birds, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, photography, pond creatures, simple things, Tricolored heron

Where’s Waldo…

I was hoping to see the Tri-colored Heron again, and I got my wish on Tuesday.  I saw him on the post, and brought my camera outside just in time to see him fly to the island in the middle of the lake.  The grasses out there are tall enough that he disappeared completely, and then you’d see his head pop up like a periscope.  I have read that they are a wading bird, and that thought sent off alarm bells in my head.  These pictures are taken right where the Sandhill Cranes nested last December.  I have to wonder if there is dry land enough out there for another nest this year.  I hope so.

So there I was, camera at the ready, and all I could see of him was his head, and I couldn’t see that all the time either.  But every few minutes he would pop up and fly a short distance and disappear again.  Evidently he didn’t want to make this easy for me.  He is so pretty though.  I decided that he really is a new comer, I couldn’t possibly have not noticed him if he’d been out there before.  How nice of him to join us.

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natural wonders, photography, Pine Island, sky, sunset

Third time’s a charm…

It was the third time I had gone out to take pictures that day.  Pine Island again, because the clouds at home were lit up so nicely an hour before sunset that I just couldn’t stay home.  It would have been a sin not to go out and enjoy what Mother Nature had provided.  No people and no stories that day, and no breeze.  There is always a nice breeze at Pine Island, I thought.  But with no breeze we also had no-see-ums, so all I’ve got are a few pictures of a gorgeous sunset, and I was outta there!

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Florida landmarks, friends, fun, photography, sky, sunset

Rooftop sunset…

If you find yourself in Clearwater on a Tuesday evening from November to March, you might choose to watch the sunset from the rooftop of the main branch of the Clearwater library.  I thought that perhaps the photo group had arranged a special photo opportunity, but no, anyone can enjoy the view.  But only on a Tuesday, after daylight savings time ends.

I confess to being disappointed initially.  You could see that the sun would actually set behind some buildings, and there wasn’t much opportunity to move around enough to give a different perspective on the sunset.  That view also includes Clearwater beach, but not a beach view I had imagined.  So that view was pretty much it.  Except for a view of the Scientology headquarters just a few blocks away.  It was pretty all lit up and I took a picture before anyone told me what the building actually was.  But the sunset itself salvaged the night by getting prettier and prettier.  We were supposed to be off the roof by 6 PM, and the sky was absolutely on fire right about then, but we dutifully left the rooftop and headed out for a nice dinner and photo chat nearby.  I had been longing to find some new sunset viewing spots, and this fit the bill nicely, with new friends to boot!

coping, finding my way, healing, life goes on, loneliness, memories, moments, photography, sky, sunrise, the big picture

Finding my way…

I was sitting in the dark and quiet, minding my own business, when a photo of the Super Moon came across my Facebook page.  It triggered a memory of the very first time I went to Hammond’s Creek Bridge for a sunrise, and the moon was also present in my sunrise shot that day.  I thought it really made the shot.  That thought sent me leaping out of the recliner to hurry and get dressed and get to the bridge in case the Super Moon would be in the sunrise shot again.  I only had a half hour until sunrise…

As I drove I could see the moon directly in front of me, when the fog thinned enough to see it at all, and already I knew it wasn’t going to be in the sunrise photo, but I kept going.  As has happened quite a few times already, the reflection of the sunrise was as pretty as the actual sunrise, so all was not lost.  It was worth the hurried trip out of the house.  The moon is in this shot, but you have to look for it.

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I’ve been a little melancholy that I do everything by myself these days, and on the way home I imagined myself trying to get Charley to leap up and head out the door to go with me.  It would never have happened.  Charley used to do his full grooming routine, including ‘skunk piss’, before he would leave the house, including to head to the Y and work out on the machines.  I argued with him about that, because on the way home he would stop at my store when I was working, to shop or to just say hello, and he was always absolutely drenched in sweat, looking like a dirt ball.  Thankfully that was good skunk piss because he still aways smelled good.  Heaven forbid that he show up at the Y not looking his best, maybe it was because of the ‘exercise divas’, as his trainer friends called them.  But no, I shouldn’t lament that I have to head out the door alone to take pictures, because most likely if I didn’t head out when the thought struck I probably wouldn’t head out at all.

Besides, because of that I never know where I’ll be in the next five minutes, it’s a bit of an adventure.  As long as I keep finding my way home again it’ll be okay…

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birds, eagles, Florida wildlife, nature, photography

Eagles…

I missed an eagle photo shoot yesterday.  There are so many potential activities of this new group that I joined that it really is mind boggling, and somehow I had the day wrong.    I wanted to go to the eagle shoot because I’ve wanted to ‘shoot’ an eagle for a while now, especially with the new lens, and the shoot was right in my son’s neighborhood.  Well, his old neighborhood.  I had driven down the road that the shoot was on any number of times, so did that mean I had been driving past eagles and never saw them?  I wanted to find out.

Which is how I found myself heading down the road this morning to where I thought the shoot had been.  It turns out I don’t know my way around that area as well as I thought I did.  But, as luck would have it, after floundering for a bit I spotted two women with cameras and a tripod, and stopped to ask if they were taking pictures of eagles.  Happily they were, and I can honestly say that had they not been there I would never have found the spot, because I expected to walk into the woods to see them.  It was nice of them to allow me to join them, and they were a wealth of knowledge.  They have been watching the eagles for years, and they said that out of the five nests that they were aware of, Hurricane Irma had destroyed three of them.  Two are rebuilt now, but the third is not.  These are a new nesting pair, they said, because the last pair got electrocuted.  Turns out mating and talons and electric wires don’t mix.  I find that sad of course, and I’m not sure I’ll leave that in my post.  Sad but true.

They think that this pair has just laid eggs in the last day or so because they were both out and about all day the day before.  But today we saw the changing of the guard, they are taking turns staying on the nest.  This will be interesting…

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boats, fun, humor, life goes on, memories, moments, photography, sunset

Christmas Boat Parades…

In most circumstances a sunset photo is the grand finale of a photo shoot, but in this instance it was only the beginning.  I’ve been hearing announcements of boat parades being held in neighboring towns this week, and truth be told, I know they used to do them in Maryland also.  Now I wonder why I never went to one?  But I saw that members of the new photo group were going to the Dunedin boat parade on Saturday night, and I thought it was a good opportunity to join them.  And it’s a good thing I did because it took some finagling to get my camera set up to account for the lights, my lack of tripod, and the movement of the boats, so kudos and thanks to Kate for all her help.

There were lots of boats, large and small, and they paraded right in front of us for judging.  I was tickled by the crowd who cheered for them all no matter how simple or elaborate the decorations.  They even cheered for a guy on a paddle board with his dog, even though he wasn’t part of the parade.  And the police boat when it docked at it’s spot in the marina.  This is the exact area where we spent my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding weekend almost 20 years ago.  I could never have imagined where life would take me all these years later…

 

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