Landscapes and Bobcat at the Circle B Bar Reserve

Last weekend, I went over to the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida with Kevin M., Lutfi E., and Frank B. I almost didn’t go – we checked Flickr for new photos from the area and didn’t see much being posted. But I remembered seeing yellow flowers blooming there at this time last year and wanted to see them again.

Early morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve
Early morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve – The yellow flowers are Burr Marigolds. These are all over the Circle B Bar in mid to late November.

Sunrise sure does happen early since the time changed. We met at 5:15am to drive over and arrived just as it started to get light. I find it very hard to predict how sunrise will look. Weather and clouds can shift over the time / distance of the drive. But this morning turned out nice and I managed to make a good image or two.

Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve
Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve

The bird population was a bit disappointing. We saw the usual suspects, including Anhingas, Cormorants, Woodstorks, Ospreys, Herons, Egrets, Coots, Moorhens, and Whistling Ducks. I attempted a few bird photos, but none came out blog worthy. Here’s a landscape that includes a few birds:

Tree and Woodstorks
Tree and Woodstorks

So – I didn’t see any new birds or make any great bird photos, but I did make some landscapes I like. Enough to count the trip as a success. And then…

A jogger came by us and told us about “a Bobcat up in tree about 300 yards away on the right past a palm tree”. That got my photo adrenalin going! I’ve seen Bobcats in the wild three times or so. In one case at dusk I was able to get a single underexposed, blurry photo before it moved off a trail at Orlando Wetlands. In my experience they take a look at you and then they’re gone. You only have a few seconds to make the photo. So this situation sounded exciting.

We took off down the trail – and Frank and I walked right by it! Lucky for us, Kevin was trailing us, saw it and called us back. It was very well camouflaged and it sure helped to have multiple sets of eyes searching. There was no one around at first. The Bobcat looked healthy, and appeared to be resting and watching from about 35 – 40 feet up. I was really happy that I had my long lens and flash with me. It was backlit against the sky and a real tough exposure without flash. We made some photos and moved on down the trail. When we returned, there was a crowd gathered and it was pretty famous on Flickr the next day! Judging from the photos in the Circle B Bar Flickr pool, it’s a good place to see Bobcats.

Bobcat in Tree, Circle B Bar Reserve

Bobcat in Tree, Circle B Bar – 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.

So the moral of this story is: You won’t make any good photos if you don’t get up and get out there. You’ll never know what you could have seen if you don’t make the effort to go out and see it. You may be surprised and if you are, I hope you’re ready!

You can view other photos I’ve made at the Circle B Bar in this set on Flickr.

Oh, and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Even with all the problems we have in the economy, country, world, and our personal lives – we can each find many things to be grateful for.

I’m thankful that you stop by and read my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

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