Around the Bend

Happy New Year everyone! This is officially my first post of 2013. And this image was shot on the first day of the year!

For my first outing of the new year I decided to go for a bike ride. I wanted to see something different so after researching the Florida State Parks website for bicycling activities, I chose this area: Cross Florida Greenway – Withlacoochee Bay Trail. Situated in Crystal River, Florida the trailhead starts at Felburn Park. The trail runs 5 miles out to the Gulf of Mexico along an old barge canal. There are pavilions along the way with tables and benches where you can sit and relax with a beautiful view of the water.

The day started out as kind of a gray cloudy day. I prefer blue skies with puffy white clouds, but you have to use what you’re given. I stopped along the way to the Gulf at the different areas to see what I could shoot. I wasn’t really feeling inspired so I continued on.  I did get to see a family of deer run across the trail right in front of me which was pretty cool!

When I got to the Gulf area, I saw the most beautiful God rays I had ever seen. And they lasted for quite awhile. I hope to post one of those shots on the blog real soon.

When I started heading back I was watching the sky and noticed that there was some blue color trying to show through. With eager anticipation I kept looking upwards and decided to stop one more time. I finally got to get what I was hoping for.

Please click on the image below to view full-screen.

Around the Bend

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Please consider leaving a comment as I always enjoy hearing from my visitors! 🙂

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Sunset on the Serengeti

No not the African plains but Florida! Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa to be exact. Photo opportunities abound when you pay a visit here. There is a variety of animals to see and learn about. This image features three of their stars: a Reticulated Giraffe and two Marabou Storks. This was a perfect day for taking pictures as it rained off and on all day. The clouds would come and go opening up briefly to let the sunlight in. I was walking around taking pictures of the birds when I spotted this lone giraffe. He kept getting closer to me and I had the hopes of getting a close-up shot. He stopped at a comfortable distance from me and stayed where he was. With him keeping a close watch on me, I setup the shot to include the two storks with the giraffe in the background. I got four shots before he turned and ran away. The color in the sky and the giraffe staring right at me was my favorite shot.

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I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Giving Me The Eye

As I was browsing through my catalog of images over the weekend, I came across this one that I had never posted and wanted to share it.

During the beginning of March last year, I went to one of my favorite local parks to do some bird watching. The Osprey nesting season happens at this time of the year which makes for great photo opportunities. I always make sure to keep my distance so I don’t disturb them. I had been to this nest before, but it had been awhile. I walked down the trail and everything started to look familiar. I remembered exactly where it was and found my subject. I took pictures for about 30 minutes before mama decided to go back to her nest.

Osprey, also known as Fish Hawks, like to nest in tall trees and can usually be found close to water.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

At Peace

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Florida National Cemetery to visit my grandparents’ grave site. Every time I am there I always think to myself how beautiful the place is and about taking pictures. I usually don’t get out my camera, but this time I did. With a little bit of a slope, I really thought this spot was very pretty with the overhanging tree and the shaded bench.

This was shot using an 8mm fisheye lens which gave it a little bit of a distorted look in the corners even after applying the lens correction in Lightroom.

This was taken at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. A beautiful and peaceful place dedicated to our heroes and their loved ones. Let us never forget.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Lufty Baptist Church

Just inside the park boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a church that up until my last visit, I had never even seen before. Perhaps because of the foliage on the trees during the different times of the year? Maybe. Who knows for sure. On this particular occasion, the trees were bare. I spotted the church to my right way up on the hillside. I had to turn around and come back to a side road that went in that direction. With the church now in front of me, I found a small parking area to stop and get out. As I ascended the hill, the tall building loomed overhead blending very well into the surrounding forest. The small wooden sign next to the pathway stated that this was Lufty Baptist Church. Established in 1836. Reconstructed in 1912. It is in an area of the park known as Smokemont, on the North Carolina side. Although the church was closed in 1939, it is open to park visitors who wish to see the inside.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

 

The Old Homestead

In the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, there is a place where time has stood still. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 6 mile one way loop road that will take you on a journey through lush forest and flowing mountain streams. Along the way you will find 2 waterfalls, grist mills, log cabins, and other historic buildings. Your senses of sight and sound will become overloaded. Around every bend there is something to see and rushing water can always be heard. Nature is at peace here. Different types of wildflowers bloom throughout the seasons to add splashes of color here and there.

The subject of this photo is known as “Jim Bales Place.” This charming piece of property has been preserved for future generations to enjoy. It is just one of many stops to get out and stretch your legs and enjoy the surroundings.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

 

Linden United Methodist Church

On my April 18th post I presented a picture of a nice country road I came across in my travels. This time I bring you the church I was headed to. With a peaceful country setting, this is the Linden United Methodist Church in Sumter County, Florida. This one has been on my subject list for awhile and I finally got around to shooting it. The lighting was pretty nice this day and the sky was providing me with lots of clouds. I really love the architectural styling of the older churches. I walked around for a few minutes looking at the different angles trying to decide how I wanted to shoot it. The trees with the flowing moss really seemed to set it off. The sunlight reflecting off of the clouds directly over the church just added to the scene.

I hope you enjoyed viewing today’s post. Please feel free to leave any comments you might have as I really like hearing from my visitors!

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