'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, ducks, nature, perseverance, photography, storms, sunrise, weather

Sunday sunrise…

I woke up to the worst situation possible on Sunday morning. No internet. I had my coffee, but no Wordle, Quordle, or Octordle (two versions), to distract me. Most of the way through my first cup it dawned on me that it was early enough to go out for the sunrise, something I’ve been neglecting to do lately. See the above distractions. The feature photo was taken right from the front door as I stepped out, to a muggy morning. But a bluer sky than I expected to see, and clouds that I told myself were puffy and white. Kind of promising, I thought. Off I went…

I was tempted to stop and see what I could see in those interesting clouds. The one on the right looks like a doggy to me.
The birds were there. Little birds in the trees were chirping, the ducks on the pond were quacking, and some crows were making a racket, yelling at me I think.
I finally saw some pink in the sky, along with an ibis heading in to spend the day.
At this point I was still trying to tell myself that more color was coming. I liked that the ducks were in the only bright spot in the water. The pink never did get any pinker.
Oddly enough this is the view as I returned to the house. The most pink that I saw in the sky was toward the west, a reflection of what might have been a pretty sunrise, at least along the horizon.

The weatherman predicted that our rain would start coming in the morning rather than the afternoon, starting today, and it did, off and on. Giving my plumeria cuttings a nice drink. Any plant of mine needs to learn to survive on its own, my track record as a gardener is abysmal. Maybe there is hope for the sunset tonight, but the internet is back on so I may be distracted…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, cats, ducks, eagles, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, natural wonders, perseverance, photography

The Secrets of ZooTampa…

Yes, there are other amazing animals at ZooTampa, although you’d hardly know it based on my fixation with orangutans. This last trip to the zoo was our first chance to visit the newly completed Florida exhibit that has been under construction for quite a while now. Obviously we are surrounded by Florida wildlife every day, but we don’t get to see them up close and personal the way we did at the zoo.

I loved this view of a baby manatee, who looked to me like he had a smile on his face. There were heads of lettuce floating on the surface making all the manatees happy.
There were ducks swimming with the manatees so I had to zoom in on this unusual view.
On second thought we also visited the Malayan tiger who;s habitat is next door to the orangutans. So, no, we don’t run into tigers when we are out and about in Florida.
Now I’m confused. I think we were still in the Florida exhibit, but the pink birds we saw were flamingos.
Up close with this flamingo.
And a spoonie, who was almost too close for a photo.
I love the way the camera will ignore the mesh of the cage and focus on the subject beyond, in this case a sleepy barred owl.
This little screech owl was winking at us.
This iguana was posing so perfectly, begging to have his picture taken.
There are two eagles at the zoo, Ross, for Betsy Ross, and Glory. I’m not sure which one this is, but Glory is celebrating 30 years at the zoo. Both eagles are not able to live in the wild, so this is their permanent home.

Of course the star of the Florida exhibit was the Florida panther in the feature photo. It was a treat to see one, and this one looked quite content in his new habitat. Later we heard that we missed the stork chicks in the Africa exhibit, but it was time to meet the group for lunch, and we were hungry. So that means another trip to the zoo will be in order, but in a few weeks, not while spring break is in full swing here.

Let me highly recommend the series from National Geographic called Secrets of ZooTampa. So much goes on behind the scenes, it’s very interesting. And, much to my delight, the segment on orangutans covered the birth of Riplee, my favorite baby boy.

a second look, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, Cranes, ducks, Florida wildlife, healing, life goes on, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Life goes on…

Sad as I was over the loss of one of the owlets yesterday, a text from my former neighbor cheered me up. It seems the Sandhill Cranes nested on the lake again this year, and their chicks hatched yesterday. I knew from past experience that the parents will march the chicks off the nest and out into the world almost as soon as they hatch, so I checked on them right after sunrise this morning. I guess I was too early because Mom was still laying down, as in the feature photo, and Dad was wandering in the vicinity. The crane family saga is what started me blogging four years ago, and I’ll be back again in the next few days to try to get some pictures of this year’s crop.

My first photo when I got to the lake. I had seen that a duck had laid eggs, a dozen of them, in the crotch of this tree in my neighbor’s yard. I wanted a picture of the eggs but Mama was standing guard.
Dad was up and keeping an eye on things.
The island that they nest on is shaped like a horseshoe, with water in the center. There was much commotion, splashing and quacking going on. Dad was supervising, but didn’t intervene.
I’ve blathered on and on to my friend about the little blue heron that lives on this lake, and the ibis that were so abundant that I hardly even noticed them after a while.
I have spent a lot of time watching this fella, and hoping to catch him catching something. Seconds after I got there he caught this frog, who I then felt a little sorry for.
All the while I was there Mama Duck kept an eye on me while she tended to her eggs. More babies for the lake.
I mentioned the sunrise, in this case back at Aripeka again.
And One-Foot Fred was there, hanging out right outside the bait shop. I wonder what he was waiting for.

