Monday, April 30, 2012

Laundry Day

After being on the road for 11 days, it was time to do some chores and errands.  Pam did the laundry which had piled up.  I did some grocery shopping including buying shrimp from Doug, the fresh seafood guy.  I shot these photos from the deck of our rental.

Apalachicola Bay is a great placed for all kinds of water sports.  The water is often smooth as silk, especially in the afternoon.

Great Blue Heron

Osprey returning to join its mate in their nest.

Dolphins swim by in the early evening.

Another beautiful sunset!

More of my St. George Island photos can be seen here:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Arrival on St. George Island

We arrived safely on St. George Island a tad bit early from Carrabelle.  Checked in and found ourselves in a awesome beach home on the Apalachicola Bay.  After our traditional first supper of beach pizza, we shot some pics from our deck.

Osprey carrying a fresh caught fish.  The Osprey's outer talon is reversible allowing it to hold a fish with two talons in front and two behind.

An Osprey at its nest.

Common Loon

Sunset on St. George Island

Today, Pam did the laundry and I handled the grocery shopping and the cooking.  Tomorrow, we hit the beach!

You can see more St. George Island photos here:

Pirates of the Carrabellean

Before we left Carrabelle for St. George Island, we took in the Carrabelle Riverfront Festival.  This year's theme is the "Pirates of the Carrabellean".  It was a classic small town festival blessed with great weather and a lot of interesting characters 8^)

One of the things Carrabelle is known for: it has the world's smallest Police Station! 

Two musicians, playing for tips.

One of Carrabelle's fishing boats.

Brown Pelican

Two entries in the pet contest: the "Barkaneers!"

One of the proud Pirate contestants.

The Rubber Ducky raffle to support a community organization.

 Another Brown Pelican keeping an eye on me.

Local musician playing folk music.

You can see all my photos from Carrabelle here:

Old Carrabelle Hotel

We stayed Friday night at the Old Carrabelle Inn which is nicely restored.  This shot from the street shows the wrap around balcony and porch.

 This is the Monkey Bar room that is used as a reception area, bar and office.

We enjoyed sitting on the balcony in these chairs checking out the activity in sleepy Carrabelle, FL.

You can see all of my photos of the hotel here:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Carrabelle Sunset

Carrabelle Sunset

Pam and I made it to our last lodging before starting our week at St. George Island.  Carrabelle is a small town on the Panhandle.  Really nice little town.  We are staying at the Old Carrabelle Hotel which is quite a positive experience.  Very nice!  Had supper at Fathoms Steam Room.  I enjoyed some really awesome Oysters from Apalachicola.  I have to say that they are worthy competitors of Chincoteague Oysters from Virginia.  I know I am going to be happy here now!

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

Red-winged Blackbird

St. Marks Lighthouse

Pam and I loved our visit to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.  We might be able to wrangle another visit before we leave Florida.  The lighthouse is really quite impressive, very well built and typical of the finest lighthouses on the East Coast.

You can see all my photos of St. Marks NWR here:

Steinhatchee Falls

Steinhatchee Falls

We passed through Steinhatchee which is a small fishing village on the Gulf between Cedar Key and St. Marks.  We were not impressed with Steinhatchee.  However, we found these small falls that were worth a visit.  This is one of several places where the water drops a foot or so.  Relaxing.

You can see all my Steinhatchee Falls photos here:

Cedar Key

 Saw this Oleander in Cedar Key

Cedar Key Harbor

You can see all my Cedar Key photos at:
Headed to Carrabelle this morning.  Today will be our longest drive mixed in with exploration.   Just driving should take five hours.  Mix in plenty of stops to shoot photos and check out the area should push us to 6:00 pm or later.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cedar Key

We finally made it to our lodging for tonight at Low-Key Hideway in Cedar Key.  Beautiful place!  We decided to shoot the sunset and eat dinner later.  So we waited for the sunset.  Shot it from the pier in the back yard of our motel.  They even have their own Tiki bar 8^)

After sunset, around 8:30 pm or so, we headed into town to eat dinner at the Pickled Pelican.  I had some fried Oysters.  Awesome!  So were the black beans & rice and the lima beans & ham sides.  The beer went down real well 8^)  It was an amber from a Key West brewery.

More Cedar Key Sunset pics at:

Manatee & Fanning Springs State Parks

 At Fanning Springs State Park, visitors can swim in a beautiful spring pool.  The water is exceptionally clear and warm year round.

 Mullet swim in the river at Manatee Springs

 A visitor swims in the Manatee Springs natural pool.

Stopped hear at Bar-B-Q Bills for lunch today.  Awesome BBQ!

