John & Anne Wiley

2013/07/30

Twins Flight

It’s fun to go thru pix from our Islander Adventure again, because each time I do it some different images and themes emerge. This time, skipping ahead several days from my last post, it was the flight from Charleston to St. Marys that stood out. In particular these three pix on the theme of twins. First this twin-engine Osprey that was waiting next to the runway as we flew over.

2592 Osprey Waiting

2592 Osprey Waiting

Tho we were fascinated with their airplane, they didn’t even glance up at Tripp. Probably too focused on their training mission from some nearby military base I guess. Fun to see this view of one poised for a leap into the air.

2610 Twin Survivors

2610 Twin Survivors

Out among miles of giant corporate farms, these two trees have somehow managed to survive from the days when a lonely farmer planted them for shade. Maybe the workers driving huge tractors still pull up there for lunch, and have quietly saved them from the plow for that purpose. Then a scene that to me matches this mood and takes it further while also matching the pic of another farm house that I posted last time from this flight, so I can stretch this one to be a twin for today’s theme.

2614 Remains of the Day

2614 Remains of the Day

You might not be able to tell from this small pic (click for larger), but this is all that remains of a farmer’s hand. It too has somehow survived abandoned along with a few trees, a patch of grass, and a few rows where someone apparently grows veggies next to where they park some equipment. Looking out across the expanse I wondered if there had once been dozens of little farms, each with a few buildings and many stories back to when tribes wandered here. So few lives are long remembered, and so many more are soon forgotten.

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2013/07/25

Coast To Hartwell

It’s a tiny bit like flying our Islander Adventure all over again, reviewing our pix in more detail. Some like this one just leap out to me, making it apparent why I chose to snap a particular view.

1662 Shadows & Light

1662 Shadows & Light

I love the interplay of shadows and light on water, sand and various sources of green with all softened by haze and the broken clouds above. Most of the Florida and Georgia coast looks like this area just north of St. Augustine, with an ancient yet forever renewed essence.

Soon we passed the Mayport Naval Base, where centuries of human effort have transformed soft curves into angular concrete asserting into the flow of wind and sand.

1667 Mayport Edges

1667 Mayport Edges

Two minutes later we’ve leaped millennia back to the yielding shore, shaped by powerful and inexorable forces in light unseen by human eye.

1671 Now & Then

1671 Now & Then

Soon after that, recent history is reflected in Fort Clinch where armies dwelt in relative peace as wars raged like the storms that have come and gone.

1674 Fort Clinch

1674 Fort Clinch

Many places on this coast have tidal marshes like this, and I seem to find endless fascination in shapes and colors that form the texture of this complex life form.

1687 Life Etching

1687 Life Etching

As shadows begin to lengthen we pass a fisherman’s lonely tree-sheltered outpost on a spit of land in this vast sea of grass.

1690 Sanctuary

1690 Sanctuary

There is to me a slow quiet captured in the boat tied to that dock near the point of a rusty metal roof in the wood. It whispers to me of other days when wind howled, hammering that home and testing the trees while waves chomped on the shore.

After this lazy flight along the edge of the Old South we at last reached the fading glow of Hartwell as sunset played on this small town story at the corner of Carter & Howell.

1729 Hartwell, GA

1729 Hartwell, GA

From the tall spire on an old church at the top this tale passes a proud City Hall, police and fire, to land on the low shape of McDonald’s that much of the town frequents these days as time marches on.

2013/07/23

To St. Augustine (2)

Flying from Titusville to stop again in wonderful St. Augustine, we got a different view than on our flight South toward Grand Bahama. The thin line of development along a swampy coast was familiar, but with different light going North.

1617 FL Coast

1617 FL Coast

We saw Daytona Beach from offshore this time, and got a glimpse of the colorful waterfront attractions there.

1632 Daytona Beach

1632 Daytona Beach

A bit further along was this “dolphin experience” with tanks that seem to have an ocean view. I wonder what it’s like for the dolphins to see the open sea so close.

1641 Dolphin View

1641 Dolphin View

Before long we were lining up to land at St. Augustine, and this time we got a great view of the fort and the tourist district we’d strolled.

1646 St. Augustine Fort

1646 St. Augustine Fort

We love to see the same place from ground and air, because it somehow stretches the imagination putting you in two places at once.

2013/07/21

Diz (2)

Somehow Summer sneaks up on you sometimes. Seems we’ve been very busy lately, and not posting new words & pix for you here. Well here’s more from our Islander Adventure, this time skipping ahead from our Keys flight until we flew over Disney World. Looking at the pix again, I became fascinated by the “backstage” areas. Take a look at this mountain ride, for example.

