learning, natural wonders, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology

Chasing the sunset…

After seeing that possibly elusive opening in the clouds on Saturday night I stopped for the sunset on the way to Hudson beach.  It has been suggested to me by more than one fisherman that Hammond’s Creek bridge isn’t the best place in Aripeka to take sunset photos.  They both said to go to the next bridge down.  Not knowing exactly where they meant for me to go I kept glancing to my right as I drove, to find the spot and to make sure that the promise of a beautiful sunset was still on the table.  And I came around a bend to see the prettiest setting for the sunset that I’d seen in a while.  I turned the car around and found a place to pull off the road, and climbed over the guardrail to set the camera up as far off the road as I could.  My landing zone was probably 6 square feet.  Standing on that little road, at a hairpin bend in the road, in the twilight, was probably not the best move, but it was a great shot.  Not the one they told me to look for though, guess I’ll try to find that next time…5-20sunsetHDR25-19aripekasunset

And from the iPhone a panoramic shot, straight out of the camera…iphonearipekasunsetWell, I did resize from the 56 mp size that it was.  Yes, the color really was that dramatic.  And I took so many pictures, but all of the same exact scene.  There was nowhere else to look from that little spot.  After you’ve been looking at the photos in order to choose the few you’ll use they begin to look normal, then you check the post later and that’s when you’ll see how strong the colors are.  But with another day of thunderstorms ahead this post will probably be published as is.  Just another day on the Nature Coast…

go with the flow, healing, life goes on, moments, natural wonders, nature, photography, sunrise

Daybreak…

I was the only one there for the sunrise at Hammond’s Creek bridge.  Well, if you don’t count the no-see-ums that is.  They were there in spades, and attacked before I could get the camera set up.  For once I was happy that I barely made it as the sun came up.  The two footed Great Blue Heron was there too, and watched me as I switched back and forth across the road, shooting the sunrise and the reflection.  And just as I was getting ready to leave the Budweiser bicycle guy rode up and said ‘hi’.  I made fun of him after I met him last time, and I felt a little bad about that since he was so friendly, and said he was glad I got some good pictures.  I didn’t stay to see if he enjoys a beer with every sunrise…

5-10HDRsunrise25-10HDRHammonds5-10HDRHammonds25-10HDRHammonds3

finding my way, natural wonders, nature, photography, simple things, sunrise, technology, unintended images

Older and wiser…

When I let Ozzie out in the dark and quiet it was drizzling, which made me give up on the notion of joining the photo walk at John Chestnut park this morning.  And an alternative plan I had thought of was to go to Philippe park and visit the owlet.  I heard that she is flying between the branches now, and it was suggested that spotting her might be a bit of an exercise in Where’s Waldo since she would be camouflaged quite well in the thick Spanish moss hanging on the trees.  But then I saw a photo that had been posted last night that showed her falling out of the tree, and she has been taken to a raptor rehab, and will hopefully be returned asap.  With that sad news I decided that I’d stay home and take care of the house, but head out to 7:15 Mass first.  I was oblivious to the sunrise until I took my first right turn to head west, and spotted this.2-25Sundaysunrise2

I had to stop, I just couldn’t take a chance that there might be a better place, a better angle to take a picture.  Then I got to the corner and stopped again.  That’s where I took the feature photo above.  I felt like I was racing the clock, not because I’d be late to church, but because I hated to stop when I expected that the best view would be at the church itself.  It sits up on a bit of a hill, and I was arguing with myself that I should just quit wasting time and get there before the color started to fade.  But this last is the view from the church, not the wide open view I had expected.  What did I used to do when I saw these incredible displays that nature puts on fairly regularly but I wasn’t ‘into’ photography?  Did I not notice?   Should I just credit technology, since carrying an iPhone means I’m never without a camera, so that’s the inspiration?  Or just admit to myself that it’s probably that older and wiser thing…2-25Sundaysunrise

finding my way, friends, growing old, home, life goes on, memories, natural wonders, photography, simple things, travel

New England girl…

I hadn’t even gotten the title written onto the page when Charley commented in my ear that I was a girl when Hollywood was a prairie.  That may be true, but what the heck.  My trips ‘up north’ usually result in running back and forth, trying to visit everyone, and not spending enough time with anyone.  Especially my life-long friend Kathy in New Hampshire.  But we had a BIG high school reunion a while back, the one where when your parents had it you realized how old they were getting.  And now it was our turn, and I went to New Hampshire and stayed put, and even then it wasn’t enough time together, we hadn’t run out of things to talk about.  Or places to photograph.  I was seeking stone walls, but found much more than that.  Old chimneys that once had families huddled in front of it, or a pot of stew simmering in it.  “Flower beds’ that would make you smile.  Old red barns, and rocky rivers, not unlike the rocky New England beaches, like Duxbury, that had Charley shaking his head.  Covered bridges, and hints of fall colors to come, but not while I was visiting.  Lake Sunapee, on a perfect day.  And the inevitable stone walls, some of them just outside Kathy’s door.

