Sunset Silhouette

If I hadn’t shot this image myself, I would guess it’s location is Hawaii. But that guess would be way off — across a continent. The stark remains of this tree were found eroding along the shore on Lover’s Key in southwest Florida. It’s on protected lands where development has not been permitted, and Nature continues to tell stories.

#sunset, #tree, #silhouette, #gulf, #florida, #loverskey, #gulfcoast, #nature, #sunstar
I like the way the clouds echo the outstretched fingers of the tree’s branches.

As the sunstar records this fleeting moment, I am reminded that soon it will be dark, and I’d better hike back.

The Shell Tree

The Shell Tree on Lover’s Key is a unique spot where countless passers by have hung a shell. I think they wish to be remembered by Nature at the same time they pay quiet homage to this tree, which lives on and continues to tell stories beyond its lifetime.

#loverskey, #tree, #skeleton, #shells, #rememberme, #stories
Take a close look at the shells carefully placed in the crevices and on the hooks on the skeleton of this tree.

It will be interesting to visit this site again after Hurricane Irma to see what remains.

Woodpecker Love

There are many reasons to love the Pileated Woodpecker.  First, you notice its brilliant red crown feathers and the red, black and white plumage, which would be a striking way to dress yourself today. Second, you can observe its impressive ability to steady itself vertically way up high in an old tree or utility pole. Then, you may marvel at its ability to hunt for food or carve out a nest by tapping its beak into the wood like a hammer 10 to 20 times per second. How can its head withstand all that impact?

#woodpecker, #birds, #tamron, #nikon, #nature, #pileatedwoodpecker, #naples
Female pileated woodpecker in Naples, Florida, high in a tree, pecking for food in the early morning.

Lastly, you may like the woodpecker for these traits you would admire in a human: it is non-migratory, inhabiting the same territory for its lifetime. It chooses and is loyal to a single mate. It benefits many other bird and mammal species in its environment, as song birds, owls and even raccoons later inhabit the old tree holes that the woodpecker has carved out for its nests.

And here is a mixed blessing. That pileated woodpecker in your backyard may be giving you some free advice: that dead tree needs to come down.

Waiting for Spring

On a quick trip from Florida to Pennsylvania in March, I miss the colors of the tropics. It will be another month before Spring brings blossoms out of the dormant plants still hunkered down for the short days and cold nights.

But the magic of photography can treat us to tropical colors and brilliant blooms at any time of year. This pink and purple bromeliad blossom caught my eye at the San Diego Botanical Garden last fall. Today it whispers to me of the promise of Spring.

#bromeliad, #fern, #botanical, #photography, #flowerphotography, #pinkandgreen, #garden, #spring, #promise
Leading lines in the green fern and bromeliad leaves guide the eye to the delicate spiral of the pink bromeliad bloom.

Painted Sunset

The orange hue of sunset is woven into countless blue waves lapping the shore this evening. Colors separate into horizontal lines and appear painted in this unique image.

#sunset, #orange, #orangeandblue, #gulfofmexico, #gulf, #florida, #gulfcoast, #ICM, #sony, #abstract, #warmandcool
The warm and the cool are woven together in this image.


Can you hear the tiny waves? Feel the warmth of the sun, offset by the breeze? Does the water reach your toes?

Interested in a print of this image? Please visit my website and look in the Gallery: Photo Illustration.

The Magic Touch

This graceful palm frond reaches out and almost touches the Supermoon as it rises. Does this gesture remind you of another magic moment, in art history?

#palm, #moon, #supermoon, #nikon, #tamron, #fullmoon, #florida, #january30
As the palm frond seems to reach toward the moon in this image, I am reminded of Michelangelo’s magic moment of creation on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Do you see what I mean?

Hands of God and Adam.jpg
By Michelangelo – Web Gallery of Art[1], Public Domain, Link



Flying in Formation

These two White Pelicans flying low and in unison as they come in for a landing remind me of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performing in a summer air show. As a spectator, I find myself entranced by the tight formation and flying agility.

#pelicans, #dingdarling, #sanibel, #florida, #painting, #photography, #topaz, #nikon, #tamron
The stunning white pelicans found on Sanibel Island in February are skilled unison flyers.

Having captured this moment in a photograph, I realized that the simple yet striking composition and blue/white color combination would translate well into an oil painting. So, I used my digital paint box to create my best rendering. What do you think?