Bayport, coping, loneliness, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

Undecided…

I had to force myself out for the sunset.  I had a busy couple of days ahead and wanted to be prepared with photos just in case, but I wasn’t going out with my usual enthusiasm.  I went to Pine Island, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  It wasn’t pretty in person, and there was a large group of people settled in for the sunset in the area where I usually stand to take photos.  And that really was the problem, that after being so enthused with Pine Island sunsets for quite a while I wasn’t expecting to get anything different from all the other sunset photos I’ve taken there.  Which is why I took the photo above and the one just below, of the beach to the left, not really aimed at the sunset.  The gulls were in the air and the Laughing Gulls were laughing, calling my attention to that side of the beach.  And when I got home I was surprised that I liked the images that I had gotten.  I thought I had been wasting my time and I was discouraged, so I headed next door to Bayport.

sunset4sunset3sunset2sunset1At Bayport you have a choice.  You can be out in the park area with just the setting sun to focus on, or you can park in the other lot and peek at the sunset through the palms.  For some reason I felt more like peeking.  Just me and the camera…

Florida landmarks, friends, life goes on, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

New ‘old’ friends…

Went to Pine Island for the sunset last night for the first time since before Thanksgiving. Didn’t I say that Pine Island never disappoints?  Struck up a conversation with a woman there last night and anyone overhearing us would have thought we’d known each other forever. We had hoped to kayak together today but the fog is pea soup out there. I can hear the cranes but I can’t see a thing. Maybe it will get better later. And maybe I’ll be sorry that my number didn’t come up on the jury pool for today, it just might be that kind of day.

But the sunset last night didn’t disappoint.1-22sunsetfire1-22sunsetfire21-22sunsetfire3 copy

adventure, childhood, photography, Pine Island, silliness, simple things, sky, unintended images

Widget’s tale…

After two cold, rainy, and entirely dreary days, it was almost startling to see some blue sky that afternoon, but still lots of clouds. Clouds that just might be lit up by the sunset. I hadn’t been out for the sunset at Pine Island in quite a few days, so off I went. I complained when the wind wasn’t there the other day, and the no-see-ums were there, well, the wind was back, in spades. The clouds had been blown almost entirely away and the seagulls kept taking to the air, and flying nowhere. They couldn’t make headway against that wind.

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And that wind, well, the seagulls weren’t the only ones who struggled with it. Don’t I always say that Pine Island never disappoints? That the people I meet are just as important to me as the sunsets? Well, we can now add elves to that list, or, one elf at least. His name is Widget, and he had quite the tale to tell…

Widgets mission
It seems he had been chosen by Santa for a very special mission, one that had taken him to Hawaii. It was hard work training those elf recruits, so before he left Hawaii he earned a chance to relax on the beach…Widget gets some sun

But then a huge gust of wind blew across the beach, and Widget found himself flying through the sky.  All he could see were all the seagulls who were also being blown in the wind with him.  He was flying and flying, and he was very scared, but mostly because he didn’t know if he would ever see his boy Jonah again.  He just wanted to go home.

Widget touches down

There were hardly any people on Pine Island on that cold and windy evening.  But lucky for him Jonah’s mommy was one of the people there on the beach, and we all saw him as he flew through the air, and landed with a thud, and we ran to see if he was okay.  He didn’t care that he was cold, or that he was covered with sand, he said he just wanted to go home.  And then he smiled…

Widget's selfie

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natural wonders, photography, Pine Island, sky, sunset

Third time’s a charm…

It was the third time I had gone out to take pictures that day.  Pine Island again, because the clouds at home were lit up so nicely an hour before sunset that I just couldn’t stay home.  It would have been a sin not to go out and enjoy what Mother Nature had provided.  No people and no stories that day, and no breeze.  There is always a nice breeze at Pine Island, I thought.  But with no breeze we also had no-see-ums, so all I’ve got are a few pictures of a gorgeous sunset, and I was outta there!

