'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Bayport, birds, blessings, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Sunrise and moonset…

Saturday night’s sunset was gorgeous, what little I got to see of it. I ran out the door barefooted and took a picture with my phone. When that happens it always makes me want to head out for the sunrise the next morning, as if the color from the night before will somehow make the sunrise just as pretty. I didn’t work, at least the other ladies who happened to be at Bayport taking pictures were complaining that it wasn’t what they had hoped for. ‘Thank goodness for the full moon’, they said. I didn’t disagree, but at the last minute, once the sun was up, the sky did get pretty, and yes, thank goodness for that full moon.

I have tried to take HDR pictures of the moon before but usually Lightroom says it can’t merge the photos. But for some reason this one worked.
The color didn’t fill the sky exactly, but it was lovely in spite of it.
And if you zoomed in a little you were all set!
As you can see, I had company while enjoying the moonset.
He was strutting his stuff…
The sky got paler in this direction as the moon disappeared. According to another onlooker all the markers you see here aren’t for channels in the water. No, they are to mark the location of sunken ships left over from Civil war skirmishes between the confederate militia and union ships from Tampa.
People rarely spoil a shot for me. I usually like the shots better with people, just like this one.
Hmm, does ‘red sky in the morning, sailors take warning’ apply here?
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Osprey, Owls, perseverance, photography

Philippe Park…

This park is just lovely, but I usually don’t stop to admire it’s green and shady peacefulness. My usual process is to get to Safety Harbor for the sunrise and then head to the park to see the owls, and once I’ve gotten those pictures I’m ready to drive the hour home again. But I did take a few moments to take some pictures of the park the other day. I love the stonework of the retaining walls and the path that zig zags its way down the slope to the water. As I took the feature photo I saw a bird fly through my shot, you can see it just below the horizon line towards the right hand side of the photo. I thought to myself that I hoped it would look good in the shot, but what took me by surprise was the big splash I heard a second later. I thought it must have been a pelican since they aren’t graceful when they hit the water, but I was surprised to see an osprey with a fish flying up and away. You know I took pictures but they were all too blurry to bother with.

As I approached the car to go home I saw a photographer under a tree near my car, shooting up into the branches. There had been a group there earlier also, and I was told that there was a screech owl up in that tree. I have a hard enough time seeing the much larger great horned owls so I stuck to my guns and got my owlet shots, and then my shots of the park, so I made one last stop and discovered that the osprey had chosen that tree to stop and have his lunch.

Now I was ready to go home, but I stopped to talk with a woman who asked me about the owls. I walked her over to the spot where I had stood to take my pictures and couldn’t spot the owlets, or the mom, and the entire lighting seemed very different. Sometimes you just get lucky I guess.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, Just do it, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology

A trio of owlets…

For someone who got up at 4 AM I’m not sure how I managed to be too late getting out of the house to get to Safety Harbor for the sunrise. But my ulterior motive for going there was to see the owlets at Philippe Park again before they leave the nest, and it wasn’t too late to see them so off I went. As usual there were photographers busily clicking away, and soon I was too. The first of the owlets was in view, and his light coloring on top of his head allowed me to spot him pretty quickly.

I heard comments around me that indicated that there were two owlets there, but I couldn’t see a second one, not while I was taking the photos.

Mom was nearby and it took a lot more looking on my part for me to spot her. And is it any wonder? Nature is amazing, look how camouflaged she is! Crows were making pests out of themselves again today but for some reason it didn’t cause much commotion. The first owlet, however, did flap it’s wings and it moved over to the right where it was almost completely hidden by the Spanish moss. Maybe that left room for owlet #2 to pop up, and #3 was right there too. This was such a treat for me. I had heard that there were three in the nest, but I told myself to be happy to get shots of one at least. What a day!

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, fun, kids, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, say goodnight, sky, sunset

Day’s end…

I wasn’t quite sure where I was heading for the sunset when I left the house last night, but I wound up at Green Key beach, where I found it was high tide and I regretted my choice immediately. High tide leaves you with exactly one view of the sunset, unless you are this guy…

He may have been standing in the water because a cast of characters had totally taken over the other possible view…

There was something new and different to see on the beach however.

This rock tower was built and rebuilt a few times while I was there. Another photographer and I walked onto the sand to take a picture as this boy was placing a small stone atop his tower.

I called to the kid, “Don’t knock it down yet.”, and the photographer answered, “Oh, I won’t.”

It did appear that the sunset would be extinguished early.

But the sun emerged from the clouds for one last lovely view…

a second look, birds, family, Florida wildlife, fun, life, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology

Feathered family…

I made a quick stop at the rookery today, and found that the only action going on was at the wood stork nest. Oh the decibel level was up, somewhere more babies were demanding food from their overworked parents, but the only movement I could see was at the same nest I noticed last time.

The little family.
I removed a stick from that baby’s mouth using Photoshop. I’m kind of pleased with myself, but really the program did all the work. But there were just too may twigs to try to remove all of them from all the pictures so this was the only one I worked on.
Lunch time!
Someone photobombed my shot…
These anhingas were tucked into the foliage a bit. I love their blue eyes!

It is nice to find photo ops in my own neighborhood…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Bayport, birds, friends, fun, kids, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sky, technology, weather

Enjoying life…

I have to hand it to the lens ball. As a conversation starter it really can’t be beat. Every time I’m out with it someone comments, and I always invite them to take pictures also. And they do, because even the cell phone works like a charm with it. That’s what happened the other night. Two couples were out for the sunset together and they asked about the lens ball and then took their own pictures through it. We had a running conversation all evening, because when it was finally sunset they got to try it again. I saw them as I was leaving and felt like I was saying goodbye to friends. One man said, “Keep enjoying life”, and I’m happy to think that that’s how I came across to them. Because I do.

I’m not sure that this was the most fun shot they might have gotten as a test of the lens ball, but that’s probably the shot that they got. People do get excited when they see the image in the ball, and one gal said that she already wants one.
I thought I’d found all my people pictures from that night, but with fresh eyes this morning I found more.
I liked the sailboat, but I liked it better when the little girl walked into the shot.
Kids and flying seagulls were a theme that night. My dog Zoe would have loved running through that flock of seagulls and making them fly. When she ran though a flock of birds she meant them no harm, I know this because when it was a squirrel she was after she became a stealth, hunting, machine. One who never actually caught a squirrel, but my neighbor said that she drove the voles out of my yard and into his!
I admire people who feel free enough to dance around in the middle of a drum circle. Or anywhere. That is totally not me, you couldn’t pay me to do that, I’m too self-conscious. Which may be why I’m most comfortable holding the camera, hiding behind it so to speak.
Usually I’m late and racing for the sunrise or sunset, but that night I was early enough that they were still collecting parking fees at Pine Island, so I went to Bayport to kill a little time. That half hour delay saved me $5, and no, I don’t think I spent $5 in gas getting there and back.
Look what I saw in my rear view mirror when I went to pull out and head to Pine Island. I think I’d want to have some ruby slippers to go with it.