'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, fun, learning, nature, pelicans, perseverance, photography

Pelicans among us…

A murder of crows. A gaggle of geese. But what about a group of pelicans? Is it a pod? A pouch? A scoop, a squadron, or maybe a fleet?

All those answers are correct, I know this because I asked Siri after seeing a few pelicans together at Anclote River Park the other day. When pelicans fish together it’s called a fleet, so that’s what I thought my little group was called. But when I read on I was amazed to see that pelicans have been observed fishing in a group of 30 or more. They arrange themselves into a continuous crescent shape and then swim forward in unison, driving the fish into shallow water. And in perfect synchronization they all dip their bills into the water at the same exact time, scooping up fish. And then they do it again, and again. It must be a sight to see. This behavior was observed in Wisconsin, at a place called the Crossroads of Big Creek. Maybe I’ll get there one day. In the meantime the pelicans I observed weren’t fishing as much as they were scavenging at the boat ramp where I believe the fishermen toss them scraps. Maybe they are retired from organized fishing, and are now living the good life in sunny Florida. It was a perfect day for it.

Social distancing at it’s best?
There was the odd disagreement however.
This snowy stood it’s ground even as this boat was being towed out of the water.
I think he knew he looked good in the sun.
Lots of bluster.
Look who actually got a snack.
Perhaps life has gotten to be a little much for this guy, I know it seems like that to me too.

adventure, Camping, fun, natural wonders, nature, pelicans, perseverance, photography, road trip, simple things, sunrise, travel

Paddling along…

The feature photo is the marina where paddled, pink mountain views from the reflection of the sunrise.

Tuesday was the day for a kayaking adventure with my cousin.  She had never kayaked out of Colter Bay and she wondered why she and her friends hadn’t ever checked it out before.  She thought that they might have not wanted to deal with the boats which were coming back and forth to the marina, too fast if you ask me, and if I had had my camera with me I’d have been worried as we rode out the wakes they caused.  But it’s hard enough to stop paddling and get your phone out for a picture or two, and I was having a tough enough time of it keeping up with Mary.  She said that her paddling technique is to push with her upper hand, not pull back for each stroke.  It must work for her because she was zipping right along, but it wasn’t working for me so I just kept on paddling.  We were accompanied by an eagle who soared high over our heads pretty much the whole time we were out.  He’s in the last picture, you can see him if you try hard enough.  As soon as Mary said that she sees pelicans when she kayaks one flew into view.  I got his picture but I didn’t get the great blue heron who was hunting along the shore.  A nice couple of hours exploring the coves, which were quiet without the boats zipping through.  And views in all directions…07-22-20colterbayoffwego07-22-20colterbaykayak1.jpg07-22-20colterbayeagle

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, eagles, egrets, go with the flow, natural wonders, nature, nesting, pelicans, perseverance, photography

Making the rounds…

It was owls first on Tuesday, and then we headed over to see the eagles.   As you can see, the ‘babies’ aren’t hard to spot these days.  That cute fuzzy stage doesn’t last long, I think this is their awkward adolescence.  And that shy second chick seems to have gotten over it too.  We didn’t stay long, didn’t wait for parents to put in an appearance,  It was almost a drive-by.

02-19-20eagletview102-19-20eagletview2

And if that was almost a drive-by then our next stop at really was a drive-by.  Just down the street is Anclote River Park, and it’s a given there that if there is a post then a pelican will be sitting on it.  So we shot out the car window in true. drive-by style.02-19-20eaglepelican.jpg

We parted company after that, and my trip home took me right past the rookery, so a stop there seemed like a no-brainer.  I was the only one there, but lots of people stop their cars to see what is going when they see you on a ladder with your camera.  They are always amazed and usually have no clue what birds they are seeing, and say that they never noticed the birds before.  And I don’t mind the distraction since things are on hold there at the moment.  Egg-sitting and standing guard seem to be the order of the day while we wait for the hatching to begin.02-19-20eagleegret3.jpgExcept for the egrets.  They fluff out those feathers and ‘display’, I think it’s called.  In one fluid motion they stretch their neck up, and up some more, and then bow down, to no one in particular.  Hmm, I should probably look that up…

adventure, Camping, Florida landmarks, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, making memories, nature, pelicans, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends

Egmont Key

Thursday of my silly little, chilly little, spur-of-the-moment trip to Fort DeSoto was the day with the promise of the best weather.  So when I saw that a ferry trip to Egmont Key was available from the park I decided that Thursday would be the day I would go.  We had a pelican keeping us company as we waited to board the ferry, and I couldn’t resist taking yet another picture of the Egmont Light, even though I knew I’d see it up close in just a little while.unnamedunnamed-1

