Sunday, January 22, 2017

Evening Sky

I have made numerous images on Blue Cypress Lake of the cypress trees that grow in the lake.  It seems that each time I am out on the lake in my kayak I come across a new and interesting shape of a tree.  This past week I decided to take my kayak out at sunset and explore an area of the lake I haven't been to.  I have equipped my small kayak with an electric trolling motor so I can reduce the amount of paddling I need to do.  I was about five miles from where I launched my boat when I made this image.  After the sun had set I started making my way back knowing I had just enough time to get back before it was totally dark.  After about a mile my battery went dead for my electric motor and I ended up paddling my way back in the dark.  When I am on the lake I always see plenty of alligators swimming around me as I am taking photographs.  I must admit that it was a little spooky paddling in the dark knowing that the alligators are the most active at night.  This lake is uninhibited except for a small bait shop with a boat slip.  As I paddled along I kept searching for that one small light at the launch that would tell me where I need to cut back through the swamp to get back to where my truck was parked.  This lake is my favorite place to go.  It is full of wildlife and absent of people.  I enjoy the peaceful times when I am out there floating among the trees in my kayak.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Palm Hammock

I have been out this week exploring some new wilderness areas near me in Florida.  I visited the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve that is located in the middle of the state in central Florida.  I have been thinking of doing some night sky photography and this perserve is currently the only certified "dark sky" park in the state.  The park is large with nearly 54,000 acres, over a hundred miles of trails, and offers camping with hookup facilities.  It is a quiet park and primarily attracts those interested in nature and outdoor activities.  In the few hours I spent there I hiked on a few of the trails to get an idea of the lay of the land.  It is mostly open prairie with pockets of dense woodlots.  The above image was made in a palm hammock that was recently burned off in a control burn.  It was a sunny and breezy day and I was only able to make this image when a cloud blocked out the sun.  It was a surreal landscape of charred palm trees and brilliant greens from the new growth sprouting up.  I hung around for awhile hoping the clouds might increase to provide some soft light to do more photography, but it didn't work out.  I am glad I made the trip out to this preserve for a look around. I am certain I will return and experiment with some night sky photography in the future.