'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, go with the flow, life goes on, natural wonders, nesting, perseverance, photography

Days pass…

The decibel level was up at the rookery the other day.  Thanks in no small part by these guys.03-26-20rookerysoundingoff2 03-26-20rookerysoundingoff.jpg

I stopped by because I knew the babies would all be that much bigger and therefore easier to see.  Which was true.  I think some of them are into calisthenics.03-26-20rookeryworkout2.jpg03-26-20rookerycrazyeyes.jpg03-26-20rookerytrio.jpg03-26-20rookeryegret1.jpg

I don’t get as worried as I once did when I see on osprey flying overhead while I’m there.  I thought he was after baby birds the first time I saw one there, but when it dived it came up with a fish, which was a relief.03-26-20rookeryosprey.jpg03-26-20rookeryanhinga.jpgLife at the rookery appears to be proceeding as usual, no worries, no inkling of life having been turned upside down.  I’m sure we’ll get there too, back to normal, but hopefully wise enough to appreciate it when it does.

a second look, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, natural wonders, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Great Blue Herons…

When the subject of the Venice rookery came up I got excited.  I had been there once before and was tickled to see Great Blue Herons nesting and raising chicks.  I know I claim to love the Woodstork chicks best, they being so ugly they’re cute, but there is something about those GBH babies that tickles me.  Of all of the chicks I’ve seen I think they most look like miniature versions of their parents.  So off we went on our adventure, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Upon arrival I was a little disappointed to see far fewer nests than I had expected.  I was a little worried until I spotted a nicely placed nest with good camera angles to use.  I think I took almost 100 pictures before I kicked myself in the butt and decided to go back to the car for the bigger lens and tripod.  03-20-20daytripbluebabies.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabies2.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabies3.jpg

I was even there when Dad brought home the bacon, so to speak.  I don’t know how much of it was fed to the ‘kids’, but a minute later it was down the hatch.

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The 18-400 lens is no slouch, but I did take quite a few photos with the 150-600…03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig3.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig4.jpg

As you can see from the feature photo there were more than Great Blue Herons at the rookery, but we’ll get to them…

'scene' along the way, adventure, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, life, life goes on, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Not the usual subjects…

Okay, alligators aren’t all that unusual here in Florida, and neither is this leatherback turtle.  I used to see them in my back yard, they are water turtles.  But they come on land to lay eggs, and it seems that what this one was hell bent on finding a spot for exactly that.  I saw her throwing sand as she dug, flinging a shovel-full with each foot.03-20-20daytripbottlenosed2Another photographer called this a ”bottlenose turtle”, so I took a close up.  Now that’s a face only a mother could love.03-20-20daytripbottlenosedI have a time of it when I see a black water bird.  Are they cormorants or anhingas? I said this out loud and was told the cormorants have a hook on their beak, and anhinga’s beaks are straight.  So that’s settled.  Those three young cormorants on their nest were making quite the racket.  They looked big enough to fend for themselves to me!03-20-20daytripanhinga.jpg03-20-20daytripcormorant203-20-20daytripcormorantsA woman with very impressive photo equipment and an Audubon tee shirt on said that the bird flying over was a northern harrier, so I started shooting.  Not the greatest picture but it’s the best one I got.  Something new to me.03-20-20daytripnorthernharrier.jpgWhile Limpkins aren’t new to me they aren’t all the easy to spot.  And I wonder if this one had dredged up his favorite dinner, an apple snail?  Can’t say for sure.03-20-20daytriplimpkin.jpgBut the last, and most unexpected, photo of the day is this last one.  I was on a boardwalk when some kids started talking about the wild pig they were seeing across the water.  And sure enough there he was.  03-20-20daytrippig.jpgThere are still a lot of photos to go through, but it seems that time at home will be there order of the day from now on, so that’s really a good thing.  Hope everyone has things to keep them busy, and to keep them calm and happy while we watch events unfold.

'scene' along the way, adventure, changing times, friends, leap of faith, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, reality check, road trip

Day trip…

The plan had been in place for a while.  A trip to the Venice rookery was how it had started, and then I tossed out the idea that we could stop at the causeway bridge for sunset photos. on the way back   I wanted another chance at taking photos there because I had been so unhappy with my first ones, and my friend had always wanted to go to that bridge and didn’t know where it was.  So we made a plan, set a date. and in the meantime we ‘leaped ahead’, time wise.  Now there were more hours to fill, so we added in the Myakka River State park, which is only a half hour from the Venice rookery.  It was a beautiful day to be outside, and I have 913 photos to go through, minus the feature photo.

By the time the day arrived the news that had been breaking about the Coronavirus had us wondering if we should cancel.  But what we had planned was all open air and we knew we’d see people in small family units only, and so we went.  Traffic was very light, it’s obvious people are heeding the warnings, and I do feel a little guilty for going.  So I won’t be heading out for anything like this again for the duration.  But I am happy to have 912 photos to keep me busy for a while.

a second look, bluebirds, fun, home, home improvements, natural wonders, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology

Homemaking…

It seems like this bluebird pair have taken the admonition to self-quarantine to heart.  After not noticing any activity recently they have suddenly decided to cozy-up their little house.  They were back and forth all morning, arriving with nest building material and flying off ,only to come right back and do it again.  I took pictures out the window and then decided to go outside and shoot with the tripod and bigger lens.  Happily, they didn’t seem to mind the attention from me.  I only watched for a little while and got a zillion pictures, so I decided to let them be.  It would be so nice to have a front row seat to watch them raise a family.  I hope that will happen anyhow.  It will make staying home a lot more fun…03-16-20bluebird803-16-20bluebird703-16-20bluebird603-16-20bluebird503-16-20bluebird403-16-20bluebird303-16-20bluebird203-16-20bluebird103-16-20bluebird903-16-20bluebird10

'scene' along the way, adventure, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, live and learn, making memories, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, sunset

Finding our way home…

What we had been deciding, before we took our little side trip to find the lost hiker, was whether to head to Eagle’s Nest or to just call it a day.  Imagine driving the pot-holed trails that you see in the feature photo, and coming across a person in full scuba gear.  It came as a surprise to me, but the signage told the story.

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Exploring the underwater cave system is for experts only, with the proper equipment and experience.  Another mysterious natural world right underfoot, something you would never in a million years expect to be there.  Unfortunately the area has been underestimated with a certain degree of regularly over the years.  Of the 14 people who have died here in recent history it is the father and son who went out on Christmas Day with their brand new equipment and never returned that tugs at my heartstrings.

This is the view that greets you as you arrive at Eagle’s Nest…03-03-20chassnestview.jpg

Divers told us that the no-see-ums were out in force, but we were aware of the time and knew that we would have to head back before they closed the road at dusk, so they didn’t get to feast on us for long.  But the drive back to the entrance took longer than it would have if Mother Nature hadn’t been teasing us with a beautiful sunset.  There was so much purple in the sky, if you see it in the photos it’s completely natural.  We shot photos out the car window every time the view brought us to a halt.  The view and the pot holes in the road, I’m not sure which stopped us more often.  When I headed out the door to join Betty and Linda on this adventure I had no clue what to expect, but I did know that we’d have fun, we always do.

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