'scene' along the way, eagles, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography

Another day with the eagles…

The feature photo is Duchess, the eagle Mama, taking her turn off the nest, but not venturing far. And here is Duke, staying very close to the nest, keeping close watch. I know which is which because we happened to arrive to find my favorite, and most dedicated, eagle watcher already set up and taking pictures. She is an expert on all the nests in our area. It was fun to keep watch with her and her mom.

I believe this was Dad’s position for the entire time we watched.
And here is the baby view I had hoped for, Except in my mind it was going to be a tiny ball of yellow fluff.
He looks alert, and serious, as befits an eagle.
He proceeded to flap his wings, getting ready to eventually leave the nest.
Then, all of a sudden Mom arrived. Look at his posture, exactly like mom’s here.
Feeding time. Mom stayed feeing the babies for a while, and then off she flew.
Dad was still on guard. And, finally, baby #2 appeared.
A slightly closer view.

Dad also flew off the nest as we packed up our gear to get on with the day, but as we drove away we could see both adults on snags close to the nest. It was a beautiful day and a chance to visit with friends, what could be better?

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Natures little dramas, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

A fish out of water…

The splash that you see in the feature photo is usually the first thing that catches your eye whenever you are out by a body of water taking pictures. The jumping fish are called mullet, and the fishermen catch them by throwing nets off a pier and gathering them up. I think I assumed that they jump for the fun of it, but one day when we saw dolphins along the fishing pier at Anclote Gulf Park people said that they were chasing the mullet, and quite a fun (for us) episode ensued. Life and death was at stake. We were at Homosassa Springs park on this particular day when we saw a splash across the water. Since then I have always tried to get a picture of a ‘fish out of water,’ but it has proven to be an elusive shot. My new camera with its burst mode gave me some shots, finally, but what I got wasn’t what I expected.

In this case it was a cormorant who was gazing on the water looking for lunch that started the excitement,
You can barely see any of their body, just their neck and head, as they swim. And his potential lunch is that ripple ahead of him.
And there he is, my first fish out of water. I don’t know what I expected exactly, but not two googly eyes looking at me.
I had to laugh as I looked at the pictures, I think the fish looks like a cartoon.
You get the idea. I’ll spare you the rest of the series since he stays in this same position throughout, just rising higher until he is up in front of the greenery, and then comes back down exactly as he went up. I have no idea if he managed to escape his fate on this day. But I was rooting for him.

It’s an adventure to go out for pictures, not knowing what you may find that day. And it’s also fun to click through your pictures later on the computer and find out what exactly you did get.

'scene' along the way, a second look, attitude adjustments, birds, Florida landmarks, fun, life goes on, perseverance, photography, Pine Island, sunset, technology

Sunset songs…

I’m pretty sure that the Ruddy Turnstones in the feature photo aren’t really one legged. They are the cutest little shore birds and I don’t get to Pine Island to see them often enough. It was a pretty sunset on Tuesday night. And, as I always say, there always seems to be something extra going on there. On this night there were two women playing their guitars and singing old songs that I not only remember and love, but I knew all the words. I wanted to sing with them, if only I had a decent enough voice. But the sunset was also calling me.

Several people did sing and dance with them. And now I see the open guitar cases and maybe I should have made a donation.
This was my view as I walked from the parking lot onto the beach. I hadn’t noticed the music at this point, I was just concentrating of the clouds and hoping the sunset colors would come through.
The birds were flying over, quite a few people were enjoying the view and the music.
Birds kept flying past so I kept shooting.
I was taking a series of shots to turn them into HDRs, but it will take more practice with the camera settings to get that right. But that means I have to go back.

The sky never did light on fire as I’d hoped. But that didn’t spoil my evening a bit.

'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


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…