It was off to the zoo for us on Sunday. A shoot with a friendly bunch of photographers. We got there just as the zoo opened, but before the tiger made an appearance, and even the orangutans were no where to be seen. But a keeper came to the primate area and called for RanDee and RipLee, and they came out of their enclosure. She tossed them pieces of fruit, and the rest of the orangutans joined them.
I had been taking pictures at the rookery for quite a while. The nests look like piles of sticks, the ones you can actually see that is, and I was quite sure that with all the little heads bobbing up and down I’d probably gotten a few clear shots that I’d be happy with. So I was a little bored, but my friend hadn’t ever gotten himself out to see the new little chicks before so he was still having fun. But I was wandering a bit, and then I saw him. A wood stork out of the corner of my eye. He was flying in with a nice piece of nesting material. But instead of making a beeline for the nest he looped around just enough for me to get my camera up and start shooting. No plan, no attempt at composition, just start shooting and attempt to get him in the shot. Later on when I got the SD card into the computer I looked at the pictures in order, always looking for the best shot of the chicks. There were several hundred pictures, and I was deleting as I went, so I was getting tired of the whole process when I got to these pictures. Yes, I’d gotten the wood stork. Well, most of him at least. And I cracked myself up when I saw them. So here they are, all my shots of this big, awkward, funny-looking-but-somehow-charming, wood stork.
Just a few seconds out of a photographer’s day, but most of the time that’s all it takes to make your day.
The proposition? Head to the rookery and then stop at Ford’s Garage for pretzels and shrimp. And beer. Now that sounded like a really good idea.
And speaking of having a drink, it was time for us to head to Ford’s and belly up to the bar. That beer was nice and cold, the shrimp was spicy, and the pretzels can’t be beat. The perfect finale to the day…
It was not an original idea, going to this park. A few days ago our photo group had a walk to this park, but a prior commitment kept us away. But it was now on our radar screen, and it was fairly close by, so with a couple of hours to fill today we decided to check it out. My immediate reaction to this place was to be stunned by just how peaceful it was. Still water reflecting the beautiful trees, and the clouds in the blue sky. I knew that my phone would capture the scene perfectly, so these pictures have had very little done to them besides cropping. And straightening the horizon when it needed it. I had to chuckle to myself when I found myself thinking about how peaceful it was, because the adjacent elementary school was having recess and there was plenty of happy kid commotion going on. But still it was a perfectly lovely place.
When the weather gets a little warmer I think this might be prime dragonfly photo op territory. I think we should bring lunch and check it out.
I used to head out earlier in the day for my photos than I seem to do now. Sunrise, and then whatever other stop I wanted to make. The beauty of that was that when I came home I had something to do. Namely, work on my pictures and turn them into a blog post. If I had multiple pictures from more than one stop then so much the better, I had fodder for multiple blog posts. Having those pictures in the camera felt like having money in the bank. Silly I know, but that’s how I think.
Yesterday started out a lot later than I’m used to. First stop was the eagles, but not much was happening there so we moved on to the owls at Philippe Park.
And then it was time to head to Clearwater to meet with our photo group and have dinner. But the timing conveniently allowed for a stop in Dunedin for the sunset. It was a more successful day of shooting than I thought it was while I was pressing the shutter button all afternoon.
I do have good taste, but I also have the beer pocketbook to go with it. A little cottage on a lake, where I could watch the sunrise and/or sunset without racing up, or down, the road. Someplace with quirks, which, to me, suggests a cosy, homey little place. Speaking of the place, I might have found the community in SC while visiting for Christmas. Lake Wylie. Lots of little fingers of land jut into the lake, and the houses on the roads there must have great views, at least in the winter when the leaves are gone. The little park that I found so that I could stop to take pictures was up high, with views in three directions. There was a playground and bathrooms, and lots of designated golf cart parking spaces. But when I got on Zillow I discovered that there are no tiny cottages, or tiny price tags. Sigh. Somewhere there is a cosy little spot just waiting for me to find it. In the meantime I’ll keep dreaming…