'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Ibis, nature, old dogs new tricks, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography

Synchronicity….

I saved this set of pictures from our trip to the B on the 7th. I was watching a glossy ibis in the shrubbery, a not so common site. And it was nearly at eye level, another uncommon reason to be paying attention. As I watched the white ibis flew in and landed in front of the glossy, which caused no alarm at all. They then proceeded to raise their wings in complete harmony with each other, and basically mirror each other’s movements as I watched in amazement. I stood there shooting bursts until I figured enough already, and as I turned my attention elsewhere they continued their dance in total harmony.

Whoa, where did she come from?
I watched in amazement, and thought how lucky I was for this series to land in my lap. So to speak.
They saw their audience, but didn’t seem to mind.
Maybe they thought this was their best side.
Nap time, perhaps.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, bucket list, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

Back to ‘the B’…

We had such a fun day at the B a few weeks ago, but I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see the painted buntings. On this trip we saw a cameraman sitting and watching, and sometimes shooting, in the garden area. I was pretty sure he was photographing buntings, but was afraid to approach for fear the trike would scare them off. It was right at the start of the day, and when I first get the trike out it seems to have a bit of a knock that goes away after a bit. But then he motioned us over and said that they weren’t shy at all.

They were on a lawn and in the shadows, and trying to will them into the sunshine just simply didn’t work. I had a harder time holding steady than usual too, and I could have gone back to the car for my tripod but that didn’t occur to me.
There were only a few of the zillion shots that were usable. I used my old Tamron 18-400 lens with the adapter, thinking I’d be ready for anything. Might have outsmarted myself.
The sweet little Mrs. was also present…
It was so nice to have these sandhill cranes posing so nicely for us. They were all over the neighborhoods in Spring Hill, but when I see them now they always seem to be along side a busy road. Even if there was a place to pull over I’d be afraid that my attentions might cause them to step into the road. So this was a treat.
They are beautiful birds, but their overall gray-ish color makes them blend into the roadside scenery sometimes. It can be startling as you are driving and you don’t notice them until they are very close.
Those noisy grackles seemed to be having a disagreement up in the tree top.
I don’t pay a lot of attention to the anhingas since they are always displaying their feathers like this. But I couldn’t ignore this one.
I now know where to look for the eagle nest, but it is too far away to get in closer than this.
A bit further up the trail we have the ‘big boy’ hangout. Huge alligators across a smallish stream and on the far bank sunning themselves. When I say huge I mean HUGE.
In this same area is this great blue heron nest. I couldn’t see any activity in the nest, but I didn’t watch for very long.
We spotted the windmill that day too.

We are so lucky to have this great place to go to see wildlife. And each time we go back we see different birds, and sometimes animals, and so we return again, and again.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, blessings, connections, friends, fun, life, life goes on, Loyalty, making memories, perseverance, photography

Bosom buddies…

I have had a visitor this last week, and I have loved every minute of it. Because I’m rather camera obsessed, my biggest objective was to get her out to use her new camera with it’s fabulous zoom capabilities. At home, home being NH, she said that there was a lack of color everywhere, including on the birds at her feeders who are in subdued winter colors. So she traveled all day the day before, and then we got her out to the race track the very next day. Racing back and forth, and up and down stairs, a busy first day of her visit. Lots of color and photo ops there.

Green grass was nice to see, she said.
I love the ‘They’re off’ sorts of shots.
We trekked to the farthest corner to attempt to photograph the horses as they were racing right toward us. Head on shots.
I had spotted this gorgeous gray horse as they passed by heading to the gate for this race. And there he (or she) is, crossing the finish line first! And with all four feet off the ground, something you can just cross your fingers to catch in your photos.
And here is the happy winner. It seems we see a female jockey win her race every time we are at the track. I wonder if it’s always the same talented gal.
I caught this jockey blessing himself before his race, which is a good idea I think.

I am a lucky person to have had a best friend who spans 7 decades of my life. We have been friends through the many wonderful times of our lives, and even more cherished is the fact that we have also been there for the most difficult days we could have imagined. This is just our latest visit, there will be more, next will probably be back in New England. Always where I call home…

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Technology…

Yesterday I had a comment or two about the ability of the new camera, a Canon r7 mirrorless camera, to take a huge number of shots in a burst. I usually have it set to do just that if I’m photographing birds, or wildlife at all really. Just in case something exciting happens. So let me explain that I feel hardly any responsibility for these photos I’m posting today. The feature photo is the first in a sequence of 10 photos that the camera took in less than a second. My contribution was to see the lighting and reflections, and I anticipated the Tri-color Heron would take off. I wanted the tracking in the camera to follow the bird, and it did. these are the 10 consecutive frames that it took. Makes me happy to think that my investment in this camera has turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would be. I used the r 100-400 lens, made for the mirrorless Canon cameras, and not expensive at all. Or as these things go.

