May 23, 2017

Those Eyes!

Burrrowing Owls
I was in the Ft. Myers area over the weekend and had some great luck finding more burrowing owls in the wild!  I visited my now favorite burrowing owl location....and immediately saw not one, not two...but five of these adorable little guys.  All were out and about in the middle of the day in the 90 degree heat.  Very exciting stuff for this wildlife photographer.  (I just love those big, buggy eyes!) This nest (or den -- not sure what they're called) is adjacent to a park and directly across the street from houses.  It's an activate neighborhood, but the little owls don't appear to mind people coming and going -- including those with a big camera and tripod.

May 12, 2017

Weekend Ready

Weekend Ready
Weekend's almost here...and I've got my eye on the prize!
Taken on Lido Beach...just minutes away from the office.
Oh, yes...I'm weekend ready! 
Are you?

May 11, 2017

Wee Fella

Baby Sandhill Crane

When you're a baby sandhill crane and so little you have to plop down and rest under your mom's tail feathers while she munches on dinner.  Such a cute, fuzzy wee fella!  Hard to believe I photographed him just over a month ago.  Bet I wouldn't recognize him now!

Thankful I'm able to enjoy special moments like this in nature right near my house. Linking to Michelle's Thankful Thursday, which I just love!  Great idea.

May 7, 2017

Painted Sky

Sarasota Sunset
We've been having some amazing sunsets in Sarasota recently, which is a bit unusual for this time of year.  The entire SDP staff was discussing this issue and concluded these are the kinds of colorful, eye popping sunsets we traditionally experience in February -- but, not this year. Seems Mother Nature is working on her own schedule...and that's just fine with me. Better late than never. Happy Sunday!

May 6, 2017

Golden View

Coreopsis Field
It's been a few years since I've been at Myakka River State Park with the coreopsis in bloom. It's quite a sight: yellow wildflowers as far as the eye can see!  The last time I photographed them, they were in full bloom...and I was much more adventurous...wandering way out into the field. (Check it out here.) Last night, I just walked down a short path with my GoPro and captured this scene.  There's something captivating about being surrounded by brilliant yellow flowers and bright blue sky!  I suspect even more will be in bloom within the next couple of weeks.  If the timing works out, maybe the SDP staff can make it back out there.  Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

May 5, 2017

Dinner Time!

Dinner Time
RAT!  It's what's for dinner!
This photo was taken just moments after this barred owl pounced on a rat climbing on that very tree branch.  I couldn't believe it!  I always imagined owls swooping down and snatching a rodent or rabbit from the ground and carrying it away in its talons.  But, this guy landed on this branch...sat there for a minute...swiveled his head once...and then...WHAM!  Dinner's ready!  Very exciting for this wildlife photographer! I wonder if the owl heard the rat scurrying on the bark from a short distance away and then landed here in preparation for the hunt. Sure makes me glad I'm not a rat.  Or an owl having to hunt my dinner.  

May 4, 2017

Tucked Away

Barred Owl
With it being overcast last night for the first time in awhile, I thought maybe the barred owls would be out early at the neighborhood park. Bingo! This handsome fellow was contentedly tucked in a tree roosting, with a human family running around nearby making a lot of noise. (Being camouflaged so well, the family never saw him.) I ended up having quite an incredible encounter with this guy, his mate and two little ones. Nothing like observing a family of four owls at dinner time! (That's definitely foreshadowing a SDP post!) Although I saw and heard the two juveniles, they were very good at hiding. I'll post more as time permits. Hope everyone is having a good week so far!