backyard visitors, birds, bluebirds, fun, go with the flow, live and learn, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended images

Surprise…

I think Dad forgot that Mom was in the birdhouse, because I wasn’t the only one surprised when she suddenly launched herself out the door and off to who knows where.    My view through the lens was this one, and the feature photo is the next one.  Startled him right off his feet, and I didn’t see it until I looked at the pictures in the computer.03-25-20bluebirdsagain They got me excited yesterday.  I happened to look out the window and Dad was on the drain spout with a nice little worm in his mouth.  I immediately got excited that they were feeding babies, or at least he was feeding Mom while she was on some pretty blue eggs.  But off she flew, and he gulped down his catch, and I was left scratching my head.

Mom was back and forth the rest of the day, but still bringing nesting materials.  She did stop to pose for me though.03-26-20bluebirdlooks4.jpg03-26-20bluebirdlooks3.jpg03-26-20bluebirdlooks.jpg03-26-20bluebirdlooks2.jpg03-26-20bluebirdlooks5.jpgDad’s contribution to all this was to sit on my TV antenna and serenade all of us while Mom was busy.  All day.  All day busy for her, all day as the singing supervisor for him.  I guess it works for them…03-26-20bluebirddad.jpg03-26-20bluebirddad2.jpg03-26-20bluebirddadcamera.jpg

And this is my new normal.  Considering social isolation and the impending possibility of a new little bluebird family right on my doorstep, so to speak.  Big heavy lens and big heavy tripod, in the living room, at the ready…

a second look, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, natural wonders, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip

Great Blue Herons…

When the subject of the Venice rookery came up I got excited.  I had been there once before and was tickled to see Great Blue Herons nesting and raising chicks.  I know I claim to love the Woodstork chicks best, they being so ugly they’re cute, but there is something about those GBH babies that tickles me.  Of all of the chicks I’ve seen I think they most look like miniature versions of their parents.  So off we went on our adventure, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Upon arrival I was a little disappointed to see far fewer nests than I had expected.  I was a little worried until I spotted a nicely placed nest with good camera angles to use.  I think I took almost 100 pictures before I kicked myself in the butt and decided to go back to the car for the bigger lens and tripod.  03-20-20daytripbluebabies.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabies2.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabies3.jpg

I was even there when Dad brought home the bacon, so to speak.  I don’t know how much of it was fed to the ‘kids’, but a minute later it was down the hatch.

03-20-20daytripbluebabieslunch2.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabiesdownthehatch.jpg

The 18-400 lens is no slouch, but I did take quite a few photos with the 150-600…03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig3.jpg03-20-20daytripbluebabiesbig4.jpg

As you can see from the feature photo there were more than Great Blue Herons at the rookery, but we’ll get to them…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, changing times, Cranes, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

This is for the birds…

There are disgruntled people in this park.  They are not happy that the pool and hot tub have been shut down because of our current health crisis.  Perhaps they haven’t noticed all the inconveniences, and worse, that are going on all over the world these days.  This too shall pass, hopefully.

Staying home doesn’t mean I have to stay away from the rookery.  Especially if I’m passing right by it.  The decibel level is up, lots of hungry little mouths to feed.  And still they fly in with foliage in their beaks, still building nests.  It really is fun to be there and see people’s reaction when they stop to see what you are taking pictures of.  When my friend was here and I pulled into the little parking lot behind a building she wanted to know what we were doing, were we turning around, she asked. She was so amazed that we had arrived.  In the middle of a busy shopping area, an oasis of nature just doing what comes naturally.

