a second look, attitude adjustments, eagles, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Real life…

The feature photo was my first glimpse of the parent eagle keeping watch over the nest on Tuesday. I was riding my trike up the trail, and saw this view of him through a break in the foliage. From right in front of the nest I couldn’t see that eagle at all. I was prepared to hold out to see the baby eaglet though, meaning that I was ready to sit on my trike while I waited. But the reality was that I stood with my camera on the tripod, my right arm up with my finger on the shutter, putting pressure on my shoulder which has been giving me an issue for a while now. I caught a glimpse of what I thought might be the other parent flying in, so I stood there waiting, and shooting, and the first burst of photos was of the empty nest. And then as I scanned my photos in the computer I saw a glimpse of the other eagle flying in with a prize, just not the prize I might have expected. It was a bird, not a fish, and knowing that explains what another onlooker and I were wondering about. After he landed that eagle was obviously tearing at something and tossing whatever it was shredding out of the nest. Feathers! I was a little disappointed that the baby didn’t get up a little higher to see him or her better, but I did manage to see him and get a picture while he still looks like a baby. I missed that stage completely last year. So here is the sequence of events, some but not all of the pictures since there were over 20 photos from only the second or two that it took for him to land.

I had no clue that he had anything in his talons when I took this picture. I was just happy to be ready with the camera.
Realizing that I had the series of photo in focus really made me happy. The camera’s ability to do this is what made me decide to buy it.
This is when I figured out that it was a bird for lunch.
It’s always a treat to see those wings catch the light.
He got down to business cleaning his catch right away.
Soon both parents were on hand.
They were keeping an eye on some vultures who were buzzing the nest.
Finally, a little head. I took so many pictures because I could see the head bob movement, and then I had to go through those zillion pictures hoping for a bit more than this tease of a view.
A little better view.
I think he was tired of waiting for a tid-bit.
The squeaky wheel thing works in nature also, or so it would seem.

I was packing up the camera when I noticed two vultures buzzing the nest with a vengeance. I wondered if they were hoping this eagle would chase one of them, leaving the nest unguarded. Thankfully the eagle did a lot of yelling, but didn’t leave. But I did, leave I mean. I hope those good parents keep up their good work.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Ibis, nature, old dogs new tricks, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Synchronicity….

I saved this set of pictures from our trip to the B on the 7th. I was watching a glossy ibis in the shrubbery, a not so common site. And it was nearly at eye level, another uncommon reason to be paying attention. As I watched the white ibis flew in and landed in front of the glossy, which caused no alarm at all. They then proceeded to raise their wings in complete harmony with each other, and basically mirror each other’s movements as I watched in amazement. I stood there shooting bursts until I figured enough already, and as I turned my attention elsewhere they continued their dance in total harmony.

Whoa, where did she come from?
I watched in amazement, and thought how lucky I was for this series to land in my lap. So to speak.
They saw their audience, but didn’t seem to mind.
Maybe they thought this was their best side.
Nap time, perhaps.
adventure, attitude adjustments, birds, black and white, exploring new places, friends, fun, nature, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Wilderness Conservation Park…

We’ve been bundled up and hiding from the cold weather for a few days now. Not all that cold according to my northern friends and relatives, but too cold for people who have lived here for any length of time. But today we just had to get out for a little while, so we went to a new-to-us park and rode the trails for a little while. I loved the beautiful reflections in the river, the Hillsborough River, even with the cloudy conditions and the temperature that might have reached 50 degrees. It was a nice ride, then it was time to head for home and heat up some of the turkey soup to warm up.

The water was like glass.
Beautiful scenery.
While I concentrated on the egret on the shore a tricolor heron flew through the shot.
The path was only a mile or so until you arrived at the river overlook.
I noticed a lot of white fungus on the trees, but I once read that if you see the pink fungus that means the air is especially clean. There was much more of the pink fungus than I’ve ever noticed before, I breathed deeply.
One of my pictures turned black and white as I worked on it. I kind of like the way it looks.
This is another picture of the little palm warbler who flew onto a nearby branch and posed for me. You see him, or her, in the feature photo also. I hope the birds and animals are keeping warm enough.

There are a few more nights of freezing overnight temperatures on tap, but the new year will bring back our wonderful warm Florida weather.

a second look, adventure, attention to detail, birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, nesting, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, technology

Eagle sighting…

It’s not so unusual that I would see the eagles today because I had already decided that I would wait them out. I’ve done it before, hung around for two or three hours until they made their presence known. The reason I did it today was because they are currently sitting on eggs, so if you wait long enough the egg-sitter will be relieved by his or her mate. It will happen, but it will try your patience waiting for it sometimes.

