Come and Listen to my Story About a Man Named Jed

…except, well…his name ain’t Jed at all so I guess I need some better lyrics. You know the tune…it’s one of those catchy things from a TV show in the 60s…

Come and listen to my story about a man named Juror 275

A medium well off bum easily able to afford to jive

And then one day he was hangin’ out in courtroom 5B

And along come a clerk who came to set him free.


Well…obviously a songwriter I ain’t…but then as I dun tol’ya before…Ima a bear so just deal with it.

Anyhoos…we got some pictures from Fort DeSoto in a bit but first some general news updates.

Connie’s completely recovered from her surgery back in February and is fully capable of all her normal duties, wants, needs, and whatnot now. She had her spring concert with the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers on Sunday…and Neil was amazed by a couple of things about the pieces that they sang. First…he was amazed that the piece they sang after intermission that was just composed in 2022 was actually good as most contemporary classical music pretty much sucks to be honest with ya…composers today mostly do atonic so called music but it really just sounds like noise to us…no recognizable melody or harmonies…and this one was actually good. Second was that the new piece was actually the highlight of the concert…they sang a Ralph Vaughn Williams piece in the first half…and it was well performed but was a simply terrible version of the Dona Nobis Pacem…there are a lot of pieces named that…and most of them she actually likes to sing…but not even she liked this one.

The adults finished up their season of concerts up at the Sarasota Symphony and will be renewing for next year…looking at the schedule there are some good things on it so they’ll be happy to get up and hear them. A couple of them might interfere with her scheduled concerts with the Mastersingers for next season…she’ll attempt to find out the dates at the annual meeting next week and just swap our Sunday matinee tickets for Friday or Saturday night tickets…that happened for the one last Friday as she had her scheduled concert on Sunday…and it reminded them of why they changed to the Sunday afternoon performances as they got home pretty late

So…Juror 275.

Despite having had a drivers license since 1960…which is how they pick potential jury people…neither of them has ever been summoned until this week, Neil had to report Monday morning for potential service along with about 130 of his closest friends. They had to be there at 0800 naturally even through court doesn’t start until 1000…and even with the swearing in and how to be a juror movie there was still a lot of wasted time there. Then along about 1015 they started calling numbers to report to courtroom 8B…and continued calling numbers until every last person in the room was in the jury pool. We got up to the courtroom…got cautioned…again…to turn our phones completely off, take our hats off, and not to put glasses on top of our heads before filing to be instructed by the judge handling the trial they were potential jurors for. Not to worry though…everything Ima telling ya here is public record and since he wasn’t selected for the jury can be talked about. Essentially…it is a case of capital first degree murder of a local on duty police officer with aggravating circumstances meaning both capital punishment and a whole bunch of other charges included…and the defendant has chosen to represent himself. Apparently it started out as some sort of robbery inside a car…which then escalated somehow to the police being involved…which then escalated to a shootout resulting in the death of the police officer and assault/attempted murder/ wounding of at least one other officer…along with all of the felon in possession of a weapon, robbery, and whatnot.

After the judge read the indictment…and it actually made the Palm Sunday gospel (for those of you who are churchgoers) seem short (and for those of you who aren’t churchgoers the Palm Sunday gospel is about 5 pages long in the book, takes 20 minutes to read, and is the only gospel you’re allowed to sit down during)…well, anyways then they started the voir dire portion of the proceeding which is where the prosecutor, defense counsel, and judge ask questions of potential jurors and then they either get peremptory challenged (which means somebody kicks them out for no reason other than because they want to, but they have a limited number of these challenges), challenged for cause (which isn’t limited but the judge has to agree that the person can’t be unbiased because of knowing somebody involved in the case, bias for whatever reason) or because of hardship imposed on the person by the length of the trial, having to take care of kids or elderly…but convenience isn’t one of the valid reasons and the judge has to agree. Anyways…voir dire continues with potential jurors in batches of (in this case) 10…and once those 10 get excused or put on the jury (12 plus 4 alternates chosen after those 12) they bring in the next batch of 10. Each group takes about an hour to hour and a half to process and based on when the numbers were called in the morning Neil would have been in about batch 9 or 10 which means that he would have come back on Tuesday to continue the circus.

Anyway…around 1600 they were in the middle of batch 4 and batch 5 was sitting in the on deck circle (actually the jury section in another courtroom)…and they are in and dismissed everybody else except batch 5. They didn’t say why they did that…but since batch 5 wasn’t dismissed obviously they had not selected the 16 in total…so either they were getting close and figured that with the remaining 20 they would fill out the jury…or the judge figured that the 20 would take until the end of the day’s court time and if they needed more they would just pick some more batches from Tuesday’s (the next day) pool.

Too bad…Neil’s obviously not sure whether he would have been excused or accepted…but it sounded like an interesting case and if you have to be on a jury it might as well be something interesting instead of a minor lawsuit over spilled beer or something. But the good news is that he got his “I was there” certificate…and that means he’s got a “Get out of jail free” card for a year…although given he’s been called once in 50something years he’s not holding his breath to get summoned again anytime soon.

