Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why I Love Florida: Scenes from St. Petersburg Skyway Show Gulf Beauty

Vistas of the Gulf of Mexico seduce the traveler to pause at a rest area.

It's hard to believe that a busy six-lane Interstate highway is just a few hundred yards away.

Gnarled trees spread their branches across the path in a natural arch.

A weathered log creates an elegant pattern of lines and curves.

Local residents park pickup cars in the shade. Boat trailers wait for day trippers to return with coolers of fish. Kayakers paddle in after a full day on the water.

The wind was stronger than reported, the kayakers tell me, which made rowing more challenging.

The wide purity of the blue water gleaming in the sunlight.

Trees at water's edge create abstract designs with their branches. It is illegal to cut mangroves in many places, because they create valuable ecosystems for sea creatures.

Scrub pine wave their feathery branches against the blue background. Color and texture, broad vistas and intimate byways, create the endless appeal of natural South Florida.

Try as we might to pave over Paradise, small bits and and pieces survive to inspire and delight.

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