bugs, dragonflies, flowers, fun, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, road trip, simple things, travel, weather

Sunflower daze…

My husband called it the ‘6 Ps’.  Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.  Not very eloquent but he made his point.  Yesterday our planned trip to Coppal Farm for the Sunflower Festival turned out to have been perfectly planned.  Or we were just lucky.  I wondered ahead of time how many pictures I’d get out of a trip to see just a single type of flower.  Only it turned out that there is more than one kind of sunflower.AugNHpalesunflowerAugNHredsunflowerAugNHsunflower1AugNHsunflower5

But the vast fields of sunflowers at Coppal Farm were the traditional variety that comes to mind at the mention of the word sunflower.  Except for one little face in the crowd.AugNHwhere'sWaldo

The farm itself was picture-worthy also.AugNHcoppalfarmAugNHcoppalfarm2AugNHpowerlinesAugNHsunflower4AugNHsunflower3AugNHsunflower2

Honestly, I don’t set out to take pictures of bugs, it just happens.  There were two varieties of black dragonflies at the pond next to the sunflower field.  They are so different from the blue ones I so commonly see that I was determined to get a decent picture.  But not to worry, the blue ones were there too.AugNHdragonfly1AugNHdragonfly2AugNHdragonfly3

nature, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, road trip, travel

Nixon County Park

If you like babbling brooks and the sound of birds then this park in York, PA is a place you might like to visit.  The paths were a bit muddy when I was there on Saturday, but they meandered through the woods and led you to ponds and a bird hollow.  I liked how peaceful it was, and the scenery was gorgeous, but I was pressed for time to get to my grandson’s piano recital that afternoon.  I was looking forward to getting to explore the park again but the rain has ‘dampened’ my enthusiasm.  Maybe on my next trip back to York…

05-11-19turtle05-11-19tadpole05-11-19bumponalog05-11-19gatescene05-0=12-19nixonpark305-0=12-19nixonpark405-0=12-19nixonpark505-0=12-19nixonpark205-12-19Nixonpark

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, home, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, road trip, the big picture, travel

Back to the rookery…

This rookery is in my new neighborhood now that I’ve moved.  I was out early to take care of my coffee addiction, and to use the free wifi at McDonalds, and when I was done I thought I might stop by the rookery to see what was happening there.  they were in full nest building mode, accompanied by much clacking of beaks thanks to the wood storks.  I’m going to go on record that when I’m back here in a couple of weeks there may be eggs.  I won’t have missed the main event, at least I don’t think so.  Today there was much coming and going as the wood storks and great white egrets carried in lots of sticks, and the pairs worked to build their nests together.

This is just a natural spot that these birds have chosen for their nesting.  There is a chain link fence around the perimeter of this pond, and an alligator lives there but I’ve only seen him once.  The shrubbery is very overgrown on the inside of the fence and there is only a small area where it’s possible to see what’s going on in there.  The fence is too tall to shoot over top, so I will have to have a step stool in the car with me as part of my photo equipment from now on.  Consequently I tried to aim my lens through the spot where the gate didn’t quite close all the way.  Or try to aim through the spaces in the chain links.  One very cooperative wood stork flew over and landed on the shrub right in front of me, but on the other side of the fence.  Too close for the lens I was using, I had to back up into the middle of the street to get any image at all.  Shooting was a challenge because of the fence, and also because the sun was still low and I was shooting right into it.  But that didn’t stop me…02-23-19greategret102-23-19nesting02-23-19nesting202-23-19woodstork102-23-19woodstorkcloseup02-23-19woodstorkcloseup202-23-19woodstorkcloseup3

a second look, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, road trip, travel, weather

Brockton blessings…

The last time I was in my hometown of Brockton, MA I was freezing.  It was very cold, and not just for this spoiled Floridian, it was COLD.  And I was out for the sunrise, taking photos in the lovely local park, when I came upon two swans.  I believe I posted a photo of the male, but the female was just a pile of white feathers on the bank of the pond.  I focused on her for quite a while, waiting for her to lift her head, but she didn’t.  I wondered if she was alive since she was flattened out, looking a bit like a puddle of white, and I eventually gave up, or gave in to the cold, and moved on.

