learning, natural wonders, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunset, technology

Chasing the sunset…

After seeing that possibly elusive opening in the clouds on Saturday night I stopped for the sunset on the way to Hudson beach.  It has been suggested to me by more than one fisherman that Hammond’s Creek bridge isn’t the best place in Aripeka to take sunset photos.  They both said to go to the next bridge down.  Not knowing exactly where they meant for me to go I kept glancing to my right as I drove, to find the spot and to make sure that the promise of a beautiful sunset was still on the table.  And I came around a bend to see the prettiest setting for the sunset that I’d seen in a while.  I turned the car around and found a place to pull off the road, and climbed over the guardrail to set the camera up as far off the road as I could.  My landing zone was probably 6 square feet.  Standing on that little road, at a hairpin bend in the road, in the twilight, was probably not the best move, but it was a great shot.  Not the one they told me to look for though, guess I’ll try to find that next time…5-20sunsetHDR25-19aripekasunset

And from the iPhone a panoramic shot, straight out of the camera…iphonearipekasunsetWell, I did resize from the 56 mp size that it was.  Yes, the color really was that dramatic.  And I took so many pictures, but all of the same exact scene.  There was nowhere else to look from that little spot.  After you’ve been looking at the photos in order to choose the few you’ll use they begin to look normal, then you check the post later and that’s when you’ll see how strong the colors are.  But with another day of thunderstorms ahead this post will probably be published as is.  Just another day on the Nature Coast…

bunnies, Florida wildlife, home, life, nature, on closer examination, photography, unintended images

Busy bunny…

Lest you think there are only birds in the backyard, here is another resident, but one I don’t see all that often.  Maybe that’s because of the Plumbago out back.  They were a bit overgrown, with a lot of naked lower branches, which is why I took the hedge trimmers to them the other day.  I suspected that I had bunny burrows under them, so I didn’t take them all the way to the ground the way I noticed a neighbor had done with his.  I did cut off the few flowers that were present though, apologies to the butterflies I’ve just begun to notice out there.

When I do see a bunny out and about I usually suppose that it’s just munching on greenery.  I was a little surprised to see this bunny busily gathering mouthfuls of foliage.  Not seeming to be chowing down, but to hide the opening of her burrow maybe?  If only she had stayed a little more still so I’d have had a few more clear shots.  My blurry shots outnumbered the good ones by a lot.  I suspect that the operator of the camera was really the culprit…

5-16bunny35-16bunny25-16bunny1

The dings in this bunny’s ear make me remember that it’s not a Disney movie out there every day, but a struggle to live another day.  Obviously this bunny won at least one battle for survival.5-17bunnyplanterThis little guy was at the botanical garden, where I didn’t find bees or butterflies, or even a snake.  It was a bunny kind of day.

birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, on closer examination, photography, sunrise

An Aripeka morning…

Someone new rode up on a  bicycle when I was at Hammond’s Creek Bridge this morning.  I told him that the last biker who showed up for the sunrise cracked open a Budweiser to drink while he watched the sunrise.  He laughed and said that he was waiting for the bait shop to open so he could get coffee.  Coffee?  Good to know.5-18HDRbaitshop5-18HDRskylightI got home to find a new post-sitter out back, so of course I went out for pictures.  A beautiful Great Egret who posed like a champ, long enough for me to notice the moth/butterfly, a Skipper I think, in the grass at the bottom of my yard.  It was in the weeds really, enjoying the tiny flowers.  I had the big lens in the camera, plus the extender, and this little thing was at least 20 feet away, which let me take it’s photograph.  I never saw one closely enough to see that curly tongue, or proboscis as a cousin’s grandson recently corrected his brother, he’s using to gather pollen is amazing.  Mother Nature is always amazing.

5-18GWE15-18GWE45-18GWE25-18GWE35-18butterfly5-18butterfly45-18butterfly3

birds, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, Tricolored heron

Venis rookery…

When I first heard the term ‘rookery’ I thought it meant an official facility of some sort.  I didn’t expect that it was just an island in a small body of water that had been selected by the wild birds, lots of wild birds, as the place to nest and raise their young.  Don’t bother trying to google this place because it wouldn’t come up for me, but luckily for me my big day of photo ops included a stop here.  It was worthwhile even if I didn’t see the alligator that my friend insisted was right there in front of me.  I guess I was too busy looking at the birds.

I didn’t see what creature jumped into the water as this Tri-color Heron zeroed in on him.  But what I did see was the heron walking along the edge of the water towards me, coming almost too close to me for me to be able to fit him in the picture with the zoom lens I had in the camera.  I kept taking pictures, and it was only later that I realized that he was following the trail of bubbles that his prey was leaving, probably without realizing it.  5-12great15-12hotpursuit25-12hotpursuit3The trail of bubbles led away from me, and at last glance the heron was still following, hoping for dinner.  Or possibly desert…

My recent photo excursions have had me distracted from the Sandhill crane family that lives on my lake.  So much so that I hadn’t even done a head count in a couple of days.  I’ve missed several perfect opportunities by letting Ozzie out and discovering that they are right out back, and they head to the other side of the lake before I can get the camera out.  At least I know that they are all present and accounted for, as of last night that is.  And growing fast!5-13longlegs5-13longlegs2

 

bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, gardens, nature, on closer examination, photography, the big picture

Let me tell you ’bout…

…the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees…

So happy for friends, and for completely different reasons.  One has a brand new rescue puppy to love, and another is reuniting with his grandkids.  As well as happy for myself, with a day of different photo ops ahead of me.  It’s a good news kind of day!5-10dragonfly5-10gazebo5-10butterfly5-10traingarden25-10traingarden5-10bee35-10bee15-10snakeAnd a snake, which isn’t good news but is tolerable news when it is a black snake, so harmless, and running away from me.  Those were busy bees, buzzing away.  And I assume that those orange sacks are full of pollen.  I’ve been hearing about them but hadn’t seen that for myself before.  Guess they were having a good day too!

dogs, home, life, life goes on, live and learn, nature, neighbors, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology

Another point of view…

iPhone photography was what lured me into my current photographic journey, and I remain a fan of what the iPhone camera can capture.  Consequently I commonly take iPhone photos along with the photos with my Canon DSLR, but I don’t always remember to look at them later since they are always totally outnumbered.  But once in a while I think to check them out to see what I failed to notice.4-5zoofishLike this Lionfish that posed for me at the zoo.  I knew that the iPhone would be my best chance at a good photo of that very dramatic fish.  And also at the zoo…4-5zoodoorI thought this faux courtyard scene was positively charming…

And in the backyard I routinely capture sunrises since they come to me daily, and when I’m not enjoying the sunrise I can enjoy the honeysuckle growing up on my neighbor’s shed.  4-5sunrise4-5honeysuckle4-5weedy

When I noticed this little weed bravely struggling through the patio pavers it brought to mind the will to live, or the little guy persevering against all odds, or the miracle of life, and then I plucked it…

 4-5ozzie.jpgAnd finally Ozzie, who is always right where he should be at all times.  No need to stop what you are doing to see what he’s up to.  Nope, he causes no trouble, except when he is right behind you and you trip over him.  Such a good boy…