Birds at home

The pond in front out our home is visited by beautiful and graceful birds. They walk elegantly on long legs, brilliant white feathers glowing in the sun, occasionally dipping long beaks into the water for a snack. When done they spread beautiful wings and soar off to another spot.  

 

And then there is this guy...

12_18 ugly bird DSC02916 -1


December, 2018


Out of Business- Santa Maria Restaurant

The Santa Maria Restaurant opened in the '40's on St. Augustine's waterfront, next to the popular downtown. In 2015 it was sold and closed down. An ongoing battle between the new owners and the city left the once popular landmark desolate and abandoned. The hurricanes and storms have not been kind, causing more damage with each passing year. The big sign on the roof is gone and the walkway to the building is collapsing.

This is an ongoing series, now going back over four years. Visit my Out of Business gallery to see all the images.    

11_18 st augustine santa maria restaurant DSC02744_5_6_Vibrant
11_18 st augustine santa maria restaurant DSC02744_5_6_Vibrant
11_18 st augustine santa maria restaurant DSC02742

      November 27, 2018


Tulum: ancient Mayan ruins

From Wikopedia:

Tulum (Spanish pronunciation: [tuˈlum], Yucatec: Tulu'um) is the site of a pre-Columbian Mayan walled city which served as a major port for Coba, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft) tall cliffs along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers appear to have resulted in very high fatalities, disrupting the society and eventually causing the city to be abandoned. One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites.

From our visit:

  10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542
10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542

10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542
Lily, our guide.

 

10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542
The Castle

 

10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542
The building was deliberately built crooked. Something to do with the alignment with the sun.


10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552

10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552
Tulum was a great Mayan seaport, built on a cliff beside the ocean.

 

10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552
It looks all nice and manicured. The ruins are surrounded by jungle on three side and ocean on the fourth. It is only accessible by walking down a road through the jungle.

 

10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552
I pushed the contrast and saturation to bring out the carvings. See the face at the bottom?


10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552

10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
Seaport


10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
10_18 cruise turum archway DSC02599

 

The Mayans are gone, but there are still local residents...

10_18 cruise turum archway DSC02599

10_18 cruise turum archway DSC02599
Coati


10_18 cruise tulum gecko DSC02546


October 30, 2018

 


Interlude: The Storm

Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle of Florida on October 10 as a Category 4 storm, winds two miles an hour less than a Category 5. The storm caused huge amounts of damage; everyone saw pictures of the devastation. A month later, on November 8, I drove from I10 down to just north of Wewahitchka in Gulf County, one of the hardest hit areas of the storm. The drive took me through Calhoun County including through the towns of Greensboro and Blountstown.

The talking heads did not do justice to the damage the storm caused. What the news reports do not give you is a sense of the size of the area that the storm hit and the breadth of the damage it caused. Mile after mile, as far as you can see, trees are snapped off like twigs and man-made structures damaged or destroyed.  I have been around for a day or two (no jokes), have seen a lot of storm damage of one kind or another, but nothing prepared me for what I saw on that drive.

There was a lot of work going on, clearing and cleaning up. But even a month after the storm, the damage is astounding.

Here's the thing: everyone donates right after a catastrophic storm, but there is still a huge need in the area for money to rebuild, for food for those who lost homes and jobs, for the basic necessities we take for granted like soap and toilet paper. If you want to help folks, there are lots of agencies still taking donations: reach out to them. We are.   

A few pictures from the drive. We didn't stop to take pictures and do closeups, folks there have enough on their plates without people stopping to take pictures. These were all taken from inside a moving vehicle with my little DX0. 'Most are not the quality I like but they give a sense of what hit the area.   

11_18 hurricane damage 01 DXO_0385 -1
11_18 hurricane damage 01 DXO_0385 -1
11_18 hurricane damage 01 DXO_0385 -1
11_18 hurricane damage 01 DXO_0385 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 09 DXO_0413 -1
11_18 storm damage 10 DXO_0414 -1
11_18 storm damage 10 DXO_0414 -1
11_18 storm damage 10 DXO_0414 -1
November 8, 2018



Cruisin'

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Tampa Harbor

 

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Goodbye, Tampa

 

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Cruising away

 

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Last of Tampa Bay

 

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Sun on the ocean

 

10_18 cruise sailing into night DSC02612
Sailing into Night
10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Coming into Key West

 

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Docking

 

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Wilson and a friend at Fantasy Fest- Key West

 

10_18 cruise carnival paradise DSC02531
Departing Key West- sunset

 

10_18 cruise key west sunset DXO_0329 -1
Sunset #2

 

10_18 cruise key west sunset DXO_0329 -1
Flags and Time

 

10_18 cruise key west sunset DXO_0329 -1
Mexican Para-sails

 

10_18 cruise key west sunset DXO_0329 -1
Sunrise #1

 

10_18 cruise key west sunset DXO_0329 -1
Sunrise #2



October 27- November 1, 2018


Driving Break- Waccasassa River

Headed home from north Florida and stopped for a driving break at the Waccasassa River bridge. For all intents and purposes in the proverbial Middle of Nowhere.

