a second look, bugs, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, nothing's easy, perseverance, photography, pond creatures

Self defense…

It was back to the pond to look for the dragonflies again yesterday, but this time with my 150-600mm lens. I haven’t used it in so long that it resisted me as I tried to extend it to the full 600mms. And it was just so heavy that I struggled to keep it still even with the tripod. Then there was the zoom that was almost too much, so that finding the dragonflies that were right in front of me wasn’t easy. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the smaller lens I use all the time. But the dragonflies cooperated this time also, and I have no idea how that shell wound up in the grass but it caught my eye.

There were some acrobatics going on.
this was as close to seeing a face as it got.
Butt. shots were easier to come by.
They held their poses like champs.
After a while I concentrated on the flowers that were there in case there were bees on them, but I didn’t have luck with that this time.

The sun came out from behind a cloud after just a few minutes and that was enough to send me back to the house. No wonder the sunrises and sunsets are fun to do here in Florida. We do them in self defense.

'scene' along the way, bugs, dragonflies, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

In search of dragonflies…

It dawned on me that the pond where I catch a nice sunrise occasionally would probably be a spot to see some dragonflies, so I sat on the bank of the pond a while to check it out.

Yes they were there, that made me happy.
They posed this way and that.
They were busy.
Damselflies flittered around also, but this one stayed still while I searched for him through the camera lens.
This bee photobombed my shot, but I’m not complaining.

This was almost like sitting in my backyard by the lake and waiting for wildlife to come to me. All I have to do is bring a chair next time.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, dragonflies, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, life goes on, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, weather

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive…

Years ago a friend had lived in the vicinity of Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive but had never visited the area, so we decided to correct that oversight yesterday. You might think that such an overcast day wouldn’t have been the best day to go, but we weren’t baking in the sun plus there was a great breeze, so it turned out to be a perfect day.

The terrain is flat, and there is no relief from the sun.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the area.
We were in and out of the car as we stopped for pictures while we made our way around the loop.
You might have guessed that alligators would be plentiful there.
Dragonflies were plentiful too, but they didn’t stop long at all.
And the graceful egrets were in attendance.
There were egrets around every bend in the road.
Red-winged blackbirds aren’t so easily spotted, so I was pleased to get a photo.
Great blue herons were well represented also.
We stopped for lunch at a conveniently placed picnic area. Others preferred sushi.
This female grackle watched over the action.
Aside from this squabble it was a nice, peaceful day out in nature after several days of rainy weather.
'scene' along the way, adventure, bugs, dragonflies, exploring new places, finding my way, flowers, fun, gardens, Just do it, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Newhall Audubon Preserve…

My young cousin and I had a conversation the other day about taking the detours that you see along the highways of life. She says she always takes the detour if she is traveling with time on her hands. I always feel like I spotted them too late to take the turn, or I think I have nowhere to pull the car over safely. There are missed photo ops that have been living in my head for many, many years. And while I missed a great potential shot the other day, I later hung a right at Newhall Audubon Preserve, a quick but worthwhile stop. Stopping to smell the roses, so to speak. I need to do that more often…

I confess that heading down a path like this by myself doesn’t always feel safe. Other hikers are a welcome sight.
The views are often lovely.
I didn’t walk the path around the little lake.
There were no big fat bumble bees, just tiny little ones.
Oops, one fat bee.
Loblolly pines are amazing. So tall and straight, I’m sure they were prized for timber. But taking a picture is almost impossible, except from this angle.
So very tall.
This isn’t the butterfly I had in mind, but he’ll do.
I loved seeing this dragonfly’s shadow.

After a short while I got back on A1A, knowing that just beyond the beautiful houses I was seeing on my left as I drove south, there was the ocean. I passed up one beach access turn off, I guess I hadn’t quite learned my own lesson, but I took the second one. I was catching on…

The ocean has my heart.
'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, dragonflies, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, moments, nature, perseverance, photography

At John Chestnut park…

An early morning errand brought me almost to John Chestnut park, so of course I dropped by to see what I might see. I found lots of dog walkers, a few photographers, joggers pushing baby carriages, and more. Wait, let me show you…

There were deer along the road as I drove into the park, and some very cooperative dragonflies along the boardwalk.

.

Sunbathers…

Many adorable birds thanks to the sunflower seeds that someone had left along the way. And squirrels of course, always squirrels.

Wildlife of another variety entirely…

I heard him pecking, so I stuck around until I spotted him. This was my first photo shoot with a pileated woodpecker, who paid no attention to me at all. He gathered a small crowd before he finally flew away.

I have spent probably too much time lately coloring in a fun book that features gnomes. Maybe that’s why these cypress knees looked to me like a mysterious gathering of gnomes in the woods.

Of all the activities I saw going on in the park I think I liked this one the best. A woman taking a moment to rest and enjoy the view.

'scene' along the way, adventure, Circle B Bar Reserve, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Odd couples…

I frequently take note of great photos I see posted on line, and then try to imitate them. The latest one was a close up photo of an alligator swimming with a dragonfly perched on his eye. But the colors blended and at first I didn’t notice the dragonfly, but there was a reflection in the water and in the reflection that dragonfly looked like it was in a mirror. Such a surprising photo, and I assumed it would be a rarity, but the dragonflies and alligators seemed to go together well at ‘The B’ yesterday.  They were buzzing around the alligators as they swam, and landing with impunity.  Spunky little devils.  I found that surprising.05-21-20alligatr-dragonfly

Since I recently lamented over only seeing the black dragonflies at my lake at home I was happy to see a variety of colors at The B.  Well, green and blue at least.05-21-20greendragnfly05-21-20bluedragnfly2

Babies are so cute aren’t they.  But gators?  Not so much.05-21-20gatorbabesWe saw eggs, and then debated whether they were alligator eggs or turtle eggs.  We suspect that raccoons may have lunched on these eggs so it really doesn’t matter. 05-21-20eggs

Can you see the young alligator leaving a trail in the algae?05-21-20gatortrail05-21-20gator

Gators, just a little prehistoric looking, and fun to see, from a distance…