bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, second chances

Buzzing by the gardens…

Yesterday I did what I used to do when I lived in Spring Hill, I dropped by the botanical garden rather than drive past it. I doubted that butterflies would be in abundance in this cooler weather, and I was right. But right there in the butterfly garden I found something I haven’t seen in ages, a big fat bumble bee. And the afternoon light was nice. What a treat.

I was amazed at how solid his wings look in this photo.
He was ignoring me completely as he flitted from flower to flower.
I wish I could claim to have set up this shot, but it was just lucky.
He was still busy when I left.

I love it when a spur of the moment inspiration turns out so well. Life is simple these days, all it takes is seeing a tiny little creature to make my day. Life is good.

adventure, attitude adjustments, birds, bugs, butterflies, exploring new places, friends, fun, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Taylor Lake Park…

I hardly know where to start. Somehow we came across the name of a park in the area, one that we hadn’t heard of before. The John S. Taylor Park in Largo, FL. It’s not a huge park, the walk was an easy 1.6 miles around. We stopped to see and photograph birds quite a few times. I’ve seen comments about migratory birds being in the area at this time of year, or maybe it’s just such a pretty park that the birds like to call it home.

Bluejays used to visit my backyard in Spring Hill, but it was a nice surprise to see them yesterday. This one seemed to want to say something.
I think I like this photo of a bluejay the best.
But my new camera has the ability to track birds in flight, so I was happy to capture this photo. I have a lot more to learn about the settings in this camera though.
Anhingas were sunning themselves, as they are most everywhere you go in Florida.
Getting the camera to focus in for a macro shot was a slight problem.
Eventually it cooperated nicely.
I had just said that we hadn’t seen any bees that day, meaning big fat bumble bees. But when I stopped to look at the little flowers in the bushes along the shore I found tiny little bees on tiny little flowers.
The tiny little butterflies in the grasses were plentiful also.
A fisherman pointed out this little gator to us.
I would like to think that we would have noticed this big gator sunning itself even if the fisherman hadn’t pointed him out.

There are lots more photos to go through, but they will have to wait for another day. It’s time to go out and enjoy another gorgeous day in sunny Florida.

a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, making memories, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, technology

Butterfly garden…

The thought of another rainy day had me a little down in the dumps yesterday. But when the sun came out in the early afternoon we decided to go to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden with our cameras. The last time I was there they had recently pruned all the greenery back, and I thought it looked a bit sad. This time the greenery was lush, almost overgrown, and the butterflies were seemingly frantic in their activity. The feature photo is the two black butterflies who were in constant motion, chasing each other and flitting from flower to flower. After the fact I thought of the adjustments I might have made in the camera to help stop the action, fearing I hadn’t gotten any sharp photos. I’m actually surprised to have gotten a couple.

I guess they slowed down a little.
This garden has the luxury of lots of shade, and many tables and benches that you might chose to stop at to relax. You might even bring lunch. I used to pass this garden almost every time I left the house, now it’s a little out of the way, but not too far.
I love this little castle planter. I can’t resist taking a picture every time I visit.
This sculpture is finished now, carved out of the trunk of a tree that stood here. What a beautiful addition to the garden.
While my friend looked at the train garden I was excited to see this big yellow butterfly, who posed rather nicely for me.
I really didn’t get as many good shots of him as I thought I had. The new camera has a ‘joy stick’ that you can move with your thumb to adjust your focus. It’s not natural for me to use that yet so I cut off pieces of his wings in a lot of shots.
The train garden sits like a little oasis surrounded by the train tracks. The owner runs the trains on Saturdays, at least some Saturdays, and there is a button the kids can push to make the sound of the train whistle. Tucked away in that foliage are two little waterfalls, but you will have to take my word for it since they were well hidden.
This train station seems new to me. Those passengers will have to wait a while for the next train.

