Legoland 2017

We’ve been to (not so) nearby Legoland a few times, but not since 2012! It’s further since we moved, and the long crawl along route 27 is always a bit off-putting. But Margaret & I we drove down there today, to meet friends Pedro & Laura and their son Christian.

We did ride a couple of roller coasters, but mostly we enjoyed walking in the not-too-crowded park, including their many Lego models of parts of USA – including good copies of where we were recently!


Lego model USA:


We also took a walk around Cypress Gardens and the huge banyan tree – nice to have some cool shade for a while!

Zoomed Owls

I’ve been taking quite a few pictures of the Great Horned Owl nest behind our home, but I can only do that because of the camera I own. As a comparison today, I took photos with my iPhone 7 Plus, my older high zoom Sony DSC-HX400V, and my current high zoom Nikon Coolpix P900. With each camera I took an unzoomed photo and a fully zoomed one – and I also cropped as close as possible to the nest for a closest view …


The iPhone was a 2x zoom lens, and “digital zoom” that claims as much as 10x – the horrible results are a strong indication to NEVER use that feature:


The Sony has a 60x zoom lens and takes very good photos; it’s also a lot lighter than the Nikon:


The Nikon has the highest zoom at 83x and is the camera I bought for and took to Africa for our safari last year – but at the highest zoom levels it’s hard to use without a tripod. Nevertheless if you need maximum zoom, it’s a great performer for the price! The fully cropped image still has resolution more than the normal 1500x that I use for web photos (as you see if you view the full size image):


From this comparison, it’s clear that iPhone is still useless for high zoom images, but that the Sony is generally just as good as the Nikon; if you can find the Sony, it’s a great buy!

Epcot Flower & Garden 2017, first visit

We tried to “beat the rush” and visited Epcot today rather than this weekend, with this years Flower & Garden festival just started:


There’s a lot of Butterfly theming this year:

Including some “chalk art” on the ground which had people standing / posing on it for photographs. Amazing to look at the side image and the “proper” front image – no doubt those people would seem to be flying!


It’s getting harder every year to tell the difference between the Flower & Garden Festival, and the Food & Wine event – there were food / drink stalls all around World Showcase, and long queues at a few of them.

Owl close-ups, and chicks

This morning “Daddy” Great Horned Owl was in a tree at the edge of the lake near our home, allowing me the chance to take some great close-up photos


I took some of “Mummy” Owl on the nest, too:

What I only realized tonight, looking through these pictures, is that there’s two white fluffy chicks in the nest! The last picture is cropped closer and you should be able to spot hints of beak and eyes in the two white fluff patches under the parent owl!


I took a couple more photos this evening at Sunset, apparently at “the changing of the guard” – Daddy watching over the chicks while Mummy spread her wings for a while. Again, you can see the fluffy chicks in the nest: