a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, life, life goes on, nature, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunrise, unintended consequences

Fred’s story…

When I get up early enough to go out for the sunrise I usually open my front door to look outside to see what the sky looks like.  But lately I think I’m hoping that it looks overcast enough to stay home.  Then I can pat myself on the back for not wasting time, but then I waste time at home so really all I would save is gas.  When I look out and see a crescent moon in a clear sky, especially when it’s in the eastern sky, then I can’t resist going out.  In my mind I see a nice sunrise with the crescent moon above, but in all honesty I don’t think that shot has ever presented itself.  The moon is too high, and the sunrise colors were developing slightly to the north.06-16-20aripekamoon

There are two bridges to shoot from in Aripeka, and the first has houses that I hope will have lights on to give extra interest to the shot.  This morning there were no lights, but there were plenty of no-see-ums, so I moved on.06-16-20aripeka1stbridge

The second bridge is where I always hope to see One-Foot Fred, but he wasn’t out today.  But one of the neighbors walked out to watch the sunrise and it turned out that he is the guy I recently heard call Fred’s name, and when Fred flew over he was treated to breakfast.  I mentioned to him that I used to see Fred whenever I came for the sunrise, but then didn’t see him for a long while.  He told me that the Great Blue Herons are very territorial and the two-footed heron that I did see had run Fred off.  But as happens so often when these birds co-exist with fishermen, that heron got tangled up in fishing line, and someone cut the line instead of untangling him, so he flew off, but only barely, and it was surely a death sentence for that bird.  Sad news for that bird, but good news for Fred who is back, and comes for breakfast every day, he said.  Finger mullet, about $10 worth a day.

Fred was luckier than that other heron.  He also became tangled up in fishing line, but this gentleman and another one worked to cut him free, all except for that foot, because Fred became so violent that they had to let him go.  He said it was awful to watch as that foot became useless and eventually just wasn’t there anymore.  It does seem that human interaction with wildlife is usually not in the animal’s best interest.  But for now Fred seems to have it made, I hope it lasts…

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And always check the sky behind you for reflections in the clouds.06-16-20aripekareflection

friends, fun, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, second chances, technology

Zoo babies…

I love orangutans, I’ve said it before.  The babies especially, for obvious reasons.  They weren’t very active when we were there on Tuesday.  This little guy was hanging on the underside of a rope ladder beside his mother.  It made for challenging shots, and I had hoped to stop by their area again before we went home but we didn’t get the chance.  Thanks to Lightroom there are a few usable ones.05-26-20ontherpes2 05-26-20ontherpes305-26-20ontherpes405-26-20ontherpes505-26-20ontherpes605-26-20ontherpes05-26-20rangutan

I hope I get to visit the San Diego Zoo again one of these days.  That’s where I saw orangutan newborns in preemie diapers playing in the nursery.  I fell in love on the spot and it stuck with me all these years…

a second look, finding my way, friends, growing old, healing, home, life goes on, live and learn, loneliness, memories, second chances

Home again…

If you grew up in my hometown with me then you recognize this place.  Fifty years ago I desperately wanted to get away from home, and when I met a nice guy who was in the Navy and would would ‘take me away,’ it was too much to resist.  But in the back of my mind I thought that I would somehow live there again some day, but I never did.  I had no idea how much I had blown up my life by leaving.  The friends and relatives that might have been part of my daily life weren’t there.  As I lived those days and years I didn’t think anything was missing, I was happy, it’s only now that I am looking back at it and wondering.  Because now that I am alone, and for almost the first time in my adult life, I see what I missed.  And I found I really needed to reconnect to those places and people from my past.  I needed to go back to square one, so to speak, in order to figure out where to go from here.

They say you can never go home again.  And in truth when I was out driving in my hometown with my old friend he would ask me if I recognized where I was, and I hardly ever did.  Places change.  But when it comes to DW Field’s Park it hasn’t changed a bit.  And that’s comforting to me.  And people?  They change too.  But some of them treasure their own memories of the past, and lucky for me I was part of their memories also.  This is the place I call up in my memory at the mention of the word home.  And I, for one, really can go home again.

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a second look, changing times, Florida wildlife, life goes on, live and learn, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, second chances, technology, unintended images

Fresh eyes…

Going through old photos in the computer is a little more complicated than just finding a box of old photos and looking through it.  If you come upon one that you like, as I did with the feature photo, but you get interrupted, then you decide you want to find more photos from that same day, it’s a bit frustrating.  And, according to the head of our photo group, one of the reasons for using Lightroom is because your original photos are preserved and you can get to them easily.  But I must have missed that class.  Or, more likely, it was over my head at the time.  When all this social distancing is behind us I plan on getting all this figured out, with help from a friend.

When I did eventually find the rest of the photos from that evening in Tarpon Springs I found I had a lot of pictures, but they were all of the same view.  I still do that.  If I’m there with the camera then I keep taking pictures, because that next one I take might just be the best one of all.  In reality they are all pretty much identical.

But I am consistent.  I would take these pictures I found from the botanical garden again today if they presented themselves.  I did just take pictures of the buds on this cactus recently, but I like this old picture better.04-19-cactusfloer04-19-20lizardsign

I also find that I make assumptions.  On this trip to Linda Pederson Park I saw manatees, lots of them.  Not only from the observation tower, but you could also see them as you stood along the edge of the inlet.  On later visits it was disappointing to discover that that’s not always the case at all. 04-19-20manatees2.jpg

It’s the reflections in the water that keeps you from seeing the manatees as they swim past you just a few yards away as you stand on the bank.  When I took these pictures two years ago I must have passed over them because I couldn’t see the manatees clearly.  Now I see the reflections in the water itself and in revisiting them these were my favorite shots from that day. 04-19-20manatees.jpg04-19-20manatees3.jpg

Funny how that works isn’t it?  What we failed to appreciate in the past becomes the thing that pleases us most when we look back with fresh eyes…

'scene' along the way, a second look, Florida landmarks, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset, technology

The end of the day…

I have to admit that we had quite the day of shooting last week, with the Venice rookery and Myakka River state park. But we weren’t done.  Our last stop was the causeway bridge in St. Pete, which my friend hadn’t been to before, and I wanted to improve on the pictures I had taken the last time.  But it had been a long day, and we were very tired as we waited for the sun to set and then for the lights on the bridge to come on.  I had the lens that I regretted that I didn’t have the last time, and the tripod, so my shots should have been good.  But again I managed to miss the shots I most wanted to get, this time they were blurry.  The iPhone didn’t miss the shot however, so once again it saved me.  Gotta love the iPhone!

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a second look, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, second chances, simple things, technology

An orangutan kind of day…

I knew it all along, as soon as I saw the FCCP photo walk to the Lowry Park Zoo I knew that I would go, and that my day would be all about the orangutans.  I hoped there would there be babies, and that wish was granted.  I fell for them when I lived in San Diego and saw them at the San Diego Zoo many times.  And even Frankie fell for them this time, so much so that we brought one home.

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