'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, brainstorms, connections, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, weather

It was beach-y…

,With day after day of rain, and a potential tropical storm ready to make landfall in a couple of days, I thought I’d lose my mind if I didn’t get out and go somewhere. To the beach, I thought. Dramatic clouds at the beach could be nice, especially when you are desperate. But then we remembered that the Skimmer chicks might be seen at the beach, so off we went with that vague notion and yet we managed to find them. It was a beautiful day, so unexpected, and with a great photo op to boot.

Skimmers on the beach. This row of adults will attract the babies when they are old enough, and thus they will learn to fly and fish for their dinner.
The nesting area is cordoned off, and a helpful volunteer gave us the run down on the nests. Which are just depressions in the sand where they lay their eggs, but in a spot vulnerable to people as well as predators.
Someone is looking for mommy.
And looking some more.
Found her.
Sounding off.
And a black crowned night heron at the sanctuary.
This eagle lives at the sanctuary also.
And a resident White Pelican.

The skimmer chicks will be susceptible to the storm, so we have to hope that it doesn’t hit with a lot of force when it gets here. Let’s all cross our fingers…

'scene' along the way, a second look, brainstorms, bucket list, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset

Weather or not…

As I’m writing this I’m listening to distant thunder and pouring down rain. This has been the case for days, and my choice to stay home, snug and warm, has caused me to miss two spectacular sunsets in a row. But where my friends live to capture the wonderful sunset images, and where I live, are far enough apart that I would never have suspected that a nice sunset was in the offing. So last night we decided to head to Curtis Dixon Park, which is right on Tampa’s Riverwalk. Years ago a waitress at the Irish pub right there had said that photographers show up to capture the sunset color behind the turrets of Tampa University, and I never forgot that comment. But, as you can see, that’s not what happened. The cloud cover took over, but on the bright side it didn’t rain on us either. With a storm brewing in the gulf we may not get out for photos, or anything else, for a few more days. Summer in Florida, that’s just the way it goes.

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Black and white…

I think I liked it better when I saw life as if it was black or white, right or wrong. Of course I was just a kid then. It didn’t really take long to see the 50 shades of gray for every subject under the sun. Life was simpler then.

But in this case black and white refers to a class we took on Saturday, on black and white photography. I haven’t been drawn to that genre exactly, but as I listened to our leader Jeff, I thought of a picture I’d just taken at Bok Tower Gardens and couldn’t wait to come home and see how it would look in black and white. I was quite happy with it, and with several others I took that day. Plus, as I edited with a friend I was taught a much easier way to save my photos for the blog. It was a fun morning and I was quite pleased with myself until I realized that I’d gotten confused, (who, me?), and had put the last few days’ photos onto the ‘wrong’ external hard drive, and my new way of doing things had gotten a lot more confusing. Operator error, the story of my life.

It was a fun exercise to look for photos with a lot of contrast in them and then convert them to black and white. There will be a further class on editing said pictures, but I couldn’t resist attempting this on my own.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, brainstorms, connections, Florida landmarks, friends, making memories, nature, One-Foot Fred, perseverance, photography, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Rise and shine…

The thunder storms the night before had me hoping for a pretty sunrise. Enough so to roust out a friend to go to Aripeka with me for the sunrise, and for the chance of seeing One-Foot Fred. I had high expectations. So I pointed out the bait shop that I always enjoy taking an HDR image of while I’m waiting for sunrise. And the view to the west with the reflected colors of the sunrise. We were none too early so we didn’t have long to wait for the color to be seen in the sky, but without much in the way of clouds to really light up the sky.

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I was quite pleased with the sunrise even if One-Foot Fred failed to put in an appearance. I haven’t seen him the last few times I’ve looked for him, but I don’t think I’m worried about it. Not yet anyhow…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Amazing artwork, brainstorms, food, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances

Spending time…

We weren’t lost exactly. We were killing time waiting to meet with the camera club and found ourselves at the mercy of streets that were closed off, and we got turned around a bit. So I wanted to take a picture, and the idea that there was a dolphin playing in the water was just a coincidence. Trust me, he’s there, almost dead center in the photo.

The next day we decided to go to Mazzaro’s, which I’d been raving about for quite a while, and I know I’ve posted about it in the past. I had raved so much that I wondered if it would live up to my build-up. And what had the pandemic done to the business? But I needn’t have worried. If anything the outdoor murals were brighter, the selections in the gift shop next store were even more irresistible, and the food was still as good as I remembered. The crowds were as big as ever also, which is why there aren’t photos from inside the shop. Trust me, and go there if you ever get the chance.

It’s fun to take someone to a favorite spot and have them be as enthused with it as you have been. Several nice days in a row and now I’m listening to rain on the roof as I write…

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Miss Vicki’s

Miss Vicki’s is a hidden gem you can find on Baillie’s Branch Road just past Anclote River Park. My son took me there the first time, but when I attempted to find it again I had to search. It looks like you are heading into a marina, but look for it, you’ll be glad you did.

Sitting on a bench by the water with a beer is a pretty nice way to spend the time while you wait for a table. The time passed quickly.
There were kids wading just a little ways away.
There were even commercial breaks…
And some not so serene boaters speeding by.

Normally I might be inclined to take a picture of my food when it came, but I was hungry and dug right in. The fish and chips were recommended by the waitress and it proved to be a good choice. It was a nice finale to a day of shooting, but we were too tired to wait around for the sunset. Maybe next time…