Today and tomorrow we are getting a tropical storm that's dumping a bunch of rain in the Tampa area. That's normal for this time of year. I look forward to getting outside to take pictures of the calm after the storm. This is an image I took a few weeks back after an afternoon thunderstorm. In the evening the clouds dissipate causing them to scatter like brushstrokes in the sky.
Sometimes we can tell that a storm is coming by the behavior of the birds. Where I live the houses form a circle around a stand of trees. The houses shield the trees from the winds and so birds will congregate as much a twenty-four hours before a storm. How they know is beyond me, I'm pretty sure they're not watching the weather channel. Maybe the weather channel is watching them, you never know.
This is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The surface of the road is four-hundred feet high and spans about eight miles over the entrance to the bay. When storms come through the wind can get high enough that they close it down. I've driven over the bridge in a tropical storm and it was an experience I won't forget. However the next day the winds die down, the birds return to the shore and we all go about our business like it never even happened; summertime in Florida.
That building on the left is the Riverhouse Reef and Grill. I live near a crossroads of sorts, it's a main thoroughfare between the two towns of Palmetto and Bradenton. As it happens the thoroughfare is really a couple of bridges over a river, and on each side of the river are marinas, parks and restaurants. All in all it's a pretty nice place to explore and you don't have to go too far to find a good waterfront restaurant.
Sometimes we'll come to this place in Palmetto, other times we'll go directly across the river to Pier 22 in Bradenton. We sit outside, why sit indoors when the weather is so good? Its rare that we go to an indoor restaurant with so many options. I'm not fanatical about eating outside but it's rare we go out and eat indoors.
I took this shot at dusk from a concrete pier that used to be the main bridge between the two towns. Someone recently told me that the main bridge was destroyed in a hurricane back in the sixties and so now it's just a fishing pier. It's a nice place to walk at dusk and sunset, especially after eating too much at the Riverhouse Reef and Grill.
This is the public boat dock in Bradenton. Anyone with a boat can dock here and walk over to the restaurants nearby. I like coming here in the evening and rarely do I see anyone docked at night. Nevertheless I'll sit on the steps and chill for a bit.
I took this at dusk when the waters of the river are still. During the day the wind and boats make the water choppy and so it never really looks this nice. I normally have my dog with me and we'll both just sit here on the steps. Of course he likes coming because he gets to meet so many other dogs.
This is just one of those amazing scenes I see so much of in the summer. The clouds are normally dramatic and it contrasts well with the stillness of the water. If I didn't have to wakeup so early I think I'd be out taking photos late into the night. Shooting scenes like this at night is a tonne of fun.