birds, eagles, egrets, Florida wildlife, nature, pelicans, photography, sunset, Tricolored heron

The quiet nest…

I held a vigil for a while at the eagle nest today, camera at the ready, and almost nothing happened.  My eagle watching friend says that the fact that the eagle on the nest was hunkered down and invisible most of the time I was there means that it’s the male.  The female is bigger also, another tidbit I learned today.  I was distracted by a Downey woodpecker for a bit, and hoped I didn’t miss anything but I didn’t think so.  What I expected was for the female to join the male on the nest, that was the photo op I hoped for.  But that’s not what happened.  There was sudden movement on the nest, the male popped up and vocalized a bit, and then took off.  Several minutes went by and then another eagle flew over and settled down on the nest.  We couldn’t say for sure which eagle it was, we were just glad to know the nest was protected.

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I stopped at the Anclote Fishing Pier on the way home and found some more feathered friends there.  It’s my friend’s favorite sunset spot, but it was too early for the sunset, and I was tired so I decided to head home…

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natural wonders, photography, Pine Island, sky, sunset

Third time’s a charm…

It was the third time I had gone out to take pictures that day.  Pine Island again, because the clouds at home were lit up so nicely an hour before sunset that I just couldn’t stay home.  It would have been a sin not to go out and enjoy what Mother Nature had provided.  No people and no stories that day, and no breeze.  There is always a nice breeze at Pine Island, I thought.  But with no breeze we also had no-see-ums, so all I’ve got are a few pictures of a gorgeous sunset, and I was outta there!

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Florida landmarks, friends, fun, photography, sky, sunset

Rooftop sunset…

If you find yourself in Clearwater on a Tuesday evening from November to March, you might choose to watch the sunset from the rooftop of the main branch of the Clearwater library.  I thought that perhaps the photo group had arranged a special photo opportunity, but no, anyone can enjoy the view.  But only on a Tuesday, after daylight savings time ends.

I confess to being disappointed initially.  You could see that the sun would actually set behind some buildings, and there wasn’t much opportunity to move around enough to give a different perspective on the sunset.  That view also includes Clearwater beach, but not a beach view I had imagined.  So that view was pretty much it.  Except for a view of the Scientology headquarters just a few blocks away.  It was pretty all lit up and I took a picture before anyone told me what the building actually was.  But the sunset itself salvaged the night by getting prettier and prettier.  We were supposed to be off the roof by 6 PM, and the sky was absolutely on fire right about then, but we dutifully left the rooftop and headed out for a nice dinner and photo chat nearby.  I had been longing to find some new sunset viewing spots, and this fit the bill nicely, with new friends to boot!

boats, fun, humor, life goes on, memories, moments, photography, sunset

Christmas Boat Parades…

In most circumstances a sunset photo is the grand finale of a photo shoot, but in this instance it was only the beginning.  I’ve been hearing announcements of boat parades being held in neighboring towns this week, and truth be told, I know they used to do them in Maryland also.  Now I wonder why I never went to one?  But I saw that members of the new photo group were going to the Dunedin boat parade on Saturday night, and I thought it was a good opportunity to join them.  And it’s a good thing I did because it took some finagling to get my camera set up to account for the lights, my lack of tripod, and the movement of the boats, so kudos and thanks to Kate for all her help.

There were lots of boats, large and small, and they paraded right in front of us for judging.  I was tickled by the crowd who cheered for them all no matter how simple or elaborate the decorations.  They even cheered for a guy on a paddle board with his dog, even though he wasn’t part of the parade.  And the police boat when it docked at it’s spot in the marina.  This is the exact area where we spent my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding weekend almost 20 years ago.  I could never have imagined where life would take me all these years later…

 

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adventure, birds, boats, connections, finding my way, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, pelicans, photography, safety Harbor, sky, sunset

Safety Harbor Sunset…

In the interests of finding new and different places for photo ops, plus my social life could use a kick in the pants, I joined a big group of photographers for a shoot last night at Safety Harbor.  Drove through a very cute town with shops I would have loved to have had time to explore, maybe I’ll do that next time.  Actually we were having fun exploring and photographing birds, enough so that we very nearly missed the sunset all together.

An immature Black Crowned Night Heron, was a new bird to me.  Merlin says that the white tips on the feathers are what tells you it’s not a mature bird.  He posed like a champ.  As did the Downey Woodpecker, and there were lots of pelicans swimming alongside the pier.

1130nightheron1130downeywoodpecker1130pelicansBut we did turn our attention to the sunset in time to catch some pretty color in the sky.

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Even the walk past the boats in the marina on the way back to my car had me stopping for another couple of shots.

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But the real adventure came on the way home.  One of the group officials had suggested that I take a right out of the parking lot to avoid most of the congestion in the area on the way home, and he told me what street to take.  But I was still unsure so I asked my pal Siri to “direct me home”.   I always forget that when you do that you get a very close up map with the route highlighted in blue, but you can’t see even your next move coming up.  Or where you are or where you are going, just that blue line glowing in the dark.  And the road she had me on kept snaking to the right and the left, and reversing itself so that it seemed like you were going the wrong way.  I began to wonder who’s house she was taking me to, but, as always, she got me to the Suncoast Parkway and it was fine from then on.  All in all a fun adventure…

 

birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, Jenkin's Creek, life goes on, loneliness, memories, nature, photography, Pine Island, sunset

On the advice…

…of a friend I went out last night with a dryer sheet on my head, tucked under the back of my visor.  And another one sticking out of my shirt, held in place by my bra strap.  I had considered bobby-pinning one to my head, shades of what Catholic girls of a certain age used to do with a tissue if they found themselves without a head covering to wear to Mass.  My friend had been advised that a dryer sheet would keep the no-see-ums away, but evidently I bought the wrong brand because I think they liked me more last night.  A fisherman told me that these little pests are seasonal and that they’ll be gone once we have our first freeze.  I told him that I wasn’t sure that I was rooting for that to happen anytime soon.  But it is inevitable and at least now I’ll have a reason to be happy about it.

He also told me that I had missed the eagle.  It had been across the way in the same tree where I had seen him before.  He says that the eagle was always in the trees where the wood storks are roosting now, but now they have taken that one over.  1127storksI should have gotten great pictures of an egret catching his dinner, and flipping the fish over and over until he got it into position to swallow it.  I had that cheap new lens attached to the camera and was afraid to switch to my other, better, zoom lens.  Better quality wise, but I don’t know if the distance would have been too much for it.  If I had known how long he was going to play with his food before eating it I might have gone ahead and switched.  I couldn’t wait to go home and see what I got, which wasn’t much.

1127egret11127egret2I gave up, switched lenses, and headed to Pine Island.  And quickly captured this photo from the parking lot for fear that it would change before I made it across the beach.  1127sunset1

I’m thinking that I need to find new places to go to take pictures.  But in order to do that I might need to change my work schedule and I’m finding myself fearful of doing that for some reason.  Charley has been talking in my ear lately, he had been fairly quiet for a while, but he used to tell the young patients who complained about working, “If work gets in the way of your social life then quit work.”  As always he was being sarcastic when he said it, and that’s how I’m hearing it in my ear.  Sigh…

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