Friday, August 29, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Getting in late this Friday due to being busy and forgetting to save a post ahead of time on Thurdsay... but it did allow me to post a "fresh" photo from earlier this evening of a Florida thunderstorm building around 40 miles to the west - note the anvil head just above where the sun is located. We just saw on the news that this particular line of storms had produced over 1,500 lightning strikes in just the past couple of hours.

Visit the Skywatch link blog to see what else strikes everyone's fancy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spitting Fountain... and Guitar Music?

A fountain next to the St. Augustine Visitors Center which pays homage to the original fountain of the same design in St. Augustine's sister city in Spain, Aviles, which was home to Pedro Menendez, who founded St. Augustine in 1565.
Incidentally, Aviles is located in the region of Spain known as Asturias, which is also the name of my favorite guitar piece (though it was originally for solo piano, not guitar, it fits the guitar perfectly and is almost exclusively performed on guitar these days):

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "F" is for Fountain

ABC Wednesday this week: "F" is for Fountain.

This fountain is located in the parking lot of an upscale strip mall (is that an oxymoron?) here in town.

Yes, it is a topless mermaid on top... I have no idea why... I also was forbidden to photograph it from the front by my wife - she said I couldn't post naked stone mermaid breasts on my blog, haha.

Visit the ABC Wednesday 3 link blog to find out what everyone else is exposing this week (yes, that is a double entendre - exposing as in the topless mermaid and also exposing as in photographs...)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pine down

Just a couple of shots of a pine tree that was knocked over by the winds during Fay - just one of many. Driving around town it is easy to pick out downed trees every few blocks (or less).

For those of you not familiar with tropical systems, the biggest threat for trees isn't so much the strong winds themselves, but the fact that there is so much rain in a short period that the ground around the roots gets saturated and when you combine that with wind, it is easy to just tip the trees over at the roots - they don't so much as snap in half as just topple over like bowling pins (though there are certainly weaker branches that snap off of trees).

Saturday, August 23, 2008


No, not Venice... the street in front of our house just after the main part of Tropical Storm Fay finally edged its way west of us yesterday afternoon. It was about knee deep down that street most of the day (I know because there were a few crazies out walking or biking in it...)

Thankfully our storm drains did their job and within an hour or two most of it was drained and gone.

No damage to report for us - just lots of leaves down in our yard - the roof and cars are covered. We did see quite a few branches and some trees downed in the neighborhood, and some areas nearby are flooded - it happens when you get over 12 inches of rain in a short period of time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Any watching of the skies this Friday (ok, technically Thurdsay) involves strong winds, blowing rain, and leaves falling from trees, all thanks to Tropical Storm Fay, which has been dumping copious amounts of rain on Florida since Monday and seems intent to try and flood as much of the state as possible by the end of the weekend.

I used a long shutter speed in these shots to try and capture some of the wind blown effect in the trees - with the glare and brightness I suppose I realy need a ND4 or ND8 filter to do it justice, the polarizer isn't quite enough. (Yes, it is fairly bright outside - one of the funny things about tropical storms: lots of wind and rain, but not always very dark.)
Visit the Skywatch blog for other posts that hopefully have more sun and less rain. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


At least I think they are Caladium... someone with a green thumb can feel free to correct me if they are not. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "E" is for EPCOT

This go around "E" is for EPCOT - one of the four parks in Walt Disney World and home of the well known geodesic sphere - or the "Big Golf Ball", as some call it.

EPCOT began life as Walt Disney's vision for an "Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow" - it was to be a city of the future. It quickly became an amusement park instead. EPCOT first opened on October 1, 1982 and saw just under 11 million visitors in 2007, making it the 3rd most visited park in the US and the 6th most visited park in the world. (You can find more history and details here.)

Visit for the AWCOT (ABC Wednesday Community of Today).

