St. Petersberg, Florida

St. Petersberg is a combination of resort town ambiance, commerce with big buildings and some funky art.  It is the home of seven museums, including the Salvador Dali Museum housing the largest collection of Dali's art outside of Europe and the Chihuly glass collection. It is a place of endless sunshine and and sailboats.

Tourism is an important economic driver for the city as it hosts more than 10 million people each year.

Tourism is an important economic driver for the city as it hosts more than 10 million people each year.

Architecture reflects an earlier moneyed era.

Architecture reflects an earlier moneyed era.

Bicycles are found everywhere, both for riding and as art.

Bicycles are found everywhere, both for riding and as art.

Just down the street from the yarn shop one can find lovely cafes that serve outside.

Just down the street from the yarn shop one can find lovely cafes that serve outside.

Lots of interesting characters who are not shy about having their photograph taken.

Lots of interesting characters who are not shy about having their photograph taken.

Street art is in abundance all over the downtown area.

Street art is in abundance all over the downtown area.

We had read that there were lots of murals 'in an alley' but it did not specify which alley.  We looked for quite a while and found the area serendipitously when we stopped at Mirror Lake.

We had read that there were lots of murals 'in an alley' but it did not specify which alley.  We looked for quite a while and found the area serendipitously when we stopped at Mirror Lake.

Mirror Lake is right in the middle of St. Petersberg.  I had imagined some reflections of tall buildings.  Instead, we found a peaceful and uncrowded place to relax while Tom toured the Dali Museum.

Mirror Lake is right in the middle of St. Petersberg.  I had imagined some reflections of tall buildings.  Instead, we found a peaceful and uncrowded place to relax while Tom toured the Dali Museum.

A local Mirror Lake resident.

A local Mirror Lake resident.

A pied-billed grebe.

A pied-billed grebe.

These ducklings must have been just a day or two old. 

These ducklings must have been just a day or two old. 

The mom and dad were busy finding small items to feed their new ducklings.

The mom and dad were busy finding small items to feed their new ducklings.

More bicycles!

More bicycles!

On the grounds of the Dali Museum.

On the grounds of the Dali Museum.

We kept driving over the Sunshine Bridge.  It became a major focus of photographic planning!!  More on that next time.

We kept driving over the Sunshine Bridge.  It became a major focus of photographic planning!!  More on that next time.

Dead Lake and Apalachicola

As we drove from Panama City Beach to Panacea, FL. over yet another bridge we glanced down to see a most remarkable lake scene.  There was no place to pull over, especially with two motor homes.  So, we just chalked it up to a 'missed opportunity'.  But, the next day we decided to drive back in our TOAD and took the photographs we really wanted.

Dead Lake covers 6,700 acres (approximately 80 square miles) on the Chipola River near Wewahitchka, FL.

Dead Lake covers 6,700 acres (approximately 80 square miles) on the Chipola River near Wewahitchka, FL.

There are several theories about how these cypress trees died.  This is a low lying area and probably the most favored theory as that when the Chipola and Apalachicola Rivers joined the Apalachicola River brought in a lot of sand and killed the cypress.  A dam was built in 1960 and removed in 1987.  The dam may have also contributed to the trees' demise.

There are several theories about how these cypress trees died.  This is a low lying area and probably the most favored theory as that when the Chipola and Apalachicola Rivers joined the Apalachicola River brought in a lot of sand and killed the cypress.  A dam was built in 1960 and removed in 1987.  The dam may have also contributed to the trees' demise.

The area is purported to be home to herons, aligators, racoons, snakes and more.  We did not see any of those animals but beaver activity is clearly evident.

The area is purported to be home to herons, aligators, racoons, snakes and more.  We did not see any of those animals but beaver activity is clearly evident.

The White Tupelo tree grows along the wet banks of Dead Lake and is the source of world famous White Tupelo Honey.  We were a bit late to see any of the trees in full bloom.

The White Tupelo tree grows along the wet banks of Dead Lake and is the source of world famous White Tupelo Honey.  We were a bit late to see any of the trees in full bloom.

After taking all the time that a long drive merits, we decided to head back to Panacea where we were camped and stop in Apalachicola for lunch.

After taking all the time that a long drive merits, we decided to head back to Panacea where we were camped and stop in Apalachicola for lunch.

I did not miss the reference to oysters!!

I did not miss the reference to oysters!!

Apalachicola is both a fishing town and a tourist attraction.

Apalachicola is both a fishing town and a tourist attraction.

We sure are seeing a lot of photo opportunities these days!

We sure are seeing a lot of photo opportunities these days!

One has to smile as the pelicans take off or land.  They are not the most graceful!

One has to smile as the pelicans take off or land.  They are not the most graceful!

