Tag Archives: Eastern Meadowlark

Osceola Wander

Kevin M. organized a Photography Interest Group expedition yesterday.   I went along with  Kevin K., and Frank B.  The four of us were up extremely early to beat the sun to this pasture in Osceola County along Canoe Creek Road.

The sky was kind of plain when we arrived, except for the very thin moon rising ahead of the sun, and the ground fog over the grass in the distance.

Sliver moon and mistSliver moon and mist

After photographing there we moved on to Joe Overstreet Road and then Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area to see what we could see.

There’s a photography joke:

Q: Why did the bird cross the road?

A: To get to the bad light.

I don’t know about you, but this often happens to me when I’m trying to make photos of birds.  And if they don’t hurry into the bad light, then they usually turn away from the camera.  The backs of birds are not as photogenic as the front.  Yesterday the birds were a little slow and we managed to catch some of them in very good light and not facing away!

Into the lightInto the light

I wish I hadn’t been framed so close on this Bald Eagle.  I would have loved to catch it in full flight.  They’re seen down there often, so I’ll have to try again.

The meadows along the roads were full of Eastern Meadowlarks.  And when we couldn’t see them we could definitely hear them.

Morning songMorning song

There were signs posted at the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area with results from recent hunts. And the deer we saw were definitely very wary. These two stared at us for a while before running off into the trees.

Two wary deerTwo wary deer

All in all, it was a good day for photography.  And the banter in the car was quite entertaining too.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2015, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Jetty Park and Merritt Island – 12 Feb 2012

We had another very nice photo outing last weekend.  We stopped first at Jetty Park in Cocoa for sunrise and to check out the shore birds.  It was quite cold (for Florida) – about 32 degrees F with a 15 – 20 mph wind – brisk!  We saw Brown Pelicans, Northern Gannets, Ruddy Turnstones, Royal Terns, and several types of gulls.

Dawn at Jetty Park
Dawn at Jetty Park: There wasn’t a lot of color in the sky, but I still like how this turned out

Next we went by the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (East Gator Road, Blackpoint Wildlife Drive, Scrub Ridge Trail, and the visitor’s center).  MINWR continues to have large numbers and many types of birds.  We saw several unusual ones (a Sora, Clapper Rail, Eastern Meadowlark) and many of the regular visitors (Redwing Blackbirds, Norther Pintails, Northern Shovelers, Ring Neck Ducks, Blue Wing Teals, Redish Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Tri-color Herons, Little Blue Herons, Little Egrets, Great Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Coots, Morehens, etc.).

Male Northern Pintail
Male Northern Pintail

Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Meadowlark

There were disappointments at a few of the normal spots:  The Great Horned Owl wasn’t on its nest, the Painted Buntings weren’t at the Visitor Center, and there weren’t any Florida Scrub Jays on Scrub Ridge Trail.  But there weren’t any mosquitoes there either!

Jetty Park and MINWR are fantastic places to visit and very active now.  If you haven’t been recently, go!  You can see more photos I’ve made at these places here, here, and here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

The year in review: My favorite 2011 Photos

I hope that all of you, your families, and your friends have a joyful and happy holiday season!

Photographer Jim Goldstein has an annual tradition of organizing a “best photos of the year” listing.   So it’s a good time to put together my own third annual “Favorite photos of the year” post.  You can revisit 2009 here, and 2010 here.

Again in 2011, I’ve been blessed with a huge amount of photo opportunities. The 2011 folder on my hard drive takes up about 178 GB of space. Wow – good thing storage is so cheap now days!  I’m still using the following system to rate my photos.  The numbers in parentheses are the counts for 2011 .

  • 1 star   – The photo is interesting (262)
  • 2 stars – The photo is worth showing to others (400)
  • 3 stars – The photo is the best of (or one of the best of ) any given photo shoot (81)
  • 4 stars – My favorite photo of a year (1)
  • 5 stars – My favorite photo ever (none, I’m not done making photos yet!)

Photos without stars are seconds or not so good versions of other photos. I usually keep them, but they probably won’t get any more attention. I’ve been using this system consistently, and it seems to work for me. I’ve reviewed my 2011 photos and selected what I think are my best.  Of course, this is all subjective and my opinion only. Feel free to disagree, but I hope you’ll enjoy looking at the ones I’ve picked.

You can click on each of these to go to Flickr and see a larger version.  Or you can click this link to go to the set on Flickr.

