Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Everglades National Park

The Florida Everglades, a destination in Florida I have wanted to visit for several years.  Being as much into avian photography as I am I found it strange that I was actually going down there to concentrate 90% of the time into the beautiful and unique looking landscapes down there.  While my travels went much better then how they did last month when I went to Ocean Shore, the weather did not work out in my favor as I had hoped.  None the less, my friend and I made the best of it.  I was accompanied by Don Hamilton who lives in Florida and spends every other weekend in the Everglades during the winter time.  As another friend of mine said, we were “hardcore” because we were camping down there during our stay…chilly stay.  A lot of people thought I was crazy thinking I was going to be eaten by an Alligator or one of those Pythons they have all over down there.  Honestly I had those thoughts a couple times thinking, “am I crazy sleeping out here in the middle of now where?”  No cell reception down there, at least Verizon.  We had to drive to Anhinga Trail in order to get cell reception.  Up until my trip there, the furthest south I had been in Florida was Naples when my wife and I visited Corkscrew Sanctuary.  

So anyways, I flew in on Thursday to a complete overcast. My friend picked me up from the airport and we were off for some shooting for the late afternoon into evening.  We stopped by to visit the Burrowing Owls.  We spent the late afternoon into evening there.  Most of my shots I was not happy with due to the lighting that we had.  Even using flash (more so then I would usually use) I was not real please with those shots.  We headed back and crossed our fingers that the weather would improve some over the next few days.

We left the next morning at 5am for the Everglades in a drizzle.  That would be the story on and off for almost the entire weekend.  We arrived to the Everglades just before sunrise, no sunrise to be seen that day or really any of the other days with the exception of Sunday.  We set up camp in the late afternoon after exploring the area.  We were originally going to stay for two night but only ended up staying for one night due to the showers and cool weather that we encountered during our stay.  None the less, I came back with a few good shots from the area, including some stellar images of a Red-Shouldered Hawk.   Not the stellar landscape images that I had hoped for but sure can’t complain when you come home with some good wildlife images.  

A Turkey Vulture that thought he was a bus!!

Double-Crested Comorant

We did get a fairly decent sunset opportunity on Saturday evening before we left. At a favorite location of my friend in Everglades National Park is where I captured this sunset.   

Sunset at Everglades National Park

Sunday we focused on a sunrise opportunity on the east coast.  We got skunked on the sunrise (boy I thought avian photography was frustrating!)  I decided to try my hand at some timed exposures I have seen others do along the coast line.  I came away with one image that I was happy with the results.   

Ocean 'scape in Jupiter Florida, receding tide

 We then followed that up with some photos of Orchids and Sunday evening we went back to visit the Burrowing Owls and got some sweet light at the end of the evening.  Unfortunately we were in a location that did not offer us any good photo opportunities for the sunset.   It was beautiful to see none the less.  

Acker's Sweetie Orchid (hybrid)

Burrowing Owl at sunset