'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, ducks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images, weather

Out and about…

It was a perfect day, even more perfect than ‘usual’, so I decided to take a ride around the neighborhood on my trike. The beauty of the trike is that I can load my camera into the front basket, just in case might I spot a photo op. And I did get excited about what I saw. Over a nearby lake I saw what I thought were seagulls circling overhead. But I didn’t pay attention until one of them suddenly dove straight down into the water and disappeared into the water. Of course I started shooting when it began to circle again, which let me notice the forked tail, and now I was excited that maybe it was a Swallowtail Kite, which I’ve only spotted once or twice. It’s a shame I didn’t also bring my 100-400mm lens because if I had gotten a better look I wouldn’t have tried to take so many shots. In the computer I could plainly see it was a seagull after all.

This is actually a Royal Tern, and that is surprising in itself because they are salt water shore birds, and I that’s not how I’d describe this suburban neighborhood.
A Muscovy duck striking a pose at the rookery. My friend had wanted to check and see if the birds were coming back yet. I was sure they hadn’t, but there were a few birds at least.
The anhinga condo tree was busy with birds flying in and out. Nesting seems to be underway there, but not in the shrubs along the water.
I love these juvenile ibis. They will be snow white when they grow up.
Just a shot to show the iridescence of the Muscovy’s feathers in the sun.
This is a sight you won’t often see. A photographer doing what he needed to do to get the shot.

I have to say that there are a lot of sandy spots dotting that grass, and that always has me on the lookout for fire ants. Rest assured I remained on my feet the entire time.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, brainstorms, bucket list, friends, fun, making memories, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology, weather

It’s that time again…

Well, almost that time again. The time when our drive to Clearwater for our Tuesday night photography club meeting coincides with the sunset. That means that as we make the long trip down Edgewater Drive I will be shooting photos out the car window with my iPhone. The last time I did that the sunset was fabulous, and I held the phone out the window a bit further and didn’t see myself in the side mirror, or I could crop myself out of the picture. This time we were a bit early for the really great color to have developed quite yet, and I was reluctant to hold my brand new iPhone 14 Pro Max far enough out the window to get myself out of the picture. Maybe I ought to sit in the back seat next time. Nice evening, fun meeting.

We weren’t going very fast, but too fast to have any control over what the scene was actually going to be.
We were early because we intended to stop for photos just a couple of blocks from the meeting place. This looked like a very nice sunset developing, and if there was any place at all to pull over we probably would have.
Now that the weather is cooler we will have to ride our electric vehicles down the bike path from one end of this drive to the other, stopping for pictures of course. Maybe not on a Tuesday though, so we can take all the time we need to enjoy the ride.
a second look, friends, fun, nothing's easy, perseverance, photography

Back to the track…

Horse racing is back on the schedule for our photo group now that the weather is cooler. Saturday was our first photo walk to Tampa Bay Downs since last April. The weather was cloudy and cool, but eventually the sky cleared and the temperature began to rise. It’s always fun to shoot photos with friends, and make new friends also.

I was pleased to get the iconic shot, all four hooves off the ground. This horse won the first race, and as the tiny female jockey passed by us she said that this day was a one and done for her for the day. Or maybe it ought to be a won and done.
I was quite busy up in the grandstand, looking for a spot to shoot the finish line. Somehow I settled on this spot and failed to realize that I didn’t have the finish line in the shot after all.
Coming around the final turn and we see that this can be dirty work unless you are in the lead.
Another shot with all four feet off the ground. But there is a ‘rest of the story’ for this horse. Before the race started this horse somehow tossed his jockey, who proceeded to chase the horse. (I wish I had gotten that picture.)
The horse led everyone on a merry chase all over the field, then he decided he was done. He was scratched from the race after that.
“He went that a way.”
This is my favorite jockey of the day!

