There’s Magic in the Chair!!

Deck the Chairs at Jacksonville Beach, Florida

I took a walk around Latham Plaza and the Seawalk Pavillion in downtown Jacksonville Beach a couple of days ago. I didn’t have any of my cameras with me, so I shot all the photos in this post with my iPhone 11 Pro Max which has the best, in my opinion, cellphone camera ever made. Photos made with this phone challenge those made with my DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

The seventh annual “Deck the Chairs” event is currently going on as it has for the past seven years. The beach lifeguard chairs are decorated and lighted to celebrate Christmas each year.

The non-profit Deck The Chairs organization describes the event on its website at DeckTheChairs.org as:

Jacksonville Beach Deck The Chairs (JBDTC) is an annual lighted sculptural exhibit using the iconic chairs of The American Red Cross Life Saving Corps. Marking its seventh year in community service, JBDTC gathers community to decorate and display the Beaches lifeguard chairs during the month of December to promote local business, instill public pride, and share cultural diversity through creative expression. Free and open to the public, the light display aims to provide a wholesome and festive downtown during the holidays. Deck The Chairs, Inc. is a qualified nonprofit organization under IRS Code Section 501(c)(3).

Here are a few of my photos of the decorated chairs:

“Santa’s Surf Shack” at Deck the Chairs

Pablo Towers Entry to “Deck The Chairs”

“Beaches Leader” and “PonteVedra Leader” Entry to Deck the Chairs

Jacksonville Beach Bar Association at Deck the Chairs

Adamec Harley-Davidson at Deck the Chairs

Jacksonville Jaguars at Deck the Chairs

 

A recent addition to the Christmas festivities at the Seawalk Pavillion is the “Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden” that’s displays are made from recycled plastic items. DeckTheChairs.org describes the garden as:

Beaches Go Green is grateful for the opportunity to showcase our Octopus Garden at Deck The Chairs 2019 to celebrate the holidays AND to bring attention to the huge issues surrounding plastic pollution.

According to First Coast News.com:

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A 100-foot octopus made from single-use plastic is rising from the Jacksonville Beach Seawalk Pavilion days ahead of the city’s annual Deck the Chairs event.

The display, called the Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden, features lighted tentacles that will flash in the dark and is surrounded by ocean reef and glowing jellyfish — all made from single-use plastic bottles, according to a news release. The display is part of Jacksonville Beach Deck the Chairs.

The head of the Octopus alone is 20 feet tall, 30 feet deep and 15 feet wide. The tentacles are lined with more than 15,000 single-use plastic bottles and span 100 feet in all directions, the release said.

The project is the result of a partnership between Deck the Chairs and environmental advocate Beaches Go Green, Artistic Contractors and Republic Services.

In addition to being a fun sight for families at Deck the Chairs, the Octopus Garden will also promote awareness and educate the public about the dangers of the overconsumption of single-use plastic and its impact on the environment. The garden will feature a light show, children’s education displays and weekend activities for children.

Here are some of my photos from the Octopus Garden:

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden all made from single-use plastic bottles

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden all made from single-use plastic bottles

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden all made from single-use plastic bottles

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden all made from single-use plastic bottles

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden all made from single-use plastic bottles

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden all made from single-use plastic bottles

Beaches Go Green Octopus Garden

You can view more of my photos on my photo website at allenforrest.com.  I’d love it if you took a look!

 

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Third-Ever Sighting of a Snowy Owl in Florida

Early on the morning of January 3, 2014, I headed from my home in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, to Little Talbot Island on the coast of Florida about 16 miles north of me. I had heard in the local news that a rare sighting this far south of a Snowy Owl had occured, so I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph it. That day was one of the coldest days we had experienced in a long time, so I bundled up, packed my camera gear, and drove to Little Talbot Island.

One of our local TV news outlets, News4Jax, reported the Owl event with this report-

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.A snowy owl is making a rare appearance in Northeast Florida.

By Ashley Spicer – Reporter, anchor

One of the Arctic birds arrived last week in Little Talbot Island State Park and the latest sighting was Friday morning. It’s only the third-ever sighting of a snowy owl confirmed in Florida.

Park services specialist Peter Maholland says bird watchers have been flocking to northeast Florida to catch a glimpse of the white bird.

“All of our birding enthusiasts are just excited, as you can imagine, to come and see something they probably wouldn’t have had the chance to see in their lifetime,” Maholland said. “So everyone is coming from all over the place.”

Experts say snowy owls fly farther south when their population spikes or their food source becomes scarce. An invasion of snowy owls has been reported this winter across the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

I was lucky enough to see and photograph the owl that morning. Here are several of my photos of the Snowy Owl from that cold morning- [Click on a Photo to Enlarge It!]

Snowy Owl at Little Talbot Island
Snowy Owl at Little Talbot Island
Snowy Owl at Little Talbot Island

News4Jax has more photos and an interesting short (less than 2 minute) video about the Owl’s visit on its website at News4Jax. I recommend you check it out.

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