Monday, March 05, 2007

An Amazing Photographic Sunday

Sunday's photographic serendipity started with these furballs high in an oak tree, basking in the morning sun, above the last ball of mistletoe. I had not seen Cedar Waxwings here for a long time, and I wish this flock were bigger. I am glad they are here now and not a month from now when my blueberries begin to ripen. This was about 9:00 am.
By 11:00 am, I was peeling the top off the JEEP and planning some trip, any trip, to get me away from the laptop on the kitchen table. I have 3 weeks to complete my National Boards Certification portfolio and "reflective writing on the teaching life" is about to kill me. As I carried in the rear JEEP window, some movement caught my eye. A southeastern (Pure Floridian) pocket gopher was tossing dirt out of his subterranean lair right next to the porch ... 10 feet away from my camera which sat on the porch glider swing.
You have to understand ... I have spent beaucoup bazillion moments in wild Florida and never actually seen the live furry pocket gopher ... yet here was one literally at my feet! I snatched the camera, crept to within 3 feet of the busy gopher's hole and got amazing (to me) photos of his furry little self.
Amazing, amazing amazing!
I sat back down at the kitchen laptop all stoked and motivated to "reflect on teaching" again, and I did for a while, but then the kids cancelled their plans for a movie.
Uh oh ...
So Jr. , his buddy T, and I hopped in the topless JEEP and cruised out to Shell Mound and Cedar Key just to explore and give Jr. some driving practice. The saltmarsh was cold and windy and most of the usual shore birds were hunkered down on emerging sandbars as an ebbing tide ripped out driven by the strong winds and a full moon.
Then, one last time that day, photographic serendipity struck again. In the lee of the island, rafts of ducks were dabbling and feeding in a patch of calm water.
And they weren't a quarter mile away as would be my usual luck.
What an amazing photo day! I'll share some of it as the week progresses.
Of course, I am behind in my school work now, so it may be more photo than "reflection".
I think I'm reflected out.


pablo said...

I saw very nearly this same scene yesterday in my woods. In fact, I wonder if you were in my woods yesterday.


Floridacracker said...

I'm very, very sneaky.

Betsy said...

Wow! When do we get to see the gopher photos?

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Teacher - Tommy, have you completed the homework I assigned?

Tommy - No sir. You see, the birds, and the ducks, and the kids, and the gophers, they were all too much for me and my new camera to resist.

Teacher - OK, Tommy. I guess I'll give you a pass this time, but try to improve your work habits in the future.

Likes2mtnbike said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. All talk no gopher photo. Give it up!

Alan said...

So, where are the gopher photos?

Those animals are funny. I've got their mounds everyone like most everyone else does. I can see they're freshly made, but like you I've never seen a live one. A few dead ones that a cat or something has killed, but never a live one. I sure cuss them a lot when I have to mow.


roger said...

anyone that can write "The saltmarsh was cold and windy and most of the usual shore birds were hunkered down on emerging sandbars as an ebbing tide ripped out driven by the strong winds and a full moon." is qualified to teach. maybe just give them your url.

nice scoop on the gopher pix. they are seldom seen. the gophers, not the pix, which are not seen at all as yet.

robin andrea said...

Nice cedar wawwings. We only see them in the summer.

Great gopher tease.

SophieMae said...

Doncha just love days like this when everything comes together?! I'm still trying to get a good UNbacklit shot of the waxwings. Great job! You can even see where they dipped their tails in the yellow paint! 8-]

threecollie said...

Pretty birds...summer neighbors here too. Looking forward to seeing the gopher.

Floridacracker said...

Soon, soon.

Yeah, yeah ... something like that.

I got the goods. Soon come.

I think they do us a favor by bringing up subsoil, but they really make mowing a pain.

i'm gonna gopher it.

I haven't had a big flock show up and eat all my holly berries yet. I miss that.

They were a ways up in a tall oak and I had to max out the zoom and hold steady. The morning light helped.
And yes I do love those special days!

I think they have their bags packed and are about to head your way.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Boy I hate to wait for the pictures. But if you say so....

Deb said...

I think cedar waxwings are one of the most striking birds out there. I'm looking forward to the other pictures!

And, oh for a topless JEEP ride right now.

Will said...

I once went almost nose-to-nose with one of our Texas pocket gophers. They're cute little critters, but, boy, can they tear up a yard. I think this one finally got married and moved to Dallas.

Floridacracker said...

Hey Ducks on Wednesday!

Cedars are gorgeous.
Today, the JEEP had frost all over it and the air was 31 as I drove 18 miles to work.
I invited the kids, but they rode with Emma!

Hey Welcome to Pure Florida!
They are cute. I think I was expecting naked mole rat fugly, but it was more like guinea pig cute.