'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, brainstorms, connections, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, weather

It was beach-y…

,With day after day of rain, and a potential tropical storm ready to make landfall in a couple of days, I thought I’d lose my mind if I didn’t get out and go somewhere. To the beach, I thought. Dramatic clouds at the beach could be nice, especially when you are desperate. But then we remembered that the Skimmer chicks might be seen at the beach, so off we went with that vague notion and yet we managed to find them. It was a beautiful day, so unexpected, and with a great photo op to boot.

Skimmers on the beach. This row of adults will attract the babies when they are old enough, and thus they will learn to fly and fish for their dinner.
The nesting area is cordoned off, and a helpful volunteer gave us the run down on the nests. Which are just depressions in the sand where they lay their eggs, but in a spot vulnerable to people as well as predators.
Someone is looking for mommy.
And looking some more.
Found her.
Sounding off.
And a black crowned night heron at the sanctuary.
This eagle lives at the sanctuary also.
And a resident White Pelican.

The skimmer chicks will be susceptible to the storm, so we have to hope that it doesn’t hit with a lot of force when it gets here. Let’s all cross our fingers…

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, bucket list, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, front yard visitors, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Wishful thinking…

There is a consistency to my vague desire to find the perfect place to live these days. Aside from the basic affordability, the most important, and unobtainable, wished-for aspect, I want built-in photo ops on my doorstep. With that in mind downtown Lakeland might be just the spot for me.

Who wouldn’t love to have this park right outside their front door?
Each year they have an event where they capture, band, and give veterinary check -ups to the resident swans at the lake. TV coverage of the event this year was how I knew the swans were even there.
While swans are always lovely, I don’t know if I would have wanted to stop here on our way home, very loosely ‘on our way home’, were it not for knowing that they had black swans here. Now seeing them was worth the extra mileage.
These were a treat to see.
A youngster perhaps, judging by the lighter feathers?
I think that this one was preparing to audition for Swan Lake.
And a snowy egret in her golden slippers. She didn’t seem to mind being out numbered by her bigger feathered friends.

Birds do seem to dominate the Florida photo-op scene, don’t they? I’m lucky to live here where affordability is at least possible. Not to mention the photo ops.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, dragonflies, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, life goes on, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, weather

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive…

Years ago a friend had lived in the vicinity of Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive but had never visited the area, so we decided to correct that oversight yesterday. You might think that such an overcast day wouldn’t have been the best day to go, but we weren’t baking in the sun plus there was a great breeze, so it turned out to be a perfect day.

The terrain is flat, and there is no relief from the sun.
There are lots of ways to enjoy the area.
We were in and out of the car as we stopped for pictures while we made our way around the loop.
You might have guessed that alligators would be plentiful there.
Dragonflies were plentiful too, but they didn’t stop long at all.
And the graceful egrets were in attendance.
There were egrets around every bend in the road.
Red-winged blackbirds aren’t so easily spotted, so I was pleased to get a photo.
Great blue herons were well represented also.
We stopped for lunch at a conveniently placed picnic area. Others preferred sushi.
This female grackle watched over the action.
Aside from this squabble it was a nice, peaceful day out in nature after several days of rainy weather.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, nesting, Owls, perseverance, photography, road trip

In search of the burrowing owls…

Ridiculously cropped from my first photo of the day. Now it’s all gravy for the rest of the shoot.
When they aren’t nice enough to be up on a stake keep looking…
Sometimes they are two by two…
And if you see four at once you might choose to backtrack and shoot lots of pictures.
But keep shooting…
And then there were three.
Such a serious look.
One foot at a time.
'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.