Back from Longboat Key, FL

 I just returned from Longboat Key, FL where I spent a glorious 4 days in the sun with my mom. Lots of beach/pool time, good food, friends and relaxation. I am always happy when I'm there and I am already looking forward to my next trip down there.

The pool at sunset.

Lunch at Star Fish Co.

Quality kayaking time with friends visiting from Holland who I hadn't seen in two years!

 La plage. Ah.

Birds of Sarasota (and St. Pete)

A cormorant

When I bought a used telephoto lens recently, I did it mainly because it was being sold at a good price and I'm in the process of building up my lens collection. I didn't really know what I'd use it for, my first thought being, "what am I going to take photos of with this, birds?!"

Well, yes, as it turns out. This past week I've been in Florida with my mom and we took an awesome eco boat tour out of Mote Marine. We got to see a lot of animals including some pretty impressive birds. I've never been a huge bird person but with this lens and these rare (to me) creatures, I might be hooked-

Great Egret

Roseate Spoonbill (check out their pink eyes!)

White Pelicans (and cormorants)

We also went to St. Petersburg, home to these birds-



Great Blue Heron

The great blue heron was hanging out on the sea wall with some fisherman; he didn't seem to mind being close to humans at all. The white pelicans are the "original snow birds," they come down from Canada. The roseate spoonbills are the only truly pink birds found in nature (flamingos don't count since they turn pink because of their diet!). See? There's more to a Florida vaca then just laying out in the sun... although I did enjoy that too... :)