I am taking liberties here with my interpretation of this visit with the eagles. We were on our bike and scooter this time, our second outing, and got in another 5 miles. We decided to see the eagles and then continue onto the Anclote Coastal Trail to see where it went. So we expected to find the eagles, but I didn’t expect to find another friend who I first met on this very same quest, in this very same place, four (?) years ago. She had been watching for a while and said that nothing much had happened, not even a feeding so far. And that set the tone for my interpretation of what was going on as we watched.
The feature photo has Mom in the tree, scanning the area in hopes of spotting Dad, who had been sent out to bring back breakfast, but it was now going on lunch time.
We moved on without any more activity than what you have seen. It was time to ride. I’ve gone 10 miles on my new electric tricycle so far and my pedaling must be fairly efficient since I still have four of the five bars of battery life left. I confess it is nice to just cruise along under power here and there. But I need to watch where I’m going because I thought I spotted dear old Dad up in a tree a distance from the nest, and as I turned for a better look I let the bike drift to the right and very nearly drove my friend off the path. Oops. It was a very nice day, pedaling along without any actual disasters…
I have been saying that I wanted to go to Largo Central Park for a while now, even before I bought my electric tricycle. So off we went yesterday, only to discover that I mis-remembered the name of the park I wanted to go to. This wasn’t the park I remembered, but it was all good. This park happened to have a train meet going on. The tracks are part of the park, but the trains are privately owned and the public doesn’t get to ride, not that anyone seemed to mind. It was a beautiful setting with lots going on. I liked the statues a lot too. And I felt like one of those kids riding along on my bike, having fun.
Four years ago to the day, last Saturday to be precise, I went to my second photo walk with my ‘new’ (at the time) photo group. I saw the announcement of a photo walk to see the Dunedin Christmas Boat Parade and had to summon up all my courage to go join in with a bunch of people I didn’t know. Especially true since I was such a novice with my camera, which to me was a big deal investment, but I was barely functional with it. Lucky for me one of the group administrators set my camera up for me that day, thanks Kate. Our leader Jeff had snagged prime territory for great views of the boats as they made their way into the marina, and even provided chairs for us to sit on. A luxury I’m afraid I didn’t appreciate until 4 years later when we were faced with finding a place to shoot the scene on our own. Weighed down by equipment, and with two (really three) hours to kill before the boats would arrive, we decided to take advantage of the empty bleachers which would give us a great view of the boats arriving at the marina. Great view yes, but a challenge for photography with boats arriving and leaving and their lights overlapping, etc. The feature photo is from my iPhone as the sun was setting, and it was about 6 PM, time for the parade to begin. It took almost an hour before the boats began to arrive at the marina. A dramatic sunset filled the gap.
Even though I had advice about what settings to use for this shoot I will need more practice before I’ll be really happy with shots like these. But I was happy with the day itself. Winter in Florida can’t be beat.
I have always wanted to see the sand sculpture event at the beach, but something always prevented me from heading to Treasure Island. And it was not on my mind at 2 AM on Friday when I walked out the front door to look for the lunar eclipse and got rained on. I hadn’t seen a notice that the sand sculptures were even happening, but, lucky for me, my friend did, and off we went. You can see from the pictures that it was a perfect day, hot in the sun but with a wonderful breeze to cool you off and keep the kites aloft. Traffic was surprisingly light driving there, and I was delighted that I had easy access to the sculptures without people in the way. I neglected to notice all the commotion in the background of my pictures while I was taking them. And with the tools in Lightroom and Photoshop I could have knocked my head against the wall trying to remove them, or I could not worry about it and assure myself that I’m presenting an accurate picture of the event. But I’m sure there are lots more people and distractions going on today and tomorrow as the event reaches full swing.
You can certainly tell which photos were taken with the sun behind the sculptures and which had the sun on their faces. As usual I was happy to be out talking pictures in such a fun environment, it’s only when I look at the pictures later that the details of backgrounds and shadows really hit me over the head. But there was so much going on, rows and rows of vendors and a great selection of really good food to choose to eat, that I just happily clicked away. It might be worth another trip next Friday…
I’m afraid that the feature photo gives this whole post away. You’ve already seen just how pretty the sunset got. But I’m ahead of myself. When I arrived at Crystal Beach ahead of my friend I was happy to see a somewhat promising scene for our sunset shoot.
But as much as the sunset was the goal, the real excitement was that my friend, Maryann, was bringing the drone(s) she had been flying for the last few months. DroneS, because apparently you can’t have just one, or so she tells me. I’ve been amazed from the first time I’d seen drone photos, wondering how the heck you point them at what you want them to ‘see’ and then hold them steady enough to take a decent photo. Just handholding a camera can be a challenge at times. And then she arrived, and I became torn between getting shots of the sky as it got prettier, and then resetting the camera to shoot the drone itself, which turned out not to be a challenge at all because it just rose up in the sky and stayed put. Went up straight, no guesswork there, so avoiding trees and power lines isn’t really an issue. Then she showed me her phone screen, which showed the drone view, and she could take pictures at will. The controller looked like a video game controller, so that took care of aiming her. And before you take the drone up you ‘pin’ the spot where she started so that when you call her she comes ‘home’.
We were about ready to call it a day when I happened to glance over and saw that behind some trees another whole cloud bank was ablaze with color. I had to go back out onto the pier to get that feature photo. It was quite the finale of the evening. And what I failed to explain is that I drive past the turn off for this beach every time I go to Clearwater for a class, and many times for the photo shoots also. But I had never noticed the sign for Crystal Beach, just another one of those details that seem to escape me as I go about my days.
PS. Maryann was happy to point out that no rules of flying drones were broken in the making of this blog post!
PSS: You can check out Maryann’s stuff at MaryannMiller.com. Also look for her at
We are enjoying lovely weather in the Smokies, but not having WiFi has prevented me from working on my pictures and sharing them. It hasn’t prevented me from taking tons of pictures however, so I will have lots to keep me busy when we get home. The fall foliage we hoped for isn’t at it’s peak, but it smells like fall, and there are enough beautiful trees to make me happy. And we still have a few days.