'scene' along the way, birds, Camping, ducks, egrets, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Camping…

I’m still in Maine, but when I leave here on Tuesday it will feel like the beginning of my trip home, even if I’ll be heading west rather than south.  A stop in NH, and then on to PA to be with family.   Eventually I’ll have to head south.  I’m procrastinating, wishing to see fall in all it’s glory before I’m back in the land of palmetto bugs and palm trees.

So how was camping?  How did this 100% novice like her first camping adventure?  A lot actually.  I’ve lived in the camper for a total of 11 weeks over the summer, and it felt like home.  I loved it.  Slept like a baby, fell asleep on the couch watching Netflix on the computer a couple of times when it was raining.  But mostly I went out to see as much of the not-Florida scenery as I could.  It didn’t seem like the other campers did much but sit outside, so I guess I was an oddball being inside a lot, but on the computer dealing with photos.  Which is how I spend most of my time at home also.

I didn’t know what to expect from a campground, but with three under my belt I find that they have a lot in common.  The first was The Pastures in Orford, NH.  I probably had the most fun there, but I had family there and got to talk with a lot of people.  They have a pool and playground for kids, plus a great covered pavilion where they hosted breakfasts, pot luck dinners, and Friday night was movie night, complete with popcorn.  It’s on the  Connecticut river, so kayak and canoe rentals were available.  Newly upgraded bath facilities.  It’s a great place and the best bargain.

The second campground was Shore Hills, in Boothbay, Maine.  No playgrounds or  pool, but each campsite was wooded with a lot of privacy.  I was almost surprised to realize how steep the climb back to the campsite was after meandering down to the river to take sunset pictures.  There were lots of options to go out and take pictures, from the Coastal Botanical Gardens to Acadia National Park.  And when you get hungry the lobster roll from Red’s Eats in Wiscasset was to die for.  So good, but be prepared to wait in line.  Found some very nice people there also.

Which brings me to Wild Duck Campground in Scarborough, ME.  I took pictures of the wild ducks of Wild Duck Campground today.  They look pretty tame in the feature photo, all the ducks in a row.  But they all got pretty riled up a little while later.  Plus an egret catching his dinner.  This campground is adjacent to Scarborough Marsh, so egrets are plentiful.  The Audubon center is just down the road.  As is Old Orchard Beach, Portland, and Portsmouth, with lighthouses galore.  It seemed like every time I looked up a place to go it was 12 miles away.  Right next door from my point of view.  What a great spot for a photographer to spend a couple of weeks.

When I do head for home I can follow my trail of breadcrumbs, in the form of lost bath scrunches, face wash soap, underwear (I swear I don’t know where they go), and  lost glasses.  I briefly lost my phone, found my phone, and broke my phone.  Next year I’ll bring half as much stuff and hopefully keep myself better organized.  And there will be another snowbird adventure next year, but where will I go?  I’ll have a lot of time to plan…Egretgotchagotcha2pondscenewilderducks

Did I forget to mention Scout?  He’s a full time RVer.  His young mom and dad work online and have their itinerary set through March, traveling in an Airstream trailer.  I’m told they love it.  Scout sure seems like a happy camper…IMG_9952

connections, egrets, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, nature, Osprey, perseverance, photography, simple things, strangers

New friends…

Part of the charm of heading over to the rookery is that there is a Twisty Treat ice cream stand right there!  So you can tell yourself that you are going to take pictures, but in the back of your mind you are thinking ice cream.  Yesterday I had my priorities straight, I got the ice cream first!  Okay, you do have to drive across the parking lot and tuck your car in behind the buildings to unload, but I then found myself marching towards the fence with another gal, a like-minded gal, because we were both lugging a three step ladder and cameras with nice long lenses.  It must have looked like we planned it.  So I made a new friend yesterday, and had a very nice time as we took pictures of the chicks, and talked about photography in general.  I told her about our camera club, FCCP, Florida Center for Creative Photography, and I told her that there are a lot of people my age in the group, but younger people also.  Mentioned because she is young, the years that I wonder where they went are still waiting to unfold for her.  But she said she likes people my age, and at that moment we were kindred spirits.  The big difference was that when the osprey we had been watching hover in the air over the rookery finally made his dive and came up with a fish, her camera battery didn’t die like mine did.  The most dramatic moment of a nice afternoon and I missed it.  But really I didn’t miss anything, I made a new friend…4-15-19twochicks4-15-19thisbig4-15-19ospreyegretfight34-15-19ospreyegretfight24-15-19ospreyegretfight4-15-19incoming

backyard visitors, birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, home, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Nosy neighbors…

