Love is in the air…

Birds are like people when it comes to looking for a mate they use pretty eye coloring and put on fancy feathers with hopes to fine the love of their life (at least for 1 season).****GREAT EGRET BREEDING FEATHERS/ GREEN LORE/ PHONESCOPE-9654Great Egret

****CATTLE egret breeding plummage head feathers up*-2640Cattle Egret

****tri color heron breeding eye 2-2557Tri-color Heron****PURPLE GALLINULE-2488 copyPurple Gallinule

****SNOWY EGRET WITH BREEDING FEATHERS AND COLORS-2274Snowy Egret

****gbh WITH BREEDING FEATHERS /phonescope-9602Great Blue Heron

All we are is dust in the wind so count your blessings and go take more photos.

Do You See What I See…  © PC PHOTO 2017 All rights reserved

A photo retrospective

Each year is filled with challenges and 2016 was no exception. Without faith family friends and photography I don’t know how I would have gotten through this one. The original thought for this post was to share twelve of my favorite pics from 2016 on this poor neglected blog of mine. By the time I got to May I was bogged down with so many favorites that the plan was revised (😂). So today I will share a bunch of my favs in no particular order or size and at some point in the future I will share some more.

Thanks for stopping by I hope you enjoy the views. Cheers to all, we will see what 2017 has to offer. Keep in mind that all we are is dust in the wind so count your blessings and go take more photos.

Do You See What I See…  © PC PHOTO 2017 All rights reserved

A Limpkin family chronicle

Limpkins are found in swamps and marshes in Florida they feed primarily on apple snails. The photo below shows an apple snail on the trunk of a bald cypress tree. The pink clusters on the tree trunk and the reed are eggs that the snail has already deposited.apple snail laying eggs-4765

Limpkins nest on floating vegetation or in trees, this nest is in a tree. Incubation time for their eggs is approximately 27 days.1 - sitting on nest-9309

8 chicks hatched from this nest, getting a family portrait was impossible with the chicks exploring their new world.  3 - limpkin family-4000

This chick stood a away from the family pensively watching and learning.4 - 3 days new watching and learning-3991jpg

Meanwhile theses three amigos formed a close knit bond that endured up to the time they matured.5 - 3 amigos _DSC3995

Adults hunted apple snails and fed the insatiable appetite of the chicks for weeks.6 - adult feeding apple snail to chick _DSC4004

When it was time to move from one location to another the adults would carry a snail shell knowing that the chicks would follow.7 -  time to cross the marsh - follow us_DSC4538-28 - follow me _DSC4541One by one the chicks entered the marsh waters following the adult.9 - chicks following parents across the marsh _DSC4544Is this where the saying “keeping your ducks in a row” comes from? (Yes, I’m aware these are not ducks 😀)

Once on the other side of the marsh this little Limpkin takes its iconic place close to the adults mouth waiting for food.10 - safe on the other side of the marsh _DSC4512-2

At 2 weeks the parents continued to bring the brood to the same area to feed, the water level hadn’t receded after a heavy rain and neither the adults nor chicks were happy to have wet feet all day long.limpkin chicks 2wks after 5" rain pin feathers beginning to show-5089 Note the downy feathers fading giving way to pin feathers at 2 weeks. limpkin chick 2wks  pin feather-5329

At 3 weeks of age the chicks have more than doubled in size and the pin feathers continue to fill in on their wings.  A couple of the chicks have disappeared from the family however, the dynamic bond continues with the amigo siblings sticking close by one another while the chick in the foreground remains a solitary creature.limpkin chicks 3wks pin feathers 3 amigos-6145

At 6 weeks the Limpkin chicks are nearly the size of the adults and they are learning to find food for themselves yet they don’t pass an opportunity to slip under a parent that is hunting in hopes for a bit to eat.classic limpkin position 6 wks-7510limpkin chick 6wks being fed 2-7478

By the time 7 weeks passed only four chicks had survived. I wondered what happened had an alligator or snake or bird of prey taken them… I choose not to dwell on the loss because it is the other side of wildlife and nature the cycle of life and my main focus is on the beauty and wonder side of the cycle.

I observed this Limpkin family for 2 months watching how the parents cared for their young and taught them how to survive. It was interesting that when the chicks were displaying signs of sibling rivalry the parents didn’t intervene they let the youngsters work it out on their own.  During the chicks growth there were moments that I felt a personal pride watching their accomplishments it was they were a part of my own family. But as all good things come to an end so did the chronicling of this feathered family, they grew up and went off in their own separate directions. I hope you have enjoyed the chronicle of this Limpkin family and are encouraged to discover nature for yourself. Now go take more photos!📷📷

Do You See What I See…  © PC PHOTO 2016 All rights reserved

Test shots from Nikon 200-500

Seems like I have been away from blogging for ages. I was away from the computer but I never put the camera down. Matter of fact I attended a photo workshop and have shot more frames in the past 2 months than I did all summer long.

