Florida is a retiree heaven. Afternoons like this are when you find people out strolling about, sitting on piers and basically passing the time. I wonder if I'll ever do that, it seems a little to passive for my taste, I'd rather be taking pictures or riding a bike, but you never know. All the retirees I know say they are more busy after retirement than before. That's counterintuitive but in a way makes sense.
This is a lazy afternoon scene at the pier in Terra Ceia. These mangroves created a natural frame leading to the water along the boardwalk. Mangroves are everywhere along the coast and are responsible for Florida being on the map. A slight exaggeration but they prevent the erosion against the tide and storms. So unless you are on a beach, you'll see these mangroves everywhere, and thanks to them Florida hasn't yet washed away.
Getting back to the main subject, I do spend a lot of time where people are strolling, even if I'm not strolling myself. People like to stroll where the scenery is nice and of course that's where I like to take photos. So even if I don't end up retiring and going for a stroll in the afternoon, I'll have plenty of knowledge on the subject. I'll become what is known in industry as a SME; a Subject Matter Expert. Having lived in retiree heaven I'll have an encyclopedic knowledge in the ways, means and methods of strolling.
It was fairly early when I came upon this heron in Sarasota. My plan was to get a sunrise shot over the city from the end of the boardwalk, but at the same time I didn't want to disturb Mr. Heron, he was there first. I stopped a ways back and contented myself taking his picture. After a few minutes he didn't move so I decided get closer so I could shoot the other way. As it turns out he let me come right up. As long as I didn't make any sudden movements and looked the other way he didn't seem to mind. For me it was a nice standing there in the quite of the morning, doing what I love to do and in the company of Mr Heron.
Turns out he was scanning the water below for a fish that might swim by. Not too far off in the other direction was another heron along the bank next to a tree. It was in that direction I was shooting the sunrise so I tried to incorporate her in the composition as well. But before I left this spot Mr. Bird flew over to other one, ...Mrs Bird perhaps?
I walked down to where they both now stood in the water and took a few more shots, incorporating them both as best I could, not always with success. Again, as long as I didn't show any signs of aggression they both let me get pretty close. At one point, they even got into a little tussle amongst themselves; most certainly a Mr and Mrs. Nonetheless, they didn't seem to mind my presence.
Whether or not I got any good shots on this morning, just being here in the presence of Mr and Mrs Heron made the entire excursion worthwhile.
These surf kites at the midpoint of the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa and can be seen for miles away whenever there's a breeze. Once in a while I'll pull off the highway to watch. The main impression I get is of the contrast of these colorful canopies moving against the sky. They are mesmerizing to watch and this is a simplification of that scene as it appears in my minds eye.
The wind here changes direction from one day to the next and depending on that the surfers alternate from one side of the causeway to the other. The spectacle of the scene is so compelling it's a wonder there aren't accidents as drivers crane their heads to get a look.
In my way of thinking, I'm always trying to simplify things. I work and live in a complex world and what helps is if I can simplify the complexity a bit. I do this by removing things that I feel are unnecessary to the central core or subject of a thing. In this case, the subject is little colorful kites in a big sky, so to convey that I needed to remove as many distractions as possible. I think this might not be a bad philosophy to live by. In fact it's called de-cluttering, and now there are de-clutter coaches you can hire to help with de-cluttering you life. We'll, I'm no guru or coach, but I do like to get to the essence of a thing, and in this case, it's all about the kites.
Pure and simple.