It was a perfect way to spend a day, sitting in the most lush natural garden you can imagine, and talking with friends while various visitors dropped in to have their picture taken. Lots of butterflies, many that zoomed into view but never stopped long enough for a picture, The same with a beautiful big dragonfly and a tiny little hummingbird. A lazy cat and two dogs seemed to be enjoying the view with us. A perfect day in a beautiful oasis of green. Thank you Eddie and Linda, for doing all the work and planning that makes this not only a beautiful oasis for us, but the perfect microclimate to allow these creatures to thrive. And for sharing a lovely day with me.
The very first FCCP photo walk that I attended was to Safety Harbor, to pan for the birds as well as take in the sunset. Turned out that there weren’t a lot of birds flying in that day, but the water was calm, pelicans were bobbing, and as we walked along the boardwalk there were birds to see tucked into the shrubbery. I had fun, which you might have guessed since I rave about the group a lot. So in my wanderings yesterday I found myself at Safety Harbor again, but the water was high and choppy, and the sun wasn’t going to set in the ‘right’ spot. But there were lots of birds flying overhead, so that was a plus. Even if I did manage to miss an osprey flying over with a fish in it’s talons. Twice. What really caught my eye were these ibis, flying in formation, or so it would seem. Is this where the Blue Angels got the idea? I used to ignore the ibis, even though they are pretty enough. No, I didn’t pay them much attention because they were ever present on my little lake in the backyard. They weren’t elusive enough I guess. A person could take a lesson…
And I did mention the osprey, right? Is he sticking his tongue out at me because I didn’t get his picture with the fish?
I feel as if I’ve emerged from my cocoon of ‘settling in’ just in time to have my first snowbird season looming. Suddenly I’m rushing to catch up on some online classes with my photo club, the FCCP, and the one I watched yesterday morning led to an a-ha moment. My new camera and lens are wonderful, and I could get along using them exclusively with no problem. Less to carry also. But one of the first things I did with my new camera was attach it to my ‘big’ lens, the 150-600, and headed to the rookery to practice, and didn’t get a single really good image. How disappointing. But the class I watched yesterday made me realize that my problem with blurry pictures may have been my shutter speed, and I was out the door in a flash, this time in search of the eagles. I parked and began to walk over to see if I saw them at the nest when I saw this; I haven’t seen Great Blue Herons in the tree tops in a very long time. There was an eagle nearby also, but he flew away too quickly for me to get his photo. So I moved on and found this;I had seen lots of pelicans in this spot before, almost looking like a rookery that day, but not yesterday. I decided to swing past the eagle nest on my way home again, and that proved to be the photo op I was looking for;Mom and Dad were in the tree just above the nest. The Princess, as she is known, was in a tree not far away and even closer to the road. She is looking regal isn’t she? But what I hadn’t counted on was a dead armadillo in the road very close to where I had parked. By the time I returned to the car there were vultures on both sides of the road and in the trees, and I had to get past them to get to the car. They are creepy. But then once I was at the car I couldn’t help myself, and so we have these last photos of the day.Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.
Little Miss Photographer sat on a park bench,
Enjoying a beautiful day.
Along came a black snake, that slithered her way,
And Miss Photographer called it a day…
From the eagle’s nest I mean, is Anclote River Park. I’ve taken pictures here before, which is why I knew that there is an osprey nest there, and since the rookery seems to be getting into full swing I thought maybe the ospreys were too. And yes, they were. One was guarding the nest when I got there, and the other one arrived shortly afterwards. There was feeding activity going on, that was obvious, but the nest seems to be tipped away from the parking lot viewing area, and the babies never popped their heads up. But I will have to keep an eye out.
And you can always count on seeing a pelican.
Or two, or even more.
Hmm, I wonder where they nest?
There weren’t a lot of people at the park, but then the blue skies and puffy clouds that had gotten me out the door had mostly grayed over. Still, a great way to spend a winter day, Florida style. I appreciate it now more than ever before…
One of the things I thought I’d missed by being up north recently was the eagles at the nest that I have visited in the past. While I was gone I heard that they had started a new family on a new nest built to replace the one that was lost last year. That was happy news because last year’s chicks didn’t make it, And I nearly did miss it, but not quite. This years eaglet is in his awkward teenaged stage. Not a fluffy cute chick, and not yet a magnificent eagle. I arrived to find one of the parents in a nearby tree and the young one on the nest. And that’s pretty much all that was going on, so after taking quite a few identical photos I had packed up the camera to go home. That’s when the young one started flapping his wings and hopping around the nest, It looked like he was going from branch to branch, and I saw plenty of daylight under him as he hopped, so it seemed like he was serious about it. A teenager feeling his oats. Like any concerned mother would do, his mother, I assume, flew to the nest and quashed that activity. And our favorite young eagle was looking his mother in the face and turning his head from side to side looking, to me at least, as if he was trying to get back on her good side. Nor sure about her, but he made points with me.