Tag Archives: Little Blue Heron

Morning Glory

I had a strong urge to photograph, and at the last-minute decided  to drive over to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge before dawn last Friday.  My first stop was at a spot Kevin M. Tom M. (3/25/17 correction – I misremembered, sorry.  Tom told me about this place, not Kevin.) had mentioned – underneath the east side of the A. Max Brewer Causeway that leads into the refuge.

We’ve had cooler weather here and very clear skies, so I wasn’t expecting much color at sunrise.  But this is what greeted me at dawn:

Morning gloryMorning glory

This image is a two frame panorama I made with the Olympus E-M1 II camera in high res mode.  Lightroom’s been updated for the camera, and I’m impressed with how it handles these files.   And the more I use the new camera the better I like it, especially how it minimizes motion artifacts in high res mode.

I next took a turn around Black Point Wildlife Drive.  The water on the first half is as low as I’ve ever seen it – gone in many places.

Cracked Cracked.  Infrared, B&W

It was exciting to spot a Bobcat.  It was stalking slowly through the grass, but I only managed a single (poor) frame before it disappeared.  I wish it had lingered for a few minutes so I could get a better shot.  I’m guessing it might be a long time before I get another chance for a Bobcat photo as good as the one in this post from 2011.

Bobcat Bobcat

On the back half of Black Point there was a lot more water and a lot more of the regular birds.

Little BlueLittle Blue

I also took a turn around Gator Creek Road and saw an Osprey close up with an awesome fish.  But it grabbed the fish and flew off with it before I could get a photo.  Seems like I need to practice my quick reaction shots!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

A walk in the park

I usually walk in my neighborhood several times a week.  It’s a good way to get some exercise and say hello to folks.  I did something different last Friday and drove over to Orlando Wetlands Park for my morning hike.

It was still dark when I arrived and I could hear owls and whistling ducks calling on the way out to Lake Searcy – one of my favorite landscape places.  I didn’t like the view this time since the water was low and the appealing  mirror like reflections were missing.  I ended up moving to a new location for this:

Middle marsh mystery island
Middle marsh mystery island

Morning color was disappointing, but I do like the image.  After sunrise, I wandered around and made some bird photos.  There were many Little Blue Herons:

Pretty little bluePretty little blue

And the Palm Warblers are here in force, bobbing their tails as they pose in the reeds:

Palm WarblerPalm Warbler

And here’s one of the whistling ducks.  I caught it mid-preen:

Black Bellied Whistling DuckBlack Bellied Whistling Duck

The last time I was at Orlando Wetlands was in February.  It was good to get back and a lovely walk.  And carrying weights (photo equipment) made it better exercise.  Plus, I made some photos!

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

©2016, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Early Friday at MINWR

I don’t have much to say this morning, so the photos will have to do most of the talking.  I started  yesterday along the Indian River at Space View Park.

Watching the morning sunWatching the morning sun.  This is a two frame, blended exposure.  I made the bottom half  exposed for the water with a Neutral Density filter to slow my shutter speed to 20 seconds at ISO 100 and f/11.  I made the top part with the filter off, exposed for the sunrise at ISO 100, f/11, 1/100 second.  I was very happy to see the Osprey fly through the frame with a fish as I clicked the shutter.  I blended them together in Photoshop with a layer mask.

I planned to drive around on Gator Creek Road next, but it was closed – so I headed to Black Point Wildlife Drive.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Juvenile Little Blue Heron.  There were several around, so they must be nesting nearby.  I’ve seen Green Herons breeding there, but not Little Blue Herons.

A Mottled Duck
A Mottled Duck.  I don’t spot these too often.  When I looked it up, I learned (or maybe re-learned) some things.  Mottled Ducks are related to both Black Ducks and Mallards, and are the only duck adapted to breeding in southern marshes.  The Florida population is a subspecies and the male has lost its distinctive plumage so that the both sexes are colored alike.

You can click on these photos to see larger versions, and I have many more MINWR images in this album on Flickr.

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

©2016, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Walking 'round the Wetlands, 5-17-2014

Kevin K., Kevin M, and I went to Viera Wetlands last weekend.  We’d had heavy rain the week before and the roads were closed to cars, so we walked.

