'scene' along the way, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, family, fun, Just do it, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

A waiting game…

Taking care of business often involves a lot of waiting around, and that was the story of my day today. But I have to say that if you have time to kill there are worse places to be than here at my cousin’s house. Her bird feeders were very busy today, and consequently so was I.

The Mrs.
The Mr.
A tiny brown thrasher way up in a tree.
House finches.
And again, because he posed so nicely.
I switched to my 600mm lens just in time for this great blue heron to drop into the pond behind the house.
And the pond is where I found another favorite to shoot.
Up on the roof…
He thinks this is his good side.
But wait, maybe this is his good side.
'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, blessings, family, friends, fun, grandchildren, making memories, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends

Setting sail…

I don’t know that I ever thought of setting sail in a pirate ship as an Easter activity, but it sure turned out to be a fun day. The weather was gorgeous and the company was the best. John’s Pass is a fun place to visit and I wandered until it was time to board the boat. Oops, ship.

I knew these keyhole shapes in the bridge abutments were there.
They give a nice frame for your picture.
I watched this sailboat coming in and tried, and failed, to get a shot of the drawbridge opening to let it pass.
I stopped to take this picture and hoped that that balcony on the left would give me a view of the draw bridge, but it didn’t.
Normally sailing would seem to me to be such a peaceful way to spend the day, but those jet skis took care of that notion.
Then I had to run because I saw that people were boarding the ship. Not the Dolphin Quest, the pirate ship behind it. I liked this view because I’ve been here for night photography and loved the rigging and flags when the string of lights is lit.
Handsome pirates. I have grandchildren older than they are.
We were in view of land the whole trip.
When I took this shot a lady beside me nodded knowingly and said that she had taken that shot too. LOL.
My new friend and nominee for ‘best costume’ of the day!
I was so happy to see that I’d gotten a dolphin shot, then I saw that his fin is torn and half is drooping.
And then were were back, and hungry. It was time to visit the Friendly Fisherman.
I had a discussion of F-stops with my grandson, I hope he sees this shot.
As I was eating my grouper tacos, YUM, I kept taking pictures of the various birds that perched on that post, putting themselves into a perfect frame. A pelican had stayed there so long that someone asked if it was real.
I guess the pelican was king of the castle because the egret took no chances, it got itself out of the way.

What a fun way to spend the day with family and friends. And nobody had to walk the plank…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, family, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology

Sunset picnic…

Picnic at Sunset Beach? That’s all I needed to hear and I was out the door in a flash. Then I rudely spent much more time off taking pictures than socializing, but I couldn’t help myself…

That sunset glow.
A meeting of the minds.
That glow again.
Great spot for a picnic.
I took a million shots of the windsurfers, but most were too distant and not colorful. Loved this red kite.
I think I saw this same kid in this same place the last time I was here.
this is what you see when you are taking your lens ball picture.
Another view.
Windsurfers again, they look like birds.

We were watching for the green flash as the sun sank below the horizon. Not this time though, maybe next time.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Bayport, birds, blessings, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Sunrise and moonset…

Saturday night’s sunset was gorgeous, what little I got to see of it. I ran out the door barefooted and took a picture with my phone. When that happens it always makes me want to head out for the sunrise the next morning, as if the color from the night before will somehow make the sunrise just as pretty. I didn’t work, at least the other ladies who happened to be at Bayport taking pictures were complaining that it wasn’t what they had hoped for. ‘Thank goodness for the full moon’, they said. I didn’t disagree, but at the last minute, once the sun was up, the sky did get pretty, and yes, thank goodness for that full moon.

I have tried to take HDR pictures of the moon before but usually Lightroom says it can’t merge the photos. But for some reason this one worked.
The color didn’t fill the sky exactly, but it was lovely in spite of it.
And if you zoomed in a little you were all set!
As you can see, I had company while enjoying the moonset.
He was strutting his stuff…
The sky got paler in this direction as the moon disappeared. According to another onlooker all the markers you see here aren’t for channels in the water. No, they are to mark the location of sunken ships left over from Civil war skirmishes between the confederate militia and union ships from Tampa.
People rarely spoil a shot for me. I usually like the shots better with people, just like this one.
Hmm, does ‘red sky in the morning, sailors take warning’ apply here?
a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, coping, Cranes, facing facts, finding my way, Florida wildlife, grief, healing, life goes on, loneliness, memories, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

A crane story…

These cranes are the entire reason that I started writing this blog. These pictures are from nearly 4 years ago when my camera was new to me and they can’t be improved now, they are what they are. That was the February that two sandhill crane chicks hatched right on the island in my little pond in the back yard. I watched them hatch, I watched them leave with their parents every morning, and I watched them return to the pond in the late afternoon. I saw them as one lady-like chick who stayed close to her mother, and one adventurous chick who was off on his own just a bit. Several times I saw only one chick with it’s parents and I waited to see that second chick appear. Just as I would give up hope, thinking he had gotten a little too adventurous, he would appear out of the grasses, much to my relief. He was my favorite, even though it made me feel a little guilty to realize that I felt that way. Mothers aren’t supposed to play favorites.

Every story needs some drama, and theirs certainly had that. One afternoon I watched in horror as my favorite colt, as they are known as they grow, seemed to be dragging a wing. Again he was off by himself a little way from the family, and even more horrifying was that the parents seemed to be driving him away. I was heartbroken to see him leave the pond alone, trudging up the hill, dragging that wing. But a few minutes later the rest of the family followed, a little way behind but up the hill in the same direction that he had gone. I felt so helpless to be watching this and not able to do anything about it.

So you can imagine how I worried all day at work the next day, would they return the next evening, and would there be three or four in the family? When I saw them return as a family of three I was broken hearted, and mad too. I was upset enough that I told myself that I wouldn’t take pictures that day, not of just the three of them. But then they started to dance and I couldn’t help myself, I took pictures.

That isn’t the end of the story, I’m happy to say. Several days later I saw all four of them on a lawn in the neighborhood. The wounded colt was laying down, the rest of the family nearby. I called a rescue facility and was told that if they were with him then they were taking care of him, and that was best. I seldom saw them come back to the nest in the backyard after that, not to spend the night at least, but the last time I did see them out there I saw my wounded colt spread his wings and stretch. I choose to believe that he healed, and that he would be okay. It was about that time that I happened to take a photography class on how to start a blog, something I had given no thought to before, but we left the class with the bones of a blog in our computers, and I wanted to tell their story. I had no idea that four years later I’d still be writing, that I’d have made new friends through photography, or that I’d be so okay with the twists and turns my life has taken in the last six years. But I’m grateful.

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, connections, family, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, home, life, life goes on, live and learn, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Close to home…

I don’t mind seeking out new places to see and take pictures, but I also appreciate when a photo op comes to me. Right in my own back yard, or front yard, or even across the street. I was outside sitting and chatting with my aunt when company dropped in. He was on the run as he turned the corner of the walkway in a hurry, like he was late. He probably heard our voices and thought we might be sitting and eating, and inclined to share with him.

He wandered off and returned several times as we chatted. No, we don’t feed him, and it bothers me that he is so comfortable with people. We are probably his worst enemy. And he wasn’t the only recent interloper. The other day I heard the sandhill cranes unmistakable call, and as I wondered where they were I saw them walk past the window where I was sitting at the computer. I picked up the camera and went out and sat on my front stoop, where they stopped to look for a handout, and then, surprisingly, they began to dance.

Even as I took these pictures I lamented that my car was parked in the driveway and there was just no way give the dancers a prettier backdrop. But I thought it was nice of them to drop by to entertain me for a few minutes. Then I went inside and sat back down at the computer…