6203 Mountain Ride

6203 Mountain Ride

The construction area top-left is out of view to the ride and the walking mall along the water, as is the big building at the bottom and the road beyond. We’re told that these areas are called “backstage” by Diz, and only seen by the “cast members” (who include everyone from trash collectors to movie stars). Another place I saw this “hide” of the backstage from visitors was near our hotel.

6251 Hotel Hide

6251 Hotel Hide

Our room was at the top of this pic, across the lake. We walked along that wide promenade and across the bridge at the bottom of the pic. Just before the bridge we wondered how far the “forest” goes, at the bottom-center. From up here we could see that it’s pretty small, but more surprising to me is the road on the other (left) side. It cuts down into the ground to actually pass thru a tunnel beneath the “river” going to the left where the long boats are. We rode the boat once, but also walked to the left on this side of the bridge, and then across the next bridge in the pic below.

6248 Backstage

6248 Backstage

Never did we suspect that cars and buses were passing beneath us. Nor did we glimpse the large backstage areas clearly visible across the top and at the bottom-right. Somehow it reminds me of that old movie “Truman Show” where it feels like you’re in a large world, but are in fact wandering on a giant stage populated by actors. We watched the fireworks from that little island across the second bridge. We also walked further to the left into this next pic.

6267 Epcot

6267 Epcot

We explored many of the attractions there, including the Epcot dome I’ve wondered about for so long. It houses a ride that reminds me of the old Monsanto ride in L.A.’s Disneyland. It too seemed big (tho much smaller than I had imagined it), but is in fact part of a small world after all. Again, you can see some backstage areas across the bottom. This entire park is really fascinating, and quite an example of what disciplined creativity can accomplish by engaging our imagination. Maybe in some ways our American Life is a much larger and less refined version of this. As with many of my posts, you can see larger versions of these pix by clicking on them. Like me, you may find it interesting to examine details.

2013/07/13

Leaving the Keys (2)

OK, so speaking of the Florida Keys, after passing Key Largo and the quiet outskirts we saw many boaters enjoying the sparkling water.

1339 Happy Boaters

1339 Happy Boaters

Some of the happy people who live and play here might use boats more than cars.

1350 Beach Boating

1350 Beach Boating

Some of the houses that have apparently been destroyed by hurricanes have sturdy shells that still seem to provide some useful shelter.

1362 Stout Shell

1362 Stout Shell

The long causeway that connects the island chain is a lifeline, and in some places where it’s been upgraded they left portions of an earlier one in place.

1364 Old & New

1364 Old & New

Parts of those older portions are now quite useful for pedestrians and cyclists going between keys.

1390 Bike Freeway

1390 Bike Freeway

I’ve already shared some words & pix from the Keys trip, but here’s Key West where we turned around to head back up the chain for our landing at Marathon. It’s obviously a major cruise ship destination.

1429 Key West

1429 Key West

So skipping past more stuff you’ve already seen about the day, here’s another look at Miami where we passed much closer to downtown than on our way to the Keys.

1551 Miami

1551 Miami

I like the geometry of this perspective on the skyline, and how the water line is so integrated with the city (though I’m guessing hurricanes would be a big concern).

1552 Water World

1552 Water World

We passed near enough to a cruise ship that I could snap this zoom pic of a crowd enjoying some sort of show. Until looking at the full-size pic after the flight, I thought maybe it was the lifeboat orientation. Actually, maybe it was and they did it with a show rather than a lecture.

1559 Show or Drill?

1559 Show or Drill?

Having landed at Fort Lauderdale to clear customs when we came back from the Bahamas, it was interesting to fly nearly over it on our way to the day’s final destination.

1570 KFLL Airport

1570 KFLL Airport

We also got a good look at the city, though after all we’d seen on this day it didn’t seem an especially impressive place.

1574 Ft. Lauderdale

1574 Ft. Lauderdale

Now I haven’t mentioned it today, but I’d been watching the weather very closely after we passed Miami. There were several thunderstorms brewing from there to Lake Worth’s KLNA airport. Several times I very nearly diverted to other destinations, but could hear on the radio and see out the window that it was safe to at least go further to take a look and have ample alternatives well clear of the storms. So it was with considerable relief that we were able to stay far enough from those dark clouds in the distance.

6174 Approaching Storm

6174 Approaching Storm

As we touched down some lightning started in the distance, and after we firmly tied Tripp down in case of gusty winds later, it started to rain while we gathered and sorted luggage. Walking into the airport office we got a good bath at the end of quite a full day. 🙂

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