Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Big Pine Shadows

When I took these pictures last week it occurred to me that we were just a couple of days away from a full moon and I really like full moon nights in the Lower Keys.When we were out cruising my wife and I used to enjoy the full moon on nights when we were out sailing as the unobstructed moon made the ocean almost as clear as day. But at anchor far from city lights the night sky would leap out filled with stars on nights when the moon was new or below the horizon. I enjoy walking out even now, at home on a dark moonless night to enjoy the stars in our street light-free neighborhood, but the full moon gives the endless mangroves a particular surreal quality.I was off last Wednesday evening and I decided to take Cheyenne for a late walk on the south end of Big Pine Key. The idea was to catch the dying sun's rays in the trees, maybe capture some of the golden evening light that we get so often around here. However the plan fell short for a couple of reasons.The first reason was the sun's decision to get close to the horizon behind a striation of cloud. And secondly I forgot to apply insect repellent as a result the sand fleas on the warm humid evening air made my life a living hell. I spent much of my time slapping my legs and scratching my arms, neither or which activity was effective in dissuading the irritants from bugging me.Cheyenne's fur serves a purpose and she was just fine mooching about as usual. Lacking the rich glow of a golden sunset that I had been hoping for I started taking origami pictures of shaded trees and patches of sky.
The Straits of Florida had a magnificent flatness that I usually see in summer calms.
These pictures might almost have been taken in black and white.Pelicans are back which means, flat water or no, it's winter.
A reflected sunset, looking east.
A bunch of ibis, little white dots in the half light picking up dinner on the way home.
The light was fading fast and the zombies were stirring...
So we hot footed it out of the woods back to the car.
Splashing through the standing water I saw this, which I am pretty sure is a roseate spoonbill, a bird I have seen in it's more usual habitat of the Everglades down into Florida Bay. The quality of the photo is crap making it look like I am chasing Sasquatch or something through the undergrowth.
there were three of them and this next (exceedingly crappy) picture captured more of the pink color on the bird. They aren't unknown in the Lower keys but they are unusual, and here they were, if they are actual spoonbills on Big Pine Key. And finally as we blew the joint the sunset put in an appearance. And weary plods the homeward dog.
I got bitten half to death, I saw a good few birds, got some pictures of mixed quality and the dog had a great time as usual.