a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, coping, Cranes, facing facts, finding my way, Florida wildlife, grief, healing, life goes on, loneliness, memories, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

A crane story…

These cranes are the entire reason that I started writing this blog. These pictures are from nearly 4 years ago when my camera was new to me and they can’t be improved now, they are what they are. That was the February that two sandhill crane chicks hatched right on the island in my little pond in the back yard. I watched them hatch, I watched them leave with their parents every morning, and I watched them return to the pond in the late afternoon. I saw them as one lady-like chick who stayed close to her mother, and one adventurous chick who was off on his own just a bit. Several times I saw only one chick with it’s parents and I waited to see that second chick appear. Just as I would give up hope, thinking he had gotten a little too adventurous, he would appear out of the grasses, much to my relief. He was my favorite, even though it made me feel a little guilty to realize that I felt that way. Mothers aren’t supposed to play favorites.

Every story needs some drama, and theirs certainly had that. One afternoon I watched in horror as my favorite colt, as they are known as they grow, seemed to be dragging a wing. Again he was off by himself a little way from the family, and even more horrifying was that the parents seemed to be driving him away. I was heartbroken to see him leave the pond alone, trudging up the hill, dragging that wing. But a few minutes later the rest of the family followed, a little way behind but up the hill in the same direction that he had gone. I felt so helpless to be watching this and not able to do anything about it.

So you can imagine how I worried all day at work the next day, would they return the next evening, and would there be three or four in the family? When I saw them return as a family of three I was broken hearted, and mad too. I was upset enough that I told myself that I wouldn’t take pictures that day, not of just the three of them. But then they started to dance and I couldn’t help myself, I took pictures.

That isn’t the end of the story, I’m happy to say. Several days later I saw all four of them on a lawn in the neighborhood. The wounded colt was laying down, the rest of the family nearby. I called a rescue facility and was told that if they were with him then they were taking care of him, and that was best. I seldom saw them come back to the nest in the backyard after that, not to spend the night at least, but the last time I did see them out there I saw my wounded colt spread his wings and stretch. I choose to believe that he healed, and that he would be okay. It was about that time that I happened to take a photography class on how to start a blog, something I had given no thought to before, but we left the class with the bones of a blog in our computers, and I wanted to tell their story. I had no idea that four years later I’d still be writing, that I’d have made new friends through photography, or that I’d be so okay with the twists and turns my life has taken in the last six years. But I’m grateful.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, Cranes, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, natural wonders, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, weather

Sushi anyone?

Sushi was definitely on the menu at Circle B Bar Reserve yesterday.

Ospreys eat the head of the fish first, that’s where they get their water.
You have to wonder how they swallow their catch.
And they deliver!

But not everyone was feasting, some were just enjoying the warm weather…

Working on his tan.
Drying off.
It was a day for nice reflections.
Great blue herons around every turn.
So close sometimes and they don’t seem to be bothered by the people.
Glossy ibis, I don’t see them often.
Green herons are a treat to see too.
Little blue herons were always in my backyard pond.
The trees arched over the road as I drove into the park, and the Spanish moss was glowing in the early light.
Just a tree that caught my eye.
I hoped we’d see a raccoon, and we did.
Merlin says this is a prairie warbler.
Here is a tower of black-bellied whistling ducks.
Until I saw these sandhill cranes I hadn’t realized that we don’t see a lot of them at the B either.

And yes, I brought the lens ball with me. It was a beautiful day, hot after you’ve been hiking all afternoon. I spent another two hours of my life trying to get a covid vaccination appointment today, but all things considered I can’t complain. Life is good.

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, Cranes, facing facts, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

For the birds…

I have gone out to photograph the eagles and stuck out before, but I can usually count on the nearby Anclote River Park for people, boats, and pelicans. Not yesterday though. There was only a couple of cars in the parking lot which is usually quite full, and with no boaters to toss scraps I guess the birds were off hunting on their own. I did get the image of a bird that I hoped for, it just wasn’t an eagle. No, an osprey was sounding off from a snag above it’s nest, so I was able to get a photo of him.

And low tide at Anclote Gulf Park had some wading birds looking for a snack.

There was a surprise visitor welcoming visitors to Anclote River Park, so I took his picture.

On the way home the Sandhill Cranes were wandering along a retention pond so I stopped to see them. I don’t know why they were such a common sight to see in Spring Hill, but it’s a treat to see them since I moved. As I was looking at these pictures this morning I heard a couple of them calling as they flew over, but they kept going, the calls fading away as they flew.

