Monday, May 17, 2010

Mottled Duck Family

This little family is not the same family as the one I posted previously. I never did see them again. These ducklings are almost ready to fledge. Every afternoon, they come up to my patio doors and knock on it while peeking in. I think they're peeping toms.

The first time they did it, I was home alone. The blinds on the patio door were closed and I kept hearing this knocking sound. When I went over to check to see what was going on, I saw these cute little ducklings knocking on the door. Since then, they've been doing it every day.

I have no idea what they're looking for, but I do know they come in the yard every time I'm sitting out there. They're just so cute! I'm going to hate to see them fledge.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


"Winter", the injured Dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater. She was trapped in a Lobster trap and a fisherman found her and called the aquarium. Due to injuries received, she lost her tail and had to learn to swim again.

Winter now swims like a Shark with a side-to-side motion. This swimming technique is causing a curvature to her spine. So the vet and the developer created a prosthesis to replace her tail. Since there was nothing to attach the prosthesis to, they had to figure a way for her to keep it on while swimming, jumping, etc. It is held on by suction. She's pretty remarkable.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

At my regular Monday Night Meetup in Safety Harbor, I decided instead of sitting around shooting the breeze with my friends, I'd shoot a few things with my camera instead of my mouth for a change.

The crowd has been dwindling over the last few months. I think it's partially because there are so many other Meetups going on that we're spread too thin. So, in order to try to get some of our regular members as well as some of our new members to participate a little more, I'm adding a theme or challenge for shooting on Monday nights. I've done it for two weeks now, and it seems to be working so far. Time will tell if it's going to work out on the long haul.

The theme for this week was macro photography, so I brought my macro gear, and some of the members who have macro gear did likewise. Those who didn't have gear brought things to photograph. It worked out pretty well. We even experimented with macro photography using a magnifying glass and I had some DIY macro lights set up, so everyone was able to try something different.

I shot a Gardenia with and without lights and it made a beautiful difference. I still haven't seen some of the other posts, so I'm pretty anxious to see what they came up with. Here is a shot of my Gardenia using the DIY light setup. It was a lot of fun experimenting.

We were also joined (sort of) by a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. He stayed out there on the water's edge for the longest time and had no problem with some of us that were shooting him. I swear he was posing for us most of the time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More From NY

Since my foot isn't really getting any better, the doctor now has a soft cast on it along with the Cam Boot. This is really limiting my ability to get out there and shoot. So, until I'm able to get around better, I'm going to have to post some of my older stuff.

While I was in NY, I got up early one morning before the kids got up so I could have some time to shoot alone. I walked up and down the road looking for whatever caught my attention and lo and behold, I came upon this cute little scene in my son-in-law's neighbor's side yard.

For whatever reason, it reminds me of olden days on a farm. I'm sure the bench is just decorative; at least it doesn't look like it would hold much weight--and I love the old milk can with the Daffodils in back of it.

So, what are your impressions of this little scene?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Who's Having More Fun?

Last night was our regular Monday Night Meetup in Safety Harbor, FL. We had a couple models come in for a model shoot, which everyone enjoyed.

Since I'm not really into shooting models after having my fill in the late '70s, I sat around at the picnic tables and talked with my friends. All of a sudden, Jean pointed out a photo opp right up my alley. She spotted this dad giving his toddler a ride on her kiddie car. I thought it was hilarious; especially with Daddy wearing a helmet.

Just as I was ready to shoot, the father got off the kiddie bike. I asked him to get back on it and ride so I could get a photo of it since he looked like he was having so much fun. He graciously obliged and this is the result. He only sat there for about a minute and this one was my choice of the 5 I shot because of his expression.

I want to know, though, who's having more fun--Daddy or his little girl?

Monday, May 3, 2010

...and he makes the catch!

...and he makes the catch!

During Little League AAA's practice, Noah makes the catch even with the sun in his eyes. Great job, Noah!

The continuing saga of my vacation in NY a couple weeks ago. While the triplets were playing baseball, I had the task of watching the twins on the playground. I was forced to shoot from too far away if I wanted any baseball photos at all.

This one was shot with my 55-250mm lens from a distance that I'm not good at judging. All I can say is there was two baseball fields and one basketball court between where I was at the playground, and where this practice session was taking place. It was also freezing, well, for me it was at 52 deg F. Noah was playing left field if I can remember correctly when he caught this ball.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Letters in Nature Project

First of all, I want all my readers to know that these are not my photos.

These were taken by my grandchildren, ages 7 (the twins) and 9 (the triplets). We took a walk into the woods on their property for a photo project that I sometimes have my students do as an assignment in learning to "see".

They all took turns using my point-n-shoot camera and I told them they have to find letters of the alphabet in nature. One of the rules were that nothing could be changed. They couldn't add, move or remove anything. These are a few of the photos they took in less than an hour.

We covered most of the alphabet. When one of them spotted a letter, they got to take the shot. This is a great exercise to improve your own eye. It's actually easier than it looks, and hey, if 7 and 9-yr. olds can do it, so can you!

Other than slight cropping to make the letter more obvious, these are straight out of the camera. These kids did a great job; don't you think?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blue Mist Flower

This Blue Mist Flower, found in Sawgrass Lake Park, took some research to figure out what it was. It took four books until I finally found it. I didn't expect to find it in a Gardening book, since I assumed it was just a wildflower.

It's scientific name is Caryopteris clandonensis. It is in the Verbenaceae family. According to the "Southern Living Garden Book", it is an Asian native and is valued for their contribution of cool blue color to flower borders from mid-summer to frost.

I was attracted to its delicateness and the blue color. As many times as I've been in Sawgrass Lake Park, I don't remember ever seeing it before. It must've been planted by the birds.