a second look, adventure, bucket list, fun, learning, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Riplee…

All that had to cross my mind yesterday was to think of how long it’s been since I’ve been to the zoo and I was out the door so fast that I got there before they were open. Oh, they’d let you in, but you couldn’t leave the entry plaza. But soon I was looking at the orangutans, of course, but I honestly had a very hard time spotting ‘our’ baby. Mom doesn’t hold him in quite the same way these days, he is expected to hang on for dear life as she moves around their enclosure. I saw an especially small baby who was all over the place playing, including as high as he/she could climb, and I finally had to ask a keeper if the newest baby was allowed to play yet. She said that he wants to, but Mom doesn’t let him, so far. And I finally remembered to ask about the contest they held to name this little guy. With a grandmother named Dee Dee, and a mother named Randee, I’m not surprised that the winning name was Riplee.

I only got a couple of shots of little Riplee’s face.
Randee got up in response to one of the keepers tossing pieces of fruit to the group. There were some really great catches.
I didn’t notice any squabbling when one caught a piece, he just got to eat it and the rest tried for the next piece.
What I thought I saw was this orang race over and pose when she spotted this photographer. He had cameras the likes of which I hadn’t seen before, plus he was accompanied by a keeper, so I suspect he’s an official photographer. I’m telling you, she was posing.
And this one also took up this position in response to seeing the photographer. Posing for sure.
This one is very small, especially to see her all over the enclosure, but she sure seemed to be having fun.
It’s more fun to have a playmate of course, and these two were inseparable.
If we had opposable thumbs on our feet maybe we could also do this, when we are young at least.
I thought this was a loving mother’s face when I took this picture, but then they unfolded themselves and the one I thought was the mom hitched a ride on the actual mom.
I wish I understood their relationships to know who is who, they had me fooled.
Even as I took this picture I thought of all the times that someone came up to us in the supermarket in our dental office neighborhood and started trying to show Charley the tooth that was bothering them. He liked to go out to one of the corner bars after work to relax for a little while, but he was picky about which ones to avoid for exactly this reason.
I did walk the zoo of course, but I just can’t stay away from the orangutans for long. In looking at this scene I told myself that we might see a scene like this if we were in Africa. I wasn’t noticing the man-made structures at that moment though.
adventure, birds, butterflies, Charleston views, exploring new places, flowers, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens…

The last time I was in Charleston missed the turn into my cousin’s development, but that meant I drove right past this gem of a place. I knew I’d want to visit when I came back this time. It was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, and consequently endured and survived our county’s history as the country was born, and as it struggled with the American Revolution as well as the Civil War. It’s said to be the oldest public garden in the county, opening in 1870, and continuing today.

The beautiful wisteria caught my eye when I arrived.
And this bench was a pretty sight also.
But the peacocks were calling me. You could hear them throughout the garden, so I went to the little zoo before I went exploring.
Nature does provide us with beautiful creatures.
Three of them were strutting their stuff, but this gal didn’t seem to be impressed.
Come walk with me.
Such a pretty view.
I loved this pond with it’s beautiful reflections.
And this red bridge with cascades of flowers dripping from it.
I took so many pictures of this bridge.
Come around a bed in the path and you come upon another pretty scene.
I thought of ‘Tiptoe through the tulips’,except they are azaleas. They really were a little past their prime, but still so amazingly beautiful.
You might need a rest by now.
There was a $20 charge for the gardens, in which I walked 2 1/2 miles. But for an extra charge you might want to tour the house, or take this boat tour, or walk the Audubon swamp tour, and/or more. I can return once more using my ticket, so I want to go back, but I don’t know which tour I want to choose.
There were lots of these fat bumble bees around, and I was happy to see them since they’ve seemed scarce anywhere I’ve been lately. And they gave me a reason to concentrate on the flowers themselves.
This was a very long distance shot from the wildlife observation tower. The horses were the only wildlife I saw.
The family tomb.
Another pretty path to lure you in. I’m sure I missed more paths than I actually walked.
And after walking paths with lots of helpful signage, I eventually was off by myself, on paths with no signage, and hopefully not lost, but I found a butterfly…

I’ve hardly put a dent in the pictures I took today. It was a good day.

'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!

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…

a second look, adventure, birds, brainstorms, finding my way, Florida wildlife, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Day trippin’

I had one day free before my second covid shot with its potential side effects, so another spur of the moment trip took me over the Sunshine Skyway bridge and into new territory. Cars were parked along a quiet, ordinary looking, rural street, and it took me a moment to realize I had arrived. Not knowing how far into the woods I’d have to walk I just took my camera and my trusty 18-400, much disparaged lately but not by me, lens and started walking.

I didn’t read this until I looked at the picture in the computer. Which explains some of my confusion.
I guess I had imagined that all bees make hives, and honey. I was wrong on both counts. This is a bee hotel, evidently there should be more of them.
I love paths like this, but not necessarily when I’m alone. Or maybe I shouldn’t be binge watching Criminal Minds, since it’s got me more aware that I drift through life in my own little la la land.
And then I came to the bird blind…
Here are some photographers, ready to start shooting.
Gardens were planted near the blind, for the birds but the butterflies seemed to like them too.
I wonder what munched on this guy?
Aha, a painted bunting. I could have claimed I ‘found’ him in the wild rather than an audobon preserve, but I was just glad to see him.
And him!
And them! The all blue one is an indigo bunting, and the little brown one is the female indigo bunting.
They liked this feeder too, but I never saw the second bunting until I saw it on the computer.
There were SO many blurry pictures that I tended to work on any of my less blurry pictures. I’m sure I should have used a tripod, but they moved so quickly I probably would have resorted to hand holding the camera anyhow.
When the buntings cleared out this dove dropped by.
When you don’t see the second bird you just might cut his head off.
There were cars parked on the road when I entered the preserve, and people at the bird blind. But eventually I was alone, and when I made my way back to my car it was the only one parked on the street. And this sign had appeared. That’s when I really knew that my TV watching was affecting me.
I stopped for a couple of pictures of the bridge on the way home, but then I was on my way…