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Paradise Found

Violet Is the Night
 The purples, pinks and blues of twilight all converge on the plains of Big Cypress Preserve just before transcending into darkness. As I captured this image, I felt I was in a separate reality.

Eye Contact
 This majestic Florida panther is one of the most endangered mammals on earth, one of only 80 to 100 living in the wild today. I captured this image near Big Cypress Preserve at sunset.


Local Flavor
 Two stone crab fishermen offload their catch in late afternoon on opening day of stone crab season—Oct. 15, 2010—on the docks of Kelly’s Fish House across from Tin City.


Small Packages Please
 I’ve passed the smallest post office in the United States, on Tamiami Trail in Ochopee near Everglades City, many times on trips back and forth to my home in the Keys. On this particular evening, all the natural elements came together for the end result I had envisioned.


Garden of Dreams
 I captured a surreal overview of the Brazilian Garden at Naples Botanical Garden at sunset. The Victorian water lilies in the foreground are a refreshing reminder of the magnificence of nature.


In Time Passing
 The sun was setting as I came around a bend on Tamiami Trail near the intersection of SR 29. I had passed this location before without much notice, but this time the lighting had transformed the scene into an Old Florida painting in my mind’s eye.


Sun Gazer
 In the early morning hours at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, I observed this American bittern ingesting a good-sized fish in its entirety. I then captured this amazing bird’s moment of contentment.


Mission in the Moonlight
 Being on location before dawn does have its advantages. As the sun was rising and the moon was setting in the early spring, I was in the ideal position to photograph this pair of wood storks nesting close to the Ten Thousand Islands. It is easy to see who rules in that family!


Free Parking
 A kayaking trip to the Ten Thousand Islands revealed to me their primal beauty. As I captured this image, I was thinking how this natural environment contrasts to the complexities of urban life. It provoked within me a touch of sarcastic humor, which I expressed in the title.


With his artistic eye, Alan S. Maltz has set out to deliver his vision of the infinite glories of Collier County in a new coffee table book,
Journey Through Paradise (to be published in 2012). The images on these pages offer the first glimpse into this endeavor. His last book was Visions of Beauty—Fort Myers, Sanibel and Beyond (2010). 

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