'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, foggy sky, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology

The Lurker…

She arrived in the dark.  “No, not just dark,” she thought, “The fog is rolling in.”  “At least I’m alone,” another thought, and then she laughed at herself because there were plenty of no-see-ums arriving to keep her company.  Or drive her crazy.  She opened the back of the van and rummaged for the can of OFF that she kept there, and doused herself.  There was a slight glow in the sky as she took a couple of pictures at the first bridge, her first stop, and then, anxious to get to the second bridge, her favorite, she moved on, .

It was darker there, foggier, even though she had driven only a minute up the road.  She got out of the van and set up her camera.  As she glanced around she looked to her left and caught a hint of a shape in the murk.  Was it him, she wondered, hoped?  She always looked for him when she came to this place.  She used to see him every time she was here, but then he was gone, just gone.  If she saw a fisherman she always asked if they had seen him, but they didn’t seem to know what happened to him either.  She didn’t come as often as she used to, but still she always looked, and she was always disappointed.  She aimed her camera in that direction, hurrying in case he disappeared into the gloom.  “Of all days to come out without the zoom lens,” she lamented, mad at herself for choosing to grab the little camera only in her haste to get out the door.  “Wait,” she thought, she could zoom with her phone, even if it didn’t take a sharp photo she’d be able to know for sure if it was him.  She clicked a picture, but still wasn’t sure, she needed to put the photo into her computer when she got home.  She crossed the road for a better angle, afraid she’d spook him, but he didn’t move as she took a few more pictures.

Then there was a voice, calling, “Hey Fred,” it said.  He turned his head instantly, and then quickly moved toward the sound.  “Hi Fred,” a man’s voice.  She saw him in a pool of light from the street lamp, smiling as he tossed something to Fred.  And now she was sure it was him.  One-foot Fred was alive and well, she now knew for sure.  The sunrise hadn’t been much, but she drove home smiling, happy that she had come out that morning after all. 03-27-20aripekaFred03-27-20aripekaFred203-27-20aripekasunrise203-27-20aripekasunrise3The iPhone shot…03-27-20aripekaFred3

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, go with the flow, life goes on, natural wonders, nesting, perseverance, photography

Days pass…

The decibel level was up at the rookery the other day.  Thanks in no small part by these guys.03-26-20rookerysoundingoff2 03-26-20rookerysoundingoff.jpg

I stopped by because I knew the babies would all be that much bigger and therefore easier to see.  Which was true.  I think some of them are into calisthenics.03-26-20rookeryworkout2.jpg03-26-20rookerycrazyeyes.jpg03-26-20rookerytrio.jpg03-26-20rookeryegret1.jpg

I don’t get as worried as I once did when I see on osprey flying overhead while I’m there.  I thought he was after baby birds the first time I saw one there, but when it dived it came up with a fish, which was a relief.03-26-20rookeryosprey.jpg03-26-20rookeryanhinga.jpgLife at the rookery appears to be proceeding as usual, no worries, no inkling of life having been turned upside down.  I’m sure we’ll get there too, back to normal, but hopefully wise enough to appreciate it when it does.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, making memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

That kind of day…

When I proposed to my friend that we make a stop at Myakka River State Park while we were in the general area the other day, I had Roseate Spoonbills on my mind.  I knew from other photographers’ pictures that they are sometimes found at that park, and I hoped to take a fabulous picture like the ones I’ve seen online.  When we arrived the Ranger asked if we were looking for alligators, I told him no, we were hoping to see Spoonbills.  He directed us to an area called the Weir, and we made that our first stop, but didn’t have any luck.  We continued the drive through the park, and I also walked out onto the bird walk, hoping to see them there.  I didn’t.  We completed the drive but the north gate was closed so we headed back out the way we came in.  The Weir was only a little out of the way so we made another stop, and as we were driving to turn around in the parking lot one flew into view and landed at the shoreline.  This guy was quite cooperative, walking along the shore dipping his ‘spoon’ into the water and swinging his head back and forth.  Their bill serves as a sieve to capture their lunch.  And when he was nearly out of sight he turned around and came back.  I wasn’t able to get the picture that I hoped to get, the one I imagined, but I felt lucky to have seen this guy at all.  Sometimes you make a plan for a day and all the pieces fall into place.  It was that kind of day.03-23-20spoonbillcolor.jpg03-23-20spoonbilldrip03-23-20spoonbillcolor203-23-20spoonbillwingredo

03-21-20spoonbill203-21-20spoonbill303-21-20spoonbill03-21-20spoonbill4

a second look, adventure, birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, life, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Venice egrets…

Egrets are such beautiful birds.  They seem to be graceful and elegant all the time.  Well, except for when they are feeding their young, then it seems like they take their life in their hands.  Err, beaks.03-20-20daytripegretfeeds03-20-20daytripegrettwig.jpg03-20-20daytripegretandblues.jpg03-22-20veniceegrets303-22-20veniceegrets403-22-20veniceegretsgrab.jpg03-22-20veniceegrets.jpgWhile I can take pictures of egrets just a couple of minutes from home, it’s impossible to resist taking pictures of them no matter where you find them.

a second look, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, natural wonders, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Great Blue Herons…

When the subject of the Venice rookery came up I got excited.  I had been there once before and was tickled to see Great Blue Herons nesting and raising chicks.  I know I claim to love the Woodstork chicks best, they being so ugly they’re cute, but there is something about those GBH babies that tickles me.  Of all of the chicks I’ve seen I think they most look like miniature versions of their parents.  So off we went on our adventure, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Upon arrival I was a little disappointed to see far fewer nests than I had expected.  I was a little worried until I spotted a nicely placed nest with good camera angles to use.  I think I took almost 100 pictures before I kicked myself in the butt and decided to go back to the car for the bigger lens and tripod.  03-20-20daytripbluebabies.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabies2.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabies3.jpg

I was even there when Dad brought home the bacon, so to speak.  I don’t know how much of it was fed to the ‘kids’, but a minute later it was down the hatch.

03-20-20daytripbluebabieslunch2.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabiesdownthehatch.jpg

The 18-400 lens is no slouch, but I did take quite a few photos with the 150-600…03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig3.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig4.jpg

As you can see from the feature photo there were more than Great Blue Herons at the rookery, but we’ll get to them…