'scene' along the way, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Birds and more birds…

On Sunday I took 650 pictures at Circle B Bar Reserve, and had quite a lot of fun with my friends while we were hiking and discovering the wildlife along the trails.  We three were pretty much together the whole time, yet our phones recorded different amounts of steps for us.  Our taller friend’s phone recorded a lot fewer steps for her, but us two shorter gals numbers were quite similar.  It was the miles that were different.  At 6.5 I had the least, and I believe our taller friend’s phone was approaching 9 miles.  Whatever it was it was a long enough day for my feet to be objecting by the end.  With the recent rain I had opted to wear short rubber bootlets, which allowed me to feel every rock embedded in the trail, and I was regretting that choice by the end of the day.  As fun as it was we were quite ready to call it a day and go find some lunch. 1-6-20woodstorkflyover1-6-20tricolor1-6-20owlface1-6-20osprey1-6-20littlebirdfeature1-6-20Ibisdrip1-6-20GBHinthebreeze1-6-20eagles1-6-20butterfly1-6-20blackbird1-6-20Greategret.jpg

The eagles and the owl were what had the photographers gathered like paparrazi.  Even my bigger lens, which I had chosen not to carry, wouldn’t have gotten the sort of shots that I can get when I visit my usual eagle nest.  And my first ever owl photos were taken at Circle B and they were really nice shots.  This owl was up too high, in the shadows, and obscured by Spanish moss.  And facing backwards.  Nevertheless we three were so excited when we saw our shots in our computers and we saw that we had gotten the owl’s face.  Sort of…1-4-20FrankieatCircleB

The nature center at Circle B has plenty to educate and entertain people of all ages, as well as the occasional flamingo.

'scene' along the way, adventure, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Up close and personal…

My friends and I tried to get to Circle B Bar Reserve for the sunrise, but it was quite a long drive from home.  The above feature photo was as close as we got.  We wanted to be that early because our theory was that the wildlife is most active early in the morning.  Only it was pretty darned chilly, and that is something that will slow the wildlife down.  So we walked about 7 miles, went from a little too chilly to almost too warm, and yes we saw some wildlife.

I had hoped to see something unusual, something beyond all the usual birds that we see so frequently.  And this little raccoon filled the bill perfectly.1-5-20racoon11-5-20racoon21-5-20racoonsitupI was as close to the edge of the river bank as possible in order to get the angle I needed for the photos.  I was most afraid of dropping the camera into the water.  As I was shooting some other visitors came to us from the opposite direction and asked if I knew there was an alligator right there.  “Where?”, I asked.  “Right there!”. was the answer.1-5-20closegator

1-5-20gatorandanhinga

I did not expect to be so up close and personal with that gator.  If I had known he was there I would never have gotten the pictures.  There was a pier just a little way down the trail and I got a better picture of just how big that gator was.  And a good look at that smirk in his face.  This must be an example of all’s well that ends well.  And there are pictures to prove it!

'scene' along the way, adventure, fantasy images, friends, fun, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Day one…

It may be a new year, but apparently I haven’t turned over a new leaf.  I took the drive to Safety Harbor for the sunrise on New Year’s Day and found a lovely sunrise and friendly photographers.  It wasn’t until later that I discovered that I must have bumped the dial on the camera causing almost all my shots to be overexposed.  Operator error, I should have been checking the shots as I went.01-01-20safetyharborsunriseIn addition to the sunrise I was also hoping to see spoonbills while I was there.  And I did see them, three of them, flying in and landing on a sand bar out in the water.  And that was the last I saw of them, but I got my 10,000 steps in while walking the boardwalk looking for them.1-2-20pelican1-2-20safetyharborview1-2-20safetyharborbikesI also told my friend about the fun photo challenge I had joined with my group.  You select a ‘companion’ and use it in an iconic Florida photo, one a day for two weeks.  I took some practice shots that day even though we weren’t supposed to take them until the 2nd.  Frankie the Flamingo will make her way into a few more shots in the next couple of weeks I’m sure.  But because of the challenge I was sent to the art center for some photos.  And I was told that the park across from Starbucks holds a 100 year old live oak that was the center of local drama a while back.  Some wanted it to be removed, but the locals objected.  I guess I know who won.  These were taken before the 2nd so I can’t add them to the group album, but I can use them here.1-2-20safetyharborartcenter1-2-20safetyharborartcenter21-2-20safetyharborliveoak1-2-20safetyharbortree

