'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…

12-28apopkaview12-28apopkatwosome12-28apopkatricolor?12-28apopkalittleblue12-28apopkagrackle12-28apopkaGBHflying12-28apopkaGBF@12-28apopkaflower12-28apopkaegret12-28apopkaduck12-28apopkacattleegret12-28apopkabird112-28apopkaanhinga

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, Cranes, Florida wildlife, life, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Found ‘em…

The lost pictures I mean. Sandhill crane posts never seem to garner as much of an audience as other posts seem to, but darn it, I had to work hard to find the darn photos, all 256 of them, so I’m posting them. One of these little cuties was a day old when I took these photos, and the other one was newly hatched. It was so nice of the parents to build a nest in such a great spot to walk out on the rickety old dock to take pictures, but I could have done without the post right there next to the nest. And I came to take pictures in the afternoon to avoid shooting into the sun, and of course I got there and they were posing nicely with the babies right in the shadow of the post. But it’s raining now, and I found these pictures so I’m going with them.

The bigger picture is new life I guess, and spring arriving with all the renewal of life that it brings.  Right after Charley died a friend posted a picture of her adorable new granddaughter, and I immediately thought that a life ends and a life begins.  Over and over in nature the cycle continues.  As it should.  We humans like to think we are in charge somehow, but we aren’t, and that’s a good thing…04-02-19twochicks804-02-19twochicks704-02-19twochicks504-02-19twochicks404-02-19twochicks304-02-19twochicks203-39-19twochicks103-39-19twochicks2

 

'scene' along the way, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, photography

Catching up…

…with the cranes.  I have been seeing the crane family, now a family of three, around the neighborhood since I’ve been home.  And they come back to the lake at night some of the time, but not always.  But as I come and go I see them on lawns all around the area.  They are more easily visible than last year’s family was.  This morning I had to stop for iPhone photos because while it’s not unusual to see them, it is unusual to see them dancing!

8-3crane38-3crane28-3crane1

backyard visitors, birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, photography

Don’t take it personally…

Or at least I try not to take it personally, but this is my most common view of the crane family lately.6-9timestwo4As soon as I realize they are out back and head out with the camera they leave.  Last year I felt almost smug about the way that that crane family didn’t seem to mind me watching them at all.  And that includes the dogs, they didn’t seem to pay any attention to Ozzie and Zoe last year either.  And, like the chickens who visit the yard periodically, the dogs weren’t noticing the cranes either.  But the two colts this year seem to stick close to Mom and Dad, except when I go out with the camera and the colts lead the charge away from the yard.  And one of the adults hangs back to monitor things while they make their get away.  Last year when I was leaving work for the day I’d get teased that I was going home to stalk the cranes.  And that was exactly what I did, so it’s amazing to me how little attention I’ve paid to them this year.  And that they haven’t seemed to require my supervision.  They are doing perfectly well without me.

6-9timestwo36-9timestwo26-9timestwo

backyard visitors, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Frequent flier…

There has been a frequent flier at the lake lately.  That’s what I call the hawk that is out on the post all the time lately.  I really mean all the time, including in the torrential rain.  I have to wonder if the animals find the weather as much of an annoyance as we do.  He was out there on the post as if there was nothing unusual  about the weather at all.6-1hawkintherainI came back from the sunrise to find that the cranes were still out back on the lake, I would have expected them to be gone by then.  And as I went out and set out to take pictures I saw that the cranes were out there, but on a smaller post very near the cranes was the hawk.  It was a surprise, and I wondered if I should be alarmed.  The cranes weren’t worried though.  They just continued on their way, and it was the hawk who blinked, I mean took off.  The cranes seem to be king of the hill out there.6-1flapper6-1crossing26-1cranes and hawk26-1cranesandhawkAnd the Common Gallinule chicks I’ve been attempting to photograph were finally out in the open, eating bread if truth be told.  I wasn’t feeding them though.  I will look up what is healthy to feed the birds if a person feels the need to feed them.6-1gallinule2.jpgAnd the answer was frozen peas, but thawed, and corn, fresh, frozen, or canned.  Who knew?

backyard visitors, birds, Cranes, ducks, Florida wildlife, nature, photography

Severe weather alert…

I didn’t start work until 9 AM yesterday, enough extra time in the morning for me to notice a hawk on the post out back and head out with the camera.  The hawk had taken off, but there was a black and white bird out there that didn’t look familiar.  Merlin said it was a Merganser, which I thought were all black, but the info said that they can be anything from all white to all black.  I guess it’s that fleshy orange nose piece that sets them apart.  It was a pretty bird though, another one I didn’t think I’d seen before.5-15muscovy5-15muscovy2

By the time I finished work I had a severe weather alert on my phone when I picked it up to head home.  But that message goes away when you unlock the phone and I seldom look to see what exactly we might expect as far as severe weather goes.  And that’s because it (almost) never materializes.  Like the boy that cried wolf, those messages are easily ignored, and yesterday was no exception.  Apologies to anyone who really did have some ‘weather’ yesterday, I realize that my view of the world is rather limited.  (Fast forward to Weds. morning and I see that all my northern friends and relatives had much worse weather than we did.  Hoping all are well.)

Perhaps the Sandhill cranes pay more attention to the weather than I do, because I was surprised to see them on a lawn as I drove through the neighborhood heading home.  I took some iPhone photos and headed home thinking they’d soon be out on the lake, coming back earlier because of the weather.  I was hearing thunder by then.  The hawk was back on the post, just as he had been that morning.  And one of the adult cranes took exception to that Merganser and chased him off.  Nice when the photo ops come to you on a severe weather alert sort of day.5-15colts15-15colts25-15colts45-15hawk