Bayport, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunrise

Gloomy sunrise…

It’s not as if I expected a great sunrise.  It was very gloomy at home, but since I have driven to Bayport before and found it to be clear right there at the water, off I went.  Not on Thursday though, there was no color in the sunrise at all.  But my new routine when I go to Bayport is to swing past Jenkin’s Creek on the way home to see if I can spot an eagle.  And while I haven’t found an eagle at any other time of day, I’m batting 1000 for finding one at sunrise.  I tried to wait for him to fly away, or do something besides sit there and turn his head one way or the other, but it was cold and I gave up before anything happened.



Bayport, birds, dogs, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, learning, old dogs new tricks, photography, sunrise, technology

Back to basics…

There I was at Jenkin’s Creek, after a lovely sunrise at Bayport.  I pulled into the parking lot and could see a large bird in the ‘wood stork’ tree, but I honestly couldn’t tell what it was.  Lucky for me there was another photographer there, Tony, and he said that it was a juvenile eagle.  I would probably have to have used Merlin to be sure what it was if he hadn’t been there.  I suppose that I look like I know what I’m doing, what with the tripod (which he said isn’t sturdy enough for my lens), as well as the gigantic lens itself.  So Tony got out his phone and was going to play eagle sounds in an attempt to get this eagle to fly for the sake of the photo op.  So, said he, ‘you probably want to increase your shutter speed.’  Nothing will fluster me more than something like that statement, because I still fumble to make those sorts of changes in the camera settings.  I admitted that I’m a rank amateur with this stuff, and because of that we both managed to miss the shot.  Bet he was glad I showed up.  He said he had gotten some good portrait shots at least.


So I decided I needed to work on my camera skills, and off I went to the dog park.  And I easily upped the shutter speed to account for the action I was hoping to capture.  It’s a lot easier when there are no witnesses to my fumbling.  Maybe I’m getting better at all of this after all.

1221doggie1221doggie21221doggie3Obviously the dog in this last picture has zoomed out of the focus point I set, but what I like about the photo is that the leaves he kicked up are perfectly in focus.  That made me smile.  Note to self, perhaps you ought to increase the focal area next time.

And the sunrise.  I never get tired of going out for the sunrise, and sunsets for that matter.  This one got prettier than it looked like it would with the fog.  And it was foggier when I got home than it was when I left.  Practice, practice, practice…


birds, dolphins, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, learning, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, technology

Lightroom Chronicles…

Lightroom is THE photo editing program to use, or so I’m led to believe.  And I have it in my computer since the subscription to Photoshop includes Lightroom.  I always thought of Photoshop as the ultimate editing tool, and I’ve gotten pretty comfortable using it for the basic sorts of edits that I do to my photos.  But I’m told that Lightroom is easier, (ha!), and you can edit a photo the way you want it, then you can turn those edits into a preset and apply those same edits to all the photos you might choose to, all in one click.  It’ll probably be great once I’m used to it, maybe…

An alternate title for this post could be, ‘If It Ain’t Broke…’, because I was merrily writing posts and taking pictures, and not unhappy with the results.  But all of this raving over Lightroom caused me to take RAW images the last couple of days, the better to edit them the way you want them in Lightroom.  First I went to the eagle nest where nothing at all happened.  And I didn’t think that anything was going to happen at the fishing pier either, until the dolphins showed up.  Not only was I on the pier, so above the dolphins, but I had the 600mm lens on the camera, so better photos of dolphins than I’d been able to get before.  But RAW images!  Needing to be edited in Lightroom?  Why can’t I ever seem to leave well enough alone?  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  Should be my new motto.


I’d be too discouraged to continue if not for this female grackle that landed on the railing nearby.  Maybe this is more the sort of photo that could benefit from being a RAW image and the editing technique I was trying to master.  I only got two pictures before she flew away, but these two pictures will keep me interested in learning something new.


We played with Lightroom in a class a while back, and I had forgotten that we set a watermark.  It feels a bit pretentious to me, amateur that I am…



Bayport, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, sunrise

Bayport and more…

I planned to go to Bayport for the sunrise on Thursday morning, and I left in plenty of time, but as I was driving there I could see the red in the horizon and I was afraid I was missing it.  But I didn’t, it just continued to become more beautiful as time went on, a perfect sunrise.  The only thing missing was that Great Blue Heron that usually joins me.


