Friday, May 31, 2013

More Excitement


Wesley Chapel, Florida

We’ve had some excitement around here, and no, it’s not another park model being moved.  This is real excitement!

A few days ago, Al and I walked down to where the otters have been hanging out.  They weren’t there, but this little turtle was.


I didn’t pay any attention to her until Al mentioned that she was laying eggs.

Sure enough, when I zoomed my camera in, she was definitely laying eggs.  Unfortunately, she laid them on the bank of the pond, and in an area that is mowed regularly.


We took a few pictures, then left her to finish her work.  Our intention was to go back later and put up some stakes warning people away, like they do for sea turtles at the beach.

Unfortunately, by the time we got back, the eggs were gone and the otters were back.  We’re pretty sure the otters ate the eggs.   We felt bad, but not as bad as if they had been incubating for a while and were ready to hatch.


Thursday was spent getting paperwork ready for Al to sell his business.  He has already found a buyer, so we just have to get some facts and figures ready for him.   I sure will be glad not to be tied down with that.   He doesn’t have many accounts left, just enough to tie us down even more than we already are with my Mom.


Last night, we were sitting outside on our back patio, having happy hour and reading.  I happened to look up and not 15 feet away from me was a little fox, looking right at me.

I wanted to alert Al, but not scare the fox away, so All I said was “fox”… I was slowly grabbing for my camera. 

I had my little Canon (LC) unfortunately.   I had it on the sports setting trying it out and I wasn’t happy with my photos, but I did manage to get a few decent ones.


The fox was right under our bird feeder, eating the spilled bird seed.  I believe he is a gray fox.   He doesn’t look nearly as red as the ones that used to play in the pasture at our place in Georgia.


He even went and had a drink of water from the little orange birdbath you see in the foreground of the picture.


You can see that he was panting.  It was warm with that thick fur coat.



Isn't he a beauty?

You can bet that tonight, I’ll be sitting out there with my Big Canon (BC).

Speaking, of big Canon.   I got my 500 mm zoom lens on Wednesday.

It’s a big thing and when attached to the camera, which is already quite a bit heavier than LC, it’s quite a challenge. 

It will not be my “camera of choice,”   but I really like it.  It takes good pictures, but is so bulky that I will probably miss more shots than I get.  My main goal, was to have it in places where the wildlife is abundant and nearby, like Kissimmee Prairie, or sitting by my campsite.  It will be great for our daily drives on the campground road at Kissimmee Prairie.   It will probably not go on a lot of hikes….unless of course Al  (he calls himself the pack mule) wants to carry it.

Anyway, I like the Canon Rebel and the new lens.  I’ll have to get some pictures to show you what a huge beast it is.  The lens is supposed to weigh 4 pounds, but it feels like 20. The funny thing is, it’s less than half as powerful as my “stalker” lens on LC.

Here are a few photos I took with the Canon Rebel (BC) and the  new 150-500 mm lens.

I noticed after I uploaded the photos that they had a blue tint to them.  I must have something set wrong.  I played around with adjusting them with Picasa and got a few interesting shots.

This Tufted Titmouse, I changed to black and white and put a soft focus on him.  These are all modifications right there in Picasa. I figured since the color wasn’t right, I’d just see what it looked like in black and white, and  kind of liked it.


I tried the “warmify” on Picasa and it did help to warm up my bluish tinted photos.

Here is the before picture.  (terrible shot, I know)


Here is the after shot, with warmify added.   Better?


Picasa has a lot of tools to help you fix some less than perfect shots.

This next shot was “warmified” as well.


Here is one that I took that didn’t need to be warmified.

By the way, these are all a family of baby Cardinal’s that have been frequenting our feeders.  You can always tell the babies, because they are so clumsy!

baby cardinal

This could be Mama Cardinal


These pictures are all taken with BC.  I shot this Bluebird, but he was still too far away so I had to seriously crop it to bring him into view.  This was zoomed to 439 mm. 


I did some experimenting with the editing in Picasa and got some interesting results.  (That’s what you do when your pictures are crummy)



I plan to spend some time today, learning how to use BC and hopefully tonight I’ll get some more fox photos!


  1. What great shots of the fox. If I were him I'd return for bird seed and water. Have you tried an app called Color Splash? It would allow you to color the bird and leave the rest in black and white.

  2. Have fun with your new heavy toy. :)

  3. Wow. . .really great pics of the fox. . .love it!

    great blog also. . .just added you to my blogs I follow. . .we are living full time in a Monaco also! Love it. . .

    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

  4. I thing you need to put some wheels on that lens to help with the weight.

    Picasa does indeed have some great tools to correct poor pictures. I have had a lot of practice using them. Sadly, they have no tool to remove my thumb that gets in most of my photos... ;c)

  5. Great shots no matter which camera you used. Which lense 175-500 did you go with? Sigma or Canon? Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  6. Love the fox pics. He's looking right through your camera lens!

  7. You see more wildlife at Quail Run than lots of people see hiking trails. Those fox pictures are fantastic. Lucky you to see the turtle laying her eggs. Not so lucky for her that she laid them only to have them be otter dinner. Still can't believe you have one of my very favorite animals at your park pond. AMAZING! Where were all these guys when we were there last summer is what I want to know. Not too much envy here in HOT Virginia. 92 today.

  8. Love the pictures of the fox! Have fun with the new lens!

  9. That WAS Exciting... and sad. Unfortunately, if the Otters got the eggs, they wouldn't have paid much attention to the flags you put up anyway. Do they not bury their eggs? It doesn't seem like any would survive.

  10. Great shots of the fox. I tried to keep my camera close to me at all times also.

    What a treat to see a turtle laying eggs. So sorry they didn't make it.

  11. So sad about the turtle eggs. But otters need to live also. Those pictures of the fox were incredible. And he was just right there.

  12. I am amazed at all the wildlife you are not only seeing right in your park but capturing with your fantastic cameras. The fox photos are something. Hope you can catch him again. Congrats to Al on the sale of his business (but I won't know who to call next time)!

  13. It's a jungle out there but why do I feel sorry for the turtle eggs? I hope you spot the fox again tonight and get pics with the other camera. We have a small portable digital camera for convenience and the heavy Nikon for birds and other wildlife. I understand the dilemma.

  14. The pictures are great! I love the fox. The fox here are all red. I have never seen one colored like that. With all the wildlife you have at your door you should just set up a tripod with that heavy duty camera on it. Then you would be ready at all times. How about a remote control shutter?? LOL Hope the weather stays good we are suppose to head toward FL in a couple of weeks.

  15. Great pictures of the fox. I saw him but could not get to my camera.

  16. Nature can be sooo cruel but some way it all works out. I liked the fox pics.

  17. Sorry to hear about the turtle eggs :( That fox is so cute! Poor baby was hot :)

  18. Not happy with my 55-200 Nicon zoom, I had been thinking of getting a zoom lens like you now have. Looking forward to seeing more posts and photo's about your new lens.
    Love that Picasa photo editing program, I use it all the time.

  19. Camera and photography is a wonderful hobby. Especially now with digital available.
    Love Picasa for editing my photos too.

  20. Looks like you are having fun. There are some great books out there on learning how to use the BC. One that helped me when I was in the learning phase and really didn't even understand the terminology was Scott Kelby's Digital Photography. He's funny and easy to understand. Doesn't get crazy technical so that i was able to follow along. He goes into all kinds of different photography. After reading these books - there are at least 2 then I was able to understand some of the other books and learn a little more. There is so much you can do with that camera--have fun!

  21. Hmmm ... I need to look into that lens for my DSLR ... I have a wonderful 70-200 f2.8, which I often use with a 2x extender to get the reach I want. Sadly, like your LC, my SX50 has a better reach than any combination lens and extender I might use on the DSLR.


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