These past few weeks/months have just seemed crazy. With the horrendous winter most of the country is blanketed in, Florida, even though somewhat cold itself has been overrun with visitors trying to escape Mother Nature’s grip.
I don’t seem to have much time to sit down and work on the computer let alone even get behind the camera. I saw a friend in town the other day while Cindy and I were eating lunch, and she said “Hey Pat, is everything ok? I’ve been missing your photos on Facebook and on your blog posts!”
I try and work on a few images each day and this past month has been fun with the addition of the Osprey nest atop the SS Minnow. A few months back, a local resident of Cedar Key had built an Osprey nesting box for a location where an already existing nesting box had been damaged. But when they went to put the new box up, they realized the supports on the old box had just come loose in a storm. They were able to replace the supports and he was left with a full nesting box that needed a new home.
When he stopped by the Tiki Bar asking if I could find a place to put it, we were already talking about building one ourselves. We have a pair of Osprey that have been trying to nest atop the boat out behind the motel for months now. Problem was the top of the boat was too flat and with the high winds we get on a regular basis, each time they’d get a nest started, a storm would blow through and blow the nest off the top of the boat.
The nesting box has higher sides with a wire mesh bottom so it allows the air to flow through it, yet holds the nesting material safely inside the box.
Another friend came by one day and we spent about an hour putting the nesting box together atop the boat. Thanks David Simms for your help!
It didn’t take but a few days and the Osprey were dropping nesting material in the box. A few weeks later the guests were all saying it was like having front row seats to natures porn as the birds would sit atop the nesting perches making Osprey love on a non-stop basis. A few days later we noticed the female Osprey wouldn’t leave the nest, and now we’re all just waiting for the hatchlings to appear.
With the Osprey nesting so close, we have the male hunting, fishing and eating his prey on our dock multiple times each day. I try and get one image a day I’d be proud to hang on the wall. Some days I sit for an hour with the camera just waiting for it to take off. (My favorite images are action shots, or birds in flight)
The other morning Cindy and I sat out on the back deck drinking our morning coffee while watching the big bird devour his morning meal atop a electric pole behind our place.
I waited and waited for the moment he was going to lighten the load before taking off to flight. Not everyone strives for a shot like this, but I’d have to say once I fired the trigger, I was giddy with excitement knowing I’d captured what I’d been waiting for.
Other than Osprey, we’ve been too busy to indulge in our weekly get-a-ways with Scott and Karen like we’ve done the last few years. Last week we were able to do our first one and visited the Tampa Bay Aquarium. Super fun, loads of information to swallow and a place I’ll be going back to as soon as I get my Dive Certification. The aquarium allows certified divers to swim in their huge tank with the sharks, sea turtles and eels!! There are a few other aquariums that offer these programs, but many will not allow you to bring a camera with you. The Tampa Bay Aquarium will allow you to bring a camera, it just has to have a leash that keeps it attached to your body.
Dont worry, that trip will garner a full page write up of its own. I hope everyone elses winter/spring has been busy and fun! I’ll try and post more I promise. Here are some more images to enjoy.