The Newly Renovated Cathedral of John the Baptist, Charleston SC

Because of my association with one of the contractors who worked on this amazing project, I was asked to photograph the end result. This has been ongoing for many months and a massive amount of work has been done in many different categories. It is beautifully restored. Congratulations to all who contributed to this very impressive result.

Unscripted

So this is when you set out with a purpose and vision for an image, and things don’t quite go the way you planned. I drove an hour to Lake Moultrie one of the evenings during Comet NEOWISE’s visit, and the clouds were just way too thick to reveal any celestial activity. When ya don’t get what you want, you just shoot what ya got!

Comet NEOWISE

It seems that everyone was taken a little by surprise by the visit of Comet C/2020 F3, also known as NEOWISE, an acronym for the Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer space telescope that first noticed it earlier this year. As someone keenly interested in the night sky, I began hunting it down as soon as it was close enough to record it with my camera. Photographers were confronted by several factors that made it a fairly challenging subject, not the least of which was that it is difficult to spot with the naked eye. It provided a fun and welcome diversion however during this trying COVID 19 season. Here are a few images that I captured.

The Shorebirds are back at Bird Key

Every Summer sees the congregation of thousands of diverse shore birds on Bird Key, a small island in the Stono Inlet between Folly and Kiawah, managed by SC Department of Natural Resources. I notice that it is now being referred to as the Stono Seabird Sanctuary. Regardless, it is recognized as an important bird area by Audubon and it is forbidden to land on the island during nesting season. It makes for a great boat ride in the evening. Even the Stono Bridge looked beautiful in the late afternoon light.

Another Fine Georgia Weekend

Last weekend I spent in the Georgia mountains, and this weekend it was the Georgia coast. A friend invited me down to Jekyll Island and showed me all around this unique piece of coastal heaven. I had visited many years ago, but had come away disappointed, not knowing where I should have spent time and feeling that I had wasted it. This time was different and I was introduced to all the locals’ favorite beaches that the visitors either don’t know about, or are unwilling to walk far enough to reach. On the way back to Charleston, we stopped at Darien to check on the shrimp trawler fleet. Some remain, but not nearly as many as there were years ago.

Weekend Getaway at Kaya Vineyard & Winery

A good friend had a big birthday recently, and what better way to celebrate it than spending a weekend with a few girlfriends in a Georgia mountain vineyard. Every moment (including leisure “do nothing” moments) was meticulously planned ahead of time, as well as amazing meals, and trips (with transportation) to other local vineyards for wine-tasting expeditions. I had never visited this part of Georgia before, but it is beautiful and I plan to go back in the fall. Happy Birthday Pam!!

New Views of the Holy City

These are the views that you could expect to enjoy if you decided to rent one of the new apartments at the prestigious Jasper down on Lockwood and Broad Streets. The new project is scheduled for completion by December this year.

After the Storm

Mine was one of very few cars driving through a downpour headed towards Folly Beach yesterday evening. On the other side of the road, cars packed with kids and beach umbrellas were gridlocked as they tried to make it home. I’m sure it had been a wonderful day, but aside from the storm, it was dinner time and the kids were tired. I had been watching the radar and knew that it was clear on the other side of the storm cell so I was hoping for some dramatic evening skies. I was not disappointed, and I pretty much had the beach to myself!

Mountain Medicine

Well, not really mountains, but the foothills in Tryon, North Carolina. After so long feeling constrained by the threat of COVID19, it was with joy that I hit the road this weekend with two girlfriends to spend two nights in a country creekside cabin. The area had had a lot of rain over the preceding few days, so the creeks were torrents, and waterfalls cascaded exuberantly over the rocks, sending drenching spray into the spring air. What a refreshing for the soul, and what a blessing.

The Drakensberg Mountains

Searching for inspiration in a dry and dusty desert (photographically speaking), I revisited archived image folders of far away places. These memories are particularly poignant. My mom and I were spending a few days in the South African Drakensberg mountain area, and I persuaded her to accompany me on a helicopter ride to do some aerial photography. She was 87 years old at the time, and in the beginning stages of a bout with Shingles, but she gamely acquiesced, and so off into the sky we flew. I was impressed with her spirit of adventure, since she was very obviously nervous at the prospect but threw caution to the wind for the sake of the experience.

Mum on a 8,000ft plateau where the helicopter landed for breakfast

This is a magnificent mountain range, spanning 600 miles and towering over 10,000 ft. in height. The translation of Drakensberg is “Dragon’s Mountains”, and our family spent many vacations in this area when we were children, hiking, horse-riding, and swimming in the clear mountain streams.

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