Friday, February 27, 2009

In the wetlands

One of the beautiful areas in the wetlands which goes mostly undisturbed or visited. The island has many special areas such as this.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Krewe of Wrecks

Shortly after the first of the year I was asked about becoming the official photographer for the Krewe of Wrecks. Their long-time photographer, a delightful man, Mr. Bill Meilner, announced he was ready to settle back and enjoy Mardi Gras season a bit more leisurely -- in first person rather than through a camera lens.

I was concerned about taking on the task and stepping into the shoes of someone who had documented Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras celebrations for years on the island. Conversations with both Mr. Meilner and members of the Krewe gave me courage to go for it.

It's been quite a learning curve this season, but I have enjoyed it immensely. I discovered the Krewe of Wrecks were simply asking me to do the same thing I've done every year since becoming a full-time resident -- photographing events on the island -- but now I have much more access and acceptance. It has been delightful.

In the past, albums have been assembled for the Krewe after Mardi Gras where they could order prints of themselves and friends at various KOW events. I did not want to stop that tradition since there are some who do not have a computer, but I did want to add Internet access for those who would prefer to browse the photos online and perhaps share them with family and friends outside the area.

Consequently, I am adding a Krewe of Wrecks sections under "Links" where members can view and order prints of KOW events as an extended part of my Internet storefront of Pensacola Beach nature photos. This will place my blog viewers in a unique position to experience a bit of Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras behind the scenes.

You will begin to notice familiar characters, faces and smiles in these events. One of my favorites this year was the Queens' Dinner. Queens from various Krewes and generations were in attendance. All were graciously recognized and a small group honored posthumously. Moving about this beautiful group of ladies, photographing them, reminded me how important it was to also honor them with dignity and grace, as well as document them as part of our island history.

For KOW members, this link provides a new place where you can view your photos and place orders. For my blog visitors, this is a unique part of the island which you may enjoy in addition to the quiet seascapes and other island events I share with you on a daily basis.

My thanks to the Krewe of Wrecks!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Are we havin' fun?

I'm back home on my end of the beach after an incredible fun-filled day of Mardi Gras celebration on Pensacola Beach. As the sign in the middle of this photo says, "It's all about the beads!" The beach was probably more crowded than I've ever seen it.

I've got tons of photos to go through and I'll be posting more in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, let me tend to my windburned (gusts up to 30 mph), sore cheeks (from smiling all day) and cramped hands (from taking close to 3,000 photos since Friday).

Life is good!

"You can start dinner now, honey. I'm comin' home with the beads!"


"Norm, funny thing about that quiet business meeting we had planned this weekend."

Krewe of Kids Parade

The Krewe of Kids Parade started lining up in front of Tiki Island yesterday morning, exactly one week after the event was postponed due to bad weather. No such problem this week!

Is that Curious George or George of the Jungle?

This little explorer must come from the Canary Islands!

Sing with me: Hey, hey, it's a monkey! People say he monkey's around. But he's too busy singing, to put anybody down!

Ahhh, look at this little monkey.

"Yeah, I love my crown hat, but..."

"...I think it looks better on me this way!"

Look at this adorable little jester. Is that not the sweetest smile?

A beautiful cape.

The support teams are out this morning!

Rarin' to go. Come on, folks!

Look, it's Terri McKamey! This sweet lady is the General Manager of Tiki Island, loves the kids and goes out of her way to provide special events for them every year - from a Krewe of Kids' parade to Gingerbread Make and Take's, Terri is there lining up activities. And she gave me my own set of Monkey Beads! I'm IN, dude!!!

Ladies and gentlemen: The Royal Court has taken their places and beads are properly placed.

And the parade begins!

"Woo hoo! Throw me some beads, mister!"

Look at this little purple float entry.

The parade turns back toward Tiki Island.

And the floats line up for judging.

Pretty Princess Madeline.

Prizes galore, but our Krewe of Kids are winners all!

I love my mommy!

Queen Amelia and her BFF (best friend forever!)
Now don't you wish you went to school at Pensacola Beach Elementary! Long live the Krewe of Kids!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Krewe of Lafitte Illuminated Parade

The United States Navy Cracker Jack Marching Unit led the parade last night. As you can see, I wasn't in a well lit area, but I think you'll get a flavor of the Krewe of Lafitte Illuminated Parade. You may click on any of the photos to see them in more detail.

"Hold on, honey! They're takin' my picture!"

One of several Krewe of Lafitte floats.

I love the Krewe of Lafitte 'Pirate' float!

A GQ pirate.

Guarding the back door.

Here comes the 'Parrot' float, another favorite of mine.

Polly needs a BIG cracker!

Looks like this pirate fell victim to a giant squid!

Yep! That's him, skewered on the front!

Two really cool members of the Order of Zeus

The Krewe of Aquatica float.

Beads, beads, and more beads!

I love this! The Krewe of L.A. - Lower Alabama!

Locals recognize this firetruck. It's leading the Krewe of Seville float and is generally parked in front of Rosie O'Grady's in the Seville Quarter.

Wow. That's a beautiful headdress, but I keep thinking that I could finally dust the top ledge in my foyer with those tall feathers...or should I say 'tail' feathers?

La Savillana looks like a new float entry this year.

What's new, Pussycat?

Uh oh! Mice and cats don't mix.

This cute little Twirler was workin' it! Great job!


Hmmmm...I think I've seen him in past years.

Krewe of Lafitte costumes are alway top-notch and I really enjoy taking photos of them.

Happiness is...Mardi Gras time in Pensacola!

A handsome conquistador!

A couple of buds, waiting for the parade to start.

The Krewe of Jesters!

Krewe of Andres de Pez: "Greater than de Luna, and even Lafitte, de Pez came for all with his Windward fleet."

Krewe of Andres de Paz

Be sure to read up on Andres de Pez and my previous link to the Krewe. It's very interesting.

A couple of 'Slippers'.

Police presence and he's gracious enough to wear some beads.

Get ready, kids. They're bringing out the toy throws!

Hey! That looks like one of the Mario brothers!

A Krewe of Seville float.

The Krewe of Warriors Stray Cats float's the Krewe of Mystique. I must get some close-ups of them tomorrow.

Dreamland float.

USS Oriskany! Incredible history and a wonderful reason for sport divers to visit Pensacola.

LSU float.

Wait! Are these serious Jesters?

A sorta-smiling Jester!

Hey lady, gimme some beads!

This is one scary-looking truck grille!

Guess I'm going to have to 'pirate' some beads.