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Flappers…

I never thought of myself as particularly OCD, but it seems I am when it comes to my photos. I always want to use them in the order in which they were taken. And God forbid that I went out for pictures and then happened across a situation where I got more and ‘better’ pictures afterwards. That’s what constitutes a dilemma for me. So I already had pictures from the Tampa rookery when I left for my recent trip to NH, and I only got around to looking at the rookery pictures today. They are from Mother’s Day, judging by the ducklings in the feature photo. Would anyone have known that these aren’t current pictures? Of course not, but I know they aren’t current and it bothers me. But not enough to just chuck them and go out for newer pictures.

Do you think she was counting heads? There were 14 of these little cuties at the time. I haven’t seen them since to see how many are still tagging after mom.
I don’t know that I’d ever have noticed this juvenile black crowned night heron chick if another photographer hadn’t pointed it out to me. It stayed on that branch the whole time we were there, so I went back and took more pictures of him every now and then, but he mostly just sat there.
I thought he just sat there but then I came across this picture.
This rookery has some birds I don’t commonly see, such as this young glossy ibis. I was fully prepared to call him a reddish egret until I noticed that long, curved beak.
The reason there seems to be so many tricolor herons at this rookery is probably because many of them are juveniles who are flapping their wings and zooming around the area.
Not to be outdone in the flapping department is this juvie wood stork, who still yells for his Mama.
This snowy egret isn’t so flappy as it is fluffy.
Note the ‘golden slippers’, which are how I check myself as to who I’m looking at.
Eventually these little wood storks grow into their beaks.

My interest in birds snuck up on me. I bought a DSLR first, spur of the moment (it was Christmas after all), and when I sat in my backyard with the camera birds were what was there to pose for pictures. I’m not sure I’d ever heard the word ‘rookery’ until I started paying attention to the photos online, and then found the camera club. A long time ago I realized, and sort of kicked myself over the realization, that I never actually made a plan in life, I just let myself go where the wind blew me. Now I see it blew me right where I belong.

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The facts of life…

Visiting Lake Winnipesaukee before Memorial Day is either the best or worst time to visit depending on your point of view. The only activity seemed to be the shop owners preparing to open their doors for the season. There were no boats in the boat slips, no people lining up to buy ice cream, or swimming in the little beach. My cousins grew up nearby they told me that Weir Beach was a destination for teenagers back in the day. On this day there was room to take in the scenery, and wonder if you might return to ride the train. For now it was a peaceful scene.

Across the street from the beach you find beautiful old Victorian houses, some receiving touch ups before the tourists return.
The boat slips were empty that day.
A few hanging baskets of flowers were in place, soon there will be baskets everywhere.
The hills were alive in shades of green as the new leaves fill in the scene.
A New England scene isn’t complete without a steeple.
A walking path leads you around the lake, and past ever changing sculptures done by local artists.
There was a lot more to this sculpture, a whole series of circles, but I liked the scene through this opening.
I should have taken a picture of the hand written sign requesting that if you see Canada geese on the grass please shoo them away. We didn’t bother this one.
This was my third visit to this lake, and I knew that this pretty gate was just waiting for us to see what we might see through it’s ‘window’.
This just might be my all time favorite photo op prop.
The path around the park continues around the lake, with more flowers and sculptures to see, and geese to shoo is you care to..

We nearly missed this last statue. We only saw it as we returned to the car. But that’s when we saw a big sign that featured the image of this man with the cardinals, so we took pictures and then we headed home. Visiting New Hampshire isn’t a childhood memory for me, my visits have come in these later years of life, visits to reconnect with an old friend. Those connections in life are so special, words can’t do it justice, but this place has come to feel like home to me also. I have been alone these last years of my life, but not really alone, having a friend who is dear to your heart makes all the difference.

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Live and learn…

The feature photo is from Monday morning, pale but nice sunrise after a storm the night before. Which looked like this just after it ended, and in time for the sky to light up.

I think I was lucky enough to catch the finale of the show, because it got grayer soon after I took this shot.
This is the audience apparently waiting for the sunrise right along with me.
And this was Monday night as we left the restaurant and headed for home. An early night because our company was leaving on Tuesday, a very early flight.

