I’ll never make my mark as a wildlife photographer. For that I’d have to spend more time both behind the wheel (rather than as a passenger) and out of the car, on foot. I’d also need a much, much better zoom feature on my camera, not to mention years of training, knowledge and experience. So, it’s not in the cards, and I have to start this post by admitting that I have not a single photograph of the pair of sandhill cranes with their adorable little rust-colored chicks, a family we saw on the side of the road near Hernando Beach a few days back, the parents so elegant, the babies so charming!
Later in the day, down at Jenkins Creek where we had gone with our folding chairs to sit in the sun and read and draw (wearing jackets, please note), I failed again, repeatedly, to catch a great blue heron in flight as it swooped down in pursuit of a fish on the end of someone’s line. Storks, on the other hand, skulking around like grumpy, hunchbacked beggars, were no trick at all to catch in the camera’s eye.
Somewhere in between total failure and resounding success were my attempts to photograph a majestic bald eagle. Well, majestic in appearance, like the great blue heron, but, like the heron, eager to let someone else do the fishing and then zero in to steal the catch. High in a bare, dead tree, late afternoon sun bathing him in golden light, the eagle was an exciting vision. But you see where a more powerful zoom would have been more than handy.
It’s been a pretty birdy winter here in Florida. There was that roseate spoonbill on Valentine’s Day, and another day I had a marvelously clear view through binoculars of an eastern bluebird—a common bird, I know, but I don’t commonly see it. “Our most common woodpecker” is exciting to me, too, whenever I get a clear, close view of one like this:
And I don’t think I have yet posted this closeup of a crested cormorant.
One of the best things about Florida is that after several visits to winter bird paradise David is finally getting over the worst of his bird-phobia and becoming interested in feathered and flying things. But did he want me to check out the National Geographic video of birds of America? He hasn’t come that far along yet.