This is probably going to be my last entry concerning the Florida trip, and the one I least anticipated before I went to visit my folks.
I had played golf Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday, my dad was a little sore (I was too) and he begged off. It was a lazy day – very quiet around the house. By early afternoon my mom had asked if I wanted to go to Wakodahatchee.
Sure… except, what is it?
Wakodahatchee Wetlands¹ is a man made nature preserve in suburban Palm Beach County. If I understand correctly, it is the product of heavily treated waste water (I’m sure heavily treated and clean are two very different words) which is released into a number of manufactured environments.
The actual wetlands were built to allow for a number of different wet habitats. With no human encroachment, the wildlife is varied and flourishes.
For humans, the treat is the 3/4 mile long boardwalk which winds its way through the preserve. The afternoon we went, it was moderately busy. I would guess there were at least 100 people on the boards.
My luck was stumbling upon a ‘prosumer’ photographer. He had a substantial Nikon film camera with a long lens. He stood and shot, watching two blue herons building a nest high in a tree. I’m not sure I would have notified them had he not been so intense.
I took his cue and pulled out my Fuji S602Z. This is a great camera – the best I’ve ever owned. It can be used as a point and shoot camera, but what a waste. Its manual controls allowed me to preset for the shots I wanted, especially with the herons, where I made sure the shutter speed was fast and that I could burst 5 shots in rapid succession with the lens zoomed in fully.
That afternoon, I took some of the best shots I’ve ever taken. I’ve put together an album in my online gallery.
My recommendation (if you have high speed access); use the slideshow mode for the first 6 or 7 images (at least). The sequence with the heron arriving at his nest is really captured well.
¹ – The official Wakodahatchee Wetlands website hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. A real shame.