Fishing and Silhouettes

A chance observation of fishermen off the harbour arm at Shoreham from the beach at Kingston Buci. I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of key elements to these shots and the silhouettes of the turbines, harbour arm and fishermen. The use of a 600mm zoom telephoto lens has foreshortened the depth of field in order to make the key elements appear closer to each other. The turbines are around 8 miles out at sea and the harbour arm is around 1/2 mile from the camera.

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Detail of fishermen and turbines from across the harbour entrance

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Fishing off the harbour arm

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From Kingston Buci Beach

Hello World

It was my privilege to be present today at Gatorland in Kissimmee when at the breeding marshes two egrets hatched in front of our eyes. Mother was very attentive and cleaned up by throwing out the empty eggs almost immediately and by supplying food in the form of an oversized fish for the kids. We couldn’t get to close and finding a decent angle to take photographs wasn’t that easy as she kept sitting down on them and twigs from the nest build were in the way of getting clean shots without being a contortionist..

Here a few images to savour with more to follow.

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It’s my birthday I’m one day old and my new brother/sister is just below

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Hello world this is Mum’s beak and some grub.

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I need a haircut already!

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These two chicks are a little older.

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I’m really enjoying my day!

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I’ll be flying about soon………….

Spoonbill Antics

It’s intriguing to watch Roseate Spoonbills in the trees and on the ground at the rookery in St.Augustine. The juveniles zoom about the place squabbling and playing at let’s try to avoid being devoured by a big ugly old alligator or gathering oversized sticks for a play nest. I imagine those bills are pretty dangerous weapons if you happen to get bashed at one the many melee’s.

The rookery is alive with egrets, herons, wood storks and roseate spoonbills building nests, courting, squabbling over space and of course mating.

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An egret with the brakes on!

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Take that! I love the spoonbill seeming to be laughing and looking at the camera.

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I’ve got stick for a bit of bashing!

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All together! it’s thirsty work this rushing about lark

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Calm before the storm.

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So it’s a race you want then………..

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An Alligator and 5 Spoonbills

Rookery at St.Augustine

Just a few of the images taken today at the Alligator farm and rookery on Anastasia Island St.Augustine. A great opportunity to see old friends and meet new. I’ve been popping in here for quite a few years and it never seems to change. A place where a large number of heavyweight photographers prowl the boardwalks looking for that elusive shot. Armed with massive camera systems and expensive tripod heads that they lug around from one shooting  position to another. The sound of shutters actuating at great speed, sounding like machine guns with mufflers fitted fill the air. They haven’t invested in newer camera’s with the latest technology  including silent shutter settings yet or mirrorless with fixed professional quality lenses to reduce the weight. It’s still the realm of the bigger your kit is the better it is and of course it’s a status symbol to boot.

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The tree where most of the action takes place!

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Arriving with a branch for the nest

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Undercarriage down for landing

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What’s going on, I was just having a nap!

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I’m hungry again………..

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Roseate Spoonbill with an attitude.

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So, where on earth have you been ?

Birds and Wildlife – Episode 1

Anyone who visits coastal Florida or the lakes and rivers, or the great Everglades wetlands, is sure to see a rich variety of birdlife. Not to forget the American alligator, sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator, a large crocodilian reptile endemic to the southeastern United States.

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Alligator

These are just a few images from around Lake Tohopekaliga today. The weather, warm but a little overcast with ideal light for outdoor detail photography.

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A young Crackle waiting to be fed

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Closeup of an alligator

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Alligator scales and eyes

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Looking out over Lake Toho

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An unusual wading bird

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Anahinga and a Crackle having a bath

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Limpkin modelling for a portrait

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Redwing in full song….tweet-tweet

Packards and a Studebaker

Just out from Brooksville I happened upon a number of the Florida Packard club members and their magnificent classic cars. Most of these vehicles date from between 1929 to 1955. All Packards with the exception of just one Studebaker. They had travelled from all around the State to meet with old friends and attend a private conference.

Packard was a luxury automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, United States. The first Packard automobiles were produced in 1899, and the last Detroit-built Packard in 1956, when they built the Packard Predictor, their last concept car.

Here are a few images of the Packards at Brooksville, click on any image to enlarge.

Travelling North to Weeki Watchee

A few images from today starting at the Sunshine Skyway bridge over Tampa Bay, it surely is an impressive structure considering it supports a 6 lane highway. With a rest stop and fishing pier at either end allowing for the tourist to take in the sights.

