Florida Keys: Big Pine Key (MM 32-29)

Jan 5-10 2014  (Miss Zanzibar at Longwood, FL-Betty/Denny’s pad while John and Trish are in Marathon, FL)

Big Pine Key (MM 32-29) Be sure to stop at the Big Pine Chamber of Commerce (N end of Big Pine on the ocean side) first to get a map of where to go to find the Key Deer and Blue Hole. We also walked on the nature trails, but since it was about noon, no self respecting deer was going to be caught running around. There we saw Slash Pine, the only kind in the Keys and at the end of its range. At the Blue Hole, however, it was a very different story. Beware, the sign for Blue Hole is low and small; watch for Big Pine Road (on the right when going away from Hwy). You’ll see a small parking area to the left. Park there. Very short walk to the Blue Hole (former quarry, now a source of freshwater), under a beautiful canopy. We saw more wildlife here than anywhere else. Another note: there are 2 alligators. You’re likely to spot one as you stand at the observation post and look straight down or look for a nearby rock at the left. The one we saw was just below us then swam to that rock. Notice the turtle is starting to back into the water as the alligator approached. I learned that dragonflies eat mosquitoes. Can you find the Green Heron? As we were leaving, a man whispered there was a Key Deer to our right. Yes, we saw it!

Big Pine 1 Big Pine 2 Big Pine 3 Big Pine 4 Big PIne 5 Big Pine 6 Big PIne 7 Big Pine 8 Big Pine 9

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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