The feature photo is the take off, this is frame #2.
Stretching his wings in frame #3.
Full wing extension in frame #4.
The dive for the prize in frame #5.
Putting the brakes on with his wings in #6,
#7, will he come up with lunch?
I thought/hoped he caught his prey, but apparently not. #8
Not this time, #9
And then he flew away, out of the nice light.

We spent the beginning of the walk looking into the morning sun. I didn’t bring my visor so it was tough. It was lucky that this sequence happened in such nice light. I will give lots of credit to luck, and that’s okay.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, birds, bugs, bunnies, butterflies, egrets, exploring new places, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

Celery Fields…

A couple of years ago I spent a day being chauffeured around by another photographer, seeing many birding spots that day. Celery Fields was one of our quick stops, since we were in the area. But my over all impression was that it was rather flat and we didn’t take pictures there that day. Maybe we stopped with a different view that day, but I never added it to my mental ‘must see’ locations. Our intention in going this time was to ride the trails and see some birds that a friend had photographed there. But we quickly found that those long slow dirt trails were going to be too much for our trike and scooter, so we rode on the sidewalk and found plenty beautiful subjects to shoot.

I’m always on the lookout for bees and that’s what I hoped this was. I didn’t have the right lens on the camera and it didn’t seem to be focusing as I wanted it to, but I took some shots anyhow. I’m glad I did. The feature photo seemed to have the same problems also, but turned out okay.
This is the view we saw, definitely not flat. Each turn of the trail revealed yet another hill to climb.
Though the people on the hill caught my eye. I think he was being sent to retrieve his brother. I wish I’d rolled the zoom back a little.
If this guy had been lost he was found in the end,
This egret was the reason we did ride on the sidewalk, which revealed a few more photographic subjects.
I thought this was a glossy ibis, but I had to check to be sure and it is, but he’s in his non-breeding plumage.
A little blue was hanging out with the egret and ibis also.
We missed a great opportunity to get pictures of this immature red-shouldered hawk when we first arrived. Lucky for us he flew into the trees nearby and posed a while.
I saw the beautiful color of this fella’s feathers, but when he turned his head I was a bit disappointed to see that it was a turkey vulture. But I suppose they have their place in the big scheme of things.
This little bird was high in a tree so I had to zoom to the max, and then look it up on Merlin. It’s a loggerhead shrike, which I’d heard of but seeing it was a first for me.

It’s a shame that we didn’t look up info on this location before we visited because there is a lot more to be seen here. But we’ll be back…

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A Holiday Stroll…

And then we strolled through the Henry Plant Museum that was all decorated for Christmas. A fellow photographer says that he has been to this event twice before, and it’s never the same thing twice. I would love to come back again next year…

Santa is there to greet you as you’re buying your tickets. It’s so overwhelming to see those lovely rooms, the carpets, the wall hangings, and the lovely pieces of furniture.
Then you step into the hall, with doorways all along the length, and a beautiful tree to draw you in. Look at the carpet, and all the displays all along the way. I tend to think in terms of the pictures to take, which sometimes makes me miss the lovely details that I’m photographing.
The beautiful Christmas tree sitting at the end of the hall was lovely.
Now I don’t know what order the rooms were seen in. But if I remember correctly this room was first one I saw, and then I knew this event was something truly special.
Just passing from room to room was a treat.
Who wouldn’t love the bottle tree.
My friend totally missed Santa’s elves in a display case in one of the rooms. Or was it in the hallway?
A lovely bedroom display. A beautiful display of fans to decorate the tree.
This doorway gave us a peek into the gift shop.
I wonder if they got new hats for Christmas?
Nutcrackers on display.
Even the teddies got presents. I also took a picture of the tea set which is when I noticed the little lizard, or possibly it’s an alligator, on the teacup and decked out in a bow.
One room was dedicated to Florida’s role in the Spanish American war…
But Christmas was also represented here.
This suggestion of a soldier writing home really got to me…
This room was dedicated to women’s pastimes, which included accompanying their husbands at fishing or hunting. But also suggested relaxing with a cup of tea or listening to a concert out on the lawn.
What a wonderful way to celebrate, and think of the Christmas traditions of long ago.

We decorated the tree with decorations that we each have accumulated over the years. A real collaboration. We spent the first Christmases of our lives in the same place, without ever meeting, and then life took us to different places through the years, but now we are spending Christmas in the same place again. But together this time. And I have to say that the Christmas spirit has found me again, and I’m very glad that it’s back.