It’s so nice to see more and more photo shoots on the calendar with the nicer weather and the return to normalcy after covid. I used to go out for photos by myself, which meant that I never felt as trapped at home as most people did. But I’m enjoying being with friends, I’ll admit it.

a second look, friends, fun, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Growing up…

The orangutans kept us waiting yesterday. The keepers had set the stage, placing colorful boxes front and center, and edible greens were in lots of nooks and crannies in the rocks. I waited a little while, but I had wandered away when they put in their appearance. I got there just in time to see the keepers tossing the last of the chunks of fruit to the waiting orangs. They don’t squabble over the offerings, they politely wait their turn.

It took me a while to find mom and baby in the habitat. I think they were playing hide and seek.
Giving mom a taste.
Is that a little kiss?
At nearly 2 years old Riplee’s mother lets him explore the habitat as he will, but she keeps an eye on him. The boxes seemed to be as interesting as the treats that were waiting for them.
Maybe the boxes were tasty also.
When one of the orangs sits in the sun I consider it an invitation to take a picture.
Or two pictures. Actually there were many more.
Here’s Riplee enjoying himself orangutan style.

With the cooler weather heading our way we’ll be visiting the zoo more often. It’s always a sure-fire photo op.

a second look, birds, friends, fun, learning, making memories, moon, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset

Try, try again…

I looked at my Crystal Beach photos again and wondered where my head was when I chose, and edited, photos for my last post. Maybe I should wait an extra day between working on them and posting them to see if I still think they look good. Or I can blame the recent cataract surgery since I have over a month to go before they’ll check my vision again. So this is the same shoot but different pictures.

I guess you can see why I wondered if the sunrise would be extinguished by those dark clouds. On the other hand it’s so fun to see the sun’s rays peeking through any opening in the clouds that are there.
The little blue, or rather un-blue, heron again.
I was excited to see some color coming out in the sky, and we found this natural ‘frame’ for the scene, so I took a lot of pictures of this same scene.
And yes, as the sun began to drop from under the heavy clouds the color came up.
The word twinkletoes came to mind when I saw this picture in the computer.
Flocks of pelicans were flying over. Heading for a roosting spot nearby, or maybe they have many miles to travel?
Still looking for nice foregrounds for the main event.
Gotta love a nice moon shot. And there is a full moon set complete with a partial eclipse coming on Tuesday morning. Very early.
I heard one of those girls comment that ‘this is dangerous’ as she skated onto the pier on roller blades.
And there it was finally, what we were waiting for. The sun escaping those dark clouds and giving us the color we hoped to see.
It was worth waiting for.

The feature photo is the view looking to the south from the pier as I waited for my friends to arrive. I know I mentioned that our visit with friends after the shoot included sitting outside in perfect weather, but did I mention the candlelight? Thanks to Eddie and Linda for their hospitality.

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, birds, friends, fun

Crystal Beach Sunset…

I saw a lot of dark clouds gathering as I drove to Crystal Beach on Thursday night. Enough that I thought of texting my friends to ask if we ought to forget the plan for the night. But texting and driving isn’t a good idea, and as it turned out being out for the sunset was a very good idea. And I say this despite the profusion of fire ant mounds, and my ever present flip flops as footwear.

I was the first to arrive and I was amused by some little white birds that were busy hunting along the shore. I looked them up and, as I suspected, they are immature little blue herons. The green legs and two toned beak give them away.
This is a mature little blue heron. What I really liked was the look of the water that was picking up some sunset color as he waded.
There were two white ones plus the little blue and they hunted together the whole time we were there, but I suspect I know who was in charge.
It was when we decided to walk down for a bit to see what other views of the sunset we could find that I saw all the sandy white patches in the grass, a tell tale sign of fire ants. I let that dictate where I stood to shoot. We all liked this view, and I took so many shots like this before the sky really lit up that I missed getting this shot when the sunset was at it’s peak.
Birds flying over at sunset isn’t anything new, but these were pelicans and that really was new.
This was what we were waiting for, the sun to drop below the clouds and light up the clouds.
Still I wandered for different shots.
This is an iPhone shot.
Another from the phone as I wandered the shore.

The feature photo is the sunset in all its glory. But our fun wasn’t over. We then went to our friends Eddie and Linda’s house and sat outside in the gorgeous garden that they have created. We drank, and ate smoked mullet dip, and talked photography among many other subjects. Such a nice way to spend an evening.