Most of my nature photography friends headed off to the mountains this weekend in search of fall color. Based on early reports and a few “brag” photos I’ve seen online, fall is in full swing in the High Country. Kathy & I headed a little different direction this year – actually a complete 180-degree direction – and opted for warmer climes, and for a good reason. We headed to Amelia Island, Florida, primarily to attend the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, but also because October is a great time to visit Amelia Island.
While the photographers up on the Blue Ridge Parkway were more than likely looking at morning low temperatures in the 30’s, we were walking around in shorts and sandals enjoying comfortable upper-70s with little humidity and mostly clear skies. That in itself was a clear change of pace for us, and as far as I’m concerned (and Kathy agrees!) was a welcome change. Fall is not necessarily all about fall color, and more and more I’m finding that colder weather isn’t necessarily my first choice. Plus, what that heck? A little change is good!
I don’t have any photos from the jazz festival itself because photography wasn’t permitted, but we enjoyed the music of a number of big name musicians, capped off by the jazz of David Benoit on Friday night and the sounds of Spyro Gyra on Saturday night. The festival itself is pretty new, and even with these big name acts there were only about 400 people in attendance each night, so that made the who experience very pleasant. That made the trip worthwhile even without all of the other things we were able to do. We met up with some friends that live there and had a nice lunch with them, we ate some good food and drank some nice wine. We had a nice relaxing time and even managed to get in a little photography.
The main town on Amelia Island is Fernandina Beach. We stayed right in town and could walk just about everywhere except the festival itself, which was a 20-minute drive but we only went there in the evenings. The rest of our time was spent walking around town and the city marina.
Fernandina Beach is a vibrant little town, with a number of interesting shops and some excellent restaurants. We didn’t get to investigate the restaurants as much as we would typically do because of the concerts, but we did get to try several places and look forward to a chance to go back.
This coming weekend we are doing something a little more traditional and heading up north to Roanoke, Virginia. But we’re hoping to enjoy the town of Roanoke, the farmer’s market there and in general the sights and sounds of the area, mixed in with a little fall color. Again, something a little out of the normal routine for us, but still something with a fall flavor.
So yes, I’ll be putting the warm weather clothes away for a while. At least until January, when it might just be time to head someplace warm again!