'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, eagles, egrets, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron

Good housekeeping…

Friends were taking a day trip today, but I decided that I wanted to stick closer to home. And I did, but I stuck even closer than I thought I would. Usually I drive a little way to see the eagles, and I had that in mind, but then I remembered the eagle nest that’s practically in my back yard. Trouble is that I hardly ever see eagles there when I check, I suspected it had been abandoned. But today one of them was keeping watch over the nest. I couldn’t see any other activity, but I’ll be checking it out from now on.

As I watched the eagle I couldn’t help but notice all the various birds flying overhead, and that reminded me that it had been a long time since I had checked out the nearby rookery. So I went home and got my ladder, because shooting over the fence would be impossible with out it, and sure enough, there was lots of housekeeping going on there.

I don’t recall seeing a snowy egret here before. Maybe we’ll get to see a new family this year. Possibly not the most exciting news for everyone, but that possibility is enough to make me happy. And that goes for the feature photo, a tricolor heron, too. I was always so happy to see them on the pond in my back yard, they were a favorite of mine. But I honestly didn’t realize what I was looking at when I was trying to get a photo, I thought it was a little blue heron, which is the same mistake I used to make out on the lake. Again, I would love to see him or her raise a family in this little rookery also. So much excitement this time of year, and so close to home.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, boats, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Ups and downs…

That’s what the day had, ups and downs. I said that thinking of the photos I took today, but now that I think of it the first example of ups and downs was the off-again-on-again messages I’ve been getting from my car about my tire pressure. I started my day by putting air in my tires because one said it only had 27 pounds of pressure. Then the day warmed up, and by the time I came home that same tire was way over 40 pounds and I imagined it exploding, so I let some air out. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I think I liked it better when my car and I weren’t on speaking terms.

So out I went to take photos on a sunny morning…

Low tide but no wading birds, just wading people.
It was quiet at Anclote River Park.
Two osprey at Key Vista Nature Park. Parks line the water in this area and I stopped at them all.
Sailboats seem peaceful to me.
You knew I had it with me.
Can’t resist the pelicans.
The view along the trail at Key Vista.
A little different view.

But I had started the day watching the eagles, and forcing myself to use my biggest lens and even the extender so that I could get really close shots. I have to manually focus when I use that combination, and that’s a challenge because I don’t trust my vision, and rightly so since I deleted over half the photos I took. But I was delighted that the fledgling was hopping around and flapping his wings, and then I saw Mama flying towards the nest and started shooting. It wasn’t until I got them in the computer that I saw that I did get her, and that she had had a fish with her. I was so pleased. And then I noticed the photography no-no called chromatic aberration. Purple fringing when something very dark is next to something light, caused by your lens, but supposedly fixable. Not by me though, I worked on these photos all afternoon and couldn’t make a difference. If you are seeing them on your phone you may not see it, I wish I could un-see it. Sigh. But it was a good day, good to be outside, good to see the sun.

a second look, Florida wildlife, following the rules, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, One-Foot Fred, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise, technology

Old friends…

Yesterday an old friend asked about One-Foot Fred, who seems like another old friend after all this time, so off I went to Aripeka to see if I might be able to report on how Fred is doing. The last I had heard people hadn’t seen him in a while, and I had even heard that a two-footed great blue had been around so I was afraid Fred had left the area. And a nice sunrise, that would have been nice too.

I asked this young fisherman if he’d seen Fred but he was new to the area and didn’t know Fred’s story. He caught a flounder while we were talking, which he says is unusual for the area. Happily for the flounder he lived to tell the tale.

I stopped at the first bridge and took this shot, happy to see some glow in the sky.
I can never resist this view also, usually the sunrise lights the pastel clouds.
Suddenly there was Fred. I didn’t see or hear him fly over, he was just there. Good to see you Fred, glad to see you are doing well.
Trust the lens ball to take a so-so sunrise and bump it up a bit.
a second look, adventure, eagles, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, weather

Attitude…

Mom and Dad taught him well. It looks to me as if he is acquiring that magestic look that all eagles seem to have. After all, they are apex predators, which means they have no natural predators hunting them, and it looks like they know they are at the top of the food chain. I can’t believe that this is the first time I’ve seen this year’s babies, which hatched on or about Christmas Day. If I waited much longer they may have flown the coop. It seems the second chick in the nest popped up right after I left. Some things can’t be rushed. But then it was quite foggy when I first arrived, but stopping and talking with friends kept me there long enough for the day to clear up and be gorgeous. I guess my timing wasn’t bad after all…

Don’t tred on me…

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

Sushi anyone?

Sushi was definitely on the menu at Circle B Bar Reserve yesterday.

Ospreys eat the head of the fish first, that’s where they get their water.
You have to wonder how they swallow their catch.
And they deliver!

But not everyone was feasting, some were just enjoying the warm weather…

Working on his tan.
Drying off.
It was a day for nice reflections.
Great blue herons around every turn.
So close sometimes and they don’t seem to be bothered by the people.
Glossy ibis, I don’t see them often.
Green herons are a treat to see too.
Little blue herons were always in my backyard pond.
The trees arched over the road as I drove into the park, and the Spanish moss was glowing in the early light.
Just a tree that caught my eye.
I hoped we’d see a raccoon, and we did.
Merlin says this is a prairie warbler.
Here is a tower of black-bellied whistling ducks.
Until I saw these sandhill cranes I hadn’t realized that we don’t see a lot of them at the B either.

And yes, I brought the lens ball with me. It was a beautiful day, hot after you’ve been hiking all afternoon. I spent another two hours of my life trying to get a covid vaccination appointment today, but all things considered I can’t complain. Life is good.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, bucket list, Circle B Bar Reserve, friends, fun, Just do it, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

If only…

If only the goal had been to see great blue herons, then our trip to Circle B Bar Reserve would have been a roaring success. Or actually if we’d wanted to see anything except painted buntings. They are migrating through right now, judging by the gorgeous pictures posted online, and that was our reason for heading there yesterday. And yes, we saw them, but only at the end of our day of hiking, in the heat. while lugging all our equipment. Someone with binoculars pointed them out, off in the distance, and requiring you to shoot into the sun. We took his word for it and started shooting, but it wasn’t until I got home and did a huge amount of work on these pictures that I could see that yes, they were painted buntings. Not at all the pictures I’d hoped to get, and I’m posting them even though they are awful, but they may be the only painted buntings I ever see. I’m hoping to go back and try again before they move on.

The feature photo is a female painted bunting, with is my feature photo. She was in a better spot and the first bird I saw while I was waiting to meet with my friends. She was very bright green when she flitted into the sun. The first time I saw a picture of a male painted bunting I thought it looked like a little kid had dumped out his box of crayons and colored in a bird with a little of every one. It didn’t look real to me. Yes, I need to go back and try again.