Category Archives: The Florida Keys

The island chain.

Aerials over Founder’s Park & Florida Bay

February 26, 2011, the venue, in the air over Founder’s Park, Islamorada, Florida—below, the famous Upper Keys Rotary Club Gigantic Nautical Flea Market. The pilot Brett Ekblom; the plane, a little yellow fabric Piper Cub; the gear, Canon EOS 7D, 28-135 IS lens, polarizing filter AND great weather. Founder’s Park is a short flight from Tavernaero grass strip, a few minutes even in the very slow Cub. We flew a few box patterns around the park shooting aerials of the crowds at the Gigantic Nautical Flea Market. As we turned to return to the grass strip Brett spotted a friend of his in his back country flats boat. He was out with his children for a fun day on Florida Bay. We dropped down, came along side and took a few passing shots returning a few minutes later to Tavernaero grass strip.

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“Wild” Formation Flight

Nest Key, Key Largo, Florida. During a short trip to the Florida Bay back country with friends of mine we came across a flock of white pelicans. Regardless of how we approached they always maintained their predetermined safe distance not allowing us to come too close. As we encroached on that imaginary boundary line, they took off into the wind and then began a gentle turn west circling to come back to where they had just lifted off from. Using a Canon EOS 7D with 28/135 IS lens at an ISO of 200,  continuous shooting (8 frames per second) and auto tracking turned on I captured the photos below.

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Caribbean Resort, Islamorada

One of the best kept secrets in Islamorada, sport fishing capital of the world, is a small hotel and vacation rental property called Caribbean Resort. I stopped in the other day to speak with the owner Phil Sena. After our conversation I walked around the property for a few minutes and created the images presented here.

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Key Largo Cobalt Blue & White Meets Art Deco

In this simple photograph of the canal side of a residence on Key Largo, Florida, the Cobalt Blue and stark White is transformed into the Art Deco look on the iPad.

Residential Cobalt Blue

Art Deco

Snowy Egret

In Islamorada, at mile marker 81.5 bay side is Islamorada Fish Company (IFC), a purveyor of fresh seafood.  IFC also supplies the fish and seafood delicacies for the Islamorada Fish Company restaurant and the Zane Grey Lounge on the second floor veranda overlooking Florida Bay. All three are part of the World Wide Sportsman complex in Islamorada. During a brief walk behind the fish market I spotted a Snowy Egret. The egret was quite comfortable posing, allowing me to get a little closer after each shot. At one point another photographer got too close and spooked the bird and the egret changed positions, but didn’t fly off to the backcountry. I continued shooting for a few minutes and ended up with the images seen below.

Cuban Treefrog

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Summerland Key

On a visit to a writer friend of mine on Summerland Key I stumbled across this 1973 boat house. Boat houses in the Florida Keys are not new but this design was interesting and a little different. Common boat houses are built over a cutout basin and contain some sort of lift inside. This cable lift was a geometric configuration built over the canal with an “I” beam used as the rail to move the hoisted boat to the boat house. Double doors on both ends of the boat house made it easy to move the boat once on a trailer out to the street. The “I” beam lift could also be used to move large fish boxes from the boat to a waiting trailer. The iced-down fish could then be driven to a local fish monger for sale.

Not too far away, just on the north side of US-1, at MM25, is The Wharf Restaurant and Bar, a great place for lunch. You can sit on the canal and watch the lobster boats coming and going as you enjoy your repast and the company of good friends. A fish “Po Boy”, coleslaw, veggie chips and club soda with lime is around $15.00.

New Administrative Building

The Islamorada Village of Islands Administrative Center Public Safety Headquarters 86800 Overseas Highway on Plantation Key is now operational. The 16,000 square foot three-story building is operations center for the Building Services department, Planning and Development Services department, Administrative and Finance departments, Village Clerk, Utilities, IT and Public Works departments on the second and thirds floors. The first floor has a two-bay fire station Islamorada Fire Rescue Station 21 and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office District 6 headquarters.