfectly, so these pictures have had very little done to them besides cropping. And straightening the horizon when it needed it. I had to chuckle to myself when I found myself thinking about how peaceful it was, because the adjacent elementary school was having recess and there was plenty of happy kid commotion going on. But still it was a perfectly lovely place.

Perfect reflections. Lily pads on the water, with lots of buds but no flowers so far.
There were quite a few trucks with empty boat trailers attached in the parking lot, but we didn’t see boats.
Live oaks are always amazing, but this view was just stunning.
Cypress knees, and cypress trees along the shore.
Wildlife, sort of.

When the weather gets a little warmer I think this might be prime dragonfly photo op territory. I think we should bring lunch and check it out.