a second look, following the rules, friends, fun, life goes on, making memories, memories, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Monkey business…

When I was a kid swinging on the monkey bars at the playground I’m sure that I thought I looked just like these ‘swingers’ at the zoo the other day.  Their acrobatics were amazing, they were constantly in motion.  I still remember what it feels like to swing like that, but my swinging days are in the distant past.

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05-28-20monleyview05-29-20thinking05-28-20swinger305-28-20swinger4And then they sat and posed, and seemed to be thinking.  Maybe about Herman?  I was attracted to the color in the feature photo and then realized it was a memorial to Herman, “A Gentle Soul and a Friend to Many”.

'scene' along the way, a second look, friends, live and learn, memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Mixed feelings…

Mixed feelings is what I had when we saw our first animal at the zoo and stopped to take pictures.  It was the clouded leopard, which we see in the feature photo.  Of course he is beautiful, and on my first trip to the zoo with the photo group I was so happy to get pictures that looked right through the glass or the bars of the cages and only saw the animals themselves.  The excitement to find that you could do that was the take-away for me on that first visit.  But this time when I saw this leopard he was in exactly the same position laying on that log.  The pictures I took on Tuesday are nearly identical to the ones I took a couple of years ago.  I thought of all I had done in those years, and it broke my heart that such a magnificent creature was still in the same place.  I understand the good that zoos do, but for a little while my heart broke for this one creature.  He is safe and cared for, but I wanted to see his eyes.  I wondered what he was thinking…05-29-20leopardeyes05-26-20cloudedleopard205-29-20leopard2

And the next creature we came to continued this theme, because I took this same picture of him several years ago also.  It’s not an alligator, and when I took it’s picture I made a mental note of what it’s actually called, and promptly forgot.  Twice.05-29-20notanalligator

Soon we came to this bear, and again, I took nearly this same photo before.  Actually I think he didn’t look up at me last time.05-26-20bear

And the Malayan Tiger pacing in and out of it’s den was distressing.05-29-20malayantiger

But any mixed feelings I was having left me when we got to the orangutans.  Maybe it’s their interaction with each other that made the difference, but it cheered me up to see them.  We can’t know for sure what he was thinking, but is that a smile?05-29-20orangwithleaves

a second look, backyard visitors, ducks, home, memories, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pond creatures

Get your ducks in a row…

One thing is for sure, I have plenty of old pictures to play with while I keep my distance.  I had totally forgotten about these ducklings on the lake until I scrolled past them in the computer.  And since I talk about all the wildlife out there, and a variety of ducks out there to boot, it now stands out to me that I only saw these two families of ducks out there.  Ever.

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I had to include this picture of Ozzie out there even if the ducklings blend into the weeds in the water.  As I was sitting there taking pictures of the ducklings I realized that Ozzie was laying in the grass not 15 feet from the edge of the water and the momma duck was letting her babies play along the shore without a care in the world.  I had already figured out that the wildlife out there paid no attention to Oz, there simply was no hunting gene in his make-up.  When Zoe was around she loved to run through a flock of birds on the ground, not to catch one, just to make them fly.  It was the labradoodle in her.  I once saw Ozzie snuffle a frog on the patio and then walk away.  He was a live-and-let-live kind of guy.  So I wanted to get a picture of Ozzie with the ducklings so close at the edge of the water, but I had to reposition myself to do it which caused momma to swim a few feet from the edge.  You’ll have to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

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And I came across this picture too, of the pied-grebe face to face with his lunch.  There was a frond of grass that had blown right across the action, leaving a hazy green smudge.  Try as I might with all the new tricks I’ve learned in Lightroom I couldn’t do any better than this to clean that up.  Poor froggie, it just wasn’t his day…

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, facing facts, Florida wildlife, home, life goes on, memories, nature, perseverance, photography

Feathered friends…

Spending the last couple of days going through the photos that were stored on the internal hard drive of this computer has been mostly boring.  But sometimes they brought up nice memories too, like the Swallow-tail Kites that spent an afternoon at the little lake in my backyard.  I had seen them fly over, you can’t miss the split tail.  My ‘best’ shot has him flying out of the photo, so it’s not really my best shot.05-02=20swallowtail305-02=20swallowtail205-02=20swallowtail1And I hadn’t ever seen them before, but because of all the pictures I see online every day I knew what they were and dashed out with the camera.  I was barely able to get a photo of them in flight at all, but then they landed in a tree out there.  I believe that the female landed in the tree and I was surprised to see the male come and feed her.  That’s what’s going on in the feature photo.  It’s an assumption on my part but it makes me happy to think so.  I don’t miss the work and expense of maintaining a home that was too big for me alone, but I do miss my feathered friends.

 

 

a second look, adventure, birds, blessings, Florida wildlife, home, learning, life, life goes on, making memories, memories, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Back in the backyard…

I wasn’t literally back in the backyard, I was revisiting a photo shoot from two years ago.  That was the second year that I watched this Sandhill Cranes couple raise a family right under my nose.  I knew from experience that this would be the one day that those parents would keep the babies right there, close to the nest.  I had been shocked the year before when they had marched the two day old chicks off the nest and disappeared and didn’t return until late afternoon.  I took 415 pictures that day, which I have now culled down to 22 photos.  My first photo was taken at 1:45 in the afternoon, and between the harsh light and the fact that the babies were in grass that was taller than they were, even the new zoom lens I had bought couldn’t get much of a picture.  But still I kept shooting.  My last picture was taken at 5 PM, and by then the light was much nicer and the parents had taken the babies to the edge of the water where they were more visible.  And that’s when they all swam to the nest, which was on a small island in the center of the lake. 04-28-20sandhills404-28-20sandhillbabies304-28-20sandhillbabies204-28-20sandhillbabies

Also on the lake that day was the ever-present little blue heron, and a tri-colored heron. 04-28-20littleblue04-28-20tricolorheron

I think I remember that this was a Pied-billed Grebe.  This was one of the many different birds that dropped in for a visit, and then I didn’t see them again.  The wildlife I saw from my backyard is what drove me back to my interest in photography.  And what a blessing that has become for me, bringing me new friends and adventures.  I’m happy to re-visit these photos while I wait to see what adventures are still to com.04-28-20piedbilledgrebe

 

a second look, finding my way, friends, growing old, healing, home, life goes on, live and learn, loneliness, memories, second chances

Home again…

If you grew up in my hometown with me then you recognize this place.  Fifty years ago I desperately wanted to get away from home, and when I met a nice guy who was in the Navy and would would ‘take me away,’ it was too much to resist.  But in the back of my mind I thought that I would somehow live there again some day, but I never did.  I had no idea how much I had blown up my life by leaving.  The friends and relatives that might have been part of my daily life weren’t there.  As I lived those days and years I didn’t think anything was missing, I was happy, it’s only now that I am looking back at it and wondering.  Because now that I am alone, and for almost the first time in my adult life, I see what I missed.  And I found I really needed to reconnect to those places and people from my past.  I needed to go back to square one, so to speak, in order to figure out where to go from here.

They say you can never go home again.  And in truth when I was out driving in my hometown with my old friend he would ask me if I recognized where I was, and I hardly ever did.  Places change.  But when it comes to DW Field’s Park it hasn’t changed a bit.  And that’s comforting to me.  And people?  They change too.  But some of them treasure their own memories of the past, and lucky for me I was part of their memories also.  This is the place I call up in my memory at the mention of the word home.  And I, for one, really can go home again.

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