'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, egrets, fences, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things, unintended images, weather

A perfect Florida day…

A friend and I went hiking in the woods yesterday.  It was the perfect day for it, cool but sunny, finally the Florida weather I love the most.  We did nearly 7 miles, walking and talking, and stopping for a few pictures.  Not many really.11-13woodedwalk11-13woodedwalklilypads11-13woodsscapeWe kidded that if our mutual friend Betty had been with us that she would have taken a million pictures already.  So I took this one in her honor;11-13woodedwalkbettyweedWe didn’t seen another person, and only saw a deer off in the distance, but in the sand on the trail were tracks of lots of animals.  Linda said that it must be like rush hour in the night with all the animal activity.  We did see a rhino though, not a frequent sight in Florida.11-13woodedwalkrhinoHogg pond was our destination, and we found some egrets gathered there.  I suspect the beginnings of nesting activity.  And there have been great flocks of birds in the air lately.  Usually they are too high in the sky for decent photos, or the camera just isn’t set up for that capture.  These birds were coming in to land however.  Yes, this will be a booming place in the spring.11-13woodedwalkflyover11-13woodedwalkposers11-13woodsflyingegret11-13woodssnaileaterWe had stopped for lunch at a very quaint hot dog shop in Floral City, and then hiked in the Perry Oldenberg wilderness area.  But the jackpot happened as we finished the hike and were ready to leave.  That’s when we saw the cows in the pasture next to the parking lot.  I was looking to take photos like this when I was at my daughter’s house in PA over the summer, but somehow failed to get out and explore the rolling farmland for scenes like this.  People ask what kind of photography I like best, but I think I like the surprises along the way that make it so interesting.  And I’m normally out by myself for photos, but it was nice to be out with a friend…11-13woodedwalkpasture11-13woodedwalkpasturefamily11-13woodedwalkbrowncow211-13woodedwalkbrowncowI thought that all the cows with horns were bulls, but closer examination of my photos disproved that theory.  Not this particular photo, but trust me…

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, foggy sky, moments, moon, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, sunrise, technology, unintended images, weather

In a fog…

When I stepped out the door this morning I wasn’t sure where I was heading for the sunrise.  But when I looked up and saw the nearly full moon shining low in a crystal clear sky I knew that Aripeka was where I needed to go.   I could get the moon set over the inlet and the sunrise across the bridge on the other side.  But you probably guessed that the fog set in before I could drive the few miles it took to get there.  And that moon was dropping like a stone!

I talked with a young man who had also stopped on the bridge to enjoy the sunrise.  He said that he stops whenever he can.  He apologized because he said he ‘only’ uses his phone for pictures, not a nice camera like mine.  I assured him that sometimes my iPhone photos are the best ones of the day.  The feature photo and the last photo are iPhone photos.  I just like to see young people taking a minute to appreciate what nature brings us each day.  I wasn’t paying attention to things like that when I was his age.  It was a nice morning, I thought the fog was more interesting than it usually is.  You just never know…11-12aripekamoonset211-12aripekamoonset11-12aripekafoggysunrise11-12aripekafoggyiphonesunrise

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Getting the shot…

I went to an advanced photography class yesterday.  I’d seen that it was coming up but I will always feel like a beginner and thought the information would be over my head.  And a lot of it was, but it made me want to try harder.  Sometimes you have the luxury of planning a shot, deciding the angle and the settings in the camera before you take your picture.  Even trying several settings to help yourself learn what would work best.  But the instructor also qualified his information by saying that sometimes the opportunity arises and all you can do is just try to get the shot.  So with all that new information swirling around in my head I stopped at several parks on the way home.  I was surprised that the parks were so quiet on such a pretty day.  Quiet except for the birds.11-9anclotepier11-9sunsetbeach11-9sunsetbeachpelican11-9sunsetbeachosprey11-9ancloteegret

I was turning to head back to the car when I spotted two belted kingfishers zooming this way and that in the air, and then diving to try and catch their lunch.  I’d only ever seen one once before and in that same area, and I caught a quick picture while it rested for a second on a lamp post.  These two were never still, but they stayed in the area for a few minutes before zooming away.  There was no time to think of any of the instructions I’d heard that day, except that you just have to try to get the shot.  So I did.  It was a treat to see them again.11-9anclotekingfish11-9anclotekingfish211-9anclotekingfish311-9anclotekingfisher411-9fingfisher2

'scene' along the way, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, eagles, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

If only…

If only the distance you drove for photos could insure that the photos you took that day would be that much better than ‘normal’.  Alas, it doesn’t work that way.  I drove a long way to Circle B Bar Reserve yesterday, and found myself photographing birds that I see frequently, and much closer to home.  I chose not to hike down the trail marked Alligator Alley, that seemed like asking for more than I bargained for.  And still I found this gator, a little one, and I kept my composure and kept hiking.  Faster though, trying to catch up with two gals who were ahead of me on the trail.  Safety in numbers. 11-7CircleBscene111-7CircleBanhinga11-7CircleBegret11-7CircleBlunch11-7CircleBgreatblue11-7CircleBturtle11-7CircleBglossy11-7CircleBosprey

The very helpful clerk at the desk pointed out her favorite spot to see eagles, which were the birds that people were reported to be seeing lately.  So that’s where I headed, slightly disappointed that the Roseate Spoonbills weren’t in the area yet.  No owls either.  The eagle roost trail was very sunny and hot, and the only company I had was the gopher turtle.  I did take several pictures once I thought I might be seeing the eagle nest off in the distance.  It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the photos in the computer that I realized that I’d gotten a picture of an eagle, even if I didn’t ‘see’ it while I was there.11-7CircleBeagleI need to set my phone to count my steps.  I’ll bet I got 10,000 in yesterday.  Hot, sweaty steps…

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset

Back to Pine Island…

Pine Island used to be my go-to place for the sunset.  I remember thinking that it never let me down.  Between birds, people, and the sunset I seldom struck out.  I even made a new friend one night, you know who you are Sandy.  So after a very overcast day on Wednesday I couldn’t resist heading back to Pine Island when the sky began to clear up.  And it all was going quite well…11-6pineisland411-6pineisland311-6pineisland211-6pineisland5

I found myself a nice spot to stand and watch, thought it was a great spot and planned to stay put.11-6pineisland9

Haven’t I always said how nice and helpful photographers seem to be?  Well, this guy announced that he was going to walk in front of me ‘for a second’.  And then he just stayed there.  How rude!  He must have starred in everyone’s photos from then on.11-6pineisland6

But even he couldn’t spoil the evening.  Not when Mother Nature was putting on such a nice show for us.  Pine Island came through again.11-6pineisland811-6pineisland711-6pineisland911-6pineisland1

'scene' along the way, a second look, food, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends, sunrise

Causeway sunrise…

A photographer friend announced that she was going to the Dunedin Causeway for the sunrise on Tuesday.  Not wanting to miss an opportunity to shoot with her I, of course, tagged along.  And I wasn’t the only one.  New friends and old friends also were there.  And we were lucky enough to be invited back to the beautiful home of one of the group, for a truly delicious omlet breakfast.  Mimosas may have been enjoyed also.  What a treat!  The shoot, and the wonderful breakfast visit with friends.11-5causewaykayaks11-5causewayview11-5causewayview211-5causewayview311-5causewayview4