Desperately missing the beach with its crashing waves, sandy beaches and salty breezes I took a brief detour from central Florida to the east coast. Heading to Daytona Beach, memories of a sleepy and sleazy beach town with biker bars and well-worn hotels were quickly swept away when I arrived to the “new and improved” Daytona Beach .
At first I was pleased with the new face lift Daytona Beach had received. After all, everything was sparkling and brand new. Beach goer facilities are easily accessible and well kept, but they still hadn’t quite figured out the parking situation. I walked up the cement boardwalk for a few minutes and began to get hot. Really hot! It was mid-day and the cement just bakes the heat into you while walking along the ocean’s edge. This fancy new look Daytona Beach quickly wore out its welcome.
After all, this isn’t the Florida beach that I knew, loved and had grown up on. What happened to the sand dunes and sea oats swaying in the wind. Is that a 24-hour camera surveillance I see? Big Brother is here and mother nature is long gone. I had fantasies of finding a nice little place to have a beach-front lunch but Daytona Beach was no longer the place for me.
Within 20 minutes I was back in my car, giving up my two-hour parking I had pre-paid and headed north on A1A. Traveling on the old road that parallels the east coast of Florida I had hopes of finding the true Florida.
It didn’t take long for me to get out of the commercialism and modernism of Daytona Beach and within twenty minutes I arrived at Ormond-by-the-Sea. Now this was what I was looking for. This beach-front restaurant Lagerheads Bar and Grill promised to be the Florida dive that I remember well.
With a warm greeting, I was quickly seated and treated to a wonderful and traditional Florida beach fare lunch. Here is where you can walk off the beach in your sandy bare feet and catch a cold beer. Ah, it was wonderful to be back home to the Florida that I know so well.
Following lunch, I crossed the small road and was immediately sinking my feet in the warm orange sand of Ormond Beach. An abandoned beach umbrella and blanket invited to me to come and sit awhile.
And what’s with those four stakes in the ground with orange tape? Could it be a turtle nest? Why yes! And this isn’t the only one on this quiet strip of natural beach.
Clearly someone has painstakingly taken the time to walk the beaches every morning to locate these sea turtle nests to document and protect them. The way the overall community is designed is conducive for sea turtle visits. With little lighting on the waterfront residences and a beach that is left more to nature than to man, sea turtles clearly feel safe to come and leave their nest eggs for future generations.
Crab dens were also plentiful and I remembered as a child running into the surf at night with a flashlight in one hand and a fish net in the other trying to catch crabs running into the waves.
But it was time for me to head back to the car. A storm was brewing and I was overdue for my final destination. But this brief respite on a true Florida natural beach replenished my soul and welcomed me home.
All of these photos were taken with my iPhone and adjustments were made in Lightroom 3.6. Primarily overall contrast, sharpening, noise reduction and recovery. I attempted to zoom in and take some photos of sea birds, but learned that the iPhone is terrible at zoomed, lower light conditions. I find it also difficult to truly hold an iPhone motionless to avoid camera shake, especially under windy conditions.
I do really love the iCloud feature and having the photos readily available on my laptop when I get home. I did learn that photos taken within the last 30 days are transferred. Older photos on the iPhone are not transferred through iCloud, so would have to be transferred via USB.
Here is the bird shot to get an idea of what I was talking about, no adjustments have been made.