~~The amazing Pink Spoonbill~~

Pink Spoonbill!

How many of you guessed after yesterday’s clue?

Guessed what we saw on my mother’s birthday?

You are so right!

We spotted the elusive, the wonderful, the amazing Pink Spoonbill.  OK, if you insist, you can call it by its real name.  Roseate Spoonbill.

Also known as the Roseate Spoonbill

You don’t glimpse the Pink Spoonbill every trip to Florida.  You must be in the Right Place at the Right Time.  You must be lucky.  You must be alert. 


Here’s how you find a Pink Spoonbill.

First, you must say to your walking partner, “You know what I want to see in Florida?  A Pink Spoonbill!”  (You have looked for them without any luck during the last several trips.)

When you stumble upon them, do not scream in disbelief.  Restrain yourself!  Do not fumble with the camera.  Remember how to turn your camera on.  Remember to take off the lens cap.  Quit shaking.  Pretend it will all work out and you will photograph them without failing.

More reflections

It’s OK if you get all dirty in the swamp alongside the Bird Sanctuary.  Dirt will wash off.  After all, you brought your Teva sandals.  See how close you can get.  Closer?  Closer?  Should you make the birds fly away in an attempt to get a flight photo?  Is that immoral?  These are the questions one must decide as one approaches closer, closer.

Your mother urges to set the Spoonbill in flight.  It’s her birthday.  The Roseate flaps skyward.

Beach chairs, umbrella anyone?

What else can I tell you, dear reader?

The days are flying by faster than the Pink Spoonbills.  The first day I arrived–Wednesday–flew by faster than any day in my life.  I woke up, the day passed in a blur, and then it was bedtime.  How can a day pass so quickly? 

Rippled patterns of sand

Every day passes quickly.  The trip is probably half over already.  I don’t want to think about it.

Sand face. (It's really a buried live sand dollar)

See the face my mom found on the beach?  She’s learning how to spot faces in shells and in the sand.  She’s a good face-spotting apprentice.  In fact, she now may be the official Winner.  That was a good face she found!

Shrimp Boats

The following pictures were taken during our boat ride yesterday.  When I got a little bit sick.  We won’t talk about that any more.  I am doing fine today.

Old Florida still exists...

We are headed up the road in about 45 minutes to meet my brother and his wife.  There is a tent in Santini Plaza filled with appetizers, drinks,  an art show and a group from the Naples Philharmonic.  We think. 

Want a ride on a Pirate Ship, Matey?

I told my mom and dad:  “I have absolutely nothing to blog about tonight.”

Are you surprised that a lot of words flowed out anyway?   🙂

Mom and my sister-in-law, Michele, on the boat

Sorry that I am not visiting any of your blogs for the rest of this vacation.  It’s too challenging!  Time passes so quickly and I don’t want to miss any time in the Florida sunshine or time with the family.  (Although today there wasn’t even time to sun and read by the pool!)

Brother Tim drives the boat--Dad and our friend, Gene in the back

Hope all is well with all my friends, family and blog readers…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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42 Responses to ~~The amazing Pink Spoonbill~~

  1. Incognito says:

    I absolutely adore the one with the bird in flight…!

    Incognito x

  2. Sue says:

    Lucky you!! You get your wish and your mom gets her ‘icing on the cake’ for her birthday. 🙂
    Your photos are lovely!

  3. holessence says:

    Oh my gosh, “Flight” is ASTOUNDING! And my next favorite is “Shrimp Boats.” Your precious mother got one heckofa terrific gift in getting to see the amazing Pink Spoonbill. That was almost (but not quite) as good as getting your presence.

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, I think you are partial to the non-compressed BIG photos. (Me too! I wish I had the space to make them all non-compressed and big. But then couldn’t show half as many.) I like your last sentence. So glad Mom got to see the Pink Spoonbill on her birthday.

  4. Dawn says:

    OH!!! How simply wonderful! So glad you got the new camera, just fabulous! LOVE the pink bird in flight!! ANd love the beach chair and the rippled sand and the sand dollar smiley face….

    I know what you mean about the days flying by so fast when you’re “home” with your folks. I always felt that way too. I’d lie in bed at night and count how many nights had passed already, how many more I had. The later in the week it got the sadder my Mom and I got because we lived so far away from each other. So we didn’t see each other more than a couple times a year. Going down for a visit was always bitter-sweet because it went by so fast.

    Enjoy every moment! These are precious times!

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Dawn, there is that bitter-sweet feeling. Just trying to be so present with every moment, feeling it, loving it. Only three more full days now. Sigh. We are lucky, we still get to see each other about three times a year. We are all so grateful that they are doing this well health-wise.

  5. WOW! Great shots Kathy! I am soooo excited my hands are shaking and the job is already done! Beautiful! Fantastic! What a great gift to your mom watching you get that shot. It is like catching the biggest fish in the lake. Congratulations. And don’t worry about not visiting blogs. We will be here when you return. Please relax and focus on this precious time with your family. That may not be there another day. Ten years from now you will be glad you did.