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And no, Ozzie wasn’t with me in New Hampshire.  I was playing with the Superimpose app and, like magic, there he was…

birds, Florida wildlife, natural wonders, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, Owls, perseverance, photography

Whoo is that???

Photographers are a friendly bunch.  They freely share information on where to go to see whatever birds you may wish to see.  Upon losing the eaglets my attention turned to the Great Horned Owl nest I’ve been hearing about.  One of my new acquaintances posts info on the current conditions in the various parks around, so I was well aware that Phillipe Park was the place to go to find an owl-ette (?).  I had never been there before, but I was hopeful that I would find the nest.  I asked directions once I was there and was told to go through the 4-way stop and look for the paparazzi, LOL, and it worked.  Well, it got me to the area, but the other photographers had to point out the nest.  One even moved over to give me a better view, and finally I spotted the Mom up above the nest in a tree.  Some of them had been there for three hours when I got there, but I was just in time, they said, because they expected her to move to the nest any minute.  Then it would be feeding time.3-7owls1The Spanish moss that you see was a challenge to shoot through.  It was hanging from limbs between the owls and where we were standing, and it was blowing back and forth.  I had to switch to manual focus because auto focus kept refocusing as the moss came into the viewer.  Then someone yelled that she was in flight…3-7owlsfeatureOnce she landed all you could see was the baby, sort of…3-7owls2And we all scrambled across the way, hoping for a better angle.3-7owls33-7owls73-7owls43-7owls63-7owls53-7owls8And oh by the way, I wasn’t far off with my made up owl-ette.  Siri says it’s actually owlet.  Such a cute face, and quite the wing spread from the glimpse I got of that.  I have no idea what I used to think about before I became a bird-brain…

birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, life, natural wonders, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, photography

Eaglets…

I asked Siri what baby eagles are called, and eaglets was the answer.  I was afraid I’d made that word up when I considered using it.  One of my fellow stalkers of the nest, and I say that with all respect, happened to speak with an official from Pasco County yesterday.  When asked if he would like to receive photos from the photographers who have been concentrating on the nest the official said yes.  And that is what made me go back to my last visit and look, really look, at my photos from that day.  Sometimes after being out for quite a while taking the photos, and then coming home and writing a blog post, I tend to narrow my vision to what fits the subject I’m writing about.  Telling the story of the day as it happened, and not posting a ridiculous number of photos.  In looking back at the photos for Pasco County I realized that what I’d most like to see is the eaglets, as clearly as possible.  And when you consider the distance involved, the size of the eaglets, and the angle from which you are forced to take the photos, it is amazing that these photos are even possible.  That’s technology for you, not necessarily the photographer.  So the post for the 3rd of February is probably outdated since those little guys change so rapidly.  All the more reason to post them now, because the next time I manage to make it to the nest they’ll probably look entirely different.1-29onthenest11-29onthenest21-29onthenest31-29onthenest41-29onthenest51-29onthenest61-29onthenest7The images of them being fed are the most frustrating to get.  In person you can see what’s going on.  The parent shreds a morsel from whatever unfortunate creature has found itself as dinner, and then turns it’s head and the eaglet takes the morsel from it’s beak.  I’m not sure I’d have imagined that activity from a still photograph.  And I’m finding myself making the same assumptions that I did last year over the Sandhill cranes.  One baby seemed more adventurous and the other more quiet and subdued.  That’s how I’m seeing the eaglets, one is easy to spot, but the other doesn’t seem to lift it’s head up to check out the world nearly as often.  Patience is a virtue, especially for a nature photographer, or so it seems to me…

I wrote this this morning (Friday), and then my plans for the day changed so I went to the nest.  I was surprised that I saw no eagles, babies or parents.  After a while I took my phone out of my pocket and was dismayed to see a message from a friend that it is suspected that the babies have died.  Heartbreaking news, I felt guilty just walking away. I drove to a nearby park, and on my way home I saw photographer friends all set up at the nest.  They were aware of the possible problem, but they were planning to stay anyhow.  The eagles were in the area, but not on the nest…