John E Baldwin: Blog https://johnebaldwin.com/blog en-us (C) John E Baldwin [email protected] (John E Baldwin) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:10:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:10:00 GMT https://johnebaldwin.com/img/s/v-12/u435430135-o240258011-50.jpg John E Baldwin: Blog https://johnebaldwin.com/blog 90 120 Visiting Placida,FL A painting and photo experience https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/11/visiting-placida-fl-a-painting-and-photo-experience 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.

 

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/11/visiting-placida-fl-a-painting-and-photo-experience Tue, 15 Nov 2016 19:46:52 GMT
Peace River Seafood Restaurant https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/11/peace-river-seafood-restaurant

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


 

 

 

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/11/peace-river-seafood-restaurant Tue, 08 Nov 2016 12:44:44 GMT
Tropical Storm Hermine https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/9/troopical-storm-hermine 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.

 

 

 

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/9/troopical-storm-hermine Thu, 01 Sep 2016 21:57:00 GMT
Nellie's Notecards Store Opening https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/nellies-notecards-store-opening 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 NelliesNotecards.com

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

 

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/nellies-notecards-store-opening Wed, 31 Aug 2016 14:38:29 GMT
Rose Heart Inn B&B https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/rose-heart-inn-b-b 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 www.theroseheartinn.com

 

 

 

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/rose-heart-inn-b-b Fri, 26 Aug 2016 01:52:14 GMT
Tree Tops, Paul Bunyan, Beach Fun https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/tree-tops-the-harbor-and-some-beach-fun The Grandkids were promised a visit to Paul Bunyan's Mysterious Trees, highlighted by a gondola ride to the top of the hill through the tall trees.  We had a foggy start but once inland the sun gave us some nice views.  Paul has a voice!!!  He is a carved wooden statue maybe 50 ft. high.  Also there is Babe, his Ox standing close by...maybe 20ft high.  Some employee gets to talk to the visitors as if he were "Paul".  They liked climbing on his feet.

It's about 1/2 mile walk to the base of the gondola ride, so we hoofed it past the wedding tree cluster and the grandfather tree (photo) to the cable cars.  Without a size reference, it is difficult to judge the size  of these monsters.   This on was over 15ft. across.  

The gondola ride is short unless you are climbing below it!  At the top lies a large deck area for view of the surrounding area.  Very nice.

We saw a few more big trees and by now they were beginning to look alike.  Regardless, each time we "walked with the giants", we felt a sense of power and energy as if among good friends.  An awesome experience.

 

The morning fog yields some interesting scenes.  We stumbled on a restaurant named The Chart Room at the harbor and we all enjoyed the sights including sea lions and diving pelicans while having some of the best bacon, thick and crunchy!  The kids ate waffles and pancakes.

A final afternoon on the beach, plenty to do despite the foggy day...Cart Wheels for Jonathan and sliding into the 3rd base by Michael.  

The beach is littered with huge chunks of wood.  Makes for some good photos.

One last thought about this trip...It is a long way to go...SW Florida to NW California but we combined it with family fun and it gave us a chance to really get to know the grandkids.  We do not get to see them very often and they grow and change so rapidly.  Also, John and Noreen from Hawaii met us in San Francisco for the weekend and it just made the trip so worthwhile.  And, everyone got home safely!  

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/tree-tops-the-harbor-and-some-beach-fun Wed, 17 Aug 2016 17:22:04 GMT
The Stout Redwood Grove https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/the-stout-redwood-grove Up early and on our way to the visitor center where we got the low down on the what and where in the parks,  There are State Parks as well as the National Park system and all is free to the public.  Road signs are plentiful and we found it very easy to get to the sites. 

The Stout Grove is a short drive and we were into the perimeter woods in just 15 minutes.  Not much sun gets through this canopy so you are immersed immediately in the woodsy atmosphere.

We just stopped the truck and all got out to get a better view and take a few pics.  It is about another 4 miles to the older larger trees.  There is a bigger parking area at Stout that has a 1/2 mile walking loop that is flat and an easy walk.  The trees are breath taking.  Words cannot describe the feeling one gets when at the foot of these giants. The average age is 500-700 years old going up to 1500 YO for a few of the largest ones. 

Barbara, Christopher, Michael and Jonathan posing for me.

It is said that much of the northern part of North America was covered with Redwoods at one time.  We were thinking about the forest floor being composed of the remains of these giants from millions of years in the past.

The next photos show the relative size of the trees.  The floor of the forest is mostly ferns and free of scrub, vines etc.    By the way, I used a 15mm lens with a full frame digital Sony a7R for these photos.  It is the only way to capture the full height of these scenes.  I also used HDR to help deal with backlighting.  Otherwise the foreground shadows would have been too dark to see details.

Most trees have a vertical heavily grooved bark however this one pictured below was an odd one with an unusual pattern.

All this and 4 hours disappeared in a minute.  After lunch in town, back to the beach for some photo experimentation and to top it all off, Christopher, Michael and I went for a late night photo session with the heavens captured in red.  One heck of a nice day for all.

