Out and About in the Florida Keys and Big Creek Book

So far, April is much better than March was.  There are some, but the calendar is not full of medical appointments.  My shoulder pain is now merely background noise.  The weather has been spectacular.

It’s funny, but one of the things that hurt most with the shoulder was walking.  I don’t know if it was the weight of the arm or the natural swinging motion when one walks. I think some of both, but it is over now.  So we have taken more walks lately.  I’m still not back to my pre-surgery distance though. And, the pain from holding the camera to my face is barely noticeable. So I took some pictures.

This hawk was on a dead tree at the beach at Bahia Honda State Park, one of our regular walking courses.

b Hawk on Dead Tree


I was enamored with this hibiscus with the sun shining through the petals.  It was growing in the RV Park. I like the shadow of the bud behind it.

b Yellow Hbiscus w Sun Back
Yellow Hibiscus


This tiny butterfly was feasting on even tinier sea grape blooms.

b Tiny Blue Butterfly
Blue Butterfly on Sea Grape Flowers


The flowers are very small, but there are a lot of them.  The trees are loaded with extra-long clusters.

b Sea Grape Blooms
Sea Grape Blooms


This hibiscus might be on the same bush as the previous one, but it was taken on a different day in the RV park.  I wonder if my neighbors know how many pictures I take of the RV park flowers.

b Yellow Hibiscus
Yellow Hibiscus


We like to sit outside on our back patio overlooking the mangrove swamp. This lizard has pretty good camouflage, but I spotted him anyway.

b Lizard Camoflage on Tree
Lizard on Tree


This was a new lizard sighting for us. We have never seen a yellow stripe down the back.  There is also an interesting pattern. Notice the exceptionally long tail.

b New Lizard
Yellow Striped Lizard


Here are some old sea grape leaves in the afternoon sun at Bahia Honda State Park.  There is a wonderful tunnel through the sea grapes leading up to the old bridge.

b Sun Through Seagrape Leaves
Seagrape Leaves


We have had some of the lowest tides we have ever seen here recently. Huge areas of sand  have appeared at Bahia Honda and people and birds have taken the opportunity to walk on them.  I like this pictures because of all the stripes in front of and behind the Great Egret.

b Great Egret on Stripes
Great Egret


This juvenile ibis was marching across the lawn at Oceanfront Park as we were walking around the perimeter.

b Juvenile Ibis in Oceanfront Park
Juvenile Ibis


These young men were catching bait fish right in front of us while we ate lunch at Oceanfront Park.  I took a number of photos of them tossing out the net.  Not all my photos turned out so well and not all their tosses yielded fish. They noticed me taking pictures and called to me to send them to them.  One guy yelled out his email address, but I got it wrong. I tried every alternative I could think of, but they always bounced back.

b Catching Bait Fish
Tossing Net to Catch Bait Fish


These stunning Frangipani are growing next to the RV park club house.

b Frangipani
Pink Frangipani


I don’t know what these are, but the color is amazing, especially on the buds.

b Purple Flowers


I had some real excitement yesterday while Andy was walking to the grocery store. I was preparing to wash the dishes and spread my dish-drying mat on top of the stove.  There is hardly any counter space in the motorhome. I don’t think it was a minute later when I noticed a tall flame on the stove.  I had forgotten to turn off the gas flame when I finished fixing dinner.  I had turned it down to the lowest setting to keep the food warm and then didn’t even notice the flame when I was loading the plates. I quickly turned off the burner and lifted the mat off the stove.  Melted foam rubber was all over the burner and then the floor when I dribbled it from the flaming mat.  I set it down and stepped on it to put it out. I did a lot of scraping, but still have not removed all the melted foam from the stove.  It all came off the floor though.

Lastly, I have been making some progress on the book, Big Creek – A Closer Look at a National Park. I emailed a draft to the editors on Wednesday. I guess it is natural to have doubts. I don’t know if anyone will buy it.  Hopefully all my friends who have said, “Write a book!” over the years will buy one.  But then, they have already read it in my daily emails.

The book does not have a story.  No structure. It is merely a long series of paragraphs, and sometimes single sentences, describing individual events that we experienced or heard on the park radio. Some people might describe it as a snapshot of the park.  Today I was thinking it is more like a slide show. Hundreds of events, one after the other, all day, every day in a national park. That is the point I am trying to make.  I’m sure many will interpret that as bad writing. It is unconventional.

It was exciting to see what the cover designer has come up with, using my photographs! It is not done.  The first concept had yellow words which popped off the cover better.  She had changed the font and the color.  I like the new font, not the new color.  I also asked her to move the two small photos down further to cover up some of that ugly gravel and balance things.  It looks top-heavy to me.  We also need to come up with some mention of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which is this year if you didn’t know already.

