Otterbox 3500, is it really waterproof?

It’s been raining here for literally weeks so I took this time to field test the Otterbox 3500. The Otterbox 3500 securely holds a handheld Canon HD video camera, GoPro camera, Garmin handheld GPS, and a handful of other small accessories. At 8x5x4 (approx) it easily fits in my backpack and I’ve used it for a couple of months without any problems.
I really wanted to test the waterproof claims and this rainy weather gave me the perfect opportunity. Enjoy the video below:

Owahee Boardwalk Video

Often when you venture off the beaten path you find some amazing places. Here’s a video of a long boardwalk I found that traverses a couple of ecosystems.
Enjoy the ride and keep exploring!

Apoxee Park

As I was soaking up the serenity of nature, I was amazed at how quiet it was considering the proximity to busy civilization.   Natural areas within the city limits are a great respite from the city, but they often can’t escape the noise of the city. Somehow this park did and it was nice to fully immerse myself in the surroundings without the distractions of civilization.  apoxee water

The park is named Apoxee Park.  Apoxee (pronounced Ah-po-ee) means Beyond Tomorrow in the Miccosukee language and is the first of the City of West Palm Beach’s urban wilderness parks. Unique to the park is they use the wetlands to provide a new water supply (maximum 10 million gallons per day) in order to achieve both urban and environmental water sustainability.

apoxee owlFrom the parking lot, the trail is paved and shortly after provides two options; a paved loop or a dirt path to the right.  The paved portion is a short loop through pine and oak trees.  If you go in the late afternoon, you’ll hear the calls of the Great Horned owls echoing through the trees.  I was lucky to actually see and photograph both of them.  It is amazing that such a large, majestic bird can fly so silently.

You can walk the paved path in about ten minutes or so depending on if the owls are there. The dirt path is a much longer trail that is suitable for hiking and biking.

The dirt path is narrow and tree lined with occasional openings to catch a glimpse of the water.  A boardwalk here and there provides unobstructed views of the lakes.  Benches are strategically placed along the way to sit and enjoy the view of the water or just enjoy the sunshine. One of these benches amidst some trees was the perfect lunch spot.

Shortly after crossing the power line road, the trail forks and fortunately there is a big sign and a map. I took the right loop and found a long L – shaped boardwalk that traverses one of the lakes. Throughout the water is a variety of plant life that provides a carpet like covering on the bottom. The plant life is so thick in areas, it looks like small canyons under water.  Most rivers in the area have tannin (decaying plant material) so the water isn’t clear. Here the water is crystal clear and all the fish, plants and other inhabitants were visible.

The boardwalk dead ends into another tree lined dirt trail which is flat, straight and the perfect place to ride a bike. According to the map this trail stretches for  few miles if not more.  On the other side of this trail is another lake full of lily pads, birds and trees.  The serene view, gentle wind through the trees, and warm sun made for perfect place to just relax.  A strategically placed bench was the perfect place to hang out and enjoy the view. apoxee trail

According to the map, the trails extend for many more miles so I’ll be back with my bike to continue exploring and will provide an update.   Apoxee park is a nice oasis for a gentle walk, a medium hike, biking, or birding all right in the middle of town.

Here’s a short video of the boardwalk: http://youtu.be/THrKrn9iRRg:

For more info on the park: www.wpb.org/park/apoxee-park/

Norton Art After Dark

That’s a guitar? I tilted my head and eventually saw it. Art is always subject to interpretation and this evening was no exception as I explored the Norton’s Art After Dark series. With the time change upon us I thought it timely to explore indoor excursions.

As a photographer, I find it interesting to see other people’s perspectives and in an art museum, you see quite a variety.  Like the long black acrylic plank leaning against the wall which was part of the West Coast Minimalism movement. Art After Dark

Or the 8 foot by 8 foot gunmetal grey square, with squiggly lines at the bottom and protruding dots at the top. I guessed something at night and was close. The artist’s depiction is of the beach, ocean and a starry night.

As I continue, I enjoy the mental challenge and enjoy how different artists break the normal rules; like the clay sculpture with finger impressions to convey the artist’s role in the creation.

History is always interesting and art has plenty.  For example, I didn’t know that Picasso and Braque developed the Cubism style in 1900. They challenged the Renaissance concept that a painting should present a subject from a single point of view. They looked at their subjects as if they were seen from multiple perspectives and then composed accordingly. See, now those pictures make sense.

Art After DarkI also found it interesting the effect of world events on art.  Paintings during the World Wars often were dark to convey the sadness and emotion of the times. Some were optimistic, but you didn’t know the interpretation till you read the accompanying story.  A picture is worth a thousand words but the artist’s story behind it is priceless.

In addition to browsing the three different floors of the gallery, there was a short tour on surrealism, an artist’s talk, and a jazz band on the lower level.

Art After Dark is every Thursday night with a different theme. Doors are open from 5-9pm and the cost is $12. County residents have free admission to the museum at the following times though:

Palm Beach County residents receive FREE admission on the first Saturday of every month. *
West Palm Beach residents receive FREE admission every Saturday. *

* Must present valid photo ID

http://www.norton.org/