a second look, backyard visitors, birds, life goes on, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography

Close to home…

Another trip out to the neighborhood park with the new camera yielded no dragonfly shots. I went out much earlier in the day, hoping there would be some dragonfly/bird action. What I found was a couple of moms and their kids packing up some lacrosse equipment, so I was a bit late for potential action shots. I kind of hate the question, “What do you like to shoot?” Whatever crosses my path is my answer…

I did see Palm Warblers, the tiny little birds I’ve been hoping to shoot for a while now.
It was a good exercise for using the 100-400mm lens I bought for the new mirrorless camera. You see how tiny these little birds are, plus they are busy little things. And the extra megapixels in the camera helps keep some sharpness when you have to crop a LOT.
These cute little birds at least provided an opportunity to practice, practice, practice.
So I thought I’d sit on the bench and wait and see what would happen. But you are seldom without a lizard for company here in Florida. My son once brought one home in the little container I’d given him, with holes punched in the top, to collect ‘callipiders.’ When I saw it on the rug I jumped up onto the bed and started screaming. His four-year-old self had to rescue me. I’m better now.
No dragonflies, no spiders, just weeds.

I was concentrating on the tiny birds and nearly missed the Great Egret strolling through my shot. Being outside is such a pleasure these days. It might be hot in the sun still, but it’s delightful in the shade. I may get homesick for New England here and there, but Florida really is home to me these days.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, Florida landmarks, life goes on, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Day two dawns…

I checked the weather app on my phone, and when I saw that it was 61 degrees and clear I knew I’d head out to the park for sunrise.. It was overcast all day yesterday, day one after the hurricane came through, and I thought there would be a good potential for a really great sunrise, but when I got to the park and saw the heavy dark clouds I wasn’t so sure.

What I imagine when the app says that it’s ‘clear’ out isn’t what I found. But the mere thought that it was ‘sweater weather’ would have gotten me out regardless.
I was still feeling optimistic at this point.
This was as nice as the sunrise got this morning.
Heading for home there was no mistaking that shape at the top of the light post.
He stayed put for a photo or two, but when I tried to walk around to see him head-on he flew off.

When I got to the park and sat down on the bench I was greeted by mosquitos that seemed all too happy to see me. I was less happy to see, and swat, them. Day two after the hurricane, and the photos of the devastation south of us are heart breaking. The most I have seen in my area are some small sections of fencing down. Now anticipating another landfall in Charleston, I have to hope that they also are spared.

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, life goes on, live and learn, nature, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography, turtles, unintended images

Making do…

I’m killing time waiting for the bike shop to open. I looked forward to the photo ops we had in mind for yesterday, but they fell apart right from get-go. I’m pretty sure that operator error was what caused the bike chain to come off the electric trike. Don’t get me wrong, our trip to the Coastal Anclote Trail wasn’t a total waste since I was able to ride using the electric motor, but it’s not as much fun when you aren’t pedaling. I’ve looked at fixes online, but ‘keyway’ and ‘set screw’ are totally foreign words to me so I’ll take it to the pros to fix today. Of course I had the new camera with me, and I had in mind to use the lens that came with it. I’m stubborn like that. At any rate the eagles weren’t hanging around the nest, or what’s left of it. They will have some home improvements to do before they will be ready to raise a new family this year. But we did spot some wildlife as we rode.

Way over there, a bird in a tree. I didn’t really think it was an eagle, but a girl can dream can’t she? Plus there is a teeny-tiny airplane overhead. I had no idea that that was there.
Here’s the photo over-cropped, enough detail remains that I’m not unhappy with the lens.

That vulture wasn’t the only wildlife we saw. The feature photo is the gopher tortoise that was crossing the trail ahead of us. I thought he gave me a tiny little smile for his photo before we moved on. We had gone far enough that I am seriously doubtful that it was the same tortoise who caught up with us passed me on the left, and then made a reckless right turn to cross just in front of me and head off the right side of the trail. I barely got my camera up in time to get his photo. I have no idea what got him moving so fast, but I’m glad I didn’t hit him.

I named him Speedy McGee.

Our day was supposed to include a trip to the little botanical garden in Spring Hill before we headed home, but after a nice, air-conditioned, lunch we decided not to brave the heat anymore, and that was that. Not at all the photos I hoped to have at the end of the day, but that’s how it goes sometimes…

adventure, blessings, coping, let it go, life goes on, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, reality check, road trip, Uncategorized

Hitting the road…

Day one, the good news and the bad news. The good news is that the air bags didn’t go off. So I could see as I held onto the steering wheel for dear life when the 18 wheeler in the lane next to mine ahead of me hit a huge piece of truck tire laying on his lane of Rt. 95 and sent it flying into us. It happened too quickly to panic, and I was in heavy traffic so swerving wasn’t an option. But things seemed okay so we didn’t try to pull over at that point, and then I tried not to think about what might have happened, but didn’t. Eventually we reached our day’s destination and this is what we found. I’m not happy, but I am so thankful that it wasn’t worse.

I’d like to think it’s not a big deal repair, but I guess we’ll see.

I must have seen the billboards with the legend about the live baby alligators before, but they stood out to me this trip. Possibly because I wasn’t driving at the moment. That could explain how it came to be that the only time I saw an alligator in my neighborhood was in Baltimore. Never in Florida.

a second look, birds, facing facts, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Winding down…

Things have slowed down at the rookery. There were a few ducklings as you see in the profile picture, but you also wee the water lilies that have completely taken over the water there. The decibel level is down with the few remaining babies calling out to be fed. The grassy slope we stand on to shoot has been overtaken by sandy looking spots, which I attempted to avoid in my flip flops but I still managed to come away with a fresh crop of fire ant bites. The great egrets were the only action to focus on while we were there, and I can’t say for sure if they are an adult and baby or two siblings practicing their poses. It’s a privilege to witness this cycle of life yet again. Nature truly amazes.

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sky, strangers become friends, sunset, Uncategorized

Lost and found…

A reader recently told me not to worry about using ‘old’ pictures, though the ones we were talking about that day were only a month old. These photos were found on an SD card that I apparently had put away upon getting a ‘better’ SD card. The photos were from 11-9-2019, and were taken at Pine Island. It seems I have abandoned Pine Island for sunset photography these days. I haven’t been back since they decided to keep charging the $5/car entrance fee even when you are arriving 20 minutes before sunset. But these photos have reminded me how much I enjoyed the sunsets there, and of the connections I’ve made there also, so perhaps I will rethink my position on paying the fee. I probably used these photos in a blog post back then, but seeing them on the card doesn’t give me a clue about that. And Lightroom has had some fabulous upgrades to use since then. The skies look very much like our current skies, so there is that at least. I sometimes feel as if I temporarily lost, and then found, myself these last few years. All in all, being found is a good thing.

The feature photo is of the beach and sky to the left of the actual sunset. This photo is taken to the right, which would make it towards the north. Very different sky.
It was early yet, but down in the corner you see people settled into their chairs to watch the show.
I don’t know if I expected as pretty a sunset as it turned out to be.
Not a lot of people waiting for sunset, but some.
Low tide adds some interest to the scene.
Finally the sun was dropping below the clouds.
Another photographer with his own perspective on the sunset.
Touchdown! Finally.
I took many more shots as that sky darkened. But this is my last shot from the parking lot as I got ready to leave.

Pine Island is now calling me. Not tonight though. We will be (hopefully) celebrating a Lightning win at one of our favorite places to belly up to the bar tonight. Or drowning our sorrows, it remains to be seen.