'scene' along the way, a second look, Bayport, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, moments, perseverance, photography, sky, sunrise, Up and at 'em

I still love Bayport…

I went back to Bayport again already, and I had a fun time shooting. There was enough of a pretty sunrise to make me happy, plus a great blue heron dropped in on the fishing pier, probably looking for treats from the fishermen. When I was heading here frequently for the sunrise I came to expect a great blue to show up before I left. We may not have been able to go to the park for several years, but the great blue was probably there every day, enjoying himself without us. I love to see the boats leaving from the boat dock, creating photo ops for me. Yes, a fun day. But then I got home and looked at my photos and they all looked too dark, I almost didn’t even attempt to edit them. I’m glad I didn’t give up because when they were merged into HDR they looked a lot better.

There was another unexpected sight that made me smile that morning. One last boat that was heading out for the day with a dog onboard, and boy did he look as if he was going to have a great time. Lucky dog!

'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, simple things, sunrise, Up and at 'em

A good day…

Sunrise at the mountains? No, but I do love the clouds that could convince me that there’s a mountain range in the distance. And that’s as much color as there was this morning. These are the sunrises that remind me to stick close to home when it comes to sunrise and sunset photo ops. I’m glad I didn’t drive an hour this morning, or maybe it was a prettier sunrise further south. And when I do choose to drive then make a plan to meet friends there so it’ll be fun one way or another.

But that wasn’t my only trip out this morning. A visit to the Chrysler dealer for an oil change put me close enough to the eagle nest that I couldn’t resist looking for them again. And again the eagles were nowhere to be seen. But I was luckier when I headed to the fishing pier to see what I could see.

I believe that that’s a dragonfly on this little blue heron.

I was on the way to my car when I stopped to take the picture of the gull in the sun. But a fisherman came past and asked if I’d gotten a picture of the manatee that was hanging around the fishing pier. The answer to that was no, I had missed that completely. It was a gorgeous day, cool but windy, which made the water choppy and I had to wonder how anyone had noticed the manatee. She had a calf with her too, or so he said. I went back and barely caught her snout as she came up for air for just a second or two. But hey, I saw her, and managed to catch that snout in one of the 20 or so pictures that I took. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make a good day.

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That morning light…

All the dark clouds were discouraging, but my destination was the little pond a few minutes from my house so I didn’t let that stop me. And pulling over into the tall weeds at the side of the road gave me pause also. I had a tick on me after being there one morning, but I had chalked that up to a hike the day before, and the houses with their lights on looked pretty, so I got out and took a photo (or five). You wouldn’t know it by the feature photo, but it was dark as I took that first picture, and I heard rustling, but since I figured that ticks don’t make noises while stalking you I wasn’t too worried. And I was surprised when I saw the picture. After that those ducks seemed to follow me as I repositioned myself three different times while I tried to figure out just exactly where the sun was going to come up. I had to park on the opposite side of the pond as it turned out, and the homeowners on that side had apparently mowed the grass at the edge of the pond. A nice surprise. And a pretty sunrise.

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, bluebirds, Florida wildlife, home, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sunrise, Up and at 'em

The doldrums…

I had to check the meaning of the word doldrums, just in case.  It’s a period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression, according to Siri.  That pretty much describes me for the past couple of days.  For no particular reason beyond what we all are dealing with these last weeks.  And also for no particular reason I woke up this morning and surprised myself by getting out early for the sunrise.  It felt good.04-22-20bridgesunrise1

Then I stood in my driveway and spied on the bluebirds who have been zooming into and out of the bird house lately.  They haven’t been perching, and I haven’t seen them together, so are there eggs in the nest or are they feeding babies?  If they are then I can’t imagine when they were sitting on eggs since they both seemed to be out and about daily.  Or I lost track of time.  But I looked up the incubation period and it’s 12 to 14 days, and mom sits on the eggs and dad delivers dinner to her while incubating.  So that’s what I think is going on here.  And the surprise to read was that they commonly brood twice in a season.

I didn’t watch them for long because I was afraid that Dad was skittish about coming to feed Mom in the house because I was watching from the shelter of my open car door in the driveway.  In reality it was probably the maintenance crew with the mowers and edgers that were giving him second thoughts.04-22-20bluebirdantenna.jpg04-22-20bluebirdlightpost.jpg04-22-20bluebirddelivery.jpg04-22-20mamabluebird.jpg

In between bluebird visits I took the feature photo of the Northern Mockingbird who entertains me as I walk the park in the early evening.  They have an amazing variety of calls, which I’ve tried and failed to record on my phone.  You probably have them in your neighborhood since they are everywhere.

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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…



'scene' along the way, adventure, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunrise, Up and at 'em

Up close and personal…

My friends and I tried to get to Circle B Bar Reserve for the sunrise, but it was quite a long drive from home.  The above feature photo was as close as we got.  We wanted to be that early because our theory was that the wildlife is most active early in the morning.  Only it was pretty darned chilly, and that is something that will slow the wildlife down.  So we walked about 7 miles, went from a little too chilly to almost too warm, and yes we saw some wildlife.

I had hoped to see something unusual, something beyond all the usual birds that we see so frequently.  And this little raccoon filled the bill perfectly.1-5-20racoon11-5-20racoon21-5-20racoonsitupI was as close to the edge of the river bank as possible in order to get the angle I needed for the photos.  I was most afraid of dropping the camera into the water.  As I was shooting some other visitors came to us from the opposite direction and asked if I knew there was an alligator right there.  “Where?”, I asked.  “Right there!”. was the answer.1-5-20closegator


I did not expect to be so up close and personal with that gator.  If I had known he was there I would never have gotten the pictures.  There was a pier just a little way down the trail and I got a better picture of just how big that gator was.  And a good look at that smirk in his face.  This must be an example of all’s well that ends well.  And there are pictures to prove it!