Aug 102011

It is hot once again in Jacksonville today. For the past couple of weeks the temperature as hovered between 93 degrees F and 96 degrees F. I was rebuked by an English friend for still talking in terms of Fahrenheit rather than the Celsius or Centigrade that has been adopted by Britain as part of its integration with the European Union.

America of course will have no truck with what the rest of the world does. It has to be different, often to the point of being contrary.

But for Europeans, the temperature has been between 33.8 degrees C and 35.5 degrees C for the past couple of weeks. Tomorrow it was supposed to hit 99 degrees F (37.2 degrees C) but the forecast has since been revised to 97 degrees F ( 36.1 degrees C).

When I lived in Texas and the temperature this time of year was at least 104 degrees F (40 degrees C) or higher, people used to ask me about the heat. I said that coming from Britain I was not going to complain. The heat in Texas was a dry heat and I could cope with it better. In Jacksonville it is the heat combined with the humidity that is the killer. It gets to the point where you don’t really want to step outside and consequently my photographic output has suffered of late.

The weather is really suited for lounging around in the sun, hence this image of sunloungers.

Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

And another one just for good measure.

Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

And after a session in the Florida sun, you need some of this to cool off.

Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

All these images used the high contrast B&W scenic mode on the GRD III and were taken at the Marriott World Center Resort, Orlando, Florida. I did a little bit of post-processing Photoshop CS3, essentially a bit of dodging and burning.

What does strike me in all this heat is that the tarmac on roads in both Florida and Texas does not melt. In Britain when temperatures rose above 80 degrees F (26 degrees C) the tar would melt. I remember as a kid using lolly sticks to dip into the liquid tar at the side of the road and write my initials on the kerbstone (curbstone for US readers). Such were the simple pleasures of my childhood in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But woe betide you if you brought tar into the house on your shoes. or got it on your clothes.

If anyone with a civil engineering background can explain why tar melts in Britain and doesn’t seem to melt in Texas and Florida, please let me know.

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Feb 042011

My English friends came to visit with us yesterday afternoon but before they arrived I took advantage of a lull in the rain to get out and about with my Ricoh GRD III. About 200 yards from my house, I came across this large puddle reflecting a palm tree. I shot in RAW and converted to B&W with Silver Efex Pro in Photoshop CS3.

Riverside, Jacksonville, Florida. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

My friends return to England today and yesterday’s weather seemed to be preparing them for their return. At one point, they checked to see what the weather was like in England. The temperature in London was the same as Jacksonville — 52 degrees F, so it was quite literally home from home.

We had dinner at the Hovan Restaurant in Five Points, a favourite eating place of mine, especially since becoming good friends with the owner, Johnny. He joined us for a time and got into a discussion with Charlie about the situation in Egypt.

Both Caroline and Charlie learned just how big the Super Bowl is in America and they were both surprised to discover that a great many women are just as interested in watching the Super Bowl, and NFL games in general, as  American men. In Britain, football — I refuse to call it soccer — is still regarded as something of a male preserve.