I headed home and passed the turn for Jenkin’s Creek and thought to myself that I ought to stop there and see if anything was going on.  So I turned around and took the turn.  That proved to be a good choice because there was the eagle I keep hearing about, perched all by him or herself in what I think of as the woodstock tree.  I had been told that the eagle used to always be there but that the wood storks had taken that tree over.  Maybe there has been a change of command.   I have to say that even a majestic eagle looks a little silly when he scratches an itch.  How ironic to find an eagle by accident, so to speak, when I spent such a long time looking for one the day before.  I should have stuck with it a bit longer this morning because almost as soon as I put the camera down he took off.  I would have liked to get a photo of that also.  Maybe next time…




birds, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, live and learn, nature, Osprey, photography, technology, Tricolored heron

Through the (new) lens…

It had to happen, right? I know you saw it coming, it was inevitable.  A 600 mm lens in stock at Best Buy for virtually the same price as Amazon. In stock at their Clearwater store that is. It was a trek, plus they had lots of ‘call outs’, so short staffed and a long wait to get waited on, but I got one. Merry Christmas to me! Of course I zoomed home, stuck it on the camera, and went out back to try it out. And much to my surprise I saw that there were not two Little Blue Herons out there, there was one Little Blue Heron and a Tricolored Heron. I wonder if that’s been the case all along and I just assumed that it was two Little Blue Herons. I downloaded those pictures right away and was so pleased with them that I headed off to Jenkin’s Creek in hopes of spotting an eagle.

And I thought I did spot an eagle in the Wood Storks tree, after all I could see the white head. But no, it was an Osprey, and he was clutching a fish in his talons. I clicked photos while he feasted.

Then I stopped to take photos of the Wood Storks along side the road,1129woodstorks and overheard a fisherman tell a woman that she should go across the street to Linda Peterson Park to see manatees, so that was my next stop. There I found two young people who kept insisting that there were manatees right there by the bridge we were standing on, but for the life of me all I could see was the reflection of the trees. Then the breeze came up and broke up the reflection, and there they were!  And two nice ladies to chat with as we snapped pictures.

When I look at the photos in the camera I honestly can’t tell how sharp they are, so again, I was really happy when I got to see the results. What a nice day!

birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, life goes on, loneliness, memories, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

On the advice…

…of a friend I went out last night with a dryer sheet on my head, tucked under the back of my visor.  And another one sticking out of my shirt, held in place by my bra strap.  I had considered bobby-pinning one to my head, shades of what Catholic girls of a certain age used to do with a tissue if they found themselves without a head covering to wear to Mass.  My friend had been advised that a dryer sheet would keep the no-see-ums away, but evidently I bought the wrong brand because I think they liked me more last night.  A fisherman told me that these little pests are seasonal and that they’ll be gone once we have our first freeze.  I told him that I wasn’t sure that I was rooting for that to happen anytime soon.  But it is inevitable and at least now I’ll have a reason to be happy about it.

He also told me that I had missed the eagle.  It had been across the way in the same tree where I had seen him before.  He says that the eagle was always in the trees where the wood storks are roosting now, but now they have taken that one over.  1127storksI should have gotten great pictures of an egret catching his dinner, and flipping the fish over and over until he got it into position to swallow it.  I had that cheap new lens attached to the camera and was afraid to switch to my other, better, zoom lens.  Better quality wise, but I don’t know if the distance would have been too much for it.  If I had known how long he was going to play with his food before eating it I might have gone ahead and switched.  I couldn’t wait to go home and see what I got, which wasn’t much.

1127egret11127egret2I gave up, switched lenses, and headed to Pine Island.  And quickly captured this photo from the parking lot for fear that it would change before I made it across the beach.  1127sunset1

I’m thinking that I need to find new places to go to take pictures.  But in order to do that I might need to change my work schedule and I’m finding myself fearful of doing that for some reason.  Charley has been talking in my ear lately, he had been fairly quiet for a while, but he used to tell the young patients who complained about working, “If work gets in the way of your social life then quit work.”  As always he was being sarcastic when he said it, and that’s how I’m hearing it in my ear.  Sigh…