a second look, black and white, dragonflies, fun, in the neighborhood, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

At the pond…

Yesterday afternoon was hot, but the sky was pretty and rain was predicted so I decided to head to the pond to see what the dragonflies were up to. The landscape crew had apparently cut the grass recently, and they cut a lot of the reeds at the water’s edge also, so not so much for the dragonflies to land on. Plus I had taken the extender off the camera so these photos are cropped to a ridiculous degree. That’s when technology helps you out. The camera has a lot of megapixels, plus the new denoise feature in Lightroom helps a lot too. I appreciate a quick walk to the pond now and then when most of our photo ops require an hour’s drive, or more.

Okay, so this is basically what was going on. Dragonflies landing on sticks and holding on.
Sometimes they stand up a bit.
Looks like someone nibbled on this one’s wing.
Wow, orange dragonflies DO land once in a while.
Butt shot of the dragonfly but I liked the details on his perch.
I liked this black and white version of the feature photo. On Sunday we have a class on how to edit your black and white photos, so I’m jumping the gun.
a second look, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, birds, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, Osprey, perseverance, photography

Osprey assumptions…

There are osprey nests on posts along many of the roads we drive on our usual travels. But we had never seen this nest before because we hadn’t been to Fort DeSoto Park before, at least not together. We had minimum information on where exactly to see the many, many migrating birds that we have seen pictures of lately, but we were optimistic. My favorite pictures wound up being this osprey sequence, even if I may have missed the boat on it entirely. What I saw in the distance, and you see in the feature photo, was a nest being guarded by Dad on the nearby branch, and Mom standing in the nest. Dad, if that is in fact Dad, never moved from that position. And for that matter neither did ‘Mom.’

This is the picture that tickled me! I’d never seen a baby osprey before, so I was thrilled when Junior put in an appearance. But when he rose up some more and started flapping those wings I was amazed.
I thought Mom was too busy keeping an eye on things to pay too much attention.
Then I thought Junior turned his attention to Dad, as in, “Hey Dad, look at me, I’m a big kid,” and smacking Mom in the face in the process.

So I showed my pictures to Bernie and told him why I thought the whole thing was so funny, and he pointed out that the two birds on the nest are the same size, so perhaps they are both babies. Siblings. And Mom may be the one of the branch keeping watch over the shenanigans. And, darn it all, he has a point. I guess the joke was on me. But it was fun to see them anyhow.

a second look, adventure, birds, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Plan B plus…

Felts preserve was always part of our plan for the day on Friday. It’s only a half hour from the Celery Fields and neither stop was going to require a long walk, or scooter ride. We saw a hawk fly up onto a branch as we were arriving, but the resulting picture wasn’t great so I chose to make it the black and white feature photo. It was almost black and white all by itself. But it was disappointing to see that there was only one feeder filled, plus some seeds on the flat feeders. There were six squirrels scooping up the droppings, and one had managed to perch himself on an open feeder and he stayed put the whole time. Well, almost. Something happened to caused the squirrels and the birds to take cover…

I was here by myself a few years ago and I don’t remember this sign. Maybe it’s new.
There are trails for the adventurous to follow, but we chose the more direct route to the bird blind.
Surprisingly this was the only feeder with seeds. So the painted buntings have possibly moved on. I was thrilled with the lighting and thought this female cardinal looked great in the viewfinder in the camera. I couldn’t see her deformed bill until I put my pictures in the computer.
I was so pleased with this photo, but the beak breaks my heart. This is the second time I’ve gotten home and found that a cardinal I took pictures of had an issue with its beak. First one was from Circle B.
She gets along well with others however. And there was a male in attendance but I didn’t get a decent picture of him.
This red-bellied woodpecker was busy.
We saw the squirrels scatter, and this is the interloper who moseyed on in and wandered under the feeders, sniffing the ground and checking things out.
We had made it back to the car and were loading our cameras when this (same) hawk flew onto the top of a post that had me shooting straight up into the air. I’m surprised I got a picture all.
attention to detail, backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, live and learn, memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Family portraits…

I may have this all wrong, but I think I’m right. The Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal have been my most frequent ‘flyers’ since I put up the Bird Buddy. I never thought I’d be disappointed to see a cardinal but after a while I wished for a bit of variety. We are quite sure that they have nested in the huge bougainvillea that has taken over the back corner of the yard. It was planted 20 years ago to help block a small opening in the fence back there, to keep the neighbor’s dogs from visiting, and it will take a braver soul than I am to try to tame it at this point. Besides, who knows how many birds call that place home. Plus it is gorgeous.

