a second look, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, second chances, simple things, technology

An orangutan kind of day…

I knew it all along, as soon as I saw the FCCP photo walk to the Lowry Park Zoo I knew that I would go, and that my day would be all about the orangutans.  I hoped there would there be babies, and that wish was granted.  I fell for them when I lived in San Diego and saw them at the San Diego Zoo many times.  And even Frankie fell for them this time, so much so that we brought one home.

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'scene' along the way, a second look, eagles, Florida wildlife, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Ma and Pa Eagle…

Yup, there is feeding going on, which means that if you stand there long enough you will get your chance to see the parents switch off chick-sitting duties.  That’s a given once you know that they have a hatchling.  But you can’t predict whether or not the fog will roll in,  even on a day that started out looking beautiful.  Not that that would stop any of us.  There was a small crowd of photographers waiting for each appearance by the parents.  The nest seems tipped away from our view so that hatchling will have to grow a bit before we see him.  Or possibly them.  You know I’ll be checking in on them again soon. 12-31eagle12-31eagle212-31eagle312-31eagle4

a second look, family, fun, lizards, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, pets, photography, unintended images

Gentleman callers…

I saw him across the street, loitering on my uncle’s front patio.  In my half-awake daze I said to myself, “Wow, that statue looks real.”  And then he ruffled his feathers.  So I went over with my camera, I knew from previous encounters that he wasn’t camera shy.  And I had recently wondered how come I hadn’t seen him lately, I wished a photo op would just deliver itself to me for a change.  After taking my pictures I headed back to my house thinking I’d let him get on with whatever Woodstock things he had to do, but he followed me home.  And he was still out there when I went out with soup to bring over to have for dinner with my aunt.  He looked pretty excited to see me carrying a big pot.  The neighbors were laughing as he followed me.  I love being able to take pictures so easily, but it makes me sad that this guy spent so much of his day hoping for a handout instead of fending for himself.12-15gentlemancaller12-15gentlemancaller212-15gentlemancaller3

And this is my Grand-dragon Krunch.  Somehow these two seem to have something in common in the looks department.  I have babysat her eggs in the past, and had them hatch on my watch.  Now that was an event, and those tiny little creatures were comical little things.  But I admire Krunch and her partner Kona from afar these days.  That suits me just fine.

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She was directly under the glow of her yellow warming light and if there is a way to clear up the color I’m not inspired enough to try to figure it out.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, bugs, ducks, Florida wildlife, flowers, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Main Street…

Errands brought me to Main Street, New Port Richey the other day.  Much to my surprise I noticed a lovely little park there, but couldn’t stop to investigate that day.  So today I made it a point to go back and check it out.  It was a quiet little spot, in that there were not many people walking, but a nearby playground supplied all the happy kid noises you could ever want.  This weather is my very favorite time in Florida.  By our standards it was almost sweater weather, though my Northern friends would think we were nuts.11-26parview311-26parkview411-26parkview211-26parkview1I walked around the lake, mostly because I saw all the birds across the way.  But before I had gotten to taking pictures another walker stopped me to ask if I’d seen the duck on a nest.  I hadn’t, I had walked right past it.  He said there were four eggs there, and he and his daughters had just seen her rearrange the eggs and settle back down on them.  I thought her nest was not very protected, even if getting a photo was a challenge.11-25mommaduckI did get around to taking pictures of the birds, but it was the flowers and the bees that got me in trouble.  I walked across the grass to get close enough to the flowers, but when I turned to go back to the car I found myself walking through wetness in the grass. In my flip flops.  Mud.  I’ve insisted that there is no mud in Florida, but I was wrong.  This wasn’t just mud, it was more like tar, and it ended my travels for the day.  I think I’m glad I didn’t have my hiking shoes on after all, they wouldn’t have survived.  Flip flops, however, have at least nine lives.11-26egret11-26ibiseye11-26flowers11-26bee

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, Chinsegut Conservation Center, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, learning, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Field Trip…

This photo walk out of the Chinsegut Conservation Center was a bit of a back to the beginnings trip for me.  Early one morning I saw a Facebook post about a bird photography class that was happening at the center, and I wanted to go.  I had a new digital camera at the time, and was barely functional with it, so I called to see if they had room for one more.  Not only did I begin to learn the camera, but I found friends, and I probably would never have begun blogging without another class that I took at the center later on.  Yes, a coming home of sorts,

But I’m not the nature photographer that my friends are.  Not every walk in the woods leads to great photos, and I confess that the description of this trip left me skeptical about the photos I might get.  So to hedge my bets a bit I got to the center early in hopes of seeing birds at the many feeders there.  And they were there.  A Downey woodpecker, a red-headed (but not cockaded) woodpecker, a summer tanager, and a tufted titmouse pair that entertained me for quite a while.  That meant I could relax and just enjoy the field trip and not worry about the pictures we’d get.11-22feeding11-22redhead11-22downey11-22summertanager11-22summertanager211-22titmouse11-22titmouse211-22titmouse3

Off we went into the woods, and 20 miles in we found the banded trees that indicated the habitat of the red-cockaded family in question.  It was then that I discovered that we weren’t waiting for a flock of these birds to arrive en masse, but just one family.  And the banded trees each had the little holes where nesting activity was potentially happening.  Young males stay with the family helping to raise the young and doing the necessary tending to the nests which keeps the sap running.  The sap is their defense against their nests being raided by snakes.  Clever, don’t you think?11-22habitat11-22thehomeAnd it was a successful trip.  Yes, one of the birds in question did show up and zoom into the hole in the tree and disappeared.  Not one of us got a shot of that.  The leader of the trip said that he felt that that was it, the event was over.  But he had one trick up his sleeve.  He used his phone to play the call of the red-cockaded woodpecker, rather quietly I thought, but it was enough to get this little guy to stick his head out of the nest to see what was going on.11-22peekaboo

No, it wasn’t a dramatic story.  But these are the dramas that are happening all around us everyday, and we are too busy with out own lives to notice.  But when we do take time to notice it doesn’t disappoint.

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, friends, fun, go with the flow, making memories, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, sending a message, sunset, technology

We’re late, we’re late…

We were quite late getting to the photo shoot at John’s Pass the other night.  We missed the sunset entirely, which is much easier to do when it takes place at 5:30.  Traffic was the problem.  But the sky was still pretty and we headed to Madeira Beach first.  My iPhone told me the name of the beach, and it also saved the whole shoot for me.  Whew, I very nearly blew what turned out to be a nice night. 11-20Madeirabeach111-20John'sPassfeature

Second we checked the tarot card reader’s shop to see if the birds were still hanging out in front of, and on top of, the shop.  They were.11-20John'sPasstarot11-20John'sPassblackcrownednightheronBlack-crowned night herons are usually hard to spot along the shore because they keep to the foliage.  Not this guy though.  Last year the tarot card reader told us that years ago she rescued an injured bird, and the word must have spread because birds come to her on their own.  Sometimes for rescue, and apparently just to hang out.

Next we walked the boardwalk while we decided where to have dinner.  We chose Sculley’s for a grouper sandwich.  A very wise choice, but alas, I was too busy eating to think to take picture.11-20John'sPass111-20John'sPassscene9After that we wandered the village a bit, enjoying the view.  We planned to bundle up for this shoot, but there was no need to worry, it was a lovely night,11-20John'sPassscene211-20John'sPassscene311-20John'sPassscene811-20John'sPasswingdings11-20John'sPassscene511-20John'sPassscene411-20John'sPassartist11-20John'sPassalligatorIf you go don’t forget to look up!

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When there is a frozen custard shop in the area it’s tragic to be too full of grouper to have a cone.  Next time…