2013: Photographic Year In Review

I’m a firm believer in listening to your mind, body, & soul…. that being said, it’s been a while since I last published a blog post… in fact, I seem to have left everyone off 1/2 way through our Alaskan vacation (Aug-Sept).  Wanting to finish that blog theme I planned the remaining posts, but something felt wrong. See, I’m also a big believer in reflecting on the closing of one year and the promise and hopes for the next.  With that said, I will blog an overview of 2013 and give some insight as to what we have planned for the upcoming year.

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Well, the first 4 months of 2013 were spent photographing a variety of birds.  First we traveled to Ottawa, while visiting my daughter and son-in-law in upstate New Year.  Owls of all types amaze me and the great grays were no exception.  They are simply so beautiful, quite large, and amazingly graceful and stealth-like in flight.

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Several trips to Blue Cypress Lake also provided some exciting images of the ospreys that breed and raise their young there in the cypress trees.  It was incredibly peaceful to capture them as they brought in nesting material, participated in courtship and mating, and brought fresh fish in to feed their mates.

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Who can also forget the incredibly tender moments of bonding captured between the sandhill cranes and their colts.  So fuzzy and adorable … they grow up way too fast … much like our own children.  🙂

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Tom flies out every year to Oregon to meet up with some of his RC glider plane friends from south Florida, as the bluffs and mountains provide the perfect lift and thermals for them.  In 2013, I decided to go out early with Tom, but added a special twist to the trip … a side trip to the Palouse Region of eastern Washington.  What an amazing and special place that was and we would love to return for more.

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Once we arrived to Hood River, OR, we then headed over to the Oregon coast for images of the famous Oregon coastline, with the rocky landscape and amazing atmosphere, complete with shorebirds, wildlife, and of course, bald eagles soaring overhead.

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For about 3-4 months during the spring and early summer, I spent quite a bit of time observing the Cooper City resident burrowing owls of Brian Piccolo Park.  It seemed that nothing brought a bigger smile to my face than witnessing their antics as they literally grew up before my eyes.

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I have always wanted to photograph the black skimmer colony on the west coast of Florida, so when my good friend Jess notified me of the colony and its new babies, I had to drive on over to witness (and photograph) it for myself.  I was amazed at the beauty and the concentration of the colony, though I have to admit that I was taken back by some of the aggression I witnessed between some of them.  All in all though, it was a fantastic experience.

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No year for us would be complete without our annual trip to Alaska!  This year was a bit different – we affectionately refer to it as the bear and moose trip, but it was a full 13 days in Alaska before we saw our first moose!  We visited many of our usual “hang-outs”, including Katmai NP and Denali NP.

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We also visited Lake Clark National Park for some coastal bear viewing this year, as we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.  Though the bears weren’t as plentiful as I would have hoped (seems it was a bit late in the season), the scenery more than made up for it.

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As you can imagine, it takes quite some time, and energy, to get through all of those Alaskan images, so for the remainder of the year, I slowed down quite a bit.  I did try to concentrate more on some landscape images in my native south Florida.  A group of south Florida photographers got together very early one morning for a private sunrise shoot at the Deering Estate in Miami.  What a gorgeous day it was … not to mention, what a fun time we had together!

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We had so much fun that we gathered again for an early morning sunrise shoot at Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne.  With the lighthouse, landscape trees, surf, and sand as the backdrop … it’s hard to miss a great shot.

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So, all in all, 2013 was a very good year indeed!  At this time, plans for 2014 are still in the works … but they so far include a winter trip to Yellowstone NP and also a side trip to the snow covered landscape of Utah; hopefully a return to Arches NP, Canyonlands NP and Moab, UT in a much more comfortable time of season (versus the dead of the summer, as we had the last time that we visited that area); Glacier NP & the Canadian Rockies in the late spring; and of course, our annual visit to Alaska.  So, I think it’s safe to say some really exciting things will be happening in 2014.  All I can say is … bring it on!

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I will make up for “lost blog time” by continuing on, as blog space allows, for more from Alaska 2013.  Until then, Happy New Year to all!

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4 thoughts on “2013: Photographic Year In Review

  1. Outstanding and beautiful pictures as usual! The crane colts (didn’t know they were called colts–I would’ve assumed chicks) are adorable 🙂 And what a fantastic opportunity to see the baby black skimmers–and they look really newborn!

    The salmon in the bear’s mouth in the second bear photo looks delicious! I do miss fresh salmon in Alaska.

    The Florida pictures are stunning.

    Sounds like 2013 was a great year. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in 2014 (sounds like you have some exciting plans!) and seeing the awesome photos I’ve no doubt you’ll take! Happy New Year!

  2. Oh wow, I love your Great Gray Owls! And I recognize that sunrise on Blue Cypress Lake. 🙂 2013 was definitely a great year for you, and you got some great images! We’ll have to get some more together in 2014.

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