Jul 2: Looking Back

It was winter in Wisconsin, but the roads were clear for a change, so I went for a long drive. Only a couple days previous, everything looked like this.

Pretty, but a pain in the ass when it’s on the streets and sidewalks. I ended up at the Creamery in Downsville. It was my first time there, and I loved it. They gave me a wonderful table near the patio door (closed for the season, of course). The fireplace was in front of me, built into a beautiful brick wall. Continue reading

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Closeup on the Osprey

This is a common raptor in Florida, though apparently it’s part of the Imperiled Species Management Plan. I see their nests everywhere. That’s a good thing, because eagles like to grab the osprey’s young and eat them.

Several features distinguish the osprey from other birds of prey, including a reversible fourth toe and spines located on their feet that are used to help grasp their prey, which is almost always fish, as they fly over the water.  Osprey and owls are the only raptors whose outer toe is reversible. Ospreys in Florida did not suffer the serious pesticide-related population declines that occurred in other states in the 1950s and 1960s. They are also known as “fish hawks, “sea hawks,” and “river hawks.” Because of their diet, you’ll find them near bodies of water.

The juvenile osprey may be identified by buff fringes to the plumage of the upperparts and streaked feathers on the head. My photos indicate a young osprey, eyes newly yellow (the chicks have orange eyes).

The osprey is unusual in that it is a single living species that occurs nearly worldwide.

I spotted one sitting on a branch at the lake. Perfect! No leaves. Heh. Tree leaves have ruined more bird photos than I can remember.

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Post-Processing Magic

I was sitting in the backyard early one morning and noticed the light on the red hibiscus plant. It’s gone through some changes over the last few months, and not for the better (lost half of it during the winter drought), but it’s hanging in there.

This is the original, straight out of the camera.

Doesn’t look exciting, does it? But at the moment I took the shot, it was gorgeous! The sun was shining through the leaves, and it glowed.

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More Macros

Still on the macro kick, because I’ve been stuck at home for a while. I’ve seen new insects and others that are familiar to me. I’ll start with the scolid bee. I love how fuzzy they are.

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Fatigue… and Ants

Last night I dreamed I was at the store, and I’d forgotten my mask. I was terrified I’d catch the virus, because someone, also not wearing a mask, was talking in my face only two feet away.

I’m not afraid when awake, so I’m surprised I’d have a nightmare about masks and the lack of them. Maybe reading about the recent surge in reported cases has stirred up my subconscious. Florida is one of the states that has shown a massive increase in cases (no surprise there, given the bootlicking Republican governor).

The last four months have been long. Really long. I lost Suki, my faithful companion of nearly sixteen years, and except for quick trips to the grocery store every two weeks, and a handful of visits to local parks (with no one around), I’ve been alone at home. Even work has not distracted me from my isolation, as there hasn’t been much, and I’m becoming concerned about money. 

Yesterday they resurfaced the roads in the park, and we were forbidden to drive on them for 24 hours, which actually stretched to three days. (Of course several residents ignored the request and drove down the street, one of them doing it only six hours later.) It was like another nail in the coffin. I was so frustrated and twitchy yesterday, I was ready to rip someone’s head off.

This year, 2020, was supposed to be an improvement over 2019, and 2018, 2017, and 2016 before that. It didn’t happen. So far 2020 is the worst year in recent memory, and hurricane season is around the corner. One wonders how much worse things can get.

Something has to change–nationally, globally, and personally–but I’m not sure what.

I’ve picked up the macro lens again. Ants are a challenge, as they are usually always moving. Take a good pic of an ant, and you are well on your way to mastering macro photography. 😉

This last one shows the ant protecting its source of sweet syrup. I was considered a predator and threat.

See you next time.

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