We all have our pesky garden critters, and Durban in South Africa is no exception. Yes, they look cute and they sure are smart, but they are also very destructive thieves. I was watching a troop of them this morning as they cavorted in the garden, swinging through branches, smashing through delicate orchids, breaking off choice flowers and munching on them, emptying out the bird feeder and the bird bath. You also can’t go out and leave the kitchen windows open here, otherwise they’ll raid your home and steal the food. I know I should have chased them off, but they were too much fun to photograph!
Life hasn’t changed much in Arniston over the years. It is quite remote so this has been a saving grace against over-development, a fate sadly experienced by many similar coastal villages. People still fish for a living and live quietly, unperturbed by the frenetic digital world surrounding them. Here are a couple of images from my 24 hour visit. When I retire, I will return and spend longer.
I have seen winelands in France and California (Italy, Portugal and others are still on my bucket list) but so far, I have to say that some of the prettiest are to be found in the Cape, South Africa. I know I may be a little biased, but seriously, this has to be some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere on God’s earth. These were taken on an estate in the Stellenbosch area.
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.
This is the Unitarian Church graveyard on Archdale Street, downtown Charleston. It is a pretty spooky place at night, even without wandering apparitions!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.