A Little “Floridiana”

Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items

On our way into St. Augustine a few days ago, we exited I-95 at an interchange that contains what I like to call “Floridiana.”  It’s the oversize signs advertising all kinds of goodies to take back home and rot in the cupboard – Tropical Fruit Wine?  Probably not.  Gator Jerky?  Don’t think so.  Boiled peanuts?  Tried ’em – pass.  Also lots of things to tempt the kids and make them sick 20 miles up the road.  I thought I would like to know what “Honey Toasted Chocolate Covered Praline Pecans” taste like until Kathy assured me that it is three different kinds and not just one.  Oh, well.

Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items

The story is that we didn’t stop there on the way in to town, and as often happens I kicked myself for not taking the time (it was late, we were tired and thirsty, etc.).  So today we went into town to the fort to get a stamp on Kathy’s National Park Passport, and on the way back took the scenic route by way of this exit.  Pretty interesting signage, although it didn’t tempt us enough to go inside.

Oh, and in case you wondered about all those oranges and grapefruits out roasting in the sun?  They’re little concrete spheres.  Wouldn’t make very good juice. 😉

Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items
Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items
Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items
Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items
Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items
Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items
Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items
Roadside stands along I-95 offering all kinds of Florida items

Full Moon – Sort of a Bust?

Full moon rising over the Atlantic Ocean at St. Augustine Beach, Florida

The full moon is technically today 2/27, although it was fuller at moonrise last night than it will be tonight.  The night that the moon rises just before sunset is what I have heard referred to as the “photographer’s moon” because it rises almost-full while there is still sufficient light on the landscape to show detail.

Last night’s moon rose through a band of thick haze on the horizon into a cloudless sky, so there wasn’t a lot to be excited about.  But it was still pretty, we had a nice place to watch from and it was cocktail time!  I may try again tonight but moonrise coincides with dinner time so I may need to make do with one night’s photos.

White balance may be a little wonky on this but I think it is pretty true to the scene as it was presented.

Postcard From Nalcrest, Florida

Nalcrest, Florida

What would it be like to be the letter carrier for a community full of retired letter carriers?  That’s a bit of a running joke in Nalcrest, that is a retirement community exclusively for retired mail carriers.  Nalcrest was designed by and continues to be operated by the Nalcrest Foundation, Inc., a branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing United States Postal Service city letter carriers. It was the brainchild of William Doherty, the first United States Ambassador to Jamaica and NALC President from 1941–1962. 

The community consists of 253 acres, 153 acres of which are developed into 500 garden-style apartments. The remaining 100 acres (0.4 km2) are undeveloped and includes a manmade lake of 15 acres around which the community is developed, and that is connected to the 7,500 acre Lake Weohyakapka.

We have friends who spend the winter there, and this is the third year we have visited.  It’s an interesting place with many friendly people from all over the US and Canada.  But you won’t find any dogs or cats.  Evidently the story about dogs and mail carriers not getting along is true. 😉

Nalcrest, Florida

Postcard From Lake Placid, Florida

Mural depicting Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal System and instrumental in bringing the railroad to Lake Placid Florida, known as the Town of Murals

Known as the Town of Murals, Lake Placid has over 40 murals dedicated to scenes, important events and notable people from the town’s history.  More to follow later!

Mural depicting assistance by local mechanic Lake Swain Bowers to three tourists who turned out to be Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone in Lake Placid Florida, known as the Town of Murals
Lake Placid Florida, known as the Town of Murals

Postcard From O’Brien, Florida

O’brien Feed Depot and Hardware store near O’Brien, Florida

Kathy & I were tired of the (relative) cold and decided to make a quick escape to warmer climes.  We have friends in central Florida who give us a good excuse to head that way, so we left home on Friday for about 10 days.  I had found this old feed store on some website or another and had it saved in my map folder.  Today we were close enough to make a slight detour and check it out.  I found a few other interesting scenes nearby that I’ll share over the next few days or when we get back home.

In the meantime it was a sunny and toasty 70 at one point during the day.  Yay for heat! 🙂

Rooster sculpture atop O’brien Feed Depot and Hardware store near O’Brien, Florida

Torrence Creek Greenway

Torrence Creek Greenway in Huntersville, North Carolina

Kathy & I took advantage of today’s break in monsoon season with a 3-ish mile walk along the Torrence Creek Greenway in Huntersville.  A portion of the trail runs along the edge of Cedarfield, our former neighborhood.  In the years since we moved there have been some additional trails built.  We know that portion quite well and I have taken hundreds of photographs of the area in all seasons.  Today I had only my phone, but the photos will give a sufficient overview.

