It was a rainy, overcast, stormy day as I recently drove out to the country areas of Dade City, Florida about an hour north of the busy metro area of Tampa. I'll admit, as I turned off the busy Interstate and slowly proceeded east out into the country, I felt like perhaps I had left Florida. There were hills! Not ant hills, but hills like I remembered when I was driving country roads near where my father grew up in Henderson, North Carolina. The streets were two lanes, and the went up and down and the rolling green pastures, well I loved it. Here's some of the trees I saw along the way.
Overcast skies and recent rains (just an hour or so before), made the resurrection fern along the tree limbs come alive. If you're not familiar with the resurrection fern which grows along the limbs of many oak trees it's the green leafy plant growing on the tops of the horizontal tree limbs in the photograph below. Resurrection fern can lose up to 75 percent of its water content and shrivel up to a grayish brown clump of leaves. When the plant is exposed to water again it will literally look like it comes back to life and be green and healthy (the plant didn't actually die). The beautiful lush greens caused me to stop on the side of this road and take a photograph as it was beautiful.
As I continued along this road, I saw live oak trees standing out in the pasture land. I kept telling myself - come back and catch the light at a great time of day....come back....come back...(and I will for sure!!!). The storms were off in the distance, the rain would come again soon.
The wood and wire fences along the different pastures divided the land between owners. I arrived at my destination, Laurel Gardens. A friend is getting married here soon and the oaks are beautiful. Lighting can make a lot of difference in how a given subject appears in a photography. For the photos below, by the time these photographs were taken, the rain storms had come through and provided yet another short burst of pouring rain followed by the sun shining in late afternoon. This group of trees reminds me of those I have seen at Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and Worm sloe Plantation in Savannah, Georgia.
The photographic opportunities among these beautiful old oaks are probably endless depending on how creative you are. The toughest part is to decide what exactly to photograph and what to put in the photograph.
If you're curious about where you might have a wedding ceremony here, check out this beautiful setting.
They have a walkway of brick pavers for the wedding party to walk down and a few chairs just before reaching the final area for the ceremony.
That's all for this weeks blog post!