'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, black and white, foggy sky, friends, fun, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, safety Harbor, sky, weather

Making the rounds…

Armed with ‘better’ lenses we headed back to the owls the other day, and found pretty much the exact same scene as we did a few days before. One owlet peeking out of the nest with Mom behind him. As we arrived, however, Mom flew out of the nest and onto a nearby branch, and there she posed for a few minutes before flying back to the nest. I was able to get the feature photo before she flew back to her babies. So all in all not such a bad little while in Philippe Park.

Here he is in black and white, which this photo nearly was anyhow.
There are three owlets in the nest, we will have to keep returning in hopes of a little more ‘action’.
I did manage to see Dad in the tip top of the nest tree. I’d been told he was there but usually can’t ‘find’ him.

Then we were off to nearby Moccasin Lake to the raptor rehab there. Again our timing was good since the volunteers were getting the owls out of their enclosures for a few minutes.

Here we have a Barred Owl. I’ve seen these at Circle B Bar Reserve, but not lately.
What a beautiful face on this Barn Owl. I have only seen these at various rehab facilities.
His handler said that if you saw only a skeleton of this owl you would never imagine such a beautiful bird. It is really a small bird with very long legs. He says it makes him wonder about dinosaurs which have been recreated based on their skeletons.
A peregrin falcon.
He definitely had something to say.
It’s amazing that the camera will focus on the birds and ignore the fence for the most part. Red-tailed hawks.

We made a last stop at the Safety Harbor marina. People were gathered on the pier looking down into the water, so we hurried to see what they were seeing. Not wildlife, but a person who said he was licensed to explore the water’s edge to see what was there. It was the only thing to see on a cloudy day, but we went home happy.

A mud crab, said the expert.
A gloomy mid-day scene…
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, eagles, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Passing time, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, safety Harbor, simple things, sunset

In search of photo ops…

I used to head out earlier in the day for my photos than I seem to do now. Sunrise, and then whatever other stop I wanted to make. The beauty of that was that when I came home I had something to do. Namely, work on my pictures and turn them into a blog post. If I had multiple pictures from more than one stop then so much the better, I had fodder for multiple blog posts. Having those pictures in the camera felt like having money in the bank. Silly I know, but that’s how I think.

Yesterday started out a lot later than I’m used to. First stop was the eagles, but not much was happening there so we moved on to the owls at Philippe Park.

I’ve seen pictures of the two eaglets on this nest, but nothing much was doing in the afternoon. Siesta time maybe?
People were exclaiming that Mama owl had turned her head. They could see her ‘horn’, they said. I tried and tried but for the life of me I couldn’t see Mama, but I took pictures of where I thought they were telling me to look. And later on I discovered that I had been looking at her all along.
Before Jr. ever popped his head up I had gotten Mama after all.
And there he was! So cute. And there is another one also. We are heading back to try again today, with lenses with longer zooms. This is ridiculously cropped, but I still like the picture. I took lots of pictures once he popped his head up, but this is the only one that you can really see his Mama.

And then it was time to head to Clearwater to meet with our photo group and have dinner. But the timing conveniently allowed for a stop in Dunedin for the sunset. It was a more successful day of shooting than I thought it was while I was pressing the shutter button all afternoon.

I like this angle because of the rocks.
I wish a sailboat had been out there, but it was too cold and windy for that to happen.
The clouds were amazing, even if they were a bit dark.
I love when the sunset lights up the buildings on the shore.
'scene' along the way, adventure, blessings, bucket list, fantasy images, finding my way, friends, leap of faith, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, safety Harbor, second chances, sunset

Pink Moon…

Judging by the number of photographers there it was a perfect night for a Pink Moon at Safety Harbor. Yes, it could have been more perfect if the moon would have shown itself through the clouds when it was still behind the Tampa skyline, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining. Just one by one people started saying they were starting to see it showing through the clouds, what a night it was. Some nights are just right.

