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It happens to be St Patrick’s Day and the luck of the Irish is with me today.   I was driving through the Vera Wetlands around mid-day,  a mother raccoon and her three babies crossed our path and went into a green meadow across the road.  As luck would have it, I was there with my long lens on my camera. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I watch the Mother raccoon escort her children to a safe area.   They had come out of their home which was a hole in a dead tree.Green -Racoons and Grass

The Mother raccoon gave her babies all her attention.  The little ones were obedient and fell right in line staying close to their Mom.  She picked up one with her teeth to help it along the way.

Mom and Babies  What an interesting experience to observe.  I felt like I had found a pot of gold in the green meadow because I was there.

Morning View,  Merritt Islnad

The other morning I rose early and went to Merritt Island.   I wasn’t disappointed.  The sun rose in all it`s glory above the water and mangrove bushes.

On the Track Spoonbill Fly By.....Birds on the Run.....

Birds were everywhere, doing what birds do.  Wildflowers delighted our very souls.

Wildflowers

Happy days continued to roll as this one exploded with vigor and great joy!

Eye Protection

Eye Half Shut Eating a Bug...

A few months ago, I was sitting on a grassy hill watching a couple of Sandhill Cranes eating a snack.  They came so close to me that I could barely focus my camera on them.  I was amazed.  As I watched,  I noticed that one of the cranes had his eye partly closed.   I wondered if he was sick or tired.

Last evening I posted this shot on a wildlife forum and asked the question.  Was the crane sick or tired?   I got a variety of responses.  One person mentioned that the crane was not sick, but was using a third eyelid for protection which would be needed in such a close encounter with the grasses.  Someone else mentioned that it was called a, ” nictitating membrane”.

Then another fellow thought it was a wonderful experience to be so close to wildlife, and capturing such a close image with out the cranes being scared,   eyes closed or not.

I enjoyed these comments and learned something today.   I hope that you did, too.   Now, you know what a nictitating membrane is, incase you are like me and had never heard of this before.   (I wonder where I was when the teacher was discussing nictitating membranes in class.  Ha…I was obviously was not paying attention!)

The third fellow brought up an interesting thought about having a rare opportunity to be so close to nature.  Yes, indeed it was.   It was amazing to be part of their existence for a few short moments.   It was a rare treat for sure and I learned about bird eye protection as well.  How good is that!

Wide Angle View.....

I was very fortunate to attend Milton Heiberg’s Photography Field workshop this January at the Bio lab Road.   We watched the sun come up  across the lagoon at Merritt island.  The actual sunrise was less than spectacular with little color or excitement.  Fortunately, I had a #8 ND filter on my wide-angle lens.   Little did I know what my final image would look like!   I was so pleased to see the color and detail in the sky after processing the image.   Everything just popped!  Gee, I love photography!

I thank John Harding for introducing me to the #8 ND filter.  I just have to remember to use it more often!

I thank Milton for the wonderful workshop and for “getting me there”.  Milton says to “be there” if you want to get a good picture.  He was right about this one!

Fly-By`s

Candain Geese By-passing Lowes_edited-1

While visiting in Memphis this December,  I noticed some Canadian Geese fly by.   They were well-directed and were flying South out of the cold.  They were quite close as you can see Lowe`s sign and the telephone wires in the background.  They also were making quite a racket, honking loudly as they flew by.

Stork in Flight_edited-1

A few month’s ago while at the Vera Wetlands in Florida, I noticed an old stork fly by.  When I was young, I was told that the storks delivered babies.  Ha!   Well,  I just found out that I am going to be a Grandparent this year! Well, how about that for a fly by.  He must be on the way to get that baby.  How is that for an old wives tale!

Happy New Year, Folks!  Hope it will be a good one for you!

_MG_4545_edited-2On Thanksgiving Day, I was fortunate enough to have a few minutes to myself.

After walking my dog,  I noticed two Sandhill Cranes in a little pond water next to a hill.    I returned to the spot and sat with my 400 lens on my camera, and  sat on the grassy hill  watching the Sandhill Cranes with my long lens pointed in their direction. I didn’t seem to scare them.  It was so peaceful watching them.  I snapped a few pictures here and there.

What really amazed me was when the Cranes walked out of the water and up the hill to where I sat.  They didn’t seem to mind if I was there or not.  I was thrilled!  They actually got so close that I could not take their picture with my long lens.  Ha!  I couldn’t believe what was happening.

_MG_4568_edited-2                                                                  Foot and Beak.....

Anyway, that was the way I started my Thanksgiving and I was so thankful to have had a close encounter with the Sandhill Cranes.  Do you know what I mean?

Pretty Wings

Pretty wings and things is what I see in this image.  Yes, the wings are absolutely stunning and takes my breath away as I take the time to look at this beautiful creature resting on the leaf for a minute.  As I gaze  beyond the wings, my mind carries me to other beautiful spots in life that are not in this picture.  Again, nature transports oneself to the beauty in life and beyond.  Some folks will hear what I’m saying and others will not, and that is OK.  I’m glad that I shared it with you anyway.  Take care and thank you for stopping by.

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