nature, photography, fun, Florida wildlife, perseverance, weather, Florida landmarks, Circle B Bar Reserve, Nature's beautiful creatures, a second look, 'scene' along the way, road trip

The Usual Suspects…

No, I didn’t see any painted buntings yesterday. I was at Circle B Bar Reserve later than usual and I think it may have been nap time for a lot of the usual suspects. It was a very nice day to be out however, so I enjoyed my day. Tomorrow I’ll probably see another photographer’s photo of a painted bunting taken on Friday, but that’s okay. One of these days it will be my turn.

Yes, there were quite a few anhingas, but not as many as usual.
I walked right past a bunny, so another photographer stopped me and pointed it out.
In my quest for a painted bunting I did spot a cardinal.
Ever lurking along the shore, and lots more of them out on the water in the distance.
It really is startling to be looking out at the scenery and find that someone is looking at you from 10 feet off shore.
Dragonflies are in the air, but never seem to land. So when this one landed on the path I took a picture, just because.
I wanted to see his face, so he landed on some vegetation and smiled.
A glossy ibis, sunning itself.
Wild pigs have not been common to see, and this one seems to have some babies tucked away somewhere.
This one finally lifted his head, taking a break from his snuffling.
I only saw one osprey, way off in the distance, but as usual enjoying his sushi for lunch.
I was looking around for birds and was startled when I turned to pay attention where I was walking and this raccoon was almost too close to get a shot. Much to the amusement of a couple on the path up ahead.
It seems to be a rule, when you get a chance to get a nice close up of a creature there is always a stray frond of grass waving through your shot. I tried to take it out in photo shop, but obviously I didn’t succeed.
This egret had the right of way.
This snowy egret’s eye color matches her golden slippers.
This handsome turtle seemed to be posing for me.
A tricolor heron again, but they are a favorite of mine and not seen every time I go out.
This is an example of the scenery as you look out on the lake along Alligator Alley.
According to signage this is a professional photography staging area. I hadn’t seen it before.
This is my last shot, and not the sharpest of all the shots I took but one of the few that showed any of this owl’s face at all.

'scene' along the way, adventure, finding my way, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

James Grey Preserve…

It was a pretty dismal looking day, but that didn’t stop us from sticking to our plan to explore a new, and nearby, place to walk in the woods. Turns out the light is great for photography on a day like today, it’s just not all sunny and bright.

Heading down the path, hoping to find my way back.
I love reflections.
There were views around every bend.
If it had rained we could have stayed dry.
Some forms of wildlife leave tracks behind themselves, other forms of wildlife leave other things behind.
Yes, I brought the lens ball and hoped I’d find fungus for a photo op.
Or just aim at the sky.
Pretty little flowers…
And for the finale, a donkey butt shot. I’m so forcing myself not to make a much more rude comment…
'scene' along the way, a second look, life goes on, live and learn, moments, moon, nature, One-Foot Fred, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise, technology, Up and at 'em

Moon Over Aripeka…

I was ahead of myself, photos-wise, and that’s how I like it. I like having pictures from the day before to work on, and a new set of photos in the camera waiting for me. It’s a luxury, like money in the bank. But it also means that this morning I was sitting and editing these photos. taken Sunday, and looking up at the sky over the curtains and seeing lovely pink clouds out the window calling to me. Yelling at me because I wasn’t out there taking even more photos! And since I was in this lovely, no pressure, position to get anything done this morning I started reading articles on photography, which were so discouraging that it made me want to hang up my camera all together. Ignorance is bliss, as they say. And they are right. I have learned an awful lot since I started up again with photography in my retirement, but that doesn’t mean that I can apply much of what I’ve learned when I am standing there aiming the camera at something and clicking the picture. It all flies right out of my head, which implies that I ever understood light metering and/or depth of field calculations. No, I just understand that I’m out doing something I like and having fun. Which, I suppose, is a perfectly adequate goal in itself…

a second look, adventure, birds, family, Florida wildlife, fun, learning, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, safety Harbor

Owl life…

A trip to Safety Harbor for the sunrise always includes the ulterior motive of heading to Philippe Park to see the owls, or at least try to see them. There are always other photographers there, and I usually embarrass myself when I can’t seem to ‘find’ the owls that everyone else seems to have no trouble seeing. Not yesterday though, the Mom was sitting on a branch that even I had no trouble spotting. Seeing Dad, however, took a little more sleuthing, but now that I’m informed that that’s his favorite spot it’ll probably be easier to spot him next time.