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birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, life goes on, loneliness, memories, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

On the advice…

…of a friend I went out last night with a dryer sheet on my head, tucked under the back of my visor.  And another one sticking out of my shirt, held in place by my bra strap.  I had considered bobby-pinning one to my head, shades of what Catholic girls of a certain age used to do with a tissue if they found themselves without a head covering to wear to Mass.  My friend had been advised that a dryer sheet would keep the no-see-ums away, but evidently I bought the wrong brand because I think they liked me more last night.  A fisherman told me that these little pests are seasonal and that they’ll be gone once we have our first freeze.  I told him that I wasn’t sure that I was rooting for that to happen anytime soon.  But it is inevitable and at least now I’ll have a reason to be happy about it.

He also told me that I had missed the eagle.  It had been across the way in the same tree where I had seen him before.  He says that the eagle was always in the trees where the wood storks are roosting now, but now they have taken that one over.  1127storksI should have gotten great pictures of an egret catching his dinner, and flipping the fish over and over until he got it into position to swallow it.  I had that cheap new lens attached to the camera and was afraid to switch to my other, better, zoom lens.  Better quality wise, but I don’t know if the distance would have been too much for it.  If I had known how long he was going to play with his food before eating it I might have gone ahead and switched.  I couldn’t wait to go home and see what I got, which wasn’t much.

1127egret11127egret2I gave up, switched lenses, and headed to Pine Island.  And quickly captured this photo from the parking lot for fear that it would change before I made it across the beach.  1127sunset1

I’m thinking that I need to find new places to go to take pictures.  But in order to do that I might need to change my work schedule and I’m finding myself fearful of doing that for some reason.  Charley has been talking in my ear lately, he had been fairly quiet for a while, but he used to tell the young patients who complained about working, “If work gets in the way of your social life then quit work.”  As always he was being sarcastic when he said it, and that’s how I’m hearing it in my ear.  Sigh…

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birds, Jenkin's Creek, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

Bargains…

I have made the same promise to myself over and over again, but I always seem to break it. I say that I will not do any online shopping at 4 AM anymore, because I have learned that my judgement is impaired, probably by lack of coffee. I seldom buy things and return them, but when I do return them they are often a 4 AM purchase.
My latest middle of the night purchase was a 500 mm camera lens, which included a few extras in the box, and a year of Amazon prime. And free shipping. I wasn’t expecting a lot since was only $89. And within days it was waiting for me when I dashed home at lunchtime to let the dogs out. I quickly put it on the camera body and went out back and took a few not-so-great photos, and I’ve been toying with the idea of sending it back ever since.
But I decided to take it out with me this afternoon, and bring the tripod because part of the problem with a zoom lens like that is holding it steady enough to keep the picture sharp. If I spent $13,000 (!) on one it would come with onboard stabilization, but since that’s not what I bought I assumed that this lens would require a tripod. Plus I had read the instructions by this time, and I was supposed to use manual mode. To test the lens I decided to go back to Jenkin’s Creek, in hopes of the eagle being across the way. It wasn’t, but the wood storks were back in their tree, along with a Blue heron, so I got lots of practice. But the no-see-ums were there also, so I moved on to Pine Island where I found new birds (to me), a pelican, and a very cute little boy.

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The new birds were double crested cormorants.  I haven’t spotted them before.  I could see them well enough to know they were different, but I was disappointed in the photos.  Thankfully, Merlin recognized them despite not being a great photo.1124cormorant

This cute little guy was very far away, I’m most impressed with the amount of zoom based on these photos.  1124littleboy31124littleboy21124littleboy1

Did I forget the sunset?  Of course not, but took this with my iPhone.  And as the sun set the horizon seemed to be on fire until nothing was left but the burning coals effect.  Another nice night, and with the time change I’m home by 6:30.  Nice for an early riser like me.  Are the photos tack sharp? No they aren’t. But did I have $89 worth of enjoyment out of it? Yes, I think I did…1124sunset1124burningcoals

 

 

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