LARIELKA PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog en-us (C) LARIELKA PHOTOGRAPHY [email protected] (LARIELKA PHOTOGRAPHY) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:58:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:58:00 GMT LARIELKA PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog 100 120 Collier County Museum UNEDITED I was lucky enough to be sent on an assignment somewhere in Naples...that does not look nor feel at all like Naples -  The Collier County Museum. What I thought would be a challenge proved to be quite natural given the environs. The assignment required absolutely no editing of the images, not even a crop. This gem of a space proved that some places are naturally perfect and require no edits and filters. Pack a picnic, grab a camera, get lost in time...but DO NOT forget mosquito repellant! The best groundskeeper ever saved me from being eaten alive. All images were shot with a Nikon D750, no tripod. Indoor flash and tripod photography are not permitted. I had with me three lenses on this particular day: the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G and the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G. The time spent felt like a mini-getaway, I had a blast and learned a lot about my newly adopted home while gaining a different view of "paradise".

As you walk in, you are greeted by a giant Ground Sloth skeleton. Wave "hello" and proceed to the indoor exhibits which offer a good overview of the area's history. Especially interesting were the still photos of the 1958 film, Wind Across the Everglades, that was made right here in this area (Everglades City to be exact). Notable because it was one of the first films ever made that was based on environmental issues. The story was about an ornithologist battling a family of bird poachers in the Florida Everglades. The film starred an unlikely cast including Burl Ives, Gypsy Rose Lee, Christopher Plummer and Columbo...a very young Peter Falk! (Not to divert, but I had no idea until now that when he was just 3, Peter Falk's eye was surgically removed due to cancer.) More trivia: The Producer wanted Paul Newman for the Christopher Plummer role. Even MORE trivia: This film was Christopher Plummer's movie debut. 

Nestled amidst 5 acres of native and lush Florida landscaping and shady walkways, Collier County's flagship museum beautifully captures the full panorama of our local history. This gem of a place offers a tremendous amount of historical information provided through numerous, diverse exhibits--both inside and throughout the grounds. There are also traveling exhibits, info on which is available on the Museum's website. Explore on your own its native gardens, a restored, charming 1926 Naples cottage, an archaeology lab, Seminole village and a Calusa Indian camp. Kids will love discovering the Sherman tank and exploring the Seminole War Fort and the steam engine . The native Florida garden - precisely the Craighead Garden - has over 150 varieties of native Florida trees, flowers and plants. A walk through here will cause you to linger as it is lovely, restful, amazingly fragrant and lush. This garden is a living memorial and tribute to a man named the "Scholar of the Everglades" - plant scientist, Dr. Frank Cooper Craighead, Sr. 

The Museum is open Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm and is FREE for one and all. 

Address: 3331 Tamiami Trail EastNaplesFL 34112 (behind the County Government Complex) Phone:  239-252-8476


Explore a charming cottage from the Roaring Twenties, when the year-round population of Naples was probably less than 300 people. Rescued from demolition and faithfully restores, this home offers younger visitors a chance to experience a glimpse of family life in early Collier County. 


Although military action here during the Seminole Wars was relatively minor, at least five forts were built by the army in present-day Collier County. This log stockade would have served as a staging and supply area for patrols searching the Big Cypress Swamp for Seminole strongholds.

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FEATURED PHOTO 12/11/15 - Official VISIT FLORIDA Instagram Account I am excited to be featured on the Visit Florida official IG account. I am even more thrilled that they now follow my IG account (they only follow 714 users) and have expressed interest in a few pics that I have posted. This feature was a photo I took at the Naples City Pier at sunset. It wouldn't be me to NOT edit it with my iPhone6Plus. I decided to give it that extra "ooomph" and it worked. Southwest Florida does, however, have magnificent sunsets even without filters and photoshop.

This is a frequently visited, historic pier known for fishing, bird-watching, dolphin-spotting & scenic sunset views. The great news is fishing from the pier does not require a fishing license as the City of Naples has purchased a bulk fishing license for the pier. If you come for a visit, the pier is located located on the Gulf of Mexico at the West end of 12th Avenue South. It features restrooms, a concession stand with a covered eating area and beach supplies. Most of all, it is a great place to come after dinner in swanky (yet laid-back) downtown Naples. The pier at sunset makes MANY feature appearances in my photos (and scores of other beach lovers') and I am always happy to share it with you. 

Visit Florida is the official planning source for tourism to Florida. Their IG account has over 95K followers and this brings great exposure.

