Fort Myers Beach Florida

photo of Siesta Key beach

A photo story of the sunshine state, Florida

Photography by Gary Wonning

Fort Myers Beach is a town on Estero Island, off the southwest Florida coast. A long, sandy beach faces the Gulf of Mexico. The Ostego Bay Marine Science Center showcases local marine life. To the east, trails run through Matanzas Pass Preserve nature sanctuary. Built on an ancient Calusa Indian shell mound, the 1900s Mound House has archaeological exhibits. Times Square shopping center has stores and restaurants

photo of Fort Myers Beach pier

Fort Myers Beach at sunrise

This photo was taken at sunrise on a beautiful winter morning.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

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We Need To Quit Taking Sides In Our Elections

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

Our founders were totally against political parties, and rightfully so, they soon, as we have discovered become self-serving.

Politics have become all about teams.

Many relate to what kind of job a politician is doing according to whether he has a D or an R by his name.  Folks, this isn’t the Super Bowl or the World Series, those are fantasy, this is real life.

Probably over 90% of the politicians today could care less about their constituents or how their decisions affect life in America.Their sole purpose of their existence is to decide the best action they can pursue to get reelected.  Everything they say and do is based on what the party wants,  they no longer have views or opinions of their own. 

On top of that, most of the decisions that affect our daily lives are made by unelected bureaucrats, people sitting in an office in Washington who have never been west of the Potomac River.

Sell Art Online

There was a day, in the distant past, when eighty percent of our elected officials were military veterans,  it was almost a requirement to be a veteran to get a government job.  These days, less than twenty percent of elected officials are veterans and those same bureaucrats mentioned above, the percentage is probably less than that,  being a veteran is often a detriment to getting a good civil service job.

When our brave men and women came home from Vietnam, they were spat on, cursed at, and after  that, many were denied jobs because of their military service.

A free society can only survive if it is an informed society, today, too many only remember what the latest sound bite was on last nights news, and never think any further than that.  Critical thinking has gone completely out the window.

People have become so accustomed to finding the answer to daily questions on Google they no longer think, they have lost the ability to make up their mind about anything, they don’t have to. We have become a society of robots.

It’s time to become informed, pay attention, and believe that  your vote counts, it does. Some elections are decided by one vote per precinct. If the candidate of your choice doesn’t perform, there is anther election in two years, vote him or her out.  

These politicians aren’t our leaders, they are our representatives, they aren’t rock stars or our personal heroes, they don’t need to be treated as such. 

They are private citizens, just like us, and the are supposed to be performing a public service, it isn’t supposed to be a lifetime job. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

While we have advanced technically far superior to those that came before us, we have lagged behind in spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

Helping kids Who Are Returning To School

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Every year there are good intentioned people sponsoring fund raisers to buy school supplies for under privileged kids returning to school. This is a noble cause and it will help many kids who would otherwise not have the opportunity to have the items they need to succeed in school.

However noble the cause, I look at the reason schools say they can’t afford to buy the items needed in the classroom to enable a proper education.

It seems that daily there are news stories about how teachers and students themselves have to supply the things the schools should be providing. Obviously, teachers shouldn’t be required to purchase these items either. In many parts of the country, teachers are underpaid, and not allowed to discipline their students when they misbehave, some have even gotten thrown out of the class room by unruly students and weren’t even able to defend themselves.

For most of us, our property taxes have risen substantially over the years due to inflation and rising property values, and the schools keep complaining they are always needing more money.

We have school board members making over $200,000 dollars  per year and the schools can’t afford to buy supplies for the children, something is wrong here and it isn’t that the schools don’t have enough money.

Public schools are a government program, and I haven’t seen a government program that doesn’t always need more money, and regardless of how much is allotted to them, they always spend it and always complain they need more.

As the old adage proclaims, ” The easiest task in the world is to spend other peoples money.”

The school system is proving that, there is no accountability, all they need to do is complain to the taxpayers, and the money flows in and surprisingly, the money winds up in the school administrations pockets instead of where it actually needs to go, big surprise.

Meanwhile the students and teachers are once again left holding an empty bag.

When someone works for the government, they are supposed to be a public servant. While I don’t advocate someone working for peanuts, they should not be getting rich off the taxpayers.

Our present school board consists of five members,  the president makes almost $200,000 dollars a year, with the other four making around $40,000. Being a school board member should be voluntary, or at least their salaries should be cut in half, with the president being reduced by at least $150,000. How many school supplies would this one reduction pay for?

I’m not even getting into how much the rest of the administration receives, plus the perks.

