'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Cranes, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Cold and windy sunrise…

I woke up early enough to get myself to Bayport for the sunrise this morning. It was chilly enough to have turned the heat on when I got up at 4:30 AM, but 48 degrees isn’t really something to complain about when my dearest childhood friend reported temperatures of -4 degrees in her neck of the woods at 8 AM. I miss my friend, and I will always get homesick for New England now and then, but I will never miss weather like that.

Once I had taken the feature photo I got distracted by this Great Blue Heron who (I think) was planning to eat this crab once he was finished dunking it and picking it back up.
The color got more intense but stayed close to the horizon line.
I was planning to head home when I glanced back and saw this scene and had to get one more photo.
Then I made a u-turn to go back and take this photo after I noticed the scene on my way home. And island in the water, a perfect Sandhill Crane nest spot, just like they used to nest on the lake in my former back yard.

It’s currently 69 degrees outside. I suspect that it’s colder in than out at the moment. I need to find myself a patch of sunshine to sit in…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, go with the flow, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, squirrels

Low tide…

Whenever I go to check on the eagles I can’t help but stop at the two county parks nearby. The Anclote fishing pier can be a great choice for photo ops. Yesterday I got there at very low tide, something I hadn’t done many times at all over the years. How the fishermen even had enough water to cast a line was a bit of a mystery to me. I liked how the Great Blue Heron positioned himself underneath the fisherman in the feature photo.

My Merlin app had to identify this bird for me. A juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron. The tear drop shaped white spots on his wing feathers was the deciding factor distinguishing it from the yellow crowned variety.
And this one? Possibly a Herring Gull, according to Merlin. But then it said , “Some species are better left unidentified.” Maybe that can be my go-to answer when I don’t know what bird I’m looking at. BTW, that’s a crab it was eating.
I displaced this dove who had been on the ground just outside my car when I was leaving. But she didn’t go far and posed for me, so I obliged.
This little guy climbed a fence and up onto a post to pose for me at Anclote River Park.

Our recent trip to Circle B Bar Reserve was the Frank Planes memorial walk, which we do on January 2nd every year. He was a founding member of the photography group many years ago, and I remember Jeff telling us that his pet peeve was all the squirrel pictures that newbies take. I guess I’m still a newbie because I can’t resist them…

a second look, adventure, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, weather

Expecting eaglets…

I’ve been meaning to go see the eagles for a while now, and since I was free I decided that today was the day. They have eaglets now, and my eagle-obsessed friends are expecting to see little heads bobbing up above the nest any day now. Unfortunately for me, today wasn’t that day. But as I arrived I was happy to see the on-duty parent up high on the nest so that I could get a few shots.

I kept changing my position in order to get a better view. This new nest is harder to see, with branches and Spanish moss to try to avoid getting in your photo.
I would have loved it if that branch that’s sticking up was actually a little head, but no such luck.
She looked up from her feeding duties to keep an eye on things. I liked the gleam on her beak in this shot.
I was waiting for the ‘money shot’. You know, a shot of an impressive wing-spread as one landed on the nest. I’d have settled for a shot of one flying out of the nest too. But it seemed that all of the action happened when I looked away or moved to a new position.
So this is my shot of the changing of the guard. It’s not what I had in mind.

I expected a crowd of photographers to be watching and waiting also, but I had this view to myself. The day had started out foggy, maybe that discouraged them. I know it kept me from heading out for the sunrise. But, as you can see, it became a perfect winter-in-Florida day.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, foggy sky, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography

Circle B…

The temperature was great this morning, even if the sky was cloudy while we walked the trails at Circle B Bar Reserve. It was nice to be out with the photo group again. We were hoping to be able to get together lots more often this year, but I guess we will have to wait and see.

Alligators weren’t as plentiful today.
I was tickled to see a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers while we were there. I’ve only seen them once before and not at Circle B.
Another first at ‘the B’ was an eagle that did a fly over. Thankfully another photographer was paying attention and pointed it out.
I pointed the camera up and started shooting. That I managed to get a shot, or two, was dumb luck.
The sun was trying to come out.
Great Blue Herons are always in close attendance to the trail.
Anhingas are also plentiful.
An osprey posed for a picture.

Of course we hoped to see the bobcat kittens that people have been getting photos of lately, but not today. Owls are also possible there, and we thought we heard one, but we didn’t see one. I guess that means that another trip will be in order, and soon…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, dogs, dolphins, Florida wildlife, fun, Hudson Beach, Just do it, making memories, moon, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, unintended images

Photobombs…

Lately I seem to be way too willing to decide that I’ll just stay home, I won’t go out for the sunrise or sunset. There are too many dark clouds, I tell myself, or the morning is kind of foggy. Last night was no exception. I was driving up Rt 19 and there were heavy dark clouds to the north, but when I turned into my street and looked towards the west I saw blue sky and nice puffy clouds. So I told myself to go out to see what I could see. That turned out to be a wise, or rather, a lucky decision.

As usual the houses on the inlet had their faces turned to the sun.
The moon was looking pretty also.
The sunset itself was doing a great job of making me happy that I came out.
It was low tide, and the rocks were exposed off the walkway, but for some reason several dolphin decided that this was the night to put in a first ever, for me at least, appearance at Hudson Beach.
Back and forth they swam. And they leaped out of the water! I have seen dolphin here and there before, and I’ve always wished for them to breech, but this was the first time I ever had a chance to try to get a picture of them in action.
Of course I wish it was a ‘better’ picture, but I did manage to get one.
Actually two!
The man standing next to me had two big golden retrievers with him, and one of them was VERY interested in what was going on in the water out there.
Even a pelican couldn’t resist a photo bomb as the color reached a peak.

When I hear all the talk among my fellow photographers about the great new cameras and/or lenses that are coming out lately, I am, momentarily at least, tempted to buy better equipment. My stuff is considered adequate, for a beginner. But if I’m honest with myself I’m really not willing to concentrate enough to master the technicalities of setting the camera, or doing more than basic editing. ‘Better’ equipment would probably have required me to change my lens when the dolphin showed up last night, and if he stuck around long enough for me to do that then I probably would have gotten better pictures. So the temptation is there, but it’s fleeting. I appreciate the freedom my current set up gives me. When the mood strikes then out the door I go, and I’m ready for whatever happens next. That feels good…

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, black and white, egrets, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Details…

A couple of weeks ago one of the photo club members was at Myakka River State Park and saw a flock of Roseate Spoonbills fly in. “A hundred”, he said. His pictures were amazing, and ever since then ‘Spoonies’ have been on my mind. A very fun Octoberfest party in Myakka City was just the excuse we needed to head to the park ourselves. We went this morning, and after driving the whole park it became obvious that if I was going to get any sort of pictures of the spoonies I was going to have to walk a very wet and squishy path. But I was happy to see them at least. When I got into the car and looked at my pictures I lamented that the turkey vultures had photo bombed the pictures. Earlier in the day I had said that I’m not a detail person, and when I got the pictures into the computer I saw who else had photo bombed the pictures and proved my point. How did I miss that alligator, and why did all the birds just hang around with him?

They did at least keep their eye on that big boy.
These were the most spoonies I’ve seen so far so I’m happy.
I saw this cute guy from the bird boardwalk.
Merlin says it’s a black necked stilt.
I always loved to see the tri-color heron who visited my back yard in Spring Hill.
We saw lots of wood storks and ibis too.
This is a pretty park.

There are many parks within a couple of hours of home that we can go to see birds now that the migration season is upon us.