Rainbow Chair

Where there are rainbows, there must be rain. In Florida at this time of year, you can count on it every day.

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Rainbow Chair
A view of the beach at Fort DeSoto Park

Look close, and you’ll see the Sunshine Skyway Bridge under the rainbow. I used a wide angle lens, so the bridge seems far away. Here is a panorama I took on the same day.

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I took this about five years ago at Fort DeSoto Park. Looking at it now I wish I’d used a smaller aperture so the foreground would be sharper, but I like the photo anyway. Sometimes I try not to sweat the little stuff if I like the image. Technically the picture is a bit subpar, but I like the shot anyway, and in my mind, that’s what counts.

Venice Visit

Here is a picture from the other day at the pier in Venice, Florida. Isn’t it interesting how so many places are named after a city in Italy?

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Venice Visit
The beach at Venice Florida

I suppose it’s no surprise; it just makes me wonder what we’ll name places on Mars should we ever begin to colonize there. If there are no bodies of water, Venice may not be high on the list. You never know.

beach gallery

These are the kinds of silly things I think about when I have nothing better to do.

Less Obvious

The other day I visited the pier at the beach in Venice, Florida. It’s an excellent place to hang out at the end of the day.

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Less Obvious
The pier as seen from Sharky’s on the Pier in at Venice Beach, Florida.

I took this picture from the patio of Sharky’s, one of the best beach restaurants in the region. When guests come to town, this is where we go. From the terrace, you walk onto the pier to fish or look for dolphins. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

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What caught my eye was the sunlight through the grass. At the time, I thought to focus on the less obvious subject. It’s the concept behind my website name. Sometimes, I focus on highlighting the underappreciated gems right in front of the more obvious choice. While I don’t always succeed, that’s the idea behind “Just Enough Focus” dot com.

Wave Motion

The best things about the water are the feeling of weightlessness and, the motion of the waves. Makes me wonder what it’s like to be a dolphin.

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Wave Motion
At the beach on Anna Maria Island

Speaking of which we see them all the time along the beach. Generally, dolphins swim by in pods or family groups. Many have returned since the end of the last red tide.

more from Anna Maria Island in the gallery

I take a lot of these shots and just can’t seem to get enough of them. It reminds me of times I visited Hawaii and would float for long stretches in the water, rocking with the waves. Now that I live in Florida, it’s ironic that I can go whenever I want but seldom do.

Mouth of the Manatee

I took this photo at the mouth of the Manatee River. I live further upstream in the esophagus.

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Mouth of the Manatee
The view from DeSoto National Memorial Park in Bradenton, Florida

It’s curious how we anthropomorphize everything. DeSoto National Memorial Park is in the heart of Bradenton. Having grown up in the west, I still find it odd to have a national park in an urban area.

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To see the sunset like this, you walk into the park after closing. Doing so I thought I’d be alone but found a crowd along the shore, all with the same idea. After sunset, I took a quiet trail back to avoid the crowds. However, the trails have lifesize cutouts of historical figures, and more than once, I was startled by conquistadores and aboriginals staring back at me. It was a little unnerving, to say the least.

Week Ends

The feeling at the end of the week, knowing there’s no work the next day, is pretty awesome. Before a long weekend, it’s even better.

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Week Ends
Dusk at the beach on Anna Maria Island

This photo is a reminder of how good we have it here in Florida: that’s directed at those of us that live here because it’s easy to forget.

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Living along the coast, you develop a sense of normalcy about living where others vacation. So it’s good to get away for some perspective and then come back. It’s human nature; nothing lasts forever, even that feeling at the start of a long weekend.

Footprint

I would post this photo along with some original words. But it seemed a little too cliché.

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Footprint
A footprint in the sand on Anna Maria Island, Florida

When I look at a simple thing, my mind wanders. That’s a life long habit I’ve acquired. It’s too easy to get distracted with the first thought that comes to mind. Maybe it sounds silly, but it’s a measure of how life is when we cannot focus on something uncomplicated.

visit the beach gallery

When we were children, before our brains developed, we could be easily delighted. Some scientist suspect that the ability to be fascinated with simple things diminishes with the development of the default mode network in the brain. Whether that’s the case or not, it does make me wonder what our developed brains cause us to overlook.

Back to Normal

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.

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Back to Normal
A fisherman along the gulf coast of Florida

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.

more from the gulf coast in the gallery

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.

Beach Battle

There is a barrier of dunes that run the length of Anna Maria Island. Plants grow in the dunes and as a result, protect it from the onslaught of the sea.

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Beach Battle
These dunes prevent erosion of Anna Maria Island

It’s incredible how nature comes up with devices to protect one thing from another. The forces of nature are regularly at war, and the results of the conflict create a boundary that, in this instance, we call a beach.

more from the beach gallery

Sometimes I like to get down into the trenches with the troops. In this case, I found a path through the dunes at Manatee Beach. People came to enjoy the sense of peace and tranquility. However, as summer approaches, it will invariably bring new storms that test the resolve of these little dunes. May they hold fast and secure.

Timeless Scene

In one sense, the scene of children on the beach is timeless, it could have been taken a hundred years ago. However, the landscape might have changed quite a bit.

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Timeless Scene
Lands End in San Francisco

Mechanically speaking, beaches are the act of erosion. The beach here probably looked quite different a hundred years ago. Because changes happen slowly, we don’t notice much of it. But take a picture of anything year after year, and we begin to see changes.

more from the monochrome gallery

With technology, and from this point forward, we are recording the transformation of our landscapes accurately. Assuming we’re around in a couple thousand years, we should have a high-resolution time-lapse recording of all the changes. That should be pretty awesome to watch because it will show the changes that span a human lifetime in just a few seconds. Then, maybe, we will have an appreciation for just how dynamic the changes on our planet really are.