Often in south Florida, you have to dodge raindrops … or should I say weather system storms. See, we were scheduled to attend a sunset photography workshop, involving boats and I was so looking forward to attending and learning. Unfortunately a tropical weather storm was scheduled to “attend” that day as well and therefore our afternoon of fun was cancelled with a days notice. Torrential rain, high winds, and rough seas were forecast over most of south Florida. However, it didn’t look too bad in Everglades NP, so my friend Claudia and I decided to give it a try. In the early morning rain, I picked her up and off we went.
Sunrise photography at the lake, which has been popularized by Claudia, appeared at first to not be very cooperative to us. Already there, and packing much hope with us, we waited … and waited … … eventually the clouds and colors cooperated for us. It was weird too because there were fast moving clouds on the low horizon, which made the captures even more challenging. Once the colors began to wane, we decided to leave the area, only to find these magnificent clouds all around us. It was the type of sighting where you didn’t know where to photograph first or even how to get it all in. I chose to grab this one … looking a bit up to the clouds, but including that crow on top of the pine tree near the right … as the sun began to peek through. Not long ago, the white-crowned pigeons were listed on the threatened list of birds within Florida, so I was quite excited when we came across these beauties. In the past, my images of them were rare sightings, canopied by tree branches, with them looking down at me in the relative low light. On this day, they were out in the beautiful sunlight and out in the open. So very beautiful was this mature one taking a peek at me as well. I’m certainly no expert on these birds, but this one might have been more of a juvenile, as its crown was still mottled and nowhere near as brightly colored. However, it exhibited those beautiful iridescent colors around its neck. Nearby were a group of red-bellied woodpeckers who also cooperated quite nicely. I was lucky enough to time this one to the second before it flew off from its perch. Again, always present hawks and other predator birds circle overhead. Of course, when I photograph any birds or wildlife, I tend to get distracted by birds flying in and out of my line of sight. I usually don’t photograph them because … 1. I have difficulty chasing them in and out of the tree branches and 2. I don’t usually even know what I’m photographing! LOL. After consultation with bird ID and photographer extraordinaire, Michael Libbe, my gut ID was correct … Savannah sparrow. Thanks Michael! It’s always a treat to encounter a bald eagle in the area, as I saw this one fly by and then perch itself on a bare snag. Imagine my surprise when the one eagle turned out to be two bald eagles that eventually mated in the very far distance! After they tried to assure the next generation of eagles, they settled down and looked out over their landscape. It was a fascinating experience that I had never witnessed before. Iconic landscape shots abound in the Everglades, and the famous “Z Tree” is one of them. Had to capture one more image of it. The Everglades NP is a place near and dear to me and I worry about its preservation. I encourage everyone to activate themselves, in whatever way possible, to assure all of our national parks, monuments, and recreational lands are protected for all to enjoy. 🙂Next Up: Life In The Rookery
© 2016 TNWA Photography / Debbie Tubridy