You can see all my Fanning Springs photos at:

Weeki Wachee Mermaid Show

The "Mermaids" performed underwater dance following Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid" story.  We enjoyed the performance.  Apparently, this performance has been going on for about 60 years.  The audience is seated in an underground theater with glass windows into the Weeki Wachee spring.  Fish swim by.  Sometimes a Manatee swims into the area and joins the performance.

You can see all my Weeki Wachee Springs photos at:

Fort De Soto near St. Petersburg

 Fort De Soto Beach

 Great Blue Heron @ Fort De Soto Pier

 Brown Pelican

 Sailboat off Fort De Soto

 Snowy Egret

Paddling on a surfboard

You can see all of my Fort De Soto pics at:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Great Day at Weeki Wachee & Homosassa!

It's 6:00 pm and we just got back from a day at Weeki Wachee Springs and Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park.  Shot a full 16gb card and a good chunk of another.  Pam finished up her 8gb card.  Probably the heaviest image capture rate of our trip.  Weeki Wachee is known for their mermaid shows.  I have to admit, they were fun to watch.  Shot a bunch there.  Lighting was tough.  Took a boat ride there.  Pretty cool.  Watched an animal show with some cool birds.

After lunch, we explored Homosassa Springs.  Truly a great place to see wildlife typical of Florida.  Wide diversity.  Shot a bunch of Manatee pics.  Pam says the Manatees look like swimming potatoes 8^)  You'll see what she means when you see my pics.  Saw a ton of other wildlife - reptiles, mammals, birds, amphibians.  I'll try to post some pics over the next few days.

Going to dinner at a place Tripadvisor says is the best in town.  We'll be the judge of that 8^)  I think I'll check out some steak.  We have eaten tons of seafood and much more yet to be consumed!

You can see all my Weeki Watchee Springs photos at:


Weeki Wachee & Homosassa

Heading out this morning to see the wildlife at Weeki Wachee Springs (yes, it is really called that!) and Homosassa Springs.  I'm definitely interested in photographing some Manatees.  Pam really wants to see the mermaids at Weeki Wachee.  Looks like another great traveling day, warm, breezy, clear sky.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crystal River

I am writing this note as we rest from a long day.  We left Anna Maria this morning and headed up the Gulf Coast past St. Petersburg, St. Pete's beach, Clearwater and Tarpon Springs.  Along the way, we spent some time at Fort de Soto State Park and Sand Key Park. The weather was excellent!  Temps in the mid 60's and 70's.  Slight breeze to keep the air moving.  The sky was blue as can be.  We enjoyed our visit to Fort de Soto.  Excellent park!  Crawled around an old fort, checked out the beaches, walked a fishing pier, shot some birds and a great time.  We stopped for lunch at Sand Key park near Clearwater.  Another beautiful place!  Some gulls and a crow were very interested in the sandwiches Pam had made for lunch.  It was great, eating a picnic lunch while looking over the water to the Clearwater waterfront.

You can see all the photos I shot on my birthday at these locations in Flickr:

Myakka River State Park

We visited Myakka River State Park yesterday as well as visiting Siesta Key and some of the flooded areas of Longboat Key.  I do recommend a visit to Myakka River.  It really is a beautiful place with plenty of wildlife.

While visiting Myakka River State Park, we found this Alligator and a bunch of his friends when we crossed a bridge over the river.  So Pam and I popped out of the car to shoot some pics.

This lizard was crawling on a log along the nature trail.

I really do not like Crows!  But I succumbed to taking a photo of one.

I love the Palms of Florida.  I caught these bending slightly in the breeze.

You can see all my Myakka River State Park photos at:

Leaving Anna Maria Island for Crystal River today.  Beautiful sunny day.  Warm.  Breezy.  It should be in the low 80's for a high today.  We have enjoyed our stay in the Anna Maria area.  Yesterday, we went south to explore Siesta Key.  Then went east into the interior to explore Myakka River State Park.  Had a blast!  Took an airboat ride on the lake.  Saw tons of aligators and birds.  Took a walk in the tree tops via their Canopy Trail.  Walked their nature trail.  Spend some time on their Bird Walk as well.  Not a great day for birds.  It has been very dry in FL this year,

You can find all of my photos from the area on Flickr at:

Anna Maria:
Lido Key:
Siesta Key:
Myakka River State Park:

Boca Grande

Where we ate lunch in Boca Grande.  We enjoyed some great food under the umbrellas.

One two lighthouses on Boca Grande Island.  This one has not been restored yet.

The beach at the tip of Boca Grande.  Beautiful place!

The restored lighthouse at Boca Grande State Park

Two friends enjoying ta pleasant chat on the beach.

Sunset on Boca Grande.

You can see all of my Boca Grande photos on Flickr at: