Sunday, May 31, 2009

Finally!



I was beginning to think nesting birds were boycotting our trees. Not sure what's nesting in our Japanese maple, but I'll try to haul out the ladder this week and get a shot of what's inside.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Shooting Sunset

My guy and I took a romantic stroll down by the lake walk, and as we had a clear sky and twilight was coming up fast, I decided to snap some shots to see if I could capture the quintessential image of a lake sunset. My first test shot:



After seeing the glare and red spot on the viewer, I waited a bit, then tried again. I was pretty pleased with this one:



Then we walked further along, and I saw a fisherman sitting and watching the sun set, too. Unfortunately the camera only had enough memory left for one more picture, and there wasn't time to fiddle with it. So I muttered a prayer to the Gods of digital photography and took the shot:



And that was the picture I'd been hoping for.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wipers On

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Puddled & Muddled



This is my brain during deadline week. Ha.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Babies

These are two frankly terrible photos of our newest bundles of feathers (the backstory is over at the author blog here), but I didn't want to disturb the babies too much by trying to get better shots:





This mama is also quite petrified of me, and avoided the nest for hours after the last time I came out to take a look, so I think these will be the last I take of this nest.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tangled

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dragon Storm



Damn dragons never leave me alone....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mom & Colt

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pines in the Rain

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oreo



This guy and I met down by the lake when the sun had just set. Lovely markings, and quite friendly.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Couch Potato



For his latest trick, Cole figured out how to jump up on the couch. Now if he would just learn how to get down . . . .

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another High Lord?

A dear friend gave me a shopping bag filled with antique pictoral batik panels brought back by an artist many years ago from India. Amoung the treasures was this cat-man-king:



Detail:



I wonder if Richard Tremayne had any cousins running around India.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Twilighthouse

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cole Makes Another Friend

Here at Wildlife Central, we never know who we're going to meet in the driveway as we go out for our morning walk. Sometimes it's the nice UPS man who never minds that he has to walk about half a mile to get to our house. Sometimes it's the nice post lady who smells (Cole says deliciously) of her three dogs. Sometimes it's Cole's French girlfriend.

But every now and then, it's a new friend:



As with all strangers, Cole must of course sniff a certain portion of his anatomy:



I think Mr. Tortoise has been through this before -- he has that look of resignation in his eyes:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Got My New Cable

Cable problem solved, so now I can post new pics again. This I found growing in my yard:



It's about five or six inches tall and has some wicked spines on it. Interesting thing is, none of us planted it. I don't cultivate cactus because of the kids and the pets.

So . . . bird droppings that sprouted, maybe?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Silver Lining

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cove

Since the late seventies, much of the Florida Keys have gradually been transformed into a quasi-theme park for tourists and a getaway for the rich. You can see the tourists daily by watching the live web cam feed from a Duvall Street bar. It depresses me, how much of the beauty of the islands, especially Key West, has vanished in deference to the Almighty Buck.

But all is not lost. Many humanitarian organizations in the Keys, like The Dolphin Research Center, are not here to turn a profit. They're devoted to preserving the wildlife that technology and McMansion-building might otherwise eradicate.

And there are still a few places you can find, like this cove, where the land and the water and the sky are really no different than when the Spanish started coming here in the seventeenth century.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pelicans

You can't go anywhere in the Keys without running into one of these guys:



As long as I'm not fishing, I'm very fond of pelicans, and many that we meet in the Keys are so tame they will waddle right up to you and give you a nudge. Feeding wild birds is never a good idea, though, and if you fish from a pier you do need to watch your bait bucket as well as how you cast your line. Cast it too high and these guys will go after it, which never ends well for bird or fisherman.

If you visit the Keys, one place to stop and enjoy our feathery friends is The Wild Bird Center, which takes in and rehabilitates injured birds.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Made in the Keys

My kids love visiting the Keys, but my daughter (beach girl) has a particular affinity for them. It's her favorite vacation spot, and I've never seen her happier than when she's there.



I can't be sure, of course, but I think it may have something to do with the fact that she was conceived here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Seven Mile

One of the ten longest bridges in the U.S. is located in the Florida Keys, and there are actually two of them: the Seven Mile bridges, of which one is the original that was built in 1938, and the second, present-day bridge was built in the early eighties (I don't know the exact date but they started building it in '79, shortly after I graduated high school.) If you've ever seen the movie True Lies, the end part with the bridge was actually filmed on a section of the original Seven Mile bridge.

My parents sometimes took us to the Keys when I was a kid, and I always tried to hold my breath as much as possible while we drove across Seven Mile. My logic was if we went over the side (and the original bridge was just a long concrete two-lane road with puny guardrails on either side, so flipping over the side seemed like a distinct possibility) that if I held my breath I wouldn't drown.

Here's a shot of the new bridge:



Last time I checked, Seven Mile ranked 8th on the longest U.S. bridge list. The funny thing about this bridge is that it isn't seven miles long. It's almost a quarter-mile short of seven miles, but I guess The Six and Three-Quarter Mile Bridge didn't have the same ring to it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Keys Week

Cole, the furry love of my life, likes to sit under my feet while I'm working on the computer. Unfortunately he decided to quietly chew through my camera cable while doing so on Sunday, so until the replacement arrives I can't upload any new photos from my camera.

In the meantime, I'm going to post some old shots from one of my favorite places on the planet -- the Florida Keys -- along with a little history and info.

There are 882 charted islands south of the Florida mainland, although not all are known as the Keys. If you add in all the other islands that stretch down to the Dry Tortugas, the figure is more like 1700. The Keys are the remains of massive prehistoric coral reefs, or sand bars built up around them.

It's startling to see one of the Keys from the water:



Scientists believe over the millenia that sea level patterns have cause the ocean to alternately cover and uncover the Keys, and the next full-immersion is said to be due in about 1300 years (I hope these folks are insured.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wishing You

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Magnolia in Bloom

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tech Head

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One and Six



Cole doesn't officially turn six months old until next week, but for once he sat still for a snapshot in the exact same spot on the kitchen floor where he fell asleep back in January on his first night home.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Student Art

I camne across an exhibit of art by some high school students in a mall, and one melancholy watercolor in particular caught my eye (and excuse the annoying reflections, but this was the best angle I could get under the blinding lighting in the place):



I love work like that. Also fell in love with the piece that received Best in Show, a mixed media work using among other things parts of a real guitar:



Note how I refrained from making a pun about heavy metal.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Glitz

Monday, May 4, 2009

Moon Door

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Don't Fall



I swear, men and ladders scare the daylights out of me.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Patch of Sky

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fandango