Buried Treasure

Who wouldn’t like to find buried treasure? Think of all the things you could buy, or all the good you could do for others if you dug up some buried treasure in your backyard or at the beach. I recently found some buried treasure, and while I don’t expect it will translate into wealth, it may do good for others and put a smile on some faces.

Of course I’m talking about buried treasure of the photography kind. As my frequent readers know, I am woefully behind in processing images. The backlog currently stands at 9 months. The sad part of that is while the wildlife has taken a summer hiatus, and so has my camera, I haven’t made a serious effort to catch up. Sure, I’ve been busy. We upgraded our bathroom and we upgraded our landscaping, and there are a few more projects on the horizon. Plus I have been busy helping Faith with her fundraiser, and now that she’s in Italy, taking care of Hannah for a few weeks. So I really haven’t added to the backlog, but I haven’t cut it down significantly either.

There is actually a positive side to this, and that is where the buried treasure comes in. Usually when I get home from a shoot, I download my images, toss the obvious rejects, backup everything and then promptly get busy with something important…like lunch, or a nap. Before I know it, 9 months goes by and I haven’t looked at the images again. But the silver lining is that by letting the images sit and fade from my memory, the joy and excitement of finding images I really like is something to look forward to.

So I have come across a folder full of images from the Viera Wetlands last January when the great blue herons were busy nest building and mating. I took a ton of photos that day, and even stopped by a local preserve for some time with the Florida scrub jays. So here’s a few images from that outing I hope you like. Click the images to view larger.

The morning started off with a beautiful sunrise. In December and January, I try to get to Viera early enough to get some nice silhouettes of the great blue herons on their treetop nests.

Viera Sunrise - Buried Treasure
Viera Sunrise

After sunrise, a double-crested cormorant stopped by and spent some time preening near where I was standing.

Double-crested Cormorant - Buried Treasure
Double-crested Cormorant

As the sun began to rise, the great blue herons began getting busy. They were actively building and enhancing their nests, but I was more interested in photographing their courting rituals.

Great Blue Herons - Buried Treasure
Great Blue Herons

Their beaks eventually connected for a sweet kiss.

Great Blue Herons - Buried Treasure
Great Blue Herons

The female must have been receptive as moments later the future of the species was assured.

Starting a family - Buried Treasure
Starting a family

There wasn’t much more going on at the wetlands beyond the great blue herons, so I decided to stop at a local preserve to check in on the always friendly Florida scrub jays. The jays are friendly because of years of people bringing them peanuts to eat. As soon as you begin walking down the trail, they fly in looking for a handout. Scrub jays are a protected species and as such should not be fed peanuts. So even though I didn’t have any handouts for them, they still posed nicely for me. I didn’t stay long, but I did enjoy my visit.

Florida Scrub Jay - Buried Treasure
Florida Scrub Jay

I wonder what buried treasure waits for me in the next folder?


  • Jess

    October 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    That was a fun morning! A very cold one, if I remember correctly. You got some great shots 🙂

    • Michael

      October 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks, Jess!

  • Margaret

    October 15, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Stunning images! I’ve never seen a Great Blue Heron nest.

  • Mike F.

    October 16, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Very nice Michael. Thanks for sharing.