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In search of photo ops…

I used to head out earlier in the day for my photos than I seem to do now. Sunrise, and then whatever other stop I wanted to make. The beauty of that was that when I came home I had something to do. Namely, work on my pictures and turn them into a blog post. If I had multiple pictures from more than one stop then so much the better, I had fodder for multiple blog posts. Having those pictures in the camera felt like having money in the bank. Silly I know, but that’s how I think.

Yesterday started out a lot later than I’m used to. First stop was the eagles, but not much was happening there so we moved on to the owls at Philippe Park.

I’ve seen pictures of the two eaglets on this nest, but nothing much was doing in the afternoon. Siesta time maybe?
People were exclaiming that Mama owl had turned her head. They could see her ‘horn’, they said. I tried and tried but for the life of me I couldn’t see Mama, but I took pictures of where I thought they were telling me to look. And later on I discovered that I had been looking at her all along.
Before Jr. ever popped his head up I had gotten Mama after all.
And there he was! So cute. And there is another one also. We are heading back to try again today, with lenses with longer zooms. This is ridiculously cropped, but I still like the picture. I took lots of pictures once he popped his head up, but this is the only one that you can really see his Mama.

And then it was time to head to Clearwater to meet with our photo group and have dinner. But the timing conveniently allowed for a stop in Dunedin for the sunset. It was a more successful day of shooting than I thought it was while I was pressing the shutter button all afternoon.

I like this angle because of the rocks.
I wish a sailboat had been out there, but it was too cold and windy for that to happen.
The clouds were amazing, even if they were a bit dark.
I love when the sunset lights up the buildings on the shore.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Cranes, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise

Cold and windy sunrise…

I woke up early enough to get myself to Bayport for the sunrise this morning. It was chilly enough to have turned the heat on when I got up at 4:30 AM, but 48 degrees isn’t really something to complain about when my dearest childhood friend reported temperatures of -4 degrees in her neck of the woods at 8 AM. I miss my friend, and I will always get homesick for New England now and then, but I will never miss weather like that.

Once I had taken the feature photo I got distracted by this Great Blue Heron who (I think) was planning to eat this crab once he was finished dunking it and picking it back up.
The color got more intense but stayed close to the horizon line.
I was planning to head home when I glanced back and saw this scene and had to get one more photo.
Then I made a u-turn to go back and take this photo after I noticed the scene on my way home. And island in the water, a perfect Sandhill Crane nest spot, just like they used to nest on the lake in my former back yard.

It’s currently 69 degrees outside. I suspect that it’s colder in than out at the moment. I need to find myself a patch of sunshine to sit in…

a second look, adventure, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, weather

Expecting eaglets…

I’ve been meaning to go see the eagles for a while now, and since I was free I decided that today was the day. They have eaglets now, and my eagle-obsessed friends are expecting to see little heads bobbing up above the nest any day now. Unfortunately for me, today wasn’t that day. But as I arrived I was happy to see the on-duty parent up high on the nest so that I could get a few shots.

I kept changing my position in order to get a better view. This new nest is harder to see, with branches and Spanish moss to try to avoid getting in your photo.
I would have loved it if that branch that’s sticking up was actually a little head, but no such luck.
She looked up from her feeding duties to keep an eye on things. I liked the gleam on her beak in this shot.
I was waiting for the ‘money shot’. You know, a shot of an impressive wing-spread as one landed on the nest. I’d have settled for a shot of one flying out of the nest too. But it seemed that all of the action happened when I looked away or moved to a new position.
So this is my shot of the changing of the guard. It’s not what I had in mind.

I expected a crowd of photographers to be watching and waiting also, but I had this view to myself. The day had started out foggy, maybe that discouraged them. I know it kept me from heading out for the sunrise. But, as you can see, it became a perfect winter-in-Florida day.

