a second look, adventure, birds, boats, dolphins, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, pigs, road trip

Seafood on the menu…

When our visitor visits Florida she likes having a drink while over- looking the water, and if there are boats in the scene that’s a plus too. Which explains how we wound up having lunch on the boardwalk at John’s Pass on Sunday. We stopped to see the scenery when we first arrived and found lots of birds near the pier where people were gutting newly caught fish and tossing the trimmings to the milling pelicans below. Among a few other scavengers.

Here we have a snowy egret surveying the scene.
She got a bit up close and personal for a minute or two.
I thought these two pelicans had found a worm of some kind, but I was told this is entrails. I had quite a few pictures of the battle, but the victor finally flew away with the entrails still wrapped around his beak.
This fella caught his own lunch.
The atmosphere is old fishing village, I find it charming.
Lots of boats, large and small, pass by.
Some require a bit of adjustments as they pass.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, boats, connections, dolphins, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise, unintended images

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.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, dogs, dolphins, Florida wildlife, fun, Hudson Beach, Just do it, making memories, moon, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, unintended images


Lately I seem to be way too willing to decide that I’ll just stay home, I won’t go out for the sunrise or sunset. There are too many dark clouds, I tell myself, or the morning is kind of foggy. Last night was no exception. I was driving up Rt 19 and there were heavy dark clouds to the north, but when I turned into my street and looked towards the west I saw blue sky and nice puffy clouds. So I told myself to go out to see what I could see. That turned out to be a wise, or rather, a lucky decision.

As usual the houses on the inlet had their faces turned to the sun.
The moon was looking pretty also.
The sunset itself was doing a great job of making me happy that I came out.
It was low tide, and the rocks were exposed off the walkway, but for some reason several dolphin decided that this was the night to put in a first ever, for me at least, appearance at Hudson Beach.
Back and forth they swam. And they leaped out of the water! I have seen dolphin here and there before, and I’ve always wished for them to breech, but this was the first time I ever had a chance to try to get a picture of them in action.
Of course I wish it was a ‘better’ picture, but I did manage to get one.
Actually two!
The man standing next to me had two big golden retrievers with him, and one of them was VERY interested in what was going on in the water out there.
Even a pelican couldn’t resist a photo bomb as the color reached a peak.

When I hear all the talk among my fellow photographers about the great new cameras and/or lenses that are coming out lately, I am, momentarily at least, tempted to buy better equipment. My stuff is considered adequate, for a beginner. But if I’m honest with myself I’m really not willing to concentrate enough to master the technicalities of setting the camera, or doing more than basic editing. ‘Better’ equipment would probably have required me to change my lens when the dolphin showed up last night, and if he stuck around long enough for me to do that then I probably would have gotten better pictures. So the temptation is there, but it’s fleeting. I appreciate the freedom my current set up gives me. When the mood strikes then out the door I go, and I’m ready for whatever happens next. That feels good…

adventure, dolphins, Florida wildlife, learning, nature, photography

A dolphin research cruise…

I told a friend that I was going to take pictures of fish that day, but I was wrong since a dolphin isn’t a fish.  The gal in charge of the dolphin research cruise said that sometimes they go out on a cruise and they don’t see dolphins at all. That wasn’t the case on Thursday as we apparently came across a group of dolphin mothers and babies on our little voyage. There was a lot of movement on the boat, from the wake of passing ships, but also from the passengers moving from one side to the other as more dolphins were spotted. It made taking photographs a challenge. I wish I had gotten the perfect shot of one of the dolphins leaping out of the water, but I didn’t. I did get one close up of a dorsal fin, one that shows the various nicks in the edge of the fin. That’s what the gal in charge was doing, taking photographs of those fins to identify which dolphins we were seeing, and she was taking note of what activity they appeared to be doing. She had a booklet for us to see that showed pictures of the the fins and the names of a lot of the dolphins they track, but she said that they have records of well over a hundred of the dolphins that frequent those waters. All the passengers were quite happy with the trip, except one poor little girl who apparently thought that every rock of the boat meant that we were sinking. Poor kid, I don’t think she ever did look at the dolphins…3-29dolphins2_easyHDR-dramatic-bright3-29fin_easyHDR-interior23-29landscapefeature2_easyHDR-natural23-29landscapefeature_easyHDR3-29dolphins_easyHDR-interior2And did I mention the shark? 3-29shark_easyHDR-enhance2

birds, dolphins, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, technology

Lightroom Chronicles…

Lightroom is THE photo editing program to use, or so I’m led to believe.  And I have it in my computer since the subscription to Photoshop includes Lightroom.  I always thought of Photoshop as the ultimate editing tool, and I’ve gotten pretty comfortable using it for the basic sorts of edits that I do to my photos.  But I’m told that Lightroom is easier, (ha!), and you can edit a photo the way you want it, then you can turn those edits into a preset and apply those same edits to all the photos you might choose to, all in one click.  It’ll probably be great once I’m used to it, maybe…

An alternate title for this post could be, ‘If It Ain’t Broke…’, because I was merrily writing posts and taking pictures, and not unhappy with the results.  But all of this raving over Lightroom caused me to take RAW images the last couple of days, the better to edit them the way you want them in Lightroom.  First I went to the eagle nest where nothing at all happened.  And I didn’t think that anything was going to happen at the fishing pier either, until the dolphins showed up.  Not only was I on the pier, so above the dolphins, but I had the 600mm lens on the camera, so better photos of dolphins than I’d been able to get before.  But RAW images!  Needing to be edited in Lightroom?  Why can’t I ever seem to leave well enough alone?  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  Should be my new motto.


I’d be too discouraged to continue if not for this female grackle that landed on the railing nearby.  Maybe this is more the sort of photo that could benefit from being a RAW image and the editing technique I was trying to master.  I only got two pictures before she flew away, but these two pictures will keep me interested in learning something new.


We played with Lightroom in a class a while back, and I had forgotten that we set a watermark.  It feels a bit pretentious to me, amateur that I am…



birds, dolphins, Florida wildlife, home, live and learn, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset


I so looked forward to last weekend.  I had remembered to look up the tides in order to see when I might run into low tide at sunset, and this weekend was one of those times.  I’ve only happened across low tide at sunset once, and it was totally by accident.  But the beautiful colors of the sunset reflected down the water and continued onto the wet sand, and I was in awe.  Plus lots of people in silhouette to include in the photos also, yup, it was going to be great, I thought.  Except it was just too cloudy, the sun couldn’t break through enough to send even a hint of pink into the sky.  I wanted to walk on the wet sand, expecting to see little critters you wouldn’t see other wise.  I think I pictured little crabs scooting along the sand sideways.  But the best I could do was a baby jellyfish, which, after it was pointed out to me by another bystander, creeped me out, and walking on that wet sand bare-footed didn’t seem like quite as good of an idea as it had up until then.

The dolphins were back though, and pelicans, both of which can’t be counted on to see every time I’m there, and my favorite little birds, bouncing along on the sand.  I spoke with a mother visiting with her two grown daughters.  They swam with manatees at Crystal River earlier, and were enjoying the dolphins we were seeing together.  And while I was disappointed in the sunset the mom said that she called her husband and told him that she wasn’t going home, she wanted to live here, it was just so perfect.  Which is what I say every time I visit someplace new.  I suppose it’s all in your perspective isn’t it?

I guess they weren’t kidding about sharp objects in the water.  And this dolphin was on the hunt, not just cruising around.  He kept reversing direction and then lots of action.101wedding#2

And another wedding, right there on the beach.  So sad for her that the sunset wasn’t prettier.