It’s a treat to get outside even for a little while. And dinner with the photo group finished the day off perfectly.

a second look, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, ducks, egrets, Florida wildlife, learning, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Pond critters…

I could probably save myself a lot of time and effort if I didn’t do everything by the seat of my pants. I set the new camera up to take bursts of photos, not remembering that this camera will take LOTS of pictures per second. When you add that to the fact that I had set it up for silent shutter, then you might have a clue how I managed to get 1077 photos in probably a half hour down at the neighborhood pond. So I had many, many virtually identical pictures to look at. Not the greatest pictures either. Learning the hard way, but learning.

This tricolor heron was waiting for me when I got to the pond. He flew off and I thought I’d found him but it turned out to be the little blue heron in the feature photo.
The ducks were flapping their wings and I held the shutter button down in my excitement so I finally had to just choose one and stop trying to find the ‘best’ one.
Okay, I worked on two before I cried uncle.
Found this teeny-tiny butterfly in the grass. I got excited because when he flew off the tracking feature of the camera followed him.
See, it kept focus on the butterfly. These photos are zoomed too much I know, but I was excited to see the tracking feature in action.
Of course I concentrated on dragonflies for a bit. A couple of hundred photos worth.
I was happy that it was one of the orange ones that stopped for a bit, that was nice.
I was sitting on one of the swings, in the shade, and focusing on this little bird on the fence, waiting for him to turn around, or fly. I had no idea that he was enjoying his lunch. I waited and waited, taking photos all the while.

Taking advantage of a break in the raindrops, and then they started falling again.

'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, bucket list, butterflies, exploring new places, finding my way, flowers, perseverance, photography, road trip

Reruns…

1344 is how many pictures were on the camera’s SD card when I inserted it into the computer when I got home from our trip up north. Not a lot really, having been away for a couple of weeks. I had looked at my pictures on the iPad on the first couple of days we were away, but now I could see them on the 27 inch Mac desktop. I couldn’t resist working on some of them, possibly ones I posted before, or maybe they are additional/identical pictures since I tend to take multiples of each shot. My mind is still playing catch up, thinking of all the people we visited with, and the places we saw, and all the things I might like to do next time…

The Mayflower II, again.
Anchors away…
A double crested cormorant. Another of the birds I only became aware of in Florida but were always there.
Flowers and bees, I just can’t help myself.
More Fields Park swans…
Butterflies are great subjects too.
Sailing ships, heading where.
Flowers with speckles.
Flowers without speckles.
Bees again
And again.
And again.

This trip started off with a bang. Literally. The bang of a piece of shredded truck tire being tossed into the right front corner of my car on I 95 at 70 mph. The fender ‘seam’ was now not flush with its neighboring piece. Without thinking about it I pushed it into place yesterday, and it stayed there, it didn’t pop back out as I had expected it to do. So now all I have are abrasions in the paint. It’s looking a little worse for wear, kind of like me.

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens…

A friend who lives in Maine and is an avid gardener took me to visit this wonderful botanical garden three years ago when I was camping in Maine. She found me the nice camp ground also. So she will be ashamed of me when she discovers that when I saw the little sign pointing out the turn for a botanical garden it never dawned on me that it was THAT botanical garden that they were talking about. If I’d have known that I would have made a better plan to go there. As it was my friend asked if I wanted to go see it, and we only had an hour and a half to enjoy it before it closed. It was time enough to to see some beautiful displays, and more than a few bees.

And butterflies too!
Simple, but beautiful.
More bees, because I can’t resist them.
Lots of wonderful settings also.
And a scary new addition to the gardens.
And a water feature.
I know, I’m addicted to bees.
Such a beautiful dark purple on these flowers.
The varieties were endless.
These caught my eye, but so did those dark purple flowers… and the yellow flowers.
He must have photo bombed my shot.
A nice peaceful setting.
I was so happy to see that this quaint little building was still there, with it’s kitty-faced pickets on the fence.
I like pink flowers too.
I love how this one is constructed.
Last but not least, an orange beauty.

If you ever get to visit this place make sure to leave yourself plenty of time, you will be glad you did.