In going through photos from this spring on my laptop, I realized I had several photo outings that never made it to the blog. So this is a sunset from Lake Apopka from early March, just before the corona craziness took over the US. The skies really lit up on this particular evening. We stayed well into the afterglow as the skies turned pink and purple and orange.
These photos were processed using my standard landscape photography workflow. I bracketed the exposures and then used Photomatix Pro to stitch them together using HDR. This brings out the full tonality of the image.
It really is a small world. Who would have thought that dust from the deserts of Africa regularly travels across the Atlantic Ocean to visit us here in Florida? This year’s Saharan dust cloud was exceptionally big. Back in late June, the news was full of the Saharan Dust Cloud and the beautiful sunsets that it can bring.
Rich and I headed up to Lake Apopka for some sunset photography during one of the peak days. The distinct haze that had continued for several days was more pronounced at sunset, where the golden glow of the sun cast an orange light on the dust.
We weren’t the only ones interested in sunset photos. Our usual spot was busier than usual as people milled about with cameras. Most were a little disappointed that we didn’t have more spectacular colors. But hey, how often do you get to photograph a bit of the Sahara Desert in your own backyard?
It felt amazing to sneak away to the beach this morning for a sunrise walk with the nesting sea turtles. The clouds on the horizon hinted of Hurricane Isaias lurking by the Bahamas, ready to visit Florida this weekend. But for a few quiet moments, we forgot about coronavirus and political craziness and hurricanes and said hello to an ancient species who was oblivious to all the human disruptions of 2020.
According to the UCF Turtle Research Group, it’s been a good year for nesting Loggerheads, who are reaching the end of their nesting season. This year is a low year for the Green turtles, who typically have high nest counts every other year. So we weren’t really expecting to see a mother turtle this morning, but we did. :)
I kept an eye out for vagrant birds blown north by the hurricane. It was probably a day too early for that. We did see this flock of White Ibises fly overhead.
We had a good walk on the beach before the sun finally made its appearance. It slipped out from under the horizon and bathed the beach in beautiful morning light. The waves tickled my toes and the Sanderlings darted at the shoreline, searching for tiny bugs for breakfast.
Even before Hurricane Isaias, the beach shows signs of being shaped by nature. The winds erode the sand, creating small “cliffs” between the waves and the dunes. We saw many false crawls from turtles who crawled up the beach only to hit the wall and turn around. Turtle eggs were exposed by the sand erosion. As we chucked at the thought of baby turtles throwing themselves down the “sand slide,” we realized that the weekend will be a tough one as the hurricane makes its way up Florida’s East Coast.
Rich left our initials in the sand before we headed back to reality, our own small tracks mixed with the tracks of the turtles. A fun end to a beautiful morning.