a second look, birds, coping, finding my way, growing old, let it go, life, losing it, moments, nature, perseverance, photography

Cheering myself up…

I’m attempting to cheer myself up with my photos today. I woke up in a down kind of mood, for no particular reason. So then I decided to get a haircut, and I got scalped! So I could go crawl in a hole for a couple of weeks while my hair grows, or look at my pictures of the cute little chicks I saw the other day. I hope they can do it for me…

I had been there for a little while without spotting egret chicks, which was my goal for the day. Then along came a gal who visits every day, and she kindly pointed them out to me. I think they are the ugly ducklings of the rookery, but they will grow into such beautiful birds.
They were secluded in the nest, but soon they will be big enough to poke their little heads up higher and yell to mom to feed them.
These wood stork chicks are a few days older I think, and their lung power is developing nicely. I think these guys are adorable, at least when they are little.
There is a certain lack of privacy in the rookery. I was looking at the egret and seeing bobbing heads. I sometimes think they look like they are babysitting their neighbor’s chicks.
This anhinga chick is singing along with mom, or maybe that’s dad.
Have no fear though, more egret chicks are coming…
'scene' along the way, birds, friends, fun, Just do it, life, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, unintended images

You just never know…

The current obsession among the photographers here are the rookeries that we are lucky enough to have in our area. Nesting birds have been busy building nests, and sitting on eggs, and now we have the pay off in the first hatchlings of the season being captured by the camera. We were at a rookery yesterday, along with a few other photographers, and we happily clicked away as we saw little heads bobbing up and down. But on the way home, me as the passenger, and with the camera in my lap because I had been reviewing the photos to see if I got any decent pictures, I saw a hawk land on a post as we stopped for a red light. So I rolled the window down and got a couple of pictures, and then he took off. I didn’t see the lizard until I got the pictures into the computer. I went through the pictures in the camera and did find some ‘baby’ pictures to use, but when these last few pictures popped up I felt like these were the cherry on top. You just never know what’ll happen when you head out the door.

“Oh shoot,” I thought when I came to this picture, “I missed him.”
“Oh good.”
“All right!”
a second look, blessings, family, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, life, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Orangutans…

I learned a few things about orangutans yesterday. First of all my dear friend gave me a heads up about a series on National Geographic called ‘Secrets of ZooTampa’. She had watched an episode about orangutans which included footage of Randee giving birth to little Riplee, I saw that message as we were heading out the door to go to a photo shoot with our group, to the zoo! Then a chatty little girl at the zoo told me about another episode, and at lunch after the shoot yet another mention of that series came up in the group. Since I can take a hint, we found the episode last night and watched it. For someone who was so excited to see that baby orangutan I’m ashamed to say that I was completely in the dark about that series. And the take away from the episode was that in the wild orangutans are solitary creatures. The fact that they live together at the zoo, nine of them, grandmothers, daughters, and grandchildren, plus the resident male, is unusual. Their interactions with each other is wonderful to watch, so the idea that they would live solitary lives in the wild seemed sad somehow. All this being said, I took more pictures of the orangutans yesterday than anything else, as usual. And there was still another surprise in store also.

It was a chilly morning, so the activity was to be covering up with blankets as they munched on leaves.
The day would be warm, but they looked cozy as they ate.
There was a bit of rearranging going on.
Dear old dad was covered up also, choosing a plain white blanket rather than the colorful blankets favored by the ‘girls’.
A little family time.

I promised another surprise, didn’t I? Another of the young adult orangutans gave birth about a month ago, a fact that had escaped my notice completely. Apparently this event happened during the day and was witnessed by the zoo-goers who happened to be there. What a photo op that would have been.

This is Hadiah, and this little girl is her second baby. Born February 6th. No news on a name so far.

Evidently I will have many more days of enjoying the baby orangutans ahead of me. What a nice surprise it was to see this new addition. And if Riplee was #9, then we now have 10 orangutans at ZooTampa.

a second look, coping, facing facts, finding my way, go with the flow, life, life goes on, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset

Some days…

Some days end in a blaze of glory. Is that day proud of itself for being such a spectacular day from beginning to end? Other days slip away quietly. Perhaps not exactly hoping that no one will notice, but possibly it feels shyly apologetic for not having made more of itself all day long. I relate more to the latter, facing the world from behind the lens of my camera, then communicating with the world from the anonymity of my computer screen. Some days are more inspired than others…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Amazing artwork, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, life, life goes on, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

It’s all about the bees…

Heritage Gardens was supposed to be about the hummingbirds. I was there two years ago and came across a shrub that was just off the walking path and the flowers there were making the hummingbirds very happy. And the hummingbird moths too. So in my usual way I totally expected them to be right there waiting for me to take more pictures of them this time. So much of life has changed in the last two years, why should I expect the hummingbirds to be carrying on in the same way? I’ve certainly chosen a bit of a different path for myself these days, I guess they can too.

I was attracted to the intense blue and purple colors of this hydrangea.. The bee was a bonus.
Gorgeous hollyhocks.
The charming windmill.
Chipmunks are so cute, and we don’t see them in Florida.

Wait, I said this was about the bees, didn’t I?

Orange bee…
Pink bee…
Purple bee…
Oops, this is a butterfly!

Lego sculptures were found throughout the gardens.

Same picture from this angle…
And then from this angle.
And now we see how this was done…

We had such a nice day. And when we got back my friend got to reunite with two close friends from childhood for the first time in over 20 years. After all my travels and reconnections these past few years I know just how great that feels. What a very nice day.

'scene' along the way, adventure, coping, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, go with the flow, life, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, unintended images

Detours…

I’ll bet you think I’m going to get all philosophical and talk about how you think your life is going one way and then it takes a very unexpected turn. I might be tempted to talk about that, but in this case I’m talking about the actual detour we took yesterday. Off of Rt. 301, compliments of the policemen who had closed the road to all traffic. We knew that something very unfortunate had happened up ahead, and we had a pretty good attitude since we had planned a day of driving that would get us to our stopping point on the early side. I had, however, just suggested that a bathroom break might be in order, and little did I know that it would be two hours before we found ourselves back on 301.

We were on a two lane road, very rural, with standing water along the sides of the road in places, from the recent rains.
When I say ‘we’ I mean ourselves and the many, many huge trucks traveling in both directions. One after the other those huge trucks passed us, most with their right side tires off the pavement and I noticed that they were creating a deep rut on the other side of the road. And still there were more coming.
I wished I could reach my camera when I saw three mules in the pasture here. One was kicking up it’s heals at the other two. It could have been a good picture, darn it.
I suppose I was lucky that I wasn’t the driver at the time, so I could amuse myself by taking pictures with my phone.

It took us over two hours to travel that detour. We saw only one issue, and that was a car driving in our same direction, and she had gone off the road enough that trying to back herself back up the slope probably wouldn’t work. We were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel by then, 301 was just up ahead and our particular nightmare was almost over. We looked at the cars and trucks heading south and just turning onto that sad little road and felt bad that they had no idea what they were in for. And, just as we expected, once we reached 301 we saw that the northbound lanes had been reopened while we were stuck in that detour nightmare. But we were back on the road with no harm done, so we were happy. Later on we learned that a truck driver had overturned and died, causing this whole problem. Day one of this trip was done…