As 2015 comes to an end I've taken a look back over the year and selected ten favorite photos that remind me of some of the fun photographic experiences of 2015.
Winter in Florida is all about birds. I am fortunate to have the Circle Bar B Wetlands Reserve right in my back yard and spend many hours there during the migration months. The following photo is a Great Blue Heron nest. This nest is close to a trail and we were able to follow the pair from courtship to the chicks fledging from the nest.
With the new camper I was able to make several trips over to Fort Desoto Park, a county park in Pinnellas County on the Gulf of Mexico. A popular attraction for photographers is a Redish Egret (known as Big Red) that is a permanent resident on the north beach. The upswept wings provide shade over the water to help better spot small fish. As he hunts you might imagine he is dancing to a tune.
As most of you know each spring I try to visit Yellowstone in hopes of finding many new bear cubs as they emerge from their winter naps. I was especially excited to learn a grizzly known to photographers as Blase had emerged with two new cubs. We were fortunate that on our first day in the park she and the two cubs were near the road at Mary Bay on Lake Yellowstone. This is one of my favorite photos from that day.
We also had the good fortune to have several photo opportunities with a mother Black Bear and her two 2nd year cubs. One of these was a wonderful cinnamon colored cub, seen here.
One early morning as we drove along the shore of Lake Yellowstone we spotted a flock of Avocets. The morning light was perfect and they were most cooperative. What a beautiful bird.
Spring is the time for new arrivals and these two Pronghorn twins were spotted in Little America. Mom was close by keeping a watchful eye. This is a very close crop as they were some distance out.
During one of our drives out to the Lamar Vally we found this new born Bison calf, just hours old. It is amazing how quickly they are up on their legs and able to travel along beside mom as the herd moves.
Every spring since 2009 I look forward to finding the Great Horned Owl nest near the Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs. Here are this years two owlets keeping a watchful eye on me.
Summer has traditionally been slow for me, but this year I made several trips over to Melbourne, FL and Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. This 20 mile stretch of Atlantic coastline is prime nesting area for sea turtles; Greens, Loggerheads, Leatherback and Hawksbill. Here is a Green Turtle returning to the sea after laying her eggs. A big thank you to Ursula Dubrick for her guidance and education on these fascinating creatures. More turtles can be seen here on her web page.
That brings me back home to the Circle Bar B Reserve in the fall of 2015. We have several nesting pair of Eagles at the Reserve. One pair that we have observed for several years have yet to produce offspring. This year they have started a new nest so hopefully this will be their year. Here the male carries in a large limb as they construct the new nest.
Now looking forward to 2016 with trips planned for Yellowstone in winter, back to Yellowstone for spring and then Alaska in late summer. In between will be local outings to Circle B, Fort Desoto Park, Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge and many more.
Thanks for following my Blog. I leave you with this quote from John Muir.