Bay Area Renaissance Festival 2017 – Tampa, Florida

Bay Area Renaissance Festival 2017 – Tampa, Florida

Renaissance festivals are popular all over the US and the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa, Florida has been a spring tradition for many years.  The festival has been held the last several years on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry which is across the street from the Tampa Campus of the University of South Florida.   This festival is held every

Lowry Park Zoo – Photographing Babies- Tampa, Florida

Lowry Park Zoo – Photographing Babies- Tampa, Florida

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has been one of my favorite places for many years.   I volunteered as a Docent and as a Keepers’ Assistant many years ago.  When we moved farther east of Tampa it was just too much of a commute to make on a regular basis on top of my 9-5 job so I gave it up.  But I still like to visit every now & then, especially in the winter & spring months when the animals are more active!  Lowry Park Zoo is a relatively small zoo

Celery Fields – Birds, Birds, Birds – Sarasota, Florida

Celery Fields – Birds, Birds, Birds – Sarasota, Florida

The Celery Fields, just east of Sarasota, Florida is around 360 acres owned by Sarasota County and is used as a primary flood mitigation zone.   It is managed by the county Storm Water and Sarasota County Parks & Recreation departments.   The Sarasota Audubon Society helps manage the area & their volunteers man the pavilions and give bird tours of the area.  The area was formerly used as farmland where they grew various crops but primarily celery, hence the name!  I have driven by this area many times on my way to other destinations and it looked like a great place for our Florida birds.   The name of the place came up in a conversation during the week so when I contacted my photography buddy about a place to visit this weekend I included the Celery Fields.   He had been there a few years ago and said there were 

Solomon’s Castle – A Bit of Florida Obscura – Ona, Florida

Solomon’s Castle – A Bit of Florida Obscura – Ona, Florida

If you are in Central Florida & especially in the Sarasota area, you should make the trip to the east to Ona.  Out in the middle of fields & swamps is the small kingdom of Howard Solomon,  where you can see Solomon’s Castle (Website).

Howard is a world renowned sculptor who decided to buy some land in Florida, during the dry season!   After moving there, he found that during the rainy season most of his land was a swamp.  To build up an area for his home he dug a very large hole

Florida Polytechnic University –  Their Iconic IST Building  – Part 1

Florida Polytechnic University – Their Iconic IST Building – Part 1

In 2012 the Florida Legislature  & Gov Scott signed a bill that added another university to the state system.   Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland is that new college.  Shortly, thereafter, as we drove along Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando a large construction site appeared.  We all figured it was FPU but at some point we realized that something very different was being built there.  It was the IST Building (Innovation, Science, Technology Building).   The construction site drew so much attention that