December 16, 2006

An Incidental Safari

I took these a few weeks ago, but never bothered downloading them until now.

Wood Stork

I didn't take a trip TO the Everglades. I could have. They're not far. But no, these are some pictures I took on my way home from Fort Myers. From a rest stop on Alligator Alley (I-75).

It was worth the stop. But I have to get a telephoto lens, dammit.

I was just leaving the rest stop when I saw this wood stork in the middle of a field just off the ramp. I've never seen one in the wild before, so I stopped and snapped his picture.

A few miles down the road, I decided to stop at a boat ramp (or "recreational area") to see if anything else was out.

There was.

Turkey Vulture

I really want to say that this is a snail kite, but it's not. This is a turkey vulture, and we have tens of thousands of them down here.

But he was just kind of hanging there like they do, so I took the shot.

Here's another shot of him.

No doubt about it; it's a turkey vulture.

This came out a lot better than I thought. I was using a digital camera, and I haven't been all that happy with digital cameras* for action shots, but this came out really well.

To be fair, I have adjusted* the color values a little bit to bring out some detail, but not really all that much.

Here's another shot of of the heron.

He's a little blurred here, but you can still see a lot of detail. Even the reflection is pretty cool.

I should mention that I followed him along the canal for about a half hour.

He kept noticing me and flying further up the canal.

What, I'm papparazzi all of a sudden?

This is what I love about Florida; the casual way you can find wildlife as you go about your daily life. I didn't drive anywhere special to get access to these birds, they were just THERE, right alongside the road. All it took was for me to STOP for a minute and take a look.

*These photos were taken on a Kodak DX7440, and edited with Irfanview.

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