Blue Cypress Lake

Blue Cypress Lake is a large lake about 20 miles west of Vero Beach. It is known for the hundreds of Ospreys that nest in its cypress trees from March through May. This place is also incredible for sunrises and sunsets framed with the cypress trees. You can rent a pontoon boat from Middleton Fish Camp, or better yet, go out with one of their guides.

Photography Advice

Long lenses and intermediate telephotos are both good here. Don't forget the wide-angle for sunrise.


Blue Cypress Lake Blog Archives

  • Blue Cypress Lake Photography: Sunrise and Ospreys!

    Blue Cypress Lake Photography: Sunrise and Ospreys!

    It’s that time of year again!  Time to drive down to Yeehaw Junction in the crazy-early hours of the morning for some Blue Cypress Lake photography. :)  A sunrise pontoon boat ride on gorgeous Blue Cypress Lake is totally worth the early morning.  My friends Michael, Debbie, and Debbie’s Sherpa Tom and I met two weekends ago for a fun morning of landscapes and birding.  You see, Blue Cypress Lake is one of the best places to go to photograph nesting Ospreys.  The lake is beautiful, with almost no human presence at all.  The shoreline stretches before you and the Ospreys call you to photograph.  And we did!! :) Ironically, the day started with very slim prospects for sunrise.  The weather forecast said that the heavy overnight clouds would lift a few hours before sunrise.  Well, as usual, the weather forecast was a little off!  The clouds were thick as pea soup as we arrived at the lake (better than last year, though!). I think we were a little excited – we all got there about half an hour before the boat would leave.  That’s dedication for people that drive 2-3 hours to get there! :)   As the sun …
  • Clouds at Blue Cypress Lake

    Clouds at Blue Cypress Lake

    Last Sunday I met friends Debbie, Tom, and Michael at Blue Cypress Lake for a fun-filled boat ride of dramatic sunrises and flying Ospreys.  Well, that’s what it was supposed to be, and what it  was in March 2012, May 2012, and March 2013.  So I happily jumped out of bed at 4am and drove for an hour and a half to the middle of nowhere in the pitch black of pre-dawn.  As the first light began to appear in the skies, it showed me clouds – lots and lots of thick clouds.  It made me glad I stuck a garbage bag in my vest in case I needed to protect my gear from rain.  We set off in our boat, determined to have a good time despite the weather… The above was our sunrise tree from our last trip.  It looked a little different with ominous rainclouds behind it!  Because the light levels were so low and the Ospreys weren’t flying much, I spent more time with my wide-angle lens taking pictures of the lake landscapes.  This was one of my favorites.  Even on a nasty morning, Blue Cypress Lake is gorgeous. When there’s no light for good flight …
  • Spring 2013 at Blue Cypress Lake

    Spring 2013 at Blue Cypress Lake

    I was so excited when my friend Michael Libbe organized a boat ride on Blue Cypress Lake last weekend. Blue Cypress Lake is a huge lake near Yeehaw Junction in Central Florida. If you know Yeehaw Junction at all, you know that the location is “out in the middle of nowhere!” The only human structure on Blue Cypress Lake is Middleton’s Fish Camp, where we rented our pontoon boat. Thanks to Michael and to Mike Fitzgerald for driving the boat for our group! It was also great to see Donna Faylo and to meet Debbie Tubridy, and to have my favorite shooting buddy, my dad, along with us! One of our reasons for visiting this lake is for sunrise images. The cypress trees are gorgeous, and it’s fun to create silhouettes with the rising sun. Last year I had great luck at our Arts in April employee art show with a sunrise from Blue Cypress. Mrs. Middleton was understandably concerned about safety, so we weren’t allowed out on the boat until it was light enough to see. So I stood watching the deepest colors of sunrise from the little bridge that overlooks the lake entry. That’s our boat coming towards …
  • Happy Birthday, Dyeyo D!

    Happy Birthday, Dyeyo D!

    A few weeks ago we celebrated Dyeyo’s b-day early with a trip to Blue Cypress Lake.  Al0ng with friends Michael, Donna, and Susan, we took a pontoon boat ride to photograph the Ospreys nesting around the lake.  Dyeyo couldn’t believe how many nests there were – easily one per tree in certain areas.  It was a beautiful morning and we had a great time. Joe Middleton from Middleton Fish Camp was our guide.  He knows every inch of the lake, and which birds are regular show-offs for photographers.  He first took us to photograph the Osprey fishing for their breakfasts.  The sun was hidden behind the clouds, so the light levels were challenging. Blue Cypress Lake is a great place for landscape photography, too.  It is undeveloped, so there are no annoying houses or other human distractions along the shoreline.  I enjoyed photographing the standing cypress trees out in the water. Sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous when framed with the trees.  I can’t wait to go back next year. The sun finally came out, and the Ospreys stopped fishing.  Joe took us to a very active part of the lake, where literally 20-30 Ospreys were flying around.  He was great …
  • Osprey Nesting Time at Blue Cypress Lake

    Osprey Nesting Time at Blue Cypress Lake

    Saturday morning was an incredible morning to be at Blue Cypress Lake.  Some friends and I made the trip down the turnpike to the lake, which is near Yeehaw Junction.  The lake is full of bass, which makes it a popular hangout spot for the Osprey population.  Hundreds of Osprey nests can be found in the tops of the cypress trees.  We took a pontoon boat out on the lake to photograph the nesting birds.  Birds came out of practically every cypress tree that we passed! Most of the birds are on eggs.  A few chicks have hatched, but they weren’t visible over the tops of the nests yet.  Our boat driver, Jeff, was really neat about trying to orient the boat so that we were shooting at the best light angle.  He knew how to approach the birds to get them to “show off,” but I really respected that he also knew when to move along and leave them alone.  After all, the photographers were the “intruders” that had wandered into the birds’ front yards…the birds were much more polite than I would be if somebody drove a boat into my nursery! :) There were many (many!) opportunities for …
  • Sunrise on Blue Cypress Lake

    Sunrise on Blue Cypress Lake

    On Saturday I joined friends Michael, Donna, and Susan on a much-anticipated trip to Blue Cypress Lake.  The lake is a prime location for nesting Ospreys.  I will post more on the trip and birds tomorrow – but for today, here are some teaser sunrise shots.  :) The clouds added some interesting features to the sky as the sun peeked over the trees on the horizon.  The reflection in the lake water was beautiful!  I was so excited when the driver moved the boat between these two cypress trees, which completed the sunrise shot.  :)