Site & Blog Stock Galleries

Newsletter | Apr 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

Florida Adventure on ‘The Pontoon Putt’

Newsletter #128

I think my tour participants for this last Putt would all agree that it was “over the top” successful for many reasons. The weather was almost perfect (which it usually is), but more importantly, the wildlife was (& usually is where I take us) fruitful with Mother Nature giving us a few unexpected surprises or gifts. It soon became evident to them why I make my Putts at least four days. When there is an opportunity with some critter showing up, we need another chance to go back and try again or improve on our shots.

This tour’s big gift was the Barred Owl & her chick. Right before our discovery, we encountered a fisherman who, when I greeted him with a cheery “hello”, blurted out….“I can’t believe what just happened to me. I’d just caught this fish & laid my pole down to remove the fish when this owl swooped down and grabbed my rod & reel (with fish) right off the boat & flew off! Shortly after the bird dropped the whole ‘catch’ in the river!”  Well, bye-bye rod & reel forever! Not wanting to appear indifferent, or revealing my ulterior motive I offered my sincere condolences adding “do you know where the owl is now?”  He took his finger & pointed up above our heads. Sure enough there was Mrs. Owl—-looking very smug. Seconds later I heard the distinctive & familiar (to me) sound of the baby, which we spotted on a branch not six feet from my boat! Let me just say this, if it had been still the ‘days-of-film’, I would have wanted to be a major stock holder in Kodak! It was machine-gun firing time! This was only the FIRST day into the trip, which usually sends feelings of panic up and down my spine, because as a tour leader I can’t help but fear this will be ‘it’ & the rest of the Pontoon Putt will be devoid of wildlife.  But, in my heart I knew better as my little ‘piece of paradise’ has pretty much always delivered….. we saw almost all the Egret species for Florida, Sandhill Cranes with chicks, American Bittern, Little Blue Herons in varying stages, immature Black-crowned Night Heron, etc.

A first ever for me was a tree full of Wood Storks in full view. Some were flying with twigs, others nesting and/or rolling eggs & a few chicks. I have another trip in two weeks which should reap great shots of chicks fledging or in various stages of ‘chick-hood’. All in all it was a wonderful four days, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

For me, one of the highlights of my tours is the interaction between the participants regarding equipment, techniques, results of experiments, etc. Almost without exception, my participants are highly educated in various fields of business, with varying educations, expertise, & backgrounds, not to leave out life’s experiences.  During our quiet time, or as we are patiently waiting for our subject to appear, a lot of information is passed back & forth. I’m going to share an e-mail my friend & tour participant, Mike, passed on to our little photo group—-maybe it will help you or ‘shed some light’ on just one of the mysteries of flash. I quote Mike’s e-mail, “I learned a valuable thing while shooting with Joanne this past week. Two of the other people were engineers. One had read somewhere that the use of an extender reversed the zoom characteristics of the flash. In other words, without an extender setting the flash zoom at 24 mm would spread the light and it would not go as far and conversely setting it at 105 mm would narrow and extend the light. I have used 105 with the extender to get the most reach when I thought I needed it.  Low and behold, the extender reverses the process.  We went outside at night and tested it. To get the most narrow focus with an extender shoot at 24 mm zoom. I know they recommend a setting of 50 mm. Does anyone have any thoughts on why one shouldn’t shoot at 24 mm to get the most reach?  The engineer thought it was because some people don’t have a flash that can go wider than 50 mm.” Interesting, isn’t it! Any input, information, thoughts or comments welcome. I will try and forward them in another e-mail/newsletter/or whatever. We never stop learning, do we?


Happy Shooting



Newsletter Archive

Enjoyed this Post? Share it!

Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Comments are closed.