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Lake Eola

I can't tell you the number of times people have questioned me about what type of camera I use. I bet you've wondered as well. The truth is that I have a bunch of cameras, nothing wildly expensive. I use my Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera, primarily with the terrific Panasonic 1.7 lens. As well, my Nikon D5100 usually can be found in my bike basket with the zoom lens attached. What's been missing from my lineup of late is a regular old point and shoot. Using my "found money" from Sun Dance, I bought a new Panasonic FZ200 at Costco. This morning I took it for a test drive at Lake Eola with mixed results. The thing about a camera like this one is the zoom is SO long (600mm), that it takes practice to keep it steady, something I wanted to work on today.

Week in and week out, I go to Lake Eola, however, what I see is primarily limited to our circle of vendors, those on the bridge, and the park restroom. Parking on Eola Street, I walked the whole park looking for subjects.
There seem to be a gazillion pigeons, but by golly, this was the only white one I saw. By the time I arrived the sun was already too bright, making it especially challenging to get a shot of this white bird. Don't for a minute think this is the only one I took--there are about ten already relegated to the trash bin!

There I go, getting ahead of myself again. Last evening, the minute the battery completed charging, I tried it out on our resident model:
Baxter keeping cool on the tile. Furthermore, I did some shots of my daisies before they too are relegated to the trash bin.
Back to Lake Eola, which I only just now realized that some folks reading this blog haven't a clue what I'm referring to. Briefly, Lake Eola is downtown Orlando's signature park--every major celebration is centered around this lake with the newly renovated fountain, swan boats, swans and more swans, as well as an amphitheater. Then too, it is the site of the Farmer's Market where I sell photography every Sunday. Now you know.
And now you've seen it for yourself.

There are various types of water fowl, including this little couple of herons:
The way they bend those legs is really something. I watched a black swan working on a nest, actually, the nest was already pretty big with Mama swan sitting on it, but I guess he thought bigger is better?
It was remarkable watching him pick up big mouthfuls of pine straw, dumping them, and going for more.
Looks like I missed the white swan having her cygnets awhile ago because, seeing them today, they are already pretty big. The fellow pictured on the left, despite signs asking people not to, was feeding them bread.
Although they have never bothered me, a significant number of homeless people hang out in the park. Can you blame them? Every now and again on a Sunday morning, one of the men will ask Bruce if he needs help setting up to which he always politely replies, "no thanks." The truth is, he has a very specific method and likes to keep doing it that way. I know you are not surprised.

I read somewhere recently that we have the influence of Japanese culture for our newfound fascination with all things cute. Maybe, maybe not, but I do know that the new swan boats are way more cutesy than the previous batch!
Having a retractable shade thing must be a very welcome addition for those who like to power boats with their legs.

A nearby school apparently uses the park for physical education because there were a group of young people, probably in fifth grade or so, playing a running game which didn't seem to bother this gentleman's ability to make art.
I wonder how long he waits around for buyers?

There were loads of variously colored ducks, other wading birds, and loads and loads of pigeons, but I think you've seen enough don't you?

Things have been relatively quiet around here this week, except for some baby bird watching. I try not to look every day, but I just couldn't help it yesterday evening, and was I ever rewarded! Wondering what six day old cardinals look like? Wonder no more!
They are definitely outgrowing the nest wouldn't you say? Bruce, taking a break from power washing the driveway, helped me out by holding back the palms for this shot which I took very, very quickly. Mama and Papa have their hands full trying to keep these growing babies fed! I put some extra bread crumbs out in the dirt adjacent to the nest, hoping to make their job a wee bit easier.

In the kitchen, take a look at what has happened with that bunch of basil given to me by Sue a week or so ago!
I can't believe how big the roots are already. Angela is definitely getting some to plant.

Unrelated to this post, in pretty much no way, I'm showing you a photo I took in Siesta Key a while back that I came across during a feeble attempt to clean out my photo library.
The water looks unreal doesn't it? Now, if I'd had a super zoom camera when taking this, those dolphins would be more than specks!

Maybe it was nostalgia that made me buy the camera, a big upgrade from my long time Panasonic FZ8 which served me so well over the years until the battery refused to keep a charge. Don't know, but one thing I do know is that if you have a good subject, the camera is not terribly important. Sure, bigger sometimes is better, but as it is with all things in life, that's only partly true. What I do know is this: about 8 of my top 10 photos were taken with a point and shoot. I'll leave it to you to decide how much the camera matters.

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