Kevin K. and I were over at Viera Wetlands on Friday. Here’s how one of our conversations went that morning…
“There’s something on the side of that dead Palm tree.”
(Raising telephoto lens for a better look through the windshield.)
“It’s a Raccoon.”
(Checking camera settings, slightly panicked.)
“I’m getting out of the car!”
(Fumbles with seat belt and door handle)
“That’s a picture!”
(Making quite a few…)
“Oh look, it’s crawling inside!”
“Aww – you don’t see that every day!”
(Hoping the image is in focus and exposed correctly.)
Shy Raccoon disappears. Elapsed time: about 45 seconds.
No, you don’t see something like that every day. Even when you’re out looking and paying attention to what nature shows you, things like this are rare – and a treat! Coming across them is a strong motivator for me to go out as often as I can. How about you?
Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog. Now – go make some photos!
I’m coming down with another cold and wasn’t very enthusiastic about going to Viera Wetlands yesterday. Actually, “not very enthusiastic” is a big understatement. I almost didn’t get out of bed – but now I’m glad I did.
We had to leave at “O dark thirty” to get to the west side of the wetlands just before sunrise. I wanted to try the D7000 out on landscapes and it performed very well. The image below is a single exposure of the sunrise. I don’t care too much for silhouettes – I like to have some detail and color in the shadows. For this one, I exposed at -2 EV to prevent blowing out the sky and then brought up the shadows in post processing. The D7000 recorded a very broad dynamic range and has remarkably little noise in the shadows at base ISO, even when under exposed. This real world example, along with the the results from the recent DxOMark test of the D7000 indicate it’s going to be a very fine landscape camera. The only problem is that I don’t have a very wide lens for it.
Sunrise at Viera Wetlands, D7000, ISO 100, 1/100 sec. @ f/11, 16 mm
As we were photographing the sunrise, an otter swam by right in front of us just past those reeds (about 8 – 10 feet away). That’s the closest one’s ever come to me in the wild. Of course, I didn’t have the right camera set up so I didn’t get a photo. I think the otter knew that, and swam by just to tease us. We saw it a couple more times but could never get a shot off. Those things are quick. And black. And hard to photograph.
After the sun was up, we drove around the wetlands and came up on this:
Bald Eagle on dead tree, D7000, ISO 320, 1/500sec. @ f/8, 500 mm
This eagle was just surveying the area. I did get a few images when it flew off, but none blog worthy. I need more Birds in Flight practice, especially at 500mm!
The sun was up, but still low in the sky as we saw some cormorants sitting on a viewing platform. The light was hitting this one just right to show off the detail in his dark feathers.
Cormorant, D7000, ISO 220, 1/500 sec. @ f/8, 500 mm
Here’s one more photo I want to show you. This little fellow was digging around in the reeds along with several birds. I’m not sure what they were after, but it might have been snails – we saw a lot of them yesterday. This image is a good example of the D7000 at ISO 1600. Very usable with minimal noise.
Rocky Raccoon, D7000, ISO 1600, 1/500sec. @ f/9, 500 mm
Today I feel a bit worse, so I’m glad I went out yesterday. Hopefully I’ll start feeling better tomorrow.
I drove over to Orlando Wetlands Park last Friday morning and walked around the 2.5 mile ‘Birding Route’ foot path. I arrived around 9 am and didn’t expect to see much wildlife. But once again this urban oasis didn’t disappoint me. I saw the usual alligators, including one that posed with some flowers, as well as many herons, egrets, ducks, etc. (Note: you can go to my gallery to see larger versions of these photos).
New for me this visit were some Sandhill Cranes, and a raccoon. I was walking quietly down the middle of the path taking pictures when the raccoon came around the corner. It had it’s head down and I took several photos before it looked up.
It did a double take, decided it didn’t like what it saw, and took off pretty quickly.
There were also a tremendous number of dragonflies out there. I’m worried that this means the lovebug season will be especially bad for us here in Florida this year.
The highlight of this trip was the many varieties of flowers in bloom. It made for a very colorful stroll.
The biggest problem this time of year is that our weather is turning very hot. By the time I left the park to head home around 11 am the temperature was approaching 90 degrees. Get out early and get back inside while it’s still cool!