Lens Pro To Go had Items stolen PLEASE READ

I rent my lens from an AMAZING company LensProToGo.com and sadly received an email from them which shared they had over 350 items stolen

“NO WAY”

With this came an amazing testimony and EDUCATION

“We ask that if you are in the market to buy a piece of gear, you cross reference the serial numbers on our list. But it isn’t just our gear, whenever you buy any gear you should get the serial number(s) before purchasing to ensure it hasn’t been stolen. Services like Lenstag and Stolen Camera Finder allow you to search serial numbers prior to purchases, as well as list serial numbers of your own gear.”

“LETS GET THE WORD OUT”

Lets support this HONORABLE COMPANY and search for them and also please try them out. If you have a dream lens RENT IT see if it will fit your needs. The lens gets delivered right to your door for that dream vacation.

“FATHER IN HEAVEN HELP US STOP THE THIEVING”

Just know these thieves will be found …. secure your gear now!!!!!!

LETS ALL GET THE WORD OUT! DETER THIEVERY TODAY

“LORD PROTECT THE GOOD AND LET INNOCENCE REIGN”

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After the Rain

Friendships have always been something I’ve cherished. Never had many friends, two close childhood friends who would love to see again. However life has a way of redirecting our attention.

Was informed one lost her mother and the other; husband became wheel chair bound both from status updates on Facebook.  You say a silent prayer, knowing life certainly is changing, technology adapting to our needs.

And all I really want to do is give them a great big hug, look into their big brown hazel eyes and cry and laugh like we use to. There was a reason why we were best friends, precious moments shared, secrets and dreams and guess what, we evolved into courageous women.

Paula and Gina I will love you forever and ever

Sometimes in life we revisit youthful vigor and innocent reminders of  “what once was” even within our own families.

We attempt to merge reflections towards another, sadly chemistry misconstrued our senses. Ruffled emotions create an unbalanced state . . . and we hold on despite ourselves.

And then you see their beauty, fractured teal eclipsed by glory . . .

Your breathless, no words come from your lips and you know what, it’s ok, time was paused so you could see the hidden

AND observe the obvious

Yup you’re within the forest despite the trees

and you giggle, life certainly has it’s twists and turns and allows us to see the most amazing creatures! Yes, you’re not the only one having a bad hair day!

If we just open our eyes and be still long enough to feel and see the droplets of the past roll off . . .

It’s a good day. So lets rejoice and toast … and raise up our Turtle Eggs . . .

Because after the rain

We will find strength to rise towards the sun and say goodnight to fears. Yes,  to be embraced once again by Grace

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Who is Watching?

Every trek is an adventure and one doesn’t travel far to see nature reveal her beauty. Nope, really all you have to do is be still. This happened to me when concentrating on a Little Blue Jueve, zooming in waiting for the perfect light, this little guy suddenly honked and flew TOWARDS ME! Lowering my lens I saw the reason, Coyote was present and soon vanished after a 3 sec seductive stare which was gloriously captured!

doe

The grass was thick and so wild with life. Live for these moments so to share the mystery, the beauty, the immmuable story as nature reveals secrets.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~Lao Tzu

This particular day met another photographer, they stopped and asked what I was filming, sharing my encounter they quickly retort; “I come here EVERY day and NEVER saw this”  and drove on, even before a verbal response.  Pondered this, well it’s true, sometimes I sit for hours but not always, no it’s kinda like fishing, if you never fished before well then how can I contrast?

Fisherman wait a long time in one area, investigating their pond, becoming one with their environment. Yup observe the Great Blue Heron, they can teach one how to consume just about anything!

I’ve sat with a Heron a few times, one day a few hours! Actually I don’t keep track of time, I get lost in it. Ask my husband.

So how does a Heron Hunt?  Well the deathblow is delivered with a quick stab and the prey is swallowed whole and to be regurgitated later as a “hair ball” casting or pellet. The passing of pellets allows a bird to remove indigestible material from its stomach which is more like a ligament gland then a pouch; proventriculus. Had to look all that up after witnessing this!  Really? TURTLES?! Nature is fascinating!

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A refreshing drink and onto the next meal, mother nature and her realm. It’s such an honor to witness, capture and share! Lately have been going out with my 500 mm and building up my muscles, my close friends know the cost, couldn’t hold that lens up for more then 2 min at a time. My mentor would say; “You’ll build up muscles” and while on these Trek’s it’s walking without a tripod.  Oh and no time to set up a digiscope, do you know how many action shots would be missed doing that?!

It takes practice, patience and thousands of images to upload. A photographer really doesn’t think about this as the import is multi-climatic. Sometimes you see something you totally weren’t expecting! This is why your camera comes with you wherever you go!! Have you ever seen a white peacock?

He saw me first and talk about neck wrenching! Went off the road for this shot and yesterday replaced my tire. It was worth it. Eventually this bird warmed up to my presence and came out on the grass actually VERY close and the moment was breathtaking.

During this particular shot felt another set of eyes on me, yes you do feel this. See why I felt it?

Different glasses to see and capture with aperture precision. Even signed a 2 year contract with AT+T last year, why? For 16 megapixel’s and waterproof up to 30 min of course! This is another tool for nature when she decides to come in real close, like this Sandhill Crane family! Here my sis Rachel and I were concentrating on a little Green Heron nest when I caught this flash to the left of me.  Preciousness beyond words, worth every penny of the 2 year contract!

These are the moments which refresh and invigorate, make you burst out with JOY! Sharing is the best part; recently had this post response to pictures shared on Facebook and the fact is, didn’t even know the truth about this, they pair up for LIFE!

I was just at some friends house for dinner and my friends have been observing a family of these birds for over 20 years……. They mate for life, I love that part, and i love, love, love the heart on their heads……. Wonderful shots Brenda Stevens, thanks for these wonderful photos of love and life and God’s creations……….”   Yup this is why I write and share!

Anything we love, we feel. The latent within rises flushing out all negativity. Such beauty to be seen if we just open the eyes of our soul. Spirit is willing however the flesh is weak? Some flesh is covered with waterproof feathers!

Others get wet so to feed the hungry cry’s, it’s as if they learn from each other and sushi is their dinner! Delicately balanced they spear the water and I’m thankful no gator on the scene. A fish is caught and another mouth is fed, very soon they will fend for themselves. How do they know when not to answer their calls of hunger?

Another sunset approaches, and it has been a glorious day. My body is tired, aches while readjusting my lens however can’t stop smiling knowing I witnessed a bit of heaven today.

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Ruffled Feathers

Love how nature shows up when you least expect it. The suddenly’s which strike you to the core. You kinda sense the mystery, the tension in the air as a portal opens up. It’s why I have invested time, study and purchasing technology which will allow me to steal heaven. Ok maybe that is too dramatic of a statement however it’s close to how I feel.

Such mystery in nature, everywhere you look one can find a habitat where your soul soars

Admiring the view spied an Anhinga and fired a shot. Peering down, quickly checking if my exposure was right I get distracted, whacking sound . . . yup a suddenly had happened and a fish was being pounded into submission.

Firing away caught earthquakes of the most amazing sushi dinner being consumed!!

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Visiting Nature you will be consumed with beauty, comedy and tragedy. The tragedy is reflected in the disrespect some have for our environment.

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In the time of Noah, Jehovah found an upright man to preserve nature. Today we too have an opportunity. The nature of man is confused, and the earth quakes. Migration is in the air and the juveniles are feeding.

And we walk, we observe, we capture beauty and pray for balance.

In the midst of the field I see chaff and wheat growing together and breathe in beauty

A meadowlark appears on a post nearby and sings his lovely tune

“A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” ― George Eliot

And you ask me why I make time to visit nature?

My prayer is I never forget what she teaches.  I end with a busy little red bellied woodpecker doing what he was created to do.

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Season is here . . .

It’s the time when snowbirds congregate and medical professionals serve in their communities. Local shops and restaurants boom with activity and it takes an extra 12 -30 min to get wherever you need to go. YUP consumption is in the air.

Evenings sip some wine and sift through my photos. No time for Treks so might as well organize recent encounters!

DANG vultures are ugly vicariously ripping through flesh. They pause to look at my intentions and within these moments I see their beauty

Never know what you are going to see while walking down a trail. It’s not always the audible, sometimes you feel someone is watching you this is when you get ready with your trigger. Something is about to happen. See a flash in the corner of my eye…a fly by!

It was bigger than a pigeon and had no idea what it was until it surfaced again with a snail in his talons It was a lifer, a Snail Kite! He announced his Victory catch. This federally endangered species frequents freshwater wetlands where its primary food source is the apple snail.

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Recalling each step of this adventure joy rises. Yes so need to touch the depths of truth and the hem of heaven while never forgetting the reason for this season. Yup stretch out beyond my comfort zone and capture the miraculous yet again

Life has a way of smacking you up the side of the head. Just when you think “ahhh THIS is the place, THIS is where my roots will grow deep” you’re yanked into reality. There is a divine path within each of us, timing is of the essence and sometimes chords need to be cut.

Your heart aches.

Ever live with a critical spirit? Someone who ends each conversation pointing out your defects? Have friends who do the same? Call you when they have a need not really wanting to spend time with you rather want you to entertain or “do” for them.  One needs to see this and say goodbye. If they truly cared they would call back and say hello. Yup tough to swallow!

Met up with a group of gifted photographers this year. To spend time with such masters was a treat!  Learned a great deal as they shared their favorite spots and tips towards excellence.  Hope to return the favor one day and have them all stay with us.  This for me is what life is all about, sharing and caring!

We visited country roads in the crisp cold snap which hit Florida, only the troopers surfaced to brave the 21 degrees and wow were we rewarded! Again, another lifer; the GHOST, male Northern Harrier soared right pass me!

Nothing the same about nature, every day a different presentation, a new gift, yup every day an opportunity to capture and give thanks for the tension

Remembering always; “What’s in the Way IS the Way” !

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Belted Kingfisher, Purple Gallinules and more !

Working in the medical field has challenges, like “SEASON”. This is when population increases due to visiting snowbirds; not birds. My rural area becomes supercharged with human activity. It takes me an extra 3 minutes to pull out onto US 1 and another 3 min. to pull into work! Hospital census climbs and this induction process leaves me hungry for nature. Time to Hit the Trails!!  On my first day off spied a Purple Gallinule.  Oh she probably felt like me; gosh another human in my territory… Always love spying their vibrant blue amongst the reeds. Interestingly enough there is another species quite similar called the Purple Swamphen, saw them today too along with the Common Gallinule. Incredible Mother Nature!

Common Gallinule (Moorhen)

The Purple Swamphen has a red crown and pinkish legs, unlike the lavender crown of the Purple Gallinule who also sports bright yellow legs. Swamp hens are considered an invasive species, “The purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is not native to any State, and competes with native species” So the word has it the Purple Swamphen has been added to the ABA Checklist. (Area Breeding Checklist) This action by the ABA Checklist Committee in 2013. Thankfully one can not kill this species and will not be part of the “exotic hunting opportunity” as in the past. Below you can see both in the reeds, the Purple Gallinule has the bright yellow legs.

Could watch the Great Blue Heron all day long. Here are a few pics captured as they were foraging nesting material. Soon we should hear the clacking of little chicks! Nesting birds could be seen everywhere! Here the lovely female Anhinga graciously incubates her eggs.

