Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Village (Johns Pass) #AtoZChallenge #blogboost

Johns Pass Village is on Madeira Beach on the west coast of Florida, near St. Petersburg.

Created by a hurricane on September 27, 1848, it sits on a pass connecting the Gulf of Mexico with Boca Ciega Bay.  It's named after John Levique, a pirate, who is said to have been the first person through the pass after the hurricane.  It is a fishing village and a tourist attraction, and if you are after beautiful beach related scenery, you are in the right place.  It's child friendly, too.

Now that's a sunset.

Sitting on the dock of the pass, a bird watches the tide roll away.
It isn't all beauty.  Being a fisherperson is a dangerous job.  Some don't make it home.
And speaking of seagulls, I decided not to tempt them with an ice cream cone.

Seagulls or not, this village was a wonderful place for a New Yorker to visit in January.

Day 25 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost and "V" day on Blogging from #AtoZChallenge.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Unusual - #AtoZChallenge #blogboost

I've been saving up these pictures taken in Sanford, Florida to feature on my "U" post for the #AtoZChallenge.  But then, yesterday, nature presented me (in my upstate New York home) with a most unusual day.

Winter has hung on her for what seems like forever.   But today, the temperature got up to 73 degrees F (22.8 Celsius) which wouldn't be any big deal - except we got snow almost every day for the last two weeks.  Of course, it has all melted, and the spring flowers are finally popping!

Anyway, back to Sanford.  In January, waiting for the Auto Train to bring us back north, we took advantage of a free shuttle to go downtown and explore for a bit. 

One of the downtown buildings was covered in mosaic.

I can not identify the building I took these pictures of, but I wonder if this holds a clue.  "Mr. Imagination".  I did a Google search and I wonder if this artist may have been involved.

I would love to know the story of these mosaics in Sanford.
Does anyone know more about this outside art?  I'd love to know.

Day 24 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost and "U" Day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme - Florida Outside the Theme Parks

Monday, April 23, 2018

Treasure (Island) #blogboost #AtoZChallenge #Music Moves Me

No music today, just treasure and pirates and a little "T" music.

Treasure Island, Florida.

Treasure Island is on the west coast of Florida, near St. Petersburg and Madeira (called "Mad" by the locals) Beach.  Exploring Treasure Island involves a parking charge, but it is so worth it.

Trail sign.  It was wonderful walking on a beach in winter (picture taken in January).
Sand sculpture.

Treasure Island seabirds.  I could spend hours looking at birds and the tide going in and out.

The most beautiful "Don't Litter" sign I've ever seen.

And now (Ta-Da!) it is Time for Today's Music Moves Me.

Our Condustor of this Musical Train is XmasDolly and her Co-Conductors Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥  & Rockin’ conductor Cathy from Curious as a Cathy. 
The 4th 4Mer Callie, is on hiatus and we wish her well! Let's take a Musical Train today:

I'm not following the Theme today which I hope the 4M gang will excuse me for.

The first (above) is a song by a group called Thrice - Black Honey.  The video is pretty creepy but the lyrics are political, and you can take them for what you will.

The other song, in keeping with my theme of Treasure Island (and I hope you will excuse the profanity at the very beginning of the video) - Treasure, by Bruno Mars.

And guess what?  It is time for me to THANK YOU for your visits and comments.  That is what makes this Train run!

"T" day on the Blogging from #AtoZChallenge and day 23 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #Blogboost.  I hope you've been enjoying my theme "Florida Outside the Theme Parks".

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day 2018

I was finishing up high school when the first Earth Day was held in 1970.

I was young.  Idealistic.  Growing up in New York City, I saw what pollution could do firsthand, between November 23 and November 26, 1966, when New York City was blanketed in smog so brown and thick that you could not see across the street.

Some 185 people died, and it is estimated that 10% of New York City residents suffered some adverse health event from the smog.  My father and I were fortunate.

In my childhood, the snow would develop a black crust soon after it fell.  I never knew "clean" snow until I moved from the city.