Hudson beach just north of Port Richey, a small beach community, west of U.S. Route 19 in Pasco County. Canals crisscross the area with a lot of the residences having canals in their backyards. Beachfront is on the Gulf of Mexico and a favourite place for viewing dolphins and water birds.

Now at our overnight stay just north of Spring Hill at Weeki Watchee the home of the famous underwater mermaid show and Weeki Wachee Preserve and the Springs park .

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Sunshine Skyway from the southern rest area.

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Hudson Beach viewing area’s

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Looking out to the Gulf of Mexico this morning

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Pegleg at Hudson beach

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With extra arms

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A portrait of a tourist!

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Pink Dove at Weeki Watchee

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Can we be friends ?

Sarasota – Journey

Departed Naples this morning after a brief tiff with the management of the Quality Inn and Suites Golf Resort about not cleaning our room yesterday while out. All sorted, we should be receiving 8,000 extra reward points for the inconvenience so they will come in handy for a free rewards night later on this trip.

Made a quick stop at Port Charlotte, that’s about 30 miles north of Fort Myers for sustenance at the local Publix supermarket. Decided to purchase a lunch consisting of a Boars Head super sub, actually an “Ultimate” as it’s named, anyway a very big and thick sort of baguette, full of meats and salad stuff, which is then cut in half. Easily enough for two oldish gents to consume with a cold drink or two but not that easy to keep the shirt front clean.

Happened across Jelks Preserve on River Road on the way to the I75 and Sarasota. A welcome stop and spot for a walk on the wild side after lunch with lovely un-spoilt Floridian landscape, lush foliage and all manner of creatures going about their daily lives.

Now at Sarasota a city south of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast that was once the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus. Today, it hosts a number of cultural institutes, notably the Ringling Museum of Art, which showcases old masters and modern art. It’s also the gateway to miles of beaches with fine sand and shallow waters, such as Lido Beach and Siesta Key Beach.

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Jelks Preserve, Near North Port, Florida

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Jelks Creek at Jelks Preserve

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A squirrel at Jelks

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Floridian Landscape

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Across the Pool

 

Naples – Florida

Spent my first full day of my spring break here in Naples a city on the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida that’s known for high-end shopping and golf courses. The Naples Pier, first erected in 1888, is the city’s symbol, and is a popular fishing and dolphin-spotting destination. It’s flanked by miles of beaches with calm waters and fine white “sugar” sand, including those at Clam Pass Park and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park.

 

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Fifth Avenue, Naples

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A Rather Lovely Canvas outside a Gallery in Fifth Avenue. A picture of a picture.

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Working on a new build – Naples

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Face to Face at Sugden Park, Naples

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Water Skier at Sugden Lake, Naples

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A Friendly, Smiling Dragonfly

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Water Ski Boat on the Lake at Naples

It’s that time of Year again!

Bah-humbug, a descriptive term that has become more prevalent in describing someone who just doesn’t like Christmas. It’s not that one dislikes it really or is tight, ie. not spendthrift but I think a term to describe someone who’s just got bored with the commercial, shove it in your face mentality of the retail traders. Advertising and store promotions seem to begin earlier every year. Starting late September or early October is not unusual and by the time December arrives, well some of us are just fed up with it.

In my opinion, a good walk in the country air re-stimulates the brain and helps to put things into perspective. It definitely brings me back to earth with a bump following the media bombardment. Here are a couple of images taken just before and on Christmas day.

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Dog having a wail of a time in Portsmouth last week

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Peaceful scene on the downs at Clapham – Christmas morning.

Happiness is a journey not a destination

From Kissimmee west towards Spring Hill and Bayport on State Road 50. A comfortable two hour journey, take a detour into Brooksville a sleepy small city with lots to offer to the casual traveller. Yes, it’s a bit run down on the outskirts but venture to the centre and you will find little gems to enlighten you.

Onwards heading west a long Cortez Boulevard over the junction towards Weeki Waatchi and Bayport to discover a world of swamps and villas with Gulf coast sunsets, boats in abundance and our motel. The aptly named Manatee Landing.

 

 

Kissimmee

Kissimmee – This area was originally named Allendale, after Confederate Major J. H. Allen who operated the first cargo steamboat along the Kissimmee River – the Mary Belle. It was renamed Kissimmee when incorporated as a city in 1883. The etymology of the name Kissimmee is debated, apart from general agreement that it is Native American in origin.

On the northern shore of Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho) a perfect place to spend of an early morning just wandering the endless paths and trails that abound around the lake and historic part of the city.