bugs, facing facts, Florida wildlife, losing it, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Conspiracy theories…

I’ve suspected a conspiracy for quite a while now.  Since I bought my house in Florida in 2005.  We hadn’t owned the house long, and were just visiting every other month for the first three years, but we quickly were talked into getting a ‘bug guy’, because ‘if you don’t have termites now you will eventually.’  Not wanting to arrive at the house and find that it was occupied by hordes of bugs, we signed on.  But the thing of it is, we never saw a bug.  Not in my house, and not here in the mobile either.  Nope.  Not until the actual bug guy paid a visit, and then there would be a dead palmetto bug lying in a corner, or under a table, immediately after the bug guy put in an appearance.  I suspected he planted those things to ensure that you would keep paying the bill.

Lately I have been patting myself on the back for finally signing on with a bug guy for this place, prompted by my plan to head out of here for an extended trip to somewhere.  And on the two occasions that he has paid me a visit I have spotted a palmetto bug shortly after each visit.  The last time he was here I informed him of my suspicions and he pretended to be amused.  I told him that I find those darned bugs to be so creepy that I usually leave them lying in state for a couple of days, just to be sure it’s really dead before I go to scoop it up and it leaps into action.  I think he rolled his eyes,  but he assured me that if it’s lying on it’s back you can be sure it’s dead.  He LIED!

 

 

a second look, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, lizards, losing it, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Marching ants…

Excuse me for using a Photoshop/Lightroom term simply to amuse myself.  I didn’t notice the ants on that flower bud, my friend did.  But I did like how clearly the ants showed up in the viewer of my camera once I did see them.  I have no clue what they were doing, but they sure looked busy.

It poured on Tuesday morning, and the thought of rain drops on the flowers at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens was what got me out the door as soon as the sun came out.  Raindrops, flowers, butterflies, and lizards were everywhere, perfect fodder for a couple of photographers who were getting antsy (pun intended) being stuck at home.

05-19-20zebra05-19-20yellowflower05-19-20reddrops05-19-20passionflower05-19-20lizard05-19-20bee

So I googled ants and bromeliads and you are going to have to trust me that the ants provide nutrients for the plants.  Or google it.  If you do then maybe you can explain it to me because it was way over my head…

adventure, connections, friends, fun, losing it, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, silliness, simple things, unintended images

Oh go take a hike!

Perhaps the thing for me to do is to always hike with my friend Betty.  I’ve known her for a while now, and while I can’t say that every time she goes hiking she is the only one who comes away with ticks on herself, it happens frequently enough that that I can say that going with her will improve your odds immensely!

This hike was at McKethan Park in Brooksville.  The way that the live oaks sprawl makes me wish for my younger years because they would have made fabulous trees to climb.  Betty and Linda said they saw a face in that tree trunk so I took a picture, and now I see a lion.  A stone chimney is the only remnant of someone else’s story that took place in these woods, and those are etchings in the concrete of the sidewalk.  Nature asserting that she is only tolerating our intrusion.05-09-20takeahike05-09-20hike305-09-20hike205-09-20lion05-09-20fungus05-09-20macro05-09-20GBH05-09-20remnants05-09-20etchings

But there was an ulterior motive to this hike.  It was a chance for us to channel our inner children.  Even though between us we are pushing 200 years of living, those little girls came out to play.  I would love to know what a person finding these pictures in the distant future would think.  Possibly that we had come across a crime scene along the way?  No, it was just us ‘girls’, playing in the woods.

a second look, changing times, Florida wildlife, life goes on, live and learn, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, second chances, technology, unintended images

Fresh eyes…

Going through old photos in the computer is a little more complicated than just finding a box of old photos and looking through it.  If you come upon one that you like, as I did with the feature photo, but you get interrupted, then you decide you want to find more photos from that same day, it’s a bit frustrating.  And, according to the head of our photo group, one of the reasons for using Lightroom is because your original photos are preserved and you can get to them easily.  But I must have missed that class.  Or, more likely, it was over my head at the time.  When all this social distancing is behind us I plan on getting all this figured out, with help from a friend.

When I did eventually find the rest of the photos from that evening in Tarpon Springs I found I had a lot of pictures, but they were all of the same view.  I still do that.  If I’m there with the camera then I keep taking pictures, because that next one I take might just be the best one of all.  In reality they are all pretty much identical.

