Bayport, photography, sky, sunrise, technology, unintended images, weather

Half-mast sunrise…

4-21halfmastsunriseI had a plan for Saturday morning.  I figured that there was time to go to Bayport for the sunrise, and then head back home and find the Sandhill crane family as they left the pond behind me and headed out on their day’s adventures.  And it was going well, I thought, as I saw the color beginning to develop in the sky.  I don’t always notice the flag when I’m at Bayport, I have already tried, and failed, to get the flag to be flowing in the breeze with the colors of the sunrise behind it.  I guess I need to be taller.  But this day it struck me that the flag was at half-mast, and I realized it was in honor of Barbara Bush.  A well-earned sign of respect I thought.

The colors continued to develop, but the overall gray hue at the horizon continued also.  The 600mm lens saw this…4-21sunriseatbayport4-21sunriseatbayport34-21sunriseatbayport2As it got lighter I turned away from the sunrise and looked to the west, looking for otters playing, or the Great Blue Heron who frequently appears just as the sun rises.  I found neither, but I did find a magnificent cloud that looked like a very colorful tornado.  I knew that it was possible to take a vertical panoramic photo with the iPhone, but I hadn’t found a suitable subject before.  IMG_3016 2.jpgIf I hadn’t stopped for coffee and a muffin I might have caught the crane family heading out, but not this day.  Still, a good start to the day…

birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, photography, pond creatures, unintended images

Frog legs anyone?

It’s always amazing what you notice when you sit out back for a while with your camera.   Yesterday I noticed this very handsome fella out there, and Merlin said it was a juvenile Pied-billed Grebe.  There were at least three of them actually, small, a duck that dives totally underwater to  hunt for food.4-16pied-billedgrebeThat photo is from yesterday, and this next photo is from today…4-17pied-billedgrebeI’m sure he felt as if he’d won the lottery with that bullfrog, and just as in life, his fellow juvenile Pied-billed Grebes were bearing down on him for a piece of the action.  He was able to get away, not so for the frog.  Grebe-1, frog-0.

The Sandhill cranes kept the babies at the lake today, although they did seem to explore the yard of the house across the street.  I expect them to be gone all day tomorrow, and to return later on in the afternoon.  I’m sure I won’t be able to resist watching, and for once I’d be happy to be wrong.4-17momandchickHaving read about the hunting skills of the Tri-color Heron I was surprised that this one was allowed to be in the same general area as the new family.  I did see one of the adult crane lunging down into the grass pursuing something.  A friend had said to watch out for snakes getting the babies, and that’s exactly what came to mind when I saw him chasing something.  Then when it was time to head to the nest Dad (I think) flew over and cleared all the interlopers off the island, and he returned to the side and all four made their way home for the night.  4-17Tri-colorheron

birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, photography, unintended images

Out and about…

There we have it, proof that there are two eggs out there on the nest.  The other day we were under a tornado warning, with heavy rain and wind, and I worried about the Mama Sandhill crane out there on the nest, in the storm, and possibly being pelted by hail.  When it stopped for a minute and I saw sunshine I went out, thinking I’d get the dogs walked.  The break in the weather was momentary however, but long enough for me to notice that her mate was out there too, laying right there with her on the nest.  It warmed my heart.  Having someone to share the good times is wonderful, but having someone there to share the hard times is a blessing.


The Tri-Colored heron was also out there yesterday, and a Red-shouldered Hawk too.  I got lots of good photos of the hawk, I thought, until I went to upload them and realized that I didn’t have the SD card in the camera.  Rookie mistake.

Saw this in the parking lot at work and had to chuckle.  Got to love an old fart with a sense of humor.3-18randomfeature.jpgMaybe he is related to this guy.3-29marine

I thought of this first!  I proposed this to Charley in the last five or so years that we had our dental office.  Extractions were a particular talent of his, and dental supplies had become outrageously expensive, so I thought it a low overhead service that was needed in our office area.  I thought it was brilliant.  Evidently someone else did too.  Looks like a franchise too, sigh…3-18justpullit.jpgI’ll bet this guy is a charmer…backoff

And then there is Siri.  Upon leaving Busch Gardens I was looking for parking lot D, but the only signs I saw were for parking lots, A,B,C,E, and F.  So I said, “Hey Siri, where did I leave my car.”  I started walking before I thought to take a screen shot.3-28sirisays