Note to self: Just because you are in a parking lot when you decide you have to take a shot of the sunset, and you step up onto a curb and then onto the sandy grass, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t fire ants ready and waiting to bite your toe and make you too itchy to fall asleep…

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Mouthing Off…

My computer is back on my desk after nearly a week in the care of the Apple geniuses. For the first time in what seems like longer than a week I began to write this post on my computer, and was startled to see that the last post I made was my 1300th post. That’s seems like a lot of mouthing off on my part in the nearly 4 years since I took the class on ‘How To Write a Blog.’ At the end of that class the framework of the blog was in place, and the rest is history. I told myself not to start writing, I told myself that I’d run out of things to talk about in a week or two, and I was sure I’d regret starting at all. But I did, and I haven’t regretted it. Thank you to those friends who read it, and thank you to the people I will probably never meet who also read it. I love the connection I feel as a result of taking this leap. It’s been therapy for me these last few years. I’m not sure I’d be in this same place if I’d never have begun this journey.

We decided to go see the eagles the other day. We wanted to see the juvenile eagles before they flew the coop, and it also was a good excuse to ride our bikes on the not-so-busy trail that passes right by the nest. We found Mom and Dad at the nest, but didn’t see the babies. It seems as if Mom was also mouthing off as we started down the trail.
We took a different path this time, and found that the path we expected would lead to a trail actually led to a very long boardwalk.
And the boardwalk dead-ended at a small beach. It was a pretty day, wonderful to be outside.
When we passed by the nest on our return trip we were happy to see the juvenile eagles. This one was fairly hard to spot, blending into the color and texture of the bark of the tree.
The second one was more in the open, but in the shadows a bit.
One adult was along side them in the nest tree. Keeping an eye on things. I forgot to keep track of how many miles we traveled that day, but we have 40 miles total on the bike.
We stopped by the owls on the way home and failed to see the babies, two of whom are still doing well under Dad’s care. The largest owlet and the mother owl died from rat poison, and there was much fear over what would become of the other two owlets. In reality we failed to see the Dad also. This picture was taken with my camera but by a young man who was attempting to point out the dad. He thought the picture would show us where he was, out in plain sight. Just not our sight.

Mouthing Off may not have been the best title for this post, but Typing Off wouldn’t have made much sense…

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The Mar Vista…

It was the last day of my visit to Longboat Key, and the weather was overcast and quite chilly. We walked on the beach but had no desire to sit in the sun. What we wanted to do was eat, so my friend suggested the Mar Vista, and what a good choice it turned out to be.

Of course there was a sunrise that morning, and I took advantage of the opportunity to get a photo while still in pajamas.
My chowder was delicious, and I dug in before I even thought of taking a picture. But when the people at the table just in front of us got up and left I knew I wanted to remember how nice it was to sit in the open air, though we didn’t choose to be totally under the trees.
Once we ordered our lunch we walked up onto the dock to enjoy the view. It amazes me to think that you might arrive at a restaurant on your boat and have a nice lunch.
We got a kick out of this gentleman who was busy at the fish-cleaning table. He attracted a fair share of birds who wanted to help.
The dolphins arrived just as we finished our lunch.
By that time our gentleman was taking a break, still surrounded by his feathered friends.

They say that the best camera is the one you have with you, but sometimes I feel like I’m cheating when I use the iPhone instead of the Canon camera. But on a day that gave me no clue that I might want to be taking pictures it was a great camera to use, and it fits in my pocket. Then it was time for the drive home. I think this place will be calling me to return.

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Those photo ops…

I’ve been disappointed in myself lately. I haven’t been out for as many sunrises or sunsets. Maybe I was just too lazy, I thought. Or maybe, just maybe, the morning coffee with someone to talk with was the reason. And chatting over dinner might just result in the sunset happening right outside the window and I never noticed. So I’ve given up one obsession for another, well, maybe not obsession, but certainly a lovely distraction. I feel very lucky. And those sunrises and sunsets keep happening, so that when I do head out the door there they are. The big question on this day, which was last Monday, was whether we would reach Edgewater Park before the sun sank totally beneath the horizon. Traffic was annoyingly slow, and we were actually heading to a photo editing opportunity in Clearwater, so we weren’t stopping for the sunset. Nope, I was just shooting out the window of the car as we now seemed to be whizzing past. I was happy to see that I managed a couple of usable shots. And a selfie!

Just made it!
Oops!