Summer Sunset and a Common Night Hawk

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The calendar may say that it’s spring, but Floridians know that summer gets here early.  It gets hot.  It gets muggy.  Afternoon showers bring May flowers.  That’s when it’s time to take the backroads around my house to see what I can find…

Lazy Days of Summer
Lazy Days of Summer

On rainy days, these rolling fields are picturesque with dramatic clouds for backgrounds.  But on hot, cloudless days, the bright orange sunsets can be a bit boring.  So I got the idea to keep some bubble mix in my car.  Doesn’t everybody remember summer afternoons of playing with bubbles when they were kids?  But I found that the bubbles were a bit challenging to photograph.  Even with my little bubble gun, which spits out bubbles way faster than I ever could blow them, there weren’t enough to fill my frame.  I quickly switched from my wide-angle lens to an intermediate telephoto.  Then the bubbles fall to the ground way too quickly.  By the time I could get focused on them, they were landing on the grasses.  My best shot is a composite of three different shots, with bubbles added from each image to create the illusion of a sky filled with bubbles.  Next time I need to take Filter Boy along with me to operate the bubble machine while I operate the camera!  Or I could set up the shot and use my intervalometer to make the images while I blow the bubbles myself.  Can you tell that I had a good time playing? :)

Common Nighthawk in Flight
Common Nighthawk in Flight

I wasn’t the only one enjoying the sunset.  The Common Nighthawks are back!  These funny-looking birds are in the nightjar family.  Their pudgy heads and tiny bills blend into their bodies when I photograph them in their usual positions, on top of the many sprinklers that water the fields!  But on this particular evening, they were flying around in big circles, frequently giving out their distinctive peent calls.  It’s a sound I miss during the winter while these birds are off in South America.  Now they are back to their nesting habitat in Florida.  Maybe this year I will get lucky and find a few babies! :)

Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake County Backroads?

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One thought on “Summer Sunset and a Common Night Hawk

  1. Terrific images! Pretty neat idea using the bubbles. That adds quite a unique dimension to the shot. Like you, I’ve missed the “peent” and the courtship dives of the Nighthawks. Happy to have them back.

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