'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, connections, family, Just do it, leap of faith, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset, Uncategorized

Monument sunset…

We were at Palmer Park, my two sisters-in-law and my brother-in-law, reminiscing while the sun came down on a very nice day.  We heard a few fireworks in the area, but no 4th of July fireworks display was planned.  The town tradition is to have an old fashioned parade on the 4th that is very well attended, and of course that was canceled too.

It had been a great day of hiking, 7 miles, all uphill.  Okay, maybe it only seemed to be all up hill when I wasn’t acclimated to the altitude and was out of breath most of the way.  We cut the hike short while thunder rumbled and we got drenched on the way back to the car.  We made a few stops for photos before our hike, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I got, but exhaustion is winning this battle.

Seems like life has been all about reconnecting with people these last years now, and it means the world to me…

blessings, family, flowers, fun, gardens, home, making memories, moments, perseverance, photography, simple things

Oasis…

This oasis is located just minutes from sunset beach.  If I wasn’t such a wimp I might have stuck around for sunset, but I didn’t, mostly because I know I will be back many more times in the future.  You see this oasis belongs to my son, his new-to-him house, where I spent the day yesterday eating my DIL’s great food and drinking bullfrogs.  And enjoying this wonderful backyard.06-15-20Mike'syard106-15-20Mike'syard206-15-20Mike'shottubbers06-15-20Mike'spetunia06-15-20Mike'spinkflower06-15-20Mike'stinypurpleflowers06-15-20Mikeorange06-15-20Mikepink206-15-20Mikeyellowflower

This house was owned by a landscaper, which of course shows.  My DIL’s challenge is to use the app she downloaded to look up what the plants are as they bloom, and what care is required.  My son may have thought that the lack of grass meant a no fuss backyard, but after taming the Mexican petunia yesterday he was planning to ice his back after I left.  The kids?  Well, it may be a race to the hammock…

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