birds, nature, photography, sunset, turtles, fun, pond creatures, adventure, Florida wildlife, perseverance, ducks, a second look, road trip, making memories, facing facts

Making do…

All day the plan was to go to Dunedin for dinner, plus take in the sunset of course. But as the day went on the clouds got heavier and it started to rain. Much too late to go anywhere we saw that the clouds were breaking up a bit, so we went out in the drizzle and got some shots.

I see the raindrops in this picture when I look at it on my huge computer screen.
This turtle is enormous, we decided that he thought we might have a goodie for him. We didn’t.
This duck was probably thinking the same thing. She also was out of luck.

Later I saw pictures of the sunset from Dunedin and it was very nice. We missed a chance, but maybe it will work out next time.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, fantasy images, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, gardens, making memories, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, turtles, weather

Third time’s a charm…

There were three potential places to go that day, all close to each other. First was going to be The Narrows, the raptor rehab facility that I’ve been to before. The turtle pond was teaming with turtles, but with no volunteers to walk the various raptors along the paths all that was left was to see them in their enclosures. So we moved on to what was supposed to be the main event of the day, Heritage Village. We had looked it up, but failed to notice that it was closed on Monday and Tuesday. Which left us at the Florida Botanical Garden in the worst of the heat of the day. We followed pretty tiles down a shady path which led us to the children’s garden, a place I hadn’t visited before. A mom was pointing out some banana spiders to a group of children who told me to be careful as I headed over with my camera. The water birds were sounding off which led us to spot the small gator in the pond next door.

If all trees had faces like these I probably wouldn’t have had as many tree-climbing adventures when I was a kid.

We heard the water feature before we saw it. And it sounded very refreshing, like maybe we should take a dip to escape the heat. But we controlled ourselves.

I can never resist a bee, even if I have to crop 95% of the picture away in order for you to see him. Or her.

We will have to be sure to get out earlier as the weather gets hotter this summer. It was nice to be out, and even nicer to stop for lunch in air-conditioned comfort before heading home.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Osprey, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron, turtles

Left-overs…

To spend a day out shooting pictures and ‘only’ come home with 668 is not particularly a lot.  But it’s a lot to go through and it leaves you with pictures that are left over, that didn’t quite fit the story you were telling, or you simply missed them.  Or maybe they just wanted to stand alone.

All day long we had a running debate over whether or not the bird we were looking at was a tri-color heron or not.  But once we did see one we didn’t have to debate anymore.05-21-2005-21-20tricolor

Green herons seem more rare of a sighting, or maybe they just hide better, but I was happy to see this one.   And this pale colored one was a mystery to me, but Merlin says it’s a black crowned night heron.05-21-20greenheron05-21-20greenheron205-21-20blackcrwned

Soft shelled turtles aren’t particularly cute, but we were amazed to see this one camouflaged in the algae.  And the orange shell of these turtles stood out too.05-21-20sftshellalgae05-21-20orangeshell

An osprey flying over with its catch in its talons is always a goal to see.  But if he stops to eat in a tree it’s the next best thing.05-21-20osprey-fish05-21-20osprey-fish2

I missed the excitement when this hawk stole this snake from an ibis.  I did get to see him make short work of it.05-21-20hawk-snake

A butterfly is always a pretty picture, and this green dragonfly was my favorite dragonfly picture of the day, but I somehow failed to export it so I missed it on my dragonfly post.  But it’s too pretty not to post.05-21-20butterfly05-21-20greenongreen

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, gardens, healing, learning, making memories, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, simple things, The Narrows, turtles

BOGO…

The Narrows came to me in a brainstorm as a place to go with my friend while she was here.  How often do you get to see raptors up close and personal?  Or at all really.  The brainstorm came to me because while we were at the eagles one day we ran into a friend of mine who volunteers there.  I have walked the trails with him while he held a little screech owl on his wrist and interacted with the other visitors on the trail.  It’s such an unusual way to visit with nature.

But this visit was a little disappointing at first.  There were no volunteers out on the deck with hawks, or Sarge the eagle, on their wrists.  They hadn’t changed their policy, they said, but there is a shortage of volunteers to take the birds out.  A group of disabled veterans arrived as we were getting there also, and I thought they were visitors, but in a little while we saw them out with birds on the trail.  One said that the bird he was holding had had a brain injury, and he had a brain injury also.  It’s a heartwarming place to go.  Maybe a 90 minute drive isn’t too far to go to volunteer…02-29-20vet-owl02-29-20vet-owl202-29-20kestrel02-29-20horned02-29-20Egreathorned02-29-20Easternscreech02-29-20barredA volunteer pointed out the dark-eyed owls and light-eyed owls, and said that the dark eyed ones are spectacular night hunters.  Nature has given them incredible night vision, and I have read that owls can see their prey a mile away, so day hunters also have us all beat by a mile.

I had a plan for the next day also.  I was going to take my friend to the Florida Botanical Gardens for a photo walk with my photo group.  For the heck of it I checked to see where it was in comparison to The Narrows, and it was only two miles from where we were at that moment.  So of course we headed there, but on a chilly day in February it was not nearly the amazing place I have visited in the past.  We didn’t stay long at all, but I am glad to know that I can easily visit these two places on the same day from now on.  Kind of a BOGO!02-29-20rose02-29-20hearts

backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, neighbors, perseverance, photography, turtles

The interloper…

I heard the ping as a text came in, and discovered that there was a soft-shell turtle in my neighbor’s pool.  So of course I grabbled my camera and headed out the back door.  When my neighbor heard my screen door slam she called for me to help her.  But it was more fun to take pictures.11-26interloper111-26interloperfeature1

He was a speedy little thing.  Catching him looked easy, so Sue’s husband took over and he also found out that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. But he was caught eventually.  I just hope Sue doesn’t have to try to catch anything smaller than him with that net.11-26interloper2These are snapping turtles, see how he has the net?  I’m sure he’d love to chomp on Sue’s finger too.

11-26interloper3

11-26interloper4She told me to get ready, that he’d make a bee line for the lake, but that didn’t happen.  It took persuasion to send him on his way.  And one last photo of Wilbur, in case you were wondering how he’s been doing.  Of course things are usually a lot less exciting, but I have loved living next door, having a front row seat so to speak.  Lots of fun without the responsibility.  Sue doesn’t acquire her menagerie, often they are deposited at the doorstep by her daughter, but sometimes they just wander in on their own.  She says I’ll miss all the lakeside drama, and she is right…11-26Wilbur

birds, Florida wildlife, home, nature, photography, pond creatures, turtles

Just ducky…

I was contemplating where I might go for photos yesterday when that elusive Tricolor Heron got me out back with the camera.  From the kitchen window I saw him land on my side of the lake, just down the hill.  But of course he flew all the way across the lake as soon as I got myself out there with the camera.  But the light was nice as sunset approached, and the ducks were causing a ruckus out there.  They were feeling frisky I think, must be that time of year.  I could see something on the far bank across the lake also, but had to look through the camera lens to see that it was a turtle.  I could see movement too, as if he had a creature trapped and was about to have lunch.  When I saw the photos it turns out he was just waving his right front leg around.  Not the photo op I thought I was getting.  Even Merlin let me down by not being able to identify the pretty ducks that were swimming in a patch of perfect light out there.  None of the choices suggested seemed to be the right bird.  And then they all flew off in a group.  After having had six days off you wouldn’t think that I’d feel the need for such a quiet night, but I did, and it was nice.

1226fourducks1226littleblue21226turtle1226ducks1226ducks21226duck3

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