Everyone was eating breakfast at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in late October.
A great blue heron off in the distance.
A young purple gallinule showing off his big feet.
A kingfisher sitting still. I took this from the car since I knew the second I opened that door he would be gone.
A tricolored heron guarding the sign.
A few of the smaller gators along the drive. I never seem to see the really big ones there.
More along the drive. I was having hip pain in late October so I decided to head over to the wildlife drive in Apopka and stay off me feet for a while. I ended up with hip bursitis which has slowed me down for a while in early November. It was taking forever to heal since I can’t seem to sit still very long.
I was cutting through the woods at Chesnut Park to get to the big lake and caught movement off to the side. I stopped and saw a big family of deer feeding along the small pond. They checked me out for a few seconds but then kept eating. I stood for a few minutes just watching them, glad no one else was around to spook them for the little time I was trying to take some pictures.
I caught this phoebe in the bushes with a bug in his beak.
Another phoebe out in the open.
Little flying critters. I don’t see red ones often.
I think I woke this guy up. A harmless black racer was sleeping near the trail.
It was starting to look like fall in late November. You could see a glimpse of red.
I ran out after work to try and get some sunset pictures since it was sunny at my house but 15 minutes away and the clouds were out. I thought I would try and work on my long exposure shots but couldn’t seem to get them right. The shots were either too dark and the water didn’t look like silk or they were too blown out. I didn’t really like any of the ones I came home with. Going to try again when the sun it out.
Trying not to step on the horseshoe crabs coming up in the tide.
I do like this shot, taken from the parking lot.
I took this pano with my phone.
Later that week I went out to Sand Key and the sun hid from me again. A cloudy time on the beach is still better than being at home!
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.
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.
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.
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.