adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, following the rules, friends, fun, life goes on, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Birds of The B…

Great Blue Herons seem to be aware of their regal looks and they like to strike a pose on purpose, or maybe they just can’t help it.05-21-20messyGBH2

I like it when they look messy and the colors of their feathers show more.  This guy seemed to be drying his feathers as we passed by.  When we got to the end of the trail we did an about face and when we got to him again he was still standing there.05-21-20messyGBH305-21-20messyGBH

Not long ago a photographer posted pictures of a flock of 100 Roseate Spoonbills landing at one of the ponds here at the B, so of course I hoped they were still hanging around.  They weren’t, but we did see them one at a time, or maybe it was the same one over again.  And when he suddenly took off and flew the three of us all missed the shot.  But the shots we miss are why we go back.05-21-20spoonbill105-21-20spoonbill205-21-20spooniesleep

Would you want to take a nap standing one-legged in an alligator infested waterway?  I wouldn’t either, but this Spoonie seemed to think that this was a perfect spot for a siesta.  After hiking at least 6 miles, and in the hot sun at least half of the time, we were ready for a siesta too.

'scene' along the way, adventure, Circle B Bar Reserve, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Odd couples…

I frequently take note of great photos I see posted on line, and then try to imitate them. The latest one was a close up photo of an alligator swimming with a dragonfly perched on his eye. But the colors blended and at first I didn’t notice the dragonfly, but there was a reflection in the water and in the reflection that dragonfly looked like it was in a mirror. Such a surprising photo, and I assumed it would be a rarity, but the dragonflies and alligators seemed to go together well at ‘The B’ yesterday.  They were buzzing around the alligators as they swam, and landing with impunity.  Spunky little devils.  I found that surprising.05-21-20alligatr-dragonfly

Since I recently lamented over only seeing the black dragonflies at my lake at home I was happy to see a variety of colors at The B.  Well, green and blue at least.05-21-20greendragnfly05-21-20bluedragnfly2

Babies are so cute aren’t they.  But gators?  Not so much.05-21-20gatorbabesWe saw eggs, and then debated whether they were alligator eggs or turtle eggs.  We suspect that raccoons may have lunched on these eggs so it really doesn’t matter. 05-21-20eggs

Can you see the young alligator leaving a trail in the algae?05-21-20gatortrail05-21-20gator

Gators, just a little prehistoric looking, and fun to see, from a distance…

 

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Speed bumps…

I’ve seen lots of pictures like my feature photo lately, enormous alligators crossing the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve, but being there in person was a first for me.  If you had asked me ahead of time I would have said that I had no desire to be 20 feet away from one of these creatures.  I was in the minority however, most people seemed very excited to see these alligators.  And I have many more pictures of them because they were everywhere.  And yes, it really was impressive to see him, especially since he seemed not at all interested in the few of us who respectfully waited for him to pass.

But this particular alligator may have had an agenda, one besides rinsing off the algae that was clinging to him.  The water on one side of the trail was low, and completely covered in that thick green algae.   He crossed to the blue waters of the big lake on the other side of the trail.  In the picture below you can see the trail of green that he left behind him as he joined a friend in the lake.  We held our breath a little, not knowing if we were going to witness a power struggle between the two of them.  And there was a struggle of sorts.  Was one playfully holding the other underwater just for the fun of it, or was this what passes for romance in alligator circles?  They parted company and each went on his or her own way, peacefully.  And so did we.

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a second look, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, lizards, losing it, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Marching ants…

Excuse me for using a Photoshop/Lightroom term simply to amuse myself.  I didn’t notice the ants on that flower bud, my friend did.  But I did like how clearly the ants showed up in the viewer of my camera once I did see them.  I have no clue what they were doing, but they sure looked busy.

It poured on Tuesday morning, and the thought of rain drops on the flowers at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens was what got me out the door as soon as the sun came out.  Raindrops, flowers, butterflies, and lizards were everywhere, perfect fodder for a couple of photographers who were getting antsy (pun intended) being stuck at home.

05-19-20zebra05-19-20yellowflower05-19-20reddrops05-19-20passionflower05-19-20lizard05-19-20bee

So I googled ants and bromeliads and you are going to have to trust me that the ants provide nutrients for the plants.  Or google it.  If you do then maybe you can explain it to me because it was way over my head…

'scene' along the way, a second look, Just do it, losing it, moon, natural wonders, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, Rise and shine, sky, sunrise

Moonlight…

It was the moon that got me out bright and early on Sunday morning.  Not a full moon, or a blue moon, or a blood moon, just an ordinary crescent moon.  It was shining so clearly in the dark sky at 4 AM, and I thought of all the times I got up to let the dogs out and spotted a nice moon in a clear sky and got out my tripod and camera to try to take pictures, but they hardly ever turned out.  So I resisted the urge.  But it was still shining out there at 6 AM, and the sky was still just as clear, so off I went.  I’m glad I got a picture of the moon because a pretty sunrise to go with it might have been nice, but that didn’t happen.  It just got light out with no fan fare whatsoever.

And I must be feeling like a rebel because I’m breaking the rules by posting this picture this morning.  Our camera club leader, Jeff, says that he ‘isn’t good enough’ to take a picture that doesn’t need to be cropped.  I wonder if he has any idea how seriously I take his comments, taking them to heart like they are written in stone, when he may have just tossed off a comment with hardly any thought.  At any rate I force myself to crop my photos and yes, I can see that it does make it a better photo.  Not this photo though.  I can’t crop it without losing the moon, and the moon was the entire reason I was standing on the bridge at 6:15 AM waiting for something more to happen.  Or I might crop it and post the cropped version and erase half of what I wrote here.  Or I could go back to bed…05-17-20sunrisemoon05-17-20sunrisemooncropped

I’m not such a rebel after all…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, finding my way, Florida wildlife, following the rules, life goes on, nature, nesting, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, unintended consequences

Passing time…

I visited the rookery yesterday and found nest after nest of what appeared to be nearly full grown wood storks, mostly standing at attention.  Waiting for what I wonder, mom to feed them?  I love the expression on the face of the younger one in the feature photo,  I think they are still my favorite babies.   I think this egret mother takes her life in her hands when she shows up to feed her babies.   They tackle her, it doesn’t look pleasant, for mom at least.05-16-20egrets

The cattle egret babies are growing too.  Without an adult on the nest with them it took me a minute to realize which nest was theirs.  05-16-20cattleegretbabies2

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A friend told me that the wood storks have taken over this rookery, it wasn’t always this way.  I lived in the area for 10 years before I ever knew that it was there, and now I have to wonder what happens at the end of the season.  I’ve been headed north by this time the last two years in a row, so I guess I flew the coop before they did.  Do they all just fly off one day?  I’ve stopped out of curiosity when it isn’t breeding season and there wasn’t a single bird around at all.  It would be fun to see all those big babies start flapping their wings and taking off, but so far I haven’t seen any practicing.  I’m just as bad.  I feel like flapping my wings and taking off too, but can’t seem to make a plan.

My old friend says that the secret to life is to never make a plan, then everything is always going according to plan.  I wonder how his life might have changed if he had  had a plan.  And my life looks nothing like I ever thought it might despite all the plans I made for myself over the years.  I feel like I should say something profound right about now, but I haven’t got a clue.  Just letting the days pass…

05-16-20twostorks05-16-20woodstorkbaby