Since my last post to this blog, there was a fire in the grasses at Celery Fields park, Sarasota, Florida. We haven’t had rain in weeks and the whole county is under a fire alert. The shallow ponds in which sandhill cranes spent the nights have almost entirely dried up. That would have happened even without the fire. But, now the surrounding area stinks with a scorched smell. There are only vulture birds, now.
March 12, 2009
March 5, 2009
Here is a picture of the stilt sandpiper birds that are one species of stilt bird found in ponds at the Celery Fields park, Sarasota, Florida. These birds are in the pond most of the day. The sandhill cranes are usually there only in the hour before sunset. This is a well known birding spot with a lot of cameras and scopes waiting for sandhill cranes. There’s not much interest in the stilt birds, but, they are photogenic, too.
We are off now to photograph on Siesta Key, Florida. Today is the first warm day after a week of cold and wind.
March 4, 2009
We have been busy traveling between birding spots in the greater Sarasota area. The best places to see large groups of birds that we have found are Celery Fields park, Turtle Beach on Siesta Key, and the Venice Rookery, Venice, Florida.
Celery Fields park, east of I-75 and south of Bee Ridge Road, in Sarasota used to be a celery farm. There is a gazebo on a small hill near the road with room to park about 10 cars. There are several species of very small water birds in the ponds, red wing blackbirds in the low shrubs, a hawk can often be seen in distant trees, and turkey vultures sometimes circle overhead. But, the big attraction for bird watchers are the sandhill cranes that fly into the pond just before sunset each night. They fly in groups of 2-5 and eventually there are 15-25 cranes in the shallow ponds.
Turtle beach has the usual pelicans and several varieties of gulls. Sometimes a big Louisiana Blue Heron is seen shadowing a fisherman and hoping for a handout. There are lots of stilt birds walking in and out of the waves looking for a meal. The largest number of birds appear in flocks of 40 or more in the late afternoon. Sometimes there are more gulls than one can count.
The Venice rookery is a small collection of trees on a small island in a pond off Route 41 near Jacaranda Blvd. in Venice, Florida. Blue herons, night herons, ibis, anhinga, and other birds fly in just before sunset to spend the night in the trees.
July 10, 2008
We just returned from several days in and around Pine Island, Florida. While there, we stayed at the Bokeelia Tarpon Inn, a friendly bed and breakfast. We hired Captain Jim Welch and the “Lady Bokeelia” a 25 foot boat to take us on a hunt for dolphins and water birds.
Our inventory is now full of fresh Florida images including anhinga, ibis, sea hawks, dolphin, boats, and palm trees.
June 4, 2008
We have been busy photographing animal pets.
A cat show was quite interesting. The prizes were just baskets of cat care products. One cat breeder said she traveled across the state to attend the show, just for the pride of winning. She also said it does not help stud fees much even if you have a blue ribbon winner.
I went to lunch in Punta Gorda, Florida, with some friends and stumbled upon a great shop featuring every imaginable product with dog designs. There were night lights, floor mats, key rings, socks, t-shirts, and more. A bakery counter held treats for dogs. The owner allowed photography so I came home with increased picture inventory. Never leave home without your camera!
We drove to Lakeland, Florida, to work in a reptile store and in a store selling birds and tropical fish. Both store owners were present and both were very cooperative. We made hard to get pictures of birds being hand fed from what looked like a baster.
We spent a week working in Tucson, Arizona, too. While there we photographed in 2 large pet stores with all kinds of animals, an aquarium store with large zero edge tanks, and a reptile shop. Birds and lizards were also photographed at Tohono Chul Park, Saguro West National Park, and at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
February 23, 2008
We have been making pictures of animal pets at a local Petland store for several of our photobuyers. Pictures were made using hand held Nikon F5 with flash. There were just too many customers with small children to use a tripod.
Good pictures were made of lizards, birds, turtles, hamsters, and gerbils. The African Grey Timneh is one of the parrots photographed.
June 21, 2007
This week we have been working in Key Largo, Florida, USA. Great place to photograph marine fish (John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park) and marine mammals.
Fortunately there was no rain and the waters above the coral reefs were not riled up so visibility was wonderful. We took the snorkel tour from John Pennekamp and photographed at White Banks. We swam with many, many more fish than when at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia!
We also photographed dolphin/human encounters and should have great film from there. Lighting might be a problem as ambient light was low due to approaching storm clouds. The film is being developed now.
While on the dolphin property we photographed ibis birds exhibiting unusual behavior. A large group- 15 or more – were standing in a huge puddle, maybe 1/2 foot deep, some were bathing while others appeared to be drinking. We’ve never seen them bathe before.
June 1, 2007
On March 30 we joined ImageKind and have been uploading images ever since. The first sale came during the third week. Yesterday we received the following email from ImageKind:
“Congratulations! You have been selected as a Featured Artist of the Week at Imagekind!
We have selected an image from your gallery to be placed on the homepage of Imagekind.com, along with a short artist’s bio, which links to your Imagekind profile. This will stay in place for at least a week and sometimes, dependent on its popularity, may continue in place for another week. This cycle usually takes place on each Wednesday. You don’t need to do anything, you’re already on the homepage! However, this is a great time to update your galleries with any new work and to ensure that all your relevant details are in place.
It is our privilege to showcase your work as being outstanding amidst a field of so many other great artists and photographers. Our success is entirely about you, our creative community. Please tell your colleagues, friends and family about the #1 place on the web to discover and purchase original art.
Have a great day and we wish you continued success!
October 22, 2006
Alligator, tiger, orangutan, elephant, and giant panda have joined eagle, macaw, camel, bull dog, ferret, parrot, giraffe, tropical fish, lizard, lion, and raccoon. Each hanging ornament picture is on high quality porcelain with a ribbon for hanging included.
Hanging ornaments make fun favors for holiday parties, add a special touch to gift-wrapped packages, cool overhead fan pulls, and make unique Christmas tree ornaments.
September 21, 2006
Wow, we are having a run on wall clocks, especially those with animal pictures! Irish family names on wall clocks have sold fairly well through the year. But, now shoppers have found our animal designs, as well. These sales have come through the Cafe Press directory.
And there is a sale, too. Save $$ …$5 off orders of $40 or more … Coupon Code:SEP540…Expires September 30, 2006.