(09/23: see Editors Note at end of post)

09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359
Trivia: In 1956 John D. McDonald wrote a book centering around the same Waccasassa River bridge


09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359

09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359
Old white building beside the river. 'Seen it's better days. Strangely, the flag is relatively recent and in good shape.


09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359
09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359
09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359

09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359
This once pointed the way to a new development.

 

09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359
And then there is the caboose.


09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359
09_18 waccasassa river DSC02359

September, 20, 2018

---------------------------------------

Editor's Note, 9/23:

Upon further research, it turns out caboose 0795 is owned by the Levy County Historical Society, when they bought it from a private owner in 2016 and moved it to it's current location. In 2016 they had plans to restore it but very little has been done. There is a proposal before the County Board to move it to the Pat- Mac Wayside Park, just down the road at 5230 SE HWY 19/98 in Gulf Hammock.

The building and caboose are on the Gulf Hammock Wild Hog Canoe Race property, end point of an annual canoe race on the Waccasassa River that has been going on for more than 40 years.

Now you know.

 

 


Apalachicola Walkabout

Various and assorted images, in no particular order, from Apalachicola, in Florida's panhandle...

08_18 apalacha coin op DSC02042 -1
Ghost sign

 

08_18 apalacha coin op DSC02042 -1
159-161


08_18 apalacha coin op DSC02042 -1

08_18 apalacha coin op DSC02042 -1
Remodeled window

 

08_18 apalacha coin op DSC02042 -1
Need your intergalaxy transport repaired? Apalachicola is the place for you.

 

08_18 apalacha coin op DSC02042 -1
Bench For Sale

 

08_18 apalacha fire dept 2 DSC02103
Two images of, apparently, unused doors. Hope there isn't a fire.


08_18 apalacha fire dept 2 DSC02103

08_18 apalacha fire dept 2 DSC02103
Grand old hotel we stayed at.

 

08_18 apalacha fire dept 2 DSC02103
Waiting for sunset

 

08_18 apalacha jail door DSC02284
Former County Jail, now a storage area.

 

08_18 apalacha jail door DSC02284
Small for these violent days. Back in the day, the second floor was cells and the first floor living quarters.

 

08_18 apalacha jail door DSC02284
Look real carefully at the bottom of the marker. The jail was built in 1949.

 

08_18 bike wheel dome DSC02096
Built entirely of bicycle wheels. Didn't see any alligators.

 

08_18 bike wheel dome DSC02096
Sunrise exercise

 

08_18 bike wheel dome DSC02096
A sidewalk brick. No office in the surrounding area.


08_18 bike wheel dome DSC02096

08_18 bike wheel dome DSC02096
Taranto's is for sale

 

08_18 bike wheel dome DSC02096
A door less traveled

 

08_18 bike wheel dome DSC02096
The tap room at The Owl

 

08_18 bike wheel dome DSC02096
Outstanding cuisine



August 25-27, 2018


Historical Relic

Many years ago, when I was but a young boy, traveling was not as easy as it is today. Families had big lumbering cars called station-wagons. Windows were cranked, keys were turned, mirrors were manually adjusted and car air conditioning was an awesome new thing most of us didn't have.

Most difficult of all, if you needed to communicate with someone, you searched the road until you saw a blue sign. You approached it and sometimes even had to wait in line, hoping you had change.  People could be looked up and then numbers pushed. The connection was usually scratchy and, if you talked more than three minutes, you needed more coin.

We all know what happened to these old devices: they joined VCR's, photographic film, Blockbuster, maps, and manual transmissions, lost as detritus in time.

Fortunately, a few of these old relics still exist, mostly hidden in out-of-the-way places as reminders that The Good Old Days required effort. Here, from Apalachicola, FL, is a historical relic:

08_18 apalacha phone DSC02083

Apalachicola, FL
August, 2018


Learning a new camera

My new "little" camera is a French- made DxO One, replacing my venerable little Canon. Pardon me while I wander into camera geekdom: the DxO One is a miniaturized pro- quality camera that shoots RAW, JPG and "Super RAW." It weighs 3.8 ounces, is just under three inches tall and, according to the manufacturer, the lens is made "with six aspherical elements, offering an exceptionally high level of precision while also optimizing acutance."

What makes the DxO unique is that it has a built-in Lightning connector that plugs into an iPhone. The iPhone becomes the viewfinder, focus tool, setting adjuster and flash for the DxO. Click on one of the links in this blurb for more about the camera.

The very best thing about the DxO is its size and portability: Chase Jarvis said it, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

As with all new toys, there is a learning curve. In this case it is fairly steep because the DxO is radically different than any other camera I have used.