Big Creek Cover April 15
Proposed Big Creek Cover


Maybe it needs a picture of Spence.

So, what do you think? Feedback would be appreciated! Positive or negative.



26 thoughts on “Out and About in the Florida Keys and Big Creek Book

  1. Miriam April 16, 2016 / 2:05 am

    Great photos. Good luck with the book.


  2. kiwinana April 16, 2016 / 2:32 am

    Beautiful interesting photos, thanks for sharing,


    • Dinata Misovec April 16, 2016 / 8:51 pm

      Thank you. I feel lucky to be in a place where those things just appear before me.


  3. Diane April 16, 2016 / 6:24 am

    I would move the two insert pics further down and show more of the map which seems lost with those pics covering it.


  4. Bernadette April 16, 2016 / 7:21 am

    Wonderful photos as usual. Hope this means your shoulder is better. The cover does need work and I agree that the small photos should be pulled down lower. But it is exciting that you are that much closer to publication.


    • Dinata Misovec April 16, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks for your opinion. I’m not artistic so it helps to get other’s opinions.


  5. sumaclola April 16, 2016 / 7:42 am

    I love love love the cover and title! The pictures on the front are beautiful (of course) and I was so excited to see it in this form. Even if it has a bit to go yet. IT’S HAPPENING! can’t wait to have a copy.


    • Dinata Misovec April 16, 2016 / 8:48 pm

      After all this time. I feel like I’m at the first-draft stage.


  6. Frank Wilmer April 16, 2016 / 9:17 am

    I agree with your assessment of the cover. Frank always used yellow printing on the funnel cake banners to get your attention. I would think you’d sell a lot of books in the park’s gift shops. Sent from my iPad



  7. Patricia Honeycutt April 16, 2016 / 10:36 am

    I love the cover. Your photos are fantastic. Thanks for all the emails about any area you may be visiting.


  8. The Coastal Crone April 16, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Glad that your shoulder is better – the photos are outstanding and bold! I like the color of the font and the way the smaller photos fill in the gray gravel some. As for as the slide show being bad writing, perhaps it is creative writing. Good luck and be careful with the stove!


    • Dinata Misovec April 16, 2016 / 6:34 pm

      Thank you so much for that. I think it is creative, but am worried that others will not.


  9. Carol Ferenc April 16, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    So glad this month is going better, Dinata. Your photos are stunning! I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but that egret photo is amazing! The book cover looks good. I like the font and the color blends well with the background and the gravel. I agree, though, that the photos could be moved down just a tiny bit. Hope you sell a bazillion copies!


    • Dinata Misovec April 16, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      a bazillion! I would be more shocked that anyone else. I just hope to cover my costs! Low goal, I hope I can meet that.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. relationspdbeverly April 16, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    I’m glad that your shoulder is getting better, Dinata. I certainly know what you’re going through.

    I love your photos of the flowers and the wildlife. As for your cover, maybe they could make the font larger for your name and the subtitle, if they don’t want to change the yellow color, which in the case of your name, would cover up more of the gravel. I’m with you, I don’t care for it too much.

    Congratulations on your new book!


    • Dinata Misovec April 16, 2016 / 8:44 pm

      I like the way the title color matches the gravel, but I just don’t think it screams out loud enough.


  11. Marilynn Arrington April 20, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Looks like you’re well on your way! Nice cover layout, but agree with suggestion of moving photo rectangles down on the page.

    My first reaction, however, was to the blandness of the almost monochromatic color scheme. Very beautiful and sophisticated, yes, but far from eye-catching; i.e., I’m picturing myself browsing through a host of books in a visitors center. Unless I am specifically looking for something on Big Creek, it may not say, “Look at me, look at me!” I guess I may be coming from the perspective of having viewed so many of your outstanding colorful photographs that have so contributed to your narrative over the years, I was looking for a splash of that.

    The cover should come from your expression as much as the contents do, so I wouldn’t suggest making any changes that don’t do that. I am looking at it from more of a marketing perspective, off the top of my head, with no experience in that area! And no suggestions for implementing! 😊

    Looking forward to updates and the final product!



    • Dinata Misovec April 22, 2016 / 3:05 pm

      Thanks for your feedback! I kinda liked the green-ness of the cover. That is Big Creek in one word. Green. I thought the cover is too busy though.


  12. Debbie April 20, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    Hope you are healing, love the book cover, we are just in for a few hours from Cosby, very dry this spring, we hope to have rain tonight, we need it! We lost our awning from high winds our first day, we ordered parts: when it flew over the roof, it broke our antenna too. But all is well, loving the peace! Take care!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.