Lightroom editing saved the day.
While we were waiting.
I thought it was going to be lost in the clouds, but it rose above them and was still gorgeous when we finally left.
a second look, adventure, birds, family, Florida wildlife, fun, learning, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Natures little dramas, safety Harbor

Owl life…

A trip to Safety Harbor for the sunrise always includes the ulterior motive of heading to Philippe Park to see the owls, or at least try to see them. There are always other photographers there, and I usually embarrass myself when I can’t seem to ‘find’ the owls that everyone else seems to have no trouble seeing. Not yesterday though, the Mom was sitting on a branch that even I had no trouble spotting. Seeing Dad, however, took a little more sleuthing, but now that I’m informed that that’s his favorite spot it’ll probably be easier to spot him next time.

I was told that Mom was keeping an eye on the nest while dear old Dad, tuckered out from his night of hunting, snoozed nearby. And in the nest was a curious baby, or make that two of them, easy to see after you finally do realize where the nest is.

And that’s basically it, Mom watches, Dad snoozes, and baby occasionally pops his head up but mostly is hidden down in the nest. The photographers were waiting, wanting to see Mom fly to the nest and get that owl-in-flight shot, but since nothing much was going on I was tempted to leave, my good-byes were on the tip of my tongue. Then a couple of blue jays seemed to be pestering the parents. That blur to the right of Mom was one who photo bombed the shot. Mom’s ‘horns’ came up, she wasn’t happy, but nothing much happened until the crows got in on the act.

Several crows landed above Mom, and several more near Dad, and they were working together, by the sound of their crowing they were quite obviously harassing the owls.

Mom was getting fluffed up, and the photographers got excited that she was going to fly.

I had just enough time to zoom out a little to give myself room when both owls took off, and those crows did too. I wish I’d gotten sharper shots, but I have to say I was glad to get them at all. From the groans I heard around me I think several people were caught off guard. And that was the finale for the day, for me at least. If the crows were intent on raiding the nest it didn’t work, not this time, and the owls returned to their chosen spots to continue their watching and snoozing…

A beautiful day in a beautiful park, but I get up so early to get to the area for sunrise that I’m too anxious to head home to explore the park and just enjoy it…

a second look, facing facts, fantasy images, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Just do it, let it go, life goes on, live and learn, moments, nature, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, road trip, safety Harbor, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Sunrise, by the skin of my teeth….

I really ought to plan my photo trips a little better, but somehow they do seem to work out, one way or another. So maybe flying by the seat of my pants isn’t all bad. But looking up the travel time to Safety Harbor at 5 AM (30 minutes), and expecting it to be the same if I left at 6 AM, wasn’t my smartest move. I had less than 5 minutes until the sun peeked above the horizon this morning, I made it, but barely. Another photographer informed me that I had missed a beautiful moon set though. I have the app (PhotoPills) to let me be more aware of these photo ops, but I still haven’t learned to use it. Sigh. And still another photographer chose to inform me that I should get rid of my lens and buy the one that he had. I think this is the first time I’ve run into someone like that, photographers are generally a really nice group of people. I’m sticking with my lens, it’s the person behind the camera who leaves a bit to be desired sometimes.

LensBall gives you a different perspective, especially when the views are limited…

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, foggy sky, fun, learning, life, nature, nesting, Owls, perseverance, photography, safety Harbor

Simple things…

Can you see the Daddy Owl up there?  Camouflage is the name of the game with these two owls, owls in general based on how hard it usually is to see them.  Without other photographers there to point them out I would never have spotted these two.  There is a debate as to whether this is the same pair who have nested in the area in the past.  This is a different nest though, but in the same tree as the one I’ve seen in the past.  And the female spent the whole time down in the nest.  We could see that she rearranged herself a bit, but a peek out at us was the most we saw of her.  She is busy sitting on eggs, that much seems to be a given.  I’ll be back soon, hoping for more action when their chicks hatch.  I don’t quite understand how I’ve gotten so invested in watching Mother Nature in action.  Eagles and owls, and my former neighbors have promised to let me know when/if the Sandhill cranes that I used to watch out my kitchen window begin their housekeeping.  It bothers me that all of this,  the sunrises and sunsets, and nature going about her business, was going on my whole life and I failed to pay attention.  It seems that the simple things in life are all that matters at these days.  If only I would have figured that out sooner…01-31-20owl101-31-20feathers01-31-20mompeek01-31-20owl2