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Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

As I sit here at my computer, the reality of the corona virus settles more deeply in to my life.  A neighbor’s daughter has a confirmed case, so it is hitting our neighborhood and the worst is yet to come I am afraid to say.

So, we will try our best to avoid social contact and stay home as much as possible. The reality is that we all will be exposed eventually.  We will hope for the best outcome and the safety of our families and friends.

On a more upbeat note, this isolation period has given me time to write a blog and share some beautiful places in Florida that I have had the good fortune to visit earlier in the year.  I will share a few spots with you.

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This is Blue Cypress Lake.  There are many birds and old Florida beauty there.  I was thrilled to visit and go with “Steve” our local guide for the day.

So Many Egrets

Another place I visited for photography was Joe Overstreet Landing.  We again went out in a small boat to look for wildlife and birds but it was just pretty walking around the landing.

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The Snail Kites had migrated to the area, so that was a special treat to see as well.067A6620

Of course closer to home was Merritt  Island which is just down the road from us and usually we can find something to shoot. A few days this winter, we really lucked out and saw an eagle praying ( Probably preening ) and an owl with chick nesting.

Hopefully, there will be more fun shoots in the future.  It is always so fun to get outside and enjoy the views.

Take care everyone, and BE SAFE!

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Thank you for your views and comments throughout the years.  For those that are still with me or interested in stopping by,  I will share another “Thought Along the Way “with you.
I have been reading a Little Book of Aloha by Renata Provenzano. It is a sweet book with many good thoughts and ideas. One thought she shared is “He ali’l ka’ aina; He kauwa ke kanaka….The land is a chief; man is its servant.” by Mary Kawena Pukui.”  Renata shared that we are not superior to our earth but stewards of the land and the ocean… I wish we all were of that mind set and took care of our land and seas better. I am very concerned about what we are doing to our water and land.
Just a thought along the way… I want the birds to be able to continue swimming in clean nutrious water and our grandchildren to be able to enjoy the fruits of our good earth and water, too. We all need to help protect our resources for sure.  In a small way, I hope to contribute with this effort with my blogs and pictures for you in hopes we will be more aware of this important necessity.  Who knows, it might make a difference.two white pelicans

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Monarch VisitTwo Monnarchs on the Branches

While visiting the Gulf Coast recently, we were fortunate to witness the Monarch Butterflies passing by.  What a joy to see the flittering of the orange wings as they tank up on nectar for their continued journey South.  I am amazed at their journey and their beauty.  Am certainly feeling blessed to have been at the right place at the right time to view a bit of their historic journey.

Thank you for stopping by.

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The other day, I passed a eagle nest while driving down the road,  I made a u-turn and went back to take a picture or two of the eagles.

Unfortunately,  the eagle nest had plastic bags hanging from it.   I do not know if the wind or the eagles attached the bags to their nest, but it did not sit right with me.   Hopefully, the bags will not interfere with their nesting.  I feel that nature has gotten the short end of the stick with our recycling of plastics or lack of recycling.

Anyway, just a few thought along the way…. IMG_3007

 

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I had the good fortune to go shooting with photographers Scott Helfrich and Kevan Sunderland this week.  Not only were these folks very nice, they are published photographers of exceptional talent and skills.

I took several friends and we headed out in a platoon boat with our guides to a special spot where the swallow tails were nesting.  We saw many birds displaying many behaviors.  Some were nesting. IMG_9744

Others were skimming the water, flying high, and doing what birds do.

To make a long story short,  I can not thank my famous photographers enough for letting us enjoy nature with them, and seeing the swallow-tail kites in their special environment.  What a treat! I recommend it to everyone!

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Alligator Gliding By Me

Sometimes trouble can be lurking in calm waters as this image shows. So, be wise and be careful as you enter calm waters, you might just meet up with an alligator who is waiting to eat you up!  We can not be too careful these days but we also need to put our concerns  in perspective.  There are some things that we need to “Let Be” and enjoy from distance not getting too close.

 

 

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The other day,  I had the good fortune of going to Merritt Island to photograph and attend several workshops at at the  Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville, Florida.  I was there from sunrise to sunset, and what a day it was!  One of my instructors, Milton Heiberg, mentioned that you need to love your subject more than your camera.  I have given this a lot of thought and see the wisdom in the words.

With those words in mind, I will share a few shots that I took while looking through my lens at subjects that I love.    The sunrise, sunset, and the birds: Spoonbills, American Avocets,  and White pelicans totally turned me on!  Ha ha..White Pelicans, Avocets and Spoonbills.......jpg

There is something to be said about loving your subject when photographing something.  When you love your subject,  it will show in your work, I think. I hope you can see the love I have for nature and joy that you can receive in just being there.  Thank you for stopping by to share the beauty with me.  Have a great day!

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Little Manatee The other day, I had the good fortune to see many manatees at Blue Springs,  Florida.  Due to colder weather, many manatees had collected in the springs to warm up a bit.  What interesting mammals they were, so large and gentle, and yet they survive with people taking over their water homes, and trashing the waters with pollution.  Not to mention driving over them with their boat propellers spinning. I was humbled to think that some manatees persevere human`s stupidity and uncaring actions with such a soft and gentle approach to survival.

It is my hope that folks will act on being kinder to nature and our earth.  Our earth and it`s creatures are really  worth saving and protecting.  I certainly hope this little blog will make a difference. Even if just a few folks stop by to read the message.

About three months later:  For some reason, I didn’t publish this blog.  I’m ready to share it today.  Thank you for stopping by and I hope you are outside in beautiful Spring weather somewhere.

White Butterfly on Flower

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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.

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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!

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