Welcome to My Project!

I was born and raised in Florida. After many years of travel, attending plein air paint outs, I discovered that residencies are the best way to explore the natural world I love. Working for an extended period from seven to ten days really enhances my painting experience. I am lucky to have friends and collectors who make it possible to explore the exciting and interesting locations I love to paint. Supporters provide their unoccupied vacation homes or hotel lodging for my residencies throughout the year. I am always delighted to leave an original framed painting for them as my thanks for their generous gift. If you would like to sponsor a residency, I would love to hear from you.
Contact me at: linda@lindablondheim.com

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Saint Augustine Beach Residency- Day 3-May 8, 2013

Albino Alligator

Surf Shop

Alligator Feeding Pit

Rookery Boardwalk

9x12 inches

Surf Boards

Notes From My Residency Journal

Last year I toured all of the state, county and city parks in this area, looking at nature. You can read about last year's adventure here on the blog in the archives.

This year I am exploring some of the tourist places. Today I went to one of my favorites, the Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. This is my second visit. I went there about 8 years ago with my daughters in July, when it was dreadfully hot and crowded. It was wonderful today, cool and uncrowded. May is the perfect month to visit a great beach town. The park has added a new adventure. It is a zip line that takes a visitor over the park. It is for the young and fit. You have to climb a rope ladder and get strapped into the line with a safety harness.I enjoyed watching it but I don't really like heights.

I really enjoyed the Alligator shows and the rookery for wild birds. I watched the zoo keeper feed the Alligators and was interested to find that the scientists have formulated their food in a tablet that they toss out into the Alligator pits. I learned that they only need to eat about 95 pounds of food in a year to stay healthy. That surprised me. Some of the Alligators there weigh over 1000 pounds. They have the strongest bite of any animal at 3000 pounds pressure. There is an underwater aquarium where you can see the 1200 pound  Crocodile.. I got to stand right up next to him. Way cool!!

The zoo is quite lovely, with large boardwalks that wind around the park for different exhibits. There is a nice snack bar and lots of benches in the shade for comfort. I also enjoyed the very nice gift shop, where I bought my to be born grandson, Ike, his first storybook about Alligators.  It was a great experience and is wonderful for kids. It was very clean and there were park rangers everywhere to answer questions. The adult fee was 22.00 but they let me in for 20.00, I assume this was a senior discount. I really recommend this zoo.

On my way back to Chad and Sarah's Condo I stopped at Aqua Surf Shop. When I was  14-25 years old the surf culture was a big part of my life. Surfing was king in California, Hawaii and Florida. We spent every possible minute at the beach and surfers were celebrities. I still love watching them and the surf shop is very cool. This is a large shop and had several antique surf boards. I love the T-shirts and sandals too. You can't miss this shop. It has a huge yellow and blue sign.

I do many wonderful residencies thanks to my collectors and friends. This one is a favorite. ( They are all my favorites, each and every time.)

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