I talked Keith H. into meeting me at Orlando Wetlands Park yesterday for some dawn photography. We planned to arrive early so we could get to a good place and set up before the sun rose. Plans don’t always go the way you want.
I’ve been to OWP many times before. Their posted hours are “sunrise to sunset” and although they do try to close the gate right at sunset, it’s always been open when I arrive before dawn. When we got there yesterday around 6am, it was still locked. I don’t know if this is a new thing or the ranger just over slept. We waited a while, but finally decided to make a few photos in the pasture on the opposite side of the road. I found this old campfire circle. I was hoping for a bit more sky color, but it never really developed. I still like the image and the cows were interesting (and interested).
Curious cows and old camp fire: I don’t think these cows had ever seen a photographer before. They watched very carefully as I made this photo in the pasture across from the entrance to Orlando Wetlands Park.
By the way, if you’re new to Florida, you have to be careful about where you step when you’re exploring a pasture. I’m not talking about just cow patties. We also have fire ants and walking through one of their mounds could result in some nasty bites. Please be careful.
When we finished in the pasture, the OWP gate was open and we went in so I could show Keith the area they cleared out last winter (were we originally planned to go). This post has a photo of roughly the same area as it used to look. There’s fewer reeds and less growth near shore and they’ve removed a lot of clutter from the center – leaving some nicely isolated cypress trees. He and I agree that it’s more photogenic now. If I can only get there on a morning with a nice sky…
We wanted to get home before it got too hot and this time of year isn’t the best for birds, so we didn’t stay for any bird photography. But we did see a few, including Little Blue and Great Blue Herons and heard a Barred Owl calling. I’m sure there were more around, if we’d put in a little effort.
With all the rain lately, bugs are pretty bad. This is what Lynn calls “Spray, shoot, run” – when the mosquitoes are so bad that it’s hard to stay out long enough to make a photo.
So yesterday, our plans quickly went awry. We were challenged by a locked gate, a mediocre sky, and blood sucking and ferocious biting insects. But we still came home with a few photos. The moral of the story? Plans are only plans. When they don’t work out, do like the US Marines: Improvise, adapt, and overcome. Find a different photo. Make do.
You can click on the images above to get to larger versions on Flickr. You can also see more OWP photos here on Flickr.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved