adventure, butterflies, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

A day to myself…

This morning when I wondered what to do with my free day I looked up a wonderful local photographer to see where he liked to go.  Stalking other photographers again.  He had just put pictures of Nixon Park on his Facebook page and I figured that would work.  But by the time I had loaded the camera equipment into the car it was threatening rain.  I needed a plan B, and once I found out that Hershey Gardens had a Butterfly Atrium, an indoor Butterfly Atrium, I was off and running.  It wasn’t a huge space, but the variety of butterflies were amazing.  And lest you think that the butterflies in captivity might be less of a challenge to photograph, let me assure you that they aren’t.    It was a very nice way to spend a few hours, and I considered heading from there to Nixon Park since the weather had cleared.  But then I remembered that I meant to get an oil change before I left Florida.  So I asked Siri to direct me to the nearest Chrysler dealer and it was only 4 miles away from where I was at that moment.  Now I’ll be ready to continue this adventure, but not quite yet, but soon.

I didn’t see the bee in the feature photo.  What I thought I was looking at was a ladybug on the dandelion.  Things aren’t always what they seem…05-10-19blackogrange305-10-19blackogrange405-10-19blackorangepinkflower05-10-19blackorangepinkflower205-10-19blackorangyellowleaf05-10-19blueboy05-10-19butterflykid05-10-19orangeorange05-10-19timestwo05-10-19twoorangeblack605--19orangebutterflygreenleaf05--19owlbutterflyThe Giant Silk Moths were kept in a separate enclosure, with plexiglass walls.  Evidently they don’t discriminate as to where they lay their eggs, and their caterpillars will eat anything and everything.  This one was huge, I didn’t think it was real at first. And that’s their eggs that you see there too.  05-10-19silkmothandeggsOh, and another photographer had quite the dilemma.  I told him I’d send him this picture if he emails me…05--19nikonbutterfly

 

backyard visitors, butterflies, connections, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, gardens, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

At home with friends…

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.4-22-19butterflymosaic4-22-19yellowflower4-22-19purpleflower4-22-19pinkflower4-22-19passionflower4-22-19monarch34-22-19monarch24-22-19monarch4-22-19butterflymosaic24-22-19brownbutterfly

'scene' along the way, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, safety Harbor

The Blue Angels…

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…4-19-19blueangels34-19-19blueangels2

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?4-19-19osprey

 

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, learning, live and learn, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended images

Intended and unintended images…

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;4-17-19heronlaunch24-17-19heronlaunch 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;4-17-19pelicanI 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;4-17-19princess24-17-19princess14-17-19princess4-17-19mom&dad24-17-19mom&dadMom 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.4-17-19vultures24-17-19vulturesBeauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, sky, weather

A hop, skip, and a jump away….

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.

03-21-19riverpark103-21-19riverpark403-21-19riverpark2And you can always count on seeing a pelican. 03-21-19riverpark7

Or two, or even more.03-21-19riverpark8

Hmm, I wonder where they nest?03-21-19riverpark303-21-19riverpark6

03-21-19riverpark503-21-19riverpark9There 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…