I was told that Mom was keeping an eye on the nest while dear old Dad, tuckered out from his night of hunting, snoozed nearby. And in the nest was a curious baby, or make that two of them, easy to see after you finally do realize where the nest is.

And that’s basically it, Mom watches, Dad snoozes, and baby occasionally pops his head up but mostly is hidden down in the nest. The photographers were waiting, wanting to see Mom fly to the nest and get that owl-in-flight shot, but since nothing much was going on I was tempted to leave, my good-byes were on the tip of my tongue. Then a couple of blue jays seemed to be pestering the parents. That blur to the right of Mom was one who photo bombed the shot. Mom’s ‘horns’ came up, she wasn’t happy, but nothing much happened until the crows got in on the act.

Several crows landed above Mom, and several more near Dad, and they were working together, by the sound of their crowing they were quite obviously harassing the owls.

Mom was getting fluffed up, and the photographers got excited that she was going to fly.

I had just enough time to zoom out a little to give myself room when both owls took off, and those crows did too. I wish I’d gotten sharper shots, but I have to say I was glad to get them at all. From the groans I heard around me I think several people were caught off guard. And that was the finale for the day, for me at least. If the crows were intent on raiding the nest it didn’t work, not this time, and the owls returned to their chosen spots to continue their watching and snoozing…

A beautiful day in a beautiful park, but I get up so early to get to the area for sunrise that I’m too anxious to head home to explore the park and just enjoy it…

a second look, facing facts, fantasy images, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Just do it, let it go, life goes on, live and learn, moments, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, road trip, safety Harbor, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Sunrise, by the skin of my teeth….

I really ought to plan my photo trips a little better, but somehow they do seem to work out, one way or another. So maybe flying by the seat of my pants isn’t all bad. But looking up the travel time to Safety Harbor at 5 AM (30 minutes), and expecting it to be the same if I left at 6 AM, wasn’t my smartest move. I had less than 5 minutes until the sun peeked above the horizon this morning, I made it, but barely. Another photographer informed me that I had missed a beautiful moon set though. I have the app (PhotoPills) to let me be more aware of these photo ops, but I still haven’t learned to use it. Sigh. And still another photographer chose to inform me that I should get rid of my lens and buy the one that he had. I think this is the first time I’ve run into someone like that, photographers are generally a really nice group of people. I’m sticking with my lens, it’s the person behind the camera who leaves a bit to be desired sometimes.

LensBall gives you a different perspective, especially when the views are limited…

a second look, family, fun, kids, life goes on, memories, moments, nature, Passing time, perseverance, photography

Growing up orangutan…

Of course I took four times as many pictures of the orangutans yesterday as I did of all the other creatures at Zootampa. The problem was that RanDee wasn’t presenting her three month old baby boy to the camera as nicely as she did last time. As usual she was huddled with her mother DeeDee, who seemed to be grooming her daughter and watching over her grandson. Those orangutans don’t just appear to be a close knit group, they are family, three generations together. Their interactions are so much fun to watch, and I know it’s not just me because the rest of the onlookers were delighting in the young ones at play and as they noticed the newest addition. Little kids loved watching them play also, but then they were ready to go see the elephants, or the tiger…

I didn’t ‘see’ this photo until the third trip through my images.
I couldn’t resist cropping it in closer also.
I’m usually happy to get a shot of this littlest of the big kids, but yesterday she was photo bombing my shots.
She didn’t sit still for long though.
A sweet kiss from mommy.
I always wonder what they are thinking.
Meanwhile someone decided that dousing herself in sand was a great idea. I distinctly remember holding my son upside down and rubbing his head so that we’d leave at least some of the sand in the sandbox. It’s hard to believe I did that when I look at him now.
This looks to me like a mother passing knowledge to her daughter. How much communication do they have I wonder?
Not a care in the world.
Just hangin’ around, passing the time.