Sunset in Savannah

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Everyone who has been to Savannah, GA with a camera or even a cell phone has done a picture of the river bridge at sunset. This is my contribution to the mass.

So, a little different take on the traditional:

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The bridge long after sunset, about a one-minute HDR exposure

 

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Bridge in the round, with observers.

 

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It was a dark and cloudy night with lots of rain late one evening.


Straying a bit further off the traditional path, 

Raindrops on our hotel screen window that dark and rainy night. 
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Reimagined as an impressionist painting.
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September 20, 23 & 24, 2021

This post is in fond and loving memory of my cousin Tim Blackburn, who we visited in North Carolina just after the rainy images and just before the others. He left us, comfortably in his sleep, the night after we got back to Tampa. Goodbye, cous.


A new next door neighbor

A few weeks ago a new guy moved into the neighborhood, right next door to us. Mostly he just sits on the concrete pond square watching the world go by. Occasionally he goes for an underwater hunting swim, with his head popping up around the pond. He has occasionally been mistaken for an aquatic snake, much to the chagrin of those seeing him.

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New neighbor airing it all out.

 

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The longtime resident quackery shares space, mostly ignoring him.

 

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Off to find a snack

 

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Is that a stick... no, it moved... IS IT A SNAKE??? Nah, it's just the new guy.

 

September 14-15, 2021


Bok Tower

08_21 Bok Tower bok tower DSC07040 -1A trip to Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, FL

I have been driving by signs to Bok Tower for years when headed to other parts of Florida. Last month, with Ruth, we decided to stop. The gardens and the Singing Tower were beautiful. Since it was during the week, there were very few people. Unfortunately, it was a summer day in Florida: very hot, and very humid. They advertise a tram, but it was closed due to COVID so a lot of walking and we only covered a small part of the grounds. Well worth it, but if we go again it will be during cooler weather.

The history of Edward and Mary Louise Bok, the Singing Tower, and the Gardens are the subjects of many a book and website. Click here for the Wikipedia short version.   


The Singing Tower is about a half-mile walk through the gardens

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08_21 Bok Tower Purple Pepper DSC07001 -1
08_21 Bok Tower Purple Pepper DSC07001 -1
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Reflecting Pond


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08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail
Approaching the Tower


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The Gothic Revival Tower is the highest spot in the Gardens. Named the Singing Tower because of its 60-bell carillon, it is built with marble from Georgia, and coquina stone from St. Augustine, FL. The tower is surrounded by a moat that is now a koi pond. 

Trivia: there are carvings and paintings of flamingos. Unfortunately, attempts to introduce live flamingos failed because of the "cool" central Florida weather. 

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08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail
A working sundial on the side of the tower.


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08_21 Bok Tower reflecting pond DSC07010_Detail
Sundial closeup, with dedication by President Calvin Coolidge.

 

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Views from the base of the tower


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Lots of things left to age gracefully


Off to the side and below the tower is an Exedra commissioned by Edward Bok's neighbors.
Amidst all the meticulous landscaping, it looked oddly neglected.  

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08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone

08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
Carved into the marble.


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08_21 Bok Tower neighbor memorial DSC07049_Localtone
View from the Exedra



At the visitor's center, we were surprised by a demonstration of a unique Florida activity: Gator Wrestling, updated with the introduction of a cell phone.

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'Sorry about the quality, it was a very bright day.



August 13, 2021



Apalachicola Wandering

Four days wandering around Apalachicola

Starting with some signs...

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Random Catch, including Rubber Duckies (lower left)


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So, not technically a sign, although it does say Eat at the Grill

 

Buildings

Two buildings I shot before (search "Apalachicola" on my blog... there are 1/2 dozen or so posts with Apalachicola images)

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The old Coin Operated Laundry has been undergoing renovations for years. Walls are stabilized, new doors and windows, but no roof. It's a closed-in outdoor venue.

 

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Joe Taranto has been closed ever since I started coming to Apalachicola in 2015. I've shot it several times and the building is a little more worse for wear every time I come by.

 

Another building I've photographed, the old Volunteer Fire Department. In the past, the doors have been closed. Now they look like H. Michael may have gotten them, so a peek inside.