I thought I was prepared. Sneakers instead of flip flops. And I wiped myself down with a bug wipe. I rode my trike so that I would have a place to sit, to be ready to stick with it for the duration. But I was beginning to wonder if I should have brought lunch. I answered a few questions about my Liberty Trike while I waited, and gave out some of the cards that came with the trike. I highly recommend it if anyone is in the market for one. I hated to get a trike for what it implies about my elderly status, but I wanted to keep my camera in the front basket and be ready to grab it and get my shot without worry about the trike tipping over. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
After about an hour Mom, or maybe it was Dad, stood up and stretched, and then settled back down. But it gave me hope that it was nearly time for the switch.
It took a while, but shortly after a fellow photographer showed up came the moment I’d been waiting for. It wasn’t as dramatic as I may have hoped. She laughed over the fact that she pulled her car over and had her shot five minutes later.
He/she didn’t go far, just to a branch right above the nest.
Some more poses. I was shooting bursts, so this whole escapade netted me 664 photos to go through.
And then it happened.
I guess it was time, and off she went. I see fringing in this shot, but I can’t do anything about it on the iPad. Or I don’t know how to is probably more correct.
This snag up the way was where he/she landed and stayed a while. Looking toward the water for a bit of lunch maybe? This is zoomed out for the scene, but I had my 100-400 lens on so I could zoom closer, thankfully.
If you are watching a bird and you see it poop, it’s going to fly. Or so our group leader says. So I was ready to see it happen. Flying I mean, not pooping. But a pooping picture isn’t bad either.
I waited and nothing happened, so then I walked up the street to where my new photographer friend was standing to get a closer up shot since he was still posing.
Still more posing. A biker that I had talked with earlier came by and she said I scared her because she saw my trike and my tripod, but I wasn’t there. She thought I got snatched. Then she spotted us and was thrilled to get a shot of this eagle herself.
I figured two hours was enough, and I knew I had a lot of pictures, but I waited some more when I got back to the trike. And this was my reward, he took off, but dropped straight down out of sight, no nice soaring eagle shot.
'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, Cranes, exploring new places, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Planes, trains, and cows?

We took a drive past the airport in Zephyrhills today, on the off chance that there might be skydivers in the air. There weren’t. Planning ahead is not my strong suit. The train museum next door wasn’t open either, but the sand hill cranes that we saw grazing on the lawn were a treat to see. I don’t see them as often, and not as close up, as I saw them in Spring Hill. This family let me take a few pictures until a dog walker approached and they flew off.

A charming train depot, with a cute mailbox out front, and cranes to boot.
I love sand hill cranes. This family didn’t seem to mind me dropping by to take their picture.
And of course an old caboose at the depot.
But what we originally set out to do was ride the trail at the Withlacoochee River Park. And we did. And we stopped pretty quickly to wipe ourselves down with the bug repellant wipes that I owned but didn’t have with me at the recent Hillsborough river trip. I wised up.
The view from the fishing pier was lovely.
This direction is even prettier I think.
I wonder if this is what we look like as we gaze at animals in the zoo?

The cows were a total surprise, standing close to the barely traveled rural road as we left the park. When I got out of the car to take pictures some of them moved a few yards away. I think all of them stared. I guess they aren’t used to company. When we go out it’s always a good day if I come home with pictures in the camera. And a nice glass of wine while I write this is nice too. Blame any typos on the wine…

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, life goes on, live and learn, nature, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography, turtles, unintended images

Making do…

I’m killing time waiting for the bike shop to open. I looked forward to the photo ops we had in mind for yesterday, but they fell apart right from get-go. I’m pretty sure that operator error was what caused the bike chain to come off the electric trike. Don’t get me wrong, our trip to the Coastal Anclote Trail wasn’t a total waste since I was able to ride using the electric motor, but it’s not as much fun when you aren’t pedaling. I’ve looked at fixes online, but ‘keyway’ and ‘set screw’ are totally foreign words to me so I’ll take it to the pros to fix today. Of course I had the new camera with me, and I had in mind to use the lens that came with it. I’m stubborn like that. At any rate the eagles weren’t hanging around the nest, or what’s left of it. They will have some home improvements to do before they will be ready to raise a new family this year. But we did spot some wildlife as we rode.

Way over there, a bird in a tree. I didn’t really think it was an eagle, but a girl can dream can’t she? Plus there is a teeny-tiny airplane overhead. I had no idea that that was there.
Here’s the photo over-cropped, enough detail remains that I’m not unhappy with the lens.

That vulture wasn’t the only wildlife we saw. The feature photo is the gopher tortoise that was crossing the trail ahead of us. I thought he gave me a tiny little smile for his photo before we moved on. We had gone far enough that I am seriously doubtful that it was the same tortoise who caught up with us passed me on the left, and then made a reckless right turn to cross just in front of me and head off the right side of the trail. I barely got my camera up in time to get his photo. I have no idea what got him moving so fast, but I’m glad I didn’t hit him.

I named him Speedy McGee.

Our day was supposed to include a trip to the little botanical garden in Spring Hill before we headed home, but after a nice, air-conditioned, lunch we decided not to brave the heat anymore, and that was that. Not at all the photos I hoped to have at the end of the day, but that’s how it goes sometimes…