'scene' along the way, adventure, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, leap of faith, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Weekiwachee Preserve…

At the end of the day my phone app showed the least distance walked today of any of us. Just under 5 miles. We walked the trails and then weren’t sure whether to turn around and retrace our steps or continue the loop around the lake, not knowing exactly how far that walk would be. Our phones showed a series of small lakes, and it was tempting to try a ‘short cut’, and to continue the loop looked like it was going to be a very long way. If I had known it was only going to be five miles I wouldn’t have worried. Shade on the trail would have been nice also, but there was a breeze and yes, Florida has cooled off somewhat.

The big surprise of the day was when two young bucks chased each other across the road and proceeded to battle with each other for a minute, and then they dashed back into the woods. What an unexpected treat that was to see.

Zoomed and cropped to the max, but at least we can see them.
Bees aren’t so common to see lately.
Butterflies were scarce also.
I was reminded of the Tetons when I saw this cloud.
Egrets are so common to see, but their elegance is hard to resist.
On you walk, with no idea where the trail will lead you.
We stuck to the main trail, mostly to avoid ticks.
It seems likely that there were gators around, somewhere.
What a handsome boy he is.
Not all reflections are in the water!

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, boats, Florida wildlife, following the rules, friends, fun, gardens, nature, Osprey, perseverance, photography, simple things, Uncategorized, weather

Advanced composition…

That was the name of the class that my friend and I attended today, It was a wonderful class and we stopped on the way home to take pictures. I’d like to say that I tried to apply some of what I learned in the class to the photos I was taking, because you are supposed to visualize the photo you want ahead of time and then make it happen. Beginners ‘spray and pray’, which means you take a zillion pictures and hope you get a good one. I confess, I’m guilty of that. But we had fun today, and practice makes perfect, or so I’m told. I tried to whip them into shape through cropping, at least to some extent.

A long, interesting stem with tiny flowers on the end.
Bugs, because they were there.
Halloween colors on the bugs.
We got caught in the rain, but that didn’t stop us.
Gnomes on the brain again. I thought that looked like a gnome door at the playground.
Magnificent live oak at Hammock Park.
On to Anclote Gulf Park where this cute fishy was caught, but then released. Betty’s detective work came up with the name Scrawled Cowfish.
This great blue heron is looking out of the frame so it’s not a good picture, but I liked the rocks.
An ever-present osprey on the hunt.
Great blue again, but with some repeating pattern…
A tricolor heron in the weeds…
Welcome to Hammock Park. Gotta love the boots.
A water feature, of sorts.
This great blue appears to have a wound to his wing, here’s hoping he can fly.
You have to drive in through a marina to find Miss Vicki’s where we had lunch. Seems that Yamaha has a lock on those outboard motors.
I missed this picture the other day. This little blue heron has a frog he was about to eat. Life just isn’t a Disney movie, as much as I might wish it was.

We got rained on while we were taking pictures at Hammock Park, but we were luckier while we had lunch outdoors by the water. What a nice day…

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, dragonflies, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, moments, nature, perseverance, photography

At John Chestnut park…

An early morning errand brought me almost to John Chestnut park, so of course I dropped by to see what I might see. I found lots of dog walkers, a few photographers, joggers pushing baby carriages, and more. Wait, let me show you…

There were deer along the road as I drove into the park, and some very cooperative dragonflies along the boardwalk.

.

Sunbathers…

Many adorable birds thanks to the sunflower seeds that someone had left along the way. And squirrels of course, always squirrels.

Wildlife of another variety entirely…

I heard him pecking, so I stuck around until I spotted him. This was my first photo shoot with a pileated woodpecker, who paid no attention to me at all. He gathered a small crowd before he finally flew away.

I have spent probably too much time lately coloring in a fun book that features gnomes. Maybe that’s why these cypress knees looked to me like a mysterious gathering of gnomes in the woods.

Of all the activities I saw going on in the park I think I liked this one the best. A woman taking a moment to rest and enjoy the view.

'scene' along the way, a second look, Bayport, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, moments, perseverance, photography, sky, sunrise, Up and at 'em

I still love Bayport…

I went back to Bayport again already, and I had a fun time shooting. There was enough of a pretty sunrise to make me happy, plus a great blue heron dropped in on the fishing pier, probably looking for treats from the fishermen. When I was heading here frequently for the sunrise I came to expect a great blue to show up before I left. We may not have been able to go to the park for several years, but the great blue was probably there every day, enjoying himself without us. I love to see the boats leaving from the boat dock, creating photo ops for me. Yes, a fun day. But then I got home and looked at my photos and they all looked too dark, I almost didn’t even attempt to edit them. I’m glad I didn’t give up because when they were merged into HDR they looked a lot better.

There was another unexpected sight that made me smile that morning. One last boat that was heading out for the day with a dog onboard, and boy did he look as if he was going to have a great time. Lucky dog!

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, moments, moon, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, simple things, sky, sunrise

A friendly sunrise…

I was looking at the maps in my phone the other morning, looking for yet another good spot to go to go for sunrise photos. Another close to home spot preferably. And I found a possibility, but unfortunately I missed the turn in the dark so I opted for Green Key Beach instead. Well, not the beach because the gates aren’t open early enough to get all the way to the beach, but I pulled over on the road to the beach. And that was a good thing. Not because the noseeums weren’t out because they were. And from that road you don’t have an especially good view to the east either. But it was low tide and there was a rocky foreground which always helps make a nice shot. And as I stood there with my camera on the tripod waiting to see if the color was going to develop I heard footsteps. It was dark enough that I couldn’t see anyone, but I heard her say hello. Lynn was her name, and we chatted as we watched. She comes there often and says that she sometimes sits and waits across the street and often lots of birds show up in the inlet there right around sunrise. Lots of different birds she said. Including, much to my surprise, spoonbills. And right on cue she noticed that the wading birds we were seeing down the way included a spoonbill or two. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have noticed them myself since they were in the shadows. But even though the pictures aren’t the best I can at least prove that yes, they were there. As it got lighter they flew off. This will be another frequent stop for me, I hope I see them again.

This black crowned heron was also in the mix, as was a pretty full moon.

'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, simple things, sunrise, Up and at 'em

A good day…

Sunrise at the mountains? No, but I do love the clouds that could convince me that there’s a mountain range in the distance. And that’s as much color as there was this morning. These are the sunrises that remind me to stick close to home when it comes to sunrise and sunset photo ops. I’m glad I didn’t drive an hour this morning, or maybe it was a prettier sunrise further south. And when I do choose to drive then make a plan to meet friends there so it’ll be fun one way or another.

But that wasn’t my only trip out this morning. A visit to the Chrysler dealer for an oil change put me close enough to the eagle nest that I couldn’t resist looking for them again. And again the eagles were nowhere to be seen. But I was luckier when I headed to the fishing pier to see what I could see.

I believe that that’s a dragonfly on this little blue heron.

I was on the way to my car when I stopped to take the picture of the gull in the sun. But a fisherman came past and asked if I’d gotten a picture of the manatee that was hanging around the fishing pier. The answer to that was no, I had missed that completely. It was a gorgeous day, cool but windy, which made the water choppy and I had to wonder how anyone had noticed the manatee. She had a calf with her too, or so he said. I went back and barely caught her snout as she came up for air for just a second or two. But hey, I saw her, and managed to catch that snout in one of the 20 or so pictures that I took. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make a good day.