Handsome Blue
Handsome Blue – Little Blue Heron

You’ll see different things walking versus driving.  When you drive, you can cover a larger area and maybe see many more things.  But sometimes the faster pace and the isolation inside the vehicle will make you miss something that you might see if you walk.  And when you walk, it’s easier to stop and really look at something.  Or stop and wait for something to happen.  When we first saw the Little Blue Heron, it was in the shade.  But we stayed for a few moments and the sun rose enough to put it into some better light.  Worth waiting for, and we probably wouldn’t have if we were driving.

We started too late for a sunrise photo, but I did manage to make this infrared image of the moon setting into the marsh.

Marsh Moon
Marsh Moon – The moon sinks into the clouds over Viera Wetlands. IR, B&W, 3 frame Vertical Panorama

We also stopped for a bit to watch a family of Sandhill Cranes.  With all the birders that frequent Viera Wetlands, they’re very used to people and you can get pretty close without disturbing them.  They’re interesting birds.  Whenever I see two adults foraging, they seem to take turns keeping an eye on things.  One will be head down, while the other is up and looking around.  When there’s a young one with its parent, it always seems to mimic what the parent is doing.

This one! This one is a good bug to eat!
This one! This one is a good bug to eat! – Sandhill Crane and Colt at Viera Wetlands

Even though the birding action in our area might be slowing down as summer approaches, we still enjoyed ourselves.  We spent some quality time out in nature, and made a few photos we like.  Another good day for a photo-op in Central Florida.

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

©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Red, white, and blue (birds)

Lynn and I visited the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Bird Rookery this morning. Breeding season is in full swing and there are nests, eggs, and chicks of all varieties. Check the Native Swamp & Rookery blog for their latest status.

Here are three photos I made there this morning:

Spoonbill
Spoonbill

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

Little Blue Heron watching people
Little Blue Heron watching people

You can see many more photos that I’ve made in St. Augustine in this set on Flickr. By the way, I took a “new” camera and made some photos with it for a future blog post. It should be interesting if they turn out.

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

Don't put your camera away until you're in the car

I was out this morning with a couple of people from the Photography Interest Group.  We planned to explore a part of Orlando Wetlands Park that we’d never been to.  If you look on a Google map of the park, you can see a finger of land that sticks out into the lake on the east side.

On the map, you can also see two paths that lead there.  Our plan was to work our way over and along the finger into the lake to make some photographs from the new location.  Here’s a photo I made from the fork in the path at the beginning of our explorations.

_DSC3718_4_5_6_7_tonemapped
You can’t tell where a path ends from the beginning – Nikon D700, ISO 200, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm, f/8.0, five exposures: 1/15 sec – 1/250 sec, Photomatix. Edited with the Topaz Adjust filter to bring out more detail in the clouds and to make the foreground slightly brighter.

We walked down this open and inviting path for a while until we were suddenly blocked by a solid mass of bushes and underbrush.  I really wonder why this is here if it leads nowhere.  Maybe it has been open in the past.

We trudged back out the way we came, and went up our normal route a little farther to the next path leading east.  This time, we managed to follow it for quite a ways – before it suddenly went under water.  So, we then backtracked again and circled around the lake clockwise for while, but we just couldn’t find anything interesting to photograph.  At this point, we were hot, tired and getting frustrated at our inability to get to where we wanted to go and the lack of photographic targets.  We started heading back to the car.  And that’s when we began to notice interesting things.  Here’s a photo of a butterfly hiding in the damp grass:

_DSC6330
Butterfly, flowers, dew – Nikon D90 @ ISO 200, Nikon 70 – 300 @ 300mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec. Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom.

And here’s a photo I made of a hunting Little Blue Heron.

_DSC6370-nx2
A Little Blue Heron catches a worm. (Is that an alligator to the left?) – Nikon D90, ISO 200, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, f/8.0, 1/250.

So, even though our explorations this morning didn’t succeed, we did end up getting some nice photos.  And we didn’t get them until we forgot about exploring and headed back toward the car.  The moral of this story is the title of the post.

Have you had a similar experience?  Post a comment about it.

These and a few more photos from this outing are on my Flickr page here.  As a special treat to my loyal readers (especially you, Mary!), I’ve uploaded this photo set as full resolution jpeg files and changed the license to an “Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license“. Click on any of the photos, then click on the “all sizes” icon and choose a size to download.

Oh, and Happy Halloween.

©2009, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.