Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Flower 'N Tree

Here are some more flowering trees to show you what life is like in Florida in the winter. I shot these a couple of weekends ago out on Longboat Key. These clusters of red flowers are on an African Tulip Tree (Spathodea Companulata). It took me a long time to figure out what the name of the tree was, but sometimes you just get lucky and happen to stumble across a name. It also helps to have a little competition. (Big thanks to you-know-who-you-are!) I've only ever seen these trees in one place in front of a resort out on Longboat, the red ones on one side of the road, and a single yellow-blossomed tree on the other. I may have thrown a shot of this same flower up on the blog last year sometime in hopes that someone could identify it, but I can't find that post now, and no one ever offered any help. (Ha! Found it!)

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Second Glance

They say the devil is in the details, but evidently, so are the dolphins. The shot above is one of the many pictures I took Sunday. I shot it only a few minutes later than this other shot I showed you yesterday that I felt was much better. This shot was from up on a bridge about 60 feet above the waterline, and I thought it would be nice with the boat leaving a sharp white trail across the green water. It wasn't as nice as I wanted, so I breezed past it when posting last night. But today I flip by it again and notice something that I missed before. Look in the water down beneath the boat. Yep, there's a dolphin in there. You can clearly see him in the detail below. He's there in the shot before this one as well (but only as a vague shadow in the water), but not in the next shot. Those shots are only separated by about a third of a second, so this guy is fast! It was only last week that I got a semi-decent dolphin picture, so maybe my marine mammal luck is changing.

The First Full Week In February

This week's calendar page is the Cleveland skyline. I think I shot this from the Hope Memorial Bridge, which was named after Bob Hope's father. Small world, I know...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Sunday, Volume Eight

As promised below, here's that same tree again, only this time it sports a pair of ospreys. Pretty rare to see two of them together like this, outside of a nest. There was a crowd of people gathered along the side of the road, all pointing and shooting pictures. I'd have loved to capture one or both of these birds hunting like I did before, but no such luck.

Super Sunday, Volume Seven

And the birds just keep coming. Here's a wood stork. These have to be one of the ugliest birds out there. I've seen buzzards I thought were more attractive than these fellows.

Super Sunday, Volume Six

I'm guessing some little kid had a little help from his dad on this one...

Super Sunday, Volume Five

There's just something about birds that fascinates me. Here's an ibis. No, I didn't go to Egypt, this ibis comes from Ft. Desoto, south of St. Pete. Same place as the pelican just below.

Super Sunday, Volume Four

Notice how this pelican has a dark head? That means it's a juvenile. As he gets older, it'll turn white. I'm getting much better at taking pictures of birds on the wing, don't you think? It's taken long enough.

Super Sunday, Volume Three

It may not be a hawk on the wing like I got up in Ohio, but I think the composition on this one is pretty impressive. Yep, that's the moon you see behind this red-shouldered hawk. He was sitting in a dead tree up at Ft. Desoto near St. Pete today. You'll see this same tree again later tonight, if I don't get bored with posting early.

Super Sunday, Volume Two

It's February, but it's Florida, so the trees are starting to bloom. Hard to believe, but true.

I've been looking at these trees for years, and I think today is the first time I've noticed the yellow centers on these blossoms. The flowers always look beatup for some reason, not sure why. I'm also not sure of the name. I know I used to know it, but I seem to be drawing a blank right now. I spot this at the credit union this morning. Gotta love flowers at the bank. Later in the year they get yellow flowers, too.

Super Sunday, Volume One

"Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry"-The Beatles.

(I've been waiting forever to use that quote. I had to find just the right picture.) This was the view along the northern approach of the Sunshine Skyway this morning. I love my polarizing filter.