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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Days 3 and 4, Fort Myers Beach

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Yet again, so many fun things done, no time to post. Here's a smattering of images from the last two days:

We went jetskiing to see dolphins. This is part of the group at a point where we stopped and saw dolphins swimming right up to and around our boats. Jetskiing is an amazingly exhilarating activity, flying across the water at speeds up to 45 miles and hour, bouncing on the waves like you were on a bucking bronco...Shayna even said it was like being on a horse...but oh so much faster! No way to take photos with all the spray at those speeds.

Scene from the pier at Fort Myers Beach.

Snowy Egret in the breeze.

City scene, Fort Myers Beach.

City center, Fort Myers Beach.

Street scene, Fort Myers Beach.

On the deck of the Caribbean Pearl restaurant.

Sunset and palm trees...this is what it's all about.

Red ibises in a tree.

Great blue heron in flight.

Great egret.

Osprey on a perch.  

Mama osprey guarding her young.

Osprey with fish for lunch.



Pelican with fish scraps for lunch.

Shayna with her day-glo green bike. We were on bikes more than in the car because of the massive single file line of cars that for at least a mile, sometimes 2 or 3 miles, creep into the downtown of Fort Myers Beach. It was a great way to get around, and we even rode bikes on the beach.

Biking on the beach, among the driftwood and dead trees.

This is the feeling of exhuberance one feels in the warm late afternoon on a beach in Florida.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 2 in Florida

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The day began with a disappointment: no jetskiing with the dolphins today. Too windy and cold. Had to reschedule for Friday. But still, the crisp, clean morning air with clear blue skies beats winter in DC every time. Above, we had a gorgeous sunset at Lover's Key State Park. That's Shayna in the shadows.

We had our beach bikes again and rode around the beach houses this morning before stopping for coffee and breakfast at the local hangout. Here's Shayna with her fat tired bike:
The beaches are wonderful, with loads of shells and shorebirds. Here are some of the smaller birds, sanderlings, in flight and running on the beach at low tide:

Here are some up close:

A piping plover, shell in beak:

  Shayna was enjoying the evening at the beach as much as me. Exploring the beaches for shells, wildlife, including live sea creatures was interesting to say the least. Here, finding baby conchs: 

Finally, some evening shots of my best model, on the beach:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fort Myers Beach, Florida Getaway

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Down on the Southwest Florida Coast at the Flamingo Inn, above, on Fort Myers Beach, Florida. A little getaway with Shayna. Shayna insisted on this car, a Dodge Charger. Looks nice. She can't wait to drive. Here she is with "her" car.

It was quite bumpy on the flight down from DC, and the storms continued as we arrived on the beach. Here's the scene this afternoon from the back of our digs -- Shayna arriving on the beach,
followed by a colorful lonely kite on a stormy beach.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

At the Cajun Week Music Camp in Elkins, West Virgina

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Above is a a scene of the view from Davis Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia. So here I found myself with Carole at Cajun Music Camp, at the Augusta Heritage Days in the mountains of West Virginia at David and Elkins College, where I took beginner Cajun fiddle lessons  and Carole took guitar and voice.

This was my instructor, Al Berard, a wonderful, warm and very talented guy,  and a well known  guitarist and fiddler in the Cajun community. 

Every day there were concerts by the instructors, some of whom are quite famous. Here on the left is Bill Kirchen, originally of Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, and the writer of the song "Hot Rod Lincoln and listen to him here:

Here we are in the Ice House, a multi-story former ice storage building with three floors for dancing and partying. This is a self-portrait of the both of us with the camera resting on a table.

Megan was a student in my class on a scholarship. The Augusta Days Festival   provides tuition scholarships for aspiring students that need funding. She was  an extremely versatile scholarship student studying fiddle with me in my class with Al Berard. Here she is playing the contra bass. 

Scene on the dance from in the Pavillion where we had nightly dances to Cajun, Country and Zydeco music. You can hear and see a sample of Cajun Music here, from an event at Glen Echo: Below, the Dance Pavilion at Cajun Week in Elkins, WV.

This dapper gentleman was looking down on the Ice House Dance.

Dance scene with Zydeco dance band Gerald Delafose and friends.

Hallehurst, a grand old buildiing where my classes were helding in the "Parlor".

A portrait of me Carole shot.


Jamming with accordian legend Walter Mouton, left, and friends, including fellow students Ashby and Christopher.

Carole eating homemade gumbo at Fais DoDo, a Cajun dance party.

Here we are at Fais Dodo. Photo by Christopher King.

 Cajun Dance at the Pavilion. We had dances just about every night with the top musicians at the camp: Walter Mouton, Al Berard, Courtney Granger, Ed  Poullard, Blake Miller, Jason Frey, Randy Vidrine, and friends. Great music to dance to.

Carole spotted one of these owls swooping  down right in front of us, then fly back up to his perch on the wire. Not exactly sharp  but acceptable enough to see their faces.

At one of the daily performances, we saw Kathy Fahey with her shadow puppet show and a "cranky". This was a form of entertainment in the 19th ? century whereby a story is drawn on fabric and then "cranked" along as the narrator tells the story.

This is the Graceland Inn [not to be confused with Graceland, Elvis' home in Tennessee], where we stayed for the week. A historic mansion converted to an inn with a magnificent view of the mountains.