Little Manatee State park and Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, FL is beautiful. The first thing one notices looking at the ocean is its color the water really is emerald green hence the term “Emerald Coast”. I did manage two studies but neglected to photograph the second one before I gave it to an old childhood friend who lives in nearby Santa Rosa. It is really a miracle that this state park survived all of the construction surrounding it. A little history……..Burney McIver Henderson was the owner of Bagdad Land & Timber Company in Bagdad, Fla. Once the pine trees were tapped out and no longer useful, Vernon Land & Timber Company harvested the pine trees and sold them to Bagdad Lumber Company, the largest shipper of longleaf yellow pine trees in the United States. They shipped their lumber out of Pensacola, mostly to Europe, and operated for 111 years, from 1828 to 1939. “October of 1982, Burney Henderson on behalf of the Henderson family had accepted the state’s offer to buy one and a third miles of Destin gulf front land about 1,320 feet wide. The $13.1 million offered was from Florida’s “Save Our Coast Program” and was the first purchase made by the program.

EMERALD COAST:
Because of the abundance of microscopic plankton which produce chlorophyll, a beautiful greenish color is cast when the sun’s light hits the water and white quartz sand. It is truly amazingly green. I don’t even think I have a paint tube in my box that could come close. Next time I will be ready to paint more at this beautiful spot. As we waited for check in we decided to take the nature trail. So many beautiful tropical plants, flowers and trees.

Little Manatee River State Park

location: 215 Lightfoot Rd, Wimauma, FL

I knew this was going to be a challenge so I decided to do a drawing first then a tonal breakdown.

“Spanish Moss, Ox Bow Trail, Wimauma, FL (9×12) oil on linen board

The nice thing about the campground sites are that they are very private and shady due to the massive trees and shrubs. Everywhere I looked was an interesting motif really didn’t have to go far from the camp. Such a variety of tropical plants, bushes and trees. I managed to do three paintings.

Where to start? A very complicated scene but I know the live oak tree will take center stage
“Live Oak among the Palms” (11×14)

The Trails in this park are gorgeous. Views from the Oxbow Trail.

I was ready to set up my easel right here along the mud bank until I saw this sign. Uh oh alligators. Archie and the turtle aren’t waiting around. It’s a two painting day. So much to see and paint here. I decided to concentrate on the two palm trees right next to the campsite.

Photo if the scene

“Two Trees at Little Manatee” (9×12 oil on linen panel
“Morning Light at Fort Clinch, Fernandino Beach, FL (12×14) oil on linen board

Farewell to the Florida Gulf Coast. I will definitely be back!……..

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