A shot of the main bridge near my home between Bradenton and Palmetto. Apparently this is now due for replacement. Bridges have a life span and this one is at its end. I imagine that to replace it will be a couple years of chaos, but that's the price to pay for progress I suppose. In the old days the bridges were flat, not arched like this. When it came time to replace them they simply turned them into fishing piers. I don't suppose that will work with these arched versions, they'll probably just demolish the whole thing.
The traffic over this bridge can be horrendous. But I don't stress it, besides, what can be better than to be stuck on a bridge in Florida; you can look out and see sailboats or dolphins, the scenery is pretty good. I look forward to getting stuck on bridges here, especially drawbridges, they're my favorite. Everyone stops and turns off the engine and some folks like me get out of our cars. Its fun to watch the bridge rise and the sailboats pass. I've spent a lot of time in traffic over the years, but getting stuck on a bridge in Florida changes your perspective on the experience.
They're building another one about five miles upriver. I can hardly wait for that to be built so that I can get pictures from and around it. Anyway, for someone who loves photographing bridges I suppose I live in the right place.
The morning train crosses the bridge to Bradenton on it's way to the orange juice plant. I stood here as it blew its horn which can be heard for miles away. When I'm home I hear the horn at night and for me it's just part of the daily sounds that make up the fabric of life in this small town. Each time I hear it I know the train is crossing the river.
When I travel to another part of the country or up to Canada and see Tropicana orange juice in a carton, I know it crossed this bridge as it left the plant. It's a subtle feeling of familiarity when I'm far from home.
Anyway, I love traveling by train, there couldn't be a more relaxing way to travel. Unlike a plane you can easily get up and walk around. There's none of the nonsense about landing and takeoff and you can pretty much do as you please.
Anyway, I don't see many passenger trains in my part of Florida. Even so they were largely responsible for the population growth in the last century. Now the trains here mostly serve industry. For instance the Ringling circus train leaves from just the other side of the river. That has a long history, and I know someone who works on that train, but I digress; another story for another day perhaps.
Due to some other priorities I've been staying close to home lately. That's been nice because I get to visit all my favorite photo locations within a short drive. But I just realized I haven't been back to this park in about two years. It just got put at the top of the list. I like it here because of the ponds and the reflections, so I just need to wait for some nice clouds and head over in the next few days.
They were going to put a water park here, that was over a year ago but I've not seen any construction when I drive past. Hopefully the natural beauty is preserved. I need to remember is to bring mosquito repellant, this is close to a swamp and bayou so there are plenty of biting things. Normally I get so engrossed in what I'm doing that I just ignore them.
Now that we're getting into summer weather again we'll start getting afternoon thunderstorms. Those can be loud and dramatic, but the best part is after they pass the clouds can be spectacular. You can see some of those clouds way off in the distance here, but this image doesn't really feature them. Clyde Butcher, a famous photographer from Florida says that the clouds are our mountains. That's a reference to how they can play an important role in Florida landscape in the same way mountains do in other parts of the country. To me that makes perfect sense, and the bonus is that our mountains change every day. How cool is that?