Florida, #1

Sometimes it just takes a change of venue to open your eyes!  We went on a vacation–something we do about every 4 years–this past month.  Back at the beginning of middle school, when our younger son came home with honor roll grades the first quarter of 5th grade, hubby made a deal with him:  if Eli was on Honor Roll for all 16 quarters of middle school, he could pick the destination of his choice (in the continental 48 United States) for a family trip.  Well, Eli did it, plus added in three individual championships in three sports his 8th grade year (Cross Country, Wrestling and Track)!  He is interested in marine mammals and the ocean, so he picked the Florida Keys and off we went!

I opted to lug my heavy DSLR (new, this is its first out-of-studio major excursion), and am so glad I did.  I took a deep gulp (hoping not to get dumped into the water) as we sat on a small kayak and paddled into the warm waters offshore our first day in the Keys and (thanks to rapid fire shutter speeds!) got  fabulous photos of a cormorant–several duds, two great ones:

Cormorant taking flight

and

Cormorant airborne. Granted the horizon is tippy, but I was on a kayak!

We stayed at a gorgeous, fancy resort…nicer than any place I’ve EVER been…for just the first night.  The grounds were amazing…I wandered with my camera in the Florida heat (90+ degrees, 90+ percent humidity…drip!) and found inspiration at just about every turn:

I love looking up at palm trees, and I love those berry-like things that change in habit (upright, drooping), size and color depending on the palm tree.

A palm trunk like this makes you want to grab some fabric and Shiva painsticks and do a rubbing. In the absence of those supplies, a camera and making a thermofax screen for printing… or using just the shapes for a filler quilting design. Or use the shapes and make a modern quilt in undulating strips…..

Fan Palm…again, reinterpret in cloth….

I had never seen palm trees with silver-gray leaves/fronds. As you can gather by these three photos, I REALLY liked them. They were beyond round, so the center would fold in on itself…this is just ONE frond! The light part in the center is where the frond folds in and tucks into the center of the beyond-a-circle shape.

Close up of the silver-gray palm frond…love those curly rivulets of leaf peeling off from the edges of the frond

And another–going for symmetry this time.

And the canopy of fronds overhead…can you tell these just grabbed me?

An employee spotted me and said she, too, was a photographer, and sent me off in the direction of this cool path.  The trees were trained to grow diagonally across the walk, and there were tiki torches along the path to light your way at night.  On one side you look back through the arch/tunnel to a pool……sigh!

The palm trees are trained to grow at this angle to form this tunnel!

I’ve got TONS of photos to share, but I’ll try to alternate between Florida and what I’ve been doing the past couple of months!  TOO MUCH catching up!  I’ve been busy DOING life and not blogging about it <grin!>!!!

3 Responses to “Florida, #1”

  1. Pat Diker Says:

    Beautiful photos Sarah. Definitely worth lugging that camera around. I especially love the birds in action. I’ve been following your progress and it sounds like your recovery is going well.

  2. Pat Diker Says:

    I don’t believe it. I spelled my own name wrong !!!

  3. Dorothy Karman Says:

    Great photos! Most of the palm trees are familiar to me as they are growing up north. Not in Canberra – too cold. I’ve never seen them grown to form a tunnel. Very impressive! Hope you have a great holiday.