'scene' along the way, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, photography

Catching up…

…with the cranes.  I have been seeing the crane family, now a family of three, around the neighborhood since I’ve been home.  And they come back to the lake at night some of the time, but not always.  But as I come and go I see them on lawns all around the area.  They are more easily visible than last year’s family was.  This morning I had to stop for iPhone photos because while it’s not unusual to see them, it is unusual to see them dancing!

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

Don’t take it personally…

Or at least I try not to take it personally, but this is my most common view of the crane family lately.6-9timestwo4As soon as I realize they are out back and head out with the camera they leave.  Last year I felt almost smug about the way that that crane family didn’t seem to mind me watching them at all.  And that includes the dogs, they didn’t seem to pay any attention to Ozzie and Zoe last year either.  And, like the chickens who visit the yard periodically, the dogs weren’t noticing the cranes either.  But the two colts this year seem to stick close to Mom and Dad, except when I go out with the camera and the colts lead the charge away from the yard.  And one of the adults hangs back to monitor things while they make their get away.  Last year when I was leaving work for the day I’d get teased that I was going home to stalk the cranes.  And that was exactly what I did, so it’s amazing to me how little attention I’ve paid to them this year.  And that they haven’t seemed to require my supervision.  They are doing perfectly well without me.

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backyard visitors, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Frequent flier…

There has been a frequent flier at the lake lately.  That’s what I call the hawk that is out on the post all the time lately.  I really mean all the time, including in the torrential rain.  I have to wonder if the animals find the weather as much of an annoyance as we do.  He was out there on the post as if there was nothing unusual  about the weather at all.6-1hawkintherainI came back from the sunrise to find that the cranes were still out back on the lake, I would have expected them to be gone by then.  And as I went out and set out to take pictures I saw that the cranes were out there, but on a smaller post very near the cranes was the hawk.  It was a surprise, and I wondered if I should be alarmed.  The cranes weren’t worried though.  They just continued on their way, and it was the hawk who blinked, I mean took off.  The cranes seem to be king of the hill out there.6-1flapper6-1crossing26-1cranes and hawk26-1cranesandhawkAnd the Common Gallinule chicks I’ve been attempting to photograph were finally out in the open, eating bread if truth be told.  I wasn’t feeding them though.  I will look up what is healthy to feed the birds if a person feels the need to feed them.6-1gallinule2.jpgAnd the answer was frozen peas, but thawed, and corn, fresh, frozen, or canned.  Who knew?

backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, friends, nature, neighbors, photography, squirrels, technology

And then there were two…

My plan was to edit the above photo a little differently, because last night when I took it I was brokenhearted to see Mama Sandhill crane returning to the nest with just one colt.  I was out there with the camera because I had just seen the other adult flying in, and he landed on my side of the lake.  I thought he had joined the family, but they weren’t there, then I saw the other adult and one baby.  Try as I might I never saw a second colt last night.  It wasn’t until I looked at this photo this morning that I saw him.  I almost couldn’t believe my eyes.  Whew.

My neighbor must have better eyesight than I do because she thought she saw a second one, but then we got distracted because she started calling her squirrel.  Yes, you read that right.  I happened to be heading out with both dogs a while back when her daughter pulled up out front and wanted me to see the three baby squirrels she was bringing to her mom’s house.  Over time I forgot all about that, but I got the rest of the story last night.  Two of the babies disappeared when they got bigger, but one, which has been named Rosie by her granddaughter, now has a little house within the pool screen.  And she has access to the outside through an opening in the screen made just for her.  So she is free, but comes back to her house at night, and will come when she is called.  Even with the dogs out there, all acting jealous because my neighbor was calling the squirrel, Rosie still raced around through the branches and eventually came down to get petted.  And I have proof…5-29rosie55-29rosie45-29rosie15-29rosie35-29rosie2That Rosie was loving her heavy petting session was obvious.  What she wasn’t appreciating so much was the camera clicking away in her face, so I left them to enjoy their moment…

birds, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology, weather

New technology…

I gave in and ordered a new camera the other day.  A new to me, used camera.  Ordered because this particular camera is especially good at taking low light photos, and I know this because people much more talented than I am have been raving about it.  If I read one thing, however, it’s that you can’t expect to buy the most expensive camera and think it’s going to make you a better photographer.  But maybe a cheap camera can help.  If only I had read the manual last night because I couldn’t set the camera up in time to take full advantage of it’s functions this morning.  But it is tiny, looking a bit funny sitting atop the tripod, and I’m happy with the photos I got.  I so hope it doesn’t rain tonight so I can go back out and try again.

5-25heronsunset15-25heronsunsetHDR25-252footheronThe heron’s picture was taken with my big lens however.  I had enjoyed seeing him in the water in my sunrise photos, but when he flew over and landed on a post we suspected he might be One-Foot Fred.  We being the neighbor who’s house has appeared in a few of my photos.  He came out to say hello and said that he sees me out there all the time.  So much for so called anonymity.  There is good news though.  Even though this heron isn’t our one-footed friend the neighbor says Fred is around all the time.  Just when I’m not there.  And the neighbor also says that I’m welcome to hang out there anytime, the only possible problem could be that his wife will chase off anyone who pees in their yard.  I promised I would try to resist the urge…

birds, blessings, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, nesting, Owls, perseverance, photography, technology

Update from Philippe Park…

 

I am revisiting the owl photos from Phillippe Park which were posted in February because there is news to report.  When I heard that there was an owlet at the park I headed there asap, and because of how wonderfully birders share their information I was able to find the tree.  The nest was surrounded by photographers most every day, present, but respectful of the nest.  They dubbed this owlet Charlotte, they alternate male and female names every year.  So this might have been new to me but it’s an annual event.  I only went there to photograph the owlet twice, and shortly after the second visit the photographers reported that Charlotte had fallen out of the tree and scratched her eye.  She was taken to Sarasota for rehab, and several unsuccessful attempts to return her to the nest ensued, and there was much debate among birders as to whether she should have been taken from the nest at all.  But there is good news to report.  She was recently returned to the nest area in Philippe park and is reported to have a parent with her in the trees.  All of my info is second hand, or actually third hand, but I choose to be happy and hope that that owl has a long life ahead of her in that beautiful park.

Looking for photos of the owlet has reminded me that I have never set Lightroom in my computer to fully take advantage of the abilities of the program to organize your photos.  You can tag your photos, and then a search for ‘owls’ would have brought up all my owl photos.  You can rate your photos as they are imported into your computer, or you might choose to color code them, and Jeff, fearless leader of the group, talks about how quickly he can find a photo he might be looking for among his thousands of photos.  But I’m a beginner, and he also talks about the silly things that beginners think they need to do.  Like delete unusable photos one by one, when it’s also possible to tag the photos you will eventually delete and then purge them in one fell swoop.  It drives me crazy when he talks about beginners and the silly things that they do, mostly because it’s as if he has been reading my mind.  A little, or possibly a lot of organization is needed, I see that now.  Alas, I don’t have new photos to share, but these are the ones I used previously.2-15winglet2-15owletvignette12-15owlet42-15owlet32-15owlet22-15owlet13-7owls83-7owls73-7owls63-7owls23-7owls33-7owls4