'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, birds, friends, fun, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, rain, sky, storms, weather

Summer in Florida…

My friend announced that he wanted to go to Clearwater yesterday, which made me think of the nesting birds that we hadn’t gone looking for so far. I was sure it was now or never to find the chicks before they fledged, so I sort of hijacked his trip by suggesting we go a little bit farther and see the birds first. Only they weren’t where we found them last year, requiring a plan B. Our second stop was going to require feeding the meter before we even knew if they were there, so he parked while I hurried down to the beach to see what I could see. And I did see several adult birds in a roped off area up the beach a ways. But I began to hear thunder which caused the lifeguards to being sounding their whistles to get swimmers out of the water. I had my cell phone with me and thought I’d get a beach picture before I left, but looking behind me I saw quite the sky.

At first we were amazed at all the lightning we were seeing on the drive home. The claps of thunder and the lightning were almost simultaneous, so we knew the storm was right over us. But when it began to rain we couldn’t keep driving, we had to pull over and wait it out. My friend never did get to run his errand in Clearwater, but I had told him that lunch was on me. And then when we were finally almost home I was amazed at how dark the skies were, but some of the clouds were lit up and looking amazing against the dark sky. We have a photo walk to go to tonight and similar weather conditions are on the menu. But that will be the story for the foreseeable future here in Florida, my adopted home.

a second look, boats, brainstorms, exploring new places, facing facts, friends, fun, learning, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, technology, unintended images

Missing the boat…

It wasn’t the right setting to try the photography technique we had intended to use. Our photo club guru, Jeff, says that You Tube how-to videos can be made by any Tom, Dick, or Harry so watch out. But in this case I think it was more the two people on the receiving end of the information who missed the boat. Further practice is needed.

The feature photo was taken with a new lens I bought, and I wasn’t attempting any particular settings when I took it. Which is evidence that the new lens bears no responsibility for the lack of desired results. Nope, blame operator error, as usual. But with Lightroom all was not lost, which is a good thing since it’s been too hot to venture out for photos in the daytime lately. Venturing out to check out the pool wouldn’t be a bad idea however. Just heaven forbid, no pictures please.

I like the softer focus on this one.
How about a black and white-ish effect?
Various people wandered onto the dock to watch the sunset.
I liked the cloud in this picture. It looks like it’s straight out of the new Jurassic park movie, which is another possibility for an activity for the heat of the day.
attention to detail, exploring new places, food, friends, fun, live and learn, perseverance, photography, sky, weather

Krate…

When you already have a very nice shopping area, complete with restaurants, movie theaters, and shops for every member of the family, what more does it need? Apparently someone thought that The Grove needed 50+ container storefront shops, with lots of room to add more. This is a novel idea to me, but perhaps not so much to you. The grand opening was set for Saturday, but we went on Friday as something to do while a tropical storm was bearing down on South Florida. We wanted to avoid the crowds that I assumed would be there for the grand opening the next day, but as I looked around it was the sky that kept grabbing my attention. Amazing, wide-open skies, with ominous dark looking clouds that never did materialize into the called for rain. At least not here.

Colorful umbrellas, some people strolling, but always the sky.
You will not go home hungry if you visit this place.
I have to admit that these low-slung containers left a lot of room for sky in my iPhone photos.
I’m so glad I was here when we didn’t have cars and people cluttering up the shots of that sky. LOL.
Charcuterie anyone?
I wonder what will be sold at the Rebellious Hippie?
Something for the kids. The MaeBerry name is what got my attention, but I don’t suppose the young people would understand why.
Besides having every edible treat you can imagine available, you might also like to buy some jewelry or get a tattoo.
It’s nice to know that what happens at Krate stays at Crate.

I thought I’d be able to mention all the varieties of food that’s available here, but it was mind boggling. Suffice it to say that from hot dogs to sushi, it was all here. Plus wine bars and craft beer. And don’t forget the bakeries and ice cream shops for dessert. From what I could see this area will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, maybe to leave you to digest what you sampled over the weekend. I found this to be a fun concept and I’m looking forward to returning when the shops are open. I don’t think I mentioned that of the 50+ shops here, only one is a chain store. That’s taking a good idea and making it even better.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, connections, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends

Flappers…

I never thought of myself as particularly OCD, but it seems I am when it comes to my photos. I always want to use them in the order in which they were taken. And God forbid that I went out for pictures and then happened across a situation where I got more and ‘better’ pictures afterwards. That’s what constitutes a dilemma for me. So I already had pictures from the Tampa rookery when I left for my recent trip to NH, and I only got around to looking at the rookery pictures today. They are from Mother’s Day, judging by the ducklings in the feature photo. Would anyone have known that these aren’t current pictures? Of course not, but I know they aren’t current and it bothers me. But not enough to just chuck them and go out for newer pictures.

