backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, go with the flow, home, home improvements, life goes on, nature, neighbors, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Be it ever so humble…

This birdhouse of my uncle’s has seen better days, but it has hosted families of bluebirds for at least a few years now.  And two years ago I came over to his house and stationed myself out front with my tripod and camera and captured the action as they were feeding their young.  But last year the blue birds were chased off, evicted sort of, by another, larger bird, and they didn’t raise a brood in this house, so my uncle moved the house across the street to what is now my house.

Lately there has been a lot of activity at the birdhouse, and the other day I finally tried to see what bird was paying attention to the house, hoping for bluebirds of course. But I could’t see what they were so I took a few pictures, but I still couldn’t say for sure what they were since was getting dark out, and it was even darker under the carport.  But I heard some activity early yesterday and I saw a bird actually leave the house and fly to the palm tree close by.  It turned out to be a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  This may explain why the entrance hole is not the precise hole that it once was.  This bird has done some home improvements, made it her own.  I can relate.  Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home. 1-7-20meettheneighbor1-7-20birdhouseAh, but I wrote this a couple of days ago and there are new developments.  Seems I wasn’t too far off the mark hoping that it was bluebirds that were interested in the birdhouse.1-8-20Bluebird11-8-20bluebird21-8-20bluebirdfeatureAnd the other possibility is that there is an odd couple in the neighborhood.  Stay tuned…1-8-20oddcouple

'scene' along the way, a second look, changing times, Christmas on the brain, home, life goes on, live and learn, memories, perseverance, photography

Back to basics…

I bought a piece of artwork once, from a catalog I think it was.  This was years ago when I was young.  It was a distant landscape in mostly browns and golds, in the foreground was wheat or hay, and the horizon line was broken by a small cabin with a TV antenna on the roof.  Images like that appeal to me still.

Years later we took back roads for the last part of our trips to visit my daughter in upstate New York, and I’ve never forgotten an image from one trip at Christmas time.  It was after dark and we were traveling rural roads with nothing much to see, when off in the distance there was a small house with a string of lights hanging crookedly from an equally crooked porch.  It brought me to tears when I saw it, and it has stayed in my mind like a photo I could take out and look at over and over.

For some reason these images are back in my mind right now.  It started when I walked yesterday and I noticed all the Christmas lights in this modest mobile home park.  I have admired how much pride people have taken in their homes here.  Many, not mine, are spit-polished and look very inviting.  I decided to walk again last night to see those displays after dark.  If there is a point to all this then it has escaped me.  Unless it’s that yes, I’ve spent time in my life wishing for more, trying to keep up, but back to the basics is where I was meant to be all along.12-21lights212-21lights312-21lightsfeature12-21lightsangel12-21lights912-21lights612-21lights512-21lights412-21lightsreindeer12-21manger

connections, courage, death, faith, family, finding my way, friends, grief, growing old, home, life, life goes on, loneliness, making memories, perseverance, photography

Traveling…

I didn’t drive for 11 days straight.  That has to be a record for me.  For 11 days I was surrounded, literally, by family, and friends close enough to be family.  I was hardly ever alone, and for the last few years I have been telling myself that being alone is just the greatest thing.  No witnesses is what I told myself was the best part, for my own silliness. And for the most part that’s still true.  But it’s so quiet in here now that the coffee pot has finished its morning duties.  The traffic noises haven’t begun.  It’s too quiet.  Turning on the TV might provide noise, if noise is all I wanted to hear.  This has been my home for a year now, but I’ve been traveling for half that time at least.  And now I’m here, surrounded by all my things.  Sentimental reminders of other times, of the people I have cared about my whole life.  But sitting in the dark and quiet I realize that I can’t hear the sound of breathing.  Of life.  That’s the sound that’s missing…

backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, home, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

A gentleman caller…

Yesterday I got a surprise when I looked out front to check and see if the trash had been picked up yet.  It had.  But as I headed out to put the trash can away I discovered a visitor on the lawn.  Funny that he was there because lately I’ve been lamenting to myself that I can’t just sit out in the back yard and have photo ops come to me any more.  And birds have been scarce in general, even in places that I thought you would always find them.  It was a young wood stork, smaller than most of the ones I’ve seen.

Of course I grabbed the camera and went out the door for pictures.  This didn’t seem to bother him a lot, he stood his ground and I sat on my stoop and started shooting.  Personally, I think he liked the photo shoot.  He certainly turned this way and that, maybe he was deciding which was his best side.  He also was approaching me, making me suspect that someone has been feeding him.  I understand the urge to do that, and I even had frozen corn and peas which I’ve read is what you are supposed to feed ducks, if you can’t resist feeding them.  But I did resist.  Eventually I’d taken so many pictures, and I wondered what mission he’d been on when I interrupted him, so I went inside.  I couldn’t resist checking to see what he was doing though, but I didn’t have to look hard because he was right outside my front door, looking in.  I hope his interest in people doesn’t cause him problems, but on the other hand I hope I see him again.10-14woodstork710-14woodstork110-14woodstork210-14woodstork310-14woodstork410-14woodstork610-14woodstork5

'scene' along the way, a second look, finding my way, Florida landmarks, home, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise

The usual places…

I have to approach Aripeka from the opposite direction since I moved.  And if I hadn’t set the GPS I’d have missed the turn in the dark.  So I came upon this scene first.  Considering that it was quite overcast I was encouraged by the sight.10-9aripeka#1

But it become obvious after a bit that the sun was actually going to come up on the far right of this shot, so I moved down the road to Hammond Bridge.

10-9aripeka#210-9aripeka1ststop2nd10-9aripekasunriseclose10-9aripekareverse

There was such a nice sunrise developing that I nearly forgot to turn and check to see the reflected sunrise.  When I checked again a minute later the sky had lost it’s glow.  And this bridge is where I used to see One-Foot Fred, but I didn’t see any herons today.  That was the only disappointing thing about the morning.

'scene' along the way, birds, Florida wildlife, home, Hudson Beach, nature, old dogs new tricks, Osprey, perseverance, photography, sunset, unintended images

On the lookout…

This osprey was sitting on this post when I got to Hudson Beach the other night, and as I drove away I looked for him and he was still there.  He was a distraction because I wasn’t exactly early and I had several spots I wanted to stand for sunset photos.  I hadn’t counted on him as a distraction.  I’ve been too lazy to use the tripod lately, but in low light the shutter speed is long enough that you’ll get camera shake without a tripod.  I was probably a good thing that I already had the camera on the tripod when I spotted him.

Then yesterday I had a pop up on Facebook, and ad for a new Photoshop program that makes eliminating background distractions look like a piece of cake.  I saw the ad first and then opened the pictures of this guy and here I had  photos that needed that program.  Or that feature, but I know you can do that same thing with the software I already have, and learning to take better advantage of the programs is something I keep meaning to do in my spare time?  Why does it feel like I don’t have any spare time when all my time is ‘spare’?9-30Hudsonbeachosprey29-30Hudsonbeachsunset49-30Hudsonbeachsunset5And a couple of shots from the phone.  I sometimes forget to check the iPhone to see what those photos look like, and forgetting to even pull the phone out and take a few shots while I’m out.  But I have the newest phone now, the iPhone 11 pro max, and it takes an extra wide angle shot, so there is the novelty factor.  I think I like it.