When the school year ends and the repetitive nature of teaching has sizzled one's mind, the only way I can recover from this mental beating is to shut down for a stretch. We pack up our family and head the 1300 miles, due south, to Matlacha, Florida to visit my folks. It is here that I begin the two week search for mindlessness. I just want simple pleasures intermixed with total relaxation. There is one main problem to this plan that I attempt to implement each summer, natural beauty.
The gulf coast of Florida is a spectacularly beautiful place. If you really want time away from art and true time void of thought in Southwest Florida, you should forget your camera. I spend 14 days each summer snapping hundreds of photographs (new digital technology allows us to delete about 80% of the pictures taken cause they just plain stink! no developing cost either!!!!!) Anywho, I spend the 2 weeks mentally cropping, checking lighting, choosing better angles and changing lenses (sometimes just in case something happens). The beauty in and around Matlacha refuses to let you relax completely. You gotta shoot!!!!
The wildlife watches you as well.
The weather comes up quick and usually with equal severity. As your field of vision is more than half made up by the enormous sky, it takes on an extraordinary feel....one finds himself looking up often.
Not even the grand entrance of my daughter can scare off a creature overrun by the prospect of an easy meal.
Though sometimes as vicious as the daily summer thunderstorms, the wildlife of Florida retains its beauty as well.