backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, photography

He’s a ham…

Or perhaps it’s a she.  But at any rate it wasn’t the first time that I saw the Tri-color Heron on my side of the pond today, but when I first noticed him I didn’t leap into action grabbing my tripod out of the car, and changing the lens on the camera.  It was the second time I noticed him that I gave in to the urge to go out with the camera.  Usually once I get out there he flies to the other side of the pond, but today he took pity on me and stuck around, posing like a pro.  Even the sun cooperated and came out after the rain earlier.  But I didn’t bargain on the wind, which didn’t seem to bother him, but it did make it even harder to keep the lens still.  I thought the weather would keep me from getting out at all today so this was a treat.  I really enjoy watching that little heron.  He is always so busy when he is out there, he is hard to resist.

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connections, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, photography, sunset

How it started…

The day started with me finding an iPhone photo from Friday night.  Taken before I started bar hopping for night time photos.  I like this sunset picture, from Jenkin’s Creek.

Then I noticed one Sandhill crane, and, as usual, immediately thought that the other one was ‘on the nest’.  As is frequently the case, I was wrong, the other one was just down the hill wading.

3-11sandhill23-11Sandhill1Then I met up with my new friends, and we went to eat at the Upper Deck, the restaurant I had posted a photo of the night before.  Except the night before I was across the water, looking at the deck over-looking the water, and today I looked at the view from that very deck.


After eating we went to the nearby Linda Pederson park, and climbed the observation tower where we were treated to a nice view of manatees, including mothers and babies.


Then there was the botanical garden, where lizards were more plentiful than flowers or butterflies…



Things get a little fuzzy after that.  I know there were two pitchers of bullfrogs, I remember that, and there were only two of us drinking, but that’s about it…





learning, on closer examination, photography, technology, unintended images

Hernando Hideaway…

I know.  I have this night photography thing on the brain.  I’m going to stop now, she said optimistically, and actually learn to use the program.  There is more that you can do besides just looking at the presets and choosing the one you like the best.

I stayed out after the sunset last night to go find the local bars to see if they would make good HDR photos.  A lot of them were disappointing because they had cars pulled all the way up the front doors, but not all of them.  And I came home with a fat lip!  But that happened in the garage when I grabbed the camera by the strap and tried to put it over my head.  The only disaster of the night, which ended at 8 PM because I am just that much of a wild woman.  But my fellow Hernando Countians apparently are pretty wild and crazy, because all the bars were hopping.  I didn’t know half of them were even there.


I took this last one at 5 AM this morning, and went back home because the lights were out at all the places I had expected to stop.  The front of this place was dull and gray, and the sign was completely obscured.  Last night, however, this is where I stopped for a salad with salmon on it, which was great.  Choosing to sit at the outdoor bar wasn’t so smart though.  There was the smoking, and the band, who made up for in volume what they lacked in talent.  Just my opinion.  But I was amazed at the image that Easy HDR made out of the three bracketed shots I took, in resurrecting a photo out of what I was seeing.  I wonder how it does that?  And if they’ll trim the shrubbery if I ask them to…thecove2

fun, learning, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, special effects, sunrise, sunset, technology

Night photo walk…

I went out for the sunrise this morning, but I was still under the influence of the night photo walk that I did last night.  I was having such a good time last night that it was a shame to cut it short, but the guilt over leaving the dogs too long got to me.  Plus I had to go home and download a new program, Easy HDR, in order to process the photos in HDR (High Dynamic Range) as I had seen them on the photo group’s Facebook page.  Well, maybe I didn’t have to, but using that program was going to be a whole lot easier than trying to figure it out by myself in Lightroom.  So this morning instead of being happy to see the sun come up, I was lamenting the end of the darkness because I wanted to get a photo of the bait shop adjacent to the Hammond Creek bridge to use as an HDR photo.  And I couldn’t resist the Great Blue Heron (two-footed again), as he walked on top of the wall but looked like he was walking on the sunrise itself.

baitshackhdr.jpgAnd more from the walk in Tarpon Springs last night.  I swore I wouldn’t use the presets in the program, but it’s hard to resist instant gratification …

getaguru2storefrongnightstrongIMG_6742_3_4_easyHDR-dramatic-dark23-8sunsetboatsredboatHellasAnd just so you know, the guys from the group marched over and asked the PTB at Hella’s to turn on the lights on the soldier out front.  And they did!

coping, death, dogs, life goes on, loneliness, on closer examination, photography

Spinning my wheels…

For a very long time after Charley died I didn’t walk the dogs at all.  I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to control them if they got upset over anything, and I thought that the net result would be that I would wind up getting hurt.  Neither dog is aggressive so I didn’t fear for anyone else, I just wondered what I’d do if I fell and broke my arm.  But as time has gone on I don’t think as much in terms of the alone-ness, I suppose it’s not the novelty it once was.  So I walk them now, once or twice a day, and I take for granted that they will behave.  We pass this yard on our route every day, and even after I posted a picture of the azaleas I have continued to take pictures because it amazes me every time I pass by.  This one (above) was taken last Friday and I think they were just about at their peak.  Now I see patches of only green where once the light pink flowers were.  I hate to see them go for another year, a reminder of time passing.


Zoe tried to bring this home with her on our walk this morning…


Taking off the closet doors so Ozzie could get under the desk more easily hasn’t done a thing for my leg room…

3-8bayport3-8libraryWhen I’m out with the camera I usually take a few shots with my iPhone also, but I don’t always remember to look at them.  Sometimes they are the best shots of all.


I was completely out of salt the other day, and it hit me that buying salt is one of those milestones that you could measure time by.  How many boxes of salt does a person buy in a lifetime?  I can’t remember the last time I bought some, I’m pretty sure I moved the same box of salt with me a few times.  Thinking about that brought to mind something a friend once told Charley.   He said, “Someday you’ll have a dog that outlives you.”  That thought stopped me in my tracks, even though I didn’t think for a minute that Zoe would be that dog.  For that reason I know that these are my last two dogs, and I’m assuming that I will outlive them.  But is this my last box of salt?



finding my way, learning, perseverance, photography, sunset

Library sunset…

Tuesday night was the last of the sunset viewing from the roof of the Clearwater library.  Come Sunday we will leap ahead an hour, which makes the sunset too late for library viewing.  But when we roll the clock back this fall we’ll be enjoying this view of the sunset again.  I’d like to say that my confidence is growing as I go to these photo shoots with this group, but the reality is that the more of these photo shoots I go to the more I realize how little I know about the art of photography.  If patience is a virtue then my fellow photographers are very virtuous, because they certainly are patient with beginners like me.  And I thank them.librarysunset8librarysunset6librarysunset5librarysunset4librarysunset3librarysunset2librarysunset