Our 200th Blog Post

The August 8th announcement about our return to Maitland was our 200th blog post, and it’s time to do a little reflection.

First, Some Statistics

Our first post was on January 25, 2011, two weeks before we had a website (I have no statistics about our first website to bore you with).  It took 44 months to publish the first 50 posts, 40 of which were about upcoming events.  We moved the blog from Blogspot to our own website on October 10, 2015, and published our hundredth post in May 2016.  That second 50 posts took less than 20 months to produce.  By then, the overall proportion of our posts that were about upcoming events dropped to 66%.  Our second 100 posts took just 27 months.  Our overall upcoming-event percentage is down to 53% (and dropping).  At the same time, 15% of our posts have been about our images and 14% had website news.  The categories of recognition, post-processing, and business were each discussed in over 6% of our posts.  The other nine categories were covered in fewer than ten posts each.

So Now What?

I expect that our production rate will level out at less than four posts a month.  I’d like the overall proportion of upcoming-event posts to drop toward 40%, while each of the other 14 categories gets good coverage.  I keep coming up with new ideas but have trouble finding time to develop them.  I’m working on that.  Stay tuned.

Our First Time At Winter Park – Take 2

We have applied to this festival every year starting in 2013. If everything goes right, this will be our first appearance (we were accepted in 2016blog, but it was canceled by Hurricane Matthew at the last minute).

The 45th Annual Autumn Art Festival will be Saturday, October 13th and Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm. It will again be in Central Park along Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park. Admission is free to the public. Besides about 180,000 visitors to 185 artists, there will also be live entertainment and other participatory events. For more information (as it becomes available), go to their website (winterpark.org/autumn-art-festival).

We Will Be Back In Cocoa Beach Thanksgiving Weekend

It will be five years since we last exhibited in Cocoa Beachblog. Then, like now, it was Thanksgiving weekend along Minuteman Causeway. The organization that put it on then (and the 49 years before that) was forced to move on to continue growing and now exhibits in Cape Canaveralblog.

The 2018 Cocoa Beach Art Show & Music Fest will be free to the public and open Saturday, November 24th and Sunday between 9 am and 5 pm. The music actually starts Friday at 5:30 pm and continues until 11 pm all three nights. There will also be the 5k Turkey Trot Saturday morning and food throughout the weekend. For more information, go to their website at www.cocoabeachartshow.com.

We Return To Maitland Rotary Festival Mid-November

Since we last participated in this art festival (in 2014blog), they moved the dates back over a month and did away with Friday and nighttime hours.  It is still around Lake Lily.  It will be open from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, November 17, 2018, and will close one hour earlier on Sunday.  There will also be live entertainment.  They are expecting around ten thousand visitors to about 150 artists.  It is still free to the public.  For more information, see their website (42nd Maitland Rotary Art Festival).

Space Coast Art Festival Will Be The Last Weekend Of October

After over fifty years of stability, the Space Coast Art Festival has been going through a lot of changes the last five years.  This will be our third time participating in this festival (we participated in 2013 & 2014) and Manatee Sanctuary Park will be our third location.

This year they even changed the days from Thanksgiving weekend to the last weekend in October (the 27th & 28th). Yet we are still looking forward to a good festival. They are expecting thirty thousand guests visiting around 200 artists. You can find more information on their website, Space Coast Art Festival, as it becomes available.

Answers To Your Butterfly Questions

Jaret Daniels is one of the butterfly experts at the University of Florida.  He’s the one we’ve helped (along with the Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA)) on rare butterfly surveys in southern Florida and the upper keys, and who is responsible for some of the photos and the distribution of the educational butterfly plant brochures we’ve been able to share in our booth at art festivals around the state.  I’ve had the chance to ask him some of your burning butterfly questions; here’s what he said.

On The Lifespan Of Monarch Butterflies

Question:
As I’ve mentioned in our booth (and on our website at Life Cycle of Monarch Butterfly), adult monarch butterflies live two to six weeks, but every fourth generation the adult will live six to eight months so they can make the migration.  I’ve also mentioned that we have in south Florida (and the Caribbean) a population of monarchs that doesn’t migrate (see also the Wikipedia article “Monarch butterfly migration”).  So naturally, the big question is “Does the fourth generation of the non-migrating monarchs still live six to eight months?
Answer:
No

On The Range Of Atala Butterflies

Question:
Since their rediscovery in 1979 (see Atala Butterfly) on Key Biscayne, the range of the Atala seems to be slowly expanding northward. Apparently, their traditional range was restricted to Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties (Florida’s southernmost counties)Atala study, but recent sightings have been as far north as Vero Beach on the Atlantic coast and Tampa on the Gulf coast of the peninsulasee map. The range of coontie, the host plant on which the Atala depends, on the other hand, includes most of the Florida peninsulacoontie range, which makes friends in central and northern Florida wonder “Could Atala’s live here?
Answer:
Probably not; the Atalas seem to be less cold-tolerant than the coontie.
(If it were me, I might still be inclined to go for it.)

Well, I hope this helps.  Feel free to comment.

“The Singing Tower” Is Our Second Gigapan Image

We’ve just completed a new image and added it to our website at www.BeeHappyGraphics.com/gallery/BokTower.html. As the blog title says, it is a Gigapan or large panorama using, in this case, 336 photographs arranged in 16 columns each with 21 photographs all taken with Nancy’s telephoto lens set at 135 mm so that we get a lot of detail. As a result, it could be printed up to 30 feet by 22 feet with the same sharpness as any of our other pictures.

The Singing Tower
Large panorama of Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida

This is a seemingly simple composition.  I think Nancy captured the tower well, and the framing and leading lines help keep you focused on the subject.  The editing again took several days; because of the large image size, every tweak takes much longer, even with my ‘new’ computer.  And, of course, I am still near the beginning of the learning curve on all the tools.

Bok Tower is called “the singing tower” because of the 60-bell carillon in the tower that still performs daily.

Although this is the second such panorama published, it is not the second Gigapan taken. We captured this image over a year earlier than Eclipse Over Long Pine Key, which was our first, and still the most complicated image we’ve processed so far. And we still have a number of other Gigapans, just like we have a number of smaller images from our travels waiting their turn to be edited.