Here we go.  I have 3 mammals, 3 birds, 2 landscapes, and 3 miscellaneous subjects …

Bobcat in Tree, Circle B Bar Reserve
November:  Bobcat in Tree, Circle B Bar Reserve. I’ve seen Bobcats in the wild before, but I’ve never been able to take a good photo of one. We saw this one resting up on a branch and it posed for a while. In this image, I think it was trying to figure out how to get through the crowd of humans at the base of the tree. More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/11/24/landscapes-and-bobcat-at-the-circle-b-bar-reserve/


Baby mountain goat
July: Baby mountain goat, Mt. Evans summit, Colorado. There were several families of mountain goats on the way up and at the summit. This little one posed for me so I could frame him against the out of focus mountains in the background. It’s amazing to watch them scramble from rock to rock and never slip. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/07/10/mount-evans-redux/


Young deer at Viera Wetlands
September: Young deer at Viera Wetlands. View large and check out the eyebrows and whiskers! More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/09/04/late-afternoon-at-viera-wetlands/


Barred Owl watches photographers
January: Barred Owl watches photographers. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/01/30/catching-up/


Eastern Meadowlark
December: Eastern Meadowlark, Blackpoint Wild Life Drive. More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/12/17/merritt-island-scouting-report-saturday-december-10/


Florida Scrub Jay watches us
June: Florida Scrub Jay watches us.  One or two birds in this Scrub Jay family were real posers. And one of those was a “dive bomber”. It flew at our heads a few times trying to discourage us. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/06/19/a-summertime-visit-to-minwr-blackpoint-and-scrub-ridge-trail/


Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve
November: Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/11/24/landscapes-and-bobcat-at-the-circle-b-bar-reserve/


It was a little cloudy this morning
December: It was a little cloudy this morning. Blackpoint Wild Life Drive. I’ve enjoyed playing with an Infrared modified Olympus EPL-1 camera.  More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/12/17/merritt-island-scouting-report-saturday-december-10/


Tomb of the unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery
March: Tomb of the unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery. I’d never been to Arlington before this trip. As a US Navy Veteran and a patriot, I have to admit it made a huge impression on me. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/03/19/washington-dc/


Flavia, in color
December: Flavia, in color. American Photo Model Shoot, Orlando, 12/3/11.  My first time photographing models was a real learning experience.  More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/12/09/orlando-american-photo-model-shoot-workshop-december-2011/


My Grandfather's Pocket Watch
June: My Grandfather’s Pocket-watch. After the Orlando Watch Company repaired it, it’s working fine.  This is a 1921 Elgin pocket-watch, marked Wadsworth Referee 20 year 5069868.  More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/06/25/grandfathers-pocket-watch/

 

I hope you’ve had a great photo 2011 too.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some more photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Merritt Island Scouting Report – Saturday, December 10

Lutfi, Kevn M., and I set off for Viera Wetlands last Saturday, but on the way we kept passing through light rain showers.  Since it’d rained off and on for the past week, we worried they’d close the area to cars, so we switched destinations and decided to visit Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge instead of Viera.

We got to East Gator Creek Road in time for sunrise, but the cloud cover was too dense for any blog worthy photos.  After sunrise, the gloomy light made bird photography difficult too – it was a good thing I brought my flash along to help.  We’d seen some reports of Horned Grebes at MINWR on Flickr, and sure enough one showed up almost right away.  She wasn’t shy and swam right up to us.

Horned Grebe Female
Horned Grebe Female – My first photo of one.  MINWR has been very productive for me as a source of “life birds”.  These are winter visitors.  Hopefully I can sight a male in breeding colors later this season.

Next we went over to Blackpoint Wildlife Drive.

It was a little cloudy this morning
It was a little cloudy that morning: Infra-red capture can really bring out the details and contrast in a somewhat gloomy scene.

Unlike some previous trips to BPWD, there are huge numbers of birds there now.  It’s a great time to visit – The water levels are high and the winter visitors have started to arrive!

Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Meadowlark – another life bird for me.  These are year round residents in Florida, but I hadn’t photographed one before.

We saw large flocks of Coots, Pintails, and many Grebes.  There were a variety of shorebirds too.  We saw Reddish Egrets, Belted Kinfishers, Great Blue Herons, Tri-Colored Herons, Little Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Anhingas, Savanah Sparrows, Lesser Yellowlegs, Green Wing Teals, Eastern Meadowlarks, American Avocets and others.  There were also many spoonbills flying around (but none seemed to want to land near us).

Follow the leader:  American Avocets, winter plumage
Follow the leader: American Avocets, winter plumage – not my first sighting of these, but one of my best photos of them.  These are also winter visitors to Florida.

Before heading home, we went by the MINWR Visitor’s Center to check on the Painted Buntings. Unfortunately, there weren’t any around this time – although the rangers told us they’d seen them that morning.

If you’ve wanted to visit MINWR, now’s a great time.  For a preview of some of the things you might see, take a look at  my MINWR set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved