Ft Matanzas National Monument Beach
acrylic on canvas panel
Ft Matanzas Nature Walk
Marine Research Reserve at Marineland
Notes From My Residency
Today I was headed back south on A1A after a good breakfast at the Oasis to fortify me. I explored Ft Matanzas National Monument. The nature trail is lovely and it's my favorite place at the fort, though the gift shop and the Ft itself is also interesting. There are lovely huge trees in the parking lot, offering lots of shade. The nature trail winds up and down as a boardwalk and is diverse, with some beach scenes. In fact, it is one of the prettiest intercoastal beaches I've seen. It is pristine and sugar white. The trail is six miles long, so I felt like I definitely got my exercise today.
I then headed on down to the Marine Research Center across the street from Marineland. It is private, but no one seemed to care that I was there. It is a strange combination of very industrial looking architecture, big parking lots with things dumped all around, cranes and such and then really beautiful palms and distant estuaries reminding me of the Ormond Loop in places. I stopped along the way to take photos.
As I stood and looked at the vast palm hammocks across the Matanzas River, I felt both joy and despair that we have lost so much of our Florida to development. As a child, Crescent Beach was just a gas station and a few post WW2 cottages, with miles of unspoiled dunes and estuaries across the river. In college we all slept on the beach. All that is long gone, replaced by condos, and McMansions. How I wish that Florida had the foresight to save the beach front from development and require housing to be on the west side of the road. I can only continue to support land trust organizations and paint what is left of our beautiful state, as my contribution.
I am getting close to finishing my afternoon painting and will continue to pick at it. It is such a pleasant activity each evening from 5:30 to 7 PM. I take my smart phone and tune it to Pandora, so I can listen to Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong etc. while I paint with a background of the waves crashing in.
Chad and Sarah's Condo has a huge army of caretakers who spit and polish the building and the landscape almost every day. I'm impressed.