'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, eagles, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset

Eagles again, and sunset color…

Having failed to see the eaglets on our last trip we decided to stop and see them when we were in the area again. We were told that one of the adults had just brought a big rat back for lunch, so not much was happening, but we waited a while. One adult stayed in the shadows, but the other found a spot in the sun in a tree a little way from the nest. And one of the eaglets decided to stretch his wings, so we left there happy with out stop.

This parent was further away from the nest, but the other one was in the shadows near the nest.
One of the eaglets obliged us by popping his head up and flapping his wings.
This is a pathetic picture but what you can see is his crown of feathers developing in a row on his head. And a rather impressive wing. I was still expecting him to be yellow and downey. Silly me.

Then we headed to Dunedin again to see the sunset before we headed to meet with the photo group. Another nice day.

The color was nice. My friends have been describing the recent sunsets as ‘sherbet’ color.
Flocks of birds flew through the scene.
A sailboat sailed into the scene at the last possible moment of color.
'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, blessings, exploring new places, fantasy images, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, weather

Lido Beach…

This is my second year in a row of meeting an old friend in Longboat Key. Such a beautiful spit of land along the Gulf of Mexico, and the view to the other side is Sarasota Bay. The day was predicted to be cloudy all day, but the sun came in and out, and I had moments of wishing that the sun would disappear behind a cloud for a minute as we sat on the beach. Followed by welcoming the sun back as the breeze chilled us. It is a lovely place to spend a winter day in Florida.

We nearly had the beach to ourselves.
Not everyone was as bundled up as we were.
As we headed to Anna Maria Island for some more shopping, and ice cream for supper as it turned out, the sky kept taking our attention. Would the clouds take over the sunset completely?
The wind was picking up…
This might be my favorite picture of the day. Statues in a yard I passed as I walked down to the beach. I took the ‘private property’ sign out of the photo. Such an adorable vignette, I trespassed, but only a little.
My friend wanted me to see this spot because if you use your imagination, and/or put on your cheaters, you can see the Sunshine Skyway Bridge just to the right of the building out on the pier. Honest, its there!
We walked out onto the pier for a better view of the bridge and found this intrepid fellow who was unperturbed by all the people on the pier. Or by me as I took his picture. Some young men saw me and told their friend that I took a picture of ‘his’ bird. “Your bird,” we asked, and discovered that he has been feeding this snowy egret since the colder water has driven the smaller fish too deep for him to catch them. We were assured that once it warms up this little guy will go back to fending for himself. Hope so.
My friend pulled over several times so that I could dash out of the car and get a picture on the way home.
The sunset wasn’t to be denied on this day…
Oh that sky!
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, black and white, foggy sky, friends, fun, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, safety Harbor, sky, weather

Making the rounds…

Armed with ‘better’ lenses we headed back to the owls the other day, and found pretty much the exact same scene as we did a few days before. One owlet peeking out of the nest with Mom behind him. As we arrived, however, Mom flew out of the nest and onto a nearby branch, and there she posed for a few minutes before flying back to the nest. I was able to get the feature photo before she flew back to her babies. So all in all not such a bad little while in Philippe Park.

Here he is in black and white, which this photo nearly was anyhow.
There are three owlets in the nest, we will have to keep returning in hopes of a little more ‘action’.
I did manage to see Dad in the tip top of the nest tree. I’d been told he was there but usually can’t ‘find’ him.

Then we were off to nearby Moccasin Lake to the raptor rehab there. Again our timing was good since the volunteers were getting the owls out of their enclosures for a few minutes.

Here we have a Barred Owl. I’ve seen these at Circle B Bar Reserve, but not lately.
What a beautiful face on this Barn Owl. I have only seen these at various rehab facilities.
His handler said that if you saw only a skeleton of this owl you would never imagine such a beautiful bird. It is really a small bird with very long legs. He says it makes him wonder about dinosaurs which have been recreated based on their skeletons.
A peregrin falcon.
He definitely had something to say.
It’s amazing that the camera will focus on the birds and ignore the fence for the most part. Red-tailed hawks.

We made a last stop at the Safety Harbor marina. People were gathered on the pier looking down into the water, so we hurried to see what they were seeing. Not wildlife, but a person who said he was licensed to explore the water’s edge to see what was there. It was the only thing to see on a cloudy day, but we went home happy.

A mud crab, said the expert.
A gloomy mid-day scene…
'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, dogs, dolphins, Florida wildlife, fun, Hudson Beach, Just do it, making memories, moon, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset, unintended images

Photobombs…

Lately I seem to be way too willing to decide that I’ll just stay home, I won’t go out for the sunrise or sunset. There are too many dark clouds, I tell myself, or the morning is kind of foggy. Last night was no exception. I was driving up Rt 19 and there were heavy dark clouds to the north, but when I turned into my street and looked towards the west I saw blue sky and nice puffy clouds. So I told myself to go out to see what I could see. That turned out to be a wise, or rather, a lucky decision.

