Matecumbe Key, Florida



We were headed down to Key West and had just finished seeing Hillsboro Inlet at sunset. We drove on down to the Keys that night instead of Key Biscayne. We'd catch Cape Florida on the way back up before heading over to the Gulf. We found a nice motel on the beach and went out to watch the stars.

We were up early and got along so far when the sun began to rise. We pulled over and started taking pictures of one of the most spectacular sunrises I have ever witnessed. Well, dang if there wasn't a lighthouse in the way. See it off to the right on the horizon. Right up from that bird. That's Alligator Reef Lighthouse, built in the design made especially for the Florida Keys. A better way to see this light is to take the plane tour along the coast line or rent a boat. Unless you have good telephoto lenses, you won't see much with normal lenses. I figure on going to Miami and renting a car just to see the Reef lights down there.

The tower was built in 1873 and named not for the common reptiles found around Florida, but for the U.S.S. Alligator which sunk in these waters in 1822. The tower stands vigil  136 feet above the sea.


Here's how I saw it:

AR1  AR2







John B Caddell

Copyright 2001