birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, life, nature, Osprey, photography, sunset

More from Honeymoon Island…

It was a little like watching a horror movie.  A front row seat, so to speak, for blood, guts, and gore, and you couldn’t look away.  Because it was all taking place in full view, lit perfectly, and you were watching through your 600mm lens with extender attached!  An Osprey landed in a tree with a fish in it’s talons.  Another photographer announced his arrival, and we all turned our attention to this latest development.  As I watched they said that he would eat the head and eyes first, and then bring the rest to the nest.  While nice clear shots is what I’m usually looking for, this was Mother Nature at it’s most brutal.  They were right, and I have photos, but I’ll spare you.

3-14Osprey13-14Osprey23-15osprey3.jpgAbout this time we returned to the Nature Center where we hoped that low tide would have brought lots of birds there to wade and eat.  There were only two however, a Great Egret and a Great Blue Heron.

3-14Great Blue3-14Greategret

So it was off to the Dunedin Causeway to finish off the evening with the sunset and then head for home.  Another destination to enjoy here in paradise…


donuts, Florida landmarks, food, fun, go with the flow, pastries, photography, silliness

The Florida Strawberry Festival…

That I”m a rookie at this photography stuff came home to me again when I realized that I had taken a lot of pictures at the strawberry festival yesterday, but never took one of the actual strawberry shortcake.  I had wondered if I would come away with nothing but pictures of mounds of whipped cream and strawberries, and came away with none.  I wonder if Sunday afternoon might be the biggest crowd of the entire week, but I found myself sucked into a vortex and just snapped photos as the crowd swept me along.  If it’s shortcake you are looking for then you’ll have to get down there yourself, it runs through the 11th…



I found the charm I was looking for in the exhibition hall where they displayed their winning cakes, horticulture, quilts, and lots more.  A large display case held images of all the strawberry queens over the years, but I was a little disappointed that 1948, my birth year, wasn’t represented.  But then I saw that she was in a featured showcase of her own.



Maybe it’s the fact that I pack donuts for a living, but the donut burger caught my eye.  You always hear about crazy fair food, and I was excited to take this picture because it was early on and I expected to take lots of photos of food, but this and the elephant ears were my only food photos.  And I was obnoxious and told the woman that that’s not what we call elephant ears at Publix.  She said that hers were ‘authentic’.donutburgerelephantearI purposely wanted to go to this event alone, as I do most of the time when I’m wanting to take pictures, because I think I’ll drive another person nuts with my photo taking.  But I think that with another person’s perspective my visit might have been even more fun.  So grab a friend and go, but try not to miss the strawberry shortcake!

Florida landmarks, food, friends, fun, Jenkin's Creek, moments, nature, photography

Swampfest 2018

This weekend is the 25th anniversary of Swampfest, and my first Swampfest ever.  It is held at Linda Pedersen Park, which is right across the street from Jenkin’s Creek, so not far at all from home.  It began as a fundraiser for our local businesses and community organizations, but it has grown into an event that draws a big crowd from the surrounding area.  The funds raised go back into the community, a worthy cause.

I enjoyed the vendors’s colorful booths…

There was lots of food to choose from (but I was good, except for the strawberry shortcake for breakfast)…

Had nice nice chat with a photographer working on her degree…3-3photographerThis gentleman asked me what I was going to take a picture of, and I said, “You!”  And I did.3-3you

The entertainment was provided by Actual Bank Robbers and they were very good.  I don’t know what it says about them that they played songs I knew and liked, but everyone seemed to be enjoying their music.  Google them to find out where they are appearing, I think you’ll like them.3-3bandDid I mention the Swamp Monster Contest?  The gals looked great, but that little guy stole the show, and came away with third prize of $25, causing him to dance around yelling that he had dollars.  The gal in blue won first place.3-3monsters3-3littlemonster

But on any given day a visit to this park is worthwhile.  Nature at it’s finest.  The observation tower is newly reopened after a fire, so of course I went up.  Aside from the power lines it gives you a very nice view of Jenkin’s Creek and the fishing pier.  I was excited to go there for the sunset one night when I first heard about it, but no one had mentioned the power lines in the way.  No eagles flying today.

