'scene' along the way, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, bunnies, exploring new places, finding my way, friends, fun, Just do it, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, simple things

Afternoon delight…

Lettuce Lake Park made for an enjoyable afternoon stroll, even if there was no lettuce, and no lake, to be found. In the moment I missed the prop value of the ‘I survived Lettuce Lake Park’ sign. But there was a paved trail to ride, and the woods were beyond gorgeous. Shady and cool, but that’s not as big of an issue now that October is here. And there is a boardwalk to explore next time.

Taking a picture is usually my first thought, but I saw these people coming up behind us with four dogs that could only be Bernie-doodles, and I got excited. I asked the breed and they were ‘mini ‘Bernie-doodles. Mom, dad, and two puppies. So darn cute!
Usually I want some wildlife or action in my photos, but I honestly loved the woods here, and scenes like this kept catching my eye..
If I remember correctly this is a scrub oak.
Does something live in there I wonder?
Beauty berries were the only ‘color’ we saw, and no butterflies or birds paying any attention to them.
Trying a black and white version.
Then I spotted some wild life.
With those long legs she could have chosen to hop away pretty fast.
But she didn’t. I told a Dad and his boys to look for her up ahead, and they seemed happy to tell me that they’d seen her as they zoomed past us on their second lap around the path on their bikes.
We continued on the path, nearly back to where we started.

There is lots more to this park, and when we come here again I’d like to do it earlier in the day.My friend isn’t as ‘up and at ’em’ as I am in the morning. But the sunset is getting earlier, and soon these afternoon adventures can include the sunset. That also works for me. Along with this cooler weather.

a second look, friends, fun, perseverance, photography, silliness, simple things

Back to the zoo…

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 shouldn’t play favorites, but I have followed this little guy since his birth almost two years ago, and yes, he is my favorite.
The mother/son bond between these two is amazing to watch. What a good mom she is.
It would seem as if I don’t see any other animals when I visit the zoo, but that’s not quite true. But almost.
It came as a huge surprise to me that another orangutan baby was born a few months ago and it escaped my notice altogether. Gotta love that hairdo.
This mom looks very individual to me, and she has bangs.
Finally this baby looked up so we can see him. Or her.
Dear old Dad.
The family that plays together…
Finally, not an orangutan. That’s a manatee, coming up for air.
He’s saying hello.
A panther taking a cat nap.
Cooling off
Keeping an eye on things.
She offered to let a boy touch this rat snake. He looked even less thrilled than I would have been.
Wait, one more of the cute little guy. He’s getting so big.
'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, friends, fun, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, simple things, technology, unintended images

Incoming…

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.

I wasn’t sure that I’d gotten him in the frame at all, so I decided that what I liked about these pictures outweighed the fact that I missed his wing tips. For me anyhow.
A graceful turn.
I love the look on his face.
He’s putting on the brakes, which is probably why I was able to get his whole self into the shot.
Honey, I’m home!

Just a few seconds out of a photographer’s day, but most of the time that’s all it takes to make your day.

a second look, birds, brainstorms, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Passing time, perseverance, photography, simple things, Tricolored heron

A proposition…

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.

I took a lot of pictures of these two. They were hamming it up a bit.
These tricolor herons were two by two also.
Hiding in the foliage, but I spotted him.
But he didn’t stay long.
Waiting to be noticed perhaps.
Off he goes.
Time out for a drink.

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…

adventure, blessings, brainstorms, exploring new places, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, simple things, turtles

Riverhills Park…

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.

Perfect reflections. Lily pads on the water, with lots of buds but no flowers so far.
There were quite a few trucks with empty boat trailers attached in the parking lot, but we didn’t see boats.
Live oaks are always amazing, but this view was just stunning.
Cypress knees, and cypress trees along the shore.
Wildlife, sort of.

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.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, eagles, finding my way, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, Passing time, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, safety Harbor, simple things, sunset

In search of photo ops…

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.

I’ve seen pictures of the two eaglets on this nest, but nothing much was doing in the afternoon. Siesta time maybe?
People were exclaiming that Mama owl had turned her head. They could see her ‘horn’, they said. I tried and tried but for the life of me I couldn’t see Mama, but I took pictures of where I thought they were telling me to look. And later on I discovered that I had been looking at her all along.
Before Jr. ever popped his head up I had gotten Mama after all.
And there he was! So cute. And there is another one also. We are heading back to try again today, with lenses with longer zooms. This is ridiculously cropped, but I still like the picture. I took lots of pictures once he popped his head up, but this is the only one that you can really see his Mama.

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 like this angle because of the rocks.
I wish a sailboat had been out there, but it was too cold and windy for that to happen.
The clouds were amazing, even if they were a bit dark.
I love when the sunset lights up the buildings on the shore.