By creating this environment, not only are we driving up the costs to the taxpayers, but we are teaching our kids the wrong values.

Kids aren’t learning  to be independent and to make it on their own, the cornerstone of the American way of life. By receiving this presumed “free stuff” , they are being taught to depend on government and others for their daily needs, instead of learning to rely on themselves and finding ways to improvise to make life work, and then and only then to look to others for help through the rough times in life.

If kids learn coping skills, they are then better able to function in the real world, and not become unglued when faced with the first crisis of their adult life.This problem, as well as many others will never be solved by throwing more money at a bad idea. It isn’t a problem of not having enough money, the problem is the priorities are no longer what they should be. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

.photo of ayres rock, "uluru" in central Australia

The life of the Australian Aborigine

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

While we have advanced technically far superior to those that came before us, we have lagged behind in spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

Phillippi Creek Estates Park, Sarasota Florida

 

Please click on the photos to see more beautiful photographs of Sarasota, Florida.

The Edson Keith estate on the south bank of Phillippi Creek, typical of the grand estate houses erected by the extensive Chicago coterie of friends in Sarasota, reflects much of Sarasota’s most venerable history. The estate lies near the “rancho”, or seasonal fishing camp, on the creek named for Felipe Bermudez.

 

Part of public lands ceded to the state by the federal government upon admission to the Union, the Philippi parcel was a tiny portion of the 4,000,000 acres purchased by Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia in 1881 for $1,000,000. This purchase helped rescue Florida from bankruptcy after the Civil War.

In 1883, farmer and bee-keeper W.J. Drumwright purchased 40 acres of the parcel from Disston for $50, selling that and additional land in 1910 to George H. and C. Woodburn Matheny, who subdivided it as “Phillippi Park.” In 1911, Chicago socialite Mabel Linn purchased the estate property from the Mathenys and began development of a homesite.

Miss Linn sold the undeveloped property in 1915 for $7,000 to Edson Keith, Jr., president of a large millinery business and a member of Sarasota’s “Chicago Colony” which included the Field, Palmer, and other prominent families. In the summer of 1916, the Keiths began construction of their “Italian Renaissance” home on Phillippi Creek. The architects were William A. Otis and Edwin H. Clark of Chicago. Original out-buildings still standing include a two-story servants’ home, garden shed, and garage. Other buildings on the estate included a water tower, a chauffeur’s house, and various sheds for farm and citrus grove activities.

Keith died in the home in 1939 and his widow sold the property to Chicago doll clothing designer Mae Hansen Prodie, whose husband operated the home as a luxury inn in the 1950s. Mrs. Prodie retired to the home in the 1960s and upon her death in 1986, Sarasota County acquired the property as a park site through a bond referendum.

Phillippi Estate Park located on the shores of Phillippi Creek, is a scenic, 60-acre natural area park south of downtown Sarasota and east of Siesta Key.

A beautiful Garden adorns the area.

Cupolas, popular in a time gone by, adorn the grounds.

A quaint walking path leads to Phillippi Creek

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

The Future Is Now

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

I remember standing out in my front yard as a child one evening, I was probably about five or six years old.

At the time I lived in southern Indiana and looking towards the east, I saw Washington D.C. going up in flames. I hardly knew what Washington D.C. was, I had heard it was our nation’s capital, but being as young as I was I didn’t realize what the city stood for.

I just knew our government was in trouble and it seemed as if it was a few years after the turn of the 21st century. It seemed to be really troubling times.

This was about 1950, so it seemed really far off, and I pretty much forgot about it.

Several years later, in the late 80s, I had an opportunity to speak with a very knowledgeable and intuitive lady. Someone who should have been famous, but wasn’t.

She gave me the same information about the coming turmoil, repeating what I had heard in my youth.

I listened to what she had said, but it never really registered how bad it could get, we had just survived the protests of the sixties, how much worse could it be?

She said there would be much rioting and discontent, but it would be confined to the major cities and if we stayed out of them we would be fine.

She said the problems would come from the way the majority of our children had been raised after the sixties, the permissiveness and lack of control many parents had over their kids, and the way American society had forgotten what had made us great.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Soon after that, I went to a motivational seminar, where Zig Ziglar was speaking, he said the same things, I still didn’t heed the warnings.

Most of us were raised in a different world, we were busier than a one-armed monkey at a flea festival. We raised our kids in that world, but somehow things changed and people forgot or didn’t think it was important to remember any more.

This is how most cultures decline and finally disappear, being taken over by a more barbaric society, until they no longer exist.

