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Grand Show
Written By: OC Fotoguy
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Grand Show
Grand Show
Grand Show
Grand Show
Grand Show
Grand Show
“Best Office Window on the Planet ,” that’s what BatMan, BK and the other DJs on Seacret’s Radio, 98 Rock, say they have.  Theirs’ is spectacular, too, since they have the Bay view also with a foreground of all of Seacrets scenery.  I may have them beat.  I’ve moved my “work” station out on my deck that overlooks the Assawoman Bay with a view south over the Rt. 50 bridge to Assateague and north beyond the Rt. 90 Bridge. I even have some swim suits at the pool across the street and an abundance of ACBs well chilled, too. The screen is hard to see even in the shade, though, but the breeze is worth it. Yeah, we’ve finally gotten what we’ve been asking for - the heat!!! I’m going to have to ask someone looking at a screen in the sun on the beach how they see it.
(written 12/08/12) – It’s a good time to take a break from America’s Jungle, Big Cypress Nat’l Wildlife Refuge (, where I’ve been parked 26 mi. deep in the everglades at Pink Jeep CampSite, north of Everglades City, Fla. I spent a lot of needed time organizing all the stuff I’d stocked in my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck) over the last several months that met the criteria: I might be able to use that during my Adventure XV. There was so much stuff I could hardly move around inside.  Now, everything has a place and it’s in it.  If I keep it there for the several months as I meander, I’ll know where it’s at and that’s the way I like it!
While accomplishing this organization task, each morning I walked for hours amongst the lush tropical jungle. Many of my walks, that start at dawn, began with 70+ degree temperature and humidity, so thick I can see droplets of water floating in the air’s haze.  In the evening it was almost too warm to use my gas stove to cook supper, because it made it too hot in my nest, but by then anyone or animal may be the mosquitoes feast if they can get to them.  The hoard diminishes after dark, however.  Good time to sit inside, bring up some smooth jazz on my solar powered compu/DVD deck, and eat!
As I walked this morning Mother Nature showed me a big bear and a panther, both a little farther away than I could get a photo I’d be happy with, then a wimbrel and bittern escaped a photo, too. Why do all birds fly directly away from me? If they’d go to the right or left I’d get a great inflight opportunity, but no, all exit straight away from me, and all I get is their rear! A snail kite cooperated, though. As I walk, my eyes sweep back and forth watching for and focusing in an instant on movement, and occasionally glance behind me.  Usually motion trips my curiosity, but when I saw the Kite it was sitting motionless less than ten yards away at full frame distance. I shot a safe, first quick photo to assure I get something. I saw a distracting shadow of a branch on the bird, so I moved closer causing the bird to shift and luckily away from the shadow, I got my keeper, then it flew directly away from me.
I also was presented with an armada of lil green tree frogs and a big orange grasshopper. Both every morning have posed for me, but you need to know where to look.  The end of a palmetto frond near the trunk is the most likely place for the frogs and the grasshoppers to be found. They seemed to like to climb the wild grain that grows in the wet land where there were no trees. There was also a big moth near the entrance to the road to Pink Jeep, when I returned. That was as many sightings as I may get in a month! I was happy with that and ready to drive. So, I’m off for a weekend of kayaking, crabbing, the beach at Marco Island, and some good eats.
It’s a little after sunrise as I pull out of Pink Jeep and I find it’s another muggy day, but rather chilly and dreary grey as I turn south on Turner River Road, so I don’t expect any good photos. A dreary sky background doesn’t do it. Quickly I learn what the constant faint engine noise was that I could hear almost constantly. I thought maybe I was developing tinnitus!  No, the USPS is (what they say is) improving the road. No! It was a hard-packed surface; now, they’ve made it a muddy mess!  It brings back memories of the road’s condition of ten years ago, which kept people who didn’t appreciate, respect, and enjoy without disturbing nature, out of here. I negotiate the muddy ruts, muck, almost need my 4WD, and then bounding across the road in front of my truck is a huge beast!  There are no wild horses here, but it could win a steeple chase race! I stop my truck where it crossed the road.
Wow! Mother Nature treats me to Grand Shows. I shut the engine off, and wait at the opening in the palmetto and brush where it disappeared. It reappears and crosses the trail a hundred yards away, as I’m writing this. I write some more, hear a meow like a house cat, glance down the trail and see it’s head protruding just above the brush for photo session! I fire a burst of photos. I get out and walk to the rear of the truck and towards the opening in the brush.  I want a full frame photo. I look down the trail. A 250-lb. panther is looking back at me about 10 yards away!  I get a Nat’l Geo Photo!!! My Photo of the Year. Wow, a photographic triple play!!!! I feel no aggression from the beast and heard it meowing!!! Wow, once again Mother Nature has shown me a Grand Show that most people never see in a lifetime. Little did I know, just a few weeks later, Mother Nature would out do my Photo of the Year experience. Oh yeah, that’ll get its own article, later.
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
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