Incidentally, Tropical Storm/Hurricane Fay is projected to hit our area late tomorrow and into Thursday, and while it won't be very strong and probably won't cause much damage, it is possible that we will lose power or internet access, etc. and that might prevent me from visiting or commenting on my blogs this week. I'll at least take pictures. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Golf Course View

A view from the tee of the 15th hole at Osprey Cove - tee shot over the marsh, large pine tree in the middle of the fairway, marsh all the way down the right... great hole.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I got to spend much of Friday playing in a golf tournament held at a beautiful course in south Georgia called Osprey Cove, which is situated right along the marshes that border the St. Marys River. Five of the holes are right on the marsh, providing spectacular views. Not much definition in the sky since it was just a hot, hazy August day - typically lacking in blue sky but abounding in heat and humidity. :)

The bluffs visible way out there are known as Reids Bluffs and are actually in Florida on the south bank of the St. Marys River just over two miles away. Those bluffs rise to a height of 56 feet above sea level, which is no small feat considering they are only 10 miles inland from the Atlantic ocean and most of coastal Florida is pretty flat. (For the record, the highest point in Florida is 345 ft above sealevel, in the panhandle just by the Alabama boarder - a "mountain" known as Britton Hill.)

For a great closeup view of the bluff you can visit the main page of this website, home of the Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists. (The things you can't find on the Intergoogle...)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Sometimes Sky Watching will result in unusual sights, such as tennis shoes laced together and tossed in the air to hang over a power line. It is actually not that uncommon in our city for neighborhoods that have hanging power lines still (many of the newer subdivisions have underground wires so it is a non-issue). Do kids do this where you live?

Visit the Sky Watch blog for links to see what else is hanging around this week.

(Also, apologies for not getting around to comment on ABC Wednesday posts - storms knocked out our internet and I couldn't get around for them.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "D" is for Ducks in Duckweed

What's happier than a pig in slop? A duck in duckweed, of course!

Swim on over to and see what you can skim off the top. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Twisted Old Tree

When they were designing the course for the Slammer & Squire they left this old, twisted tree in place and made it part of the hole - you have to setup your shots to hit around it or it will be in the way.

Monday, August 11, 2008

World Golf Village Tower: Part Deux

A few more views of the tower at the World Golf Village, this time from out on the course of the Slammer & Squire, which begins and ends both nines right next to it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

World Golf Village Tower

The iconic tower at the center of the World Golf Village - the golf museum and IMAX theater are in the main building below it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Golf Cart Bridge

A bridge for golf carts over a pond at the Slammer & Squire golf course at the World Golf Village near St. Augustine, FL.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Some sunset photos from earlier this week taken on our little Nikon Coolpix while enjoying a walk around a big park nearby:

Visit the Skywatch blog at for all the participants and have fun!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Nice Shot

A well struck 9 iron left about 10 feet left of the pin... maybe the best shot I hit in our company golf scramble last weekend - not bad since I hadn't played in 51 weeks. Sad. :(
I need a cheaper hobby, lol

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "C" is for Cannon

We bring out the heavy guns for ABC Wednesday this week, becuase "C" is for Cannon.

Cannon is derived from the Old Italian word cannone, meaning large tube, which came from Latin canna, in turn originating from the kanna—Greek for cane, or reed—and ultimately deriving from the Akkadian term qanu, meaning tube or reed.[1][2][3] The word has been used to refer to a gun since 1326 in Italy, and 1418 in England. Cannon serves both as the singular and plural of the noun, although the plural cannons is also correct.[1]

The first documented battlefield use of gunpowder artillery took place on January 28, 1132, when Song General Han Shizhong used huochong to capture a city in Fujian. The first known illustration of a cannon is dated to 1326. The Chinese also mounted over 3,000 cast bronze and iron cannon on the Great Wall of China, to defend themselves from the Mongols.

And as a musician I must also throw in the following:

Cannon have sometimes been used in classical pieces with a military theme. Giuseppe Sarti is believed to be the first composer to orchestrate real cannons in a musical work. His Te Deum celebrates the Russian victory at Ochakov (1789) with the firing of a real cannon and the use of fireworks, to heighten the martial effect of the music.

One of the best known examples of such a piece is another Russian work, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.[120] The overture is properly performed using an artillery section together with the orchestra, resulting in noise levels requiring musicians to wear ear protection.[121] The cannon fire simulates Russian artillery bombardments of the Battle of Borodino, a critical battle in Napoleon's invasion of Russia, whose defeat the piece celebrates.[121] When the overture was first performed, the cannon were fired by an electric current triggered by the conductor.[122] However, the overture was not recorded with real cannon fire until Mercury Records and conductor Antal Doráti's 1958 recording of the Minnesota Orchestra.[123] Cannon fire is also frequently used annually in presentations of the 1812 on the American Independence Day, a tradition started by Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops in 1974.[124][121]

Head on over to visit any of the following for ABC Wednesday fun: