Category Archives: Florida


Linking up with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday.  This week’s theme:  Color.

coquina, donax variabilis, shells

Tiny rainbows:  Donax variabilis, aka Coquina

Coquina (d. variabilis) are abundant on the beaches in Southwest Florida.  Although they are everywhere, I am always taken with the variety of colors and patterns in these little shells.  The bivalves are edible (these were just the shells of the little creatures), but I’ve heard that they are not very tasty!  They’re so tiny, I would never have the patience to shuck enough to make even a small appetizer.

This image was layered with one layer of Kim’s texture kk_0603 with Blend mode of Multiply at 15% opacity, masked off of the shells.  There was already plenty of texture in the wood (love that grain!), but the texture helped the tone a bit along the edges.


Green Heron

Green Heron, Six MIle Cypress

Green Heron, Six MIle Cypress Slough

There were lots of birds — herons, storks, anhingas — and other creatures like squirrels and pigs in the swamp this afternoon, but this Green Heron was the only one that actually posed.

Foggy morning

It’s a foggy morning today. It’s sort of like being in a cold air sauna. Had fun playing around with a blah, foggy picture, using Distressed FX, PS Express, Pixlr Express and Snapseed.  I just played with the various apps until I decided to call it “done!”  Part of the fun is experimenting, even though it means that I can never recreate the exact same look.   There were just way too many steps, many of which obliterated previous effects.

Before image:



Inspiration came from reading Kat Sloma’s post on editing using various smartphone applications.


Old Florida, Two Views

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

The theme of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is UP.  I’ve posted other variations of this photo (one I took last September), but this seemed like a good fit with today’s theme.   I was experimenting with a technique where you make a photograph look like a pencil drawing and apply a tint.  I’m not sure what I did incorrectly, but after following the instructions, it didn’t look like that at all.   Not to let Photoshop get the best of me, I played around with lots of other filters and effects and ended up with the image below.  Although I think it looks like it was drawn, it wasn’t the line drawing I had originally tried to produce. That’s okay though; I like it anyway.

Pensacola Lighthouse

Pensacola Lighthouse, Pensacola Florida

Although you can’t tell from this, the lighthouse is several feet above the beach. I took the photo has I was walking back from the beach toward the lighthouse.

Ailsa’s travel theme a few months ago also was “UP”.   As I got ready to post this, I remembered that post.   It was a lighthouse too, also in Florida, but about a day’s drive further south.  I like the look of the lighthouse in Pensacola better!

And how timely is this?   This weekend is Florida Lighthouse Day.   Being landlocked, I’m way too far away to visit any lighthouse, especially one in Florida, but at least I have photos of a few!

Be sure to check out what others have done for the weekly challenge.   You’ll find them on the Daily Post.  Here are a few of them:

Other Bricks in the Wall (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge was to get Lost in the Details.    I love seeing the details that  can  be so easily missed in a larger image.   I think that is why I love macro photography and shooting close-ups of flowers.  But, for this week’s challenge, I looked for something larger, a large piece of an even larger whole.   I’ve been wanting to post this shot for a while and this seemed like a great fit.

Lost in the details are the other bricks

Lost in the details are the other bricks

A larger view:  Fort Pickens

A larger view: Fort Pickens

This is the Civil War-era battery at Fort Pickens, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola Beach, Florida.  

Be sure to check out how others interpret “Lost in the Details”.  Below are just a few.  You can find other links at The Daily Post.

Patricia D Drury
My Vivid Visions
Folly Girl
Schelly Cassidy
Esenga’s Voice
Allan G Smorra
Scott Randall

Travel Theme: Walls

Ailsa’s travel theme for the week (that would be the week that started last Friday; I’m late with this post!) is WALLS.

This theme fit perfectly with my travels last weekend.   Having ending our extended vacation in SW Florida, we headed north up the peninsula, but, instead of traveling onward into Georgia, we took a detour through the Florida panhandle to stop for a brief visit with my son in Pensacola.  It seemed, as I mapped it out, that it would be a good way to break up the trip while only adding a few hours to our total travel time.  In reality, it meant we had three long days of driving.   It was okay, though, because we got to spend time with him.