And I think the defendant has an idiot for a lawyer since he’s representing himself…he’s got a standby counsel but I’m pretty sure the judge has a low opinion of his courtroom etiquette…giving the judge a thumbs up for a positive response and a hand wave with a “Nah…” for a negative one while standing for neither of those and actually facing away from the judge in both cases…well, it can’t be good for his rapport with the judge. However…representing yourself is your right in a criminal trial…and while I think it’s dumb and anybody with a 5th grade education probably thinks it’s dumb as well…it is your right so he’s exercising it. He did have 3 fully armed officers that remained between 5 and 10 feet of him the entire time he was in the courtroom…so his incorrectly buttoned sport coat, dockers, and ratty sneakers were probably a change from his normal orange jumpsuit (or whatever they wear in jail since I’m pretty sure you’re not getting bail for 1st degree murder of a police officer.

On a “Ripped from the Headlines…Dum…Dum” momentary tangent…I do have a couple of questions about the indictment of the former President today having just read the actual indictment. There are 34 separate counts all of which are felonies and all 34 essentially say the same thing but have different check numbers and other minor details. Each count says that they are felonies because of the intent to aid and abet an underlying crime…which elevated the what would have been misdemeanors to felony accounts.

First question…what is the underlying crime as it’s not mentioned in the indictment? Previous news articles and speculation have indicated that the underlying crime is a violation of federal election law…but there are a couple problems with that…the NY DA cannot charge for a federal crime, the feds have already declined to prosecute it as a crime, and the statute of limitations on the supposed federal crime has run out anyway.

Second question…the misdemeanor counts of business record falsification have already passed the statute of limitations from what I’ve seen on the web…the statute hasn’t run out for the felony counts but without the underlying crime which doesn’t appear to exist they can’t be felonies…and the misdemeanors can’t be charged based on statute of limitations.

Third question…supposedly the payments from his organizations to the lawyer were labeled as “legal fees” which is the supposed false business record being charged. The problem with that is…your lawyer would normally bill you for both the legal hush money which he legally paid on your behalf and his services on the same bill expecting a single check…so it seems that calling them legal fees is legitimate, especially if you’re giving the money to your lawyer to solve a potential legal problem…calling the hush money not legal fees seems like hair splitting.

Overall…it seems to me that Mr. Bragg has a very weak case…perhaps even a non existent case…which sort of lends a bit of credence to the claims by his supporters that this is a political prosecution…but then of course it is a political prosecution…exactly as the Hunter Biden one and the Clinton ones and the Cuomo ones were…the fact that there may or may not be any legal justification behind them doesn’t mean they’re not primarily political prosecutions…both sides are and have been over time guilty of this over and over…so calling a spade a spade seems fair to me by his supporters…although then the other side calling the Hunter Biden thing politically motivated is also 100% correct. I wonder when his defense lawyers make all these arguments about underlying crimes and statute of limitations to the judge what he will say…because (and I’m not a lawyer so there may be some weasel words that haven’t been fully explained in the media)…because he’s gonna read the actual law and at least from what we’ve seen the actual existence of all those crimes may not be so. Note that this doesn’t mean that I support the former President or think he should be reelected…I’m just looking at the potential legal ramifications of these charges.

And that’s about all the news that’s fit to print…so let’s get on to some pictures. Neil was up at Fort DeSoto State Park near St. Pete Monday before last and got some pretty good shots.

Right off the bat less than a minute from the parking lot as he walked to the beach…he spotted this osprey with breakfast about 18 or 20 feet off the ground.

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Then headed to the beach and took a side jaunt away from the tidal lagoon into a somewhat isolated tidal pond.

Snowy Egret strutting his stuff.

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And then a few seconds later as he got up on land…high stepping like the return man after a long run for a score.

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Great Egret.

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A pair of Roseate Spoonbills…they were close together so are likely a mated pair…but as far as he knows the male and female look the same so who knows for sure.

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The Snowy after climbing up onto a mangrove.

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And a different spoonbill in flight…Neil really likes this shot for the motion blur in the wings even though he actually clipped the left one which would normally have given this shot a one way trip to the bit bin. The Z9 grabbed focus on the head/eye just like it’s supposed to but the shutter speed was too low to freeze the wings…but he likes the motion blur in them.

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As she walked towards the beach this pelican flew by.

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And a Greater Yellowlegs…can ya guess where the name came from?

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He then spotted the catch of the day as both he and the 2 other fellows who watched the half hour show agreed…but I gotta give you a little background to set the scene first.

It’s a Reddish Egret…which is normally a solitary hunter that stands still and arches it’s wings to both shadow glare off the surface and to attract prey to the shaded area…usually they look like this and basically don’t move around…this shot is not from last week but is one he pulled out from a year or so ago to show the ‘normal’…although common might be a better description…feeding posture. As you can see from the lack of ripples around the legs…it’s just standing there and typically doesn’t move much, maybe every 20 or 30 seconds it might take a step or twist around or something but mostly it just stands there like this.

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Not this baby though…he put on a spectacular show for about 30 minutes jumping around and dashing and hopping and feeding…and was pretty successful at it as you’ll see.

This first shot is an animated GIF file…Neil doesn’t do much video which would have been at least 24 frames per second because doing that means you extract any still shots from the 4K or 8K video…and you lose a lot of the still photo resolution the Z9’s sensor provides if you do that. He can shoot up to 20 frames per second in full quality and can get to 30 and 120 per second if willing to accept lower resolution images since the camera can only write to the card so quickly and a full resolution image is 50-55 MB each…so 20 per second means writing about 1 GB per second to the card…there’s a buffer in the system that fills up after about 80 or 85 full resolution images and then you don’t get 20 anymore, maybe 10 or 14 or something smaller until the buffer writes to card and then it speeds up again.

The real problem with the high frame rates is that you just get a really big number of images to sort through…so he normally just shoots at 10 frames per second and occasionally bumps it to 20 for really fast action…but shooting in bursts means that even if he really only wants to take a single shot clicking the shutter gives him a 3 or 4 shot burst at minimum…and he came home with over 1,000 frames from his 2 hours at the park that were sorted down to the 30 or so here.

Anyways…he took some of the burst shots and made this animated GIF from it…each frame in the GIF is displayed for 0.1 seconds which means you see 10 per second…so this is essentially real time speed of how this individual was dancing and bouncing around. All of the action in this clip took place in about 20 seconds but the individual frames are 10 per second…pretty amazing how fast it was hopping around.


Here’s another sequence of it flying to reposition itself to a different section of the pond…again 10 frames per second animated GIF and a total of almost 4 seconds of flight.


Man…what a show. Mostly it continued doing the jump/dance/hop thing above and only rarely did the more normal feeding behavior…here are a bunch of regular still images. I’ll get him to take some video next time and extract some frames for stills…at least I might but will have to have him shoot some test footage and see how it looks before wasting time on a decent target before going that.

However…even with just the stills you can get a great sense of what it was doing…but I figured the quasi video of the animated GIF would give you a better sense of the actual speed of the action. I’ll point out the actual classic feeding behavior shots when we get to them…it used wings to sort of jump/fly 8 or 10 feet a lot and for balance as it moved and landed.

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Literally running here as you can see from the spread in its legs.

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Sort of hop/fly here…did that a lot.

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This is sort of the classic Reddish feeding behavior but it was still walking instead of standing still so I guess it likes to eat this way.

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These next 3 were all from the same 2 second burst of a successful strike, shortly after the above shot he turned towards Neil and dove in.

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Another successful strike against a larger target a minute later…he actually caught about 5 or 6 over the 30 minutes or so he watched it.

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This one is sort of a continuation of the 3 shot sequence above.

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Running again…note the wake and splashes around the legs.

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Another skip/hop/fly.

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And finally…it flew down to the far end of the now isolated tidal lagoon…he could still see it but it was a good quarter mile down there so he didn’t walk down to get more…it was getting on to 0930 by this time and Golden Hour was gone (sunrise was about 0715)…given the increasingly poor light, the distance down to where it was now, and the spectacular results he and has 2 buddies had gotten so far…they decided to quit while they were ahead and headed back to the car.

Another seagull flew buy as he was headed off of the little point they were on.

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Just before exiting the park…he spotted this osprey in a tree off the left side of the road.

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Turned out to be half of a mated/nesting pair as about 30 yards to the right of this tree its mate was sitting in the nest. Must still be incubating the eggs as none of the shots I got showed any li’l heads poking up.

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And with that the morning’s excitement was done…he headed home for lunch with Connie.

Interesting things found on the net.

This is a Green…note the Green in the name…Tree Python.They live in New Guinea, some Indonesian islands, and a small portion of Australia. They are about 6 feet long at maximum. Hatchlings are yellow and change over to green in about 5-10 days when they’re about 2 feet long.


This is a Nunantek mountain…that’s actually the type of mountain and not its name…Nunanrtek means it sticks up out of a glacier. This one is in Antarctica and Neil was stuck by the quite flat and angular shape…maybe it’s got something to do with the glacier passing by as it journeys to the ocean and eroding it into this shape.



And since Saint Paddy’s Day is past…here’s the last Irish joke from it.


Credit for this one goes to Alan McFadyen from Scotland who set out to get what he determined was the perfect shot of a Kingfisher…he wanted a perfectly straight down dive, no splash, and a view of the entire back of the bird…and because they dive for fish wherever they want he had to be in the perfect position when the perfect dive happened. Luckily for us…he was both a perfectionist…and very, very patient…as this shot took 6 years, 4,200 hours, and 720,000 shots to capture. He would typically take 600 shots in a session and throw them all away as “none were any good” as he says.

Kingfisher 720K

This was one of his “failures…since there was no splash and all that other jazz…but it’s hard to really call it a failure I think.

Kingfisher 730K fail

Seen on a church bulletin board and/or announced from the ambo/pulpit near you.



For our vegan and/or vegetarian readers.


And finally…



About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
This entry was posted in Critters, Homebody, Learn Something New, Photography, WIldlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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