'scene' along the way, adventure, bugs, Camping, finding my way, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

The Kancamagus Highway…

That was my goal Wednesday when I set out to take some pictures.  I think I just like to say Kancamagus, and it was too pretty out to stay home.  If you look at it on a map it looks like it goes in a diagonal line from where I am now, to Lincoln, NH.  That’s not true though.  You have to drive a bit to get to Rt. 112, and I discovered several distractions along the way that slowed me down and kept me from traveling the whole highway.  Which is okay because a friend of mine is most at home in the Lincoln area and I’m in hopes we’ll get back there together eventually.  This farm was a distraction along the way.  And when I stopped to take a picture this cow came over to say hi.farmagain6_12_19cowandbarn6_12_19cowandbarn26_12_19redbarnscene

Then the town of Bradford provided it’s own distraction.  Just a block long, but quaint, and good food.  A pastrami reuben at a little coffee shop called The Local Buzz.  What a great name, and a great sandwich.6_12_19waterfall1bradfordlibrary6_12_19townturretthelocalbuzzBuzzmap

Eventually I did make a run at the Kancamagus though, and I got there.  As promised by my cousin, the scenery is spectacular.  But pull-offs are too few and far between.  Which explains why I turned around after I passed the Beaver Pond scenic area and returned for photos there also.  But I turned out to be the main course for the black flies and mosquitos that were just hanging around waiting for an unsuspecting tourist to show up. When I told my cousin that I stopped at Beaver Pond he said that he and his wife hiked a trail there once and encountered a swarm of black flies that had them running to their car.  Glad to know it’s not just me being a wimp.  Nobody bothered my DEET infused legs, which was nice.  But too bad I didn’t think to spray my ears because they got gnawed on pretty fiercely.  Now my ears are burning, you aren’t talking about me are you?6_12_19beaverdamoverlook26_12_19beaverdamoverlook6_12_19beaverpondredux

 

'scene' along the way, birds, bugs, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, perseverance, photography

Wall Springs Park…

I think that going to Wall Springs Park qualifies as a Photo groupie destination.  I’d heard of it through the club, and I knew I had told myself that I ought to go there one of these days.  But over the weekend I saw the turn off for the park while I was on my normal route to Clearwater.  Closer to home than I dreamed.  So it was only a matter of time until I headed there to see what I could see.  It was a lovely park, with a board walk path and multiple spots to stop for pictures.  As I stopped to take my first pictures of a Great Blue Heron I heard a little voice saying, “Mommy, I see a sting ray.”  And I laughed, thinking of course there wasn’t a sting ray, only there was. 4-23-19wallspringsgreatblue4-23-19wallspringsstingrayI found a Northern Parula having a tasty lunch…4-23-19wallspringsnorthernparulaAnd I took a few shots of some cute squirrels just because they are so cute, until they decide to raise a family in your attic…4-23-19wallspringsquirrel4-23-19wallspringsquirrel2

And flowers, bees, and my favorite, dragonflies!4-23-19wallsprings14-23-19wallspringsbee4-23-19wallspringsdragonfly

Such a pretty place to spend a morning…4-23-19wallspringspano4-23-19wallspringsreflection

a second look, bugs, butterflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, learning, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things

Photography groupie…

Seriously, that’s what I am, a photography groupie.  I see photos from lots of photography groups online, and when I see that someone has seen the nearby eagles I become possessed with heading over to see them too.  Same with the owls.  Lately it’s been butterflies.  A friend just took a fun field trip to a butterfly garden a couple of hours from here, and just then butterfly pictures started showing up online.  So I Googled butterfly gardens nearby and came up with Hammock Park.  If you are looking for a big, lush butterfly garden then this one isn’t for you.  I didn’t know how I felt about walking the trails in the park by myself so I had nearly given up when the butterflies suddenly appeared.  Today I am headed to a macro photography class, so, as usual, my timing could have been better since I was taking close ups today.  Just means I’ll have to get out there and have a do-over!  And try to do better!4-19-19monarch14-19-19bug24-19-19buttshotforbetty4-19-19bugfeature4-19-19monarch34-19-19bug24-19-19monarch2

a second look, backyard visitors, bugs, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Hummingbird moth…