Nikon released their latest big zoom the 200-500 AF-S prior to my workshop but I didn’t order it until after I got back home. I’ve taken it on 2 outings since it arrived last week and will share a some examples from todays shoot.

This first shot of a black swan is sooc the f5.6 delivered a pleasing bokeh.

black swan sooc -5454

ringed neck duck mirror image-5188

A heavy crop on the mirror image of the ring necked duck and the white swan closeup doesn’t show alot of distortion. Though I hope Adobe will be adding the lens correction profile to Lightroom soon.

eye of the swan-5281I haven’t tried the “Sport” mode that was added to this lens so far. That’s on the to do list next time out. The biggest surprise I had was too much lens compared to what I am used to with the 80-400mm. Never thought I’d say that! It’s a nice lens and will be an everyday part of my kit but it won’t replace the 80-400 however it is a great compliment to it. All of the shots in this post are DX format shot with D7200. Next outing will test its performance with full frame D610.

Other reviewers have stated that this lens design leans towards hand held shots. It can be done and can be used at lower shutter speeds than most long lenses allow you to shoot but IT IS heavy and the 95mm barrel is more than a handful for smaller hands. A quick mention the 200-500 performs well with the TC-14E III although it is a slow focus and manual focus is better suited for birds in flight.

Thanks for taking time to stop by and listening to my thoughts! It would be great to hear thoughts from others who have been using this lens. Until the next post… go take more photos!

Do You See What I See…

© PC PHOTO 2015 All rights reserved

Sandhill Crane Colt grows up

single-sandhill-crane-colt--8244A quick update on my post from March 22 Sandhill Cranes and their colts. It’s one month later and the colt that was knee high to the adults has legs as long as the adults. It’s outgrowing the rusty colored down feathers and growing its adult plumage and is foraging fore its own food while staying close to parents just in case a hand out is offered.

sandhill-crane-family-single-colt---8247 Do You See What I See…

© PC PHOTO 2015 All rights reserved

Natural Florida… Manatee at Blue Spring State Park

When the air and water temperature drops manatee seek warmer waters. On the morning we visited Blue Spring State Park the count was 403 manatees in the lagoon according to information at the park entrance.#1 playing directly above the opening of the spring 2-2365 copyAt the spot where 104 million gallons of water enters the lagoon daily visitors were treated to the cavorting of a small group of manatees in the 72 degree water. #2 Manatee hug-2219They played follow the leader, rolled around and hugged one another.#3 The nose(s)-2216… there were nose kisses#4 Tail Splash -2292… and splashing of tails

It was well worth getting up early for the 2 hour trip to the park and standing outdoors in the cool morning air to see it all happen.

3 things you need to know about Great Blue Herons

GBH nest relief ceremony-1734-2When Great Blue Herons change who is in charge of keeping watch on their nest they perform a Nest Relief Ceremony, it is part of the pair bonding rituals where they clap their bills together.

GBH regurgitate-1742They swallow the food they hunt for and regurgitate it to feed their chicks. Some of the contortions were comical looking especially with the breeding plumage billowing in the breeze.

They aren’t necessarily fond of being watched when feeding their chicks. This adult went through the motions of bringing up the food several times but waited until there was no one on the trail to watch it feed the chick.

Great Blue Heron 1 chick first look-1749-2It is good to look back from whence you walk. Once the trail was clear of onlookers the first hatched chick popped its head above the nest and gladly received its food.

2 GBH chicks first look-1967Several days after getting a look at the hatchling I visited the nest again and was happy to see there was a second chick in the nest. They were tugging at the adult’s feathers in this view. Their downy feathers are adorable.

Do You See What I See…

© PC PHOTO 2015 All rights reserved

A new year and a new photo challenge

Wow here we are trying to remember to write 2015 instead of 2014. To say time flies is an understatement. It seems the more I try to get organized and move along at the same pace as the days on the calendar the further behind I manage to get. With that being said I have just added the Elements Village Challenge Blogroll for 2015 here on my site.  It is good to see familiar names returning for another go at it and exciting to see new people joining in the photo challenge for this year.

I am so glad I stumbled on to the Elements Village Forum when I did because this group has helped me unravel the spaghetti strings of digital photography. Having the opportunity to see what other photographers are doing and asking questions as to their techniques has increased my visual creativity and for that I owe the group a big THANK YOU!

Today I received the following notice from Word Press:

Happy Anniversary!