Instagram: @visitflorida


The gift that evening brings #LoveFL (📷: @larielka24)

A photo posted by VISITFLORIDA (@visitflorida) on

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FEATURED 03/11/16 - Official VISIT FLORIDA Instagram Account I am excited to be featured AGAIN on the Visit Florida official IG account. I am even more thrilled that they now follow my IG account (they only follow 714 users) and have expressed interest in a few pics that I have posted. This feature was a photo I took from my kitchen at sunset. I shot it with my iPhone6Plus. It wouldn't be me to NOT edit with same. The pastel colors that night were magnificent even without filter but...I am an extremist. The lone boat cruising along Turtle Bay made incredible patterns in the water; the ripples captivated me especially with the reflection of the golden-pink glow of the sun. Spring sunsets are dreamy and soft.

I live in North Naples, very close to Delnor Wiggins Park. Not only do I get to see the Gulf of Mexico but I am also on Turtle Bay so I get many glimpses of frolicking dolphins and sweet manatees. Sometimes, there are frolicking humans on the pantoon and party boats. We shall remain silent about those escapades! I am not sure who Dr. Beach is and how they got that sweet job but they voted Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park as the #9 Top US Beach for 2015...and the parking lots have been spilling over ever since. We must be doing something right because Florida won the competition for most beaches listed with 4 winners out of the 10.

Visit Florida is the official planning source for tourism to Florida. Their IG account has over 95K followers and this brings great exposure.
Instagram: @visitflorida



Evening Colors in Naples #LoveFL (📷: @larielka24)

A photo posted by VISITFLORIDA (@visitflorida) on

[email protected] (LARIELKA PHOTOGRAPHY) Delnor Wiggins Everglades Florida Gulf Instagram Naples SWFL Sanibel Visit Florida Visit USA VisitFL alligators authentic beach vacations beaches boats families family features fun golfing gulf honeymoons iPhone iPhoneography love mangroves nature night orange photo pier purple reflection romantic sand scenic sea state parks sunset sunshine tour tourism travel travel photos travel pics vacation views water waves Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:45:32 GMT
WINNER 2016 Photo Contest "In & Out of Water" Category-The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Sunsets seem to bring me luck! I am very excited to have won in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel 2016 Photo Contest "In and On Water" category. The highly visited and beautifully designed site,, is impeccably maintained and promoted by the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. Visually stunning, offering a wealth of information and history on this beautiful region we call home. In their own words, "a little quieter, a little less hurried, a lot less like the rest of the world." I hoped to capture precisely that essence in the moment I submitted to this contest category. 

The photo was taken in Lovers Key State Park, Estero FL using my Nikon. I can admit most of the editing was done on my iPhone - always handy and a never-ending source for inspiration on the go and random digital creations. This one paid off!  




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Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk (in Black + White) Part of Fakahatchee Preserve State Park, the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is the most accessible and therefore most highly visited corner of the preserve. It's a notable natural landmark, a stand of virgin cypress in an otherwise cut-over strand. Tunnel into the heart of the swamp on this brief but beautiful boardwalk trail to experience the hundreds of shades of green and the majestic ancient cypresses that tower above. Although lush and rich in greenery, I chose to document my walk in black and white. Many come for the beaches, theme parks, condos and sunshine but I like to get lost in the wild nature. It's humbling. This is the REAL and natural Florida, as it appeared long before all the development. The Florida with the towering 600-year-old cypress trees, whose canopies shield you from the relentless sun. This particular park is quite a gem and it doesn't have the name recognition or the big time organizations that stand behind it as those that back Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Audubon Society's) or the Everglades National Park. The Boardwalk is maintained entirely by volunteers from the Friends of Fakahatchee. Be aware though...just like us humans, the black bears use the boardwalk as the easiest way to traverse the swamp. These photos in this post's slideshow were all shot with my Nikon, edited in Photoshop and fine-tuned on my iPhone4S of all things. Yes, I admit to editing images on a screen the size of large Band Aid.

The Friends of Fakahatchee has started offering naturalist-guided tours along the boardwalk, with wireless headphones that allow visitors to hear about the natural phenomena along the way, while still preserving the hushed volume that is characteristic of and appropriate to the setting. The Boardwalk tours are offered every Thursday morning through March, except for Christmas Eve. Advance reservations are required. To learn more or to support the Friends of Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, a 501(c)3 organization, see www.orchid The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk is on the north side of U.S. 41, about 25 miles east of downtown Naples, and about 7 miles west of State Road 29.