But I am consistent.  I would take these pictures I found from the botanical garden again today if they presented themselves.  I did just take pictures of the buds on this cactus recently, but I like this old picture better.04-19-cactusfloer04-19-20lizardsign

I also find that I make assumptions.  On this trip to Linda Pederson Park I saw manatees, lots of them.  Not only from the observation tower, but you could also see them as you stood along the edge of the inlet.  On later visits it was disappointing to discover that that’s not always the case at all. 04-19-20manatees2.jpg

It’s the reflections in the water that keeps you from seeing the manatees as they swim past you just a few yards away as you stand on the bank.  When I took these pictures two years ago I must have passed over them because I couldn’t see the manatees clearly.  Now I see the reflections in the water itself and in revisiting them these were my favorite shots from that day. 04-19-20manatees.jpg04-19-20manatees3.jpg

Funny how that works isn’t it?  What we failed to appreciate in the past becomes the thing that pleases us most when we look back with fresh eyes…

a second look, bugs, dragonflies, home, nature, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, Rise and shine, simple things, sky, unintended images, Up and at 'em

Leftovers

I as able to go to the rookery much earlier in the day than usual on Sunday because it was overcast so I wouldn’t be shooting into the sun.  Normally I have to wait until after noon so the sun is behind me and lighting up the views of the birds nesting.  And the pictures of the birds that I took that day were the ones I paid attention to.  But I made another stop that day.  I stopped at the lake in my park to look for dragonflies again, and again I found only the black ones there.  It was disappointing, and it was made worse by that same overcast sky that had the water also looking gray and dull.  But when I found myself wide awake at 3 AM this morning I got up and made a pot of coffee and looked at the rest of the photos, and found a few surprises.

These irises caught my eye because they were the brightest thing out there that day.  There were only a couple of stalks of them and they were being blown around, the petals folding over each other.  04-16-20iris2

As I walked to set my tripod up at the edge of the lake I realized that I had company.  This Great Blue Heron was standing like a statue so I took a few pictures of him, and even though I had looked at those pictures before I hadn’t noticed the dragonfly photo bomb until this morning.04-16-20greatblue.jpg

And, speaking of photobombs, I also noticed this. 04-16-20photobomb2.jpg

I have no idea why the water looks the way it does in this picture, but I like it.04-16-20dragonflywater.jpg

I learned that the one thing that you can count on concerning trying to photograph dragonflies is the they always return to the same resting place.  So if you are patient and focus on that spot your subject will always return, which explains why I got a zillion of exactly this same shot04-16-20dragonfly.jpg

But I’ve come to not be happy with just dragonfly pictures, now I want their faces. 04-16-20faces.jpg

What I said to myself as I put the coffee on this morning was that I’d be able to go out for the sunrise.  I’d be ready to go early enough.  Only it’s raining.  Now what…

 

 

backyard visitors, birds, bluebirds, fun, go with the flow, live and learn, moments, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, nesting, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended images

Surprise…

I think Dad forgot that Mom was in the birdhouse, because I wasn’t the only one surprised when she suddenly launched herself out the door and off to who knows where.    My view through the lens was this one, and the feature photo is the next one.  Startled him right off his feet, and I didn’t see it until I looked at the pictures in the computer.03-25-20bluebirdsagain They got me excited yesterday.  I happened to look out the window and Dad was on the drain spout with a nice little worm in his mouth.  I immediately got excited that they were feeding babies, or at least he was feeding Mom while she was on some pretty blue eggs.  But off she flew, and he gulped down his catch, and I was left scratching my head.

Mom was back and forth the rest of the day, but still bringing nesting materials.  She did stop to pose for me though.03-26-20bluebirdlooks4.jpg03-26-20bluebirdlooks3.jpg03-26-20bluebirdlooks.jpg03-26-20bluebirdlooks2.jpg03-26-20bluebirdlooks5.jpgDad’s contribution to all this was to sit on my TV antenna and serenade all of us while Mom was busy.  All day.  All day busy for her, all day as the singing supervisor for him.  I guess it works for them…03-26-20bluebirddad.jpg03-26-20bluebirddad2.jpg03-26-20bluebirddadcamera.jpg

And this is my new normal.  Considering social isolation and the impending possibility of a new little bluebird family right on my doorstep, so to speak.  Big heavy lens and big heavy tripod, in the living room, at the ready…