Right outside my Garage is a Queen Palm that occasionally has a bird visiting. Today I noticed an odd green patch in a green palm on a green flower pod. Looking a bit closer, I saw it move. It turns out that a Green Anole had climbed the tree and was sunning itself.
I usually see a lot more of the invasive Cuban Brown Anoles in my garden so this was a treat. I had the 55-200mm on the V1 so I grabbed a couple of shots. This one shows the pod as seen at 55mm which would be roughly a 150mm lens on a full frame camera.
I zoomed out to 200mm (540mm equivalent) and got a bit more magnification.
The lens is sharp enough that I could crop to get an even closer view.
Last week, we went to Orlando to see Cirque de Soleil. Sorry, photography not permitted so you won’t see anything from that fabulous show.
But, I did look out my hotel window and see the usual highly reflective building and couldn’t resist a few shots even if they aren’t particularly special. This is the original view as I started doing a bit of post processing.
I kind of like this one because it reflected a windowless side as something of a solid while the balcony sides looked like some special effect digital destruction. But, I didn’t need the industrial components at the bottom or the trees on the right. So I decided on something of a square crop to focus on the part I first saw.
That’s a pretty good shot of what I thought I was looking at. But, then I noticed another element that I hadn’t seen while shooting and which I could have done a lot better job of exposing and cropping. The flight of outside stairs on the left which actually went several stories higher. So, I cropped them into a bookmark and liked the slight difference in each cell as the angle of view changed. Had I seen it taking the shot I think I could have done more with it. Here it is rotated 90 degrees. I still see some subtle shading in there that could have been fun to play with.
We were away for a few days and when I returned, the young heron had finally left the nest. Now I can start looking for other things to shoot while I’m on my walk.
Oh, wait, there is another pair of Great Blue Herons who appear to be building another nest in the tree over the Peace River Wildlife Center. The nest here is bottom left and the guardians perch top right.
That’s going to be a tough spot to shoot compared to the Osprey pole so I probably won’t spend so much time on it. But, there are other things to see in Ponce Park.
Like this sunlight through a Sea Grape leaf or a hermit crab in the shallow water taking advantage of an Apple Snail shell.
The other morning I went down to Ponce Park after a few days of poor weather. It was still cool and somewhat misty. Having missed a few days I had figured that the remaining juvenile Great Blue Heron would have gone by now. There was still one on the nest the last time I was there. It was still there squaking at an adult nearby.
The Peace River Audubon Society had a field trip to the park at the same time and I asked about it. Unfortunately, I was to find out that the other had not flown but had fallen and been injured so badly that it had to be put down. As of yesterday, it was still in the nest alone.
Elsewhere in the park I found a pair of hawks who seem to have found religion as they were posing as preacher and deacon on a cross. Unfortunately, this saintly bearing was soon belied when one swooped down onto a truck in the parking lot and attempted to steal the windshield wipers off a truck. Perhaps they looked like a loose stick and suitable nesting material.
Just south of Punta Gorda is the Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management area. Quite a while ago I went out to shoot the mist off of the marl ponds and Webb Lake. I had processed a few of those shots as Misty Morning at Marl Pond Today, I was looking back to clean up some old directories and ran across those shots. In with them were a few that had looked less interesting at the time. Today was rainy so I had some time to play with them a bit. I had seen some traces of color in the images from the lake but they seemed muted since the sun had risen more and the mist was more grey. I did see a bit of color in them though so I decided to increase the saturation a bit to see what I got. I kind of like them.
The shot above is the original. You can see the golden glow of the dawn but the sky above and reflected below was becoming blue which suppressed the golden color I saw through the trees with my eyes.
Increasing saturation and a bit of cropping to get rid of the cooler blue parts gave me this image.
Here is another from the same shoot.
I posted these for comment on a photography forum and someone suggested trying them in black and white. So, I used FastStone to make a quick conversion.
I kind of like it.
Another trip to see if the last of the pair of Great Blue Herons had left the nest. ‘Chicken’ was quite active but still couldn’t make the change from nestling to full flight. I watched it for about 20 minutes with the idea that I might actually catch it’s first flight from the nest. It didn’t even have to be much of a flight, the trees which routinely hold larger birds were only about 15 feet from the nest. This view will show you the approximate distance. But, after looking at that it decided to look straight down. OOOOOOO, Scarey.
But that wasn’t enough to stop this bold adventurer. It quickly looked in another direction and found the perfect flight path.
Straight across into the nest.
Upon landing, it struck a triumphant pose although it’s flight wasn’t much more than a hop with it’s feet lifted. After a while, it went back to the corner by the trees and I thought it might actually go. It turned out to be a little more posturing but it must have been tiring since it walked back into the nest to sit down.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day. The parents are no longer providing meals so it had better get busy. Of course, if it does fall from the nest there is no better place than the Peace River Wildlife Center below it.
It looks like one of the Great Blue Heron babies has left the nest. Yesterday I thought both would be gone but apparently one has decided to stay behind for a while. Too bad, Mom and Dad are no longer bringing food to the nest for them. The last one left looked for a while today like it was going to make the big leap to the trees below but decided against it. The plumage is very well developed. It looks like it could use a little more development but the bird should be capable of flight for short distances now.
But, the attempts were for really, really short distances. The practice consisted of holding the wings up, standing on one foot and hopping to the other side of the nest. But, it’s a start and should end up with a flying heron very soon.
But, junior tired at this after a while. One of the parents showed up to encourage the little thing to come down for the free food at the Peace River Wildlife Center below. But, it wasn’t to be. As soon as the young bird saw the parent, it stopped the attempted flight, sat down and started squawking for food.
The parent wasn’t buying that ploy though and flew over to the pen to feed itself.