Sunday, March 31, 2013

St George Island and Apalachicola Bay Decor Maps

I’ve painted a new map for my collection of decor maps, St George Island and Apalachicola Bay. This beautiful area is located on the panhandle of Florida. Apalachicola Bay is known for its oysters and its name comes from the Indians that once lived in the area. St George Island is a small peaceful and relaxing island with many beautiful beach homes. I have two different styles, traditional and without grid. Click on the map to enlarge. 


Traditional Decor map

Map without grid



I like to hide a few things in the waters of my maps. If you look very closely you may find a mermaid, fish, dolphins and maybe a shark swimming around. Here’s a great bay poem for Apalachicola Bay.

“As I wake each day and look through the sun’s rays, the most amazing scenes appear in this bay, as the sun arises just above the shore, I feel the grace and beauty of this place that I adore.” LKO 2011
If you like my Decor Maps, see more at www.leolakes.com.
"Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The best bay fisherman!

While in Florida, I took a great photo of a fisherman high in a tree. Well, not a fisherman that you may be thinking about, but an osprey, which is known as the fish hawk. You can often see osprey's flying over bays looking for fish to catch.
I spotted this osprey near where we were staying and used my 300mm lens to get a good photo. As you can see, the osprey has caught something and is having lunch.
Looks like he/she has caught a sheepshead fish. Interestingly the sheepshead is often called the convict fish because of the black and white strips on its sides. This convict didn't escape the sharp talons of this osprey. Everyday this bird would catch a fish and have lunch on the same tree. It was always a sheepshead, I wondered why?  Did this bird prefer sheepshead or was it because they were easy to catch. I don't know, but they are good tasting fish.
Check out these talons. They look just like hooks and there's four on each leg. These are better than a Alabama fishing rig.
What does this osprey do at night? It roosts in the same tree that it has lunch in. Well, this one did anyway. I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful birds. 
Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream! Hey, checkout my bay decor maps at  www.leolakes.com makes a great gift.
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Florida Bay Fishing

 Over spring break I was able to get away from the big screen and get out on a big stream! Here's a picture of beautiful Lemon Bay Florida. Interestingly while fishing, we were checked by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Enforcement personnel. Earlier, I had purchased my 3 day saltwater fishing licenses which came in handy during this check. All went well, and I got to ask the game warden a few questions. I asked, how many folks that you check, don't have their fishing licenses? I was surprised by the answer! The warden said 50% do not have licenses. Now that seems very high to me, but I suppose there's a lot of out of state folks that just start fishing in hopes they don't get caught. Anyway the warden said the fine for not having them was over a 100 bucks.   
During the boat ride we came across five dolphins in the bay. It appeared they were chasing bait fish. This was a good sign because the red tide had been present a few weeks earlier and killed a lot of fish.
We fished around bridge piers and boat docks in hopes of catching sleep head. Our bait was live shrimp which we had purchased earlier, 3 dozen for $12.00.
Here's the result of about four hours of fishing. We actual caught 8-10 fish, but only 4 were keepers.
Yum, sleep head is a great tasting fish.
Pop has an audience while cleaning fish. The neighborhood Pelicans, Herons, and Egrets are always ready for a handout.
Not a bad day fishing! Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream! Hey, need a great gift for the bay lover, checkout my bay map art at www.leolakes.com

Thanks
 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shark?

Just got back from spring break to Florida. While walking on the beach near Lemon Bay Florida, I took a photo of this fisherman catching a fish in the Gulf of Mexico.
On the gulf side of the bay lots of folks swim and a few fish. What kind of fish is on the other end of the line?
Hmmm...A black tip shark. I looked up the black tip to see what I could learn. They grow to about 9ft long and are common in the gulf. Interestingly, 16% of all shark bites are by the black tip, but there has been only one death. Still, I'm glad I wasn't swimming in the gulf today.
Looks like the shark is about two & half feet long.
If you look carefully, I think the black tip is smiling! Later I will post the fish that we caught while on spring break.
"Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lake Paintings

I just completed two new custom lakes, Cheat Lake and Madison Lake. These lake paintings are printed on 16x32 canvas. On this size canvas print, I actually hand paint/touch-up the waterfowl and other areas after printing. This really makes the print pop when hanging on the wall. The prints shown here are before touch-up.  
 
Cheat Lake is located on the states line between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The lake is 13 miles long and 1,730 acre. The major tributary is the Cheat River. A good bass and walleye lake.

This painting of Madison Lake includes Herman, Long, Round and Brant Lakes. Madison Lake is located in South Dakota. Madison Lake is a beautiful lake and is great for fishing. See more at www.LeoLakes.com

Lake Lovers Poem
"I Love this lake, The most amazing scenes appear in its wake, The sun arises just above the shore, Giving grace and beauty to this place I adore." LKO



A March Dusting

This year’s winter in Nashville has not been much of a winter as far as snow fall. So far we have only received 1” of snow and last year we received only 0.4”. On average we normally get 8-11 inches a year. Sunday we woke to a dusting and I decided to get the camera out and take a few shots in the 10 acre woods.
 
I found this tree while wandering around the woods. Who lives here? Looks like the tree is hollow and some animal has set home with the welcome mat being the leaves.
About 3 feet above the active hole was a woodpecker hole. I bet this woodpecker thought the tree was hollow at this level, but found out he had mis-calculated. No bugs today!
After a closer inspection..........
I discovered a nut had been stuffed into the hole, a well polished acorn nut. Looks like the squirrels are doing well this year.
I ended the walk at a red cedar tree! Not a bad ending to a March dusting. 
What's in your woods? Adventure outdoors!