El Cyclon

‘El Cyclon’ – is a whimisical unique looking loft building located in South Beach’s South of Fifth area.


An interesting building that is sometimes known as Spongebob Squarepants because of its shape.
An interesting building that is sometimes known as Spongebob Squarepants because of its shape.
Even the name is interesting
Even the name is interesting
There are some quirky fish adornments scattered across the building.
There are some quirky fish adornments scattered across the building.
It has a very interesting front door - Octopus or El Cyclon himself?
It has a very interesting front door – Octopus or El Cyclon himself?

Travel Size Medications and Pain Relievers

I’m not a big medication user, in fact I can barely swallow what I guess most human beings would consider regular sized pain relievers. This is not a new phenomenon for me. I’ve always had trouble and would have to use the dispersible painkillers when I was younger or suffer in silence.

However, if like me you have trouble swallowing pills you may be interested in a few different options that can help you feel better quicker and without all the hassle of the ‘choke factor’ and the gallon of water you have to swallow. Compare that scenario to other people who barely swallow a teaspoonful of water, if any at all – no-one likes a smarty pants 😉

You may even be that person so congratulations or if not I can sympathize and I’m sure you know the kind of person I’m talking about. They effortlessly look at you without moving their head an inch as well as looking like they are barely swallowing – is that you – how do you do that?

It’s certainly not me. I end up doing a special balancing act in my mouth and then attempt to encase the pill in a bubble of water which I hope manages to go down my throat. What normally happens is I swallow the water and the pill stays firmly in place in my mouth melting into a gooey horrible tasting mess. If I’m really lucky it will stay perfectly in shape to give me another chance…or I give up.

Why do we say it’s the size of a Horse Pill?

It is certainly not my imagination…pills really have increased in size. When you are faced with a ‘horse-pill’ the size of a small cocktail sausage and that horrible feeling of it stuck in the back of your throat going nowhere fast…what can you do to get some relief?

First of all get yourself a pill crusher. There are many different sorts on the market. It’s easy to pop into your bag so that you can crush your pills on the go should you need to. Adding the powder to a flavored drink or apple sauce makes the whole experience much more pleasant.

Not all pills can be crushed so check with your Doctor or Pharmacist for advice or alternatives.

Read moreTravel Size Medications and Pain Relievers


Whilst visiting Matheson Hammock State Park, three cheeky Raccoons wandered by to investigate some nearby trash cans.

Raccoons possess amazing dexterity that allows them to open doors, jars, bottles and latches. They are also great climbers, which allows them to better access food and shelter.


Three Racoons out for a stroll in Matheson Hammock Park, FL
Three Raccoons out for a stroll in Matheson Hammock Park, FL

Fun Raccoon Facts

  • The raccoon’s scientific name, Procyon lotor, means “washer dog” although it is a closer relative to the bear family.
  • On the mammal IQ scale raccoons rank higher than cats and just below monkeys.
  • The raccoon has the ability to rotate their hind feet a full 180 degrees to allow for their ability to climb down from trees head first.
  • The word raccoon, derived from the Algonquin Indian word “arakun” means “he scratches with hands”.
  • The baby raccoon’s eyes do not open until 20 days or so after birth. It won’t have rings on its tail, or a mask around its eyes, until it’s older.

Activity: Nocturnal in nature, raccoons are mostly active at night. They are most active in spring, summer and fall, and will sleep in their dens for most of the winter.

Social Interaction: Raccoons are independent after 12 – 14 months of age. Adults live in loose knit communities of 4 – 5 raccoons for better protection against predators.

Communication: Raccoons communicate with each other using over 200 different sounds and 12 – 15 different calls.


Your twin sisters. Your neighbor’s two poodles. Your vision during a dizzy spell. Your doppelgänger.

Double can be interpreted in many ways. Here’s my take on seeing double.

A couple of signs on the famous Duval Street, Key West, FL
A couple of signs on the famous Duval Street, Key West, FL
No longer connected - a section of the old railway bridge going to Key West, FL
No longer connected – a section of the old railway bridge going to Key West, FL
Double sided flags at Bayside, Downtown Miami
Double sided flags at Bayside, Downtown Miami


Here’s a picture that was taken inside The British Museum in London. It has an amazing glass ceiling.

The British Museum in London has an amazing glass ceiling.
The British Museum in London has an amazing glass ceiling.

Designed by Foster and Partners, the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court transformed the Museum’s inner courtyard into the largest covered public square in Europe. It is a two-acre space enclosed by a spectacular glass roof with the world-famous Reading Room at its centre.

