St. Augustine

Unfortunately we got to the town center after 5PM so we did not have much light time to take photos of the buildings, also there were so many people around that getting a shot was a challege. This is clearly a tourist area with lots of shops and restaurants and bars in these old buildings.

The 29th Annual Nights of Lights was still going on so the there were plenty of lights. Our stop in was quick, one night only so we did not see all that much of the city. We ended the evening looking at the moot at Castillo de San Marcos

You can’t stay in in St. Augustine without visiting the Castillo de San Marcos, “St. Mark’s Castle”. It is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. The construction started in 1672 and finished in 1695. The fortress is made of coquina stones.
The fort was declared a National Monument in 1924, and it was deactivated in 1933 after 251 years of continuous military possession.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

Hardly a day goes by without checking out a lighthouse. So, before going into the historic city of St.Augustine we hit the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The climb to the top was exactly 219 steps. The view was spectacular.

The first lighthouse or should we call it a watchtower was built in 1589 by the Spanish colonials. Sturdier structure replaced the wooden tower in 1737 and it was made or coquina (shell rock) and wood. The current lighthouse was finished in 1874.

Lighthouse Keepers house was worth visiting, also, with its historic displays. It was early January so the Christmas decorations were still there, not really my thing, so they limited a bit of what I photographing as I did not want seasonal photos.

We were told that you could get the best shot of the lighthouse from the pier, unfortunately due to the backlite the shots from the pier did not turnout the best, but I understand that during an other time of the day that would have been the case.

My husband Mara Sillanmäki provided most text

The Society of the Four Arts

The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach garden, Florida. Such a lovely spot to take a break, I don’t think a really appreciated all the different gardens- or to be honest noticed them, but it was a lovely spot to visit. See some art. There were several people there reading, stretching and drawing and just sitting in the shadows of the pergolas

.Originally designed in 1938, the Botanical Gardens are demonstration gardens that educate residents and visitors about the diversity of plants that thrive in South Florida’s climate. The gardens are divided into themed spaces that reflect popular architectural and planting styles in the area: Chinese Garden, Fragrant Moonlight Garden, Palm Garden, Bromeliad Garden, Jungle Garden, Spanish Facade Garden, Formal Garden, Tropical Garden, and Madonna Garden.

My favorite was the Chinese garden and I found the statues and art to be lovely.

The different areas of the garden were lovely also even if it was winter.

There were several statues in the garden I took photos of some of them.


The first day of out holiday to US we were in Florida and went to visit Wakodahatchee wetland park.

We were already at the Wakodahatchee Wetland (Delray Beach) just after 10am. We toured the Boardwalk and saw e.g. four alligators enjoying the sunshine, great blue heron, egret, wood stork and double crested cormorant, and tricolored heron and a turtle. The birds were reportedly preparing for mating and nesting, the woodstocks were very active making the nest but otherwise it was a pretty lazy day for the animals.

We ran into a few people who said they go to the wetlands every day for a walk. I can say I was not the only one thre with a camera. Here are some of the shots that I got.

Here is some background info about the he park, it was created on 50 acres (20 ha) of unused utility land and transformed into a recreation wetlands open to the public with a three-quarter mile boardwalk that crosses between open water pond areas, emergent marsh areas, shallow shelves, and islands with shrubs and snags to foster nesting and roosting.

Over 150 species of birds have been spotted inside the park, including wood stork, pied-billed grebe, snowy egrets, and black-bellied whistling ducks. The park is also home to turtles, alligators, rabbits, frogs, and raccoons.

Each day, the Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility pumps approximately two million gallons of highly treated wastewater into the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, which in turn acts as a percolation pond, returning billions of gallons of fresh water back into the water table.


this month the #WordPrompt is Bridge, here is my contribution to the word.

The Bahia Honda Rail Bridge is a derelict railroad bridge in the lower Florida Keys connecting Bahia Honda Key with Spanish Harbor Key.

View of old and crumbling Bahia Honda bridge from the southern end, across the channel from Bahia Honda State Park. 

Naples Pier – Before & After

Naples pier in Florida

I like this shot of the Naples Pier I took few years ago. The sun was low and it came shining under the pier. I transformed it to blank and white image. I think i works both ways.

March 26

This quote came to mind when I saw these photos of this Smiling (?) Alligator I took when visiting Florida in January.

“Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.”                                                ― Stanley Gordon West, Growing an Inch

February 20

Florida shots (463 of 2035)Sunset witnessed from behind the cruise ships blogging most of it view at Key West in Florida.

February 17

Boy, life has given some blows this week and also some awesome news. This is a post from a three time grandma, by grandson number three was born two days ago. So I have been some what preoccupied this week. But, here is a palm tree,  the original or the  edited one, which do you like better? a palm tree (1 of 3)a palm tree (2 of 3)

February 12

I love lighthouses, we visited this one on a very windy day. I was totally worth the drive. Beautiful beach and views. Standing tall and majestically along the south end of the Key Biscayne shoreline, the Cape Florida lighthouse is a staggering sight.

Florida shots (890 of 2035)

It’s not hard to imagine the towering structure once guiding mariners and fisherman in the 1800s, back before LED navigation lights and other standard lighting fixtures found on modern-day boats.

It’s a beautiful piece of history, left over from a not-so-kind history of Indian attacks, Civil War battles, hurricanes and other harrowing and heroic times in Florida history, and it’s a treasure that has withstood more than its share of wear and tear over the decades.

“It’s very peaceful there, very breezy and the water is extremely clear and clean

In fact, the Cape Florida Light – which sits as a stately landmark within Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park – remains the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County, though it has been reinforced and refurbished several times since its original build in 1825.  the keeper’s cottage is there also,  It’s a replica, of course, as are the antiques and artifacts inside, which give a glimpse of life as a secluded keeper’s family before Indians chased them away.



Boynton Beach, FL, February 11

I’ve been home for a week, trying to recover from the time difference. Catching up with work and all the normal stuff at home. I am trying to go through my photos, all  2035 + of them.  This photo has all the elements I enjoy, sea, sand, clouds and sun. Florida shots (341 of 2035)

I sat on one of these rocks for a long time watching the waves hit the rocks. Meditating to me. Then I started taking photos of it…these are from Boynton Beach, FL.

January 28

Imagine a historic Italian estate in a spectacular subtropical setting and you’ll begin to imagine Vizcaya! Built as the private winter home of American businessman James Deering in the early 1900s. Sneak peek of this gorgeous place.

January 27

Key Biscayne lighthouse

January 24

Some history, we visited Hemingway’s house. Here’s few shots from there.

January 22

Delray Beach art festival was packed, there was some beautiful art admire, but ended up not buying anything but farmers market has some tasty French bread

January 21

The beauty of the sea, clouds and sand. It does not matter if it’s not sunny I am at the beach anyway.Delray Beach

Delray Beach FL, January 20

Delray Beach- even if cloudy so lovely

January 19

First day of the holiday and the weather is fine, easy adjustment from winter weather to summer . Went to have drinks at nice bar in lantana Old key Lime house.