'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, blessings, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, go with the flow, Jenkin's Creek, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, weather

Out of the recliner…

I’ve spent too much time sitting lately. That’s what happens when I find a binge-worthy show, and I have. New Tricks, an older British show about three older cops brought out of retirement to solve cold cases. Quirky and fun, I’ll be sorry to finish the series.

So with no particular destination except the vague notion that since it’s been cold lately then the manatees should be hanging out in our spring-fed, 72 degree year round, waters. So I headed to Linda Pederson Park, by way of Aripeka, and found this cute little historic site what heaven knows how many times I’ve driven past over the last few years. But usually in the dark.

Then it was on to my destination of the three story tower at the park where I did have a nice view of several manatees, but not the family groups that I usually see. I may never have been there on a weekend before because I’ve never noticed so many fishermen lining the banks, and I feared for the manatees but their usual nemesis is boat propellers.

The big surprise was a small bird flying past me as I stood at the top of the tower. I had just enough time to swing my camera up and start shooting because I realized that it was a belted kingfisher and they are rare to see. Not a great image but heck, I’ll take it.

After that it was just the scenery at the park and the birds across the street at Jenkin’s Creek that kept me amused. The park has a paddle trail with a kayak launch area and a sign that says it’s a little over a mile to paddle to Bayport.

This egret has a fish that I never saw until I looked at the photo in the computer.

For a day that started out at 36 degrees it was certainly a wonderful day. Florida’s winter weather is a glorious thing…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, family, Florida wildlife, fun, life, making memories, moments, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Sushi for brunch…

No, sushi wasn’t on the menu at my son’s house yesterday, but it certainly was at Anclote Gulf park on the way home.

I think of them as the three amigos, the single great blue heron, egret, and little blue heron who are usually hanging around together and waiting for handouts from the fishermen. I took a couple of pictures and thought that that would be the end of my photo shoot, when suddenly there was a splash and the three of them took off for the section of beach behind me. I turned to discover that the great blue was first to the fisherman’s offering, and no one challenged him for it.

Another couple was on the pier with me and we wondered if he was going to be able to eat that thing, silly us.

The egret seemed to not be bothered by losing out on lunch.

And then, on the other side of the pier I saw this anhinga with another bit of sushi that it was preparing to eat. He had to catch his lunch all by himself, and then he swam around with it for a couple of minutes, managing to swim into the area of highest reflections from the afternoon sun. I couldn’t see him through my viewfinder but I kept shooting anyhow.

So much excitement for a quick stop for photos. But I was tired so I decided that it was time to head home.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, egrets, finding my way, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Wall Springs Park…

Today I decided that a walk at Wall Springs Park would be a bit more scenic than just a walk around my neighborhood, and it just might include an opportunity to take some photos. It was a sunny but windy day, but hardly something to complain about when so many of my friends and family are snowbound.

I made a stop at the eagle nest both on the way and also on the way home, with no luck. But at the park I heard an osprey calling, and after some looking around I spotted him in a tree.

The butterfly garden at Wall Springs was my last discovery, and then it was on to Anclote Gulf park on the way home.

I get mad at myself when I let a beautiful day go by without getting outside to enjoy it, and aren’t I lucky that there are so many pretty places to go?

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, Cranes, facing facts, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

For the birds…

I have gone out to photograph the eagles and stuck out before, but I can usually count on the nearby Anclote River Park for people, boats, and pelicans. Not yesterday though. There was only a couple of cars in the parking lot which is usually quite full, and with no boaters to toss scraps I guess the birds were off hunting on their own. I did get the image of a bird that I hoped for, it just wasn’t an eagle. No, an osprey was sounding off from a snag above it’s nest, so I was able to get a photo of him.

And low tide at Anclote Gulf Park had some wading birds looking for a snack.

There was a surprise visitor welcoming visitors to Anclote River Park, so I took his picture.

On the way home the Sandhill Cranes were wandering along a retention pond so I stopped to see them. I don’t know why they were such a common sight to see in Spring Hill, but it’s a treat to see them since I moved. As I was looking at these pictures this morning I heard a couple of them calling as they flew over, but they kept going, the calls fading away as they flew.

And here’s the rest of the story, believe it or not. Shortly after I finished writing this post and scheduled it to publish I saw some movement out the window. My desk sits in my Florida room, which is all windows, and working on the computer can be a challenge because I’m facing those windows and the sheers I have hanging on them don’t keep me from struggling to see the screen against the glare of the windows. So through the sheers I saw something walk by, and here’s who came calling.

It is still a rare treat to see them here. But today their timing was impeccable…

'scene' along the way, birds, boats, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things, sky, weather

Green Key…

While I was out yesterday I thought I might stop at Green Key Beach. Maybe it was low tide, maybe there would be some spoonbills wading if it was. And the day was so beautiful, warm, with clear blue skies. Winter in Florida at it’s best.

But the tide was high and I didn’t find the wading birds I hoped to see, but I heard a boat out there, and saw the nice light on the buildings in the distance. With the zoom lens I saw that the boats I though I saw out on the horizon were really structures on stilts.

At the beach I found Ruddy Turnstones, a fun little bird that sort of hops along the shore.

And someone was enjoying a nice splash.

And a lone willet, keeping himself company with his perfect reflection. Nature itself was quite lovely yesterday, it was the people with their noisy boats and loud music that disrupted things.

'scene' along the way, birds, finding my way, Florida wildlife, following the rules, friends, fun, life goes on, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images, weather

Largo Central Park…

We wandered to a park that was new to us last weekend, Largo Central Park. It proved to be a very nice place to walk along the Boardwalk and trail, and I was happy to see a variety of birds present. I hadn’t been seeing them lately so I’m hoping that maybe they are returning to the area. And butterflies, and even fall leaves. Yes, in Florida!

But I think the most fun to see were the river otters. We first saw them across the water on the bank, but then they got into the water and swam to the other side which gave us a much better chance of getting photographs. They looked as if they were having fun, maybe even more fun than we were having just watching them. For some reason I remembered the book “Wind in the Willows”, which we read in the 4th grade as our introduction to reading books without pictures. Most of my memories of childhood seem fuzzy, but I remember that so clearly. Maybe I’ll see if I can find that book at the library…

This is only a first phase of this park, according to the signage there is lots more to come. Nice spot for a walk on a beautiful day…