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SANIBEL ISLAND Sanibel Island provides the perfect vacation spot… 15 Miles of Beaches, 25 Miles of Bike Paths, 50 Kinds of Fish, 230 Kinds of Birds, 250 Kinds of Shells & 0 Traffic Lights. Since 1884, Point Ybel Lighthouse has guided seafarers to Sanibel Island's shores. In fact, Sanibel Island just earned the US News and World Report Travel #2 spot in The Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.

Located along the Gulf of Mexico, just a short drive from Fort Myers, Sanibel Island is justly famed for its sunsets, lighthouse and luxurious resorts. By far, the most popular activity here is shelling – you barely can walk a step on the beach without indulging in the so-called "Sanibel Stoop" to search for shells. But there is so much else – fine accommodations, luscious dining (seafood, of course!), fishing, boating, and just plain relaxation, a chance to get away from the hurly burly, a chance to draw closer to nature. Thanks to easy causeway access, Sanibel is a popular tourist destination known  for its wildlife refuges. More than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest being J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Island also hosts the Sanibel Historical Village and a variety of other museums and theaters. Lighthouse Beach is named after the famous Sanibel Lighthouse, which includes a popular fishing pier and nature trails. The most secluded beach on the island is Bowman's Beach; there are no hotels in sight and the beach has a "pristine and quiet" atmosphere. Interesting fact: Parts of George A. Romero's 1985 film Day of the Dead​ were shot on Sanibel Island. Romero had a second home on Sanibel, from which he rewrote Day of the Dead in 1984.

World-renown for its shelling, one can score some serious "treasures" here. It's a relaxing, fun activity for the loners, the lovers, and families. Shelling along the surf and beaches of Sanibel Island is unique in that the island lies east and west, different than most islands, which lie north and south. This direction allows Sanibel Island to "catch" abundant sea shells brought to its shores by the Gulf of Mexico. People from all over the world come to collect and admire the colorful "Treasures from the Sea". You will find the young and the old, crouched over in the famous "Sanibel Stoop", armed with buckets, bags and nets as they relentlessly search for the next, perfect conch shell. TIP: Best time to shell is at low tide; even better after a storm. It is NOT legal to take "live shells". Please return those treasures back to the water:) Shell-obsessed? Click here for more galore!

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Koreshan State Park, Estero, FL. A Must for History AND Nature Buffs. The Koreshan State Historic Site is a state park in Lee County, Florida located on U.S. Highway 41 at Corkscrew Road. It was also added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 1976 under the designation of Koreshan Unity Settlement Historic District. It contains areas of pine flatwoods habitat and the site of a religious colony, the Koreshan Unity, whose last members deeded the land to the state in 1961. Essentially, what we have is a Florida state park devoted to preserving the story of a wacky 19th century cult. Why? Simply put...the Koreshan Unity believed that the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere. These people picked up and left Chicago to become pioneers on the Florida frontier in 1894 because they thought we lived inside a bubble. Today Koreshan State Park offers great natural beauty. Sprawling along the lovely Estero River, there are gardens and exotic bamboo forests left over from the community’s beautification efforts, 11 historic buildings and attractive, shaded picnic sites and campgrounds.

The Koreshans imported a wide range of plant species from across the world, including: a Monkey Puzzle Tree, which is indigenous to South America and drops seed pods as large as a football, a number of Sausage Trees, which are native to Africa and a favored food of Giraffes, Mango and other fruit bearing trees, an extraordinary amount of Japanese Bamboo that originally hails from the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, and many flowering trees and plants of a wide variety. Among the wildlife of the park are Gopher Tortoises, Bobcats, Gray foxes, North American River Otters and American Alligators, as well as such birds as Swallow-tailed Kites, Bald Eagles, Northern Bobwhites, and Red-shouldered Hawks.

Activities include fishing, picnicking, and boating, as well as camping, canoeing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Amenities include a campground, boat ramp, canoe rentals, trails and a picnic area on the Estero River. Beach activities along the Gulf, and kayak rentals on the river are available within a relatively short distance outside the park.


[email protected] (LARIELKA PHOTOGRAPHY) Estero Florida Florida state parks Naples SWFL US travel Visit Florida VisitFL authentic Florida bamboo camping canoeing culture hiking historic places historical historical sites history naples nature old Florida photo walks state parks tourism travel vacation weddings Sat, 22 Mar 2014 22:09:42 GMT