Name This Fish

We mention on our webpage Sandhills On A Stroll (and possibly other places) how we learn from our visitors. We also have in our booth a 37″ by 68″ canvas print of our Osprey Family image. At the latest Melbourne Art Festival a controversy about the identity of the fish in that Osprey image was renewed.

Identify fish in "Osprey Family" image
The fish in “Osprey Family” image.

When she got the image, Nancy knew the fish wasn’t a mullet, which is a common osprey meal, but thought it was a yellow-tailed snapper (and may have been a bit envious). The problem with having an image that is so good (and detailed) is that your story has to be just as good. Shortly after hanging the large canvas version in our booth a ‘real fisherman’ (we consider ourselves amateurs) pointed to the faint yellow stripes on the tail and said the fish was not a snapper, but a grunt. I remembered that grunts had stripes and thought the issue was settled.

In Melbourne just recently, I was recounting this history as another example of how we learn from our guests, and another gentleman told us that wasn’t a grunt; it was a menhaden. Several other identifications followed for the rest of the weekend.

So now I want to use one of my “lifelines” and “ask the audience” (as on the game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”). Here are your choices (in the order we received them):

  1. mullet
  2. yellow-tailed snapper
  3. grunt (give the specific species)
  4. menhaden
  5. lane snapper
  6. pinfish
  7. Bermuda chub
  8. other (must tell species to receive credit)

Vote with a comment to this post before June 1, 2018. Up to three winners will be randomly selected from the entries with the correct answer.

To see the Note click here.To hide the Note click here.
The correct answer will be determined with insight from contributors and scientific evidence available from the image. If a definitive answer cannot be found by June 1st, the answer with the greatest number of votes will prevail.

Winners will receive ten dollars off of any print (either Nancy’s or your own). Prizes may be combined with other promotions or coupons. Entrants need not be present to win.  Good luck!

Another Dumb Question Husbands Shouldn’t Ask

When Nancy was risking her life for your possible viewing pleasure by balancing on top of our canoe on top of our van in Flamingo, Florida trying to get shots of the ospreys for Osprey Family, I asked a really stupid question. I was on the ground (the ladder to the roof of the van has a 150 lb weight limit) and there was a lull in the picture-taking. Maybe the sun got to me, or maybe I had too much time on my hands, or maybe I was just trying to be clever or funny, but I asked her “If you fall, do you want me to catch you or the camera?” As soon as the words left my mouth I knew I had made a mistake. Immediately, she answered “Catch the camera!”

I’ve heard of husbands asking their wives what they wanted for their anniversary or birthday, and getting a reply like “Oh, I don’t want you to make a fuss”, or something like that, and the husband actually not getting or doing anything to make a fuss, only to find out the hard way that wasn’t exactly what their wives had in mind.  I thought I was too smart for that.  Now we know.  If any of you were to ask what I plan to do now, my official answer is “catch the camera” of course (so don’t even bother asking until after such a situation arises).  But you might want to keep in mind that, although it depends on the state of your marriage at the time, I’m guessing for most of you it would be a lot cheaper and less hassle and agony to replace the camera equipment than the marriage.  Just saying.  Act accordingly.  The only thing is that if you are stupid enough to ask a question like that, then either action will earn you some grief.  I’m sure you’ll recognize that the grief can only be considered self-inflicted and you’ll do the right thing.

Nancy at Lake Wailes Park taking pictures of great horned owl chicks in a nest in the fork of a tree.
Nancy at Lake Wailes Park taking pictures of great horned owl chicks in a nest in the fork of a tree.

My hands were full (as explained below) and I didn’t yet have a smart phone with a camera when Nancy got the osprey shots, so the above picture is for illustration purposes only.

To see the Note click here.To hide the Note click here.
This picture was taken with the Samsung Galaxy J1. It has a 5-megapixel camera, which would be fine for things like this blog if the focus wasn’t so bad. Other things I didn’t like about the camera were the shortcuts constantly disappearing and the battery life deteriorating terribly in less than six months. I finally had to replace it with a Motorola Turbo after eight months because I outgrew the 8 GB of memory (I added a 32 GB SD card, but since apps typically stored only half of the program on the SD card, there’s no point in getting an SD card much larger than 8 GB).
This picture differs from the scene in Flamingo in two important ways:

  1. The baby owl she is taking a picture of in this picture is much lower in the tree and she feels no need to stand on the canoe behind her to risk her life for the shot.
  2. The flash is mounted on the camera. Normally, she uses a Pocket Wizardwebsite remote trigger, with a miniTT1 transmitter on the camera and FlexTT5 transceiver on the flash. The flash is then held by a voice-controlled semi-autonomous mobile bipod (that would be me). In either case, the Better Beamerreview attached to the flash does a good job of focusing the flash so it can reach farther into the canopy on her bird images.

Nancy Comes In Second For Helen Aufford Memorial Award

At last weekend’s art festivaldetails, the Lake Wales Arts Council selected this painting of a hummingbird at a purple flower by Beatrice Athanas as the Helen Aufford Memorial Award winner. The painting itself is about 11″ by 14″ with a thick gold frame (not completely shown).  It will be displayed at the Lake Wales Arts Center as soon as they can get it hung.  The theme this year was ‘Birds of Lake Wales’.

Painting of Hummingbird at Purple Flower
Helen-Aufford-Award-winning painting by Beatrice Athanas

They said Nancy’s Osprey Family was an awesome picture that came in second (a position that is not formally recognized).  When we went to see the winning picture, I began to wonder if our own decisions may have cost us the prize. Following the same principle expressed by countless judges in our local Kendall Camera Club‘s monthly competitions that bigger pictures have more impact, we entered our 37″ by 68″ version.  Looking around the Arts Center, I see they have a number of previous winners, all of which are the same size as Ms. Athanas’ painting.  Hmm!

You shouldn’t let anything I’ve said here detract from your appreciation of Ms. Athanas’ work, which you can see for yourself.  at the same time, it would behoove one to do research into the needs and requirements of the sponsors before entering any competition.

“Osprey Family” Is Our Newest Image

An osprey brings a fish back to the nest as the other parent tries to feed three chicks.
An osprey brings a fish back to the nest as the other parent tries to feed three chicks.

We are very proud of our newest addition. We finished it last Thursday, the day before the John’s Pass Seafood Festival, and didn’t get into our campsite at Fort De Soto Park in Saint Petersburg until after midnight Friday morning because we were delayed in leaving Miami until this picture was finished.

We were on a trip to Everglades National Park in the spring to check out reports of great horned owl chicks in the parking lot of the Coe Visitor Center, but then we went on to Flamingo and discovered a few osprey nests also. This one was in a short snag right in the parking lot next to the campground. From the ground we could barely see the top of the chick’s heads, so Nancy balanced on our canoe on top of the van to get a better perspective. She was taking pictures of the one parent and chicks when out of the corner of her eye she saw the other parent approaching. She didn’t have time to zoom out and recompose the shot; she just swung around and captured the bird, with fish, as it was about to land.

Needless to say, this is a composite. In one photograph we had a close-up of one parent feeding its chicks on the top of the nest. The next photograph show the flying osprey and the left part of the nest. Still another photograph shows the lower portions of the nest. The camera was hand-held and the images had to be hand-“stitched”. This was our most difficult image so far. Had Nancy had time to zoom out to get the whole scene at once, the image wouldn’t have had the resolution it does.