There are a couple of nosy neighbors in my new neighborhood.  And, no, I’m not talking about my aunt and uncle.  No, whenever you are outside the particular neighbors I’m talking about show up in hopes of getting a hand out.  I don’t believe in feeding wildlife because I don’t want them to become dependent on me and then let them down.  But mostly because I know that the sorts of things people do feed them aren’t good for them at all.  Obviously someone feeds these two because they aren’t shy about asking.  In this case I had brought a couple of Magnum bars across the street for my aunt and uncle and these two seemed to think that I should have shared with them also.  I hear that there is at least one equally pesty wood stork that hangs around and comes close looking for a treat also, but I haven’t run into him so far.  I will try to resist buying any more Magnum bars, even if they are on BOGO this week, because I have personally eaten way more than my fair share.  It would have been nice to have had a more natural setting for these photos, but they will do for having walked across the street and sat in the grass with my iPhone for a few minutes…03-13-19egret103-13-19egret203-13-19egret303-13-19egret4

'scene' along the way, a second look, egrets, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Life on egg shells…

Day-to-day life in my new neighborhood is actually quite convenient.  I’m saying this with one full day here under my belt.  But everything from movies, to car washes, grocery stores, and even our little mall, is right here.  Even Michael’s and JoAnn’s!  And as I’m running errands I’m aware that the little rookery is also right there.  Why wouldn’t I stop?  My cameras are usually with me, along with my tripods (3), and yesterday I bought a three-step step stool specifically for the nice wide steps and the over-all sturdy appearance of the thing.  It will live in the car also, because a short girl never knows when she’ll need a boost.  Or to see over a fence and photograph whatever is on the other side.  Besides, until and unless I tackle the shed there won’t be any other place to put it.  So it was off to the rookery, and I was a little disappointed that there didn’t seem to be much happening.  It looked like siesta time.  And then I spotted chicks in a great white egret nest.  And some in a wood stork nest too.  I know there were more chicks because I could hear them calling for food.  But the decibel level wasn’t what it will be soon, because I realized that all those birds were sitting on eggs.  Not so much nest building going on, just egg-sitting.  02-28-2019egret402-28-2019egret502-28-2019greategret+102-28-2019woodstork102-28-2019woodstork302-28-2019woodstorkbaby It wasn’t all just nativity scenes though.  These two great white egrets seemed to be under attack by this out of place looking anhinga.  It looked as if there was a question of who was going to nest where.  They hadn’t resolved the issue when I left.02-28-2019fighting02-28-2019fighting2

birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, on closer examination, photography, sunrise

An Aripeka morning…

Someone new rode up on a  bicycle when I was at Hammond’s Creek Bridge this morning.  I told him that the last biker who showed up for the sunrise cracked open a Budweiser to drink while he watched the sunrise.  He laughed and said that he was waiting for the bait shop to open so he could get coffee.  Coffee?  Good to know.5-18HDRbaitshop5-18HDRskylightI got home to find a new post-sitter out back, so of course I went out for pictures.  A beautiful Great Egret who posed like a champ, long enough for me to notice the moth/butterfly, a Skipper I think, in the grass at the bottom of my yard.  It was in the weeds really, enjoying the tiny flowers.  I had the big lens in the camera, plus the extender, and this little thing was at least 20 feet away, which let me take it’s photograph.  I never saw one closely enough to see that curly tongue, or proboscis as a cousin’s grandson recently corrected his brother, he’s using to gather pollen is amazing.  Mother Nature is always amazing.

5-18GWE15-18GWE45-18GWE25-18GWE35-18butterfly5-18butterfly45-18butterfly3