Do you think she was counting heads? There were 14 of these little cuties at the time. I haven’t seen them since to see how many are still tagging after mom.
I don’t know that I’d ever have noticed this juvenile black crowned night heron chick if another photographer hadn’t pointed it out to me. It stayed on that branch the whole time we were there, so I went back and took more pictures of him every now and then, but he mostly just sat there.
I thought he just sat there but then I came across this picture.
This rookery has some birds I don’t commonly see, such as this young glossy ibis. I was fully prepared to call him a reddish egret until I noticed that long, curved beak.
The reason there seems to be so many tricolor herons at this rookery is probably because many of them are juveniles who are flapping their wings and zooming around the area.
Not to be outdone in the flapping department is this juvie wood stork, who still yells for his Mama.
This snowy egret isn’t so flappy as it is fluffy.
Note the ‘golden slippers’, which are how I check myself as to who I’m looking at.
Eventually these little wood storks grow into their beaks.

My interest in birds snuck up on me. I bought a DSLR first, spur of the moment (it was Christmas after all), and when I sat in my backyard with the camera birds were what was there to pose for pictures. I’m not sure I’d ever heard the word ‘rookery’ until I started paying attention to the photos online, and then found the camera club. A long time ago I realized, and sort of kicked myself over the realization, that I never actually made a plan in life, I just let myself go where the wind blew me. Now I see it blew me right where I belong.

'scene' along the way, attention to detail, bugs, connections, friends, fun, learning, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise, sunset, unintended consequences

Live and learn…

The feature photo is from Monday morning, pale but nice sunrise after a storm the night before. Which looked like this just after it ended, and in time for the sky to light up.

I think I was lucky enough to catch the finale of the show, because it got grayer soon after I took this shot.
This is the audience apparently waiting for the sunrise right along with me.
And this was Monday night as we left the restaurant and headed for home. An early night because our company was leaving on Tuesday, a very early flight.

Note to self: Just because you are in a parking lot when you decide you have to take a shot of the sunset, and you step up onto a curb and then onto the sandy grass, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t fire ants ready and waiting to bite your toe and make you too itchy to fall asleep…

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, live and learn, nature, perseverance, photography

On closer examination…

I often begin telling myself stories about the photos I’m taking while I’m taking them. Looking through the lens I think I know what’s happening as I’m watching, but equally as often I am totally off the mark. When I was taking pictures of these anhinga chicks I thought I’d say they are the three amigos, just singing together while they wait for mom to show up with food. Kind of like this photo. Except of course for the fact that mom was actually present, but her dark color had her blending into the background.

The family that sings together…

The reality of the situation was revealed when I looked at the pictures in the computer. It was a different situation all together. When a photographer friend said that anhinga chicks feed by sticking their beaks down their mother’s throats I said that I was glad I’m not an anhinga. And I am… glad that is.

Ouch!
Again, ouch…
Perhaps we’ll see cattle egret chicks before too long. That would be a first for me.
This egret photobombed my shot…
I knew there were chicks in this nest, but I had to wait because it looked like a pile of feathers as I concentrated on the other birds. Then mom and dad stood up.
Have I mentioned that it was breezy that morning?
I was paying attention to these three wood storks because it looked as if they were all laying on one nest. When they got up I saw two nests, and if you look real carefully you will see a tiny, tiny chick in the bottom nest.
Maybe it really does take a village.
These wood stork chicks are a far cry from the tiny one in the last photo. I love the wooly look they get at this stage.
And last but not least, a close up of the egret chicks who will one day grow into such beautiful, graceful birds. But right now not so much…

Since I can’t ride past this nest on my way to and from just about anywhere you will be seeing baby birds a while longer. Nature at her finest!