The Islands of the Forgotten Coast: St. George and St. Joseph's Peninsula

Before Daybreak, Symphony in Mauve ©Lynne Buchanan
Apalachicola is so breathtaking that it will take three blog posts to show just a fraction of the photographs I made.  This image was taken at the end of St. George Island  right before day break.  The sky started turning mauves and corals and I found this little inland lake where the tide had washed up on shore.  The colors of the sky were reflected perfectly and fog was rising off it.  There were even delicate plants growing in the middle.  It was so mysterious and beautiful it took my breath away.  The first images I made were too foggy, but then the lens cleared up and I got so excited.

Sudden Explosion of Color ©Lynne Buchanan
The funny thing was just after the predawn light in the first photo, the sky clouded over and I thought it was going to be a bust.  A bright red ball appeared for a second, but the rest of the sky was rather nondescript so when I looked through the lens it was boring.  I was about to turn around and walk away, but I decided to wait a second and then this happened.  Suddenly all the dark clouds parted and the yellow of the sun peaked through near the horizon to turn the sky peaches and deep reds that were so intense they reflected clear across the water.  I hoped it was a metaphor for my life.  Though often I am very positive, sometimes darkness enters into my world.  Things don't go as planned and I even consider giving up on my path.  Then, at the darkest hour, the light miraculous appears again. 

The vegetation at the end of the island has such interesting textures and colors and it is possible to walk closer to them because they are so close to the shore and not protected like the other areas of the island, though of course I would never tread near any of these beautiful plants.

Dune Vegetation, St. George Island ©Lynne Buchanan

St. George Island Clouds in the Morning Light  ©Lynne Buchanan

When the sun was all the way up, the lake I photographed in the first image reflected the clouds in the sky.  This image was made with a slo mo Singh Ray filter to smooth out the rough water and show the fluid movement of the clouds entering in the scene.

Sea Oats, St. George Island ©Lynne Buchanan

St. George Shoreline with Clouds ©Lynne Buchanan

It was hard to leave this idyllic spot, especially since there are no beaches near Gainesville.  Everywhere I looked, land and sky came together in intriguing compositions and the pristine beauty shone forth.

Pine Forest, St. George Island ©Lynne Buchanan

Pine Foret and Dunes ©St. George Island
Finally, I did manage to tear myself away, but not before stopping at the boardwalk to the pine forest.  The verdancy of these trees is just as impressive as the emerald green waters, and the stands of long leaf pines, home of the red-cockaded woodpecker, look so stately and gracious.  I look forward to spending much more time in this hidden treasure of Florida. Once you have been here, it is impossible to forget the forgotten coast.