Stare down!

Stare down!

For Greg and Ann.  Thought of you and smiled when I looked up and spotted this item.

For Greg and Ann.  Thought of you and smiled when I looked up and spotted this item.

For Kati and Cory.  Had so many friends on my mind during our stroll.  Barbara would have loved the store fronts.  Rick would have been all over the birds.  Phyllis, Jon, Karen . . . well all of you would have loved this walk.

For Kati and Cory.  Had so many friends on my mind during our stroll.  Barbara would have loved the store fronts.  Rick would have been all over the birds.  Phyllis, Jon, Karen . . . well all of you would have loved this walk.

Finally, we drove to St. George's Island.  Isolated and with good reason on this day.  We were under a tornado, severe thunderstorm watch.  It was very windy and cold.  But, this would be an incredible photo opportunity in better light.

Finally, we drove to St. George's Island.  Isolated and with good reason on this day.  We were under a tornado, severe thunderstorm watch.  It was very windy and cold.  But, this would be an incredible photo opportunity in better light.

Panama City Beach

There were several reasons to camp near Panama City Beach.  One, of course, was the opportunity to photograph a beach known for its white sand and gorgeous ocean.  The second was to give Tom a chance to meet up with friends he has treasured for decades that live in the area.  While Tom shared stories with friends, Steve and I looked for some good items to photograph.  I was not counting on just how crowded Panama City Beach would be.  It is very much a popular tourist town!!  Steve commented that it could just as well be Rocky Point!

We arrived early so not too many people had gathered on the pier.  The blue line you see on the left side is actually a metal 'sidewalk' that allows people in wheel chairs to get down to the beach.  It is also very nice for the rest of us as it makes it easy to walk in the sand.

We arrived early so not too many people had gathered on the pier.  The blue line you see on the left side is actually a metal 'sidewalk' that allows people in wheel chairs to get down to the beach.  It is also very nice for the rest of us as it makes it easy to walk in the sand.

It would not stay this empty for long.

It would not stay this empty for long.

Soon the pier was turned into a fishing festival.  Some folks were managing up to four and five fishing poles.  Small pup tents were set up for shade and for the kids.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Soon the pier was turned into a fishing festival.  Some folks were managing up to four and five fishing poles.  Small pup tents were set up for shade and for the kids.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

These three girls were such fun to watch.  They really wanted to be surprised by the waves reaching them but could not stand the suspense and kept peeking back.  They were having a really good time.

These three girls were such fun to watch.  They really wanted to be surprised by the waves reaching them but could not stand the suspense and kept peeking back.  They were having a really good time.

Taken from the County Pier looking westward.

Taken from the County Pier looking westward.

Another shot from the pier.

Another shot from the pier.

Looking eastward from the pier.

Looking eastward from the pier.

Apparently the beach chairs stay on the beach.  We were there early and only a few of them had been claimed.  You may notice that the skies look a bit threatening.

Apparently the beach chairs stay on the beach.  We were there early and only a few of them had been claimed.  You may notice that the skies look a bit threatening.

There were small fish that could be seen from the pier.

There were small fish that could be seen from the pier.

Where there are fish there will be birds.

Where there are fish there will be birds.

Wow!

Wow!

Success!

Success!

OK, Steve, you can stop showing off now!!  I tried and tried and tried.  No photographs like these!

OK, Steve, you can stop showing off now!!  I tried and tried and tried.  No photographs like these!

The one that got away (upper left).

The one that got away (upper left).

By golly!  Is that green belly a reflection off the green ocean?

By golly!  Is that green belly a reflection off the green ocean?

I love photographing the underside of piers.  I was disappointed to find that this was a three 'legged' pier.  No matter how you choose to photograph it one of the legs will appear 'discombobulated'.

I love photographing the underside of piers.  I was disappointed to find that this was a three 'legged' pier.  No matter how you choose to photograph it one of the legs will appear 'discombobulated'.

When Tom finished up with his friends he called to see where we were.  We were already on our way back home.  He went on to a different area called St. Andrew's State Park.  Before arriving at the beach he drove by a swampy area.  By now the weather was threatening and the good light was gone.

When Tom finished up with his friends he called to see where we were.  We were already on our way back home.  He went on to a different area called St. Andrew's State Park.  Before arriving at the beach he drove by a swampy area.  By now the weather was threatening and the good light was gone.

Snakes?  Gaters? 

Snakes?  Gaters? 

Ummmmm.  No comment!

Ummmmm.  No comment!

I like piers.  Tom likes waves.  These would be so much better with some sun on them to show off the green color.

I like piers.  Tom likes waves.  These would be so much better with some sun on them to show off the green color.

Beach die-hards!

Beach die-hards!