When I made plans to travel to San Francisco for the first time last year, Baker Beach was at the top of my list for places to visit. As a huge fan of Ansel Adams, I had long admired his photos from Baker Beach of the Golden Gate Bridge. After a long day of traveling cross country with layovers in every time zone in between, my husband and I landed in San Francisco about two hours before sunset and made to Baker Beach just in time for this shot. As one of the most internationally recognizable symbols of San Francisco, this photo of the Golden Gate Bridge is one of my favorites from that trip.
The Oregon Inlet separates the northern Outer Banks from Hatteras Island. Created by a hurricane in 1846, the inlet was named after the first ship that passed through, the Oregon. This inlet serves as a main waterway for fisherman, especially the charter fishing boats at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. The fishing off of the coast of the Outer Banks is some of the best in the world offering Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Blue Marlin, but the seas can be treacherous. The boats kept at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center are as beautiful as they are tough, many built locally to specifically to withstand the rough seas surrounding Cape Hatteras. My family has visited the Outer Banks for years and we always make sure to visit the marina to admire the boats and catch a glimpse of the day’s catch.
Beachcombers have long sought out scallop shells as they can add such vivid color to a shell collection. Regarded for their beauty for thousands of years, the Roman goddess Venus (also known as the Greek goddess Aphrodite) was born from a scallop shell according to ancient mythology. The beautiful colors and symmetry of the shells has made them popular subjects for artists for centuries. Scallop designs are also found in architectural detail of buildings through out the world. As an avid collector of shells, the warm hues of this group of scallop shells caught my attention.
This photo was featured on November 21, 2010, as the Photo of the Day by the online photography magazine, Light and Composition Magazine. See the photo and vote for it as a contestant for the Photo of the Month for December 2010.
Located in New York City, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral hosts over 5.5 million people each year to visit and pray. Opened in 1879, the cathedral is the largest Gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United Sates and holds up to 2,200 people. It’s location on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets is directly across from Rockefeller Center makes it one of the iconic New York landmarks to visit while in Manhattan. While exterior photos that capture the contrast between the Gothic-style cathedral and the modern skyscrapers that surround it are fantastic, I found the ceiling inside illuminated by the soft lighting of the chandeliers to be even more intriguing.
This photo was taken at Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, FL. Originally called Hog Island, Honeymoon Island got it’s name in 1939 when a private developer bought it and attempted to make it a getaway for newly married couples. There were fifty palm-thatched huts built for newlyweds and ads were seen on newsreels and magazines throughout the country. Winners of a nationwide contest won a week-long honeymoon on Honeymoon Island. When the island was made a state park after the causeway connecting it to the mainland was built in 1964, the name “Honeymoon” stuck. Known for it’s beautiful beaches, Honeymoon Island also has a reputation for one of the best locations to view the sunset in the Tampa Bay area.
The Blue and Yellow Macaw is found in the wild in Panama and South America through northern Argentina. While they are common in the less dense areas of rain forest, they can also be found near swamps or rivers. These macaws are large, reaching up to three pounds with wingspans as large as four feet. They are herbivores, using their powerful beaks to break nuts and seeds and enjoy a variety of fruits. Blue and Yellow Macaws mate for life and tend to congregate in flocks of up to 100 birds. Popular as pets because of their intelligence and ability to be trained, macaws make excellent companions for the right owners and have a lifespan of over 50 years in captivity. This beautiful Blue and Yellow Macaw as photographed at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens in Sarasota, FL.
While I’ve always loved to watch and photograph sunsets, this one in particular brings back wonderful memories. Seven years ago today my husband and I were embarking on our journey to Saint Lucia in the Caribbean for our honeymoon. As one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia sits on the boundary between the eastern Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. With the trade winds moderating the weather, the island has beautiful tropical weather year round with a rainy season from June through November. The sunsets over the Caribbean were spectacular each night, but something about the thatched roof and palm tree in the foreground of this photo reminds me what it was like to be in the islands unlike any other photo I have from that trip.
When fall arrives on the gulf coast of Florida, the humidity subsides leaving clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures for the first time in months. Rainy season is over and the two driest months of the year, October and November, offer perfect beach weather. One of the highlights of photographing the beach during the fall are the beautiful golden-brown sea oats. Synonymous with the beach, sea oats are found along most beaches in Florida. Their long roots that help hold loose sand in place to preserve dunes and prevent erosion. In fact, sea oats are so essential in protecting the sandy beaches of Florida that the grasses are actually protected by the state.
After a recent fishing trip, my husband was filleting his catch at the marina before heading home for the day. This always draws quite a crowd…not people admiring the catch for the day, but shorebirds hoping for a snack. The feathered opportunists, this little Blue Heron, a few Brown Pelicans and a Great White Egret, were all watching intently looking for any chance that they might have a free lunch. While the pelicans are a given at any marina along the Gulf, Little Blue Herons are a treat to see. Little Blue Herons are small herons that are easily recognizable because they are as named, all blue. That is unless they are juveniles. In their first year, Little Blue Herons are actually all white. This heron is the only species to have such a dramatic color change as they age to adulthood.
On a recent trip to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, FL, this Porcupinefish seemed to be posing for pictures. It came right up to the glass and at one point was pushing it’s nose up against the glass gently as if it wanted a better look at me. Porcupinefish can expand to twice their size vertically by taking in water or air and becoming nearly round with their spines radiating outwards. Native to Florida, the Porcupinefish can reach lengths of up to 36 inches long in the wild. This Porcupinefish was photographed in the Coral Reef exhibit, which is modeled after coral formations in the Dry Tortugas off the Florida Keys. With their friendly faces and large round eyes, it’s hard not to find them entertaining to watch.
Each time my family goes out on our boat for an afternoon on the Gulf, we use Hurricane Pass between Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park, in Dunedin, FL. As it’s name suggests, Hurricane Pass was formed by a hurricane in 1921 that separated what is now Caladesi Island from Honeymoon Island. The waters around Hurricane Pass are shallow and are a haven for feeding birds, especially at low tide. It isn’t uncommon to see dozens of shorebirds on any given day, many jockeying for position on the channel markers to get a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the fish below. That is on all of the markers except number nine. In our many trips through Hurricane Pass, when there has been a bird perched on marker number nine, it’s been an Osprey every time. We assume it’s the same one each time and he’s our favorite part of Hurricane Pass.