Sunday, April 05, 2009

Saturday on the Wacissa

I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs
because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.
~Author Unknown

The weather took an unexpected turn for the better, so DH and I loaded up the boats and headed to the Wacissa yesterday.

I was amazed at how few cars there were in the parking lot--after our recent cold snaps and the monsoon, I thought more people would be at the river on such a sunny and warm day. The recent rains not only raised the water level but cleared the surface, and so much more of the river was accessible than it was a month ago. We went there knowing that Saturdays draw the air boats like dusk draws mosquitoes, but some things can't be helped. The peaceful silence was ripped to shreds about every 15 minutes but in the quiet times, it was a great day to be on the water.

What a joy to see the tricolored herons back!

And the snowy egrets!

We drifted downstream into either a light breeze or no wind at all.

The great egrets and snowy egrets were hanging out together near Cassidy Spring. We saw a great egret come in for a landing near two snowies....and then there were three...


This snowy, part of that group, looks like it's thinking about going somewhere less crowded.

The cormorants were busy swimming around. They are not the most graceful when they take off from the water.

And it has liftoff!

This snowy (I kept photographing them....just so glad to see them on the river again!) was fishing in some surface greenery when we paddled by.

Until it decided to move on. I don't know where they have been, but maybe there were few paddlers nearby; they seemed more skittish than usual.

We returned to the boat ramp and paddled around the far side of Duck Island (which has not been accessible for a long time!). These three yellowlegs were lined up in a row.

Just as we were clearing the end of the island, I saw another tricolored heron perched high in a tree.

We weren't out as long as usual, but it was still fun, and what a joy to see the missing birds reappearing.

I have had to postpone my Cedar Key trip for weather reasons.....I'm kind of disappointed about that. Meanwhile, I couldn't resist the quote for this post; next month I begin teaching photography classes at the local community college. I expect to magically overcome my fear of public speaking by that time....

I'll be back when there are more photos to share! Stand by.


pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

Way to go, professor Sherman!

SophieMae said...

PEGGY! Is that YOUR picture in the photography blog newsletter? Pic of the week?! Gorgeous!

Re your teaching/public speaking thing... break a leg! 8-}

Peggy said...

Thanks, Sophie Mae! Yep, that would be my egret as POTW on the photography blog site! Didja vote? I have a few more from that St. Augustine trip that I might put into the running later.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I'm loving this new slug of cold weather moving through! But I'm sure that means you have to put your paddle away for at least a day or two. By monsoon, do you mean the recent stalled front you got. I've never heard the term used in Florida?

Peggy said...

Hi Robert! Ah yes, our monsoon---days and days of nonstop rain, flooding the's been rough here. And now ((4/7) we are having overnight lows in the 30's...yikes!

kjpweb said...

Best of luck to you for your classes! :)
Love image #2! It is a beaut!

Cheers, Klaus

Susan said...

Great shots!

Stacie said...

These are all great! you capture the cormorants well...they always fascinate me for some reason..they're so awkward and gangly looking...kinda clumsy looking, I love to watch them. I kinda think of them as kindred bird spirits LOL...

Crayons said...

Wow Peggy. What a treat to return to your blog after 8 months. The tricolor herons are fetching. I love the horizontal photo of the yellow legs. I very much appreciate your exquisite technique.

bollocks said...

I was down your way this weekend checking out Tally as our potential new home. Paddling and birding looked great. Cheers, and I hope I'll see you on the water this fall.

Sharon said...

Your pictures are incredible. I am wondering what camera you would recommend to a wanna be kayaking photographer. Right now I have a nice Olympus point & shoot with some zoom capability, but it is inadequate for capturing birds - I just can't get close enough before I scare them away. I'm starting to shop for a more appropriate camera so any suggestions would really be appreciated. Also, do you mount your camera on your kayak? Thanks.

Peggy said...

Hi Sharon, thanks for liking the photos!

Your next camera depends some on your budget. In the non-DSLR group, I highly recommend the Panasonic Lumix FZ28. Fantastic camera, lightweight, and with a nice 18x zoom. If you are ready to jump to a DSLR and lenses, then you might want to look at the Sony Alpha line, with a 70-300mm lens, which is fantastic for bird shots, but won't break the bank (entirely). Good luck, drop me an email (address is in the sidebar) if you need more info!

Sharon said...

Thanks for the tips. The Sony Alpha was one I had on my short list but I think I'll check out your other suggestion. I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with aDSLR while kayaking.