a second look, butterflies, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, making memories, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography, technology

Butterfly garden…

The thought of another rainy day had me a little down in the dumps yesterday. But when the sun came out in the early afternoon we decided to go to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden with our cameras. The last time I was there they had recently pruned all the greenery back, and I thought it looked a bit sad. This time the greenery was lush, almost overgrown, and the butterflies were seemingly frantic in their activity. The feature photo is the two black butterflies who were in constant motion, chasing each other and flitting from flower to flower. After the fact I thought of the adjustments I might have made in the camera to help stop the action, fearing I hadn’t gotten any sharp photos. I’m actually surprised to have gotten a couple.

I guess they slowed down a little.
This garden has the luxury of lots of shade, and many tables and benches that you might chose to stop at to relax. You might even bring lunch. I used to pass this garden almost every time I left the house, now it’s a little out of the way, but not too far.
I love this little castle planter. I can’t resist taking a picture every time I visit.
This sculpture is finished now, carved out of the trunk of a tree that stood here. What a beautiful addition to the garden.
While my friend looked at the train garden I was excited to see this big yellow butterfly, who posed rather nicely for me.
I really didn’t get as many good shots of him as I thought I had. The new camera has a ‘joy stick’ that you can move with your thumb to adjust your focus. It’s not natural for me to use that yet so I cut off pieces of his wings in a lot of shots.
The train garden sits like a little oasis surrounded by the train tracks. The owner runs the trains on Saturdays, at least some Saturdays, and there is a button the kids can push to make the sound of the train whistle. Tucked away in that foliage are two little waterfalls, but you will have to take my word for it since they were well hidden.
This train station seems new to me. Those passengers will have to wait a while for the next train.

It’s a treat to get outside even for a little while. And dinner with the photo group finished the day off perfectly.

a second look, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, ducks, egrets, Florida wildlife, learning, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Pond critters…

I could probably save myself a lot of time and effort if I didn’t do everything by the seat of my pants. I set the new camera up to take bursts of photos, not remembering that this camera will take LOTS of pictures per second. When you add that to the fact that I had set it up for silent shutter, then you might have a clue how I managed to get 1077 photos in probably a half hour down at the neighborhood pond. So I had many, many virtually identical pictures to look at. Not the greatest pictures either. Learning the hard way, but learning.

This tricolor heron was waiting for me when I got to the pond. He flew off and I thought I’d found him but it turned out to be the little blue heron in the feature photo.
The ducks were flapping their wings and I held the shutter button down in my excitement so I finally had to just choose one and stop trying to find the ‘best’ one.
Okay, I worked on two before I cried uncle.
Found this teeny-tiny butterfly in the grass. I got excited because when he flew off the tracking feature of the camera followed him.
See, it kept focus on the butterfly. These photos are zoomed too much I know, but I was excited to see the tracking feature in action.
Of course I concentrated on dragonflies for a bit. A couple of hundred photos worth.
I was happy that it was one of the orange ones that stopped for a bit, that was nice.
I was sitting on one of the swings, in the shade, and focusing on this little bird on the fence, waiting for him to turn around, or fly. I had no idea that he was enjoying his lunch. I waited and waited, taking photos all the while.

Taking advantage of a break in the raindrops, and then they started falling again.

a second look, friends, fun, moments, moon, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise, technology

The barefoot photographer…

She follows me wherever I go. Barefoot sometimes, in pajamas sometimes, but out in the wee small hours of the morning always. From the Tetons, to New England, to Florida, and points in-between. She even looks like me. I think I have a stalker.

If only my friend had gone out for the newspaper a bit earlier…
My mind was on the blueberry muffin bread I was making so I wasn’t paying attention to the sky.
It always seems to be the ones you didn’t go out for that really get interesting.
'scene' along the way, a second look, finding my way, fun, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise, technology

Live and learn…

I am totally and completely floored. I went out for sunrise photos this morning to beat the rain that will be here shortly. I normally use just my phone on this walk around the block, but I grabbed the new camera too. But then I yelled at myself, but not out loud in the dim light, that the camera was still in HDR mode and I didn’t bring a tripod. Early morning HDRs are a norm for me, I’ve taken a million of them and I know that if I don’t bother to use the tripod I won’t get a usable shot. Never, ever. So I took my shot with the camera, and with that instant, split-second shutter release, I figured the camera had reset itself by being shut off. So I checked, and there were the three shots! Don’t ask me how it got a long exposure in that split second because I have no idea. But it was seeing the shots in the computer that blew me away. Every. Single. One. Sharp as can be. Level. No sign of camera shake. All along I resisted buying new gear because ‘it’s not the gear, it’s the person behind the lens.’ But it sure can help. Oh, and the nice color I had seen when I headed out the door, the color that I was disappointed not to see when I got to the park, turned out to be the reflected sunrise. I always try to remember to look behind me. Canon r7, 18-150 kit lens.

a second look, birds, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, technology

Around the corner…

On the days that I decide that I’d rather sit with my coffee and do Wordle instead of racing out the door for the sunrise, I find myself going stir crazy by the middle of the day. The hottest part of the day. Like yesterday when the heat index was still over 100 at 4PM, and distant thunder could be heard. I had decided to try the trusty 18-400 lens plus adapter on the new camera, so I walked around the corner for only a little while, and found an ibis couple, ducks, and dragonflies to shoot. Then, as I was leaving, a red-shouldered hawk flew past at eye level, too quickly to get a shot of him in flight. But he thoughtfully landed on a fence, then caught a snack in a yard, and posed again before flying away. It never did rain…

It seemed as if I wasn’t holding the camera very steady while I took shots of this young speckled ibis, who will soon look like his snowy white cousin. The camera is said to have excellent image stabilization. I believe it.
I sat on the ground to brace my elbows on my knees, at which point the dragonflies decided to land elsewhere.
Even with that much zoom in the lens you still have to crop like crazy.
Those red shoulders give away his identity.
I don’t know what he caught, but those talons look quite impressive to me.
A parting glance before he flew away.
a second look, dragonflies, fun, learning, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology

New toys…

I went out with my new camera/lens combo this morning. The Canon R7 with the 18-150 lens that it’s packaged with at the moment. People who are wanting just the camera body are still waiting after ordering them a long time ago. I had identified this camera as my ‘next’ camera, even as I insisted that I was happy with my camera set up that had me ready to head out the door and shoot whatever came my way. But the new one is mirrorless, and that where the technology seems to be going. And I bought an adaptor so that I can use my other Canon lenses with the new camera, but I went out in search of dragonflies with the old lens on the new camera yesterday and I wasn’t so happy with the shots I took. It’s all good though, gotta shake things up once in a while.

I have to say that the sky was just gorgeous this morning, and if I hadn’t left my iPhone home charging (it was in the red) I would have taken all my pictures with that for it’s extra wide angle, the heck with the new camera. But I’m not unhappy with what I got…

The colors deepened.
The Ibis flew in.
Yesterday’s experiment.