Friday, June 16, 2017

Carrabelle

 After exploring the bottle house Hubby and I drove around the corner to a little park and boardwalk. 
We enjoyed the views but were starting to get hungry so we set out to find lunch. While I had packed us a cooler in case - when at the coast, get some fresh sea food.
Cheesy photo op, check!



Upon the recommendation at tourism stop we drove up the road to a bar and had lovely grouper sandwiches. Bellies full we set out to our next stop, the Crooked River Lighthouse.
 I know I have posted photos here at least once or twice before when we stopped in on the way back from St George Island but we had never visited during the open hours. 

 The keeper's cabin has been turned into a mini museum and gift shop. I bought a pin and some postcards.

Since we were there during open hours the lighthouse was open to climb for a small fee that goes to the upkeep of the light. Now, I DO NOT like small places or heights so climbing lighthouses is not my favorite activity, in fact the last one I climbed I swore would be my last I was so unnerved by the experience (and that lighthouse was 20+ feet shorter than the Crooked River Light). We sat outside for an hour while I talked myself up to the task, we saw an older couple climb it and not die before I was able to do it. We payed our $5 each and started the climb. 
The Crooked River Lighthouse climb is 103 feet to the gallery, the climb up was steep but not as panic inducing as I expected. When the steps narrowed we knew we were close, the lens is barred off for protection but with a well placed camera you can sneak a good peak.
The gallery (deck around the top) was breathtaking, quite literally. It was so high up, we could feel the structure sway slightly in the breeze. 
 The climb back down was terrifying for me, Hubby went first and had to talk me down every so often but I did it! I don't want climb all the lighthouses in Florida but this climb helped a little with my fear, I might try another one in the future.

Our prize

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Take One Down

Take one down, pass it around...
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Here I sit on my day off doing laundry and editing pictures (and maybe getting around to some much needed house work). I've been pretty busy lately helping a dear friend out running lots of errands and moving things so I am a bit low on funds and body strength. Looking back on these photos from a few weeks ago (Memorial Day weekend) really lifted my spirits.
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Lots of places are closed in small towns on Mondays, let alone a holiday, so we took a little Saturday trip to the coast. Carrabelle is a sleepy little town along the gulf coast and just a little bit over an hour outside Tallahassee. Our first stop was the Carrabelle Bottle House, a permanent art installation on a private residence. The owners and their standard poodles are very friendly.
It all started with the bottle house and has been expanded to more pieces of art.
 Shirt from TeeTurtle.








 The lighthouse was my favorite piece, of course, I have a thing for lighthouses. The owners light it at dusk.

Hubby and I want to build a similar lighthouse, we are both artists and work well together so someday we want to create large pieces of found art like this.




This is really a wall of the house but I love this orientation of the photo.

The bottle house is free and open to the public, just make sure you close the gate so the poodles don't get loose. Inside the house is a guestbook and a donation jar.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Raindrops and Dragonflies

North Florida went from being dry as a bone to alternating between drizzle and thunderstorms for a week. I am getting a touch of cabin fever because I haven't been able to exercise and since I have a few days off it is getting worse. I had planned to go hiking at the coast and maybe catch a few rays on the beach but I don't like the chance of being caught in a thunderstorm when I am the tallest thing around.   
When I woke up this morning there was a lull in the rain so I hopped in my car and drove to the Lake Jackson Mounds State Archaeological State Park. I admit Hubby and I don't take advantage of the State Parks in the area, I don't think I had been hiking at the mounds since I was in grade school. The park has an honor pay station, it is only $3 for a day hang tag (remember to bring bills or a check, the envelopes don't seal and it is kind of hard to stuff coins in them and get them in the slot, don't ask me how I know).
The weather was warm and muggy, it felt like I was walking through soup, I was soaked within minutes of getting out of the car from the humidity alone. I wore my rain boots because I knew I would be walking through wet tall grass and mud, I am glad I did once I hit the trails but the stairs to the tops of the mounds were quite slippery and athletic shoes would have given better grip on the wet wood.
Morning rain drops on a spiderwort
The rainy weather had brought out mushrooms in full force, unfortunately many of my shots didn't come out in focus because I was trying not to get covered in mud or fall over while squatting with a large camera.




An exoskeleton of a cicada  along the walkway

Looking down the steps gives you a better idea of how high the mounds are.
There were so many dragonflies out in the fields by the mounds, this Eastern Pondhawk stopped briefly to let me photograph her.
The raindrops did lend to some pretty photos

Another Eastern Pondhawk, this one is a male

How stunning is this Halloween Pennant?
 Once along the trails the bugs did get a little annoying and of course I forgot my bug spray. I had a "pet" horsefly that followed me most of my hike, luckily it never was able to bite me.
Okay, I know this is out of focus but aren't these the cutest little mushrooms? I'm quite mad at myself for not trying several more shots of them but the ground was wet and I had a hard time staying still while getting down so low.
 There are ruins of a grist mill along the stream, the area has quite a bit of erosion and some fallen trees so it has been cordoned off but you and see some remnants of beams in the stream bed.
 Along a bridge a found a large millipede, he must have been 4 inches long.
\
I stopped counting how many spiderwebs I walked through, I spent a lot of time pulling silk off my face and arms, luckily, it doesn't bother me.
In a beautiful thicket of ferns I was surrounded by Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies, this one sat so still while I photographed it, the others flitted around shyly avoiding me.




I thought about hiking the other trail but I'm glad I headed home when I did since it started raining not long after I finished the first trail. While it wasn't perfect hiking weather I enjoyed morning in nature, the mounds are a beautiful area and I wish I could have captured more woodland shots but sadly my photography skills aren't able to give justice to the beauty of the area.

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