A Blustery Day at the Beach

The wind was blowing hard, and the waves were rumbling.

A blow-your-hat-off blustery day at the beach.

On Thursday night a front went through that lowered the temperature and humidity here in southern Florida. I sat on the lanai watching the lightening and listening to the thunder exploding and rumbling around us and felt cool rain, misted through the screens, fall on my warm skin. Jim joined me so we ooh-ed and wow-ed together, then laughed out loud.

The next morning Jim saw on the local news that the waves were 11 feet high at the pier but I had physical therapy so I couldn’t think about checking it out. That evening we went for supper at Alice Sweetwater (isn’t that a wonderful name for a pub/restaurant) and split a wonderful baked cod with crab stuffing. Our supper was so very enjoyable but I was also thinking about our plan to go to the beach to see if the waves were still high. High waves are a treat for me because the Gulf is generally calmer than the Atlantic coast on the other side of Florida.

We were over an hour early for sunset but the sun was low, sending rays down through the clouds, and down the beach to the right were some wind surfers taking advantage of the wind and waves.

Is that an urban skyline reflected on the beach? Naples doesn’t have building more than three stories high.

The Naples beach is a long, public beach with every east/west street ending at the beach with parking. Where we parked the beach was narrower than at other places and it was close to high tide. I had to point one eye down to make sure the surf didn’t come up over my shoes as I was keeping my other eye looking through the viewfinder. We have had a super tide (when high tide, a full moon, and extreme change in atmospheric pressure converge) and high tides due to hurricanes but I have never been on the beach when it was this high.

What fun to watch the waves reach out long onto the beach and then retreat, only to return to stretch even further, leaving behind white foam that would blow further inward toward the high side of the beach.

Is that snow I see?

This sand structure touches my personal story somehow, but I’m not sure how. If and when I figure it out I can use this as the lead photo for, as Paul Harvey used to say, “and that’s the rest of the story.”

Thank you, Amy, for this wonderful Lens-Artist Challenge: A Day of my Week. Check out her post for her beautiful images, links to other’s posts, and to participate yourself.

Art Show on the Beach

The beach beckons from the edge of the road.

When we drove over the Mighty Mac bridge into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we turned right onto highway U.S. 2 that goes along the southern part of the peninsula towards Wisconsin and beyond. The first 48 miles runs along the upper shore of Lake Michigan, with sandy beaches beaconing people to stop for some beach time. Looking south across Lake Michigan you can see Chicago – if you have really good vision (300 miles or so) or good imagination. Sorry but I didn’t have a long enough lens to see it in the photo above, but it would be to the right.

This is a two lane, heavily used stretch of road but there is enough of a shoulder on the south side of the road to pull over. In the summer months the cars are parked bumper to bumper and there are lots of people scattered along the beach. In September there were only a few vehicles and we pulled across both lanes to park the truck and camper.

The above photo looks west and the boulders were place there to protect against wave erosion that would quickly undercut the road. This is the Hiawatha National Lakeshore so it is protected but there is always a tension between protecting the environment and maintaining/building for infrastructure and commerce. In this case nature frequently wins as it blows sand and snow across the highway.

But I wasn’t thinking political on the beautiful day. I was seeing nature’s art everywhere I looked. Would you like a peek at the gallery? Click on a photo for a slide show with the title of each of Nature’s creations. I would also love to hear how you would title each one.

The gentle waves had built a little cliff face, and when I stepped down onto the wet sand and bent over I saw the delightful artistry of the water along that face.

I had so much fun just being alone with my camera on the beach. Looking and being in the moment and clicking my shutter when nature made itself known to me. As I left I turned and took another (several?) more photos of the beach before hopping into the truck and heading for Lake Superior.

Lens-Artist Photo #93: Morning

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Meeting the morning sun in my Michigan garden.

I have always loved mornings and this prompt of photographs that illuminate the meaning of morning was a wonderful opportunity to go through files to find the photos taken in the morning that elicit the newness I feel with each rising of the sun.

The calm and beautiful gentle color of an early morning on water – as I enjoy a mug of coffee.

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…and watching the sun shift its focus on a lily pond in southern Florida.

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Watching a Monarch gather morning nectar from a fall Autumn Joy sedum,

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and the freshness of morning surf meeting the long shadows of the morning sun on a Gulf of Mexico beach.

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You can participate by checking out this week’s challenge here.

Not So Silent Sunday: Breakfast on the Beach

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I went to the beach to take some early morning photographs on one of our last days in Florida before our snowbird flight north for the holidays. There are never many people walking the beach in November because the tourists haven’t arrived en mass yet.

As I walked over the short boardwalk to the beach, my eyes rested on a colorful umbrella and the stuff people take for a day on the beach. This was different, however, because it looked like a bar had been set up – a breakfast bar, sans food. I thought he was getting busted by the Beach Patrol, but no, they were just having a friendly chat.

I sat down by the water photographing the water birds eating their breakfast at low tide, and would occasionally glance over to the breakfast bar. People would stop to chat – obviously he was a regular, someone who lived in the neighborhood and is well known.

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Bloody Mary, anyone? No waiting in line at the bar.