florida sandhill cranes

baby's tired...sandhill crane momma and chick 5/1/12part 1–baby’s tired–sandhill crane momma and chick 5/1/12

“hey, honey–your sandhill cranes are out there”…the man and the boy refer to the crane family as “my” cranes…probably because i am so fascinated by them, still, after three years of watching them stroll back and forth through my yard as they live their day…but in three years i’ve never seen one sitting down…i’m not surprised that the baby would need a bit of a rest, their parents have made them walk a fair bit of the golf course (and adjoining yards) for most of the day in search of food pretty much from day one…but this little one decided that he’d take a break for himself…and good for him…the day was still early at this point, and he probably knew that he should take a breather while momma was busy eating…

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nesting season @ viera wetlands 2012

osprey’s lunch–@ viera wetlands 3/12

we were leaving the wetlands after a visit there recently, when out of the corner of my eye i spotted this osprey…i’d noticed it flying around while i was looking at the nesting anhingas and blue herons, and figured it was looking for its’ lunch…apparently, it found lunch…and in this shot, the osprey is waiting for the fish in question to hurry up and die already, so that he can safely fly away to eat it without having it wriggle out of his grasp…we pulled over to watch it for awhile, and i have to say that the fish put up quite a fight…after watching for about ten minutes, the fish still wasn’t quite dead…and the osprey continued to wait, patiently, for his lunch to be ready to be eaten…

florida sandhill cranes

IMG_8411babies’ first breakfast on the golf course–4/12/12

i was sitting at my computer, enjoying the morning coffee, checking on the facebook, talking (listening) to my sister on the phone (…oops, she sometimes reads this blog…if you see this, laura, i really was paying attention to you, promise…just a little multitasking…xoxo) when out of the corner of my eye i caught sight of what i’ve been waiting to see for weeks now…our resident sandhill crane couple with their new babies, out for a morning stroll…i squealed, “ooh, the babies, the babies…gotta go…” hung up on her, grabbed my camera and flew out the door to see…she called me back later while i was editing my images to say, “really? you hung up on me for some birds?” um…yup. sorry, love…you don’t understand. it’s the babies…and i’d been waiting for them…i didn’t want to spook or threaten them, so i kept my distance …not a bad shot, but not perfect…they’re so cute, it almost doesn’t matter so much that they’re just a hair out of focus…but it’s ok, now that they’ve arrived, they’ll be back…and i will be ready with my camera to give it another go 🙂

sunrise on st. patrick’s day 2012

IMG_6768man o’war on the shore–@ indialantic beach, fl 3/17/11

in the two-and-a-half years that i’ve lived in florida, this is only the second time that i’ve made it to the ocean to watch the sunrise…i’d definitely do it more, except the boy dislikes waking up before the sun does to sit on the beach waiting to see it awaken…but we bribed him with breakfast at the blueberry muffin (a wonderful little beachside spot…) and so we went this morning…as the sun broke over the clouds on the horizon, the boy and i walked down the beach toward a bunch of birdies (my idea was to let the boy chase them away so that I could capture them flying toward the sunrise…it kinda worked…but that’s another picture, and another story…) anyway, as we walked, a woman walked by us and warned us “be careful of the man-o-wars, there are lots of them out this morning”…sure enough, we saw three washed up by the morning tide…the colors in them are amazing, but i was surprised to see that the sunrise–and our images looking at it–are visible in the reflection off of it, like a bubble…

shorebirds and snowbirds 3/1/12

IMG_5659sideways!–tern in flight, melbourne beach, fl 3/1/12

some birds are easier to photograph than others…terns fly super-fast, so try as i might, i never seem to be able to capture them…imagine my surprise when i got home from a quick trip beachside this morning to see this crazy image pop up…not the clearest, but one of the coolest…i swear my camera wasn’t tilted, this is how the dude was flying toward the shoreline…

wednesday @ the wetlands

IMG_5483vogue! anhinga @viera wetlands, 2/29/12

breeding season is in full swing for the birdies at viera wetlands…this means (so i’ve learned) that they’re even prettier and more colorful than usual in their quest to attract a mate and, well, breed…this anhinga was sitting on top of a tree flapping his wings, shaking his tailfeathers, doing a crazy dance…I suppose this is all part of the game…i wish i knew more about it…the blue-green patch around their eyes is stunning…hope it all works out for him 🙂

2nd light–2/22/12

IMG_4694…you lookin’ at me???–ring-billed gull @ 2nd light, satellite beach fl

when there aren’t many people at the beach, the seagulls seem more relaxed, less apt to fly away, easier to photograph…the surfers were mostly all in the water when i was at 2nd light last week, so it was just me and TO and this bird for quite awhile…since our trip was quick and my intent was to shoot surfers, i only brought my 100-400mm lens with me…i use that lens mainly to photograph surfers and wildlife that is fairly far away…but i’m finding that the best images i get from it are the ones where my subject is not so far away…like this birdie…the bokeh is awesome, and the detail is pretty good…like the little bit of red around the eye and mouth…i think maybe another trip beachside is in order for tomorrow…