Pixels & Plumage


My D850 arrived, Nikon’s new top of the line professional DSLR. Of course, to scrounge up the money, I had to sell a D700 & a D800 PLUS a 500mm lens.

Incredibly, the D850 is so fast (7/fps continuous shooting) and powerful (45.7MP) and processes such large files that the two storage cards alone cost almost 500 dollars!

But I couldn’t be happier. Like Tzuri, my Nikon goes with me everywhere I go.

After several years shooting street scenes, I am excited about bird photography again. Maximo Park, I’ve discovered, is teeming with early morning photo ops, especially along Frenchman’s Creek. Across the water just happens to be my alma mater, Eckerd College.

(Jack Eckerd, a wealthy drugstore magnate, donated a bunch of money to Florida Presbyterian College, and they changed their name.)

Some frisky birds (apparently skipping class) obligingly let me take their picture.


But what’s this? Suddenly in my viewfinder hunkered down in a briar patch was a strange critter. Nice plumage. Perhaps a snowbird?

Then she turned enough for me to recognize her as the common coed.

Coeds – I read up on them in the Audubon book – flock to colleges twice a year, nest in coops at treetop level, and often display their colors during mating season.

Ms. Coed squatted for a while and I went about my business of shooting other species. Then I noticed that she had reached for a Bic lighter. It was 46 degrees outside and I wondered if she needed to warm her hands.

No. Coed casually lit up a little green . . . crack pipe?

After several deep inhales she stretched her wings and wriggled into some new feathers.

Then she settled down and by the look on her face seemed to be enjoying some warm fuzzies.

Okay, sing along now, to the tune of Mickey Mouse:

E-C-K . . . E-R-D


🙂 🙂 🙂







Sun & Fun

“Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland.”

– James Joyce, The Dead

Not so here in Florida. Yesterday I went out in the dark to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to watch the sun come up.

Kiteboarders were already out skimming across Tampa Bay.

One guy – and, oddly enough, all the surfers seemed to be over 40 – raced a freighter to the bridge…

… and won!

Then I drove across the bridge to the South side. No snow there either.

(But reports say it’s “possible” in the next few days.)

🙂 🙂 🙂





Alley Oops #65: “The Last Road Trip”

Jack Kerouac’s favorite bar here in St. Petersburg was The Flamingo. On a side wall is a mural depicting Jack playing pool against a background image of his book, “On the Road.”

In the front is a framed picture of Jack.

The hospital where he died is 10 blocks away.

“Cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse was considered the primary cause of death, although a bar fight he had been involved in several weeks earlier may have had a contributing effect. He was only 47 when he died, a peculiar martyr to his own success.”

“I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”


Steve Allen plays the blues while Jack Kerouac reads from “On the Road.” He seems sober and does a good job, I think, enunciating the poetic rhythms of the prose.

6 min 51 sec

🙂 🙂 🙂

[a Monday sampling of signs, murals, graffiti]