And here’s the rest of the story, believe it or not. Shortly after I finished writing this post and scheduled it to publish I saw some movement out the window. My desk sits in my Florida room, which is all windows, and working on the computer can be a challenge because I’m facing those windows and the sheers I have hanging on them don’t keep me from struggling to see the screen against the glare of the windows. So through the sheers I saw something walk by, and here’s who came calling.

It is still a rare treat to see them here. But today their timing was impeccable…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, changing times, Cranes, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

This is for the birds…

There are disgruntled people in this park.  They are not happy that the pool and hot tub have been shut down because of our current health crisis.  Perhaps they haven’t noticed all the inconveniences, and worse, that are going on all over the world these days.  This too shall pass, hopefully.

Staying home doesn’t mean I have to stay away from the rookery.  Especially if I’m passing right by it.  The decibel level is up, lots of hungry little mouths to feed.  And still they fly in with foliage in their beaks, still building nests.  It really is fun to be there and see people’s reaction when they stop to see what you are taking pictures of.  When my friend was here and I pulled into the little parking lot behind a building she wanted to know what we were doing, were we turning around, she asked. She was so amazed that we had arrived.  In the middle of a busy shopping area, an oasis of nature just doing what comes naturally.

Aren’t the babies just a little prehistoric looking?  I love seeing them…03-14-20rookerywoodstork203-14-20rookerybrotherlylove03-14-20rookerywoodstork103-14-20rookerywoodstork2And the egret family was posing for a family photo, but they never said cheese.03-14-20rookeryegretfamily403-14-20rookeryegretfamily303-14-20rookeryegretfamily203-14-20rookeryegretfamily403-14-20rookeryegretfamily03-14-20rookeryegretfamily2And the sandhill cranes were back again.  They take divots out of the grass when they stab in search of bugs to eat.  I always looked at it as they were aerating my yard.  I imagine there will be a thing or two said about them also…03-14-20sandhillvisitor


'scene' along the way, birds, coping, courage, Cranes, finding my way, Florida wildlife, life goes on, live and learn, neccessities, perseverance, photography, reality check, unintended images

Staying home…

Even a non-news person couldn’t help but know about the coronavirus and the massive impact it’s causing around the world.  Yesterday was the day I realized that being able to get out and camp this summer might be out of the question.  This thought came to me over coffee, early in the morning.  But all day long the news kept finding me, online and on TV, and it was a no brainer by the end of the day.  And the closings just kept on coming this morning.  Life as we know it is on hold.  I’m lucky that I don’t think it will effect me financially, but even I can see what a blow to the economy this will be.  So, silly me, it will effect me one way or another.  Looks like I’ll be staying home a lot more, and probably posting a lot less.  For the moment at least.

But staying home doesn’t include avoiding the laundromat.  (I read the coronanvirus germ can’t survive the washing machine, though maybe I ought to wash in hot instead of cold).  As I pulled into my driveway I again had a big bird waiting to say hello.  Two of them I soon realized.  And this morning I heard that the Sandhill cranes in my former back yard are building a nest again.  I will look forward to visiting soon.  But this was a first here in my park, though I heard them the last couple of days.  Once you’ve heard them you’ll never forget it.  I had assumed that they were just flying over, now I’ll have to look for them if I hear them again.  I hope I do…03-13-20sandhillclose303-13-20sandhillclose03-13-20sandhillclose2

While I’ve been writing this I got a voicemail to inform me that the pool and hot tub in our park are closed until further notice.  I was just there yesterday, it was great, I’m a tiny bit sunburned.  While we were in the hot tub we were talking about all the closings.  Grandchildren were cancelling plans to visit, and someone’s granddaughter was supposed to be doing a semester at sea, but the boat had taken them back to Capetown, South Africa and they were to fly home from there.  Maybe I’m glad to be home, for now…

'scene' along the way, birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, Uncategorized

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive…

I’ve been to this wildlife drive before, but it was shortly after a hurricane and it never occurred to me that it might be closed.  But it was.  And it was a two hour drive so it was a disappointment.  I guess that’s why I haven’t planned another trip until now, if you can call it planning when you wake up and kick yourself for sitting around the last couple of days, and decide to go right now.  I found myself surprised at how wide open the landscape was. I’m glad the day turned out to be cloudy.  It just couldn’t quite manage to actually get sunny so the one-way road, that forms an 11 mile loop around the lake, was muddy and full of puddles.   But everyone was enjoying the birds and taking pictures, while we dodged puddles.  There were thousands and thousands of birds, ducks, swimming in the water on each side of the road.  And they were calling, it was loud!  It seemed like I may have been lucky enough to have a good variety of birds in my area because I’d come all that way but my photos are of the birds I commonly see at home.  It was a nice day, but a car wash is in order…