We landed right at the weather-worn lighthouse, and we were told to take the trail to the beach across the island, and that we should be sure to see the ghost town also.unnamed-2.jpgunnamed-3.jpgunnamed-4.jpgunnamed-20.jpgunnamed-6.jpgunnamed-16.jpg

The day was warm and sunny, a nice change, and a nice day to walk on the beach.  While I was preoccupied with taking pictures of the birds and shells my fellow travelers were finding sand dollars and shark teeth.unnamed-7.jpgunnamed-9.jpgunnamed-10.jpg0-6.jpegunnamed-15.jpg

The ghost town turned out to be ruins of defenses constructed to defend Florida during the Spanish American war. unnamed-5.jpgunnamed-17.jpgunnamed-18.jpgunnamed-19.jpg

And ruins on the beach too.unnamed-8.jpgunnamed-13.jpgunnamed-12.jpgunnamed-14.jpg

In just two hours it was time to head back to the park, bringing our treasures, and pictures, and memories with us.unnamed-21.jpgunnamed-11.jpg

I have a friend that we tease with ‘butt shots’, so I made it a point to take this photo of the Willets on the beach.  Little did I know that it would be my best photo of them.unnamed-22.jpg

Even with the chilly weather this was a fun trip.  I didn’t know a soul when I arrived at the park, but there were four people to give me a hug goodbye.  Everything I heard about camping and campers has proven to be true.  I wonder where I’ll end up next?

 

'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sunrise, unintended consequences

Before the storm…

Rain was in the forecast, but it wasn’t raining quite yet so I headed out for the sunrise.  I saw lightning on the way over and thought I should probably turn around.  But the sky was prettier than I expected, and the sunrise was lovely and pastel. 1-4-20Aripekabridgesunrise1-4-20FrankieinAripekaI was determined to get my photo for the challenge if nothing else, but there was an added element of fun.  It was Saturday morning and young fishermen were casting their lines over the side of the bridge and pulling in little fish left and right.  I was quite surprised to realize that there were two brown pelicans there, I’d never seen them in Aripeka before.  The fishermen were throwing their fish to them and they were trying to catch them.  It was fun to watch and I thought I’d get a lot of pictures.  But then it happened.  One of the pelicans leaped up and snagged the fish as the fisherman reeled it in.  So it caught the fish plus the hook and the length of line that snapped off with it, all in just a split second.  After that the pelican seemed to be gulping water and trying to swallow the fish but was having trouble doing it.  And there we were, helpless to help.  Suddenly this wasn’t fun anymore, and I wondered how it was that I didn’t anticipate what might happen.  I did call and alert the rescue authorities, but I was told that when a bird is in the water the chances of catching it even to help it was slim to none.  I stopped taking pictures at that point and left.  I heard thunder on the way home.1-4-20Aripekapelican1-4-20Aripekapelican21-4-20Aripekapelicanfeature

'scene' along the way, adventure, fantasy images, friends, fun, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Day one…

It may be a new year, but apparently I haven’t turned over a new leaf.  I took the drive to Safety Harbor for the sunrise on New Year’s Day and found a lovely sunrise and friendly photographers.  It wasn’t until later that I discovered that I must have bumped the dial on the camera causing almost all my shots to be overexposed.  Operator error, I should have been checking the shots as I went.01-01-20safetyharborsunriseIn addition to the sunrise I was also hoping to see spoonbills while I was there.  And I did see them, three of them, flying in and landing on a sand bar out in the water.  And that was the last I saw of them, but I got my 10,000 steps in while walking the boardwalk looking for them.1-2-20pelican1-2-20safetyharborview1-2-20safetyharborbikesI also told my friend about the fun photo challenge I had joined with my group.  You select a ‘companion’ and use it in an iconic Florida photo, one a day for two weeks.  I took some practice shots that day even though we weren’t supposed to take them until the 2nd.  Frankie the Flamingo will make her way into a few more shots in the next couple of weeks I’m sure.  But because of the challenge I was sent to the art center for some photos.  And I was told that the park across from Starbucks holds a 100 year old live oak that was the center of local drama a while back.  Some wanted it to be removed, but the locals objected.  I guess I know who won.  These were taken before the 2nd so I can’t add them to the group album, but I can use them here.1-2-20safetyharborartcenter1-2-20safetyharborartcenter21-2-20safetyharborliveoak1-2-20safetyharbortree