I’m sure your phones also give you a message when you get to where you are going, suggesting the route to take and how long the trip home will take.  Well, for a while there every time I got into the car she told me how far it was to the nearest car wash.  I wish I had taken a screen shot of it because I was almost getting annoyed with her.  And I still haven’t taken the hint and washed the car.  But just the other day I asked her something, I don’t remember what it was that I had asked her, but once I got my answer I said ‘thank you’.  And she replied…3-29aimtoplease

nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise, technology, unintended images

Short cuts…

Headed out for the sunrise this morning, but stuck closer to home and went to the Hammond’s Creek Bridge.  I was planning to take some HDR photos of the sunrise itself, but the more I looked the more I wondered about the houses that I have ignored as photo fodder when I’ve been there before.  The HDR technique is to take three photos, one slightly under exposed, one correctly exposed, and one slightly over exposed.  These will be merged into one photo, and, if I understand it correctly, allows for more color (High Dynamic Range) in the photo.  Because three photos are being merged you need to use a tripod to hold the camera still when you are taking the pictures.  The real challenge is in setting the camera to shoot the three photos automatically, and yes, my basic Canon T6 allows me to do just that.  And setting it to use the 2 second delay so that you don’t move the camera by manually taking the shot.  You can merge the photos manually also, but I’ve been using the Easy HDR program that I recently got.  I need to learn to use more of the editing features within the program, but I’ve been so tickled by the photos straight out of the program that I’ve stuck with them.  I always have been a fan of short cuts.  I thought that the houses in the feature photo in particular took to the HDR rather well, but we also have these…Hammondsdramaticstrongbaitshopinterior3There is also a preset for black and white, which I had never tried, EVER, until I tried this…baitshopblackandwhiteSo then I tried this…HammondsblackandwhiteI like the black and white a lot.  I should have tried it sooner, just for the fun of it.  And, least you think I forgot all about the sunrise all together, we have our two-footed heron friend and the sunrise.  I’m a little worried about our one-footed friend,  I’ll have to come here for a sunset soon since there are usually fishermen around, and I can ask them about Fred.  Photographers and fishermen, my favorite people these days…3-24heronsunriseHDR

adventure, backyard visitors, birds, chickens, Cranes, Florida wildlife, nature, nesting, photography, unintended images


I don’t know who was more surprised, me or the chickens.  I had gone out the back door with the 600mm lens on my camera intending to take a couple of photos of the cranes  who have nested out there.  I didn’t expect to see my neighbor’s chickens out there, and clearly they weren’t expecting me either.  When I attempted to put the camera on the tripod I realized I’d brought out the wrong tripod, so for the heck of it I tried a couple of hand held shots of the chickens.   The camera was zoomed all the way out, and since those shots seemed clear enough I attempted to aim out at the cranes, and that’s when I couldn’t hold it steady.  It was impossible.3-22chicken23-22chicken1

I headed out the door again, with the correct tripod this time, and saw what I knew from photographs to be Swallow-tail Kites zooming around out there.  I hadn’t seen them on the lake before so I concentrated on them as they finally landed in a tree across the way. First one landed, and then her mate landed also.  I cropped these photos past where they should have been for clarity sake, but I wanted to see what was actually happening out there.  I believe that the second one to land brought a lizard to the other one.  The recipient stayed and posed in the tree for a bit, but the other one was off again immediately.  And then they both were gone.  I’m so glad I was ready with the camera since I don’t know if I expect to see them out there again.  3-22swallowtail43-22swallowtail53-22swallowtail23-22swallowtail3Maybe if you are taking a photograph of a still life scene you have the luxury of composing your photo.  It seems I’m always the last one to know what I’ll wind up shooting on any given day, but I’m not complaining.


photography, rain, unintended images, weather

Rainy morning photo ops…

The sunrise is later now, so that leaves more time to cruise around drinking coffee from my Starbucks to go cup and looking for potential photos to take.  Even when it’s drizzling rain, but only a light sprinkle, so I stuck with it.  And it’s a good thing I did because before the sun came up the the rain came down for real.  And that was it.  It was Steak n Shake that had caught my eye, with the black and white stripes and red accents.  I noticed it the other day and thought I’d like to take a picture.  Once I did that I saw potential everywhere.  3-12steakandshaketacobell2PaneramcdonaaldsDuncandonuts2tacobellDuncandonutstwisty treatSometimes you have to just take what you can get and be happy that you got anything at all…