Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jonathan Dickinson State Park

I must admit that lately I have become concerned that I will soon struggle to come up with another 32 blogs featuring locations in Palm Beach County. I also admit that I considered quitting. I am two weeks behind and suddenly this blog seemed like a chore instead of a fun project. My husband Gregg talked me through it, encouraging me to continue if it's what I wanted to do. It really is... I just want to enjoy doing it. I was sitting here trying to think of a place I've been lately that I can feature. Of course I can always post more pictures from somewhere I've already posted but I really want to be original for a few weeks. I was looking through my pictures on Flicker and came across a picture from Jonathan Dickinson State Park. How could I have forgotten about this amazing place?!?


The thing is, I'm not 100% sure that this is actually located in Palm Beach County; in fact, I don't think it is. However, the park is SO huge (11,500 acres) that I will take the liberty and assume that SOME of it is down in Palm Beach County (ok, now I feel like a cheater).

For those that have wondered, the park is named after a Quaker merchant whose vessel shipwrecked nearby in 1696. The park has tons of wildlife in 13 natural communities, including sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, mangroves, and river swamps. The Loxahatchee River runs through the park. One of the really cool things about this park is all of the things to do there. You can bike, ride horses, canoe, kayak, picnic, fish, hike and even visit the 1930s pioneer homestead of Trapper Nelson (oh, and take pictures of course!). The park also offers two full-facility campgrounds and a youth/group primitive campground.

I don't have many pictures of the park to post at this time. I will attempt to go back and find some wildlife and maybe go on a canoe ride with Gregg sometime this fall (he'll paddle while I take pictures of course). I did go a few months back to take some pictures of the sunset with a few friends from the PBC Photo Walkers.

We first met at the The Hobe Mountain Trail, which is a short boardwalk that climbs up through the sand pine scrub to the observation tower. After climbing up the stairs to the tower, you are treated to an amazing view from all sides:




I'm sure Art & Barbara expected us to take pictures of them as they were walking on the boardwalk to meet us. For those of you who know about photography techniques, I was attempting "tilt shift" in Photoshop on that shot :o)

After we saw the sights up high, we decided to go to the boat docks to take pictures of the actual sunset.


While Art was setting up, Denise & I wandered around a little down the path to explore. I just love seeing pine trees as far as the eye can see:


Art brought along his lights so we had fun testing them out. He took some really cool pictures of us with the sunset behind us (thanks Art!).


So, the moment we all waited for, the sunset.

 


My favorite shot of the sunset is kind of goofy. I had played with this techniques a few times and it always comes out interesting. With the camera on my tripod & using a long shutter speed, I zoomed out (or in, I always forget) while the picture was being taken. It creates this zoom look that I really liked with this sunset picture, which I submitted as my DPC Palm Beach County photo of the week.

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