'scene' along the way, friends, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, kayaking, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Santa paddle…

They called it a Santa paddle, and paddle we did.  Hours of paddling on Silver Lake.  I spent most of that time fascinated at the thought that the scenery was so natural.  I wondered if people paddling this place years ago looked at an identical scene.  If you notice the trees you’ll see the high water line, and the few houses that we did see on the shores suffered flooding when the water rose.  It was hard to imagine the water so high.

The feature photo shows the most alligator-ish sight that I saw.  And for that I was thankful.  It was too cold for the gators, I was told, it was meant to reassure me.  But where would they go?  In my mind every log floating just beneath the water was suspect, but I did forget about that after a while.  Maybe it was the overcast day that caused such gorgeous reflections in the water.  It was a lovely paddle.

12-24kayak112-24kayak212-24kayak312-24reflect112-24reflect212-24houseI wish all a very Merry Christmas and I hope the New Year will be kind to one and all.

'scene' along the way, friends, fun, Just do it, learning, life, moments, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends

Citrus County Drummers…

The trip to Citrus County on Sunday was to attend the solstice meeting of the Citrus County Drum Circle.  I had seen a drum circle before on Pine Island, but I hadn’t been to this group before.  My friend is a member and knew the names of all the various drums and horns that were being used.  They all were unusual, and the entire evening was spent with the rhythm of the drums gently marking the time.  People danced in the circle as the spirit moved them, but most just watched quietly.  I learned that one very graceful dancer had been a belly dance instructor, and the elderly lady who had caught my eye had been a clown in her younger years.  There was a certain peacefulness to the evening, the only thing missing was a lovely sunset.  I would like to attend again, but nothing could move me to get up and dance in that circle.  But I envy those who can let themselves go like that…12-22solstice12-22mermaiddancer12-22hug12-22horn12-22favoritelady12-22drummers12-22dancing212-22dancing12-22dancer112-22couple12-22charminglady12-22bandanaguy12-22ballcapguy

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, friends, fun, Just do it, moments, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, simple things, special effects, unintended images

Travels with Betty…

I tagged along with my friend Betty yesterday, on a trip out to enjoy one of her interests.  We left early so that we could stop at this little park which I’d never been to before.  We were in Citrus county, the heart of the nature coast I think.  Yes, the day was overcast, but rain wasn’t expected until long past sunset, so off we went.  Betty loves her details, not so much the landscapes I tend to like to photograph.  Knowing that influenced the day.12-22frencfry12-22thepark12-22thegang12-22msgrackleSquirrels eating French fries are photo worthy, to me at least.  And the park itself was pretty.  There were plenty of male grackles, calling and preening, and just basically showing off their flashy blue-black selves.  The lovely red female grackle did not seem impressed in the least.12-22betty'sheron12-22heron1Along the inlet we had a great view of a pair of Yellow-crowned Night Herons, neither of which were bothered by the boat traffic as people returned to their homes.  They are usually much harder to spot, and photograph, than this pair were.12-22lonelyfishermanA lone fisherman was on the pier, but it was getting late in the day and we were about to move on.  We both had noticed a fishing line hanging from the roof of this pier, and it’s always a shame to see such things as dangling line because it poses a risk to the birds of the area.  Betty was the first to take a picture though, and when she looked at what she had in her camera we were both amazed.  The fishing line was blowing in the breeze which made it appear more like a ribbon than just a string.  So of course we both took a lot of pictures of that fishing line.  I wonder if the fisherman noticed us, and if he did he probably thought we were nuts.  I was sure I wasn’t getting that same effect, I couldn’t see it in the camera itself, but I took pictures anyhow.  And I got a nice surprise when I looked at the pictures in the computer.  It doesn’t take much to make a couple of photographers happy.12-22ribbon212-22ribbon312-22ribbon4