December « 2012 « verdure
cloaked grebes and other little dinosaurs
Monday, December 31st, 2012

And here is where the blog becomes mostly Mike’s pictures. He’s still converting pictures. Mid November at Sawgrass Lake Park.


tricolored and blue herons


great blue heron

great blue



possibly an eastern phoebe


There were a couple of grebes at the park. They often don’t stay still for long, repeatedly diving underwater, but we were having a remarkable amount of trouble getting in focus shots.


And one that I took. There were at least 4 baby alligators around the mother.


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happy holidays
Monday, December 31st, 2012

From the Florida Botanical Gardens. Mike converted the pictures.

Mike using the new to us Sony nex 5n:


Me using the 60mm:


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Friday, December 28th, 2012

In early November, more testing of new lenses at Weedon Island Preserve, with Mike doing photo processing.

This gopher tortoise came clambering through the bushes, and across the paved path right past our feet, only minorly interested in our presence, moving fast enough that I was not getting the right focus point.


Both of us had cameras out when we found this green anole. This is Mike’s version.


There are pools in the mangroves that are tinted an intense yellow. There are lots of little fish in these areas.


There are sometimes mosquitoes at Weedon, but on this trip the black biting specks that I think are no-see-ums were particularly bad and drove us back to the car before very long. These bugs hurt when they bite, and seem attracted to Mike and me equally, but neither of us have lingering reactions to their bites afterwards. This is Mike’s picture at the overlook where we see fish jumping sometimes.


Sundog as we hurried back to the car


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new eyes
Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

As a first outing in early November with a new DSLR for Mike and some new lenses, we went to central Florida to Crooked Lake Prairie and Bok Tower Gardens. Mike continues to be the photo editor while we work on catching up on posts.

With the Canon EF-S 10-22mm:



I’m not quite sure if this is a scrub lizard or eastern fence lizard.


Mike using the Canon 100-400mm L:



We saw a bald eagle on a dead tree, but it was far enough away that our pictures didn’t turn out very well.

Bok Tower is a “205-foot art deco and neo-Gothic Singing Tower housing one of the world’s finest carillons with 60 bells that ring every half hour and during daily concerts.” It can be seen for miles around. As you drive up to the grounds, which are surrounded by orange groves, the spires make it look like something out of a Tolkien book.

Again, the 10-22mm. Closer shots make the tower look like it is falling over due to the perspective.


Some of the stone carving at the level of the red door (Canon 70-300mm)


The tower has a moat with koi. For a few cents you can get fish food from a dispenser. The fish are well trained, and swarm the edge of the pool when someone stands nearby.

Mike, with the 100mm L:


There is a display at the entrance to the gardens with what is currently bloomig. This flower was identified as Chinese Hats (Mike’s):


We didn’t catch the name of these flowers. 10-22mm cropped:


Mike on the same plants (The rest are also his, using the 100mm L):


A closeup of a skipper:


This red admiral seemed not quite able to fly right


A man said these berries look like currants, which his mother used to make jelly with. They are beauty berry.


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frogs everywhere!
Sunday, December 16th, 2012

For the second installment of this Withlacohee River Park visit, we bring you FROGS! Frogs everywhere! In some parts of the park, particularly in the palmettos, it was sometimes difficult to find a place to look where there was not a frog, or two, or a whole hop of them.

The 60mm prime can take just lovely photos, and can work better with the dim morning light that we had than my 70-300. So we decided to start creeping up on the frogs and see how close they would let us get. It turns out, really close. A couple of times a frog hopped partially under a leaf, and let me slowly remove the leaf above it and click away.

Mike is still helping me with converting these for the blog.


textured shiney

purple black

brown black spotted


light grey

frog huddled




grey spotted

light grey dark grey



looking up

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blending and bright
Sunday, December 16th, 2012

We’re going to be like The Hobbit and break this visit to Withlacoochee River Park in late October into two posts. First the bugs and other creatures. Mike very helpfully converted these picture to blog format.

A green mantidfly. We’ve never see one of these before.


A peninsula ribbon snake (photo taken by Mike)


And the rest we haven’t identified. But isn’t this a really cool stick bug? (Maybe a long-headed toothpick grasshopper?) This is also a creature we’ve not seen before.


A brilliantly furry and patient moth. [Update: we think this is an Io moth with its bright eyespot underwings hidden]


These dragonflies were in dense forest and rested in deep shadows on tree trunks.



Like the green spider we saw at a previous park, this white spider was waiting for an appropriately sized morsel to come to the flower it sat under. We watched a zebra longwings fluttering around this plant.




green eyes look up


golden ratio

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