Thanks for viewing Day 2.  Prints and Giclee's of any of these photos are available by contacting John at [email protected]

 

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) redwood stout grove https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/the-stout-redwood-grove Sun, 14 Aug 2016 18:07:23 GMT
Crescent City CA Part I https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/crescent-city-ca-part-i When Barb and I were planning this short trip, we wanted to be as close to Redwood National Park as possible and Crescent City was that town, just in the center of the two main forest areas.  We used Air B&B, a web based service to get a rental (nice small home just few few minutes walk from the beach) at a very reasonable price. Arriving late in the afternoon, we were greeted with a gorgeous sunset and surprised by the beauty of the shore line.

We had loaded up on food from Cosco in Eureka (just an hour south) and after a quick  bite huffed it down to the beach for some fun and sights.

You can notice the sun is casting long shadows, nice for Barbara's upcoming paintings.

Christopher and his 2 sons, Michael and Jonathan climbed down the 50 or so steps and were climbing rocks until dark.  Me....I was getting positioned for some good sunset photos.  Barbara was just absorbing the beauty of it all.   This young girl is doing what most of us would like to be doing....sucking up the energy from this scene.

 

 

Below are some additional photos from our first night in Crescent City....Tomorrow on to the Stout Grove in the Redwoods.

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) crescent city sunset https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/crescent-city-ca-part-i Sat, 13 Aug 2016 20:27:24 GMT
San Francisco Coastal and Zoo https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/san-francisco-coastal-and-zoo COASTAL SCENES

We just had a few hours to take a ride down the coast with family, and stopped at a restaurant overlooking the Ocean.  Lots of Whales about 1/2 mile out to see, but too far to get any photos.  Nice views though.  Nothing beats a Guiness with these views.

 

SAN FRANCISCO ZOO

 

All of the "kids" loved the natural settings of the zoo.  It ws just the right size to consume a few hours without getting bored or tired.  Below are some of the animals of interest. 

ONE OF THE LOCAL PENGUINS

Sea OtterSea Otter

 

THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN THROUGH THE CHAIN LINK FENCE AND HE WANDERED AWAY JUST AFTERWARDS.

King of the JungleKing of the Jungle

 

IN THE AVIARY THIS CUCKOO WAS POSING FOR ME.

Gira Cuckoo (S. America)Gira Cuckoo (S. America)

 

 

THE RHINO JUST WALKED OVER TO THE MIDDLE OF THE AREA AND FOUND THIS SMALL MOUND OF DIRT.  IT GENTLY RESTED ITS CHIN AND I SNAPPED THE PHOTO.  WE SAW PARK MEDICAL PEOPLE CARING FOR OTHER RHINOS THAT HAD MINOR INJURIES.  MOSTLY FROM BUTTING ROCKS ETC.

Black RhinoBlack Rhino

i CALL THIS ONE "KINKY HAIR DAY"!  AN EMU POSING FOR GLAMOUR SHOTS.

Kinky Hair DayKinky Hair Day

ONE FEELS FOR THESE ANIMALS BECAUSE THEY ARE CONFINED, HOWEVER WITHOUT ZOOS, THEY WOULD PERISH IN THE WILD.  MANY ARE RESCUED AND OTHERS BORN IN ZOOS SO ARE NOT LIKELY TO FEND WELL IN THE WILD.  THIS GRIZZLY SEEMS BORED WITH IT ALL!

GrizzlyGrizzly

 

PEACOCKS HAVE THE RUN OF THE ZOO AND ARE SEEN EVERYWHERE. PeacockPeacock

 

 

THE HIPPO GAVE US THE BEST SHOW OF THE DAY, TRYING TO CHOMP ON THE BALL.  IT ALSO DID UNDERWATER ACROBATICS (ROLLING OVER) AND JUST WAS HAVING A GREAT TIME PLEASING THE CROWD. Open WideOpen Wide

 

TWO WHITE PELICANS IN A SEA OF DUCK WEED MAKES FOR A NEAT PHOTO,

White PelicansWhite Pelicans

OF COURSE ALL ZOOS HAVE FLAMINGOS, THIS ONE HAS KNEE PADS AND FEET TO MATCH AS IF IT WAS GOING FOR A JOG.

Ready for a run?Ready for a run?

WATCH FOR MORE PHOTOS OF OUR TRIP IN NW CALIFORNIA COMING SOON.

 

 

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/8/san-francisco-coastal-and-zoo Mon, 08 Aug 2016 17:10:58 GMT
WAVE ACTION https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/7/wave-action WAVE ACTIONWAVE ACTION

During the most recent Gulf of Mexico storm, I was able to get positioned beneath the Venice Fishing pier to get this and other photos.  See one entitled "Shimmering" where I applied special effects to the Gulf waters.

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[email protected] (John E Baldwin) Gulf of Mexico storm venice fishing pier https://johnebaldwin.com/blog/2016/7/wave-action Thu, 21 Jul 2016 17:21:23 GMT