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...
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.
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:
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.
2018- Hither and Yon slide show.
The images in this blog are thumbnails... cut down images to fit in a blog. As such, they lose a lot. You can see them in my Galleries as full size images. Click here to go to my 2018 Gallery. From there you can visit my other galleries, going all the way back to 2004.
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)
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.
Various and assorted images, in no particular order, from Apalachicola, in Florida's panhandle...
August 25-27, 2018
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:
On a pier someplace in south Florida...
Tallahassee evening Storm Clouds from beginning to end...
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: