Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Good Day For Birds, Part 8

I think this was my last bird of the day. It's an immature night heron, but I don't know if it's the yellow or black kind. I think that bright orange eye should tell me, but I'm too lazy to look it up. You gotta love a day when you can go out and see all these different birds and get such great shots of them.

A Good Day For Birds, Part 7

This is the first bird shot from today that I've actually had to crop. This osprey is either the same one I showed you last week catching a fish, or it's mate. It was in the same area, and I also spotted the mate sitting in the same tree as last weekend. He didn't circle close enough for me to get a frame-filling shot, so this is as good as I got. It's not too bad, though.

A Good Day For Birds, Part 6

Here you have the great blue heron. I have yet to spot one of these guys that was actually blue. I tried really hard to get a shot of him in the air, but none of them came out. He was stalking prey in a small lagoon with a path along one side. Each time I'd walk to his side, he'd fly to the other side. Each time he landed, he'd let out a few loud croaks, telling me how upset he was at having to fly the ten feet across the pool. We went back and forth like that maybe six or seven times, but I couldn't get a decent picture from any of them.

A Good Day For Birds, Part 5

Just so you know, I can't always get great bird shots. So sometimes you have to take what you can get. This is a tri-colored heron, a bird known for having beautifully colored feathers. But all I could get was a back-lit reflection.

A Good Day For Birds, Part 4

Bird number four is a snowy egret. I'm not sure what the deal with the yellow foot is, but that's the way they are. And this guy does have two legs, he's just got the other one tucked up in his feathers trying to keep warm. I guess he didn't like me taking his picture, since he stuck his tongue out at me for several of them.

A Good Day For Birds, Part 3

The third bird of the day is a brown pelican. Nothing exciting about these guys, but I like to shoot them anyway. Hard to get a good picture of any bird in flight, really. The head is overexposed here, but you might not notice if I didn't tell you.

A Good Day For Birds, Part 2

When I left the house this morning, I had no idea that it was going to turn into bird day. The first bird I shot was this cormorant at the very north end of Anna Maria Island. Cool eye, don't ya think? I didn't have to crop this picture, by the way. I was able to use a long lens, and I got really close before this fellow flew away.

A Good Day For Birds, Part 1

I visited the Amazon basin today. No, wait, it was Anna Maria Island. But you couldn't tell it from all the parrots I spotted in the top of this tree. These guys aren't native to the area, but they have established colonies in the warmer areas of Florida. I'm normally not a fan of exotic species on the loose, but these guys might be a good exception. I believe these are called quaker parakeets. I was going to tell you they were Norwegian blues, but I don't think you would fall for that. Anyhow, look closely near the center of the green birds above, and you'll see a grey cockatiel. I don't know what he was doing in there. A few years ago, I got a bird feeder from my parents for Christmas. I always hoped it would look like the one below, but I couldn't be that lucky. I spotted a racoon on it once, but that was about it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The First Month Of The Year

In addition to this being the first week of the year, it's also the first month of the year. So you get a monthly calendar page as well. This is from a series I put together of my best shots from my trip to Ohio last year. This particular shot is a detail of The Thinker by Rodin from the Cleveland Museum of Art. I knew the statue was somewhere in Cleveland, but I had forgotten I had wanted to look it up. Imagine my surprise when I walked up on it and saw it perched there on it's pedastal high above me. I was flabbergasted!

The New Weekly Calendar

If you were paying attention last week, you know I was working on a new weekly calendar series, and here is the first of those pictures. (Actually, this is the second picture since I started it with Dec 25th, but I didn't get that shot up here. Besides, I posted it sometime last year in a slightly different format.) This little racoon was hanging out at South Lido Beach on Lido Key here in FL. There are lots and lots of racoons out there, and they are pretty tame. I shot some this past weekend, in fact. But this is a better shot than the ones I got more recently.

The End Of Last Year

I know it's Tuesday already, but this is the first chance I've gotten to give you a weekly calendar page. This is the last page from last year's book, but it sorta rolled over into 2006. This was a pair of blossoms on a frangipani (or plumeria, if you prefer) I found somewhere. These are the flowers they use in Hawaii to make leis. I don't think anybody in Florida makes leis, but if they did, they'd probably use these, too.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everybody out there! I've been neglecting my posts for a couple of days, but today I got some shots that I knew I had to share. I was at the Quick Point Nature Preserve on Longboat Key here in Sarasota, when I spotted the osprey above perched on an Australian pine. He was bobbing his head up and down repeatedly, trying to get a fix on something in the water. All of a sudden he took off and dove into the water headfirst at full speed. A couple of seconds later he stuck his head back up out of the water, took a deep breath, then spread his wings and took off. And as you can see, he managed to grab a pretty large fish in the interim.

Once airborne, he flew around for a few minutes. I don't know if he was looking for a suitable perch, or if he was waiting for the fish to quit squirming. I caught a couple of shots where he was in just the right spot, illuminated by the setting sun.

Luckily, he decided to land not too far from where all this action started, so I just kept shooting. I'll spare you the gorier shots of the fish being made into dinner, but I will tell you that the osprey started with the eyes, and worked his way down. The fish didn't give up easily, though. The osprey kept having to flap his wings to keep his balance every time the fish started flopping.