Spring is in the air and focus back on capturing the illusive Kingfisher. So up before dawn after copious amounts of caffeine, trek through the woods to where we know Mr Kingfisher dwells, set up the blind and patiently wait. This was my view of his favorite perch from the blind. It’s a bit crisp today, as one exhales breath is like smoke, tips of my nose and fingers cold and the leaves crunch beneath my shoes. Yup a great day to capture the illusive Kingfisher tempting you as he flies away singing that well known chatter. Saw him catch a big minnow and bang it victoriously against a branch. Oh he was knocking it dead, tenderizing for the “big swallow”. Sadly would watch it from afar as my fave bird; Great Blue Heron strutted in and scared him “on high”. Was determined to catch him with the help of my mentor and teacher; Ron Bielefeld. Patience is key ! It’s hard to see captured on film Belted Kingfisher pounding his fish against the pine limb! Was ecstatic knowing snapped a few shots before his ascent. Accompanied by three professional photographers on this day and the blind appeared to work for us however he had no tolerance for walking pedestrians, nor the Little Blue Heron or the Cattle Egrets! Below is an example of the momentary visitations :)

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Sitting here smiling taking in this amazing moment. Yes, true wildlife photographers are patient diligent and massively in love. My new acquaintance filmed one of these frustrating encounters, five minutes before a human and his dog came on the scene, such keen eyesight they have. See the wind blow through his crest and hear nature all around us?  This is the reason we visit nature. Was it worth the wait?  No doubts about it. Now I can share with my family and my mom who would love to join me and now can. Thanking Our Creator for His Amazing Creations, and the gift of dominion. My heartfelt prayer is to always hold life sacred, thankful for this moment in time. Certainly hope you enjoyed a little bit of what we saw, a gift indeed.   “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ― Mark Twain

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Incredible Nature

You ever set out to be the best at something?!  You have a passion and it excites you to share and express your love, your vision and the Joy is in the sharing? Yup this sums it up for me.

Grew up in a small town and knew one had to be schooled to be the best. Learning was essential, being around the best, “the best rubbed off” and of course this is where you meet competition and judgement. Yup the race was on . . . however one must never compete with “the others” or else their voice will rule in your heart. The still small voice of who you are  (and why you are here) will become muffled. This happened to be once in my youth, when my first love announced; “You must earn respect”. 

“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Not sure exactly what his point was at the time, all I knew is I was lying to myself.  A wife, mother, sister, caregiver, daughter and for the life of me,  had no idea who “I” really was. Slated to bring home a paycheck, I now was functioning to maintain “their happiness” while losing my vision.

Did you know Armadillo’s are the only living mammals that wear shells? Happened upon this one foraging on the side of the road. He was actually right in front of me so jumped out of my car and filmed him with my phone. He was PRECIOUS beyond words, long hair on him and claws.

So many people I met said they never saw one in the wild before, it’s a joy to share and then come across my ancestors writings about the Armadillo which I found comforting.

Armadillo teaches you how to protect yourself
and when to let your defenses down.

It is time to define your space

You may have trouble saying “no” and are being taken for granted.
Learn to guard your personal spac

My ancestors trusted Nature to reveal the lessons,  “Nature was sacred and her revelations allow one to see into the hidden wisdom of heaven on earth”  and today would be no different.  An Eagle swooped down and drank from a pond, following her I find a nest and two babies staring down right at me. It was an honor to witness.

We know nature is all around us and like my grandchildren would say “But where are they Granny” my reply, “Just sit and listen and watch how she will come right before you, just what you need to see. Keep your camera ready and more importantly your heart open to see” All of a sudden a tear forms, familiar nose burn, my inner voice was speaking. Sacred seeds were planted.

And they saw, even a blue eyed hermit crab appeared to say hello! Did you know these even existed? I didn’t until now! Didn’t know he was on the rock until I came home to upload and saw those eyes looking right at me!

Was thinking about how much I have missed in life and then chuckled knowing everything revealed was perfect timing as my purpose was being solidified. Encouraging others to see and documenting adventures was just this; letting the light shine  Let the adventure and sacred intimacy, continue!

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