November... that's a pretty thin theme to hold together this random-seeming collection of mostly not-fall-like photos - all shot in November. I suppose that is my point though: wherever I go in our beautiful state, my eye feasts on photo compositions in the flora and fauna, the panorama and close-up. For that, I am deeply grateful. So from me to you this Thanksgiving month, a taste of November photos, many of which may never have otherwise found a spot at this blog. (Ironically, the one non-November image is the Tom Turkey above - I threw him in simply as iconic Thanksgiving eye-candy.) All shots were made in Florida - from the Keys to the Panhandle.
Alligator Hide. A marvel of nature. A good size fellow, and perhaps I'm closer than I should be? (Not. I'm careful and respectful.)
Alum Bluff Sunset. The mighty Apalachicola River. After sunset, it was a very dark hike out through the ravines of the Garden of Eden Trail, but so worth it.
Asteroid Landing. Actually, I'm gliding in my kayak on the black waters of the Suwannee River toward one of its spectacular limerock walls.
Battle-scarred Sentinel. In the realm of the gnomes and goblins. Light-painting from Jonathan Spring on the Santa Fe River.
Salute to the Sunrise. An oldie-goldie from St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
Dark Scare...er, Stare. A most startling thing to find in one's weak flashlight beam on a sleepy-headed late-foggy-night camping pee break. That's the nightmare conjured up for me by this photo. But actually, it's an-accidentally-under-exposed shot of a Florida Panther at Gatorama in midday.
Dead Lakes Moonrise. Afloat in his boat just after sunset, John and I took in the grand beauty of this magical place and the rising moon.
Eel Grass Abstract. The red tannic waters flowing over shallow white sand of the Aucilla River with the vibrant tendrils of eel grass flattened by the current, blend with the blue-sky reflections on the deeper water's surface... or... simply, an abstract of nature.
Floral Ether. An Angel's Trumpet in our backyard gently swaying in the breeze during a long exposure.
Foam Feather. I looked down from a culvert at St Marks to see the roiling waters squeezing into the pipe, leaving this lovely trail of foam.
Green Heron Strike. Clever opportunist, the small heron uses a low-hanging dock line to fish for the unsuspecting minnows around the shrimp boat (reflected).
Head On. What a surprise to look over a small footbridge on a St Marks trail and see this sleeping giant a few feet beneath me.
Life Anew. Fakahatchee Strand hides some marvelous Guzmania swamps. Slogging through the knee-deep water, photo ops beckoned everywhere. Here, a deadfall becomes a perch for the abundant bromeliads.
Magical Moonlight Paddle. As the ghost of a big ol' gator rises out of the mangrove tunnel on the Turner River (Everglades) at midnight, my paddle became a jet as I skedaddled, leaving only a trail of light. Well, something like that. John and I did spend 6 hours late at night in chest-deep alligator-infested waters to make this light-painted photo. Actually, it took two nights. (First try was a failure.)
Mystic Spring Dawn. Another light-painted all-night collaboration John and I made at a lovely little spring on the Chipola River. No alligators here, but that little fish in the small lit window was a lucky cherry-on-top.
Palm Leaf Study. From a majestic South Florida exotic called a Silver Palm.
Pines in the Mist Inversion. Early morning mist lends a painterly filter for landscapes, especially reflected ones.
Reddish Egret. This handsome bird showed off its graceful fishing dance for me and my lens before flying up to a nearby perch to pose for its portrait. That was a lucky day at St. Marks.
Reflections on the Suwannee - Panorama. Here's the big picture view of one of those gorgeous Suwannee limerock banks (seen close-up in Asteroid Landing above).
Solo Mangrove. Waded in treacherously deep mud from my jonboat near sunset to this unusual isolated flat-topped mangrove in the Florida Keys. We hurried back at the boat ramp but arrived too late... it had been locked up minutes before. A long story I won't go into here, but all worth the photo.
Twisted Cypress. Kayaking along a tributary of the Apalachicola River one fall evening, I found rich beauty in the color-changing cypress trees.
Under the Rainbow Eye. Reflection, refraction, and intense back-lighting created magic in a small sinkhole in Apalachicola National Forest. Here, a swamped lilypad cups a smear of cypress oil rainbow.
Z Tree. This dwarf cypress is an icon in Everglades National Park. But finding it in the pre-dawn darkness took the intimate knowledge of local master nature photographer Paul Marcellini. As the light came up on the soft river of grass, I found a small slot of water where the Z was mirrored.
For those of you who don't already know, you can follow me (or friend me) at Facebook where I publish several of my nature photos each week (and steer clear of politics). And recently I have opened an Instagram account and am posting photos there as well. Hope you have/had a Thanksgiving filled with family/friends, gratitude, and an open heart - and a refreshing reprieve from the troubled world.