Flowers in the house

Back in late September when it was still too hot to be outside, I was practicing my macro shots. Brett had brought home several bunches of flowers for my birthday so I pulled out my macro lens and played around in the kitchen. I’m not really a creative person so I tend to shoot the same things over and over again.

I sprayed some of the flowers with water to try and do something with droplets but I feel like they still look the same every time I do this.

It’s hard for me to get the color right on red roses. I usually get the color blown out. After a week the roses started to get some dark edges and I thought this gave it an edgy look. I couldn’t decode whether I liked them with the water or not so I posted both.

My Corner of the World

The fort at Fort Desoto

There is an actual fort at Fort Desoto Park. The fort was finished in 1900 and was used until after World W 2. Pinellas county bought the fort and surrounding area later and in 1963 it opened as a park. I don’t usually spend a lot of time there but one day in late October I wasn’t quite ready to go home for lunch so I thought I would climb the path to the top of the fort to see if there were any birds around.

You can rent bikes next door and I thought the bright colors popped against all of the green and blue.

Looking around the fort area, it reminded me of a picture I had seen looking through the old family photos.

Apparently I had been there when I was just a tot running around. It must have not been opened as a park long when we went because I was born in 1963. I must have less than a year old.

After the fort, I stopped by the fishing pier to watch the dolphin show.

At this point a storm was moving in and it was starting to drizzle so I quickly headed back to my car.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

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Fun morning out

I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier in early November and it was really low tide. I think this is the first time I could walk all the way under the fishing pier. The pier was closed due to damage from Thunderstorm (or mini hurricane) ETA so the only thing on it was a cormorant.

At first glance it only looked like minor damage around the yacht basin.

This vulture found a dead fish that must have washed up on the grass when the tide got crazy high during the storm and got stranded. He was having a feast.

Pretty pelican in the mangroves.

Out on the open field next to the pier, I saw this dog enjoying getting a good brushing. Then he was ready for some play. I struggled getting him catching the frisbee. He kept going the other way and if I went around I’d be taking the picture into the sun. He was definitely a frisbee catching expert.

Not happening this year

These are some of the shots from last year’s Thanksgiving weekend visit to Disney Springs. It was our 3rd annual lunch at the Springs with my sisters and we had a perfect day last year. This year we all did what we were suppose to do and stayed at home. They didn’t get to come visit this year so next year we’ll have to make up for lost time.

Above are some of the Christmas trees we saw around town last year including the manatee statue waving in front of the tree.

I hope everyone is having a good Christmas in spite of the things that are going on. Are you staying at home instead of visiting relatives? If it’s warm Brett and I might spend the day at the beach (if it’s not closed) just to get outside. Although, even if it’s cold we might still go. Nothing like a long walk on the beach all bundled up when it’s cold. Below are some old pictures I found of my family being bundled on the beach. The first is from the early 70’s of my mom and two sisters walking on Clearwater beach. The 2nd was more recent (early 90’s) of my sister and I goofing around on the the beach. Both were on Christmas day.

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The same things from a different park

I headed down to Fort Desoto early one Saturday morning only to find it was closed for a marathon. So I decided to head to a park I had not been before. Maximo Park sits on the water right next to the interstate and was only minutes away from Fort Desoto. I had not been here before but had not heard much about it. It’s a small park near a marina and the people were lined up at the boat ramp to get their boats in for the day. Across the bay you can see the new bridge near Fort Desoto going up. You can buy bait fish right out of the water (for the lazy people who don’t want to pull their own bait fish up with a net).

It was a quiet day for birds but above are a few that I found including the vulture sunning himself.

Was it starting to look like fall? Looks like poison ivy with those red leaves of 3.

I stopped by Sawgrass Lake Park on the way home for a quick walk and saw this soft shell turtle crossing the parking lot. A man came over and picked him and moved him on his way. It’s rare to see these guys out of the water up close. They are usually pretty skittish.

This is one spoiled duck.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

A quick walk after work.

At the end of October, before the time changed, I could get out for a quick walk after work before dark. I headed over Safety Harbor hoping to get some lightning shots. I could see the storms south of the causeway but they were heading towards Tampa.

Since it was low tide, there were a few birds walking around in the muck right off the fishing pier, probably eating crabs.

The mangrove crabs are very skittish but I manage to catch a few of them scurrying away.

The big beautiful oak tree in front of the library. There’s usually a lot of people in the tiny park here but I think the threat of storms kept everyone at home.

Walking around by the yacht basin, I saw an eagle sitting on one of the poles. I was able to snap the above before he took off. I know they nest near Philippe Park north of here but this is the first time I’ve ever seen one in the fishing pier area.

Even though lights were showing the way to the boardwalk, it was starting to drizzle so I headed home.

Road trip to Nature’s Coast

Early morning at Pine Island beach, north of Tarpon Springs and south of Cedar Key. I had not spent any time in this area and it’s a beautiful quiet area. At least it was in October.

I was hoping to find some new shorebirds here but it was the same old ones that I can find in my usual spots near home.

Fiddler crabs along the shoreline.

Just me and my shadow on the boardwalk, looking out on the gulf.

This is a small beach compared to beaches in the Tampa bay area. It’s a little off the beaten path so it might not get the crowds in the summer that we see on Clearwater beach or St. Pete beach. It was a beautiful morning and I was glad to be out of the house and out on the road.

The drive into the beach is a long 2 lane road with marsh on both sides. The first two shots were looking right and the bottom two were looking left as you drive in. This is why they call this area the “Nature coast”.

SkyWatch Friday

“Snow birds” at Fort Desoto.

I could see the tiny white dots far out in the water when I first walked on to the beach at Fort Desoto. I knew it would take me a good 15 minutes to walk up Outback Key to get even remotely close to them (the above is taken with my 300mm and cropped up). I was hoping someone didn’t come along and spook them before I got out there or that they didn’t take off for the other side of the park.

I finally made it out to the farther area and the white pelicans were busy preening along the shallow end. I snapped a few pictures and then they started taking off.

Luckily they just flew around in a circle and landed in the water close by. They eventually made their way back to the shallow end of the spit. It was a beautiful sight, seeing them all flying around over head. Although, they were a little awkward trying to land. The white pelicans are not year round residents here. They come in the winter for a short time and the last few years they have stayed mostly hidden, hanging out in spits much farther away. There were several other photographers there this morning and I think people have coming to see the pelicans pretty regularly since they arrived.

Something about them makes them such a treat to see so close up. I guess I always think back to the comical pelican “Rufus” in the movie Dolphin Tale. I I think he stole the movie.

She doesn’t look as close as this picture makes it look but she was brave getting out there in waist deep water. I stayed on land or at least ankle deep water. I was afraid one big wave or hole would knock me over and I’d be diving for my camera (even with a tripod). The water was a little choppy this morning.

My Corner of the World