As usual the houses on the inlet had their faces turned to the sun.
The moon was looking pretty also.
The sunset itself was doing a great job of making me happy that I came out.
It was low tide, and the rocks were exposed off the walkway, but for some reason several dolphin decided that this was the night to put in a first ever, for me at least, appearance at Hudson Beach.
Back and forth they swam. And they leaped out of the water! I have seen dolphin here and there before, and I’ve always wished for them to breech, but this was the first time I ever had a chance to try to get a picture of them in action.
Of course I wish it was a ‘better’ picture, but I did manage to get one.
Actually two!
The man standing next to me had two big golden retrievers with him, and one of them was VERY interested in what was going on in the water out there.
Even a pelican couldn’t resist a photo bomb as the color reached a peak.

When I hear all the talk among my fellow photographers about the great new cameras and/or lenses that are coming out lately, I am, momentarily at least, tempted to buy better equipment. My stuff is considered adequate, for a beginner. But if I’m honest with myself I’m really not willing to concentrate enough to master the technicalities of setting the camera, or doing more than basic editing. ‘Better’ equipment would probably have required me to change my lens when the dolphin showed up last night, and if he stuck around long enough for me to do that then I probably would have gotten better pictures. So the temptation is there, but it’s fleeting. I appreciate the freedom my current set up gives me. When the mood strikes then out the door I go, and I’m ready for whatever happens next. That feels good…

photography, sunset, blessings, old dogs new tricks, friends, perseverance, Florida landmarks, live and learn, sky, 'scene' along the way, Just do it, making memories, brainstorms, exploring new places

Crystal Beach…

I’m afraid that the feature photo gives this whole post away. You’ve already seen just how pretty the sunset got. But I’m ahead of myself. When I arrived at Crystal Beach ahead of my friend I was happy to see a somewhat promising scene for our sunset shoot.

A potentially decent sunset in the making, I thought.
As I watched the clouds seemed to be moving, creating a bit of drama up there.
I kept taking pictures, becoming more excited as the sky continued to develop.

But as much as the sunset was the goal, the real excitement was that my friend, Maryann, was bringing the drone(s) she had been flying for the last few months. DroneS, because apparently you can’t have just one, or so she tells me. I’ve been amazed from the first time I’d seen drone photos, wondering how the heck you point them at what you want them to ‘see’ and then hold them steady enough to take a decent photo. Just handholding a camera can be a challenge at times. And then she arrived, and I became torn between getting shots of the sky as it got prettier, and then resetting the camera to shoot the drone itself, which turned out not to be a challenge at all because it just rose up in the sky and stayed put. Went up straight, no guesswork there, so avoiding trees and power lines isn’t really an issue. Then she showed me her phone screen, which showed the drone view, and she could take pictures at will. The controller looked like a video game controller, so that took care of aiming her. And before you take the drone up you ‘pin’ the spot where she started so that when you call her she comes ‘home’.

The drone view.
Hovering completely still, but sometimes up over 100 feet and it wasn’t so easy to see her.
Maryann had drawn a crowd and she was explaining things to them more than she was to me. I was eavesdropping as I dashed around getting photos with the camera and the iPhone.
It was hard to turn away from the sunset to pay attention to what the drone was doing.
This, I thought when I took it, would be my ultimate picture of the night.

We were about ready to call it a day when I happened to glance over and saw that behind some trees another whole cloud bank was ablaze with color. I had to go back out onto the pier to get that feature photo. It was quite the finale of the evening. And what I failed to explain is that I drive past the turn off for this beach every time I go to Clearwater for a class, and many times for the photo shoots also. But I had never noticed the sign for Crystal Beach, just another one of those details that seem to escape me as I go about my days.

PS. Maryann was happy to point out that no rules of flying drones were broken in the making of this blog post!

PSS: You can check out Maryann’s stuff at MaryannMiller.com. Also look for her at

http://www.marymiller.zenfolio.com

a second look, adventure, Bayport, Florida landmarks, fun, Just do it, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sky, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Bayport was calling my name…

Actually I’d been hearing that call for a while now, so it was silly of me to wait until daylight savings was in effect making me rush more than I’d have had to just the week before. The weather report said cloudy all day, but I walked out my front door to check for myself and saw that there were breaks in the clouds, so off I went. I guess it goes without saying that I was glad I rousted myself out. It was a beautiful morning.

Sunrise was in full swing when I parked and got out of the car with my cell phone to get a quick picture. I never did remember to get the camera out, there just wasn’t time.
I hurried onto the dock to position myself to get this shot of the fishing boat crossing the water in front of me.
I’ve lost track now of just how long it took for this dock to be rebuilt, but it’s a boon to the fishermen and the photographers too.
It kept getting prettier.
And, as always, the pastel clouds behind me caught my eye.
The sun peeked above the trees and that seemed to be the cue for the grackles to fly in. Several of them watched the sun coming up with me.
I had expected to head to the car after the last shot, but I heard the motor of one more fishing boat heading out so I stopped for one more shot.