Torrence Creek Greenway in Huntersville, North Carolina

Water levels were high after last night’s rains, but other than some mud in low-lying places it was mostly dry.  We spotted some early spring bluets and even a few dandelions along the trail, plus a pair of red-tailed hawks shadowed us on our walk back to the car.

Torrence Creek Greenway in Huntersville, North Carolina

There are a number of places to access the trail, but we parked along Bradford Hill Lane near the intersection with Gilead Road.  It’s easy to find and about a 10-mile/20-minute drive from our neighborhood.  The trail is all paved, mostly flat with lots of options for various routes and distances.  The trails are well marked and numerous signboards with maps provide useful information.

Bluets along the Torrence Creek Greenway in Huntersville, North Carolina

I tried to add a link to the website for the Greenway, but both the Mecklenburg County and the Town of Huntersville pages have broken links. 🙁

Tom’s Trail Summary:
Length: From Bradford Hill Lane to Rosewood Meadow Lane is 1.6 miles, or 3.2 miles round trip.  There are several options for shorter and longer loops, or out-back for a shorter distance is possible.
Terrain: Flat
Surface: Paved with a few muddy spots after heavy rains.  Good walking shoes are sufficient.
Comments: The trail is shared with cyclists and dog walkers.  No motorized vehicles.  Pleasant walking along the Torrence Creek with some road noise from Gilead Road and barking dogs from nearby neighborhoods.  Will be pretty in the spring as trees and plants green up.  I tried to find a link to a trail map but the county and town links were broken!

Art In Architecture

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA

Several weeks ago in my Art vs. Decor post I included photos from the NASCAR Hall of Fame here in Charlotte.  I got a number of favorable comments about those photos which are among my favorites.  They are favorites partly because they represent some of the “landmark” locations in Charlotte, but mostly because people who ought to know where they were taken are often stumped because it isn’t the usual view.

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA

After working on the “Frozen Moments” photo I was perusing the folder for another visit to Roanoke, VA and came across these photos of the Taubman Museum of Art.  While designed by a different architect, there are some obvious similarities between this building and many other famous landmarks across this country and around the world.  Interestingly, the Taubman is essentially “right next door” to Billy’s restaurant from that rainy photo.  I had much better weather for these photos! 😉

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA

As it turns out, The Taubman was designed by architect Randall Stout, who had his own firm when he designed this building and others, but had spent 7 1/2 years with Frank O. Gehry and Associates.  Gehry is known for his works that include The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and it is evident to me that Stout was heavily influenced by that aesthetic.

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA
Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA

By the way, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte was designed by another famous firm, I.M. Pei, known for many famous buildings, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the “Pyramid” at The Louvre in Paris.

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA
Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA
Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke VA

Frozen Moments

Billy’s, Roanoke VA 2009

The Cartier-Bresson quote and photo from Monte’s recent post made me remember this photo, from way back in 2009.  It is a rare photo for me, one that captures a fleeting glance, possibly a look of concern, that immediately disappeared as she averted her eyes and entered the front door of the restaurant.  A microsecond later and I would have had nothing but a girl with an umbrella.

My Latest Project

Grid of 8-inch Squares on a 28×37 Gallery Wrap

I mentioned in an earlier post how we had recently had our bathrooms and bedrooms repainted, and that I had been given the “assignment” of providing prints for the walls.  I’ve been thinking for a few months about the proper theme and color palette for each room.  I’m still cogitating on the bedroom and master bath, – actually waiting for a new chair and draperies to arrive – but I finally settled on a scheme for the hall bathroom.

Grid of 8-inch Squares on a 10×28 Gallery Wrap

I’ve always tried to stay away from using other photographer’s work in my bathrooms, not being sure how that would come across. 😉  I’ll admit to previously having a John Shaw print and a Les Saucier print in our master bath, but neither of those two gentlemen are ever likely to set foot in our house, let alone the bathroom.

20×30 Canvas Float Wrap

In general, Kathy & I are going for images that capture our sense of travel, showing a sense of the places we have visited without being “literal.”  When we decorated our sunroom with prints from a St. Martin artist, we wanted it to “feel” tropical without sea shells and palm trees.  The colors and fabrics express that well.  For our bathroom we wanted a splash of color – ideally Caribbean-inspired.  I think we got there with these three selections.  We’ll then get to hunt for accessories to go with what we have and these prints.  Another reason to get back on the road again soon!

For now these are just files – my print lab starts their “sample sales” soon and I’m hoping to save a little $$$ by waiting a few weeks! 🙂

Photographs and stuff!