    • Kathy says:

      You are so right, Terrill. Every visit we realize–more and more–the preciousness of our time together. As life swiftly continues. By the way, I forgot to answer you personally. Yes, I have a new camera. A Canon Rebel with a great new lens. It is wonderful!

  6. Kathy says:

    K-the pink spoonbill is great, and like the first commenters, I agree that the “flight” pic is really nice. I like the buried sand dollar with it’s funny “Cabbage Patch Kids” face, too. Good to see the family, also. No Cabbage Patch faces in that bunch! What are you going to do for an encore? I’m thinking surfacing manitee, incoming tide, just off the dock in the channel. An eight-footer with a calf or two. . .early morning light just right! We’re talking National Geographic here, or is that going to cost us the next camera lens? Love, B

    • Kathy says:

      Hello Kathy—no, I mean Hello Barry! It’s always great to see you comment when I’m off on a trip. (And it was good talking with you yesterday, too.) What are the chances of seeing a surfacing manatee? Ha! I actually got dressed early this morning with that intent but the Back Bay is too rough. Can you order one up? It would be great to get a pictures like that. Maybe you have to earn that privilege?? See you next Tuesday night!

  7. Gerry says:

    The spoonbills look like they’re made of rose petals. How beautiful they are!

    • Kathy says:

      Gerry, that is exactly right. I didn’t think of that before. They do look like they are made of rose petals. Maybe that’s why they are so special.

  8. Carol says:

    I told you – WOW! Especially the Spoonbill in flight.

  9. Great scenary on what I am sure is a great trip to get together and enjoy divine love……

  10. Karma says:

    Woweeeeee! I am late to the comment party as usual, but OH-SO-PRETTY!!!!! How nice of that spoonbill to show up for your mom’s birthday.
    For one of your photo-wishes: dolphins?

    • Kathy says:

      Don’t worry, Karma, I am USUALLY late for most comment parties! I won’t tell you what we saw today…but it was in the water…and it did have a fin. Let’s only hope a good image shows up on the computer when it’s downloaded.

  11. sonali says:

    The pink spoonbill is so really wonderful! And your place has quite a perfect scenic beauty beach side, just perfect for a vacation. Enjoy your precious time with your family to the Maximum.Time runs really fast! Wish I get a chance to visit Florida sometime. *Dreams*

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, sonali! You will get a chance to visit Florida sometime. You will. I will get a chance to visit Indian sometime. I will. **Dreaming with you!**

  12. Cindy Lou says:

    Can’t even begin to pick a favorite photo today?!?! OK, OK – I’ll try….”Flight”, “Beach Chairs” and “Rippled Sand” are at the top but they’re all fabulous! And it sounds/looks like you’re having a most wondermous time – horray! Glad you’re feeling better, too 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy Lou, do you remember seeing the blue beach chairs in the outdoor blog last year? That’s not a fair question, I know, as I wouldn’t remember them if I hadn’t already publishing a picture. I am feeling better, thank you. Eating magnficently now. Truly.

      • Reggie says:

        Oh! Really?! I thought they looked familiar! I LOVE that picture, it’s so perfect… But I thought, naah, there’s no way that Kathy would be re-posting a photo she already took for last year’s blog, when she’s roaming around the beaches with a fabulous new Canon camera?!

        So did you really re-use the same picture, or did the universe happen to put the same two blue chairs and the same umbrella in the same spot for you? 😉

        • Kathy says:

          Here’s the Secret Scoop, Reggie. Someone rents out all these fabulous blue chairs with umbrellas in front of the Holiday Inn–every year. I love ’em so much I couldn’t help taking another photo and showing it to those who didn’t visit last year’s Outdoor Blog. I am TRULY amazed that you remembered.

  13. Marianne says:

    Beautiful photos, Kathy! I’ve never seen a pink spoonbill before. I’ve never seen a live sand dollar either. The white rippled sand looks so inviting. I’m grateful your blog contributes to an expanded world view for me. Thank you!

    • Kathy says:

      Marianne, they say that the sand on Fort Myers Beach is whiter than most places in North America. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sure is white. I want to jump up and down in joy that you think the blog is helping to expand your world view. No, I want to hug you! That’s what I truly want this blog to be about…

  14. Robin says:

    What an amazing bird! Beautiful captures. Why is it pink? Is it similar to the pink flamingo that turns pink from eating food high in beta-carotene (which, I think, comes from the prawns/shrimp they eat)?

    I think I would have almost (and happily) died from the excitement of being able to photograph such a beautiful creature. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, we all discussed this question of why the bird is pink–and no one can come up with a definitive answer. Maybe you are right. But why aren’t ALL the sea creatures that eat prawns/shrimp pink? Now that is the question of the trip! (It was an incredible moment when the spoonbill lifted its wings and flew. But you never know until you get home–sometimes a day later–if the photo even turned out halfway decent. I was so happy it did.)

