Big Talbot Island: Snails, Sunrise and Storms – Oh My!

A Wet and Wild Morning on Big Talbot Island

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So…  Sometimes things don’t quite go as planned.  This morning, and old friend and I headed out to shoot some of the amazing driftwood on the northern coast of Big Talbot Island.  This great little chunk of shore just a stone’s throw from Amelia Island, provides a great location for some unique scenic photography – something that’s a bit different than the uninterrupted golden sands that line the majority of Florida’s coast.  Prior to leaving, I had checked both the weather forecast, as well as the aviation weather conditions (they provide more detail on current conditions than your typical weather app).  Both looked promising, with no precipitation in the forecast until almost lunch time.  So, cameras and tripods in hand – and a good hour and a half before sunrise – we set out along the shore, walking about a mile to this wild piece of Old Florida.   The first hour or so of shooting went great – allowing us to experiment with long exposures and a variety of angles while trying our hardest to ignore the gnats.  As night reluctantly gave way to day, we even spotted a water spout (below), as it hugged the Amelia Island coast ahead of a small patch of rain.  The patch wouldn’t stay small…

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Soon, the little clump of rain became a more defined line – with the weather sticking to our North, and working its way inland.  In my infinite wisdom, despite the storm cutting off our exit, I thought it would be best to keep shooting and let the storm pass.  That was, until it decided to pass overhead.   Within a matter of only a few minutes, the skies opened up all around us – the storm having increased in size and intensity at a surprising rate.  Thankfully, I always carry a trash bag in my camera bag for just such an occasion, so while I enjoyed a 45 minute tropical shower, my cameras stayed high and dry in my not-so-chic emergency rain solution.    By the time we got back to the car, storms were popping left and right, including a massive shelf-clouded storm over Jacksonville, offering us some good photo ops as we made our way back to town.

And, as a bit of an extra – above is a video of the Monday commute for a troupe of snails.  Just before the rain, I had noticed that many of the felled pieces of driftwood were covered in these lime-green colored snails.  At first, I thought the snails were stationary, but as I started snapping some long exposures, I realized they were on the move (undoubtedly seeking cover for the impending deluge as I, too, should have been).  But, throwing caution to the wind, I took this time lapse video of these fascinating little creatures for your enjoyment.  The clip is about 20 seconds and represents about 10 minutes of movement.

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