Sunday morning

It’s Sunday morning and I thought this was a good image to post before I run out to cantor at two consecutive masses this morning.  The Cathedral of St Augustine is full of stained glass but I really liked this one window which had sunlight streaming in through it.  The little streaks of color were dancing around in the cove of this window and made it fantastically beautiful.

Pray for me, that my voice doesn’t give out and I will pray for you for a great week to come.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
St. Augustine, Florida
Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
16mm @ f8 –  1/125 sec – ISO 800

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Wishing I was back at the beach

This week has been a real challenge weather-wise.  It has been too cold and too dreary for me.  I know, there are other places that got snowed in and where it is really very cold but I was so ready for spring and summer weather that this is just not fair.

It’s only been a couple of weeks since we traveled down to St Augustine but I’m definitely wishing for this kind of morning over what I see out my window.  Gotta say, watching the sun rise over the waves at the beach would sure be nice right now!

St Augustine sunrise at the beach
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
70mm @ f8 –  1/250 sec – ISO 400

I can always hope for a rainbow

As is true of most of the Eastern United States right now, the weather has turned cold and ugly.  I was really ready for warm weather and it was looking like we were headed that way and now this.  Oh well, maybe it’s like the weather we had on our trip to St Augustine.  Even on the days that looked bleakest, you could find good things like this rainbow.

I know the weather will turn back quickly and it won’t be too long before I’m complaining that it is too hot.  Hopefully, I will be able to get beyond the things that seem bad and will be able to find the bright spots wherever they may be.  So, even though it is still technically winter, I guess I need to just keep my sweaters ready to go and try not to freeze when I venture out this morning.

Hope your day is bright and sunny or at least that you can think sunny thoughts!

Rainbow at St Augustine Beach
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
86mm @ f9 –  1/250 sec – ISO 400

Gold doubloons

The Pirate Museum in St Augustine has a second focus which is Treasure.  Though the main draw is the swashbuckling adventures of the pirates, there is much history and many artifacts centered around the booty they sought to claim on the high seas.  This image features some of the recovered coin of the day.

It is very interesting to read and view the stories that they have about how much treasure was pirated and how many shipwrecks occurred in the waters off of Florida.  I’m sure there is still a lot of gold, silver and other precious materials laying along the reefs and on the ocean floor in those waters.  That’s part of the allure that draws so many to view the treasures collected here.  Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
110mm @ f8 –  1/500 sec – ISO 2500

Khanjarli Dagger

This dagger is one of the most interesting artifacts on display in the new Red Sea Pirates exhibit at the Pirate & Treasure Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.  The 17th century Kahnjarli Dagger is from a shipwreck discovered by noted archivist Dr. John De Bry, director of the non-profit Center for Historical Archaeology in Melbourne, Florida.

This exhibit features artifacts and history related to pirates such as Captian Kidd who traveled the “Pirate Round” from the West Indies around Africa into the Red Sea. Most active from the early 1690’s to 1700, pirates risked the journey around the Cape of Good Hope to the Indian Ocean, attacking ships loaded with exotic products of India.

St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
22mm @ f8 –  1/25 sec – ISO 2500

Medici Lion of St Augustine

One of the most famous landmarks in St Augustine, Florida is the Bridge of Lions which connects downtown to Anastasia Island where we stayed on our visit.  The bridge spans the Intercoastal Waterway and  Matanzas Bay and is part of the A-1-A highway along Florida’s east coast.

Known as “The Most Beautiful Bridge in Dixie”, the structure was completed in 1927.  The marble lions, a copy of the ancient design which graced the Villa de Medici in Rome, were gifts of  Dr. Andrew Anderson (1839–1924), the builder of the Markland House, who spent the last decade of his life putting works of art in public places in the Ancient City.

The Bridge of Lions – St Augustine, Florida
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
70mm @ f8 –  1/800 sec – ISO 200

St Augustine brick streets

Some of the streets of St Augustine’s historic downtown are paved with brick as shown in this image.  As locals will tell you, it is BRICK – not cobblestone!   This is actually an interesting piece of the local history.

The coastal area of Florida where St Augustine is located, does not have much stone available to build with so, flagstones and cobblestones are not found here.  Many of the surviving historic buildings are constructed of a material known as “Coquina” which is sedimentary rock composed mainly of shells but this is not what was used for the streets.

In the early days of the city, the builders used cypress logs to line the streets and make them more durable but those tended to get washed away when floods came.  In the late 19th and early 20th century, the city began using bricks to pave the streets.  Many of the brick streets have since been paved over with asphalt but some are still visible and the city is making efforts to restore and repair them where possible.

The bricks seen here are marked Reynolds Block and were made by the Tennessee Paving Brick Company of Robbins, Tennessee (later sold to the Southern Clay Manufacturing Company).  This company made bricks from 1888 to 1939 and they grace the streets of a number of historic cities like Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Petersburg, Florida as well as St. Augustine.  Along with Tennesee Paving and Southern Clay, Graves Birmingham also provided bricks for St Augustine’s streets.

It is wonderful to notice the historic details of a place even if it is just under your feet!

Reynolds Block brick streets – St Augustine, Florida
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
16mm @ f8 –  1/250 sec – ISO 400