Yesterday, we were invited by friends to an afternoon performance by the Sarasota Orchestra. We got to hear “Hollywood Hits” which featured music from classic and popular movies. It was a fantastic performance! Before the show, we had lunch at the rooftop of the Westin which has a bar, eating area and swimming pool. The view is amazing. The weather did not cooperate completely, plenty of clouds and very gray but no rain. I brought my “good” camera with me to take pictures of the views.
You are probably thinking what does a picture of a Florida Cooter AKA Coastal Plain Cooter have to do with the theme loneliness? Let me explain…. we were driving home from lunch on Saturday when I saw somewhere between 9 – 13 Cooters all lined up enjoying an afternoon in the sun. I’d never seen that many at once and thought “what a photo op for the rule of odds.” I grabbed my camera, decided to walk all the way back to the pond I passed outside my neighborhood (which was at least a mile or two) and was so happy to see them still lined up! As soon as I got as far as the median in the road, one by one, they disappeared before my eyes plunking into the water. Well, the walk sure didn’t hurt me and I was able to photograph a gator but nothing really outstanding came of it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that after I turned my attention away from the gator and started to walk home, one lonely Cooter was back out :).
One of the first things I did when we built our house 7 years ago in Lakewood Ranch was to post a picture of my new neighbors, the Sandhill Cranes. Since then, I photographed them doing all sorts of things. And gators? Tons of photos, especially from visits to Gatorland and the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. However, I have never photographed gators and Sandhill Cranes in the same shot. I thought this was a good choice for the theme “fear” as I was afraid I was about to witness a gruesome scene. I am happy to say, the Sandhill Cranes had no fear as they pranced around this gator for about 20 minutes. I recalled photographing a Great Egret going for a ride on the back of a gator during my visit to Gatorland. I guess Egrets and Cranes have some type of animal instinct that lets them know that the gator isn’t hungry.
I have tried and tried to get good pictures of the turtles that hang out in the pond in the cul-de-sac on my street. I am pretty sure they are Florida red bellied cooters based on their striped eyes. They tend to just peek their noses out, I’ve yet to capture one out of the water. I was pleasantly surprised to see that while I still did not get much of this turtle, I did manage to get a red dragonfly landing on his nose (and in the reflection)!
Okay, I’ll admit I used the Scrabble dictionary to give me some ideas for the theme “Starts with Q”. I decide on Q for Quintet, a group of five and I am using a photo I took a couple of weeks ago at Myakka River State Park.
This picture was taken this morning after a pontoon boat ride at Myakka River State Park. It was a gorgeous morning at one of my favorite local spots to take pictures. I was able to take shots that fill so many of the categories of the 52 Week Challenge, especially, Straight Out of the Camera (SOOC). I decided instead of taking the easier option of SOOC, to go for “Circles” since it is the first thing I think of when I see this photo. It is basically SOOC except I adjusted the lighting and cropped it a bit.