 

The learning curve:


Augusta, GA:

06_18 augusta skyline DXO_0054 -1
City skyline

 

06_18 augusta skyline DXO_0054 -1
Storm over the city

 

06_18 augusta skyline DXO_0054 -1
After the storm

 

06_18 augusta skyline DXO_0054 -1
Great Hilton Curio property in Augusta

 

06_18 augusta skyline DXO_0054 -1
Veranda during the storm


Atlanta airport:

06_18 augusta skyline DXO_0054 -1
Under construction

 

06_18 augusta skyline DXO_0054 -1
Morning Dew

 

06_18 augusta skyline DXO_0054 -1
Rain through a hotel window


Home:

06_18 storm clouds DXO_0030 -1

06_18 storm clouds DXO_0030 -1
A friend


Upper Tampa Bay Park.
4th of July.
Temperature right at 90 degrees and at least 1000 percent humidity. Nice day for a stroll in the park.

07_18 upper tampa bay park two trees DXO_0109 -1
07_18 upper tampa bay park two trees DXO_0109 -1
07_18 upper tampa bay park two trees DXO_0109 -1
07_18 upper tampa bay park two trees DXO_0109 -1
07_18 upper tampa bay park two trees DXO_0109 -1
07_18 upper tampa bay park two trees DXO_0109 -1


June-July, 2018






Hither & Yon...

Various and Assorted;

(all these, and more, are full-size at my 2018 Gallery)

Starting with the Bahamas and The Infamous Birthday Cruise...

 

01_18 cruise  bahamas bahamian tings DSC01477
01_18 cruise  bahamas bahamian tings DSC01477
01_18 cruise  bahamas bahamian tings DSC01477
01_18 cruise  bahamas bahamian tings DSC01477

01_18 cruise bahamas blue air handlers DSC01471
Moving air around is important!


01_18 cruise bahamas blue air handlers DSC01471
01_18 cruise bahamas blue air handlers DSC01471

01_18 cruise bahamas blue air handlers DSC01471
Very green

 

01_18 cruise bahamas blue air handlers DSC01471
Drtiver and assistant


01_18 cruise pompey museum DSC01469
01_18 cruise pompey museum DSC01469

01_18 cruise pompey museum DSC01469
Always important to have a good pilot.


01_18 cruise lighthouse and boat DSC01541

01_18 cruise lighthouse and boat DSC01541
Looking down at night

 

01_18 cruise lighthouse and boat DSC01541
Miami

 

01_18 cruise stormy pool IMG_0032
Stormy First Night 1

 

01_18 cruise stormy pool IMG_0032
Stormy First Night 2

 

01_18 cruise stormy pool IMG_0032
Dancing for Dinner

 

01_18 cruise stormy pool IMG_0032
Preparing appetizers

 

01_18 cruise stormy pool IMG_0032
Miami Early Morn


Moving on...

 

05_18 manned mailbox DSC01713
Awaiting mail. Tallahassee.

 

05_18 manned mailbox DSC01713
Tallahassee Gate

 

05_18 manned mailbox DSC01713
Construction

 

05_18 manned mailbox DSC01713
Somewhere on the West Coast of Florida. Old steam Train Locomotive wheel makes up the background.

 

05_18 manned mailbox DSC01713
CLOWN!! Daytona Beach

 

05_18 manned mailbox DSC01713
Daytona Beach in the Round

 

05_18 manned mailbox DSC01713
Pier in the round



05_18 wynfield inn better days DSC01663_Painterly 4
Better Days behind the Wynfield, Orlando.

 

These last two were taken with my new DXO One camera (camera guys, look it up). Definitely a learning curve.

 

06_18 rainbow on the horizon DXO_0048 -1
Rainbow at home

 

06_18 rainbow on the horizon DXO_0048 -1
Augusta, GA skyline



January - June, 2018




Sunrise and Sunset- 2018

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
Cruise- looking back to where we were

 

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
Cruise Sunset

 

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
Cruise- last day sunset

 

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
Sunrise through our front door

 

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
St. George Island- working toward sunset

 

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
St. George Island- end of sunset

 

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
St George Island- ocean side sunset

 

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
St. George Island- sunset through the brush

 

01_18 coast from cruise DSC01372
St. George Island- getting close to sunset

 

05_18 st george sunset DSC01978_79_80_Photographic
St. George Island- same shot, later towards sunset

 

05_18 st george sunset DSC01978_79_80_Photographic
St. George Island- lensball sunset

 

05_18 st george sunset DSC01978_79_80_Photographic
Daytona Beach- bird and sunrise

 

05_18 st george sunset DSC01978_79_80_Photographic
Daytona Beach- birds in flight sunrise

 

05_18 st george sunset DSC01978_79_80_Photographic
Daytona Beach- watching the sunrise

 

05_18 st george sunset DSC01978_79_80_Photographic
Daytona Beach- palms at sunrise

 

05_18 st george sunset DSC01978_79_80_Photographic
Daytona Beach- sunrise from a balcony

 

05_18 st george sunset DSC01978_79_80_Photographic
Daytona Beach- homeless awaking for another day at the beach


January - May, 2018