After the long red tide, it’s nice to see the beaches back to normal. The fish have returned, and fishers are back at it.
A lot of research has gone into determining the causes of the toxic algae bloom. Historically, this has occurred for decades if not centuries. It’s possible that man is aggravating it, and it’s likely there are other causes, such as colonies of it endemic to the deep in the gulf.
Nevertheless, it wreaks havoc on coastal communities in Florida. It’s gone for now, and we hope it stays away. But after the last eighteen months, everyone is a little on edge. Most importantly, it gives us a new appreciation for the years when we don’t have it.
I love the pier at Fort Desoto Park in St Petersburg. Not always, but often at dusk, the colors in the sky get so amazing that I go a little crazy with my camera. But the sun eventually sets, and I head home after an hour like a drunken patron after the last call. I wish it would last longer, but I’m glad its over. I know I have to leave so I can get up and go to work the next morning.
One of the places I want to go (big time) is Iceland. But in the back of my mind, I wonder how I would survive. I see myself getting in a photographic frenzy, taking photos of waterfalls and landscapes to the point that I drop dead from exhaustion. But then, I can think of far worse ways to die.
But back to the beach here in Florida. When the conditions are like this, I go into hyperdrive. My mind is simultaneously racing and remaining calm. If I get too excited I’ll make mistakes or worse, drop my camera. It’s important to keep moving, but not frantically. And I don’t even know what the next image will be. I walk on when I finish one and look for another. Imagine if I did that all day in Iceland. I would inevitably end up lost or dead or at the bar until the last call.
I took this a couple years back on Sanibel Causeway, which connects the mainland to the small island of Sanibel. We have a lot of causeways and bridges in Florida because there are so many islands. When I first moved to Florida the unbelievable number of bridges was one of my first impressions.
Wherever there is a causeway you’ll find people standing at the waters edge with a fishing poll. In many ways this is a typical scene when driving around either coast.
The setting sun illuminated a large column behind the fisherman. I walked around and took a bunch of photos but within thirty minutes it had moved our way and we were covered in dark clouds. As I jumped in the car it started to rain and within a few minutes there was thunder, lighting and zero visibility. That’s a fairly common occurrence during the hot months.
On Anna Maria Island I have some favorite spots to hang out that are a little bit hidden and frequented more by the locals. This is opposite Coquina Beach and it’s a little dock where fishermen come to launch their boats around dawn. I was here walking around and noticed this guy casting his net and so stood a ways back trying to capture him in mid-throw. I think he noticed me and stopped throwing the net, maybe he was self conscious. I wandered off to leave the poor soul in peace. Hopefully he caught something because there were a couple of egrets waiting for anything he might pull up.
Perhaps because I live in Florida one of my main subjects are sunsets. Good sunsets can be a little elusive. Only about half of the time I go out do I even get one due to offshore cloud layers. And then much less than half of those are what I’d call “good ones”. Maybe it’s like fishing, you’ll usually get a nibble and occasionally get fish. But if you keep doing it you eventually get the “big one”. I hope the fisherman in this photo was as lucky as me.
This was taken around rush hour on a Friday evening. Only I have no idea what the traffic was like because I was here. This was about the most stress free place I can think of. It’s a remote pier in a remote park that looks out on to the Gulf of Mexico. Even the seabirds were relaxed as they waited for morsels from the fishermen. This is one of those spots I like to come to from time to time because no matter what, I’m always going home more relaxed than I came.