3-3swamp23-3tower3-3Jenkin's Creek

birds, eagles, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, go with the flow, Jenkin's Creek, perseverance, photography, sunrise, unintended images

Lost opportunities…

I told myself to go out for the sunrise.  I had finished the coffee, caught up with Facebook, and there was still time to head out.  I had seen stars out there when I let the dogs out, so it wasn’t overcast.  But as I made my first turn I spotted the moon, big and round but very low in the sky, with wispy clouds over the face.  Now I had a different plan, skipped the turn to Bayport and headed for Hammonds Creek bridge, simply because it was closer.  I felt like I was racing to get there before the moment had passed.  And I thought it had because I hadn’t seen the moon again, so I made the turn to Jenkin’s Creek, just a little further.  And in the last stretch of road I saw the moon again, just as it sank into the low clouds.  They talk about lost opportunities at work, but they are talking about sales of products, but these are the lost opportunities that drive me nuts.

The colors of the sky were pretty, but the sunrise would have been prettier at either of my other options this morning, and I was mad at myself.  And then I noticed two shapes in the dead tree across the inlet.  I didn’t even hurry, sure they would turn out to be vultures.  It wasn’t until I moved the car across the parking lot, set up the tripod, and finally looked through the zoom lens that I saw they were eagles.  I took pictures as they looked left, then right, in unison, and just as I was about to leave I thought I saw one ‘defecate’.  That was the polite term that Jeff, guru of the photo group, used when he said that you must know bird behavior.  They lighten the load just before they fly, he said.  So I backed the zoom off a little bit to give myself some room, and off he took!  3-1eagle83-1eagle73-1eagle53-1eagle43-1eagle33-1eagle23-1eagle1I’ll be looking for that moon tomorrow…


adventure, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, learning, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

And they’re off…

They say that the third time’s a charm, and I wouldn’t argue with that.  Three times I signed up to go to Tampa Bay Downs with the photo group, and twice something came up and I had to cancel.  But not yesterday, and for that I’m grateful.  Not only was it a great day weather-wise, but I really enjoyed the friendly group that gathered to watch, and photograph, the races.  We had several press passes to share amongst us, and those passes allowed us each to have a turn at taking photos from the inside rail.  It quickly became apparent to me what an advantage that really was.  All the useable racing photos that I got yesterday were taken while I was having my turn at the inside rail.  And they were taken after talking with the other group members and adjusting my camera settings accordingly.  I would have loved to have stayed longer but I was feeling sorry for the dogs back at home, and had an hour’s drive ahead of me…2-24horses12-24horses22-24race2-24races32-24races52-24races42-24horsesfeatureAnd, of course, I walked in the door and they looked at me as if to say, “Oh, are you home already?”

birds, Cranes, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, photography

Would you believe…

… that this is the latest creature that I spotted in the lake out back? I hope not.  Nope, meet Lu, an honorary Floridian who lives at Homosassa Springs Wildlife park.  When the state took over the park in 1989 the exotic animals were all sent to new homes, but a public outcry to keep Lu resulted in his change of status, and he will live out his days in the park.  Along with quite a few varieties of Florida wildlife.  I’ve heard of some of these birds being photographed at other birding sites, but I haven’t seen most of these in the wild.  Or not so far.  But now I’ll have to make it a point to visit as many of the Florida State parks as possible, with my new yearly pass.  Who knows what I’ll find, but I’ll bet that I won’t find another Hippopotamus.2-18Homosassasprings

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Green heron
Northern Crested Caracara, a bird of prey who is both sluggish and a scavenger


White pelican, and no I don’t know what that protrusion is on his bill and google didn’t tell me


Whooping Crane, who come by their name honestly
Pelican Island, there was a power struggle going on
On the boat ride to the park