Here Comes the Sun-Dawn on the Florida Coast

    The horizon glows in pink dawn light over a rocky beach at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Florida.
    The horizon glows in pink dawn light over a rocky beach at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Florida.

    As promised in my “Light up the Sky” post a couple of weeks ago, here is the shot I got earlier that morning. This was taken six minutes before the other shot, just as the sun came over the horizon. The heavy cloud cover glowed with an intense pink hue that spread softly onto the clouds overhead. As the minutes passed, the sun climbed higher until it was able to spread the golden light behind the clouds as seen in the previous image. A half an hour later and the skies were grey. It is sunrises like this that keep you getting up at silly hours of the night!

    Click on the image to view a larger version in the galleries.

    Daybreak at the Slough-Everglades National Park Panorama

    The rising sun burns its way through the last of the fog hanging over a slough filled with red mangroves in Everglades National Park, Florida.
    The rising sun burns its way through the last of the fog hanging over a slough filled with red mangroves in Everglades National Park, Florida.

    This panoramic image was taken fifteen minutes after the image in my earlier Mangrove Morning post. In that amount of time, the sun rose through the fog and spread a warm glowing light over the slough. It was simply gorgeous. I moved around looking for some interesting compositions but what really caught my eye was how the sun appeared as a giant disk through the remaining fog. I decided what might capture the feeling of the morning best was to take a series of images and then combine them into a wide angle view of the entire slough. I look at the end result and feel like I am right back there standing in the water!

    Click on the image to view a larger version in the galleries.

    Morning Fury-Sunrise at Coral Cove State Park in Florida

    Waves crash into a rocky beach at sunrise in Coral Cove State Park, Florida.
    Waves crash into a rocky beach at sunrise in Coral Cove State Park, Florida.

    I made a couple of stops while travelling up the east coast of Florida on this last trip. I had done some research ahead of time and found a couple of locations that have rocky areas on the beaches. The first stop was at Coral Cove State Park outside of Jupiter. I checked out the park the afternoon before and got some ideas of which groups of rocks I (more…)

    Shroud of Stillness-Foggy Morning in Everglades National Park

    Scraggly bald cypress trees are just visible through a dense fog in Everglades National Park, Florida.
    Scraggly bald cypress trees are just visible through a dense fog in Everglades National Park, Florida.

    I had finished up taking my shot of sunrise at the red mangrove forest and had started heading back towards town when I drove into a bank of dense fog. Since the sun was shining brightly above the fog, everything glowed in bright diffused light. You could just make out shapes in the distance. I slowed down (good idea in fog!) and (more…)

    Light Up the Sky-Sunrise on the Florida Coast

    The rising sun illuminates the breaking cloud cover over a rocky beach in Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Florida.
    The rising sun illuminates the breaking cloud cover over a rocky beach in Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Florida.

    There are only a couple of locations along the east coast of Florida that you can find rocks along the beach. I know, what fun is it playing on a beach with rocks? If you don’t watch out, you could stub your toe! Well, for a killer composition in a photograph, you need something besides bare sand to provide an anchor in your composition and add (more…)

    Silent Stalker-Alligator in Big Cypress National Preserve

    An alligator glides along in the shadows in a canal along Turner River Road in the Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida.
    An alligator glides along in the shadows in a canal along Turner River Road in the Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida.

    It wouldn’t be a trip to Florida without a picture of an alligator! I spent a morning driving along the Turner River Road in Big Cypress National Preserve and was treated to an abundance of them. The canal runs right along the road and it seemed that anytime I stopped and stepped into the grass along the bank one would appear. They weren’t far away from me which made it easier to get closeup shots with my 500mm lens. The sun was to the east which put much of the canal in the shade allowing me to get a nice reflection of the gator and the foliage along the bank in the dark water.

    Click on the image to view a larger version in the galleries.

    Lone Sentinel-Mangrove at Sunset in Everglades National Park

    A lone mangrove tree stands silhouetted against the setting sun on a shallow rocky shoreline outside of Everglade City, Florida.
    A lone mangrove tree stands silhouetted against the setting sun on a shallow rocky shoreline outside of Everglade City, Florida.

    While planning my trip to Everglades National Park I had seen quite a few images from the Ten Thousand Islands area in the very northwest corner of the park so that was the first stop. I arrived in the small town of Everglades City early in the afternoon and after checking into a motel I went searching for a boat to get out among the islands (more…)

    Mangrove Morning-Sunrise in Everglades National Park

    The sun rises behind a layer of ground fog hanging over a slough filled with red mangroves in Everglades National Park, Florida.
    The sun rises behind a layer of ground fog hanging over a slough filled with red mangroves in Everglades National Park, Florida.

    When I first stepped into the marl around these mangroves, it reminded me of all the times I had slogged around the lakes in Iowa as I was growing up. It is a strange feeling. You think you are going to sink in up to your knees but instead you are standing in what seems like a shallow bowl with large chunks of cottage cheese. It is easier to move around in (more…)

    Silence Comes to the Slough-Sunset in Everglades National Park

    Sunset casts a warm glow over a slough filled with dwarf cypress trees in Everglades National Park, Florida.
    Sunset casts a warm glow over a slough filled with dwarf cypress trees in Everglades National Park, Florida.

    It has been almost two months since my last post, but I have an excuse. I just returned from a 7,000 mile, six and a half week driving trip from Colorado to and around Florida and back along the Gulf Coast stopping in Big Bend National Park and White Sands National Monument. Stuck in the middle of that was a trip down to the Caribbean island (more…)