Thursday, February 25, 2016

February 26, 2016

Oldest House (Gonzalez-Álvarez House)

The Gonzalez-Álvarez House is one of St. Augustine’s many historic places, originally constructed in the 1720s and renovated and enlarged throughout the 18TH and 19TH centuries. This particular section dates from the earliest phase. The stairs are appropriately squeaky for a historic home, which I happen to think adds greatly to the ambiance. :-) If you’ve read the Eugenia Price novel “Maria”, largely set in this home throughout the mid-to-late 1700s, you may recognize some of its features. Little touches such as the uniform hanging by the stairs help enhance the historical flavor.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

This beautiful 1870s lighthouse is definitely the crown jewel of Anastasia Island. It’s beautiful from every angle, but standing across the road and peering up at its black and white splendor is always a picturesque experience. There are lots of trees in the area, which, if you compose your photo carefully, with provide a great frame for the massive tower. Blue skies aren’t necessary, but are an added bonus – though, considering its supposedly haunted history, some would imagine that a gray and dreary backdrop would be much more appropriate . . .

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February 19, 2016

Castillo de San Marcos

One of the reasons I love the Castillo is that it joins two of my great interests: Spanish colonial history and antique artillery. I believe this cannon is a reproduction, mimicking similiar pieces from the 18TH century. Also interesting is the contrast of old and new . . . the newer concrete flooring and the mottled coquina wall which is definitely showing its age. As always, I hope folks visiting the Castillo or any other historic site will resist the urge to climb or sit on the artillery pieces. You won’t believe how many people do so even though there are signs asking them to refrain!

Fountain of Youth

Peacocks are definitely the stars of the show at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. Not only are their calls exotic and fascinating, but their plumage, especially when they’re attracting a mate as in this photo, is beyond stunning. In the background you can also see Spanish moss and other gems of natural Florida. With beautiful birds, warm weather, and shafts of sunlight poking through the trees, I could sit down on one of those benches and doze off and probably not wake up until they closed the park and shooed me out :-)

(c) 2015-2016 Skies of Blue and Gray

Thursday, February 11, 2016

February 12, 2016

Mission Nombre de Dios

Ah, another beautiful scene at the Mission. I believe this is very near the site of the original 17TH century Spanish chapel which was discovered a few years ago and is now memorialized by an archaeological marker. If I remember correctly, the small boat seen at left was actually in the process of taking on water (hopefully there was no one on board). The distant trees at left are part of the Fountain of Youth park, while the much more modern Usina Bridge which leads to Vilano Beach can be seen at center. 

St. George Street

If you love historic houses and have a fondness for model sailing ships, you  might want to check out the De Mesa-Sanchez House on St. George Street. (It can only be toured during a visit to Colonial Quarter). Not only is the house amazingly appointed and a veritable step back in time, but this beauty is just one more perk. Note: I'm uncertain if this ship is still being displayed in the house, but it was there during my visits of 2014 and 2015). I like the simple yet elegant rug and old-fashioned furniture, which help to set the scene. 

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February 05, 2016

Anastasia State Park

There are many places in and near St. Augustine where you can enjoy the ocean, and Anastasia State Park offers its own unique take. (The entrance fee seems rather high if you’re intending on just driving around a little, seeing the ocean, and going back, but that’s just my personal opinion). This photo is one of my favorite Florida shots. I think the wooden railing has been placed here just as much to keep folks off the dunes as to provide an aesthetic setting; though you can’t see the ocean on this picture, the variety of focal points --- the dune, the boardwalk itself, the beach fence, the tall grasses --- makes up for it, I think.

Trinity Episcopal Church

It’s nearly impossible to get a good photo of Trinity Episcopal Church while on the move, but somehow fate smiled on me and I managed to snap one. This church was originally constructed in the early 1830s and was enlarged throughout the late 19TH and early 20TH centuries. Interestingly, the Episcopalians were the first Protestants in Florida, with many believers attending makeshift meetings during the British occupation between 1763 and 1784. After Florida became an American territory in 1821, other denominations set up roots as well.

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays