Sometimes it takes a visitor to capture what you take for granted. I stumbled onto the photos of Raymond Barlow while doing a search on Lakeland. All this time here and I’ve never photographed a Purple Gallinule. Barlow travels down from Canada, visits Lakeland for the day, and gets a photo like the one at left. The advantage of talent over luck.
I wrote him to find out what brought him to Lakeland. It was the lure of the bird. Barlow’s friend, Orlando native Jack Rogers, had posted some photos of the Purple Gallinule. Barlow had to get a closer look. When the family came to Florida for a week at Disney, Barlow packed everyone up for a few hours on Lake Parker. He liked what he found, “We arrived around 9:30 am, February 10th, 2007 and really had a nice time visiting here… the park was clean, the people very friendly, and the birds were everywhere!”
“I took pictures while saying hi to the passers by, and worked very hard to try and catch some good action shots., My wife and partner Daisy would feed these birds, trying to get them to jump, and run across the water, while I crawled around in the wet grass attempting to catch a nice shot.” — Ray Barlow
Ray and family had a picnic, took a few more shots, and headed back to the hotel. Another productive day for a wildlife photographer and his family. You can find his favorite shots from the day in his Lakeland gallery. Don’t stop there. He’s got a great number of wonderful pictures in other galleries. During his week in Florida he also shot photos at Merritt Island and the Viera Wetlands.
Ray didn’t know about the recent gator attack on Lake Parker. Like any good Floridian, I sent him the information. Even after reading that he wrote, “We look forward to returning to Florida very soon I hope, and finding more interesting places, and nice looking birds to photograph.”
I’m looking forward to seeing those photos.