a second look, life goes on, nature, old dogs new tricks, pelicans, perseverance, photography, the big picture

I’ve missed you…

Yes, I abandoned the blog of my own free will, but it didn’t cease to exist like I thought it would.  No, daily I receive notices of someone enjoying a post they’ve somehow come across out there in the universe.  And notices of a few new followers here and there, and I feel badly.  Lately I’ve been wanting to write but I’ve been fighting it.  Not knowing how often I might write, and not wanting it to take over my life again.  So for now I guess this is me, on a comeback of sorts, just making my way in life one day at a time.  If such a thing as a Snow Bird existed I’d insert a picture of one here.  But that’s what I will be in the very near future.  Based on the beautiful Nature Coast of FL, but on any given day who knows where I’ll be…

In my endless packing, which seems to get me exactly nowhere btw, I came across the money from my yard sale.  Money I had forgotten about.  And since I’m liable to do just about anything in this moving frenzy I seem to be in, the fact that I had forgotten about that money meant just one thing, it was time to spend it!  So my retail therapy happened yesterday, and I’m now the proud owner of a new Manfrotto tripod with a Gimbal head.  (Trust me, it’s a good thing.)  I was at Pasco Camera, for those nearby, and Jim couldn’t have been nicer.  I was at his mercy really, I knew I needed ‘better’ but that was about all I knew.  When I finally made a decision and it came time to pay him I took the baggie full of $1s out of my purse, my yard sale stash, and started counting them out.  I assured him that I wasn’t a stripper, just in case he was wondering, and he cracked up.  And says there is a new camera club in Brooksville that he just joined and said he’d send me the information.  I’ll pass that info along to my northern (FL) photo chicks when I get it.

So off I went to search for the eagles I’ve photographed before.  Their former nest is gone, but a new one is under construction.  But they weren’t around so I moved on to the Anclote fishing pier, determined to try out the new huge lens/better tripod combination.  Again, things were quiet until you could see churning a large area of the surface of the water.  Then mullet, hundreds of them, all jumped out of the water at once, sending the pelicans into action.  I hope I would have figured it out eventually, but another observer pointed out the young dolphin who was chasing that school of mullet.  I really wanted to get spectacularly better photos with the help of the new tripod, and maybe I will one day, with lots more practice.  I was glad to be out with the camera, but all that endless mess was still waiting for me at home…

 

boats, connections, friends, nature, pelicans, photography, technology, travel, weather

A Tarpon Springs afternoon…

I have a Facebook/blog friend who is planning a trip to my area soon.  She is a photographer and is looking forward to sharing some of my photo op locations, for sunrise or sunset photos is what I think she mentioned.  But a day trip to Tarpon Springs would check off a lot of the boxes for a visitor to the area.  You can eat Greek food, you can shop, and you can take a dolphin or sunset cruise, which I confess I haven’t ever done.  I met a friend there for lunch yesterday, and I arrived early in hopes of getting some photos.  I carried my camera in my smaller camera bag but never opened it, using my trusty iPhone 7+ for all the photos I took yesterday.  I love the wide angle it gives you in these situations, and rarely do the photos require much in the way of editing.  It was a glorious day, and so fun to catch up with a friend.  2-22tarpon12-22tarpon22-22tarpon42-22tarpon52-22tarpon62-22tarpon72-22tattooI had to go back and add this last one.  It’s on the side of a building that houses a tattoo parlor.  Wouldn’t this make a fabulous tattoo?  For that younger version of myself that is, not me.  LOL, I always have been all talk.  Well, mostly…

birds, dogs, eagles, Florida wildlife, life, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, Osprey, pelicans, photography, pond creatures

Beyond the nest…

When I left the nest, having heard the sad news about the eaglets, I went to Anclote River Park.  I had been there before with my son and his family, and what I remember was that the water was red.  I don’t remember the explanation.  It was very odd, and it stuck in my mind.  What I found this time was a lovely park, and I would think it might be yet another great spot for the sunset.  I was directed there by another photographer, who told me to look to my right once I got there and I’d see the Osprey nest.  He wasn’t sure if there were eggs, but as you see the Ospreys were on hand.

Then I wandered along the walkway and what I couldn’t help but notice were the pelicans.  Certainly the most up close photo opportunity with them that I’ve seen so far.3-2pelican2Day 6 PelicanBut still the eagles were on my mind.  I saw the one in the dead tree when I first got to the nest, and the other one when I stopped on my way home.  So they are still in the vicinity of the nest, a nest of very long standing.  I spoke to my eagle watching friends and there is speculation that the eagles may mate again and lay more eggs this season.  I hope so, at least I think I hope so.  It’s hard not to get too attached.3-2eagle3-2eagle2Back home the Sandhill Cranes continue to tease us.  They are on the lake daily, on the old nest and also visiting the new nest they built.  They don’t spend the night, or I don’t think that they do.  So whether or not there will be new babies on the lake is still an unknown.3-2cranes.jpg  I counted on the sunset for a Day 7 of the 10 day photo challenge, but it was too overcast.  Sunsets are funny that way.  Which left me with only one solution.Day7Zoe