I took it with a grain of salt and went about my way as many others had done who had heard the same warnings, after all, our parents and grandparents had been saying the same thing for years, the world was going to hell in a handbasket.

Soon it was the turn of the century, and suddenly, the things I had seen and was told about began coming true.

It seemed chaos was everywhere, no self-control or discipline, no respect for the law, or others, profanity, everything that was right was wrong, and everything that was wrong was right.

Bad behavior became condoned and accepted, anyone who disagreed and remembered the values taught them at a younger age, were condemned and ridiculed.

Suddenly changing things back seemed about as difficult as scratching your ear with your elbow.

The world had been turned upside down, and all the problems of the world somehow seemed to be the fault of the United States.

You hear constantly on the media and from some politicians how horrible a place the United States is, how cruel we are to minorities, the disabled, etc.

I found during my travels, this is not the way the average person across the globe feels, that is only media and political rhetoric, designed to sell ads and garner votes by pandering to humanity’s basic trait, fear.

While in the outback of Australia, I got into a conversation with a nineteen-year-old girl from Switzerland, she couldn’t understand why I would travel somewhere besides America, she made the statement that if she lived in America, she would never leave, in her words,”America has everything a person could ever want or need.”

A few days later, we entered the tiny town of Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. They were celebrating the 4th of July, being appreciative of how the yanks saved them from the Japanese during WW2.

I’ve been on an Italian cruise ship with about 4000 passengers and only about 20% Americans, they sang our national anthem and everyone stood up placed their hands over their heart and sang, giving us a two-minute standing ovation when the song was completed.

Art Prints

Most thinking people appreciate and respect what America has done over the last 200 hundred plus years.

America has endured a lot, and I believe it has a manifest destiny. We would have never become a nation or survived without what George Washington would call, Divine Providence and Divine Intervention.

Fighting against impossible odds, he often gave credit to Divine Intervention for his successes.

Adhering to the basic tenets of our country, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and the Ten Commandments we have weathered the many storms that have befallen us.

Now we face a new challenge, maybe the most critical challenge in our history.

Before, the threat to our country has come from without, now it comes from within.

Many have forgotten what made us great as a country or no longer seem to think it is important.

They seem to believe they can do and think as they please, without regard to anyone or anything else.

We have lost our way.

As I soon discovered in my travels, everyone worships God in their own way, that is what our founders wanted, we have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

We have the God-given right to express our religious beliefs in public or anywhere we chose, not to force them on anyone, but to express them as we see fit, as long as it doesn’t harm someone else, and we respect what others feel, and not infringe on their space.

The Maya, Egyptians, and Aborigines of Australia were more in tune with their creator than we are today.

Many of the aborigines still are, even though some of them have become radicalized and developed an entitlement attitude because of what the Australian government has done to try and help them.

All three cultures have regressed, the Egyptians went from calling their leaders, Gods, To Pharaohs, then kings, and now presidents.

The Maya have all but disappeared as a culture, and the aborigines are slowly dying off and trying to adapt, in the process turning to drugs and alcohol.

I see the same thing in the United States, many here are also turning to drugs and alcohol because they no longer have a spiritual foundation to rely on.

We have a drug epidemic stretching from Times Square to the cornfields of Indiana.

In an area where the Friday night entertainment was a basketball game, now several people wind up in the hospital from a drug overdose. It happens weekly.

It doesn’t even make the news anymore, it’s not uncommon for the emts to run out of narcon.

Earlier this year, the morgue in Dayton Ohio ran out of room, an airline pilot for a major airline overdosed with his wife while their young child watched.

The list goes on and on, there seems to be no end to it.

The bad behavior, lack of respect, a sense of entitlement, profanity, and people sit at home watching mindless TV while ignoring their churches, social, fraternal and civic organizations.

In spite of it all, I still believe there are many good people out there, I think the majority of Americans still have their heads on straight, their voices get silenced and their cause doesn’t get good TV ratings or sell ads in your local paper.

Many are worried, they see what is going on and feel as helpless as a cow in quicksand.

Over the last several years, America has been fundamentally changed, because of negative influences from many politicians and the media, we have forgotten where we came from and what America once stood for.

But we really can’t blame anyone but ourselves, we could not have been fundamentally transformed if we hadn’t let it happen.

We stood by silently as our country was changed from within, no one or not many even said a word, and few noticed.

Some thought it was wonderful, thinking the world has changed and we need to just go along with the flow.

Many no longer adhere to the Wisdom of Our Ancestors, that knowledge that was once passed down from generation to generation, from time immemorial.

The very things we got so tired of hearing and we swore to never repeat to our descendants, we never wanted to sound like our parents, how wrong we were.

