birds, brainstorms, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, Uncategorized

At the Venice Rookery…

Procrastination is one of my best talents. It was when I was a kid, and it’s still with me all these years later. As a matter of fact I have two phone calls I need to make, and I ought to be packing for a trip I have coming up. But at this moment I’m lamenting the trip to the Venice Rookery that I’ve been talking about taking for weeks but only got around to going there yesterday. The Great Blue Heron babies bobbing their heads weren’t there, as I’d promised my friend, though the great egrets and anhingas were raising a ruckus. A little mockingbird flew by and landed on a fence, giving me a nice feature photo. But I confess that I was disappointed when another photographer told me that the great blue babies had fledged the nests. But we began to take pictures of the birds that were there.

These anhingas were keeping busy high up on this snag.
Although you might think these are grown up great egrets, they are still babies who looked as if they were going to take off flying any second.
These two anhinga ‘kids’ looked like they might tie their necks in a knot as they bobbed and weaved. Their neck pouches were fluttering the whole time, I’m told that’s how they keep cool. The day was hot, but breezy, so we were comfortable as we ate our picnic lunch in the shade.
This great egret wading on the nearby shore caught my eye, and it soon became evident that he caught himself a nice fish for lunch.

As I walked to the car to get our lunch I noticed a great blue heron flying towards the rookery. She landed on the very top of the shrubbery, and, much to our surprise, up popped two ‘babies’ who were very happy to see her. We hadn’t been aware of them at all, and if we had been I probably would have thought they were adults, they were that big.

Mom must have brought back a fish for her babies.
It looked to me as if this baby is going to down the fish in one gulp. Mom will have to go fishing again if his sibling is going to eat.
I guess we need to fluff up a bit after that excitement.
I liked the depth of field in this photo.
Someone looks like he wants to go with Mom.

Soon it was time to go. What started out a bit disappointing had turned out to be a fun day. Mother Nature is like that.

Thank you to joannie6535 for reminding me of where I actually was yesterday.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, black and white, egrets, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Details…

A couple of weeks ago one of the photo club members was at Myakka River State Park and saw a flock of Roseate Spoonbills fly in. “A hundred”, he said. His pictures were amazing, and ever since then ‘Spoonies’ have been on my mind. A very fun Octoberfest party in Myakka City was just the excuse we needed to head to the park ourselves. We went this morning, and after driving the whole park it became obvious that if I was going to get any sort of pictures of the spoonies I was going to have to walk a very wet and squishy path. But I was happy to see them at least. When I got into the car and looked at my pictures I lamented that the turkey vultures had photo bombed the pictures. Earlier in the day I had said that I’m not a detail person, and when I got the pictures into the computer I saw who else had photo bombed the pictures and proved my point. How did I miss that alligator, and why did all the birds just hang around with him?

They did at least keep their eye on that big boy.
These were the most spoonies I’ve seen so far so I’m happy.
I saw this cute guy from the bird boardwalk.
Merlin says it’s a black necked stilt.
I always loved to see the tri-color heron who visited my back yard in Spring Hill.
We saw lots of wood storks and ibis too.
This is a pretty park.

There are many parks within a couple of hours of home that we can go to see birds now that the migration season is upon us.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, egrets, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron

A new favorite rookery…

There’s a new rookery in town. Or, more correctly, a rookery that I’ve been hearing about but it’s taken me too long to try and find it. But the other day we went looking and discovered a lovely spot with easy access, and, best of all, we didn’t have to shoot over a fence to see the birds. The babies are mostly grown now, so I have made a mental note to go back in the spring to see the babies at their cutest.

Judging by the feathers on his head this is a young tricolor heron.
Woodstorks were providing the most action.
It gives new meaning to the term ‘bad hair day’.
Young egret siblings were feeling their oats.
This tricolor was sounding off the whole time we were there.
Really, he was!
I think he was playing king of the hill.
This nest had the most action going on, but we couldn’t see what was happening.

It’s always fun to find a new place to go take pictures, and this one is close enough to be able to drop in to see what’s happening when the timing is better. In the meantime there are lots more places for us to go and find new and different things to see.

a second look, adventure, egrets, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

In search of Fred…

This morning I went out in search of my one-footed, blue-feathered, boyfriend Fred. He let me down though, he failed to show up. When I saw this egret coming in for a landing I got excited for a second, but nope, not him. She did fly off in the direction of the house where Fred is treated to breakfast though, in the far right of the feature photo. Maybe Fred has a new girlfriend. Maybe my imagination has gotten the best of me.

'scene' along the way, adventure, egrets, exploring new places, finding my way, Florida landmarks, gardens, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

A walk in St. Augustine…

Did I say a walk? It was nearly a sprint, maybe a trot. My cousin is fast! But we had a lot of territory to cover in one morning, or so I thought. As it turned out we parked the car and then were able to walk to the Lightner Museum, Flagler College, the charming shopping area, the fort, and the Bridge of Lions. Great restaurants and coffee shops were pointed out to me as we walked. This is a great place to visit. Even the lighthouse was pretty darned close by. What more could you possibly ask for?

This building housed the former Hotel Ponce de Leon, and now houses Flagler College.
The stained glass and mosaics of the interior design were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
An egret with a fish will always catch my attention. But he let his catch go, alas, too late for the fish to survive.
The Lightner Museum is located across the street from Flagler College.
These are very impressive buildings and garden settings.
I will always love to look at a scene through an arch.
I saw photographers taking their time, setting up their tripods, while I zoomed along. Next time!
Shooting on the fly is my excuse for cutting off the sign.
A walk through the lobby.
Also found in the narrow shopping streets.
Lots of alleyways to explore.
Such pretty flowers.
Street photography.
The Castillo De San Marcos is the oldest fort in the continental United States. I zoomed past. Further exploration to come another day.
The Bridge of Lions, aptly named for these two who guard the entrance.
I have to go back.
'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, fun, live and learn, natural wonders, nature, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Mistaken identity…

I got a little carried away with the wood stork chicks at the rookery the other day. I do think they are cute, in an a ‘face only a mother could love’ sort of way. Plus they were really the only game in town. They are always earlier than the egrets, but I did expect to see a few egret chicks by now, but I didn’t see any. I asked another family that was watching if they had seen the alligator, and the dad answered that yes, he had seen one. What followed was a comedy of errors as they, the father, grandfather, and young granddaughter who was manning the binoculars, began to spot alligator after alligator. Or so they said. I on the other had spotted none, but that didn’t stop me from shooting in the general the direction of where they were pointing. Eventually I did hear the dad suggest that what they were seeing might be soft shell turtles. My feature photo seems to have proved him correct.

Yes, the lovely egrets were present, but without a busy nest of chicks to tend. Not so far at least.