I suppose this is Zoe’s ‘before’ picture because she needs a haircut.  She was gorgeous when she was young, long-legged and slim.  I joked that I got her because people grow to look like their dogs, and I wanted to be taller and thinner.  Well, what’s happened is that Zoe has gotten thicker through the middle, and I’ve got grayer… and hair on my chin.

birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, nature, nesting, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sunset

Don’t give up…

The Anclote Fishing Pier smelled like… fish. I had walked out almost to the end of the pier for a sunset photo op. Evidently the fishermen clean their fish out there.  Phew!  But I’ve gotten ahead of myself…1-10sunset1feature copy

First was a futile trip to Bayport for the sunrise that didn’t happen. Then off to Jenkin’s Creek where I amused myself taking photos of a Great Egret while I waited for an eagle, and then an otter showed up.  But no eagle so I gave up. But as I pulled out of the parking lot I saw an eagle flying in, so of course I turned around.

I couldn’t resist heading out again later though, blame the fabulous weather. There was the eagle nest that I hadn’t visited since our cold spell, I wondered if all was well, and it was. Except all I got to see at first was the nest itself. Then a head popped up so that I was sure mom or dad were there. And so the wait began.1-10mindingthenest.jpg

But then I spotted Dad, or was it Mom, in a nearby tree. My eagle watching friend had said that the parent that is off the nest is always nearby, but I didn’t spot him at first. He was posing nicely. Well, his back was to me, but I think he can swivel his head 360 degrees, which was fortunate from the point of view of photo ops.1-10it'sdadormom copy

1-10eagle3 copy.jpgI watched for a long time until he flew off to a tree farther away. Then he swooped down out of sight and I was holding my breath hoping that he would come back with dinner for mom. I have to stop trying to anticipate what will happen and just let things unfold. He did return and was on a branch very close to the nest. Then mom joined him on that branch and it made me think of them comparing notes. When Mom flew off to hunt, Dad took over on the nest, which is what I was waiting for, only I had hoped for both parents on the nest together.

It was time for me to go see what I could see at the fishing pier.  But I already showed you a sunset photo, and the flock of birds flying against the reflected sunset color, but I didn’t show you the pelican.  It was a great sunshiny day!1-10pelican copy

birds, eagles, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, pelicans, photography, sunset, Tricolored heron

The quiet nest…

I held a vigil for a while at the eagle nest today, camera at the ready, and almost nothing happened.  My eagle watching friend says that the fact that the eagle on the nest was hunkered down and invisible most of the time I was there means that it’s the male.  The female is bigger also, another tidbit I learned today.  I was distracted by a Downey woodpecker for a bit, and hoped I didn’t miss anything but I didn’t think so.  What I expected was for the female to join the male on the nest, that was the photo op I hoped for.  But that’s not what happened.  There was sudden movement on the nest, the male popped up and vocalized a bit, and then took off.  Several minutes went by and then another eagle flew over and settled down on the nest.  We couldn’t say for sure which eagle it was, we were just glad to know the nest was protected.

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I stopped at the Anclote Fishing Pier on the way home and found some more feathered friends there.  It’s my friend’s favorite sunset spot, but it was too early for the sunset, and I was tired so I decided to head home…

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adventure, birds, boats, connections, finding my way, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, pelicans, photography, safety Harbor, sky, sunset

Safety Harbor Sunset…

In the interests of finding new and different places for photo ops, plus my social life could use a kick in the pants, I joined a big group of photographers for a shoot last night at Safety Harbor.  Drove through a very cute town with shops I would have loved to have had time to explore, maybe I’ll do that next time.  Actually we were having fun exploring and photographing birds, enough so that we very nearly missed the sunset all together.

An immature Black Crowned Night Heron, was a new bird to me.  Merlin says that the white tips on the feathers are what tells you it’s not a mature bird.  He posed like a champ.  As did the Downey Woodpecker, and there were lots of pelicans swimming alongside the pier.

1130nightheron1130downeywoodpecker1130pelicansBut we did turn our attention to the sunset in time to catch some pretty color in the sky.

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Even the walk past the boats in the marina on the way back to my car had me stopping for another couple of shots.

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But the real adventure came on the way home.  One of the group officials had suggested that I take a right out of the parking lot to avoid most of the congestion in the area on the way home, and he told me what street to take.  But I was still unsure so I asked my pal Siri to “direct me home”.   I always forget that when you do that you get a very close up map with the route highlighted in blue, but you can’t see even your next move coming up.  Or where you are or where you are going, just that blue line glowing in the dark.  And the road she had me on kept snaking to the right and the left, and reversing itself so that it seemed like you were going the wrong way.  I began to wonder who’s house she was taking me to, but, as always, she got me to the Suncoast Parkway and it was fine from then on.  All in all a fun adventure…