Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tampa Skyline

Saturday night, I went out with a group of photographers from my meetup group to photograph the Tampa skyline. You can find the group here.

There were 21 photographers in the group and we were all trying to capture the same photo. I wanted mine to be different, but it was the only view we had because we were all photographing from a narrow dock across the Hillsborough River; so I set my White Balance on my camera to tungsten. In my opinion, it worked out great.

Let me know what you think by posting your comment.

If you like my photos and would like to see more, please visit my website.


Friday, April 18, 2008

"Globetrotter" Dragonfly

Actually, "Globetrotter" is a common name for the Wandering Glider Dragonfly. They get this name because they are the only dragonfly found worldwide, according to the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to Florida.

This guy was hanging around at the edge of the water just long enough for me to capture this shot. These particular dragonflies are nearly always flying. They are not known to stay very long in one spot.

I love their little faces. They always look like they're smiling.

If you like my photos and would like to see more, check out my website here. Comments and/or critiques are always appreciated.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

American Black Duck

This little American Black Duck was looking at me as if to say, "What are you looking at?" He or she was foraging in my yard under the bird feeder for any stray seeds. Usually, they take off when I come out, but this one and her/his mate stayed around for a while. A few of these ducks come back year after year to breed here on the lake.

The Moorhens, who are very territorial, chase them, but the ducks keep returning. Mostly they just fly off a little ways when the Moorhens start after them and the ducks keep coming back--much to my enjoyment. I don't like to see them fight, but it's interesting how such a little bird can get these ducks on the run.

It is so educational living here with all the wild life and birds. I've been here for a little over 2 years at this location and I've photographed more than 40 species and about 30 species with their young. I've learned so much about their habits by observing them. What a great place to live!

Your comments and/or critiques are always welcome and appreciated.

If you like my photos, bookmark this site or visit my website here.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

American Alligator with Plastic Bag in her Throat

I am so frustrated! This is what happens when we, as humans, litter. This poor American Alligator, who I'm pretty sure is pregnant has a plastic bag caught in her throat. I think she's pregnant because I've been watching her build a nest at the edge of my bank under some brush.

She's been laying at the bottom of my bank since this afternoon with that bag in her throat. At first I thought it was just next to her until she moved and it moved with her. Once I got a better look, I could tell it was half swallowed. I called the animal rescue people, and they told me that since it was getting dark, if she was still alive, they'd come out in the morning. It's so sad. It's now 11:30 pm and I just checked on her. She's still resting there in the same spot. When I talk to her she comes up on the bank a little closer to me, but there's no way I'm going to try to pull it out.

We all need to be more mindful of what we're doing to the environment when we carelessly throw our trash on the ground. Littering hurts. If it was in your pocket when it was full, what's the harm with carrying it back out the same way you brought it in and disposing of your litter in a proper receptacle. Pay attention to what we're doing to our wildlife and our environment, please!

I spent the day today with the Animal Rescue team trying to lure her in so they could catch her. She's not afraid of me because she knows me and knows I won't hurt her. When I talk to her she comes closer, but as soon as she sees the rescue guy, she takes off back into the water and doesn't surface very soon. At least I know she's still alive. The rescue team said he'll keep coming back to check on her and hopefully he'll be able to catch her. Unfortunately, he thinks the only time he'll be able to get her is when she's half-dead and too weak to escape.

It's so sad. I was thinking of contacting the paper and giving them the story as an environmental issue. I'll see if they're interested in running it.

UPDATE 5/10/08:
I haven't seen her since the animal rescue guy said he'd keep trying to catch her. I'm thinking he must've got her because she hasn't turned up belly up and I've seen no vultures around. Alligators are creatures of habit, so I know she's not here. I could set my watch by her coming to my bank everyday at 3:00 pm for her sun and snooze. I miss seeing her, but I'm happy that I'm nearly convinced that she isn't dead. He must've saved her.

If you like my photos and would like to see more, just click here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mother and Babies

We have two pair of Mottled Ducks that come back every year to breed and have their young. This is the first time the mother has taken them for a swim in the lake this spring.

It's always so exciting to see the new chicks. There are so many birds on the lake where I live and I always look forward to the spring when I can meet their young.

She looks so proud to be showing them off for all to see. The Mottled Ducks will be here for about 2 more months before they start to head back to where ever they came from.

I've lived here 2 1/2 years and this is the second clutch I've seen from this pair. They're so adorable, aren't they?

If you like my work and would like to see more of it, check out my website here.

White Flowers

Usually I tell you about what I've photographed. Today, I'm asking you to tell me.

I captured these flowers on a shrub just outside of the hospital where I work. I have quite a few books on wild flowers and garden flowers, but I haven't been able to identify this one.

Anyone have an idea what it is?

If you enjoy my blogs and my photos you can visit my website for more. It can be found here.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment.

UPDATE: I found the name of the flower, it is a White Crepe Myrtle. Thanks, Larry, for your help.