  15. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I’m just catching up and enjoying the lovely, lovely…VERY gorgeous photos!! And your days in Florida with your parents. And the pink spoonbill and also imagining the stories that your Tevas might have to tell. If they could talk. So glad that you’re feeling better…on all fronts!

    • Kathy says:

      These Tevas could tell amazing stories! That would be a great blog–a story from the point of view of our shoes. Yes, brilliant future idea! Thank you.

  16. Reggie says:

    Well done for getting some FABULOUS piccies of the Pink Spoonbill – and I couldn’t help chuckling about your dilemma… “Should you make the birds fly away in an attempt to get a flight photo? Is that immoral?” Giggle…

    Just make sure that you had the camera on the right settings before, and that you have the camera on the right settings when you make all the birds take off!

    When we went hiking on the weekend, a cute little brown bird posed for some pictures for me, actually looking at me, cheekily like. I was happily snapping away, thinking “Oh wow, this is great, these pics are going to be sooo sharp!” … And when I had about a dozen photos, we started to walk past it to continue our hike, and the poor bird got a fright and fluttered off.

    And that’s when I checked the camera, and saw that I had just used the macro mode because I’d been photographing plants close-up… and all the photos of the little brown bird, which had posed soooo obligingly for me, were blurry! AAAAARGHHH!!!

    Lesson learned! 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, I am such a beginner with this new camera that the photo was taken on Automatic. Can you imagine the luck to get a halfway decent photo? I am feeling your pain about that cute little brown bird. Have done that before more than once! I think the more we learn about photography…the more we have to remember. We’re in for it now. LOL!

      • Reggie says:

        Ssshhhh…. [finger on lips]… confession time…. don’t tell anyone…. I also… um… tend to use the… [glancing furtively over shoulder]… Auto mode, Kathy. [Blush]

        Actually, the Canon gets really great shots that way. During the Cape Town Military Tattoo, which involved many hours of lots-of-action-at-night-time-in-an-illuminated-arena type of photography, I discovered that my little pop-up flash was completely useless. BUT, the ‘Auto without Flash’ mode was absolutely F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C! Even though it used an ISO of 3200, which is VERY high, there was hardly any graininess in the photos.

        Thanks to this magical setting, I got shots that I would never have gotten otherwise, or at least not without a lot of trial and error and missed opportunities. Do check whether your camera has a setting like that, because it’ll make evening-time-without-a-tripod photos come out surprisingly good.

        • Kathy says:

          You got many great photos of the Tattoo, so I think you’re doing something right! I suspect it will take at least a year–maybe years–before I figure out this camera. Thank you for your good advice about “Auto without Flash.” IF I can figure out where it is! I couldn’t even figure out where the Flash button was during my trip.

        • Reggie says:

          Hello Kathy – I did some detective work to investigate whether your camera has a ‘Auto without Flash’ setting. I believe you have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, which is known outside of North America as a Canon EOS 400D. I downloaded the manual for your camera from here. If you scroll forward to page 48 on that, you’ll see the heading “Disabling Flash” with a rectangular icon that contains a flash with a diagonal line through. You can probably access it by turning the selector wheel. I’m curious to hear if you manage to find it – please let me know! 🙂

  17. Kathy says:

    Reggie, the first thing I did was add the manual to my “favorites” here on the computer. Will keep that handy. OK, now going to look at camera. WOW, Reggie! I am so inspired. There it is, right on the selector wheel! It says “Disable Flash” when you look on the screen. This is exciting. Now I know what something means on this camera…hurray! (I am thinking about starting to sllloooowwwwwllllyyyy read the manual, maybe every day. And start playing with things like these. Thanks again!)

    • Reggie says:

      Ooooh! I am so excited for you! Fabulous! I’m delighted that the manual may actually be useful. I also learned quite a bit from mine, though I have only just scratched the surface – soooo many options and permutations and decisions… but it can also be fun to play with it. Good luck!

  18. Kathy says:

    However…I can’t figure out how to change the ISO to make it higher. It says “ISO Automatic” on that setting. Hmmm… Challenges, challenges…

    • Reggie says:

      Hi again, Kathy – apologies for the delayed reply. Hubby has taken my camera to the hot and dusty Karoo with him this week, to take some photos at the site where they are busy constructing the Karoo Array Telescope (to do radio astronomy, as it’s not an optical telescope), so I cannot check how this works on my own camera.

      However, I do recall that there is a way of changing the ISO Automatic setting – I think it’s on the actual MENU button? One of the sub-menus there has an Auto ISO option, where you can tell the camera, how high you want the ISO to go. Do let me know if that helps? If not, I’ll check when I have my camera back, okay?

      • Kathy says:

        Will check… it’s kind of crazy around here lately, Reggie. Computer woes, taxes, lots happening! Photography will have to sit on the back burner for a little while longer. Thanks for your help, truly.

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