Beacons of light dotting the coastlines reaching out into the night....Lighthouses! A welcome sight to weary souls in the darkness.
It was a blazing hot day in July when Bonnie and I went over to Mayport to catch the ferry. I don't remember where we were going only that we got waylaid when we spotted the lighthouse. Man it was hot out that day, a skin sizzler without a breath of air, we pulled our chairs from the trunk and I donned my Dad's borrowed straw cowboy hat (I know. Geeky perfection,right?) for protection against the intense heat. The lighthouse is just off the main drag to the very busy ferry entrance on a side street not heavily travelled. There were a few cars that came by and gave us the once over, but not much to be concerned with (you know, the people that always want to see what you are doing, that makes me very nervous). We plopped our canvas chairs next to a 8-10' chain length fence (apparently the lighthouse is actually part of the Mayport Naval Air Station) and started to paint.
Like I said, it was HOT and summertime, so eventually there would be cooling breezes from the inevitable afternoon showers. We were just finishing up our paintings of the lighthouse and a little church when the skies began to darken and a breeze started to blow in from the water, large raindrops began to fall as we dashed to the car, laughing all the way.
Each time I see these plein air paintings I think of that day in July, I can hear the seagulls, feel the warmth of the sun, smell the rich earthy dirt when it rains, and remember what a great day it was to be out painting with my best friend.
You can read more about this lighthouse by clicking on the link above (in bold).
I would encourage you to seek out and visit a lighthouse on your travels, it is a wonderful way to spend a few hours painting or sketching and learning about an area's history.