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06_21 apalach fire dept outside DSC06757 -1
06_21 apalach fire dept outside DSC06757 -1

Two now- closed landmarks:

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The Tin Shed- a quirky tourist trap. Good news: they relocated a bit inland to get away from the water. 'Love the windows.

 

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All that is left are cats (black blobs). The yard used to be filled with maritime good junk.

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This used to be the entrance to the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, "founded to celebrate and preserve the maritime history of Apalachicola."  A local told us that after H. Michael struck, devastating the museum, and when the Pandemic hit, the owner and his girl bought a sailboat and sailed off into the sunset. Rumor has it he will return one day to reopen the museum.

 

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A boat behind the museum you could tour is covered tightly, waiting for the reopening.

The Museum, despite being closed since 2018, still has an active Facebook page. Click here to see it. 

Miscellaneous "wandering" images...

The Billiard Room at the Gibson Inn

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06_21 apalach billiard rm 1 DSC06840 -1

A Stump Mermaid... or a Mermaid Stump?

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A Brick (the post office is a block or so away)
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As I said in a previous post, Hurricane Michael and the Pandemic were not kind to Apalachicola. The Good News is the town is coming back to life!

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No more cabinets from the Cabinet Shop

 

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Worn out from hard days. 'Bout sums it up.

 

End of day pictures

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Just before sunset

 

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We stayed at the Gibson Inn. This is from one of their 2nd-floor patios.

 

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Another from the Gibson Inn, looking at the former owner's residence that has been refurbed to guest rooms.

 

My four preceding posts have more images from this trip to Apalachicola.

June 23-26, 2021


Out of Business- the series: Apalachicola River Inn

Hurricane Michael and the Pandemic have not been kind to one of my favorite Florida towns, Apalachicola in the Panhandle.

The Apalachicola River Inn and Caroline's Restaurant, including Boss Oyster, were some of the victims. Closed in 2018 after Michael, the property never reopened and went into bankruptcy. A Federal Bankruptcy Judge approved the sale in 2020. The Pandemic came along and stopped work on the property. The new owners also own the recently renovated Gibson Inn and locals say they are going to start work back, initially on Boss Oyster.

We were in Apalachicola over a weekend recently and one of the places we visited was the River Inn complex.

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06_21 river inn signs DSC06707 -1
06_21 river inn signs DSC06707 -1

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One of the first restaurants I went to in Apalachicola, in 2015, was Caroline's Restaurant. Excellent dinner looking out over the water.
A view into the dining room; I sat on the left side by the water.


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06_21 river inn signs DSC06707 -1
06_21 river inn signs DSC06707 -1

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The walls between the rooms have been knocked down. The only thing left in the rooms is the toilets.

 

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Tables and chairs neatly stacked in the parking lot.

 

Next to the 24-room Inn and restaurant is Boss Oyster and the Inn registration.

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Still "Opening Soon"

 

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Regstration, with Christmas decorations.


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Waiting to light up OPEN again.
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The namesake boat is not quite seaworthy anymore.
The script below the cabin windows says, "Shut up & Shuck."


 

    June 25-26, 2021


BREAKING NEWS: local hotel attacked by swarm of little people, guests terrified, experts baffled

06_21 little people DSC06702A local hotel in Ocala, FL yesterday reported an outbreak of little people. Guests returned to the hotel in the evening to find swarms of high-pitched, noisy little people throughout the hotel. A guest stated, "My God, they were everywhere... in the bar, on the elevator, in the halls, they took over the entire pool area making bystanders fear for their lives. The noise level caused by the little people was unimaginable." Hotel staff appeared overwhelmed by the hordes and were unable to maintain any degree of control.

Experts remain baffled, suspecting that an unusual atmospheric condition may have caused the abnormal swarm. One sarcastic subject-matter professional was heard stating, "It was definitely a disturbance in The Force."

Local officials urged calm, cautioning that historically swarms of this nature are short-lived. Law enforcement professionals were quick to announce that the swarm was not typical of Ocala, better known as the Horse Capital of the World, and that all steps were being taken to control the swarming. A full investigation by a high-ranking committee was announced the next day. The President was overseas on his first trip out of the country, but staff said he was briefed about the swarms and the potential damages that could occur.

June 11, 2021