Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gotta have a little fun!

With cloudy skies, my attention turned to intimate beach landscapes; those small creations that we often pass by when it is sunny out. Here's a few of what I found today with my own descriptors attached to some - just for fun!

Half of a horseshoe crab shell

The three above - so much color from small shells.

Wiggly worm

I just hate it when they don't leave the eyes!

I don't know about her - she seems a bit different!

Darling - I will always love you!

The next time I will bite his ass!

Raining this morning

No sunrise seen this morning, slept in to the sound of rain! Nice and cool.
Last night on the beach I captured a few shots that I like - and a cormorant came on shore and sat there drying his wings while people walked around him.  Very nice.

Notice the cormorant.

sepia toned

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kayak trip through mangroves

Diana and I took a kayak trip just after low tide this morning through a neat trail just off Tarpon Bay - and still part of the Ding Darling WMA. We both expected to see many more birds, feeding at low tide, but the few we saw reminded us that it isn't always easy to see the birds in the mangroves.
Regardless, it was very satisfying to be on the water in a secluded area and just paddle along - or just sit there! The red-headed vultures kept us company all the way - not too sure what they expected us to do, but whatever it was we didn't do it.
Tide coming in and wind blowing made the trip back to the base a bit tiresome - but satisfying once we arrived. Osprey are so prevalent that a next was sitting on an old dead tree just off the dock, and you could watch the coming and goings of the osprey pair.
After the trip, a nice nap, some time on the beach and then a good italian dinner wrapped up the evening!
Some photos here from the kayak trip.

The ubiquitous vulture!

inside the mangroves

Juvenile yellow crowned heron and little blue heron

Juvenile white ibis.

Juvenile yellow crowned white heron

Adult yellow crowned night heron.

Little blue

mangrove forest

Another beautiful boring sunrise!

No drama this morning with the sunrise - cloudless skies. So I had to add pelicans for some eye candy.  We're off to kayak Tarpon Bay this morning just after low tide and we'll see what we see - all sorts of possibilities. As I headed back to the condo a guy approached me asking if I wanted him to take a photo of me - so we did.

Thank goodness for some eye candy!

Me on the beach.

Old style applied to see how it looks.

Good morning!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How do you tell a sunrise from a sunset?

Another great day, spent time at the education center at Ding Darling - wow, well worth every minute you can spare to learn. We then drove through the refuge one more time - again hitting the jackpot just around the first corner with a yellow crowned night heron in the middle of a hunt. All of the photographers did not seem to exist despite being about 15 feet from the bird!
Then up to Captiva Island, checked it out - much more wealth there than is obvious on Sanibel. Diana got her restaurant picking senses turned on and we stopped at a place on the way back where we could watch the sunset from the restaurant. Of course I had to get up and go outside to take photos; excellent food and wine!  Then back to the condo for a walk on the beach.
Here's some of the shots from today - and honestly, other than the time of day, etc...., visually telling the difference between a sunrise and a sunset by looking at just a single photo could be tough.  What do you think?

Little Blue Heron hunting - love the colors and shape.

Yellow crowned night heron ready to strike.

Yellow crowned Night heron - they drool out their bills when waiting like this!

Snowy Egrets and little blue heron

Great White Egret posed for us.

Love this little blue's pose.

A flyover while I was on the beach shooting the sunset!

Crowd gathers to watch the sunset 

If I didn't know better this could be a sunrise!

Respite from the snow at home

Salt Lake City and surrounding areas are getting hit pretty hard with snow these last few days.  It seems a bit unreal when we are down here in 70 degree weather and sunshine - and we are grateful that we are not in the snow! YES!
Morning again, sunrise again, and the extra feature of this morning were the osprey that came by early to hunt and flew in close to check us out.

Osprey in morning sun


Salute to the sun.

Rising sun on morning shell seekers.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thank you, Ding Darling!

This afternoon we took the road trip through Ding Darling Wildlife Management Area - and what a treat it was! Birds everywhere, and surprises abounded!  Osprey circled us almost all the time and Diana got to see one catch a fish.  Herons, Ibis, pelicans, cormorants and more - filled the waters and just hung out while we took photos.  Here's a few of the ones I liked - be sure to look for the roseate spoonbill! I did not see it until after looking at the photo on my computer - duh!

These guys were jumping all the time - scare the heck out of you!

Bald Eagle with dinner.

Pelican feeding frenzy!

Beautiful cormorant

Immature Ibis.

Ibis incoming!

Ibis territorial dispute!

Little blue heron - what a beauty!

Ibis, little blues, gulls, cormorants and spoonbill!