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, black and white, egrets, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Details…

A couple of weeks ago one of the photo club members was at Myakka River State Park and saw a flock of Roseate Spoonbills fly in. “A hundred”, he said. His pictures were amazing, and ever since then ‘Spoonies’ have been on my mind. A very fun Octoberfest party in Myakka City was just the excuse we needed to head to the park ourselves. We went this morning, and after driving the whole park it became obvious that if I was going to get any sort of pictures of the spoonies I was going to have to walk a very wet and squishy path. But I was happy to see them at least. When I got into the car and looked at my pictures I lamented that the turkey vultures had photo bombed the pictures. Earlier in the day I had said that I’m not a detail person, and when I got the pictures into the computer I saw who else had photo bombed the pictures and proved my point. How did I miss that alligator, and why did all the birds just hang around with him?

They did at least keep their eye on that big boy.
These were the most spoonies I’ve seen so far so I’m happy.
I saw this cute guy from the bird boardwalk.
Merlin says it’s a black necked stilt.
I always loved to see the tri-color heron who visited my back yard in Spring Hill.
We saw lots of wood storks and ibis too.
This is a pretty park.

There are many parks within a couple of hours of home that we can go to see birds now that the migration season is upon us.

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BooTampa!

They were preparing for Halloween at the zoo the day we were there. And it was toddler day, which explains all the little kids owe saw…

Spooky garden scene for the kids.
Even spookier.
Dr. Hoo Doo.
Big blue spider
And now this. Mask or no mask?
Colobus monkey costumes?
Whoever they are they are enjoying the view.
Who would fit into an elephant costume except another elephant.
Definitely a mask!
Most colorful costume prize winner.
Really Riplee.
His antics were so cute.
I forget the full name of these guys, but Schmidt is in there somewhere.
My only shot from the safari ride around the zoo.
Just a nice flower, with a teeny tiny bee in the center,

Lightroom has added some powerful new features in this week’s update. Our Photo guru is planning on teaching a class to show us what’s available and what we can do with these new features. I will be stuck until then though because I uploaded the file but now I’ve lost Lightroom all together. These are photos I had worked on before. I haven’t resorted to total panic, yet…

a second look, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, kids, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Catching up with Riplee…

The other day it dawned on me that it’s been quite a while since I checked up on Riplee. You remember him, the baby orangutan who was born last November 15th, so he is nearly a year old. I think that each time I’ve been back to ZooTampa I’ve hoped to see him displaying his own baby-orangutan self, but up until yesterday each visit had him still in his mother’s arms. The infancy lasts longer than I might have thought. But this visit, I hoped, would be different. And it was.

We arrived early enough to catch the orangutans enjoying heads of romaine, and slim branches covered in tasty leaves. As evidenced by the enthusiasm they displayed.
At first glance Riplee seemed to be coming in second to the head of romaine his mother, DeeDee, held. You can probably guess that I took pictures almost constantly once Dee Dee turned around and I could see the baby, but it was hard to get one that showed his face at that point.

After taking many, many pictures we decided to walk through the rest of the zoo to see what we could see, but when we returned we found that Dee Dee and her mother were sitting side by side up on a large post with their backs to us. Riplee was between them, holding onto two ropes and appearing to be wishing to climb them. Now this was the sort of photo I’d been hoping for the last few times I’d been to the zoo.

It was so exciting to see him on his own, so to speak. The only thing was that once I looked at my pictures in the computer I realized that Riplee’s poses were not modest, not a bit. I wasn’t sure which photos to use on social media in that circumstance, but lucky for me I had so many that I was able to find some that were cute and also preserved his dignity.
He not only wanted to climb the ropes, he also seemed to be willing to taste them too.
He climbed ever higher, while his mother, by all indications, paid no attention. It shouldn’t have been surprising since n their native Borneo their name means’ tree people’, because they live most of their lives in the tree canopy above them.
Somehow he found things to taste as he climbed.
Eventually he reached the tippy-top, and suddenly there was mom, who took charge and got him down.

This little guy will be so much fun to continue to visit. If orangutans hadn’t already been a favorite of mine they certainly would be now.