As many times as I've visited Myakka River State Park, I've never been canoeing here. Probably because: a) I'm not an overly proficient canoeist; b) there are gators in that water (which leads back to point a.) With my northern upbringing, I still think the most dangerous thing that should be living in a river is a pike. So, knowing these are gator infested waters, I continue to have a healthy respect for Mother Nature. (I've canoed at Oscar Scherrer State Park, which also is located in Sarasota. But, that area doesn't attract the gators like Myakka. Myakka, literally, is a breeding ground for alligators.) That being said, as you can see by the number of canoes, lots of people are interested in paddling around the river here. (The people who really concern me are the fishermen who wade waist deep into the water. What are they thinking?!) By the way, there's a small 3-foot gator just off shore and out of sight in this photo -- the same one that was featured yesterday. And, I bet you'll find one at the end of that rainbow!
August 15, 2016
After running errands yesterday afternoon, I decided to stop by Myakka River State Park and see how it's fairing with all the rain we've been receiving (roads are dry....trails are flooded, I'm told). As you probably know, gators are a common sight here. But, a gator with a rainbow under blue skies? Very unusual! (If you look closely to the upper left, a second rainbow can faintly be seen trying to appear.)
The saying goes that there's a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. So, what does it mean when a rainbow cuts across a gator's head? (He didn't seem to mind.) Maybe...good luck for the photographer?!
August 14, 2016
We're still testing the latest asset acquisition at SDP -- a 10-24mm lens. And, those tests took us to Siesta Key Beach (at sunset, of course). In addition to the sugary white sand, one of the most remarkable aspects of this beach is its sheer width. Previously, I've been stymied trying to depict it. But, not with the new lens! This was the scene last night looking all the way across the beach toward the Gulf of Mexico. Five years ago, Siesta Beach was named the #1 beach in the United States by Dr. Beach, and since then it has become increasingly popular with visitors from around the world. I can confirm it is indeed a beautiful beach! Hope everyone is well in the blogosphere.
August 6, 2016
After a few minor skirmishes between the SDP editorial staff and procurement division, I'm pleased to report the Editor-in-Chief prevailed and a Tamron 10-24mm lens recently was acquired and is now part of the SDP portfolio! This was taken last night at 10mm....and there doesn't appear to be any "fisheye" bend. Nice! I definitely will be able to capture some beautiful sweeping landscapes with this lens. The entire SDP staff is heading out west soon and will be touring several national parks (Arches, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone)...so, the lens acquisition occurred just in time! Really looking forward to testing it.
July 30, 2016
June 25, 2016
For years (yes, years), I've wanted to photograph this cross. It's located in rural Sarasota at the corner of Verna and Fruitville (where Fruitville Road dead ends east of I-75). It's always intrigued me…wondering who put it there…and, what prompted it. The right circumstances have never been present to shoot it --- until last night. A light rain had just ended...and as I turned the corner and glanced at the sky near the cross I thought, "Tonight's the night!". At first, there was a hint of pink, which shifted to grey, followed by a dark peach glow. The cloud formations, opening to reveal bright blue sky, were incredible. In this serene setting I kept thinking, "God is good." Happy Saturday!
June 18, 2016
It's been one thing after another for the past several weeks. After enduring a very long, emotional week in connection with the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando, I wanted nothing more than to seek solitude last night. And…I found it! The week before the mass shooting, Tropical Storm Colin breezed by and dumped 10+ inches of rain in some parts of Sarasota. Portions of Myakka River State Park are still flooded, and as a result, I pretty much had the place to myself. The resident animals are seeking dry territory and their behavior seems a little out of sorts. I spotted these two black-bellied whistling ducks sitting on a wood fence near the flooded river. They kept inching along the fence and looking down, as if they were disgusted by the smelly flood water -- and that was the last place they wanted to stick their little webbed feet. Hope everyone in the blogosphere has been doing well!