Walkabout in an urban farm & garden in St. Petersburg, Florida. After below normal rain at the beginning of the year, they are now in the daily monsoon season — with heavy thunderstorms and rain every afternoon. My troll got a chance to get out and sit on a large mushroom. The red chicken manages the location, as well as providing an egg every morning.
While staying at Clyde Butcher’s Swamp Bungalow, I went for a “Swamp Walk” in the Big Cyprus Swamp with Kristen and Angela. Before the trip, I got a pair of waders from Cabela’s. Not really sure what I was getting into, I only took a walking stick/monopod and my trusty Leica X2 travel camera. It was a lot of fun — and we didn’t see any alligators or water moccasin snakes. Just the week before, one of the invasive 15+ foot Burmese pythons was caught nearby.
Before starting my drive back to New Jersey, I spent the morning on Merritt Island. First for sunrise at Playalinda Beach at Canaveral National Seashore, then for a drive through Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge — both along Bio Lab Road and Black Point Wildlife Drive. The previous day there was heavy fog in the morning so I didn’t go to Playalinda beach. This beach is favored by surf fishermen.
Rather that using the big telephoto lenses, all of the images on this day were taken with a Nikon D700 with a 28-300 mm VR lens, a Leica X2, or a Nikon 1 V2 and 18.5 mm f/1.8 lens. All hand-held, no tripod.
When I woke up this morning and looked out from the balcony of my room at the Vinoy hotel it was foggy. I couldn’t even see the St. Petersburg Pier that I had been taking images for a time-lapsed video the previous night. I had hoped to go to Fort DeSoto park for both sunrise and bird photography today — but it was way too foggy. Initially I could barely see the palm trees. At 11 AM, I still couldn’t see the Pier.
While visiting my parents in St. Petersburg, I found this Crab Spider on her web. I had never seen a crab spider during all the years that I lived in Florida. The first one I saw, eating a fly was at Selby Gardens a few years ago 26-December-2006. Now it seems that I see one every time I visit Florida.
Crab Spider Eating a Fly at Selby Gardens in Sarasota Florida.
I was walking down a trail at Selby Gardens when I saw this red crab spider eating a fly that got caught in the spider’s web. I had never seen a crab spider before. It was hard to get a sharp image since the web was moving in the wind. I used a ring flash to try to freeze the motion.
Crab Spider eating a Fly at Selby Gardens in Sarasota Florida. Image taken with an Nikon D300 and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, f/11, 1/60 sec, ring flash).
Black Point Wildlife Drive, Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.
After arriving at my hotel in Cocoa Beach I drove to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. It took about 40 minutes to get to the headquarters to buy a new America the Beautiful pass. They were going to give it to me for the senior rate of $10, but to be ethical I paid the full price. I then went for one round through the 7 mile, one-way Black Point Wildlife drive before sundown. They close the road at sunset. The following are some images I took along the road.
I finally got power back here at my house in New Jersey after a very early snowstorm. Two years ago today I was in Florida for a wedding of Lars (my brother) and Valerie. I’ve made it clear in the past that I do not do, and am not a wedding photographer. On the other hand this did not stop me from taking some pictures that day. For a full selection of images from that day please check out 31-October-2009.