Laughing gulls at sunset, Anna Maria, Fl
In these uncertain times, one thing for certain is that our wildlife is adjusting to the absence of human intrusion into their worlds. There are images of animals exploring empty streets and waterways, like in Venice where their canals are so clear right now, one can see sea life in the usually busy and turbulent waterways. There are images of deer herds wandering around empty town streets, cougars wandering the streets in Santiago, Chile, and dolphins swimming and jumping near the banks of Istanbul due to the lull of boat traffic and fishermen. Even on the beaches of Anna Maria, the birds have most of the beaches to themselves with little intrusion by the normal crowds.
It is a nice reminder that we are Mother Nature’s guests on this planet and all the beauty that is right outside our door …. is a gift. And it is free.
Little Blue Heron, Anna Maria, Fl
Well, here we are into April and still hunkered down on Anna Maria due to the pandemic. We received some very much needed rain yesterday and this Little Blue Heron took shelter on our dock. I don’t see these guys very frequently let alone have a photo of them, so I was delighted to have captured this one. Stay safe and well, my friends. Until next time.
Venice Area Audubon Rookery, Venice, Florida
“Hey Bro’ …. papa looks a bit grumpy!!”
Babies are popping up everywhere this time of year and the Venice Rookery is no exception with various chick species like the baby Great Blue Herons above. I love watching the devoted parents’ relentless care of their offspring. It always amazes me how overcrowded it is of the various bird species on the small island, some nests and chicks within a foot or two of each other. I guess there is safety in numbers!!
Nikon d850, Tamron 150-600
Flamingo at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Florida.
There’s no better place to take young and old alike than to Sarasota Jungle Gardens. With over 10 acres of lush landscaping, one can get up close and personal with all kinds of native and exotic animals, with my favorite being the beautiful flamingos like the one above. I was scheduled to join our photo club this week to visit the Sarasota Jungle Gardens but unfortunately I was unable to attend due to a conflict. As disappointing as that was, fortunately I had been there a few times over the last couple of weeks, enjoying each and every encounter. I have no doubt that many more visits are in my future!
Flamingos, Sarasota Jungle Gardens
I caught these two flamingos dancing with their lovely long necks swaying in little loving nuzzles. Standing among the Sarasota Jungle Garden’s flock of pink pandemonium was an exhilarating event of observation.
A little flamingo fact: The backward bending “knee” of a flamingo’s leg is actually the bird’s ankle. The actual knee is very close to the body and is not visible through the bird’s plumage. Our photo club is returning next month and I look forward to capturing these beauties once again!
Nikon D850 and edited in Lightroom with adjustment brush to create black background. And that’s a wrap for 2019!
Northern Male Cardinal
A few years back I was an avid bird watcher … that is, from my office window looking out upon our Philadelphia back yard which was full of feeders. My camera was always within my reach and I had great fun capturing all the critters that came to visit through the years, like this puffed up Cardinal. I miss not having bird feeders here at our Lakewood Ranch home, (not wise with all the wild critters and gators in our backyards), but what I DON’T miss are those cold, dreary winter months. Love our sunny Florida winters and all its bountiful beauty!
Brown Pelican, Anna Maria Pier.
One of my favorite birds is the Pelican with their spectacular dives, bill first, into the water. Or when they are gliding just above the water with the occasional wingbeat that may briefly touch the sea. Awkward in their take offs and landings, they provide me great entertainment in the water, in or out, such as this fellow as he cleans and straightens up his feathers preparing to rest.
White Ibis, Anna Maria Beach, Florida.
Since I had such a good time over the past year participating in our local photo club’s 52-week challenge, I’m looking forward to joining in again with our new challenges. The best part of participating is that it forces me to try new things as well as getting out and capturing scenes around me. For this week, I chose the theme of ‘something orange’. This group of white ibises were strolling along Anna Maria beach. They are quite common in Florida and not unusual to see them in my backyard along the water’s edge or strolling through yards digging for food.
Thanks for checking in and hope you follow along with me again this year!
Fiscal Shrike in Tanzania Bush
There were so many beautiful birds we spotted on our recent Africa trip and … so many that I didn’t capture on camera. The ones I was able to capture, were not always photo sharp, to my dismay. But still, they provide wonderful memories. I so love birds and hope to get better at capturing their distinct beauty.
“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”
Nature historian David Attenborough