Aren’t the babies just a little prehistoric looking?  I love seeing them…03-14-20rookerywoodstork203-14-20rookerybrotherlylove03-14-20rookerywoodstork103-14-20rookerywoodstork2And the egret family was posing for a family photo, but they never said cheese.03-14-20rookeryegretfamily403-14-20rookeryegretfamily303-14-20rookeryegretfamily203-14-20rookeryegretfamily403-14-20rookeryegretfamily03-14-20rookeryegretfamily2And the sandhill cranes were back again.  They take divots out of the grass when they stab in search of bugs to eat.  I always looked at it as they were aerating my yard.  I imagine there will be a thing or two said about them also…03-14-20sandhillvisitor

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, gardens, healing, learning, making memories, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, simple things, The Narrows, turtles

BOGO…

The Narrows came to me in a brainstorm as a place to go with my friend while she was here.  How often do you get to see raptors up close and personal?  Or at all really.  The brainstorm came to me because while we were at the eagles one day we ran into a friend of mine who volunteers there.  I have walked the trails with him while he held a little screech owl on his wrist and interacted with the other visitors on the trail.  It’s such an unusual way to visit with nature.

But this visit was a little disappointing at first.  There were no volunteers out on the deck with hawks, or Sarge the eagle, on their wrists.  They hadn’t changed their policy, they said, but there is a shortage of volunteers to take the birds out.  A group of disabled veterans arrived as we were getting there also, and I thought they were visitors, but in a little while we saw them out with birds on the trail.  One said that the bird he was holding had had a brain injury, and he had a brain injury also.  It’s a heartwarming place to go.  Maybe a 90 minute drive isn’t too far to go to volunteer…02-29-20vet-owl02-29-20vet-owl202-29-20kestrel02-29-20horned02-29-20Egreathorned02-29-20Easternscreech02-29-20barredA volunteer pointed out the dark-eyed owls and light-eyed owls, and said that the dark eyed ones are spectacular night hunters.  Nature has given them incredible night vision, and I have read that owls can see their prey a mile away, so day hunters also have us all beat by a mile.

I had a plan for the next day also.  I was going to take my friend to the Florida Botanical Gardens for a photo walk with my photo group.  For the heck of it I checked to see where it was in comparison to The Narrows, and it was only two miles from where we were at that moment.  So of course we headed there, but on a chilly day in February it was not nearly the amazing place I have visited in the past.  We didn’t stay long at all, but I am glad to know that I can easily visit these two places on the same day from now on.  Kind of a BOGO!02-29-20rose02-29-20hearts

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, blessings, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Feathered friends…

Armed with cameras my visitor and I went to John Chestnut, Sr. Park the other day.  She especially enjoyed our walk through the woods in the lovely, warm temperatures.  A far cry from what she left behind at home in NH.  And fortunately for us Siri responded when I had to ask, “Hey Siri, where did I leave my car?”  How fortunate for myself and my fellow Baby Boomers that GPS is now part of our daily lives.  There is a quote that I’ve seen over and over again since I have discovered the camping lifestyle.  It says,  ‘All who wander are not lost’.  I have Siri to thank for that.02-25-20titmouse202-25-20catbird02-25-20anhingas02-25-20cabin02-25-20titmouse02-25-20titmouse302-25-20squirrel02-25-20irridensence02-25-20littlebird

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Owls, perseverance, photography

Those eyes…

To see an owl in the wild is so exciting.  But to see them at Philippe Park where you know which tree they nest in, and, happily, that tree is right in the open, it seems a bit less than ‘wild’.  But it is.  The camouflage is such that it always takes me a long time to ‘find’ them, even with help, but a treat it is when I do.  Today Mama was on a branch, just keeping watch at first…02-18-20thoseeyeswatchingAnd then she suddenly flew to the nest, a move that had all of us scooting to the other side of the tree for the best view.  Once I found Mom in the nest I was thrilled, but disappointed that while you could see the owlet’s downey head, you couldn’t see a face.  I only knew that that round, fluffy, mound was the baby because it bobbed a little.  And Mom looked down at it so lovingly.02-18-20thoseeyesdoting02-18-20thoseeyesmamaIt wasn’t until I could see the photos in the computer that I realized that I could see the baby’s eyes.  So cute.  It looks a bit like a feline face to me.02-18-20thoseeyesOnly a few of the pictures really showed the baby, but even that was a treat, so it was okay.  Seemed like Mom gave us a little wink, and then it seemed that it was time for 40 winks, and it was time for us to head home anyhow.02-18-20thoseeyesonewink02-18-20thoseeyes40winks