Fair warning: do not mistake the lack of bird photos in today's post for a lack of bird photos. In fact, today I amassed an insane number of images overall, a good number of which starred various avian species. However, it seemed like it was time to take a break from birds, and it wasn't like I was lacking for other options. So, to start things off, a few shots I took this morning of a nearby tree. I really liked how the red leaves were backlit by the morning sun; this first image in particular brought to mind a stained-glass window:
A banana tree growing right next to the house my folks are renting:
A couple of shots of an anole I spotted in the underbrush as I walked along the lanai:
And an anole Dad noticed when it crawled up one of the stumps at the edge of the lawn:
I didn't crop this one in quite as much to provide a better sense of the gecko's size; the trunk in question is about as big around as a basketball:
Later in the afternoon, Mom, Dad, and I walked over to Shell Beach to enjoy the sunshine and, in my case, see what there was to photograph. I'd only been there for five minutes when a couple of guys walking by told me there was a turtle swimming around in a long, narrow pool running from close to the shoreline and out to the deeper water (I can only imagine what it would be like for a person not paying strict attention as they walked along the reef—one moment they'd be maybe shin-deep in the water, the next waist-deep or more). Dad and I hurried over as best we could, but when we got there a man who'd been observing the turtle from the shore had waded in to either photograph or record it. He kept approaching as close to it as he could, it would move away, and slowly but surely he ended up pushing it toward the deeper water. By the time I got there, it seemed well on its way to heading back out to sea. I tried taking a few shots, but all you could really see was a dark mass in the water.
A bit cranky, I headed back towards the shore. But for whatever reason, I looked back at the pool one last time before I started heading back up to where Mom and Dad had set up their beach chairs. I noticed a dark patch in the water in an area where I didn't think I'd seen any rocks before. I waited, and before too long the spot moved. Spirits renewed, I sloshed back on out and started clicking away.
The majority of the photos I took of the turtle in the water pretty much looked like this, thanks to the constantly moving water:
This was about the only shot I got where the shape in the water was even remotely recognizable as something living:
However, I did manage to get lucky a few times and snag some photos of the turtle's head when it popped up for a breath of fresh air; this first one is the only time the turtle wasn't facing away from me when it happened:
My best shot of the turtle's head:
Cropped in a bit closer:
A look out across the pool at the gorgeous colors of the water, from the shallower light-green of the pool water to the deeper blues of the ocean proper:
Finally... well, how could I not end today's post with this particular shot?