Sunday (31-December-2017) — Florida

Gone to See Florida 2017/2018 Road Trip. Day 11: Big Cypress National Preserve.

The trees are too close together at Clyde Butcher’s retreat to get a good view of the full sky for sunrise or sunset. I found a nearby location near the northern entrance of the Loop road for sunset last night, so I returned for dawn and sunrise. I was not disappointed as the colors in the clouds developed just before sunrise.

Inverse Little-Planet View of Colorful Dawn Clouds. Begining of the Loop road through Big Cypress National Preserve. Winter Nature in Florida Composite of 21 mages taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated using AutoPano Giga Pro. (David J Mathre)
Inverse Little-Planet View of Colorful Dawn Clouds. Begining of the Loop road through Big Cypress National Preserve. Winter Nature in Florida Composite of 21 images taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated using AutoPano Giga Pro. (David J Mathre)

I went back to Clyde Butcher’s “Swamp Bungalow” for breakfast. The baby (one-year old) alligators were out next to the pond. Then it was back to the Loop road in Big Cypress National Preserve, with two goals — more birds and alligators, and pictures of the Cypress swamp. The swamp pictures were taken with a Leica T camera and then converted to B&W.





Six-Years Ago (25-December-2011) — Florida

December Road Trip to Florida in 2011: Fort De Soto Park

Osprey and Great Blue Herons kept me busy on Christmas Day at Fort De Soto Park.

Osprey in Flight at Fort Desoto Park in St Petersburg, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 500 mm, f/10, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Osprey in Flight at Fort Desoto Park in St Petersburg, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 500 mm, f/10, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)



Six-Years Ago (22-December-2011) — Florida

December Road Trip to Florida in 2011: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

On my second day I arrived too early, and the gate to Black Point wildlife drive was still closed. While waiting I got a silhouette image of a Great Blue Heron in flight at dawn. During the day I got a macro image (with a telephoto lens) of a Golden Silk Spider, then a Great Egret in flight. Just before leaving, I spotted a reclusive American Bittern. These birds are hard to spot, since they are so well camouflaged. Even better, this one just caught a fish that appears to be almost too large to swallow. The last time I saw an American Bittern was at the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado.

Great Blue Heron Silhouette at Dawn in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Great Blue Heron Silhouette at Dawn in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Golden Silk Spider. Viewed along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and  200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 500, 400 mm, f/4, 1/320 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Golden Silk Spider. Viewed along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 500, 400 mm, f/4, 1/320 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Great Egret in Flight in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 500 mm, f/4, 1/2000 sec). (David J Mathre)
Great Egret in Flight in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 500 mm, f/4, 1/2000 sec). (David J Mathre)
OK, I Caught This Fish -- Now How Do I Swallow It. A Reclusive American Bittern Caught Fishing along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR II lens (ISO 180, 500 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
OK, I Caught This Fish — Now How Do I Swallow It. A Reclusive American Bittern Caught Fishing along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR II lens (ISO 180, 500 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)

Six-Years Ago (21-December-2011) — Florida

December Road Trip to Florida in 2011: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

I stopped for a couple of days in Merritt Island, and spent the time at the National Wildlife Refuge. A target rich environment. These are a few images from that day — Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Wood Stork, Alligator, and Sunset. I especially liked the Great Blue Heron doing the “Chicken Dance”.

Great Blue Heron Doing the Chicken Dance. Black Point Wildlife Road, Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1800, 400 mm, f/4, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)
Great Blue Heron Doing the Chicken Dance. Black Point Wildlife Road, Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1800, 400 mm, f/4, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)