Thanks in part to the 1966 Thanksgiving smog, the United States Congress passed the clean air act in 1967, with other legislation following.

Now, here we are in 2018, celebrating the 48th Earth Day, and climate change is upon us.  More frequent flooding, and increasingly harsh weather events plague us all over the world.

April 19, near Johnson City, New York
Parts of the United States are getting snow. We haven't gotten the huge accumulations but it snowed every day this week (except yesterday).
April 19, Binghamton, New York
We all know what is happening, whether or not we want to admit it.

Will we have the will to drop politics from the discussion, face what is happening, and take the actions we need to take?

Tomorrow - "T" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sanford, Spring and Snow #AtoZChallenge #Blogboost

Sanford, Florida.  It is a city in Central Florida  dating back into the 1830's.

Some may know it from trips to the Orlando, Florida area.

Sanford is the southern terminus of the Auto Train, the vehicle carrying train that is my ode of transportation every few years when my spouse and I travel from our home in upstate New York to Florida.

At one time, much of the celery grown in the United States came from the Sanford area.

We found this plaque in its Memorial Park explaining that, after the South lost the Civil War, people came down into Florida, including the Sanford area, to snap up land at bargain prices.

Most of the buildings downtown date from the 1920's.
When we first visited Sanford in August of 2006, we were not at all impressed.  But times have changed.  Many of Sanford's downtown treasures are being renovated.
Info on a downtown building

Sadly, Sanford also has quite a history of racism directed at African-Americans.  Even today, if you ask an American what they associate with Sanford, they may very well answer "the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin in 2012".  Unfortunately, this was far from the first racist incident in Sanford's history.  Even Jackie Robinson felt the sting of Sanford's racism.

Still, Sanford also offers people waiting for the Auto Train a free trolley that takes them from the train station to downtown - a downtown that becomes more and more attractive with each passing year.

Snow, April 19,near Johnson City, New York
Especially when those in the North encounter this weather on April 19, and dream of a Spring trip on the Auto Train to Sanford, where it is green.

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day - join me then - this snow photo will give you a hint of my theme tomorrow as I take a day off from Blogging from A to Z.

Day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost and "S" day on the Blogging from #AtoZChallenge.  My theme: "Florida Outside the Theme Parks".

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rhodesbilt Arcade #Blogboost #AtoZChallenge #SkywatchFriday

The Rhodesbilt Arcade, in Lake Wales, Florida, was built between 1924 and 1926, when Florida was experiencing a land boom.  The builder was one Jesse Rhodes, a real estate agent.  This building is on the National Historic Register.
The two sides of the building have totally different feels.  This is one side.

And the other.  What a beautiful blue sky contrasted against the building.
Let's go in and see what we can find.
We weren't able to get into all of the building, but the part we could access was beautiful inside.
It was January, but the small Christmas tree somehow seemed to belong.

Madeira Beach, Florida
And, just in case you were tired of sunsets - here's another Florida sunset for you.

Day 20 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

"R" day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge #AtoZChallenge

And finally, I join Yogi and other bloggers who watch the sky every Friday on #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quirky - #Blogboost #BloggingfromAtoZ

Mt. Dora (also see my "D" day post), Florida, has a well deserved reputation as being a quirky city - as in "sometimes eccentric", or "zany".  It's an artist colony, and it has its share of people who intended to just pass through, but never left.

And, anyway, I needed a post with a title beginning with "Q".

Here are some examples, which I offer in an affectionate spirit.

In Mt. Dora, people want other people to be happy.
It has its own polar bear, "Monty".

A local business has a bubble blowing machine, where children and adults gather to enjoy the bubbles (they are a bit hard to see in the photograph but the bubbles are there).
Mt. Dora's own space oddities.
Quirky and just a few miles from all those theme parks.

Day 19 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.
"Q" day for the Blogging from #AtoZChallenge - my theme, "Florida Outside the Theme Parks".