'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.

a second look, Amazing artwork, attention to detail, butterflies, Florida landmarks, flowers, fun, gardens, nature, perseverance, photography

Back to the botanical gardens…

Thankfully I still have my desktop computer to use while I figure out the laptop, iPad, and external drive. Which is why I didn’t worry about it and headed to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden yesterday. The first thing to see is the crane carving that is still under construction. It seemed more detailed to me, but while I was taking pictures I was hearing some loud chattering in the nearby trees. It sounded like I was being scolded, and I had to hunt before I saw who was unhappy with me. You can see him too, that’s the squirrel in the feature photo. Maybe the tree that is being carved into the statue used to be his home.

I hope they will be able to take down this yellow tape eventually, though I’d hate to see the statue damaged.
I haven’t caught a pagoda flower in it’s full glory for a while. I thought they were a particular favorite of the butterflies, but not that day.
Butterflies were in abundance though.
They didn’t pose for photos very often though.
I love these tiny purple flowers on the stalk of the plant. This moth seemed to like them too.
I know we were disappointed to not see more waterfalls while we were away last month, but the waterfall in the botanical garden seemed to be extra pretty yesterday.
a second look, adventure, birds, facing facts, fantasy images, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, just imagine, making memories, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, technology

BooTampa!

They were preparing for Halloween at the zoo the day we were there. And it was toddler day, which explains all the little kids owe saw…

Spooky garden scene for the kids.
Even spookier.
Dr. Hoo Doo.
Big blue spider
And now this. Mask or no mask?
Colobus monkey costumes?
Whoever they are they are enjoying the view.
Who would fit into an elephant costume except another elephant.
Definitely a mask!
Most colorful costume prize winner.
Really Riplee.
His antics were so cute.
I forget the full name of these guys, but Schmidt is in there somewhere.
My only shot from the safari ride around the zoo.
Just a nice flower, with a teeny tiny bee in the center,

Lightroom has added some powerful new features in this week’s update. Our Photo guru is planning on teaching a class to show us what’s available and what we can do with these new features. I will be stuck until then though because I uploaded the file but now I’ve lost Lightroom all together. These are photos I had worked on before. I haven’t resorted to total panic, yet…

a second look, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, kids, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Catching up with Riplee…

The other day it dawned on me that it’s been quite a while since I checked up on Riplee. You remember him, the baby orangutan who was born last November 15th, so he is nearly a year old. I think that each time I’ve been back to ZooTampa I’ve hoped to see him displaying his own baby-orangutan self, but up until yesterday each visit had him still in his mother’s arms. The infancy lasts longer than I might have thought. But this visit, I hoped, would be different. And it was.

We arrived early enough to catch the orangutans enjoying heads of romaine, and slim branches covered in tasty leaves. As evidenced by the enthusiasm they displayed.
At first glance Riplee seemed to be coming in second to the head of romaine his mother, DeeDee, held. You can probably guess that I took pictures almost constantly once Dee Dee turned around and I could see the baby, but it was hard to get one that showed his face at that point.

After taking many, many pictures we decided to walk through the rest of the zoo to see what we could see, but when we returned we found that Dee Dee and her mother were sitting side by side up on a large post with their backs to us. Riplee was between them, holding onto two ropes and appearing to be wishing to climb them. Now this was the sort of photo I’d been hoping for the last few times I’d been to the zoo.

It was so exciting to see him on his own, so to speak. The only thing was that once I looked at my pictures in the computer I realized that Riplee’s poses were not modest, not a bit. I wasn’t sure which photos to use on social media in that circumstance, but lucky for me I had so many that I was able to find some that were cute and also preserved his dignity.
He not only wanted to climb the ropes, he also seemed to be willing to taste them too.
He climbed ever higher, while his mother, by all indications, paid no attention. It shouldn’t have been surprising since n their native Borneo their name means’ tree people’, because they live most of their lives in the tree canopy above them.
Somehow he found things to taste as he climbed.
Eventually he reached the tippy-top, and suddenly there was mom, who took charge and got him down.

This little guy will be so much fun to continue to visit. If orangutans hadn’t already been a favorite of mine they certainly would be now.

adventure, Amazing artwork, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, hockey, perseverance, photography

Amalie Arena…

My first trip to Amalie Arena was on Thursday night, and the occasion was the first preseason game of the year. My tour guide told me that there would be murals, and we looked for them before the game started. And the statues. And we people-watched and had a beer at the Cigar City Brewing Company while we waited to go in. It was a fun place to kill time.

Phil Esposito. I remembered the name, much to my friend’s surprise, but I had no idea that he was responsible for bringing hockey to Tampa.
The cup, of course.
I was told that ordinarily the area outside the arena would be packed with people. It was pleasantly busy while we enjoyed a beer.
They honor their players well here.
I liked these murals also.
The caption of the team.
When my friend saw the hockey bag he knew that this kid would be the one to skate around the arena to rev up the crowd before the first puck drop. So I got behind a plant and took a picture.
The Lightning Bug, beating the drum to count down the seconds until the doors opened and the season began.
Championship flags…
And here’s our skater, doing a good job of getting the crowd excited.
And this little cutie pushed the button for the first puck drop.

I enjoyed the whole experience. The music they played, the fans dancing in their seats, all shown on the Jumbotron. It probably is something that all the arenas do to entertain their crowds, but it was all new to me and I had fun. It would have been better if the Lightning had won the game, but they didn’t.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, finding my way, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, unintended images

And then there is the distillery…

When we arrived at Chassowitzka the other day we stopped at the station to check in and find out if we did or did not have to pay to enter the park. We didn’t, being over 65, in our case way over. But the real reason I was happy that we had stopped was because the ranger asked if we had ever been to the distillery in the park. No, we hadn’t, and once my friend heard that word ‘distillery’, and we didn’t know the park so we were wandering anyhow, we found ourselves following the signs for NJoy. And what a fun surprise it was to find this place after becoming convinced that we had somehow lost our way more than once. If you go keep driving, there will be another sign eventually.

We found a nice brick pathway to draw us in.
This butt-shot view was chosen to eliminate cars from the background. In case you wondered.
Conveniently placed near the entrance is this out house, complete with light switch.
Just to our right we couldn’t help but notice the outdoor bar area.
But the actual distillery caught our eye, with it’s working water wheel.
The coloring on this donkey, (it is a donkey, right?), caught my eye, but he wasn’t interested in posing for a picture.
There were horses and cows in the pasture.
And a pig just outside the distillery itself.
And a charming pond to sit by and enjoy the view.
Perhaps we will have to return for this event.

I had already decided that this could make a great venue for a party of any kind. There was lots of seating, a giant fire pit, and the bar of course. If private parties are allowed, I didn’t ask. Tours are offered all day long when it’s open, which is weekends only, and while we didn’t take the tour or even sit at the bar and have a beer this time, we might just correct that oversight when we return. Hours later my friend was still marveling over the idea that back in the woods, and I mean way back in the woods, you could find such an oasis waiting for you.