It turned out to be a nice sunrise, nicer than I had a right to expect as I drove the 45 minutes to meet a group for a sunrise shoot. I was pretty sure the cloudy sky would keep everyone else home and I wondered what I’d do instead, but I didn’t need to worry. The sky and the clouds were surprisingly pretty, and the crew showed up. Fun people to spend time with, and there may have been a nice breakfast in the scenario also. An altogether nice day. I’m glad I took the opportunity to go out because as I’ve looked at my photos and written this post it’s been pouring down rain.
Aripeka again. I approach from the south these days, which means that the first bridge I get to is the one I failed to realize was there for quite a long time. Even on a day that didn’t turn out to be so pretty, as the sun comes up it lights up the faces of the houses even when the sky isn’t as dramatic.
This little bait shop always catches my eye when I arrive at what’s now the second bridge. It isn’t always as well lit as it was today, and that lighting is what drew me over to take a picture as soon as I got there. I didn’t see the kitty until I was getting the camera ready and I was sure he’d move before I got the shot. How nice of him to stay put.
And a little color in the sky before I left. The sun was rising too far to the right of my view for the best color. I found better color on the way home with no way to stop for a photo, but that’s okay. Tomorrow is another day…
Thursday was my last day at Fort DeSoto, and even though I’d enjoyed an amazing sunrise there on Tuesday I headed there again. Or maybe it was because that sunrise had been so pretty that I hoped I’d see another one as nice, or maybe even better. And when I arrived I was excited to see the bridge lit in red this time, but the low fog was rolling in and in minutes it washed out the bridge and the whole sky was more gray than anything else. The feature photo was taken at 6:28 AM. Ten minutes later we had this…
And at 6:49
And at 7:12…
These are all iPhone photos, pretty much straight out of the camera. I wanted to see as much of that sky as I could because the entire sky looked like this as far as I could see. I never did see the sun at all that morning, and I could barely see the bridge as the sunrise progressed and that fog took over. It wasn’t the sunrise I’d hoped for, but I have to say that that sky was incredible. I think Forrest Gump was onto something. Sunrises are also like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.
My friends and I tried to get to Circle B Bar Reserve for the sunrise, but it was quite a long drive from home. The above feature photo was as close as we got. We wanted to be that early because our theory was that the wildlife is most active early in the morning. Only it was pretty darned chilly, and that is something that will slow the wildlife down. So we walked about 7 miles, went from a little too chilly to almost too warm, and yes we saw some wildlife.
I had hoped to see something unusual, something beyond all the usual birds that we see so frequently. And this little raccoon filled the bill perfectly.I was as close to the edge of the river bank as possible in order to get the angle I needed for the photos. I was most afraid of dropping the camera into the water. As I was shooting some other visitors came to us from the opposite direction and asked if I knew there was an alligator right there. “Where?”, I asked. “Right there!”. was the answer.
I did not expect to be so up close and personal with that gator. If I had known he was there I would never have gotten the pictures. There was a pier just a little way down the trail and I got a better picture of just how big that gator was. And a good look at that smirk in his face. This must be an example of all’s well that ends well. And there are pictures to prove it!
Rain was in the forecast, but it wasn’t raining quite yet so I headed out for the sunrise. I saw lightning on the way over and thought I should probably turn around. But the sky was prettier than I expected, and the sunrise was lovely and pastel. I was determined to get my photo for the challenge if nothing else, but there was an added element of fun. It was Saturday morning and young fishermen were casting their lines over the side of the bridge and pulling in little fish left and right. I was quite surprised to realize that there were two brown pelicans there, I’d never seen them in Aripeka before. The fishermen were throwing their fish to them and they were trying to catch them. It was fun to watch and I thought I’d get a lot of pictures. But then it happened. One of the pelicans leaped up and snagged the fish as the fisherman reeled it in. So it caught the fish plus the hook and the length of line that snapped off with it, all in just a split second. After that the pelican seemed to be gulping water and trying to swallow the fish but was having trouble doing it. And there we were, helpless to help. Suddenly this wasn’t fun anymore, and I wondered how it was that I didn’t anticipate what might happen. I did call and alert the rescue authorities, but I was told that when a bird is in the water the chances of catching it even to help it was slim to none. I stopped taking pictures at that point and left. I heard thunder on the way home.
It may be a new year, but apparently I haven’t turned over a new leaf. I took the drive to Safety Harbor for the sunrise on New Year’s Day and found a lovely sunrise and friendly photographers. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that I must have bumped the dial on the camera causing almost all my shots to be overexposed. Operator error, I should have been checking the shots as I went.In addition to the sunrise I was also hoping to see spoonbills while I was there. And I did see them, three of them, flying in and landing on a sand bar out in the water. And that was the last I saw of them, but I got my 10,000 steps in while walking the boardwalk looking for them.I also told my friend about the fun photo challenge I had joined with my group. You select a ‘companion’ and use it in an iconic Florida photo, one a day for two weeks. I took some practice shots that day even though we weren’t supposed to take them until the 2nd. Frankie the Flamingo will make her way into a few more shots in the next couple of weeks I’m sure. But because of the challenge I was sent to the art center for some photos. And I was told that the park across from Starbucks holds a 100 year old live oak that was the center of local drama a while back. Some wanted it to be removed, but the locals objected. I guess I know who won. These were taken before the 2nd so I can’t add them to the group album, but I can use them here.