Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ladies And Gentlemen, This...Is Tom Jones!

I got to go see Tom Jones in concert last night! He was playing at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City for some reason. I felt that was a little bit below his level, but I wasn't going to complain because I was able to see him for $5 in parking and $10 for fair admission. Of course I was in the free seating section that was about half a mile away from the stage. I still got a decent picture or two, one of which is above. (I was actually so far from the stage that I didn't know until I looked at my pictures this morning that the third backup singer was a guy.) But this one picture tells you all you really need to know. Those four girls standing in front of the stage are the Strawberry Queen and her court. They are wearing big puffy dresses and sashes of course, and I think satin gloves, but I can't tell for sure. The queen introduced Tom at the beginning of the show in the most stereotypical beauty queen voice you can imagine, but I think it was her real voice. And I don't think she had any idea who Tom Jones was. They're shown dancing above to Kiss, which may have been the only song they recognized. For the record, it was a great show. The man can still sing like nobody's business. He did new stuff, some hits, and plenty of stuff in-between. And yes, some women did throw their panties at the stage. No lie.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Fun With Gus

You know how much I love some good fungus, so here's a great growth I spotted today at Myakka. I have no idea what the name of it is, but I found it growing in the curve of this rotten tree. Beautiful color, don't you think?

Doe, Dough, Doh!

While on the little tram tour at Myakka, we came across these three deer hanging out near a power line. They conspired against my getting a clear picture of all three of them together without that guy wire in the way. They didn't seem to be at all concerned with our presence, only occasionally looking our way when the driver would make a clicking noise trying to get their attention. They eventually wandered away and we continued the tour.

Big Daddy Gator

I didn't see too many gators out at Myakka today. This was the biggest one, and he's probably only 9 feet or so. I'm sure he's just sitting there waiting for one of those birds to get close to his head and then BAM! Raw KFC!

Second biggest gator of the day was this fellow who was holed up in the weeds beside the boat ramp. I guess he was hoping some unsuspecting tourist would slip and fall, and that would be his big chance. If it went down that way, it didn't happen while I was watching.

Smallest gator of the day was this baby. I apologize for the quality of the shot, but I was in a moving tram and he was in a mud hole quite a ways from the road. At least you get to see the cool stripes they sport when they're young.

The Incredible Mr. Limpkin

You don't often spot any limpkin around here, but I got lucky today and found a pair of them at the Upper Myakka Lake. I followed them around for a while and even managed to get both of them into the same shot a little bit. These guys have the weirdest calls, so you know immediately if there are any around. But they are shy, so I consider myself lucky to have gotten to shoot them. Come to think of it, pretty much every time I've seen these guys it's been up at Myakka. No, wait, I found them in Lakeland once. Don't remember if I got any good pictures that time, though.

I even got one decent shot of the larger one coming in for a landing.

Fight To The Death

I went out to Myakka River State Park today to get some pictures to share with you, and as usual, the place was overrun with vultures. I don't know why they like it so much, but there are hundreds of them out there. I happened upon two of them fighting over something, and managed to get this neat shot before they took the battle elsewhere. I guess when you get so many of them in proximity to one another, there are bound to be some dust-ups. And before you ask, I don't think this was mating behavior. Maybe, but it didn't look like it.

More March

If you're the squeamish type, you might want to skip the calendar page this week. I happened across a swarm of bees right outside my condo last year, so I had to go and shoot them. I had to get pretty close to them to shoot, but I didn't get stung or even buzzed. People seem to have a fear of these insects, as evidenced by the fact that this swarm was killed in it's entirety the next day by an exterminator. I guess we didn't need any honey after all.

Stupid Cat

All cats do all day is lay around and dream up ways to bug you about dinner when you get home.