a second look, birds, friends, fun, learning, making memories, moon, pelicans, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset

Try, try again…

I looked at my Crystal Beach photos again and wondered where my head was when I chose, and edited, photos for my last post. Maybe I should wait an extra day between working on them and posting them to see if I still think they look good. Or I can blame the recent cataract surgery since I have over a month to go before they’ll check my vision again. So this is the same shoot but different pictures.

I guess you can see why I wondered if the sunrise would be extinguished by those dark clouds. On the other hand it’s so fun to see the sun’s rays peeking through any opening in the clouds that are there.
The little blue, or rather un-blue, heron again.
I was excited to see some color coming out in the sky, and we found this natural ‘frame’ for the scene, so I took a lot of pictures of this same scene.
And yes, as the sun began to drop from under the heavy clouds the color came up.
The word twinkletoes came to mind when I saw this picture in the computer.
Flocks of pelicans were flying over. Heading for a roosting spot nearby, or maybe they have many miles to travel?
Still looking for nice foregrounds for the main event.
Gotta love a nice moon shot. And there is a full moon set complete with a partial eclipse coming on Tuesday morning. Very early.
I heard one of those girls comment that ‘this is dangerous’ as she skated onto the pier on roller blades.
And there it was finally, what we were waiting for. The sun escaping those dark clouds and giving us the color we hoped to see.
It was worth waiting for.

The feature photo is the view looking to the south from the pier as I waited for my friends to arrive. I know I mentioned that our visit with friends after the shoot included sitting outside in perfect weather, but did I mention the candlelight? Thanks to Eddie and Linda for their hospitality.

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, go with the flow, life goes on, live and learn, making memories, pelicans, perseverance, photography

Dunedin sunset…

I’ve had in mind to go to Dunedin for the sunset for a few days now. I can easily talk myself out of it though, it is a bit of a drive, but then I remembered that in a couple of weeks sunset will be an hour later and then it’ll really seem too late to be out. It turned out to be a nicer sunset than I expected, in spite of the old guy on a recumbent bike who stopped and just looked at me with my camera. Finally he informed that that there was nothing to take pictures of right then. Then he wanted to know what lens I was using and he poo-poo’d my 18-400, and then he had to hold out his arms to show me how big his was, lens that is. His parting shot was that I don’t look like I live here because I’m too white. Guess I was batting 1000 with that guy, which was fine since he wasn’t doing any better with me.

After watching two pelicans working in unison, taking off, turning and planning their dive, and then hitting the water in total synchronization, I finally started to take some pictures of them. I hadn’t ever seen this behavior before, but they repeated it at least a dozen times. Tough pictures in that light but it was fun to watch them.

I was walking to onto the pier hoping to get the flag in the sunset, then I saw that someone else had the same idea and liked that shot better. Nice night…

'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.


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?