'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.

a second look, birds, bugs, Florida wildlife, flowers, fun, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset

All about the birds…

It really was all about the birds last night at Pine Island. Surprising birds if you consider the 5 or 6 chickens that were milling around just outside the entry to the parking lot. They must have headed back to the coop before I could get a picture. But walking onto the beach I saw seagulls in the air, lots of them.

They weren’t flying all the time, but when they did!
Lots of clouds were rolling in.
A little solitude for this one.
I was looking at the sun dipping low and reflecting on the water when the birds started flying through my shots.
So I kept shooting.
Lots of shots.
It seems there is always something going on, and when I saw that this guy’s shirt said STAFF I thought there was an event happening. I guess he was just taking it easy at the end of his day.
This shrub was covered in these flowers that I thought were very pretty. So I looked around for a couple that were in the light and at a good height to get a picture, and this is what I found. I didn’t see the bug at first, and I wish it was a bee or a butterfly, but I guess it’ll have to do.

a second look, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, birds, food, fun, moon, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset, Uncategorized

A low key sunset…

Sometimes you head out for the sunset just because you have the opportunity, even though the sky doesn’t look all that promising. And sometimes you like one view of the sky from Hudson Beach, but your friend wants to watch from the opposite end of the area. You may have been less than gracious, wanting to see the same view you always see. And then you might look at your pictures and think that it wasn’t such a bad outing after all.

A little blue heron visited for a few minutes.
Then he flew off, but circled back for a photo, or two.
The moon is always a tempting shot.
I thought these clouds might be interesting as the sun set.
Most boats were coming in, but a few headed out.
A promising sunset on the way, I thought.
I zoomed in because I liked the way the sun looked as it set behind the vegetation. What I didn’t realize until I saw the shots in the computer is that there are birds in the vegetation.
Lots and lots of birds.
a second look, attitude adjustments, fantasy images, friends, fun, hockey, kids, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, technology

Hockey Halloween…

Off we went to the USF hockey game the other night, me armed with my nice light new camera and the 18-150 lens, expecting to not shoot many pictures. But I got distracted…

We were waiting for the other photographers to arrive when he passed by.
The free skating rink had so much mist rising from the ice, plus the lighting was changing colors, that photos were tough to take. But that’s where I found the cute kids that I saw arriving in costume.
Brother and sister I think.
This cute little fairy was on a mission. I love those little dolphins they have for the little kids to learn to skate.
These two arrived just as the photographers did also, so it was time to watch the game.
This picture was taken from ground level, brr, and through the plexiglass that is just as scuffed up as the walls are in this photo. Finding a square inch of clear glass to shoot through is almost impossible.
Talk about scuffed up walls, look at those pads! I wouldn’t have made a good hockey mom, wouldn’t have wanted to watch them shooting a puck at my baby!
I went to the upstairs level to escape the cold and find a seat, and discovered that the netting was raised so the view of the ice was so much better. The fact that the puck sailed over the plexiglass in my general direction didn’t spoil my fun. Guess the net does serve a purpose after all, but I was glad it was up. And USF scored!
I tried to get some shots that showed action. The puck had dropped and they all took off after it.
I wasn’t finished with my costume shots as it turned out.

Warmed up and with a better view I enjoyed the rest of the evening. Plus ‘we’ won, 8-2.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attitude adjustments, birds, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography

Also from Taylor Lake…

Somehow I took 441 pictures on our visit to Taylor Lake Park, but I can blame some of that on the ‘burst’ feature of the camera. Ten or so identical pictures at a time. It adds up. We saw bluejays all around the lake, hence the feature photo. We started on the shady side, and when we came around to the street side of the lake we were in the sun and a bit of a distance from the lake itself, and I expected to take no pictures at that point. And then we spotted the osprey.

A nice place for a walk.
I don’t know if I forgot to set my focus points, or were we too close for my new lens, but I missed his tail in all my shots.
He looked very relaxed, just sitting a posing for us.
Was he yelling at us?
I spotted this little bridge as we drove into the park, and I was tempted to hop out for a photo right then, but didn’t. Then we walked around the lake and the path took us past this spot when we were nearly back to the car. I liked it as a photo, but we also walked onto it for some additional shots.
A tricolor heron on the prowl.
This little bird excited me to see. I thought it was a new bird, one I hadn’t seen before. But, alas, Merlin says it is either an immature gallinule, or a young common loon. Since there were gallinule adults nearby I guess I’ll go with that. Notice the feet, the write up called for large ‘knobby feet’.
This last part of the lake had nice low bushes that seemed to be the place to find the pine warblers. Again, that’s Merlin’s choice based on my picture.
Busy little birds, not so easy to get a shot.
And we followed the trail back to the car.

The temperatures are back into the mid 80s, and the weatherman is talking about the humidity being back after our short break after the storm. Maybe it’s just an attitude adjustment, but I thought the weather was great for this outing. We ought to get out every day now that it feels so good. But then when would I get to look at my pictures?

adventure, attitude adjustments, birds, bugs, butterflies, exploring new places, friends, fun, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Taylor Lake Park…

I hardly know where to start. Somehow we came across the name of a park in the area, one that we hadn’t heard of before. The John S. Taylor Park in Largo, FL. It’s not a huge park, the walk was an easy 1.6 miles around. We stopped to see and photograph birds quite a few times. I’ve seen comments about migratory birds being in the area at this time of year, or maybe it’s just such a pretty park that the birds like to call it home.

Bluejays used to visit my backyard in Spring Hill, but it was a nice surprise to see them yesterday. This one seemed to want to say something.
I think I like this photo of a bluejay the best.
But my new camera has the ability to track birds in flight, so I was happy to capture this photo. I have a lot more to learn about the settings in this camera though.
Anhingas were sunning themselves, as they are most everywhere you go in Florida.
Getting the camera to focus in for a macro shot was a slight problem.
Eventually it cooperated nicely.
I had just said that we hadn’t seen any bees that day, meaning big fat bumble bees. But when I stopped to look at the little flowers in the bushes along the shore I found tiny little bees on tiny little flowers.
The tiny little butterflies in the grasses were plentiful also.
A fisherman pointed out this little gator to us.
I would like to think that we would have noticed this big gator sunning itself even if the fisherman hadn’t pointed him out.

There are lots more photos to go through, but they will have to wait for another day. It’s time to go out and enjoy another gorgeous day in sunny Florida.