Monday, October 25, 2010

Road Trip

Yesterday, Bill and I drove over to the quaint island of Cedar Key on the Nature Coast to see if they still had the best grouper and raw oysters in Florida. They did.

On the way we stopped for a short hike at one of the parks along Route 24. This may look like a birdhouse, but I think it is actually either a bat house or a butterfly house - but don't tell this Great-crested Flycatcher. I like the muted colors in this shot.

My sister has been taking beautiful pictures of butterflies lately - so I was inspired to try my hand.

I chased this one for quite a while - as he flitted from flower to flower.

He was prettier than my picture shows. Guess I'm going to have to find a butterfly guide so I can identify them. Maybe I'll just ask my sister.

Over at Cedar Key, the Forster's Terns are already in their winter plumage. The one in the middle must be running for Governor. I will be so-o glad when Election Day is over!

In the summer, the black across the eye covers the top of the head and the bill turns bright orange with black on just the tip. While we sat on the back deck of the restaurant eating our dinner, we were entertained watching them dive headfirst into the water over and over to catch small fish.

The Laughing Gulls also look quite different this time of year. Since this one still has brown on his wings, he may be a second year juvenile. They get their breeding plumage with an all-black head in the third year.

The common Royal Terns were everywhere - and quite vocal. They look semi-bald in the winter but come spring he will grow a beautiful head of jet-black hair.

Naturally, we also saw lots of Brown Pelicans doing what Pelicans do - just stand around and groom their feathers.

I've joined the Shutterbugs Photography Club here in OTOW and one of our current challenges is to take pictures of trees in Shalom Park for an exhibit in March. I was at the park when the gates opened at 8:00 AM hoping to get some decent shots with the early morning light.

I would like this one better if it had a cute raccoon or two sticking their heads out of the hole. I do like the colors behind the tree.

This is probably my favorite shot of the day - but I'm really not thrilled with any of them. Trees just stand there. I've asked Bill (he's the one with the artistic eye) to go over with me and give me some pointers.

How could I resist this cute squirrel? He looks like he's wearing a clown nose for Halloween.

Trees are homes for all the birds and critters that I do like to photograph - so that's probably the way I'll proceed with this challenge.

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