This is how great cultures rise and fall, they become great through their deeds and beliefs, they then reach a pinnacle and begin enjoying the fruits of their labor, allowing decadence to overcome their common sense, becoming a victim of and falling to their own success.

They forget about God and become focused on their own self-importance, until they once again fall into subjugation and poverty, completing the cycle, waiting for someone to save them while forgetting no one will save them if they don’t save themselves.

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

They forget the spirit of self-sufficiency and self-reliance that enabled them to become successful.

It came upon us slowly, most never even noticed, the stark reality came back to me just a few days ago when a high school friend I hadn’t seen in years remarked that he had noticed it several years ago.

He joined to Air Force out of high school, after he was discharged military service, when at one time it was an honor to serve in the military, and rightfully so, having military experience opened many employment doors and opportunities, he found it hard to get a job in the post Vietnam era if you had served in the military, and once they found you had been to Vietnam, the door closed permanently.

For many, this was the final straw, after having valiantly served and being spit on when coming home, they could now not find a job, our country did a great disservice.

Having finally found employment in the DC area, he began to notice the same people who had lead all the protests in the 60s were now getting high positions in the federal government.

And so it goes today, where once, a military background provided good training, respect, and many essential job skills, they are now looked upon as a detriment, and those in our nation’s government are the very ones who not only then, but now continue to try and bring down our nation.

Today, many have it all wrong, they continuously work to bring down a great nation who has done so much for so many. They continuously look for the negatives brought on by their own personal bad attitudes and a chip on their shoulders.

Many are so mad they could swallow a horned toad backward, but they have no idea what they are mad about.

If you ask them what they are protesting, they can’t tell you. They are just protesting.

Many are looking for personal gain and wealth, siding with those of like mind with an attitude they will somehow rule the world or change things for the better. Little do they realize, that if they form the world and our nation into what they deem a perfect world, they will be the first ones to be killed, and if they live, the world will not be what they had envisioned.

We all know how to fix this, regardless of what we have been told by the media and the left, this is still the greatest nation to have existed on the planet. Americans are still great caring people. Most of us still have a remembrance of the common sense and core values we grew up with, those values taught to us by our parents and elders.

Those values that are despised by those in the media and extremist groups.

If you have forgotten, all you need to do to remember is to read the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the writings of our founding fathers.

Then look deep inside you, past all the things you have been lead to believe by others, look into your heart and you find your answer as to what you need to do,

All knowledge comes from within.

The future is now, it’s your decision as to how this all turns out.

Remember in 1960, Nikita Khrushchev stood before the UN, took off his shoe and beat it on the podium as he stated, ” your grandchildren will be raised as a communist. “

photo of nikita khrushchev at the United Nations

Nikita Khrushchev at the UN

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

 

The U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

The United States Capitol building, this photo was taken from the window of the Library of Congress.

A picture of the U.S. Capitol building

The Capitol Building

The United States Capitol often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the District’s street-numbering system and the District’s four quadrants.

The original building was completed in 1800 and was subsequently expanded, particularly with the addition of the massive dome, and expanded chambers for the bicameral legislature, the House of Representatives in the south wing and the Senate in the north wing. Like the principal buildings of the executive and judicial branches, the Capitol is built in a distinctive neoclassical style and has a white exterior. Both its east and west elevations are formally referred to as fronts, though only the east front was intended for the reception of visitors and dignitaries.

Photography Prints

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Tampa Florida

photo of Siesta Key beach

A photo story of the sunshine state, Florida

Photography by Gary Wonning

Tampa is a city on Tampa Bay, along Florida’s Gulf Coast. A major business center, it’s also known for its museums and other cultural offerings. Busch Gardens is an African-themed amusement park with thrill rides and animal-viewing areas. The historic Ybor City neighborhood, developed by Cuban and Spanish cigar-factory workers at the turn of the 20th century, is a dining and nightlife destination.

The Tampa waterfront is beautiful in the evening.  The Hillsborough River runs through downtown with many restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels on either side.

Twilight in Tampa

With its perfect mix of historic architecture and modern landmarks, Cuban and Spanish culture-infused flavor, vibrant business districts and beautiful waterways, Tampa is a wonderful place to work, play and unwind.

Tampa Bay Front

Tampa is  a great city for all ages and tastes, offering hotel accommodations that fit any budget and catering to everyone from the families to outdoor adventure seekers to foodies and wine connoisseurs. Once known as a melting pot, Tampa remains a welcoming place for those seeking fun, opportunity and a chance to try new things.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.