The Ugly Duckling

We are hot out of the chemicals today! Over the weekend I was able to power through a few more months of back processing in the digital darkroom. For those keeping track (and I know you are), I am officially only 23 months behind on my photography queue. May not seem like much, but that represents a lot of work on this end – combing through thousands of shots each month, picking out good candidates, processing them in Lightroom and Photoshop and then deciding which ones are worthy enough to put on display to the public. Notice I didn’t say “pretty” enough to put on display!?! That’s because there are posts like this one …
Muscovy Duck shot in Ft Myers in March 2015
that just might frighten my readers. Some creatures just ran out of luck when it came to the cuteness DNA gene. Take for example the Sloth or the Blobfish. I guess if you are going to put things in perspective, the Blobfish is clearly the winner of the least likely to get invited to a prom award. Clearly there is at least one creature for everyone or we wouldn’t have the ability to even view such oddities.
Muscovy Duck shot in Ft Myers in March 2015

Hit the jump to see a few more varieties of this intriguing duck

Continue reading The Ugly Duckling

Ft Myers – Bright and White

Spent the day at a Rick Sammon seminar and now all pumped up on the photography front.  Linda and I have been following Rick for several years now ever since we found his Digital Photo Experience podcast.  That audio show is our go to entertainment on our long travels.  If you are a fan of photography (a likely assumption based on the fact you are reading my posts), I highly recommend caching their show both from the questions they get/answer and their numerous interviews with experts in the field.

Continuing the posts from the Ft. Myers trip, here is a set of those white angels that get to enjoy the wonderful weather down there on the gulf.

Scenes from Ft Myers Florida 2013

Figured it was time to finally put that previous image on display.  I’ve kept it close since it is a special entry in our EddieSoft Gallery.  That shot of the Snowy Egret earned me a first place finish AND a Best in Show at the 2013 Knox County Fair (link here).  If you know about the competition Linda and I have between ourselves, then you probably know that kept me from having to take the UB title that year!

Scenes from Ft Myers Florida 2013

Hit the jump to see some more pictures of the Great and Snowy Egrets.

Continue reading Ft Myers – Bright and White

More Ft Myers Bounty

Looks like the GPO nomination is shaping up to be an interesting one if not an outright implosion.  Seems the conservative populous has initiated an all out rebellion against career politicians.  Last night Rubio put up an embarrassing showing, Cruz showed a surprising strong gain and Trump.. well Trump once again put the tremors into the old guard.  That would be the old guard that thought it wise to bring Romney and McCain out of the mothballs to attempt to tell us low information voters how wonderful life would be if we just listened to them one more time (I think those pathetic choices that gave us our current administration pretty much speaks volumes for low information elitism).  Since politics has a tendency to get my blood boil, let’s turn to something more positive – another +1 in the books:

Ft Myers 2013

How cool is that!  This shot was taken during my quick trip to Ft. Myers back in 2013.  For those of you counting, this makes the third addition to the North American Birding Life list in only two days.  I’ve mentioned this several times, but that lagoon in Ft Myers is a treasure trove for birders.

Ft Myers 2013

Hit the jump to find out what this bird is and see a few more shots!

Continue reading More Ft Myers Bounty

Ft Myers Delivers

Welcome back everyone!  As mentioned previously, this is dog show weekend so I have an unusual amount of extra downtime to crank out some posts.  Since this blog started as an observation on life I thought I’d begin with a funny experience from this morning.  I was standing in a pee zone (as I like to call it) waiting for my mother-in-law’s dog to get his business done before rejoining Linda inside the event building.  At the same time a lady gets in her car to exit the parking lot.  To better describe the setting, there were a number of cars parked in two rows – one row aligned with her and one behind her.  The lucky thing for her is she could have backed out straight, missed all cars behind her and been on the road in about 5 seconds.  Instead she cuts it sharp out of the space into the small lane between the rows.  Of course, that was too short for the vehicle so the next 2 minutes were spent inching out, turning, going forward, inching some more out, repeat a painful number of times.  From an observation perspective, that was entertaining, but the real reason I’m relaying this story is a lady came up behind me and quite loudly proceeds to ask; “Why didn’t she just back out?”,  “Why would she do that?”, “I’ll feel bad if she hits that car” (by that time the driver was less than a foot from another car).  Trying to aid in the situation I tried to give her a visual sign she had plenty of space to come forward and complete the final turn.  When I did that, the quizzical lady gets a stunned look on her face and goes “Tell me that’s not your wife!?!”  I hesitated because I was holding back a laugh she mistakenly took as a reluctance to say yes it is.  This prompted another hopeful plea that it wasn’t my wife.  I let her off the hook, but the look on her face when she realized that she may not have probably read the scenario was priceless.

Sorry for that long intro, but it’s nice to get back to my observation roots.  During the previous Crane post it was mentioned that there were other wildlife trips just waiting to get attention.  Before I can get to those I needed to finish up some pending posts like this one from Ft Myers.

Scenes from Ft Myers Lagoon 2013

I’ve already jumped the gun a few times on the fruits of that quick Florida trip (link here, here and here).  Each of those posts produced +1’s for my Birding Life List.  Three new ones is always good for a trip, but the Ft. Myers Lagoon exceeded expectations.

Scenes from Ft Myers Lagoon 2013

Hit the jump to see more about this bird… and maybe another surprise one!

Continue reading Ft Myers Delivers

Rud[dy] Can’t Fail

As promised, I’m back and as foreshadowed it’s another post featuring a bird.  If it is any consolation I promise this will be the last bird post … for the month.  If you recall, I was looking through the Ft. Myers’ collection when I spotted the Black-Bellied Plover featured a couple of posts ago.  This happens to be the bird I was actually looking for at the time.

Ruddy Turnstone shot at Fort Meyers

I wanted to make sure my crappy shots at the Emiquon floodle were not of a Ruddy Turnstone – which is the bird for today’s post.  I was sure it was in the tin already and just wanted to double back and confirm my latest shot wasn’t a morphing Ruddy.  It checked out against these Ruddy specimens, but in that same set found the perfect match I used in the Plover post.  Since I was already in there, figured it would be a good time to go ahead and post it and more importantly get my official +1 for the Birding Life List.

Ruddy Turnstone shot at Fort Meyers

Hit the jump to read a bit more about this stunning shorebird.

Continue reading Rud[dy] Can’t Fail

Floodle Camouflage

Howdy everyone!  I’m back with another post in another desperate attempt to hit my quota this month.  To give a little insight into the workflow that occurs around here at LifeIntrigued, there are times when I panic and times when I’m just acutely aware that my output needs to be ramped up.  Panic is reserved for those times I have nothing in the hopper, no pictures processed and worse of all – no content ideas.  Contrasting that with the much lower entry on the concern scale where I know I’m late but most of the pictures are processed already and best of all, there’s a topic already earmarked for at least the quota amount.

Black-Bellied Plover shot at Fort Meyers

Fortunately for me, this month falls into the latter.  The pictures for this post and the next are already processed and the other topics have at least the theme identified with the raw shots already taken.  The best thing about having the picture processing done for the post is I can write it up from just about anywhere there is an Internet connection.  Take for example today where I’m coming to  you from a lonely road near Alton IL.  We were down here doing some errands and a little birding.  Thanks to Linda agreeing to drive – we get to spend the travel time cranking posts out – yeah!

Black-Bellied Plover shot at Fort Meyers

Continue reading Floodle Camouflage