Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Floating in the air was the unmistakable scent of meat sizzling on hot grills.
Sounds of music blended in with the drone of hundreds of finger-licken' barbeque enthusiasts attending the fifth annual BBQ Cook-Off on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.
While others were captivated by the cuisine, 2 year-old Lennox Briant was drawn to something different; the water fountain on Main Street. As columns of bubbling water burst into the air Lennox erupted in smiles and laughter. In a short time the foamy water receded, and so did the laughter.
The smile turned into a look of inquisitive wonder as the dancing liquid disappeared beneath the surface. In moments the flow of water and laughter again burst forth bringing another smile to the young girl's face.
The cycle was repeated over and over until the irresistible lure of the barbeque drew her dad, and Lennox, into the nearby crowd.
Posted by Grant Jefferies at 9:57 AM
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
As I was stopped at a traffic light I peered through the windshield and noticed I was not alone. On the other side of the glass a strange shape caught my keen eye as I gazed at a massive form approaching my personal space. It was some weird fellow contorting himself into strange shapes while holding a square black object that made clicking sounds.
Leaping lizards, it's a blasted camera!
In my little brain I knew this guy was not normal. Doesn't he realize that the nearby motorists are staring at him?
So before my temper escalates into road rage I am going to scurry on and catch a more peaceful ride, maybe that school bus over there. I always did like yellow!
Posted by Grant Jefferies at 3:11 PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The panorama before me was quickly changing as a large mass of black floated effortlessly overhead.
The leading edge of the approaching thunderstorm seemed to be moving faster than I was driving as I crossed the Manatee River into Palmetto.
The wall of dark forms came to life as it flowed westerly, dwarfing the Manatee County skyline. Now it seemed to be moving even faster as I quickly targeted a parking space and a location to shoot from.
The wind and I both picked up our pace as we raced toward the docks of Regatta Pointe Marina. Within minutes, and several frames of the camera, the rolling mass drifted past bearing down on Tampa Bay.
A gray defused mist of heavy rain was now on the eastern horizon ready to take its place, my signal to move on.
Posted by Grant Jefferies at 1:52 PM
Monday, July 15, 2013
It is always nice to have a companion along to share a nice walk in one of our beautiful preserves. But on this warm sunny day I was alone shooting an assignment at Emerson Point Preserve.
As the narrow dirt trail meandered through the trees, a lone gull appeared before me. My new feathered friend walked only several feet in front of me for quite a while until stopping to let me pass.
After completing my assignment I returned by the same trail only to find my trusting trail guide waiting where I left him. So as before, his little feet began to churn and off we went in the other direction. After a while he let me pass.
I thanked him for his company and proceeded down the rest of the trail. I do not know why the gull did not take flight or if the gull really cared if I was there or not, but for me it was a bright moment in a long day.
After all, why fly when you can walk.
Posted by Grant Jefferies at 4:45 PM
Monday, July 8, 2013
Everywhere you looked along the Bradenton Riverwalk this Fourth of July, people seemed to be enjoying the display of fireworks launching over the Manatee river.
Thousands lined the nooks and crannies throughout the park: parents with kids in tow, friends gathered with friends, and even a fair share of house pets including dozens of tail-wagging dogs and at least two iguanas.
And though it was certainly a fabulous display of explosions and light, it was also a breathtaking display of civic pride and participation.
Here were people from all walks of life, gathered together in celebration.
The Riverwalk is just one example of civic enhancements happening on both sides of the river. And if last Thursday was any indication, it's a good time to live in Manatee County.
~ Paul Videla
Posted by Paul Gonzalez Videla at 1:55 PM
Monday, June 17, 2013
Last week, as throngs of well-wishers showed up to watch Sarasota aerialist Nik Wallenda practice at Nathan Benderson Park for his planned high-wire crossing June 23 of the Grand Canyon, a popular saying kept coming to mind.
"If you build it they will come."
Here were the signs of no less than three spectacles unfolding against the horizon:
• A man on a wire, continuing a family legacy of showmanship, and hoping to realize the successful completion of a death-defying dream;
• A framework of massive cranes and steel girders angling out over what will soon become a much-anticipated shopping mall and engine for economic growth; and
• An artificial island, snuggled up next to a brand-new roadway and network of bridges that will lay the groundwork for another economic boom dream based around the sport of rowing.
It makes one appreciate the power of visionary ideas to shape and conquer the landscape around us whether itís the Grand Canyon or a prime stretch of real estate by the highway. Even the smallest of dreams can turn big, especially when you have the support of a community behind you.
Posted by Paul Gonzalez Videla at 3:33 PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
|photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie|
Welcome to hurricane season.
Or, as I like to think of it: the time of year you need a backup plan for outdoor activities.
You want to go fishing but a storm is moving in?
That's probably when it occurs to you your propane tanks are empty, you have two bottles of water in your cooler from the last time you went fishing, and your canned goods consist of dusty tins of pumpkin and evaporated milk left over from Thanksgiving.
As I came across Jay and Karen Campbell Thursday with their doggy, Widget, Tropical Storm Andrea was cruising away from the area and they were using the window of good weather to re-stock the supplies on the boat where they live.
It's here, people. Hurricane season. Get supplies, make sure you have a plan, get your papers in order and stock up on doggy treats.
Then go fishing while the sun is shining.
Posted by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie at 2:13 PM