I was cooking breakfast this morning when I glanced out the sliding glass door and spotted a hawk on the fence. He was spreading his wings much like I see birds doing when I assume they are drying their feathers. But in the midst of the tropical storm we are having any attempt to shake off the water was hopeless. Maybe he was just enjoying a shower.
This was a day I had written off as having no chance to go out to shoot at all. And I didn’t, I stayed in to shoot. He stayed put on the fence for longer than I might have expected, and when he took off it was down into the neighbor’s yard behind me. I hope he caught his own breakfast. I ate mine once he disappeared. It’s still raining hard, but the wind has let up a bit. Tropical Storm Nicole seems to have spared us.
I’m killing time waiting for the bike shop to open. I looked forward to the photo ops we had in mind for yesterday, but they fell apart right from get-go. I’m pretty sure that operator error was what caused the bike chain to come off the electric trike. Don’t get me wrong, our trip to the Coastal Anclote Trail wasn’t a total waste since I was able to ride using the electric motor, but it’s not as much fun when you aren’t pedaling. I’ve looked at fixes online, but ‘keyway’ and ‘set screw’ are totally foreign words to me so I’ll take it to the pros to fix today. Of course I had the new camera with me, and I had in mind to use the lens that came with it. I’m stubborn like that. At any rate the eagles weren’t hanging around the nest, or what’s left of it. They will have some home improvements to do before they will be ready to raise a new family this year. But we did spot some wildlife as we rode.
That vulture wasn’t the only wildlife we saw. The feature photo is the gopher tortoise that was crossing the trail ahead of us. I thought he gave me a tiny little smile for his photo before we moved on. We had gone far enough that I am seriously doubtful that it was the same tortoise who caught up with us passed me on the left, and then made a reckless right turn to cross just in front of me and head off the right side of the trail. I barely got my camera up in time to get his photo. I have no idea what got him moving so fast, but I’m glad I didn’t hit him.
Our day was supposed to include a trip to the little botanical garden in Spring Hill before we headed home, but after a nice, air-conditioned, lunch we decided not to brave the heat anymore, and that was that. Not at all the photos I hoped to have at the end of the day, but that’s how it goes sometimes…
There is an upside to the late sunsets in early summer in Florida. Usually I’d rather have an early sunset so I can be home in time to relax and check my photos. But on this day when we had a meeting of our photography club we could catch the sunset on the way home. Plus this was the first time all day that it felt good to be outside. Actually the first time in many days that it was nice to be outside. And our fearless leader suggested a new-to-us spot to watch the sunset happen. What a find! Thanks Jeff!
It wasn’t the right setting to try the photography technique we had intended to use. Our photo club guru, Jeff, says that You Tube how-to videos can be made by any Tom, Dick, or Harry so watch out. But in this case I think it was more the two people on the receiving end of the information who missed the boat. Further practice is needed.
The feature photo was taken with a new lens I bought, and I wasn’t attempting any particular settings when I took it. Which is evidence that the new lens bears no responsibility for the lack of desired results. Nope, blame operator error, as usual. But with Lightroom all was not lost, which is a good thing since it’s been too hot to venture out for photos in the daytime lately. Venturing out to check out the pool wouldn’t be a bad idea however. Just heaven forbid, no pictures please.
The feature photo, and only photo that I know about at this moment, is the uninvited company I found out on the lanai this morning. I have resisted becoming attached to this lanai after loving the one at my old house. There is no lake here, no pond critter serenades, but the birds do sing so that’s something. But this morning I found myself at eye level to a creature that I quickly realized wasn’t a lizard. Lizards are so common, and mostly keep their distance, but this sticky-fingered creature was eyeing me up. As I was doing to him. So he retreated into the corner and then climbed to the very top of the corner brace. I thought that I would have to warn my friend when he came out because this little guy would be directly over his head if he sat in his usual chair. But Tampa Bay Lightning fans who have endured a disappointing play-off game and then a frustrating drive home aren’t given to getting up early the next morning. Maybe it’s the effort of growing a beard in solidarity with the players, a long-standing tradition I’m told. It’s currently in the whisk-broom stage, but I digress. It turned out that my fears as to the little guy’s jumping weren’t unwarranted, because he jumped onto the end table, landing with a thud, which is when I took his picture. Looks like he needed to wipe his chin after his breakfast. By this time the sun was baking me, the coffee was cold, and it was time to go in. I hope this guy finds his way back outside as stealthily as he found his way in, so I don’t have to check the corners of the roofline before I sit out here again…
I had been taking pictures at the rookery for quite a while. The nests look like piles of sticks, the ones you can actually see that is, and I was quite sure that with all the little heads bobbing up and down I’d probably gotten a few clear shots that I’d be happy with. So I was a little bored, but my friend hadn’t ever gotten himself out to see the new little chicks before so he was still having fun. But I was wandering a bit, and then I saw him. A wood stork out of the corner of my eye. He was flying in with a nice piece of nesting material. But instead of making a beeline for the nest he looped around just enough for me to get my camera up and start shooting. No plan, no attempt at composition, just start shooting and attempt to get him in the shot. Later on when I got the SD card into the computer I looked at the pictures in order, always looking for the best shot of the chicks. There were several hundred pictures, and I was deleting as I went, so I was getting tired of the whole process when I got to these pictures. Yes, I’d gotten the wood stork. Well, most of him at least. And I cracked myself up when I saw them. So here they are, all my shots of this big, awkward, funny-looking-but-somehow-charming, wood stork.
Just a few seconds out of a photographer’s day, but most of the time that’s all it takes to make your day.