The courtyard had been a lost space since 1857. The re-design of the Great Court meant that this hidden space could be seen again.

The design of the Great Court was loosely based on Foster’s concept for the roof of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany. A key aspect of the design was that with every step in the Great Court the vista changed and allowed the visitor a new view on their surroundings.

Work on the Great Court’s magnificent glass and steel roof began in September 1999. The canopy was designed and installed by computer. It was constructed out of 3,312 panes of glass, no two of which are the same.

At two acres, the Great Court increased public space in the Museum by forty per cent, allowing visitors to move freely around the main floor for the first time in 150 years.



Architecture and Monochrome

From geometric patterns on skyscrapers to the ironwork on historical buildings, there are many opportunities to capture the beauty and complexity of architecture.

One of the tallest buildings in Miami Beach (and one of the most expensive places to live) is the Portofino. Even though it’s a tall skyscraper of a building, it still manages to look Art Deco in style. You can’t fail to miss the bright orange and blue building reaching into the sky.

The iconic Portofino

In the day the next building is nothing special but at night it comes alive with a spectacular light show. I think it really shows the architecture of the building better at night.

Colorful Lights

The next buildings are examples of some of the art deco hotels and buildings we have here in Miami Beach. The height restrictions are preserved in the art deco district so we’re lucky not to have high rise condos and hotels ruining the area.

Picture a dreamlike setting complete with exquisite, hand-painted frescos on barrel-vaulted ceilings, brilliant travertine floors, fine marble columns, intricate leaded glass fixtures, carved mahogany furnishings and lavish gardens. Then picture this all in the shadow of a spiraling Moorish Giralda tower. The Biltmore Hotel

Is it a Spanish castle or a grand Venetian palazzo?

Although The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Fl does resemble the finest in classic Mediterranean architecture, it is neither an Italian palazzo nor Iberian castle. Instead it is the centerpiece of George Merrick’s vision of Coral Gables as an elegant, stately suburb, which he called “The City Beautiful.”
Combining his deep affection for lush South Florida landscape with a high regard for Italian, Moorish and Spanish architectural influences, Merrick realized his dream in the construction of his masterpiece.

You can find out more about the Biltmore Hotel here

Architecture and Monochrome

The above buildings work really well in color but what happens when you turn them black and white. Which do you prefer?

Read moreArchitecture and Monochrome


Today, let’s go big. Whether inside or outside, photograph something of massive size. But feel free to interpret big in your own way, and get creative with your shot. Capture all or just part of the subject. Place it in the foreground so it takes up the entire frame. Or shoot it from afar so it appears smaller — yet still prominent.

Well my point of interest to demonstrate BIG is one of the super large cruise ships that sail by every day from the Port of Miami. For something so large they are extremely quiet cutting through the calm waters as if it was butter.

You can be relaxing on the beach or near the bay and suddenly look up and be taken by complete surprise at this massive ship sailing by.

Here are a few shots of these amazing floating hotels.

From this perspective you can not really tell how large the ship is
Going out to sea
Going out to sea
Bon Voyage!
Bon Voyage!

Here are a few more images of cruise ships docked in Key West, FL. In fact these are the ships that will soon be making their way back to Miami.

Cruise Ship
Large Cruise Ship waiting to pick up its passengers at Key West, FL
They are so super big – how do they manage to float?

Bliss and Solitude Revisited

To finish off the weekend review of the photo101 week of assignments I’m revisiting the last two subjects of Bliss and Solitude.

Here are a few more photos that represent these categories.



If you’re interested in looking at the original articles click on the links below.


Experiment with Composition

So I’ve made it to the end of the first week of the Photo101 assignments and have covered topics ranging from Home, Wider Views, Water, Bliss and Solitude.

Now it’s a free for all weekend where we can revisit some of these topics and put into practice what we have learned. I’m using today to showcase some of the other photos that fit into the Home, Wider View and Water category.


Wider Views


Come back tomorrow to see my gallery of pictures depicting shots of Bliss and Solitude from the Photo101 assignments.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out the original assignment posts related to each of the above categories.

A Wider View


Solitary Tree

Today’s assignment for photo101 is to depict Solitude.

My photo shows a solitary tree reaching up through the undergrowth.

A Lonely Tree
A Lone Tree – Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Even though there is a lot of nature in this photo, the fact it is the only tree of its kind hopefully depicts the feeling of being in a solitary state.

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