Late, late Winter...(otherwise known as, the Best Part of Winter.)

Sorry, Winter, but that's really only because Spring is coming. :) Not to say there isn't still some beauty in the late just have to go looking a little harder for it...

I am not sure how these leaves hang on all winter, but they do. Just touching them makes them fall off, but somehow they survive the New England snowstorms, wind, hail, sleet, and freezing cold for months...

These little starlings are sometimes considered pests at the birdfeeders, because they chase other birds away. You can often see them in large numbers grazing in fields. I think their markings and iridescent wings are really eye-catching.

A tree illuminated by late afternoon sun rays.

The first color tinging the branches around my house and the reeds by the beach...

The fields around Trustom Pond, Charlestown wildlife refuge from last week. They sparkle in the sunlight. On the second photo I used a digital texture from Kim Klassen.

Wrinkled end-of-winter berries on the beach.

More survivors...underneath the shallow water of a little pond in the woods.

And a thorn covered branch getting ready for the snow. All photos taken with my 300mm lens, because my trusty 105mm is broken and won't focus properly. I hope to get it fixed soon...but I like the way these came out, the 300mm does have a nice bokeh and I get pretty sharp closeup shots from it as well. Happy Monday :)

Florida...and the Gifts from the Sea

In January, I vacationed in Florida with my mother for a relaxing end to a long semester taking classes and a hectic holiday.  In the winter, the colors here soften and the air is cooler, but it's perfect photography and exploring weather. I'll never get tired of walking on the sand and listening to the surf in this quiet part of the state, called the Treasure Coast.

The view from where we stay is practically hanging over the water. From the living room, it looks like you're on a cruise ship. I took some of these photos from that balcony.

Above, we took a tour of the Jupiter Lighthouse, which is on the easternmost part of Florida's Atlantic coast.

The beach was the first place I headed to after getting my DSLR camera two years ago. Somehow, it never becomes cliche to take photos there.  Sometimes, though, the best part is discovering something like an Osprey nest, or a Pelican flying overhead, a living starfish enjoying a shallow bath, or a row of beach fencing covered in early Spring blossoms. Those are like the little "gifts" that you get from exploring the same place over and over, that only those who take the time to look will really see.