San Rafael Valley, AZ ~~ Photo by Bill Haas

Wednesday, May 20, 2009



Welcome to Florida!  Having been told April and May were still good months to visit, I planned to spend the entire month of May here. Florida is such a fascinating, diverse state that I may end up in Florida well into June -- in spite of the muggy heat, humidity and early rains.  There's lots to show and tell, so I'll be posting in parts again.
As I entered Florida's Panhandle from Alabama's Gulf Coast........wait just a darn minute!  Did I miss an exit and end up in Miami?  Is this the Gulf of Mexico I've drooled over lo these many years?  Keep going kiddo; someone said you'd get to "old Florida" eventually.  That's good, because this is definitely not my cuppa!
Ubiquitous Alvin's Island stores were as common as kitschy miniature golf attractions. Tourism for all ages -- Florida has it all.

A reader wondered how I could take the pictures I do without the convenience of a car. Sometimes I rent a car. Most of the time I stop and go a lot.  But other times, I simply slide one of the windows down, set the lens for its longest focal length, point, shoot and hope for the best.  Hell's fire!  I'm not burning up film any more.  Sometimes the shutter stabilizing feature doesn't quite catch up with the speed I'm traveling:  fuzzy photos.  Sometimes (most times) the pictures are crooked and need to be straightened or cropped.  Sometimes parts of the overhead cab, window frame or the mirror gets to be in the picture.  And sometimes, I just get lucky.  Like here! One hand on the wheel, one hand on the camera, eyes on the road...takes lots and lots of practice.  HEY!  At least I'm not putting on makeup while I'm driving (any more)!!
Ahhhh more like it.  Oh to be stranded on a Florida island!  And the nearest store within walking distance -- at low tide!

Cotton Rats are a common sight in dunes' vegetation.
Gulf sand is so fine, castle construction is a breeze.
I can readily agree with my Lazy Daze pal Kate that one can't take too many pictures of skies.  Here's some Florida sky art.

These photos were taken at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, my favorite so far.
End of Florida Part be continued