Saturday, December 25, 2010

Why I love Florida

Ring-billed gull with shrimp
Regular Amusing Musings readers know how much I love and treasure the greater Yellowstone area. But for a change of pace we sometimes spend a week on Sanibel Island, just off the coast of Fort Myers, Gulf of Mexico side. Sanibel is two-thirds nature preserve, what more could I want? Well, it helps to have birds that are big enough to see without my glasses. Yes, yes, there are little warblers and hummingbirds, but it's the big guys that are abundantly present at this time of year. Here's just a sample of what we saw two weeks ago (click on the photos to see the details). Enjoy, and merry Christmas!

Double-crested cormorant, juvenile plumage, at Ding Darling National Wildlife
Refuge. Note the striking eye color!

Great egret on Sanibel's fishing pier
Snowy egret, at Sanibel Marina
Boat-tailed grackle
Great blue heron, Captiva Island
Pair of nesting ospreys, under the Sanibel Lighthouse

White ibis, with pretty blues

Wood stork, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Brown pelicans, Ding Darling
White pelican (and great white egret), Ding Darling
Roseate spoonbill, a standout even at this distance (and ibises and a gull)

Monday, December 20, 2010

What is so marvelous about photography

We've just returned from a week in Sanibel, Florida. Sanibel, an island off the coast of Fort Myers, is two-thirds nature preserve. Need I say more?

(please click photo to enlarge for full effect)
I took hundreds, maybe a thousand, photos. As I go through them (fully intending to post some here and more on my Flickr site) I finally understand what a miracle nature photography is. Something catches the eye, the camera goes up, focuses, and the shutter clicks. But during that micro-second between when something is envisioned and when it is recorded on the sensor (or film) anything can happen. There's literally a blind moment, and the outcome isn't fully known until displayed on a computer monitor or printed. The miracle is that time after time, the result is spectacular. What a joy of a hobby photography is!

Friday, December 17, 2010

This time the good kharma is mine

In the last two days I have lost and found: one earring...which I eventually found with the pin-like post pointed down into the car seat where KLK had been sitting for about an hour...the earring would have been found a lot faster if the pin had been pointed up; one pair of fancy (and pricey) prescription sunglasses, on a shell- and detritus-strewn post-storm beach (photos to follow in a few days), thanks to KLK's ability to pick them out from among the tens of thousands of shells and squishier things of all shapes, sizes and colors along the wave-line; one lens cap, face down in the sand. Its perfect black roundness made it easy for me to locate, although it had been sitting in the sand, slightly embedded, for a good 15 minutes before I noticed its absence and retraced my steps.