As soon as I got out of my car in my old neighborhood I heard the woodpeckers drilling away. And lots of birds singing in the trees, plus the ducks quacking. A hawk flew into view, twice. The gang is still there, doing what they do, it’s in their nature. Watching them filled a void in my life, and encouraged me to get out and take more pictures. It was a blessing then, and has led to even more blessings now. Life goes on…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, ducks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, life goes on, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography

More birds…

As the owl and eagle ‘kids’ prepare to fly the coop, literally, the rookery is full of birds who are busy feathering their nests to get ready for their own crop of newcomers.

That looks to me like mom on the left because she looks bigger, and Dad on the right. He had just returned from a jaunt around the area. It looked like he brought back some more building materials, the kids must be doing some damage to the nest.
This is basically it for what we saw that afternoon. Mom stayed in place the entire time we were there. She had a few things to say to Dad when he returned. Aside from several wing flaps from one of the eaglets there wasn’t a thing going on.
This is as close as I came to an eagle action shot. Dad was heading out on a mission.

Meanwhile, back at the rookery…

You can imagine the action I thought I was photographing when I took this picture. And 30 more just like it. If that is going to be their nest they have a long way to go.
Tricolor Herons were frequent visitors to my backyard in Spring Hill, but they hardly ever stayed still long enough for a photo. This one was more cooperative. I hope they will nest at this rookery since I’ve never seen a baby tricolor.
I think he knew how handsome he was all decked out in his breeding plumage.
Ever present, and always beautiful, the great egrets were in abundance also.
While wood storks aren’t the prettiest birds in the area, when they fly they can look positively beautiful. Until they put their landing gear down.
One of these birds is not like the others, one of these birds just doesn’t belong. Just a little Sesame Street ear worm for you today.

Muscovy ducks used to terrorize my son’s neighborhood, but his dog Roo encouraged them to move on out of the yard. So I thought they were a PITA, but I have to say that the ones in the feature photo look spectacular.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, ducks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Birds do it!

We made a few stops over the last few days, just to see if any nesting was happening, and boy was it ever. There was some hanky-panky, but modestly in the bushes where I couldn’t get a picture. Just as well probably. But I did capture a few moments…

This black-crowned night heron was doing it’s thing, but out in the open instead of hidden in the greenery on the shore.
Mama duck seems to have gotten a head start on all the nest builders in the area.
those are cormorants in the tree. They also are ahead of their counterparts if you can believe the other photographers who said that they are feeding babies up in the tree.
Which came first, the cormorants or the turtles?
This egret was doing the usual egret thing.
But this egret was saying, “Look at me!”
“I feel pretty, oh so pretty.”
Perhaps she feels shy after such a public display.
A dog walker asked me what the birds she was seeing were. I identified the wood storks, egrets, and cormorants, but then she asked, “What about the pink one?” And sure enough, down in the shrubbery I saw a flash of pink, so I took a lot of pictures that didn’t turn out. But then he flew into a tree.
Could he be looking for nesting material?
Spoonies are usually wading in the shallow water and swinging their bill back and forth to find taste treats to eat.
He posed for just a little while and then flew off, out of the area.
I think Ms.Wood Stork is telling her hubby to avert his eyes!
Then they burst into song.

Just getting out for pictures is usually enough of an incentive for me. But our new bike and scooter mean we can zip around like a couple of kids, and not fall over. Though I did come close to crashing into my friend when I thought I saw an eagle. Oops…

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, birds, ducks, friends, fun, home, making memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, Rise and shine, sunrise

Sticking close to home…

I surprised myself by being up early enough to catch the sunrise. Early enough to just go around the block to see it though. I oftentimes forget that I can see the sunrise so close to home.

A mama duck didn’t seem to be bothered by my car pulled onto the grass, or by me clicking away with my camera.
I had occasion to rearrange my car the other day and ‘found’ the lens ball, so decided to look at the scene through from another point of view.
I loved how pretty the color got against the blue of the sky.
I love when the birds fly through the sunrise color.

I’m afraid I’m guilty of thinking that if I lived a little further south then the sunrises and sunsets would be perfect every day. But really they are perfect enough just where I am…