Welcome to my Web Site and this Blog section.  I will be posting photo's and other information occasionally.  I appreciate your visit to the site and welcome your comments.  John

Visiting Placida,FL A painting and photo experience

November 15, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The Peace River Plein Air painters meet every Monday morning at various interesting locations around the area.  This week it was Placida, a well known local destination by the Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande.  The grounds house a marina, restaurant, several art galleries and a fishery with  picturesque views of the sound.

The artists set up all over the area to paint their impressions of the colorful seaside buildings, boats both sea worthy and not, and sea scenes.  You can purchase paintings right off the easel.

Barbara Archer Baldwin's pastel is below.  Contact Barbara at [email protected] if you would like to purchase it, or any other of her wonderful art.


I usually go along  so I can get some photography practice and once in a while, I get a saleable one.  Today, I was delighted to see lots of pelicans on the sound.

This is usually not surprising as Pelicans are here year round, however these are White Pelicans!  It is my first opportunity to photograph them close up. 

If you walk past the restaurant and through the outside eating area, there is a long pier that extends into the shallow water.  It is the best viewing area for all of the sea scenes and particularly the bird life.

The marina has a number of slips and you can tie up to the pier if you are just eating at the restaurant.

A partially submerged shrimp boat makes for a good painting or photo subject.

A young Osprey watches the action.  It was there the entire time I was taking photos and did not budge at all. I guess you can tell from the photos so far that it was overcast most of the morning.  The distant light was bright so I had some difficulty with the back lighting.  Thank you PhotoShop for editing tools that allow adjustment of the shots.

At first the pelicans stayed far out and I had to use the 240mm lens to even get close, but after about 30 minutes, they drifted in towards the pier and I was able to get much better photos.  Photographing wildlife takes lots of patience.  But nature often rewards if you wait long enough.  Also, I took 177 photo's to get just a few really good ones, so if you go out, don't be hesitant to take lots of shots.  You can sort through them later for "gems".

Unlike brown pelicans, these did not feed by diving into the water, they just drifted along and occasionally would dip their heads and come up with a fish.  It is interesting that the pouch is translucent and the fish's silhouette is visible through the membrane.

Mostly they swam in groups but occasionally one would be separated by itself.  The bird above came into a shaded area and gave me several poses below.  I am so lucky to have had this chance to get this close to them.

This one above is my favorite.  Reprints of any of these photos can be arranged by contacting me on email at [email protected] or by just leaving a comment on this web site.  I will respond quickly.


Notice the color of the beak is more rosy on top and goldish below.  Beautiful birds.

One final note about 2 trees that grow in the middle of the art galleries.  They are "Gumba Limbo" trees I am told.  Photos below.


Peace River Seafood Restaurant

November 08, 2016  •  1 Comment

The Peace River Plein Air Painting group was invited to visit this unique restaurant and since Barbara Archer Baldwin is a member of that group, I took this opportunity to get some photos of this old and interesting landmark.  The Manager, Larry Corbin said the site was once a nursery and that many of the plantings and trees had remained form that time.  The buildings have been re-purposed into the restaurant and the rooms are decorated with colorful old Florida sea life, plus lots of dollar bills from the hundreds of customers over the years.

Mexican Petunia's at the entrance way.

A white Bird of Paradise is in full bloom.

A large pond makes an early morning reflection but the resident alligator didn't show!

They have a large outdoor covered patio for comfortable dining.

This cell tower is actually on the property behind the restaurant, but the Eagle and Crows gave us a show this morning.  I used my super telephoto lens to get this far away shot.  I can't believe workers climb up there to service the many modules attached at the top!



The Seafood is fresh,  There is evidence of lots of fishing equipment around.

 Today's catch is Mullet that are being prepared for smoking.

A most interesting tree is the Sausage Tree from Africa that actually has long hanging blossoms and big heavy fruit shaped like...well sausages.

We offer our Thank You to Larry and his staff for making our visit a pleasant and productive one.  We will be back to taste some of that fresh seafood and to enjoy this unique Florida Treasure.  Best Regards,  John and Barbara Baldwin




Tropical Storm Hermine

September 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Barbara and I usually walk along the boardwalk at Caspersen Beach in Venice in the early mornings.  It is so peaceful and calm, but occasionally we get a blow and the surf yields some great photo opportunities.

The Boulders on the beach have been there for ever (probably the corp of engineers did it decades  ago) and they seem to hold back the ever encroaching Gulf of Mexico, though lately we have lost quite a bit of shoreline sand.  The chaos of the water motion makes for an interesting photo.

Some of the stairways have been blocked off due to water damage.  The boards were rebuilt just a couple of years ago.

I like to get close ups of moving surf over the rocks and on the sand.  The shapes of the foam, spray and sand are forever unique.

I like the natural frame of the beach grass and palm fronds of this scene.

Pelicans are a common site and make a good silhouette in front of the iridescent clouds.

By far the best shot of the day was the very last one.  I wanted to get the right composition of a curling wave into rocks with foam on the beach and I think I got it.

So, we didn't get much walking in, but had a lot of fun with the scenery. 

Like what you see?  Contact John at [email protected] for reprints or framed PHOTO-ART using any of these images.




Nellie's Notecards Store Opening

August 31, 2016  •  1 Comment

A new card and gift store has opened in Bird Bay Plaza that features the art work of local artists and photographers.  A selection of each artists work is available for purchase or for reprinting on cards and other media.

Just select the ones you want and Michele Lamond will fill your print order.  Michele is an accomplished business woman with tons of experience in the printing business.  She has been printing my art work for several years along with many of the other artists who are highlighted on her walls.

A "soft" opening for the artists featured lots of sweets and we had a chance to wish her the best of good fortune moving forward.

The name "Nellies Notecards and Wilson's Whimsies originates from her late pets shown in many photos displayed in the store.

A large variety of print media at reasonable prices is available for "on demand" purchase.

Tervis Tumbler samples of art work from Barbara and John Baldwin are shown below.

A small meeting room is also available for use, see Michele for details.

One of her first customers is also a contributing artist.  She is printing and selling cards and other media featuring  Mah jongg images. 

Interested?  Bird Bay Plaza is located just north of Venice Florida, or on the web at

Like these photos??  Contact John E Baldwin at [email protected] for photographic services.


Rose Heart Inn B&B

August 25, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

WOW  Built in the late 1860's, this Victorian 3 story B&B is the pride of Mt. Gilead, Ohio.  Situated just 40 miles north of Columbus, it is also conveniently located within easy reach of Marion, Galion and Mansfield.

It is loaded with period furniture and very spacious with comfortable sitting areas both inside and out.

A pleasant gazebo overlooks the putting green and back yard shaded areas.

Bedrooms are very large and beautifully decorated.  All have large en suite baths with jacuzzi style tubs.


There are 5 suites in total,  All similarly appointed.

The staircase area also is another location of restful reading.

The flooring is all period solid oak inlaid parquet and adds so much charm to this home.

Breakfast is prepared in a state of the art kitchen by Cindy and Scott

I might add that juice, soft drinks and coffee are available 24/7.  The dining room is a very pleasant place to share breakfast with other guests as well.

I highly recommend The Rose Heart Inn.  Check out their web site at




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