a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, safety Harbor

I guess you had to be there…

It’s the little ones you have to watch out for, isn’t that what they say?  Like this little bird in the tree just above Mama Owl.  He was hard to spot and harder to capture in a photo.  But that little guy was harassing Mama owl to the point of dive-bombing her and making contact.  There was a group of us below, way below, all amazed at his daring, and our cameras were clicking.  I for one had forgotten all about the fact that Mama should have been my subject.  And she was paying absolutely no attention to that little bird.  She just sat in the sun and napped.  We thought for a second that once Mama turned around and possibly wasn’t facing his nest the bird would give up his assault, but we were wrong.  The dramas of nature are going on every day,  imagine how many more dramas are unfolding all around us and we have no clue.4-19-19mamaandbirdie



That’s the bird making contact on her head!  That’s it, a blur with a little bit of feathers or beak.  You have no idea how many photos I had to scour to find even this bit of that little bird’s assault.  We photographers had fun watching this all happening.  If not for the mosquitos I’d have stayed until it got dark, but I had to call it a day soon after this.  Nature never disappoints.


Mama finally looked around and we got her face rather than her back.


Such a sweet face on this baby owl.4-19-19ettefeature

Then someone showed up with a dog and this one looked very interested, and a little bit fierce.4-19-19phillipeowlette1Dad was there but too sheltered in the trees for a good photo.  So no one was on the nest while I was there, but one of the gals said that the babies had cuddled together in the nest the night before.  Cuddling, that sounds like a good idea.

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.

birds, Florida wildlife, life, live and learn, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

The Nanny…

Haven’t I always claimed that photographers are a remarkably helpful and friendly group?  In general I mean.  Yesterday I made a stop at the rookery since I was shopping at that shopping center anyhow, and when I went to take my step stool out of the car it wast was, sob, missing!  I had taken it inside and dragged it all over the house in my curtain hanging frenzy.  Even though I still have a couple of windows to go I put the step stool back in the car as soon as I got home, because I was determined to head over there today.  I did take pictures yesterday, and they weren’t all that bad considering that I was shooting through the openings in the chain link fence.  But they weren’t what I wanted.  When I arrived at the rookery this morning there were photographers already there.  Short people like me!  So I offered to let them shoot from the ladder before I got up there, and they were amazed at how nice it is to shoot over the fence.  Then someone said, “Oh look, the alligator is out!”  Now I had seen the alligator there in a friend’s photo once, and in person once, but wasn’t able to get a photo.  You can imagine me peering through the fence and asking where it was, and saying that I’ve always wanted to get a picture of it.  So whoever it was who was on the ladder hurried down so I could get some shots, then he got back up again.  I made some new Facebook friends today, and had such a nice time talking about photography and places to shoot.  And I did get a couple of pictures too.

I call this one The Nanny, because those are Great White Egret chicks who appear to be being watched over by a wood stork.  I could spin a heart warming tale about egret chicks having been abandoned and then adopted by this wood stork, but truth isn’t quite so dramatic.  That wood stork is actually standing at his or her own nest directly behind the egret nest.  I didn’t see any adult egrets come to that nest while I was there though.  So maybe truth really is stranger than fiction…04-04-19thenanny1And the real wood stork chicks are growing fast.  I have to wonder if there is a safety in numbers factor to why these birds choose to nest in colonies like this.  It sure makes for nice photo ops.04-04-19thenannyf3-204-04-19thenanny4

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, life goes on, memories, moments, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Sunrise at the rookery…

Since I live on the west coast of Florida it should’t come as any surprise that finding a spot to watch the sunset isn’t a hard thing to do.  Finding a spot close by with elements to compose a nice picture does make it a little harder though.  But so far it’s harder by far to find spots to take sunrise pictures.  So when it dawned on me to try the sunrise at the rookery I was out there in a flash.  Literally, because I only had about 20 minutes until sunrise and I was still in my pajamas.04-02-19rookerysunrise304-02-19rookerysunrise204-02-19rookerysunriseWhile I’m still in Florida I’ll have to venture a little further south for some especially pretty places for these photos.  I’m already feeling like I’m running out of time before I’ll be heading north again.  I remember thinking that once I didn’t have kids in school anymore then that’s when time would finally slow down.  I have no idea where I got that idea, but if anything the older I get the faster time just seems to slip away.   Maybe that’s why I keep trying to capture these moments.  Maybe I’m trying to freeze time one moment at a time.

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, Cranes, Florida wildlife, life, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Found ‘em…

The lost pictures I mean. Sandhill crane posts never seem to garner as much of an audience as other posts seem to, but darn it, I had to work hard to find the darn photos, all 256 of them, so I’m posting them. One of these little cuties was a day old when I took these photos, and the other one was newly hatched. It was so nice of the parents to build a nest in such a great spot to walk out on the rickety old dock to take pictures, but I could have done without the post right there next to the nest. And I came to take pictures in the afternoon to avoid shooting into the sun, and of course I got there and they were posing nicely with the babies right in the shadow of the post. But it’s raining now, and I found these pictures so I’m going with them.

The bigger picture is new life I guess, and spring arriving with all the renewal of life that it brings.  Right after Charley died a friend posted a picture of her adorable new granddaughter, and I immediately thought that a life ends and a life begins.  Over and over in nature the cycle continues.  As it should.  We humans like to think we are in charge somehow, but we aren’t, and that’s a good thing…04-02-19twochicks804-02-19twochicks704-02-19twochicks504-02-19twochicks404-02-19twochicks304-02-19twochicks203-39-19twochicks103-39-19twochicks2