There is nothing Irish about these photos, except that they were taken this morning from a bridge on Rt. 19 in Port Richey, FL. I still haven’t scouted for new and different spots to shoot the sunrise and/or sunset from my new and different home base. I’m too busy having brainstorm after brainstorm concerning decorating my new home. And each new idea seems to require turning the entire house upside down to accomplish them. That’s not new for me, my kids can attest to that, but once I’m ‘done’ that’ll be it. It’s the getting there…
After a nice dinner with a friend on Wednesday I realized that I had some choices of places to stop for the sunset on the way home. But if I headed straight to the pond at home I would be exactly on time, and I’d also be at home. I opted for home, even though there is only one view available, but it is the sunset that is the star of the show after all. And I don’t know that it’s ever taken me a day and a half to look at my pictures, but my heart hadn’t been in it and I didn’t expect much from them. I was right, but not completely.
I was in a hurry to get home. I had done enough chores earlier in the day that I had earned my trip out for a bite to eat and some shopping. That’s how my mind works. And the shopping had been successful. The success of a trip depends on whether I had gotten a bargain or not, and I had. So I was looking forward to seeing my purchases in my new/old house, to see if they would work as I thought they would. That I was seeing a pretty sunset developing as I drove home put me in a quandary. Stop on the way home or go home and head to the pond in the back for a photo? And that’s what I did, headed home, and stopped for a quick iPhone photo at the pond, then drove the block or two home. And that’s when I discovered that I’d locked myself out. I’ve been almost doing that for several weeks now, and last night I succeeded. I was lucky because my aunt and uncle are my neighbors and they have a key, but they also weren’t home. And as I waited I noticed that the sky was now on fire, I shouldn’t have given up on it so early. Or better yet even, I could have stopped on the way home after all. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Isn’t that always the way?
One of the things I thought I’d missed by being up north recently was the eagles at the nest that I have visited in the past. While I was gone I heard that they had started a new family on a new nest built to replace the one that was lost last year. That was happy news because last year’s chicks didn’t make it, And I nearly did miss it, but not quite. This years eaglet is in his awkward teenaged stage. Not a fluffy cute chick, and not yet a magnificent eagle. I arrived to find one of the parents in a nearby tree and the young one on the nest. And that’s pretty much all that was going on, so after taking quite a few identical photos I had packed up the camera to go home. That’s when the young one started flapping his wings and hopping around the nest, It looked like he was going from branch to branch, and I saw plenty of daylight under him as he hopped, so it seemed like he was serious about it. A teenager feeling his oats. Like any concerned mother would do, his mother, I assume, flew to the nest and quashed that activity. And our favorite young eagle was looking his mother in the face and turning his head from side to side looking, to me at least, as if he was trying to get back on her good side. Nor sure about her, but he made points with me.
Day-to-day life in my new neighborhood is actually quite convenient. I’m saying this with one full day here under my belt. But everything from movies, to car washes, grocery stores, and even our little mall, is right here. Even Michael’s and JoAnn’s! And as I’m running errands I’m aware that the little rookery is also right there. Why wouldn’t I stop? My cameras are usually with me, along with my tripods (3), and yesterday I bought a three-step step stool specifically for the nice wide steps and the over-all sturdy appearance of the thing. It will live in the car also, because a short girl never knows when she’ll need a boost. Or to see over a fence and photograph whatever is on the other side. Besides, until and unless I tackle the shed there won’t be any other place to put it. So it was off to the rookery, and I was a little disappointed that there didn’t seem to be much happening. It looked like siesta time. And then I spotted chicks in a great white egret nest. And some in a wood stork nest too. I know there were more chicks because I could hear them calling for food. But the decibel level wasn’t what it will be soon, because I realized that all those birds were sitting on eggs. Not so much nest building going on, just egg-sitting. It wasn’t all just nativity scenes though. These two great white egrets seemed to be under attack by this out of place looking anhinga. It looked as if there was a question of who was going to nest where. They hadn’t resolved the issue when I left.
I could have saved myself a lot of effort if I hadn’t been so stubborn. I went ahead and took the little three day trip from NY to FL, even if the trip itself was no longer necessary and I could have just driven home, period. And as soon as I got back to NY that’s what I did. Being home and enjoying the warmth, and also seeing the chaos that still was waiting for me inside my home wetted my appetite to be here. So I got back on Sunday night and left for PA the next morning. A very windy drive. I left again the next morning, with FL as my ultimate goal, and the GPS got me off the highway and onto some rural roads with landscapes that were a shame not to be able to photograph. The road climbed some hills and curved around others, and at each peak the landscape fell away into little brown valleys. And each valley seemed to have a farm house and a red barn. It was a perfect rural landscape. With my late start I didn’t get as far as I would have liked, and got off the highway when it got dark. I don’t always mind driving at night, but as tired as I was it was the right choice. And I was able to get up and on the road at 3 AM, which would put me at home by noon.
A friend asked me to send her any photo with green in it, she is weather weary in NH. The drive along the highway was such that I couldn’t stop for photos, but I described to her the wonderful landscapes I was passing on Rt 10 in FL. It’s horse country up there, and the grass in the pastures was almost artificial looking it was just that green. I like seeing the fences that divide one pasture from another. Trust me, the photos in my head were beautiful.
I was so tired that I didn’t think I’d get out for pictures after all that driving, but I suddenly remembered my cousin saying that she has a very nice photo of the sun setting over my new house so I went outside to check. And yes, the sky was pretty, so I went to the pond here to see what it looked like there. Photo-worthy for sureIt really is good to be home. And as I was just getting ready to publish I realized that naturecoastimages.blog is back on the nature coast.