But the surprise came when the Mr. and Mrs. flew out of that bush to come to the feeder the other morning. They were quickly followed by what looks to me to be an immature male cardinal. As much as I suspect they are nesting deep in the bougainvillea, I haven’t given much thought to investigating to see if they are raising offspring in there. So when the three of them were on the feeder I chose to take pictures through the glass of the sliding glass doors plus the screen, because I was sure that unlocking the door and coming outside would cause them to fly away and I’d miss my chance to take pictures. Merlin agreed, but it did suggest that it might be a house finch, but that tuft on the head tells me it’s a cardinal.

Obviously taken through the sliding glass door plus the screen.
Junior and dad, I just couldn’t get the three of them together.
Junior plus mom this time.
Later in the day there was so much activity at the feeder that I went out onto the lanai and sat at the open door with my camera. This dove stopped for a drink.
The Mr. was back, looking handsome as ever.
The downey woodpecker still hasn’t given up on the idea that the post might also hold some tasty treats.
The tufted titmouse stops at the feeder just long enough to pick up a seed and then he flies off.

This time the titmouse flew into the bougainvillea, but into a spot where I could still see him. So I decided to test the limits of the lens and extender I was using and took a few pictures of him. This shot is cropped to a fare-the-well, but I’m happy he looks as good as he does. And notice those thorns, they are lethal! I know because I had to trim my small one I had at my front door at my last house. I happened to take my cat to the vet after a session with that bougainvillea and he looked at my arms in horror and wanted to know if the cat was responsible for the nasty scratches. I told him no, it was a vicious bougainvillea.

attention to detail, attitude adjustments, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, home, live and learn, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

That zoo visit…

Lemurs hardly ever can be seen in their entirety, meaning that long tail in a picture.
We wandered for a bit since the orangutan enclosure was being tended to by the keepers.
I am convinced that our pets are totally content when life follows a routine and they know what to expect. But looking at that face I have to wonder, what do they think about?
When big daddy emerges he makes quite an impression.
Finally, mom and baby emerge into the morning sunlight.
Is she checking out her audience?
Another pose that makes me wonder what they think about.
All of the wildlife preserves in our area are also inhabited by wild birds who recognize a great place to live. These ducks seem to enjoy life in the zoo.
I saw this little bird land on a post, and since my camera was ready to go I took its picture. Merlin says it’s a house sparrow. But as sometime’s happens, when I saw the photo in the computer I was distressed to see that it’s leg is deformed.
Not a bird but a bird of paradise. The first picture I took at the zoo that day.

Going to the zoo will work out best when you plan ahead. Getting there when the zoo opens at 9:30 you can expect the animals to be active. The orangutans emerge from their dens to find that the keepers have scattered greens around the enclosure for them to eat. Sometimes they put out various pieces of clothing or towels that the orangutans enjoy draping over themselves. There is a good bit of shade at the zoo all day, but it will get pretty hot later. Of course there is a splash pad for the kids to enjoy, and I suppose a parent or grandparent might enjoy it also. A one day pass can seem expensive, until you realize that you can buy a pass that will get you admission for a year for the same price.

a second look, birds, brainstorms, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Here we go round the mulberry bush…

We hadn’t seen photos of the cedar waxwings lately, so we thought they might have bulked up on enough mulberries and headed back to where they came from. But it’s not too far so we headed out to check on the situation for ourselves. There was plenty of activity in the mulberry trees, but as it was before, the action was deep in the shadows and hard to focus the camera. Which explains the vast majority of terrible photos I took today, plus the surprise of discovering that the bird I was taking pictures of wasn’t a cedar waxwing at all. I didn’t get a decent shot of the cardinal that was there, or the red breasted woodpecker, but at least I recognized them as I took my shots. But several birds were a total surprise when I looked at my photos in the camera.

There was a gray catbird enjoying the bounty.
And this red-breasted grosbeak also came as a surprise. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before.
But the cedar waxwings were still there in numbers, still flitting from branch to. branch.
Thankfully I was able to spot a few of them posing nicely and in the open.
This is as close as I got to getting a shot of one in flight.
Another nice pose.
I thought they might have stripped the trees of berries by now, but there still seemed to be plenty for all.
Lunch is served.

I’m still getting used to the new Canon r7 camera, with its new rf 100-400 lens, plus I also used the 1.4 extender. I have friends who will spend days studying the ins and outs of any new camera or lens that they may buy. I should take a lesson, I still need to study up on this new technology. I always have been a procrastinator. I once said something to my mother about one of my kids being a procrastinator and she asked me where I thought they got that from. Gee, I wonder…