Yeah…I know it’s only been 2 days since the last post but work with me here…we got some Fun Stuff©…well, maybe only lower case fun stuff© since it wasn’t as great as we thought it would be.
Anyhoos…yesterday Connie got her hair done and then after bike ride we headed off to the Elks for Taco Thursday as we hadn’t been in awhile. David and his bride…the normal Taco folk…are up at the Elks State Golf Tournament so Bob and his bride filled in but afore they left town David got ‘em all setup so all they had to do was warm and serve.
BOOOOONK!!! BOOOOONK!!! BOOOOONK!!!
(Editor’s note: Please replace the above line with 3 iterations of the overly loud and obnoxiously discordant warning sound we’re all familiar with from your weather radio or whatevers.)
WE INTERRUPT OUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING FOR THIS SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
THE LONG POND ROAD AREA IN NORTH FORT MYERS FLORIDA HAS BEEN UNDER A SANDHILL CRANE WATCH FOR THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS DUE TO THE INTERMITTENT DETECTION VIA AUDIO SESORS OF SANDHILL CRANE VOCALIZATIONS.
AT APPROXIMATELY 0730 EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME ON THURSDAY APRIL 8 THIS HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO A SANDHILL CRANE WARNING. MR AND MRS CRANE WERE DETECTED ON THE GROUND NEAR LATITUDE 26 DEGREES 45.945 MINUTES NORTH AND 81 DEGREES 45.787 MINUTES WEST OR APPROXIMATELY 45 YARDS EAST OF LONG POND ROAD PROCEEDING NORTH AT APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET PER MINUTE.
WE HAVE NO REPORTS OF DAMAGES DUE TO CRANE POOP OR INJURIES.
OUR INTREPID REPORTER WAS DISPATCHED TO THE SCENE AND WE WILL HOPEFULLY HAVE…
FILM AT 11 (OR IMAGES BELOW)
WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING ALREADY IN PROGRESS.
BOOOOONK!!! BOOOOONK!!! BOOOOONK!!!
(Ditto last editor’s note)
As I was asayin’…after Tacos it was Show Me The Money or Bingo for Dummies as Neil has renamed it…although perhaps Bingo for People with a Short Attention Span might be more precise. Connie picked out her three sets of 3 cards and after getting zero hits on the first game Neil suggested she trade them out but she didna’ do it…then she got 1 and 2 in the next two games and still didn’t swap ‘em out. See…the caller uses this deck of cards that are about the size of a FedEx envelope and although they try…yer hands just ain’t big enough to properly two handed shuffle the cards after each round…so effectively the same cards keep showing up the whole 10 games. The caller does her best to shuffle and then the previous winner gets to cut the cards…but that mostly involves moving stacks of 10 or so around a coupla times…anyways the net effect is that you don’t get a random shuffle so the same cards keep coming up in similar sub-orders of how they came up the first game. Hence…if your cards ain’t coming up early ya shoulda got yourself over there ‘tween games and get some better ones.
Connie…needless to say…didn’t win but we were still home before dark.
We been meaning to head about 2 miles south on Tamiami Highway or US-41 to visit the Prairie Pines Wildlife Preserve for awhile and since we were home early last night we set the alarm for 0530 and after coffee and packing up Neil headed out to check it out alone as Connie wasn’t feeling well. He took both his DSLR with the new bird lens as well as her Z50 mirrorless but but his new Z lens on it so he could have some test shots.
Prairie Pines is a nice half mile or so walk through a wetland area…well, it’s a wetland sometimes but not in April…it was pretty dry but clearly had been wet in the recent past…didn’t surprise him that it was dry as our pond out back is probably almost 3 feet lower than it was in January since we’re into the dry season. Part of the circle around the wetland is just crushed shell path but 1/3 of it or so is elevated walkway about a foot off the ground so even when it is a wetland it ain’t very deep. Since there was no water there wasn’t much to see but he did spot a couple of bunnies as well as a new bird species for us…an Orchard Warbler.
Here’s the shots our intrepid reporter turned in of Mr. and Mrs. Sandhill Crane the other day.
Dunno which is Mr and which is Mrs…the sexes look the same and are the same size…and these were taken through the lanai screen since opening the door woulda scared them off.
He wasn’t able to get a shot of the Orchard Oriole so here’s one he found via wikipedia.
Basically it looks a lot like a robin but with darker uppers and a more red breast but about the same size as a Baltimore Oriole or a little smaller and less rounded than a robin is.
Other than the Oriole…the only other things he saw were a couple of bunnies.
The first one was taken with his DSLR and bird lens.
The same bunny with Connie’s Z50 and his new Z lens…it’s actually a little sharper but that’s mostly because he was able to use a faster lens which means lower ISO which means less noise.
On around the walk a bit…here’s a shot of the mist over the used to be and will be again eventually wetlands with the sunrise…as you can see it was pretty early and this was 10 or 12 minutes after the bunny shots above.
He’s about halfway around the wetland area at this point and looking generally south.
Once past the wetland the trail took a left to head back to the parking area and he spotted another bunny…just a photo with Connie’s Z50 this time as it hopped off before he could get the other camera up. Pretty darned sharp although this one also got touched up for noise reduction and sharpness with some new software he picked up.
Shortly after that one he was back at the parking lot so he texted Connie to make him another cup of coffee which was just about ready when he got there…then he used some leftover sautéed onions and shrooms to make an omelet for breakfast with some leftover gourmet mashed taters on the side…really good. Tonight he’s making jalapeño polenta topped with a crab cake (or maybe scallops, he’s gotta see what she prefers) then topped with bacon, some crispy shallots, and some leftover dill cream sauce he’s got in the fridge.
And finally…this is just a test…he’s trying to figure out the best she too export portrait orientation shots for the blog without having them way too large…this was taken back in May of 19 out in the west…in Colorado somewhere.
Well…I had to resize that one smaller a bit…he constrained the export to 1000 pixels high but that means that you can’t see the whole image at one time if you’re using a laptop…I’ll have him modify the export to 750 pixels tall and see if that improves things for next time.
Interesting things found on the net
The Ocean Sunfish is the largest hard boned fish in the ocean…some sharks are bigger but they’re soft cartilage boned fish. I don’t know what difference that makes but apparently it does. Anyway…Ocean Sunfish grow up to 2,200 pounds. Pictured below are a full grown specimen and also a couple of newly hatched ones. Guess they got a whole lotsa growin’ to do. Newly hatched ones weigh about half a gram so by the time it’s an adult it increases its weight by just about 2 million times.