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Bosom buddies…

I have had a visitor this last week, and I have loved every minute of it. Because I’m rather camera obsessed, my biggest objective was to get her out to use her new camera with it’s fabulous zoom capabilities. At home, home being NH, she said that there was a lack of color everywhere, including on the birds at her feeders who are in subdued winter colors. So she traveled all day the day before, and then we got her out to the race track the very next day. Racing back and forth, and up and down stairs, a busy first day of her visit. Lots of color and photo ops there.

Green grass was nice to see, she said.
I love the ‘They’re off’ sorts of shots.
We trekked to the farthest corner to attempt to photograph the horses as they were racing right toward us. Head on shots.
I had spotted this gorgeous gray horse as they passed by heading to the gate for this race. And there he (or she) is, crossing the finish line first! And with all four feet off the ground, something you can just cross your fingers to catch in your photos.
And here is the happy winner. It seems we see a female jockey win her race every time we are at the track. I wonder if it’s always the same talented gal.
I caught this jockey blessing himself before his race, which is a good idea I think.

I am a lucky person to have had a best friend who spans 7 decades of my life. We have been friends through the many wonderful times of our lives, and even more cherished is the fact that we have also been there for the most difficult days we could have imagined. This is just our latest visit, there will be more, next will probably be back in New England. Always where I call home…

a second look, adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Lookin’ up…

It’s hard not to take photos of the Great Blue Herons at Circle B, they are everywhere. And they preen themselves, or stand still and scan the water for lunch, right at the side of the trail. It’s like they don’t even notice us. But sometimes you have to look up to see them.

He seems very intent on something.
Majestic
I do wonder what this is all about.
Serious hunting.
Anhinga in the tree. Drying its feathers. You can’t miss them either.
Note the sharp, pointed beak, with which he spears his lunch.
But sometimes the anhinga you thought you saw turns out to be a cormorant. Note the hooked beak.
See what I mean.
Just don’t forget to look down.
'scene' along the way, Amazing artwork, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, Just do it, learning, live and learn, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, Tricolored heron

Technology…

Yesterday I had a comment or two about the ability of the new camera, a Canon r7 mirrorless camera, to take a huge number of shots in a burst. I usually have it set to do just that if I’m photographing birds, or wildlife at all really. Just in case something exciting happens. So let me explain that I feel hardly any responsibility for these photos I’m posting today. The feature photo is the first in a sequence of 10 photos that the camera took in less than a second. My contribution was to see the lighting and reflections, and I anticipated the Tri-color Heron would take off. I wanted the tracking in the camera to follow the bird, and it did. these are the 10 consecutive frames that it took. Makes me happy to think that my investment in this camera has turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would be. I used the r 100-400 lens, made for the mirrorless Canon cameras, and not expensive at all. Or as these things go.

The feature photo is the take off, this is frame #2.
Stretching his wings in frame #3.
Full wing extension in frame #4.
The dive for the prize in frame #5.
Putting the brakes on with his wings in #6,
#7, will he come up with lunch?
I thought/hoped he caught his prey, but apparently not. #8
Not this time, #9
And then he flew away, out of the nice light.

We spent the beginning of the walk looking into the morning sun. I didn’t bring my visor so it was tough. It was lucky that this sequence happened in such nice light. I will give lots of credit to luck, and that’s okay.

a second look, adventure, attention to detail, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, connections, eagles, egrets, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

The Gray Ghost…

There you have it, the inspiration for many a photographer to head to Circle B Bar Reserve. It’s a Northern Harrier, and I didn’t expect to see it at all. Or ever. We were on our last stretch of trail, which is wide open to see the sky in all directions, but our intention was to make it back to the car before the battery in the scooter gave out. But we forgot all about that when we saw this bird, circling in the distance. I zoomed my lens to the full 400mm, but in the bright light and at that distance I couldn’t see if it was in the frame or not. But I took the shots anyhow. I’ve seen photographers standing with their cameras on their tripods, just waiting, hoping to see him. If they did I’m sure they got better pictures than this, but for my circumstances I’ll take it.

This Pied-Billed Grebe was a first to see here also, but one visited my lake a few years ago.
You’ve heard of a bump on a log…
Heading out on this trail with all it’s roots may be what challenged the battery of the scooter, but now we know where to look for the eagles.
We never did figure out what this egret was so intent on, but we all passed by not 8 feet away and he didn’t even flinch.
Another photographer asked what bird this is, and I answered that it was a Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Then she turned around and proved me right.

It was a fun day, but I crashed when I got home and sat down. It wasn’t a nap, I was done for the day. Now to check out some more of the 1334 pictures from yesterday. I was shooting in the fastest burst mode of the new camera, which is great if the bird takes off or something. But when they are still you just have the tiniest little eye blinks or head tilts to decide which is your best shot. But I’m not complaining.

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Backyard birdies…

A book, and a beer, out on the lanai on a beautiful afternoon turned into this..

I mean, who could resist? She looks so sweet and innocent.
Now she is daring the rest of the birds to come to her feeder.

I bought the Bird Buddy after dithering over it for a while. We saw birds fly through the yard from one neighbor’s house to the other, but they seldom even posed on the fence. It was expensive, and addictive too. We’ve added a bird bath, and an extra perch for more landing spaces. Millet is what I’m thinking we need. Maybe painted buntings will find us. We are a stopping off point for migrating birds on their way further south. Even if you don’t intend it, you can’t live here long without becoming a bird brain.

a second look, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, birds, exploring new places, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, kids, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

Sarasota Audubon Nature Center…

We nearly missed this center located adjacent to the Celery Fields trail. The sidewalk we were riding led us past the beginning of the trail and over to the Audubon center. It wasn’t open since it was past noon, but the multiple bird feeders set up outside were amazingly busy. When we first stopped to see what we could see there were little kids there, talking excitedly and running back and forth to grab snacks from their mothers. But I can’t say that the birds, and there were lots of them, were bothered by all the action. We were bothered however, so we decided to go get some lunch, and when we came back to the feeders we were there by ourselves. That was much nicer.

There must be some truth to the saying that ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ Or so it would seem.
In the light I thought they looked slightly green-ish, mostly because that’s what I hoped they’d be. I hoped to see painted buntings, but we didn’t. These are brown headed cow birds, and I’ve never seen them before.
I think I probably have seen them before, but didn’t notice them being different from all the other little brown birds.
A red-winged black bird in non-breeding colors. I had to look this guy up, thank goodness for Merlin.
We see cardinals daily on our bird feeder. This one kept to himself, mostly in the bushes or on the ground, and was gone fairly quickly.
The blue jays didn’t stay put long also, but this one stopped at the bird bath for a drink.
It’s that ”birds of a feather’ thing again. I was excited over the purples and blues of the feathers in this photo, but Merlin says they are common grackles. I think they were the most abundant birds at the feeders.
Red-wings share a snack.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy kids, and their conversation was fun to listen to, but they were lined up across the table part of the picnic table viewing spot, making it tough to frame a photo. Their mothers were around the corner, paying no attention, as the kids came and went with their juice boxes and snacks, which included slices of watermelon. So in the feature photo, the slice of watermelon in the bird bath, placed by the Audubon folks or the kids? Guess we’ll never know.