Friday, April 07, 2006

Magnificent frigatebird



Wednesday some friends came down from central Florida for a one day visit. We used to take first time visitors on the Naples Trolley tour, but we've now decided that our own tour is better. They arrived just in time for lunch, so we went to our favorite restaurant, Buzz's Lighthouse Inn, where we ate grouper reuben sandwiches on the deck overlooking the bay. Next we went to the Nature Conservancy. We are members and always drag our guests there for a visit. I don't think any of them are as excited as I am to see 5 or 6 nesting pairs of yellow-crowned night herons on a mangrove island, but everyone always enjoys the pleasant electric boat ride along the Gordon River.





I tried my hand again at photographing fish in the aquarium, and had more success this time. I think that the animal in the above photo is called a toadfish.








Next we drove to the Gulf and walked out on the Naples Pier. We watched three dolphins playing near the pier for at least 20 minutes, then saw a Magnificent Frigatebird flying overhead. This was a first for us and I took a whole bunch of photos. But that darn delay between the time I pressed the camera button and the time that the shutter actually opened made it very difficult to catch the bird in the frame. Below, is a little collage showing my not-so-great shots.





I found that the only way to actually get the bird in the photo and not just end up with a photo of blue sky, was to move the camera viewfinder ahead of the bird's flight path and click away. The next two photos are the cropped versions of the best photos that I was able to take.








Next we drove along Gulf Shore Drive and Gordon Drive to show them the huge houses along the beach. The house in the next photo isn't the biggest, but it's definitely is the most brightly colored.





Last on our tour was a drive into the Everglades to show them alligators, and we may be the first people in history to drive 30 miles into the Everglades and not see an alligator. We blamed it on the lateness of the day. The next photo is one that I took a couple of months ago at Shark Valley.





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