When our visitor visits Florida she likes having a drink while over- looking the water, and if there are boats in the scene that’s a plus too. Which explains how we wound up having lunch on the boardwalk at John’s Pass on Sunday. We stopped to see the scenery when we first arrived and found lots of birds near the pier where people were gutting newly caught fish and tossing the trimmings to the milling pelicans below. Among a few other scavengers.
When you go through your photos after a photo shoot to the race track, and you see a shot like the feature photo, you can toss it, or you can pretend you meant to take that shot and use it as your feature photo. I have wondered what a shot of just the horses hooves would look like, I kind of like it.
We met a couple of new people who joined us for this last Tampa Bay Downs photo shoot of the season yesterday, on a day I might have expected to be sweltering, but was breezy and enough clouds to take the curse off. We had a nice session with them.
I usually want to take a shot of the finish line at least once per visit. This time it was a turf race so they were behind the finish line. So I scrolled my pictures one by one, in order, and saw the lead horse cross the finish line all alone. Next came a pack of horses, each trying to nose each other out. Then as the last of the tails of the pack of horses was disappearing I saw horse number 7 come into view, finishing many lengths behind. Which is when an old song my mother used to sing when I was very little came to mind. If you are as old as me maybe you know it. It’s about Horace the horse on the merry-go-round who is sad since he figured out that he’s the very last horse on the merry-go-round. But it continues…
“Then one day, Horace turned, looked around, then said gosh oh gee. I’m the very first horse on the merry-go-round, all the others are a-following me!”
And Number 7 wasn’t last as it turned out. Number 7 left the frame as I clicked on the last of my pictures, but then horse #3 came into view bringing up the rear. Was his hame Horace? Poor thing was so far behind…
We were promised a weekend of perfect weather and that came true, but with spring break in full swing, an AirFest at McDill AFB for the first time in a couple of years, plus a Pride Parade, all happening in downtown Tampa on Saturday, we were worried about traffic. So we wimped out and the Florida Botanical Garden was our destination yesterday. There weren’t so many flowers, but the scenery was pretty.
Maybe my title of Much Ados in the Gardens should have read much ‘I dos.’ As things do tend to happen, you just never know exactly what you’ll get when you head out to go shooting. So just keep heading out the door, and be sure to take your camera.
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.
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.
I learned a few things about orangutans yesterday. First of all my dear friend gave me a heads up about a series on National Geographic called ‘Secrets of ZooTampa’. She had watched an episode about orangutans which included footage of Randee giving birth to little Riplee, I saw that message as we were heading out the door to go to a photo shoot with our group, to the zoo! Then a chatty little girl at the zoo told me about another episode, and at lunch after the shoot yet another mention of that series came up in the group. Since I can take a hint, we found the episode last night and watched it. For someone who was so excited to see that baby orangutan I’m ashamed to say that I was completely in the dark about that series. And the take away from the episode was that in the wild orangutans are solitary creatures. The fact that they live together at the zoo, nine of them, grandmothers, daughters, and grandchildren, plus the resident male, is unusual. Their interactions with each other is wonderful to watch, so the idea that they would live solitary lives in the wild seemed sad somehow. All this being said, I took more pictures of the orangutans yesterday than anything else, as usual. And there was still another surprise in store also.
I promised another surprise, didn’t I? Another of the young adult orangutans gave birth about a month ago, a fact that had escaped my notice completely. Apparently this event happened during the day and was witnessed by the zoo-goers who happened to be there. What a photo op that would have been.
Evidently I will have many more days of enjoying the baby orangutans ahead of me. What a nice surprise it was to see this new addition. And if Riplee was #9, then we now have 10 orangutans at ZooTampa.
I have to wonder if the gator in the feature photo looks so amused because he startled me when I glanced to my right and saw him there, only 30 feet or so away. We were on what I’ll have to call the far side of Circle B, heading for the Eagle Roost, though we never saw an eagle nest. There were no other people around, just the trail with water on both sides. Even the oak trees were missing. Somehow seeing this gator in this setting felt more alarming to me. And I was quite sure that he would have no trouble outrunning my electric tricycle with a top speed of 12 mph, if he wanted to. But he just stayed put, looking smug. Having the trike and scooter meant that we covered a lot of trails at Circle B that we hadn’t seen before. And I pedaled almost the whole way, which is what I promised myself when I got the trike. Of course we hoped to see the more elusive wildlife that people seem to see when they visit. I think our timing was off, we need to visit earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. The most abundant wildlife we saw while we were there were the bus loads of students on a field trip. With their clipboards and assignment sheets to fill out they were a lively bunch. I wonder if they had as much fun as we did.
I wonder how many photo ops we missed since we had to watch the trail for roots, not to mention walkers and photographers. But it was a fun way to spend yet another beautiful Florida day.