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.

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birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, photography

Baby, baby…

Let’s face it, those Wood Stork chicks just aren’t all that cute.  Kinda cute, but somehow they just don’t look cuddly, like babies usually do.  And they came first, at least at the rookery near my house they did.  I got pictures of them, but the lovely, graceful Great Egrets were still rolling their pretty blue eggs all around and then settling down on them again.  I looked forward to those Egret babies though, because I would finally see adorable babies, I thought.  Clearly I was mistaken.4-1egretchick14-1egretchick24-1egretchick3And look who is ever poised at the edge of the swamp, ready to leap into action should one or another of these babies fall out of a nest.  And I don’t think he would be intending on returning them to the nest either…4-1crocinwaiting