Back in Beautiful South Africa

I am spending some time with my family in South Africa for a couple of weeks. We are based in the Cape Town area, and have rented a house in the beautiful coastal town of Hermanus for a few days. Not a lot to do in terms of organized activities and entertainment, but wonderful walks along the cliffs and nature reserves. Great place for catching up with each other’s lives.

Happy Halloween 2019

This is the Unitarian Church graveyard on Archdale Street, downtown Charleston. It is a pretty spooky place at night, even without wandering apparitions!

Charleston from the Sky

So I can’t stay on the ground for long before the sky draws me like a magnet again. Yesterday morning we took off in the little R22 for a short flight to photograph a few targeted buildings, one of which is the new MUSC Childrens Hospital. Unfortunately the sun hid behind the clouds for a lot of the time, but that’s just the way it goes. Not every flight gives you perfect light, but sometimes it comes as a gift when you least expect it. That’s half the fun; you just never know.

Shawn Jenkins MUSC Childrens Hospital, Calhoun Street
Charleston City Gallery and Waterfront Park
Brick ruins and coal tipple, Cooper River, North Charleston
Kapstone (now WestRock) Paper Mill, North Charleston

Fall Weekend in Virginia

A friend has a family cabin in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, deep in a hollow, alongside Naked Creek, encircled by woods and mountains. We made a girls weekend of it and traveled the 8+ hours there and back to spend some time completely unplugged. No TV, no internet, no cell service. It made me realize how much of our waking time is consumed with these technologies, and it was refreshing just to get away from it all – for real!

Naked Creek – runs by the cabin
Waterfall on the creek
The cabin
Annette and Linda, Hawksbill Summit off Skyline Drive

Birds Eye View of Southport, NC

When I fly for aerial images in Charleston, I am spoiled with being able to shoot out of a helicopter, without doors, which affords the best and widest possible viewing area. When I travel to smaller towns, helicopters are rarely available (especially at an affordable rental rate) so I made do with the next best thing, a Cessna 172 high wing plane. This is a challenge because you are constantly trying to avoid including part of the wing strut in the image. Also I find the vibration more excessive, which results in a higher percentage of blurry images. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful evening, and I was satisfied with my final collection. Enjoy the views of the area around Southport, North Carolina, definitely an area to add to your travel bucket list.

Shrimp trawlers and seafood outlets in the Lockwoods Folly River, Varnamtown, NC
Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean, Holden Beach, NC
Old Baldy Lighthouse, Bald Head Island, NC
Harbor and Waterfront, Southport, NC

Different Views & Moods of Oak Island Lighthouse, NC

I have been very busy exploring the Northeastern part of North Carolina over the last few days. Yesterday and today was spent in the Southport area. Southport is a charming and picturesque town south of Wilmington, on the Cape Fear River. Of course I have been taking hundreds of photographs, trying to cover as much of this territory as possible in the time that I have. These images are all of Oak Island Lighthouse at different times of day and from different perspectives. It makes a change from my beloved Morris Island Lighthouse!

During the afternoon
From the air in the late afternoon
First light
Early morning

Beaufort, North Carolina

Having spent much time exploring Beaufort, (pronounced Bewfort), South Carolina, I am currently discovering Beaufort (pronounced Bowfort), North Carolina. This quaint town has long been on my bucket list of places to visit and here I am for a few days. The waterfront area is quaint and reminiscent for me of the Georgetown, South Carolina waterfront. There are inlets and marinas aplenty, with boats possibly outnumbering cars in this area. Here are a few images from this afternoon’s preliminary excursion, and I am about to head out to find the Milky Way. It should be a lot more prominent here, since the skies are dark and don’t suffer from the same negative impact of light pollution that we experience in Charleston, SC.

Black Sheep Restaurant, Beaufort Waterfront
Beaufort Inlet
Wild horses graze on the Rachel Carson Reserve

Harvest Moonrise over Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve

I am a sucker for full moons, a hint of lunacy perhaps 🙂 Anyway, it was a beautiful evening with a warm breeze blowing, and it was a treat just to be out on the beach. As the moon rose, it was almost as bright as day, with the trees, dritfwood, and people casting long shadows on the sand.

The Calm After the Storm

Well Dorian took it’s sweet time to get here, after decimating the Bahama Islands. So grateful that we didn’t suffer the same damage, and so grieved for all those whose loss is incomprehensible.

Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve, Folly Island

I visited the Folly Beach area yesterday evening to see what erosion damage had been done by the seasonal king tides combined with the hurricane, and found nothing too shocking. This little barrier island is morphing all the time, its shape determined by natural forces, and this was just another small adjustment. It will always be beautiful.

Folly Beach
Crosbys Fish & Shrimp Co., Folly Road

The Calm Before the Storm

So today a mandatory evacuation order goes into effect for pretty much the entire southeastern coast ahead of monster storm Dorian, still a powerful category 5 hurricane after roaring through the Bahamas. As I start to pack stuff up and move things to more secure locations on higher ground, I thought I would post these images taken a couple of evenings ago out at Charleston’s Folly Beach. A few clouds scudding across the sky, but a beautiful balmy summer’s night, the calm ahead of the storm. The last stars we will probably see until the storm passes. Prayers for safety for all.

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Photography by VanessaK

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