'scene' along the way, attention to detail, bugs, connections, friends, fun, learning, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise, sunset, unintended consequences

Live and learn…

The feature photo is from Monday morning, pale but nice sunrise after a storm the night before. Which looked like this just after it ended, and in time for the sky to light up.

I think I was lucky enough to catch the finale of the show, because it got grayer soon after I took this shot.
This is the audience apparently waiting for the sunrise right along with me.
And this was Monday night as we left the restaurant and headed for home. An early night because our company was leaving on Tuesday, a very early flight.

Note to self: Just because you are in a parking lot when you decide you have to take a shot of the sunset, and you step up onto a curb and then onto the sandy grass, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t fire ants ready and waiting to bite your toe and make you too itchy to fall asleep…

a second look, adventure, birds, boats, dolphins, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, pigs, road trip

Seafood on the menu…

When our visitor visits Florida she likes having a drink while over- looking the water, and if there are boats in the scene that’s a plus too. Which explains how we wound up having lunch on the boardwalk at John’s Pass on Sunday. We stopped to see the scenery when we first arrived and found lots of birds near the pier where people were gutting newly caught fish and tossing the trimmings to the milling pelicans below. Among a few other scavengers.

Here we have a snowy egret surveying the scene.
She got a bit up close and personal for a minute or two.
I thought these two pelicans had found a worm of some kind, but I was told this is entrails. I had quite a few pictures of the battle, but the victor finally flew away with the entrails still wrapped around his beak.
This fella caught his own lunch.
The atmosphere is old fishing village, I find it charming.
Lots of boats, large and small, pass by.
Some require a bit of adjustments as they pass.
'scene' along the way, bugs, dragonflies, exploring new places, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

In search of dragonflies…

It dawned on me that the pond where I catch a nice sunrise occasionally would probably be a spot to see some dragonflies, so I sat on the bank of the pond a while to check it out.

Yes they were there, that made me happy.
They posed this way and that.
They were busy.
Damselflies flittered around also, but this one stayed still while I searched for him through the camera lens.
This bee photobombed my shot, but I’m not complaining.

This was almost like sitting in my backyard by the lake and waiting for wildlife to come to me. All I have to do is bring a chair next time.

'scene' along the way, a second look, boats, food, friends, fun, perseverance, photography

Bar hopping…

We thought we’d bar hop in Dunedin while my friend attended a meeting in Clearwater. It’s a charming town, with a lot of attractive looking places to stop. Choosing one wasn’t easy, and once we did we chatted and time passed, so when we walked out the door we were greeted with a glorious sunset happening down at the marina. We hurried down, and I was expecting that we were going to miss it completely. But it just got prettier.

Happily for us there was a nice bar right on the water so we could continue the bar hop while we enjoyed the last of the show. I haven’t seen a sunset that pretty in a while. And a chauffeur driven ride home.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, friends, fun, perseverance, photography

At the races…

When you go through your photos after a photo shoot to the race track, and you see a shot like the feature photo, you can toss it, or you can pretend you meant to take that shot and use it as your feature photo. I have wondered what a shot of just the horses hooves would look like, I kind of like it.

We met a couple of new people who joined us for this last Tampa Bay Downs photo shoot of the season yesterday, on a day I might have expected to be sweltering, but was breezy and enough clouds to take the curse off. We had a nice session with them.

I walked down to the far corner to get an unobstructed view of the horses making the turn.
With all that dirt in the air it’s obvious that these are not the lead horses in this race. But both horses have all four hooves off the ground so it’ll do.
I made a point of taking my opportunity to get a shot of the horses leaving the gate in this turf race. Most of the time the gate is around the far side of the track and it’s not possible to try for this shot.
This horse was the favorite in his race and he led the whole way with no one on his heels.
I thought a shot of a jockey as he swings up into the saddle would be fun. Now I’m not sure why I thought that, but I sure took a lot of butt shots that day.
Of course people watching is fun between races.
There were many photographers in evidence at the track.
We all noticed the frazzled father who was pushing a stroller and had small herd of children to keep track of. Dad and this little one had identical shirts on, which I thought was cute. But I paid attention when the little guy got distracted and the rest of the family moved on, I was waiting to see what he’d do when he figured out they weren’t right there, but he just took off like a shot to catch up.
This picture was a complete surprise when I saw it in the computer. I meant to take a shot of the beautiful gray horse, but the horse was more interested in the spectators.

I usually want to take a shot of the finish line at least once per visit. This time it was a turf race so they were behind the finish line. So I scrolled my pictures one by one, in order, and saw the lead horse cross the finish line all alone. Next came a pack of horses, each trying to nose each other out. Then as the last of the tails of the pack of horses was disappearing I saw horse number 7 come into view, finishing many lengths behind. Which is when an old song my mother used to sing when I was very little came to mind. If you are as old as me maybe you know it. It’s about Horace the horse on the merry-go-round who is sad since he figured out that he’s the very last horse on the merry-go-round. But it continues…

“Then one day, Horace turned, looked around, then said gosh oh gee. I’m the very first horse on the merry-go-round, all the others are a-following me!”

And Number 7 wasn’t last as it turned out. Number 7 left the frame as I clicked on the last of my pictures, but then horse #3 came into view bringing up the rear. Was his hame Horace? Poor thing was so far behind…

a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, nature, perseverance, photography

They’re growing up…

As we drove the the Tampa rookery yesterday I did what I always do, I anticipated all the chicks we were going to see. Not just the usual suspects, I was also anticipating possibly seeing Try-color heron chicks, and Snowy egret chicks. Oh, yes, I was excited. But what I discovered seemed to be that in addition to the chicks growing bigger, the shrubbery itself seemed to have grown in the week since our last stop. The nests that I had located in the past were barely visible, and new ones were nowhere to be seen. In the feature photo is an egret chick that was out wandering on his own. I hope he found his way back to his nest. But I did see babies…

Look how round and pudgy this guy looks. I was sure he was a baby.
Then he stretched himself out to hunt and I stood corrected,,
Up periscope is what crossed my mind when I saw these two.
Mom! MOM! Llook at me mom!
I’m THIS big, Mom!
I had to zoom into the foliage to find these two, and crop like crazy.
“I’m bigger!” is what I imagine him saying.
Who’s bigger now?

I will be stopping at the rookery closer to home in the next few days. We’ll see what’s going on there. Probably more of the same.