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!

butterflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, nature, on closer examination, photography

Butterflies..

I’ve been in the mood to find butterflies lately, but they haven’t been cooperating in real life.  But the ones that reside in my photo library were a lot more accommodating.  A bit of reediting since I’ve learned a thing or two since I took these photos in May and I could claim that they are new photos, but that wouldn’t be kosher.  Just as all my northern friends and relatives are hoping for spring, I guess I am too…

3-13black33-13blackbutterfly23-13blackbutterfly3-13brown3-13orange13-13yeoolw

butterflies, Chinsegut Conservation Center, Florida wildlife, flowers, nature, photography

Brightening up a gloomy day…

What is there to do on a gloomy looking day but run errands after work?  And a pedicure, that’ll usually cheer me up.  But my brilliant idea of stopping at the Botanical Gardens on the way home yesterday might not have been the best choice of activity in my flip flops, and with my newly painted toenails.  Picture dirt paths and flip flops.  And it turns out the mosquitos were feasting on my ankles while I was there.  Made getting to sleep last night a chore.  Nevertheless I did manage to get a few photos.1017botanicalflower1017botanicalflower21017botanicalgardenbutterfly

And I also got some photos on Sunday at the Chinsegut Conservation Center when we were there for a photography class.  Really we were learning some of the features of using Lightroom, but new technology and I have a long standing love/hate relationship.

1017chinsegutbutterfly1017chinsegutbutterfly21017chinsegutfrogWhile I’m thinking about frogs this morning I remembered a photo from one of our first trips to Florida after we bought out house here but before we moved down for good.  We were so amazed at this little creature, from a time when we thought, like we all do, that there was all the time in the world…

Tinyfrog

bugs, butterflies, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, natural wonders, nature, photography, spider webs, unintended images

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge

The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1941, is comprised of over 31,000 acres of saltwater bays, estuaries and brackish marshes at the mouth of the Chassahowitzka River. The refuge, located approximately 65 miles north of St. Petersburg, FL, was established primarily to protect waterfowl habitat and is home to over 250 species of birds, over 50 species of retiles and amphibians, and at least 25 different species of mammals, including the endangered West Indian Manatee.

I lifted this description of Chassahowitzka straight off of the internet.  Just a little way up the road from me is such a wonderful natural resource that I probably would never have discovered if not for finding the photography classes offered by Alice Mary Herden at Creative-Nature-Photography.com.

 

 

I had heard of the extensive underwater cave system here in Florida, unfortunately because of the deaths which occur when people without the necessary training attempt to explore the caves.  What surprised me was the access.  An unimpressive staircase to enter a little pond, no bigger than the ‘lake’ in my back yard, is the access to such an amazing system of caves.  It seems like the entrance ought to be more dramatic than it looks.  It’s sad to think that divers have entered and never returned.

But the objective of the day was bat photos, which you won’t find here because none of mine turned out.  “It’s hard to capture the bats in a photo”, said Alice, and she wasn’t kidding.  And an owl would have been nice, maybe next time.  But here is what I did manage to capture.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Zipper spider was my favorite.  I had heard them mentioned before and wanted to ask why they were named that, but once I saw one I didn’t have to ask anymore.  What a perfect time to discover this place, with months of gorgeous weather ahead to explore and enjoy.

birds, bubbles, butterflies, dragonflies, nature, photography, pond creatures, simple things

Doings on the lake…

After the stressful week we’ve just experienced I knew I needed to think about something simple, something with no emotion attached. So I wandered down to my lake, which is more lake-like after Irma paid us a visit. I was hoping to see dragonflies, and I did. And a pretty butterfly. But when I see ducks on the lake I rarely pay attention. They are pretty as they paddle around, but as fodder for interesting photos they rarely cooperate. But today they all started flapping and diving at the same time, making the water look as if it was boiling. A nice diversion after a stressful week. Their shenanigans made me smile today. I needed that.

Big pine, bugs, butterflies, Chinsegut Conservation Center, Florida wildlife, flowers, nature, photography

Bugging out…

When I was about five years old or so I got really mad at God.  I couldn’t understand why in the world he had created bugs, I was sure that we would have been just fine without them.  Then we were taught some basic circle-of-life facts and I was disappointed to discover just how essential bugs are to the planet.  I’ve been tolerating them ever since then, but I still wasn’t a fan.  It wasn’t all that long ago that I’d have bet money that I’d never take an insect photography class.  But that was before I found the classes offered by Creative-Nature-Photography.com.  So guess what I did today, half to improve my photography skills, and half because I enjoy the group?  Yes, a nature hike in search of bugs, and it was fun, but hot, hiking at a nature preserve called Big Pine.  Another hiker said that he saw two rattlesnakes and a wolf, but thank goodness we only saw bugs.  Here are a few who were particularly cooperative, I thought they were pretty photogenic.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.