'scene' along the way, adventure, Camping, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, life goes on, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, solitude

The power of suggestion…

It was the power of suggestion that got me.  When I got here to Fort DeSoto campgrounds I told the ranger that I’d seen pictures of owls and eagles that were taken here in the park.  He suggested that my best bet for either bird would be the Arrowhead area.  Take the nature trails he said, so I headed there the next day.  A self-guiding nature trail, what could possibly go wrong with that, I asked myself.  And there were lots of signs, signs announcing what flora you might be seeing, like the long needled pine trees who’s needles were carpeting the trail I was on.  Or the Cabbage palms that seemed to be everywhere.  I wanted to see the Prickly Pear cactus because I liked the name and the flower, but didn’t notice any cactus anywhere. 1-21-20longneedlepine1-21-20cabbagepalm1-21-20cactussign

Signs saying ‘trail’, and with an arrow, pointed the way.  One of the last signs I noticed was one announcing that the fauna lining the trail at that point was mostly Poison Ivy!  Not good news.  But still I walked, and walked, and then realized that I hadn’t seen any signs for a long while.  No signs announcing the wildlife or plants, and most alarming, no signs pointing the way.  And it was about then that I realized that my left leg was really itchy.  So I scratched, and walked some more, and the trail seemed to be becoming narrower, and narrower still. 

1-21-20intothewoods1-21-20intothewoods1 I then decided that maybe retracing my steps was probably a good idea.  I saw no eagles, or owls, or people, on the walk, and eventually my leg stopped itching.  But as I drove away I did finally find the water and stopped for pictures.

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On the way back to the campgrounds I decided that I should stop at North Beach.  I had stopped there for the sunset on the first night here, and found pounding surf and a fishing pier.  But North Beach had been named one of the best beaches in the country more than once, and it got top honors a couple of years ago.  So I wanted to see the actual beach that had inspired such rave reviews.  But in this cold weather it was empty.  Totally empty.  I would have loved to have seen rows of colorful umbrellas, and children chasing the waves in and out.  If I had seen them I might have wished to see less people, wished to see the scene as nature had created it.  I will visit again another time, and maybe the weather will be warmer.  Beach weather.  That would be nice.1-21-20northbeach11-21-20northbeach2

adventure, Camping, go with the flow, Just do it, life goes on, making memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Making do

I rousted myself out early for the sunrise on my first morning in the Fort DeSoto campgrounds.  From time to time my photo group holds photo walks to see the sunrise between the main uprights of the Sunshine Skyway bridge, when the sunrise will line up properly.  That first morning wasn’t one of those mornings, but it was very worth while to be out there, killing time until the camp store opened so I could get some coffee.  I had solved my electrical problem by plugging my extension cord into the camp supplied power and using it to charge my computer.  My camera battery would be next, and if my phone was charged after driving around that day then the heater would be a very welcome use of that extension cord overnight.  And the next morning?  Coffee!1-20-20skywayatfirst

The sky was blue and clear, and the lights on the bridge were so pretty when I arrived at East Beach.  As it got lighter the lights weren’t visible, and the colors became muddy.  But a lovely sunrise none the less…1-20-20sunshineskywaycloser1-20-20sunshineskywayitrises1-20-20sunshineskywayitrises2

fun, Just do it, life, life goes on, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset

Green Key Beach…

I think of going out for the sunset as a quiet, peaceful sort of thing to do.  Not last night though.  There were two sets of tweenaged boys screaming and playing in the water, and it seemed the seagulls were attempting to out-do them noise-wise.  One of the sets of boys, three of them, had two of them extremely far out in the water, and the one on the shore was screaming to them to criticize them.  I was almost afraid to zoom out and look for them in the water for fear of what I’d do if they appeared to be in trouble.  Happily for them, and me, they were okay.  The other set of boys kept choosing to play football between me and the sunset, and in moving myself to get away from them I managed to get in someone else’s view and he let me know it in no uncertain terms.  Still, it was good to be out for the sunset.  I’ve been looking at the cloudy skies lately and talking myself out of going out.  Sometimes I have to give myself a little push, and I’m usually glad I did.01-17-20greenkeysunset01-17-20greenkeysunset201-17-20greenkeysunset301-17-20greenkeysunset4

'scene' along the way, a second look, eagles, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

The circle of (eagle) life…

I was up north last winter when the nearby eagles were raising their young, so it’s a treat to watch them now.  I’m an amateur, I think some of the photographers I saw there are there nearly every day.  But I hadn’t been in a couple of weeks so.  When I saw that the eaglets were already popping their heads up out of the nest I needed to play catch-up.  It was so fun to watch, or pretend to, since I was struggling to focus.  I needed to focus manually with my big lens and extender, and no matter what I did it didn’t appear to be in focus.  All the while the other photographers were exclaiming over how cute the little ones were, so I finally ditched the extender and stuck with my 150-600 Tamron lens, which allows auto focus.  To see these tiny creatures at all is amazing since they really are quite a distance away.

Seeing a parent fly in with a fish started the action for me.  My fellow watchers were remarking on how tired this eagle was.  I asked how you could tell and the answer was that it was panting, like a dog. 01-14-20incoming101-14-20incoming201-14-20incoming301-14-20momandbaby101-14-20momandbaby201-14-20momandbaby301-14-20momandbaby4They were also all excited when they spotted two eaglets!  I just shot picture after picture and hoped I had gotten something.  If I heard them shooting then I did too.  But after a while I was able to sort out what I was seeing through the lens and yes, there were two of them.  01-14-20twochicksThe other parent was in a nearby tree, arriving soaking wet, and I caught this image as he ‘shook his tail feathers’.01-14-20shakeitoff

But I can’t leave this on such a silly note, when we all know just how regal they are, even when wet.01-14-20wetbutregal

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

finding my way, fun, go with the flow, life goes on, live and learn, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Happy New Year…

I wasn’t thinking about it being New Year’s Eve this morning.  I was thinking of my trip to John Chestnut park a few days ago, when the photographer I talked to said that across Lake Tarpon was Anderson park.  He seemed to dismiss Anderson park, not much there he said, but even at that moment I said to myself that I ought to try the sunrise from there.  And when I saw what a nice day appeared to be brewing I was up and out the door with time to spare.  It was a nice last day of the year, and 2019 was a good year for me, though not for some who are near and dear to me.  I hope this new year brings good things for all of us.  Happy New Year everyone!

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