Bill Curry

Morning at Pelican Pointe on the Indian River, Florida

Norma and I go to Florida almost every year and have been doing that for our entire married life (so 4 plus decades!). My mother’s parents used to go to Jupiter and Hobe Sound, Florida back in the late 1950’s and they continued this until my grandfather died in 1972, and then my grandmother continued the tradition by going with various members of our family to Vero Beach. My parents found a spot when Dad retired in Sebastian, Florida, just north of Vero Beach on the east coast of the State about half-way between Miami and Cape Canaveral, and so the tradition continues as Norma and I go now to Sebastian for a month or so to be with Mom and Dad, and we’ve had our daughter and her family down several times, so we’re up to generation 5 of this whole “snowbird” thing. Some things about our trip south have become our own traditions. I like to go fishing every morning and so I made images of my “fishing buddies” – this year my friends were otters, dolphins and many species of birds, and even a manatee pair a couple of mornings in the marina. This particular buddy I chose to show was a Great Blue Heron that was at the fishing pier every morning before me - I think he got annoyed a bit that I would come down and he'd have to move over every day, but he was a far better fisherman than I!
I love this about the area of Florida we stay in – it’s on the Indian River and across that river is the first National Wildlife Refuge in the USA – Pelican Island. The community we stay in is thus aptly named Pelican Pointe as it’s on a point of land across from the refuge. Across from Pelican Island on the coastal side is the Atlantic Ocean, which also makes for some dramatic viewing, and of course there are other Florida activities like golf, swimming or watching world class polo or tennis to keep one active and engaged. The Pelican Island Wildlife Festival, a fund-raiser for the Refuge, also takes place when we normally are there, and so that is a tradition of ours as well - to go see the community rallying to help the wildlife and the preservation of the habitat. Photography in Florida is an interesting challenge because the sun is so bright once it gets up, so the “golden hours” of early morning and the late evening are best – which fits into my fishing schedule just fine – so I have a fishing rod and a camera along most mornings. Remembering to use a low ISO to avoid grain is helpful when shooting sunrises, as it helps bring out the details in the cloud structure more, but that means having stability is a must, so my travel tripod was along for the trip.
Great fun to go south for part of the winter, but we also love getting back to Nova Scotia. That’s the neat thing about photography – it can be done anywhere!

Pelican Pointe, Sebastian, Florida

Great Blue Heron flying over the Indian River

Polo at Vero Beach Polo
Norma at the Pelican Island Wildlife Festival being introduced to a baby alligator
Pelican Pointe Marina at sunrise
Surf at Sunrise on Sebastian Inlet Beach, Sebastian, Florida