Ghost Town on the Tamiami Trail

Old Pinecrest Gas Station, Old Tamiami Trail
© 2010 by Michael A. Pancier

About a mile west of what is now Shark Valley lies the entrance to the Loop Road. A 30 mile drive into a pothole laden dirt road through Big Cypress National Preserve. The road used to be part of the original Tamiami Trail.  If you drive it now, besides gators, birds, rednecks and bugs, you'll run into the Pinecrest Ghostown.  In the 1920's Pinecrest was a kind of boom town with the opening of the Trail. Pioneers were gator hunters, loggers, farmers, bootleggers, and some just trying to get away from the law. The nearest law was at the county seat in Key West. Pinecrest, just across the county line from Dade county, was a perfect place for Al Capone's home, hotel, and brothel. When the Depression hit it had a devastating affect on Pinecrest. The hurricanes finished the rest off. Gone are many of the homes, school, and the Gator Hook Lodge (The lodge was located at the S curve on Loop Road.) The Gator Hook was a local watering hole and dance club that featured local celebrity Ervin Rouse. Rouse is famous for the musical hit "The Orange Blossom Special". The area was featured along with pictures in the August 1976 issue of National Geographic. 

 © 2010 Michael A. Pancier

Welcome to Hialeah - Pretty Prairie?

The city's name is most commonly attributed to Muskogee origin, "Haiyakpo" (prairie) and "hili" (pretty) combining in "Hialeah" to mean "pretty prairie".  There isn't much of a prairie left in the City, as nearly every inch has been developed.  It is an interesting place to photograph though.

I took this image this afternoon in infrared.  If you are coming from the east along Okeechobee Road,  you will be greeted with this arch as you enter the pretty prairie. It is kind of an oasis in a sense between the residences of the City and the scrap yards and factories.  Frankly, this City offers so much to photograph if you take the time to explore.


First Day of Spring 2010

It's Springtime for Eagles

Bald Eagle Airborne - Western Broward County, Florida

© 2010 by Michael Pancier Photography

"A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky."   -- Crazy Horse, Sioux Chief


Images of Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

It's been over a year, but I finally got around to editing my video from my 2009 trip to Moab, Utah.  This video is a 10 minute montage of video, photographs, and Native American sounds, (well not all the sounds, but most of it).

I would like to thank local Moab photographer and guide Bret Edge for taking me out to some of these locations.  Some of them were only accessible by 4x4, and it's scary driving down some of these steep canyons.

Enjoy the views of this surreal world.

If you wish to view the video in wide screen, click here.

Some of the images here are available at:

Birds of Florida - Video by Michael Pancier

Video of some of Florida's birds shot in the Everglades, Big Cypress, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, and Gatorland.

Photography and video © 2010 by Michael A. Pancier