a second look, eagles, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Away in an eagle nest…

I had heard that the eagles were now sitting eggs, and that meant that there was always going to be an eagle on the nest.  So heading over there one more time became my priority on Sunday.  Only it took quite a while to see an eagle.  The new nest seems to be tipped away from our vantage point on the street, so you can’t see into it, but the weather was windy but perfect so I waited, and after a while I saw a head pop up for a second.  And I waited some more.  Then then I saw one make a circle in the sky and I was focused on the nest where I expected him to go, but he landed in a nearby tree.  I heard the other one call a few times, but the new arrival sat on his branch.  I began to wonder if that was all that I was going to see, but then he flew to the nest tree and I got to see the changing of the guard.  As we have seen them do before they both sit on a branch and seem to have a chat for a bit, then the new eagle took over the nest, and the other one flew off to hunt.  I was probably there about two hours, a lot of that time was spent crouched, squinting into the view finder, and with my finger on the button.  I wanted to catch one of them in flight.  Or one of them bringing in a fish for lunch. Maybe next time…12-2eagles312-2eagles512-2eagles6

backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, neighbors, perseverance, photography, turtles

The interloper…

I heard the ping as a text came in, and discovered that there was a soft-shell turtle in my neighbor’s pool.  So of course I grabbled my camera and headed out the back door.  When my neighbor heard my screen door slam she called for me to help her.  But it was more fun to take pictures.11-26interloper111-26interloperfeature1

He was a speedy little thing.  Catching him looked easy, so Sue’s husband took over and he also found out that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. But he was caught eventually.  I just hope Sue doesn’t have to try to catch anything smaller than him with that net.11-26interloper2These are snapping turtles, see how he has the net?  I’m sure he’d love to chomp on Sue’s finger too.

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11-26interloper4She told me to get ready, that he’d make a bee line for the lake, but that didn’t happen.  It took persuasion to send him on his way.  And one last photo of Wilbur, in case you were wondering how he’s been doing.  Of course things are usually a lot less exciting, but I have loved living next door, having a front row seat so to speak.  Lots of fun without the responsibility.  Sue doesn’t acquire her menagerie, often they are deposited at the doorstep by her daughter, but sometimes they just wander in on their own.  She says I’ll miss all the lakeside drama, and she is right…11-26Wilbur

backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, home, nature, photography

In the backyard…

I will miss my backyard.  Not the mowing, but the wildlife that frequent it.  The activity out there seems to be increasing lately.  When I saw the first Tri-color Heron in a long while I went in for my camera.  They are so pretty, and they flit as they hunt so they usually provide nice action shots.  This one, however, never made it out of the weeds.  Whenever his head popped up out there I thought of all the TV shows of my youth when they declared, “Up periscope.”  But since this one wasn’t up to much I turned my attention to the Little Blue Heron who is always out there.  11-21littleblue11-21littleblue211-21littleblue3He flew in close and I was in hopes of seeing him catch a nice fat frog, but instead he flew off all of a sudden and flushed out a bird I don’t think I’ve ever seen in the back yard.  A Kingfisher, who posed for just a few photos and then flew off.  I loved his hairdo!  11-21kingfisher11-21kingfisher211-21kingfisher3And the last of the backyard visitors that day was this Eastern Phoebe, who thoughtfully landed on a branch in a nice patch of sunshine. Yes, I’ll miss my backyard, but there are photo ops everywhere and places to go and people to meet…11-21phoebe211-21phoebe3

Bayport, birds, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, life goes on, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Taking a break…

This sunrise is from last Sunday, which was the first time I’d been out for one in a few weeks.  It looked quite foggy as I was driving to Bayport, but it cleared when I got to the water.  The Great Blue heron showed up, as he usually does.  And on the way home I swung by Jenkin’s creek to look for an eagle, but only found a Great White Egret. It was a nice break from the endless packing, and moving carloads of things to the new place.  One of these days a date will be set for settlement, and the question in my mind is how much notice will I get?  I need to keep at it…11-19sunrise211-19sunrise311-19sunrise411-19greatblueheron11-19greatwhiteegret

eagles, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Fourth time’s a charm…

Persistence paid off.  After seeing a friend’s photos I knew that the eagles we watched last year were in the process of building a new nest.  Their old nest hadn’t made it through one of the storms we had last year.  Watching them had been very exciting.  We waited for them to lay eggs, and then watched and waited for the eggs to hatch.  That’s when I joined the watchers, perfect timing, I could rely on the fact that every time I visited there was an eagle on the nest.  Sometimes they were hunkered down and you had to wait for a head to pop up, but somebody was always home.  We watchers were quite invested in those two little eaglets once they hatched, so when they disappeared with no explanation it was very sad.    These are the same eagles, but this is a new year, and I struck out the first three times I went by the nest hoping to see them, but there they were this morning.  It was my lucky day! 11-19DukeorDuchess211-19DukeorDuchess111-19DukeorDuchess

a second look, birds, coping, Florida wildlife, home, life goes on, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, progress, technology

Why now?

Why has the urge to write again become so irresistible at this particular moment in time?  I already have too much to do, what with downsizing again, and getting ready to head up north as soon as I can organize myself to hit the road.  I remember when we tried to pin-point when exactly we could see the changes in my MIL that would herald her onset of Alzheimer’s.  And I thought it was the move she made at almost exactly my age.  She was living in an apartment temporarily, and had most of her things stored at her daughter’s house, so when she seemed scattered it was quite understandable.  But she never was quite herself again.  Not that I think I’m diagnosable, but right now I have one foot in my house and the other one out the door, and that seemed like the perfect time to go out and buy the heavy duty tripod and Gimbal head for my camera.  The better to take advantage of my last days of heading out the back door to see what I could see out back.  And in anticipation of the photos of snowy landscapes I see in my future.  In this case I was happy I had invested in the tripod when an Anhinga was the backyard visitor yesterday.  Or was it the day before…11-8anhinga211-8anhinga311-8ibis1The Ibis are out back daily, and in large numbers, so I mostly ignore them.  But this guy caught my eye…