You are not only going to have to indulge me a little with this post, but you’ll have to use your imagination also.  There I was, just heading out with Ozzie to check the mail and something caught my eye.  I see enough posts of birds and insects that when I saw this creature I knew instantly what it was, and that when I see posts about them people are quite excited to see them.  So I was excited, but didn’t have a camera with me, or even the phone.  I know Ozzie thinks I’m nuts when I suddenly make a mad dash into the house, but he’s used to me.  Lately I’ve been less than successful with what I have thought to be my easy, and unbeatable, iPhone technique to catch butterflies.  Lock your focus in on a flower about three feet from your camera, then chase the butterflies around shooting bursts.  I get a LOT of photos that way, but usually some are usable.  But this moth was as hard to capture as an actual hummingbird.  He zoomed frantically around the flowers, his wings especially never stopped moving, and he liked to hide in the depths of the plumbago.  At best these photos only prove that yes, I did see what I thought I saw.  And you know what, most of the images of these things that I’ve seen online aren’t a lot sharper.  So these are as good as it gets.8-4moth58-4moth48-4moth38-4moth28-4moth1

Of course I googled them and they appear in warm climates and like honeysuckle type flowers.  Excuse me while I go check the honeysuckle growing on my neighbor’s shed…

bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, gardens, nature, on closer examination, photography, the big picture

Let me tell you ’bout…

…the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees…

So happy for friends, and for completely different reasons.  One has a brand new rescue puppy to love, and another is reuniting with his grandkids.  As well as happy for myself, with a day of different photo ops ahead of me.  It’s a good news kind of day!5-10dragonfly5-10gazebo5-10butterfly5-10traingarden25-10traingarden5-10bee35-10bee15-10snakeAnd a snake, which isn’t good news but is tolerable news when it is a black snake, so harmless, and running away from me.  Those were busy bees, buzzing away.  And I assume that those orange sacks are full of pollen.  I’ve been hearing about them but hadn’t seen that for myself before.  Guess they were having a good day too!

backyard visitors, birds, bugs, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, home, nature, nesting, photography

The vigil…

You’ve heard of waiting for paint to dry?  Well, waiting for Sandhill crane eggs to hatch is just as bad.  I don’t know why I’ve gotten it into my head that it will be any second now.  Of course it won’t happen until I’m at work on Monday or Tuesday.  But a girl can hope.

But what I did get to see was a new bird to me, a Great Crested Flycatcher.  Just ask Merlin, he’ll tell you.  It is not easy to find these birds with the 600mm lens on the camera.  You see them fly in, but you have to zoom out to find them the tree, then zoom in to get a better picture, and then focus manually since autofocus doesn’t work with the extender.  Most of the time they don’t stay still that long.  But once in a while you get lucky.4-13yellow birdWhat was easier to see was the Red-shouldered hawk couple who were feeling amorous out on the telephone pole out front.  Of course I got the camera but was too late to capture any of that action.  I did see one of them swoop down and it looked as if he was going for the head of my new neighbor across the street.  He was mowing his lawn with earphones in his ears and totally missed the whole thing.  So did the hawk, thankfully.4-14hawk14-14hawk2

There is no picture to illustrate the snake that scooted into the water when I was out trying to cut the grass at the bottom of the slope at the very back of my property.  I thought black racer, no big deal.  But as he slithered into the water I realized he was shorter and fatter than they are, and a water snake.  I just saw a chart of the poisonous and non-poisonous snakes that live here.  I’m almost afraid to find that again.

And I got new information about the Sandhill crane family that I saw yesterday.  My neighbor was in the same traffic jam I was in, except she was going in the opposite direction.  And the traffic had come to a halt because that little family had already crossed all five lanes of traffic before I ever saw them,  And while the first baby to reach the curb jumped up and onto the grass nicely, the second one kept falling back into the gutter.  My neighbor was having a heart attack watching helplessly.  She said it took five or six tries for him to get up and join the rest of the family.  Some time ago I had read that you don’t see the Sandhill crane chicks often because the parents keep them secluded.  I wish that was more true than it seems to be, in my neighborhood at least.  So I told her the same tale, but from my perspective, and she said, “Sue, you ought to write a blog.”  Hmm, what a good idea…

4-14dragonfly14-14dragonfly24-14dragonfly3Apparently the dragonflies will be putting on a show for me whenever I’m out there.  Nice of them.