I returned yesterday, on a day of record-breaking heat.  It’s not that people who live in Florida love hot weather, it’s that we love the air-conditioning that makes living with the heat possible.  I was back to the park at mid-day despite the heat, and thinking about those swans as I drove through the park and stopped when I saw a pair of them, but without cygnets.  I assumed that if the swans I had seen had them they had grown up, but I stopped to take pictures.  When I continued I came across a lot of Canada geese, young ones grazing along the road, being guarded by several adults who allowed the passers-by to come fairly close to them as they grazed.  Almost too close because I had the zoom lens on the camera and they were walking towards me, almost too close for that lens.  Only a short way further down the road I hit the jackpot, swans again, but with 8 cygnets, and all swimming close to shore hoping to be fed.  Taking photos of them, however, proved to be my un-doing.  In my rush for photos I had locked myself out of my car, which was bad enough by itself, but I was in danger of missing the cousin reunion that I had been looking forward to.  That’s when I met my guardian angel.  If I had spoken to her a little earlier I might have called the local George’s garage and paid a lot less to be rescued, which she told me after I had already called someone, but she refused to leave me by myself until she knew I was rescued and on my way.  So Maria, if you are reading this I want to thank you for your moral support yesterday.  As annoying as it was to make such a dumb mistake, it would have been much more stressful without you sharing it with me.  You were a blessing to me and I will try to pay your kindness forward in my travels… 7-1swan27-1swan7-1goose37-1goose27-1goose17-1dragonfly7-1lilypads7-1cygnets37-1cygnet1

birds, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, Tricolored heron

Venis rookery…

When I first heard the term ‘rookery’ I thought it meant an official facility of some sort.  I didn’t expect that it was just an island in a small body of water that had been selected by the wild birds, lots of wild birds, as the place to nest and raise their young.  Don’t bother trying to google this place because it wouldn’t come up for me, but luckily for me my big day of photo ops included a stop here.  It was worthwhile even if I didn’t see the alligator that my friend insisted was right there in front of me.  I guess I was too busy looking at the birds.

I didn’t see what creature jumped into the water as this Tri-color Heron zeroed in on him.  But what I did see was the heron walking along the edge of the water towards me, coming almost too close to me for me to be able to fit him in the picture with the zoom lens I had in the camera.  I kept taking pictures, and it was only later that I realized that he was following the trail of bubbles that his prey was leaving, probably without realizing it.  5-12great15-12hotpursuit25-12hotpursuit3The trail of bubbles led away from me, and at last glance the heron was still following, hoping for dinner.  Or possibly desert…

My recent photo excursions have had me distracted from the Sandhill crane family that lives on my lake.  So much so that I hadn’t even done a head count in a couple of days.  I’ve missed several perfect opportunities by letting Ozzie out and discovering that they are right out back, and they head to the other side of the lake before I can get the camera out.  At least I know that they are all present and accounted for, as of last night that is.  And growing fast!5-13longlegs5-13longlegs2

 

birds, Cranes, ducks, Florida wildlife, nature, photography, pond creatures

Ducks in a row…

This year’s cranes aren’t as predictable as last year’s cranes, which makes it harder to catch them on their way back to the nest at night.  They have been showing up much earlier than I might have expected, so I’m missing them as they cross the road, making my photo op always be from all the way across the lake.  Watching them my attention wanders, as it did the other night, and so I do things like notice a duck, with possible ducklings.4-30ducklingspotShe seemed to notice me just about the same time that I noticed her.  At first I thought it was a coincidence that she gathered her ducklings and started swimming towards me across the lake, giving me a better photo op.  But it didn’t take long to realize that she really was coming to me on purpose.  That’s when it hit me that someone has been feeding these ducks, and they were looking at me and thinking ‘lunch’.  4-30ducklingsetsail4-30ducklingsheadmyway24-30ducklingsheadmyway4-30ducklingsheadmyway23She was out of luck though, since I know that feeding them isn’t in their best interests.  So she gave up and headed out…4-30ducklingsheadoutI wish I knew if this is the same family I saw a few days ago, that ones with eight ducklings.  Perhaps the hawk that Mama duck fought off a few days ago has been persistent, or maybe there are two families.  That remains to be seen…