Crab Cakes at Ponce de Leon Park in Punta Gorda, Florida

Most of my posts lately have been “heavy” with content to say the least. They run anywhere from 1,500 – 2,000 words. I appreciate everyone who has stuck in there and actually read the whole post from start to finish. This week I thought I would give you a mental break from all the reading and do more of a streamlined post with one single subject. Don’t worry; I have a few doozies coming up with many photos so polish those eyeglasses!

I was leading a class at Ponce de Leon Park in Punta Gorda, Florida some time back. I was playing with a lens that I don’t seem to use that much, my 70mm-300mm. I’m a guy and I admit it, more is better. Why shoot with a maximum focal length of 300mm if I have a 400mm sitting in the case? Most of the time I do, however there are times when the 400mm can get a bit heavy, like walking through mangroves with who knows what else around you. I have figured this much out, in all my classes they let me go first, not because I’m the instructor, but because I’m tall and wide. This allows me to come face to face with all of the eight legged creatures, snakes, lizards and so on. There is nothing like moving along and realizing that you just took a spider web to the face, and all you can hope for is that Charlotte is not home!

Anyway, I had my Nikon fitted with the 70mm-300mm lens and I have to say I was in for a shock. It was light, fast focusing and most of all, affordable. When I first got started, my father and I would go to the camera store and he would tell the clerk, “Sell me the longest lens you have in the case.” For some reason, they had a grin that came across their face that I have never forgotten. I know this grin, as it’s the same one that I get waiting in the drive thru at Krispy Kreme! At the time all they had was the 70mm-300mm lens. He bought it and it went in the case with the others to be used on a job. (A week later they called and said they had a 400mm lens, I don’t have to tell you how that ended up.)

The tide was out and this allowed us to get access into the mangroves along the beach without getting soaked. Camera gear and salt water isn’t a good mix…so I hear. As I was making a path for everyone I could hear something going on. I had no idea what we were about to encounter but we were ready. One of my students bent over my shoulder and whispered, “Don’t worry, whatever it is we’ll be sure to get a photo of you getting bit for your wife!” These are the kinds of folks that I have to deal with! A padded room for party of one please!

As we quietly made our way around the corner, there was a heron finding himself some dinner. He had pulled a crab out of the mud and started washing it off. I had my camera set to manual mode with continuous shooting enabled. I’m a RAW person so that was the type of file that I was shooting. As the bird came into view we took our position and started shooting. Here is what I got.

 Spencer Pullen photographs a heron walking with a crab in it's beak at Ponce de Leon Park in Punta Gorda, Florida.Heron Bringing Dinner To The Table – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

 A heron at Ponce de Leon Park in Punta Gorda, Florida is flipping a crab around. Photographed by Spencer Pullen.Making The Crab Dizzy Before Eating – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

 Spencer Pullen photographs a heron eating a crab at Ponce de Leon in Punta Gorda, FloridaIt’s All Down Throat From Here – Spencer Pullen © 2013 All Rights Reserved

The lighting was good and I was at the right place at the right time. I wish I could lie and say that I’m that good, but in this case luck was on our side. It was amazing to see this twenty-minute ritual going on just so he could live another day. I’m glad that I was able to share the moment with him. Now, more importantly does anyone know if the red light is on at KRISPY KREME?

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean


  1. Good stuff. Fun pics!

  2. Another set of great shots!

  3. Great shots Spencer.Thanks for sharing

  4. I think you’re a bird-er now! 🙂 Great shots!

    • Spencer

      You’re killing me! Thanks…


  5. Nice pictures, I hope I can achieve something almost as good and close as you did with my little nikon cool pics camera.

  6. Wonderful pictures. Hope I can get that good at taking pics also.


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