'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, backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Tuesday Morning…

No, not the store. Which I haven’t seen in a while come to think of it. I used to always go in, but now I can’t remember where I lived when I did that. Not that it matters because this Tuesday morning was all about the sky. Not that it was filled with color, but this color-deprived photographer was happy to see any at all. I loved the reflected color in the water as a backdrop for the reeds at the side of the pond this morning.

The color wasn’t there at first, but then all of a sudden there it was. And the birds started flying through.
I sat and waited to see what would happen.
It was so pretty, but then the sky gradually got lighter and I decided to go back and pour another cup of coffee.
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.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida landmarks, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Walking in the park…

I had two goals today. First I hoped to see the eagles, but I missed them. It was chilly, did that get them up and out early, or were they still cuddled up in the nest? I thought I’d be able to shed the sweatshirt as the morning wore on, but not only did I keep it on, I kept it zipped up as I enjoyed a walk at John Chestnut Park.

I thought I was seeing puffs of feathers in the breeze, but the culprit was this tree, and others like it.
As usual, squirrels were the most abundant form of wildlife that I saw. This little guy was stalking me.
He double-checked to see if I maybe had a treat for him after all.
It was quiet on the boardwalk.
I wondered what creatures were looking back at me from the woods.
Busy little birds, too quick for me.
These little birds were what I hoped to shoot today, but this isn’t the shot I hoped to get.
I wonder if anyone is home?
I had hoped for a deer sighting. I got four shots as this one crossed the street, and they all looked just like this one.
Standing on one bridge looking through the foliage at another bridge, and it’s reflection.
A mini Bernie-doodle! This is proof that he sat still for a second or two…
In case you need to rest a while.
Peaceful scenery.
A final deer sighting, just as I was reaching the exit to the park.

In the heat of summer I long for cooler weather, sure that I’d spend as much time as possible outside if only it would get cooler. But it was 62 degrees in the house when I woke up this morning, time for fuzzy socks and cozy blankets. So I got out a little later than ‘usual’, but what a nice morning it was.

bugs, butterflies, flowers, fun, gardens, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, second chances

Buzzing by the gardens…

Yesterday I did what I used to do when I lived in Spring Hill, I dropped by the botanical garden rather than drive past it. I doubted that butterflies would be in abundance in this cooler weather, and I was right. But right there in the butterfly garden I found something I haven’t seen in ages, a big fat bumble bee. And the afternoon light was nice. What a treat.

I was amazed at how solid his wings look in this photo.
He was ignoring me completely as he flitted from flower to flower.
I wish I could claim to have set up this shot, but it was just lucky.
He was still busy when I left.

I love it when a spur of the moment inspiration turns out so well. Life is simple these days, all it takes is seeing a tiny little creature to make my day. Life is good.