Backyard photography

A Productive Afternoon Walk!

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I was feeling tired this morning, so I slept in instead of heading to Fort DeSoto to watch for migrant birds.  As much as I wanted to photograph Indigo Buntings, I wasn’t too sorry that I stayed home.  Rich and I were driving down Stoneybrook West Parkway when I noticed an adult Bald Eagle and what appeared to be a juvenile Bald Eagle sitting in the pine trees by Whispering Oak Elementary.  I thought I might have seen a nest back in those trees earlier this winter, but the nest shown on Eagle Nest Locator as active for this year is by Walgreen’s.  We went home, got The Beast, then returned to the pine trees.  There was indeed a nest, with a juvenile Bald Eagle on it!  I didn’t see either of the parents, but the juvenile stood there and called to them, posing nicely for me in the front of the nest.  How cool!  To think I’ve had a pretty accessible nest so close to home all winter… We’ve been seeing Purple Martins flying over our heads each evening as we walk down by Black Lake.  I’ve been wondering where those birds nest, since I haven’t noticed any Purple […]

Backyard photography

Purple Martins!

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We saw several Purple Martins near Black Lake on our walk tonight!  It’s the first time I’ve seen Purple Martins around our neighborhood.  I had fun trying to take flight shots, although the light was fading and my results aren’t great.  But they are proof that we have martins around!  It’s tempting to set up a Purple Martin house…

Beyond the Backyard

Spring is in the Air at the Circle B Bar Reserve

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  It’s amazing how different a place can look after two weeks.  The weather kept me from Circle B last weekend, and I think it’s driven a lot of the birds away too.  The ponds that used to be covered in American Coots and American Wigeons were virtually empty.  Not an American White Pelican did we see.  I counted a lone Wood Stork.  Only the Sandhill Cranes roosted as usual, but they had to move to higher ground.  All the recent rains have refilled the dry pond beds – Circle B looks like a marsh again!   Robins greeted us high in trees above the parking lot as we arrived.  I heard lots of American Goldfinches as well.  As we turned onto Heron Hideout, the American Kestrel was on a dead palm on the west side of the trail.  Blue-Winged Teals have already moved into the new ponds.  I love photographing on Heron Hideout at dawn.  The water is usually still and the sun angle is perfect for awesome reflections.  I know Blue-Winged Teals are common, but they are so pretty. There is a dead tree at the "Four Corners" intersection that houses a Red-Bellied Woodpecker and his family.  I’ve […]

Beyond the Backyard

Callaway Gardens Trip – Spring 2010

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Rich and I decided to take a week off this spring to go to Callaway Gardens to see the azaleas.  With the cold winter and early spring rain, the bloom was supposed to be spectacular.  It’s also very late – so the Callaway Azalea Watch was very helpful in planning our trip. The Mountain Creek Inn was full, so we ended up renting a cottage.  It was really nice.  We were right inside the gardens, and we woke every morning to bird song. One of my favorite things about Callaway is seeing flowers and plants that like colder weather, so I can’t grow them in Florida.  The flower beds were accented with pansies and tulips and daffodils. I took this picture in Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden in the morning while the gardeners were watering the flowers.  The water droplets add a fun effect. Rich asked me to take a tulip picture for his mom, and once I started trying to get good close-ups, I had trouble stopping.  Squirt says I should have gotten more close-ups of pansies while I was at it. Of course, the real reason we went this week was to see the azaleas.  Callaway has several azalea […]