Like a good postcard, this one is arriving to you after I made it home. Joe and I spent the past week in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where we plan to retire in the near future. We purchased a small home there almost 20 years ago. In fact, we made one payment and a low pressure system became Hurricane Andrew. We also removed all of the shade trees and replaced them with palms. Since then, the house has been rented and we return several times a year to do yard work. Yard work? That’s a vacation? For us – and probably for most gardeners who have little patience for winter’s dreariness – this is a vacation: the chance to feel the sun, to play in the dirt, and to see all shades of green.
There was some extra fun this time in Florida since I had the chance to play with my Christmas gift, a Canon SX40HS digital camera. Armed with my new toy, I found every excuse under the Florida sun to snap some garden and vacation photos. Would you expect anything different from a boy and his new gadget?
Greeting us at the house was nature's very own holiday decoration, the red seeds of the Adonidia Palm (Veitchia merrillii).
The rusty -- and furry -- sheath of the Teddy Bear Palm (Dypsis lastellianna).
What looks like a moonscape is really the trunk of the Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis).
The flowers of the Hurricane Palm (Dictyosperma album).
What a lovely bunch of coconuts, courtesy of Cocos nucifera.
I used a color-enhancing filter to capture the trunk of the Sabal Palm (Sabal palmetto).
The silver foliage and reddish brown flower spikes of the Bismarck Palm (Bismarckia nobilis).
The magenta blooms of Bougainvillea -- beware of the thorns!
And now for the quirky vacation photos — nothing of Joe and I in bathing suits at the beach. I promise.
The new camera has the ability to substitute colors. I replaced all of the greens with the magenta of the Bougainvillea.
There is nothing real about this Christmas tree in West Palm -- it's all artificial. I used another of the built-in filters that allows me to take night shots without a tripod.
It wouldn't be Christmas without a model train display. We found this one at the Aventura Mall.
There was a holiday concert in the bandshell of Trainland.
And a barbecue.
And a snowy problem.
And a sense of humor.
- The money shot. This is one of the first photos I took with the new camera, trying out the different built-in filters to capture the sunrise. As I tested the filter normally used for low-light, I accidentally photographed a bird in flight.
Wishing all of you a Happy and Healthy and Blooming New Year!