When I was in Pensacola last September, I had wanted to visit Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, but, in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, the park on Santa Rosa Island was closed for several weeks.  Now reopened, Fort Pickens was a great place to explore on a warm, Northern Florida winter day.

Fort Pickens, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, is a historic military fort that dates to 1829, and was strategic during the Civil War in keeping Pensacola Naval Yard out of Confederate control.  The Rebel Army, though, controlled Fort McRea and Fort Barrancas, both less than a mile across the water from Fort Pickens.  By the end of the Civil War, it was obsolete.  Additional batteries to guard and defend from “iron clad” ships were built along the perimeter.  Geronimo and several other Indian warriors were imprisoned there in the 1880’s.  Later, during WWI, training exercises were held there.  Fort Pickens saw final duty during World War II when some soldiers were stationed there to patrol for German U boats possibly trying to attack the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.   Obsolete after WWII, the fort is now ruins and became part of the Gulf Island National Seashore in the 1970’s.

There aren’t many parts of the fort left intact, but there are plenty of foundations and walls.   Here are some of the photographs that I took.

It’s almost time for the next Travel Theme but you can still check out the links for Travel Theme:  Walls.

For the birds



A few of my favorite things

Flowers and the beach are a winning combination for me.   I found this flower, an East-Coast Dune Sunflower,  blooming at the edge of the beach the other day, following a wind storm.  Love the sand in the center of the flower.


Linking up again with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday.

This image was created in Photoshop Elements 8, using 4 different textures by  Kim Klassen.  First, I used Unleashed (Opacity “Pin Light”, 40%), with the texture removed from the flower.   Then applied Sunkissed (Normal @ 100%) & MusicLoving (Overlay).  Merged both textures & deleted portion over the flower and changed Opacity to Hue reduced to 15%.  Copied Hue layer, and removed center, creating a lighter edge around image.  Added text, then merged all layers before appling texture Elevate (Opacity Darken at 25%),  copied this layer again, removing all of layer except the outside edge, creating a darker frame.  Flattened all layers.  Et Voila!

Looking Up

I laughed when I read Ailsa’s travel theme for this week:  UP.   I love taking pictures of structures while looking upward.    And, of course, I had a photo — one that I’ve taken within the last week — that was perfect for this week’s challenge:

From the bottom up:  Sanibel Lighthouse

From the bottom up: Sanibel Lighthouse

Sure, I could have taken it from a more typical perspective, one that clearly shows you the structure.  What I like about the photograph below is the deep blue sky and the puffy white clouds.

As one might think one should photograph it

As one might think one should photograph it

But,  after having seen the light from this lighthouse for years across the water, I finally paid the high toll ($6 to cross a bridge???) to drive out there, only to find the lighthouse a bit ho-hum. A little like the water tanks that dot the Midwest. I was expecting something a bit more picturesque, maybe like the lighthouses one sees in a lot of advertisements for Sanibel Island, which are surely images more reminiscent of the Outer Banks.  So, why not have some fun taking some different shots?

The trip wasn’t worthless, though. It was a beautiful day for a drive. It would have been even better if I had checked the schedule for Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge before driving out there on the only day of the week it was closed.  At least I no longer will wonder what the lighthouse looks like.

Historical Marker:  Sanibel Island Lighthouse

Historical Marker: Sanibel Island Lighthouse

Be sure to check out what others have posted for Travel Theme: UP. Here a just a few:

Travel Theme Up | PatriciaDDrury
Travel Theme: Up | Ese’s Voice
Travel Theme: Up | Adventures We Seek
Travel Theme: Up | Travel with Intent
Up | Artifacts and fictions
Travel Theme: Up | Across the Bored
Ailsa’s photo challenge: Up « Sounds like wish
Up | Sue Ann’s Balcony
Travel Theme: Up | StandingStill
Travel Theme Up | Cinova
Travel Theme Up | Le Drake Noir
Travel Theme: UP | SC Surf Butler
Travel Theme Up | Wind Against Current