There are times when life slows down to a snail’s pace and other times I feel as if I can’t catch my breath. This month was one of those times.
I was supposed to have gone to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens with my photo group, but because I had such a late night the Friday before with the Garden Bros. Circus, I woke and decided not to push it. We have a horrible flu epidemic going around and the first thing I don’t want to do is lower my immune system and come down with the flu because I’m stressed and making myself over tired. I also had a large metal concert, RoxStock and I needed to be on my A-game while mentoring a young lady and wanted to give her my best self.
That Sunday found me doing a class on portraiture (always want to add some training to my time behind the camera) and then Sunday afternoon another event Clam Jam. So I cleaned house and just relaxed to some great Mozart instead of going to the gardens.
I had decided a few weeks ago to take the following Monday off because I was offered a behind the scenes tour at Calusa Nature Center with a fairly new photographer friend. It was a wonderful way to end the long weekend. The rest of February was pretty much a blur with concerts and side shoots throughout. I enjoy being busy and I see no let up in March, so keep a look out as I’m trying to also do more writing and sharing with my followers.
I hope you enjoy sharing my adventures as much as I enjoy sharing them. Until next time, get out there and shoot something!
This past weekend found me camping and photographing a concert in the swamp; The 1st Annual The Everglades Roots Festival with headlining band Grass is Dead. It was a weekend for stepping back to a simpler life for a few days, to unwind and prepare for a busy rest of the month and Trail Lakes Campground is the perfect spot. Sunday found me back to civilization with the iconic The Moody Blues. Their music takes me back to my teen years in the seventies and a time I often wish I could return.
Not only did I photograph them on stage, but also was hired to shoot their meet & greet! I really do GET to do this! I am really blessed, to be able to photograph the bands I grew up with and love.
This weekend I will be out with a local radio station and enjoying many bacon influenced dishes. bring on 94.5 The Arrow’s Bacon Jam!
Please enjoy a few of my photos from this weekend.
Little Green Heron
Crawfish taken by Tommy Owen
Grass is Dead
Fire in the swamp
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues
This year started out wonderfully! I camped over the holiday and it was perfect weather for it too. I had a photo shoot which my son Tommy Owen assisted me; a repeat family I had taken portraits for a couple of years ago. Getting to work with my son is the best!
It was a great time of renewing and refreshing from the busy holiday season, and I got out and photographed some nature. Being out in the Big Cypress and the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk this gives my mind a break and my eyes as they seem to always either be on my phone or my computer when at home. I tried to disconnect as much as possible, just to free myself. Please enjoy the slideshow.
My first big outing for the new year was with my photo group, and we traveled to Zoo Miami (formerly known as Miami Metro Zoo). The weather was perfect, however this zoo is quite expansive and we did a lot of walking through each of animal enclosure areas. Here are a few of the photos I was able to take during the day. I used a Canon 70-300mm f4 – f5.6 lens to hold down on the weight of my equipment.
I am so fortunate that I get to live in paradise. I sometimes forget how beautiful our area here in South West Florida is. No matter what direction I travel I can find the natural environment I crave. From beaches to swamplands it’s all here. Today my travels took me to Sanibel Island and the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
While driving slowly down the scenic drive and stopping when something caught my interest, I felt so blessed to be able to have the day off and enjoy such natural beauty. From birds to butterflies the day was full of surprises. A lone Roseate Spoonbill and White Ibis looking for their breakfast and finding it.
A curious Little Blue Heron signaling a warning of the alligator who was lurking close by.
A lovely Common Buckeye butterfly unknowingly pollinating the flowers as it gathered life giving nectar.
Even the pungent smell of fermenting palm berries carried in the warm breeze was refreshing in it’s erthereal own way.
The nutrient rich tannin stained waters were bringing forth life to the White Ibis as it was searching for a quick meal.
As I watched nature doing her thing, I was reminded that I am just a very small part of all of this, yet just as important. Each of us have our place in this world, the birds, butterflies, the water, the land, all celebrating our creator.
Thank you for joining me on my adventure……until next time, happy shooting!
This year I decided to take at least one weekend per month and either do some day trips or camp. I really prefer camping because I can incorporate day trips into the camping and that get’s me out and away. This aways refreshes my soul and helps with my creativity and simply makes me a better me.
I prefer heading to the Everglades, it’s where my soul belongs, even though I left it years ago, I do sometimes long to go back. The people are fascinating and the stories are many. I could sit for hours (and sometimes do) listening to the locals talk about the “way it used to be”. I long for a time much simpler than how I live today. I could live as a minimalist, in a tiny house somewhere in the woods. I really don’t need much and I think I would be just fine. Maybe someday.
I love being outdoors. I am in an office five days a week for eight hours a day and on the weekend I find I must get out. When I am camping, I get to sit by a campfire, share a meal with my son and his girlfriend and just do nothing or say nothing if I don’t want to.
I go to bed early and arise as the sun is coming up and the birds are beginning to sing.
I overheard a camper yesterday lament about how they hated the birds in the early morning, because they woke them up. Really? how can you hate something so magical and beautiful as birds singing in the new day. I could wake to that sound every single day and be ecstatic for another day. Maybe someday.
Coffee is always better when it’s a cold brisk morning and you arise to the sun shining and the birds flitting about and the dewy freshness of a new day. I so enjoy sitting in the quiet of the morning when I am camping and allowing my body to awaken with nature. I would love to do this every single day for the rest of my life. Maybe someday.
I find I don’t miss the television with it’s mundane programming, or the radio blaring; campers around me always seem to have a radio going, and I just don’t understand why? Why do you need that outside element of noise when there is so much more to hear? and if you just look around life is more exciting than anything the television has to offer. in my short few days, I was able to see a baby raccoon climbing a tree. Birds feeding, alligators lounging around in the sun trying to get warm after a few chilly nights and I got to experience real conversations with people. I learned so much more than if I had been at home in front of a little box. I hope to experience this more and more. Maybe someday.
I’ve taken the next couple of days off to expand my Memorial Day weekend and to give myself some much needed mental health time, and decided this morning I would try a new place I read about. I got in my car and headed to Bird Rookery Swamp. Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy adventures and I really enjoy finding new places to photograph. I’ve been so busy I’ve not had time recently to get out and photograph the natural world.
Entering a new place for the first time, I’m always amazed at what I may see and I was thrilled to be the only person on the path. I thoroughly enjoyed the coolness of the trees and the wonderful breeze on this hot, almost summer day. The first thing I came upon is a Red Shouldered Hawk, he’s watching me almost as intently as I am watching him.
The next unusual thing I came across is a Shelf Fungus on the top of railing on the boardwalk. It was quite beautiful and delicate looking.
Walking further on the path, I came upon something called a Witch’s Broom, it’s about halfway up a Cypress Tree, and is an odd growth of parasites and insects which cause damage on the tree and causes the tree to have a strange growth and it looks like a large nest.
The sounds were incredible, a Piliated Woodpecker pounding on a tree which echoed throughout the swamp. Juvenile Red Shouldered Hawks were a constant source of sound along with various other songbirds.
As I continued to walk I watched a White-Tailed Deer run across the path in front of me and I went searching to see where it had gone, turns out it was a gorgeous six-point buck with a full rack of undisturbed velvet still in place. He too looked right at me.
A couple of young raccoons were looking for their morning breakfast and feasted upon numerous lizards they were chasing, sometimes up into the trees. They were curious of me, but we gave each other a respectful distance.
This place was truly amazing and I will be going back again soon.