While we didn’t specifically look for wildlife during our time in Florida, we did come across some examples of the local fauna. Here are a few of my non-wildlife-photographer results. I don’t think I ever saw an armadillo in the wild before. If I did I don’t remember it. I have seen plenty of the others, however.
I did a postcard from Lake Placid a few weeks ago but wanted to share a few more of the photos. I know 25 seems like more than a few, but there are a lot of murals!
Small towns these days have to work hard to attract tourism, and these murals are a testament to the pride of the community and the hard work required to see the project to completion on such a grand scale. It was an enjoyable day, we had a good lunch and enjoyed a few hours walking around this pleasant town. Thanks to our friends Bill & Cathy for sharing it with us! 🙂
I have a number of “non-mural” photos too, and will save them to illustrate some future post.
One of the spots we visited on our recent visit to Florida was the Florida Air Museum, located at the Lakeland-Linder International Airport in Lakeland. Airplane buffs will recognize ‘LAL’ as the home of the annual Sun-N-Fun Aerospace Expo.
I was a little disappointed in the museum given the status of Sun-N-Fun in the aviation world, but to be fair they are in the process of a major facilities upgrade which should provide a lot more exhibit space and room for more aircraft. Plus, we have visited some awesome aviation museums over the last few years, in particular the Evergreen Aviation Museum in Oregon. How can you compare seeing photographs of Howard Hughes to actually standing inside the Spruce Goose? 😉
It was a nice day and a good place to spend a little time. And there are definitely a few one-of-a-kind aircraft housed here, including the Lockheed XVF-1 which was designed to be a vertical takeoff and landing vehicle long before Space-X figured out how to re-land rockets. I can only imagine trying to set that thing down on its tail!
Another roadside find in rural Florida.
Whenever we’re traveling, especially by car, I often look for photographic opportunities on the way. Sometimes I’ve pre-identified a place like a train station, other times I’m looking for something serendipitous along the side of the road. If my camera is buried in the bag somewhere in the back of the car I have a hard time stopping. But if the camera is out and ready, I’m a lot more likely to find a place to pull off or turn around in order to get that first shot. I find that once I have stopped and taken a few photographs, it is easy to stop the next time something comes up.
For me, putting the camera bag on the back seat or on the floor behind my seat is a start. That makes it easy to get to when I need it. But the best approach has been to actually get the camera out and hang it over the headrest of the back seat. I’ve driven hundreds and perhaps thousands of miles that way, and it works. We had a 2-door car for a while and that made my method a bit more challenging, but we’ve gone back to 4 doors now and probably won’t change back.
If we’re staying in a town and walking around, I’ll carry my camera with me, lens cap off, ready to shoot. I’m kind of a one lens guy anyway, so I have the camera around my neck or on my shoulder and a spare battery in my pocket. I learned quickly with the EVF cameras to always have a spare! I often chuckle at the people walking around with their brand new CaNikonUjiOny camera bag on their shoulder, securely zippered shut with the camera inside, probably with the lens off the camera. Hardly a way to get a photograph! 😉
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.
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. 😉
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.
I treated myself to an early morning and was rewarded with a pretty nice pre-sunrise sky. I credit Monte and his early morning excursions for the motivation to drag myself out of bed at 5:45. It was worth it! I also was able to get a nice cup of coffee in the lobby on my way back to our room. Double nice!
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. 😉
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!