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.

Bird Key, Stono Inlet

Because of current rambling limitations, I have been going back and re-editing some of my older images. Sometimes I am sloppy with editing if I have a batch of hundreds to get through, so it pays to go back and try and adjust exposures, color, and extract the most detail possible from these aerial images. Here are a few of Bird Key, just off Folly Beach and Kiawah in the Stono inlet, taken in March of 2016. Soon (if not already), it will be a hive of activity and full of nesting shore birds of all descriptions.

Stormy Skies over Charleston

Last weekend, the South experienced an almost unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes spawned by severe thunderstorms that swept through the area. This past weekend, more severe weather was predicted, and so we all hunkered down, preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. Mercifully, there were no tornadoes, just rain and some lightning. I visited a couple of my favorite city viewpoints to watch the clouds roll in, and captured these just before it started to rain. I do love Charleston!

I hate to whine, but …

So I’m beginning to lose count of how many weeks we have been dealing with COVID 19. I’m trying very hard not to whine. I know that many people have been so much more negatively impacted than me. Some have lost loved-ones, some are still fighting for their lives, many have lost their livelihoods …. Even so, we resist change, and this is definitely different. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss the beach and the county parks. I miss my favorite restaurants, and I’ve had to cancel a trip to Ireland that I had been looking forward to for months. Seriously, I’m not whining. Well, maybe just a little and I’m ashamed of that. Venting may be a better choice of word. We will get through this and we will learn from this. Not sure what, but there are always lessons to be learned if we will be open to the process. I have noticed that these types of crises seem to bring out the very best and the very worst in people. I do believe that when this is over, I will certainly have a greater appreciation for the ability to take a spontaneous road trip or jump on a flight to visit family in another state. In the meantime, I do pray for my family, friends, country, those in leadership in my workplace, church and country. May wisdom, courage, and a priority for the common good prevail!

COVID 19 Cabin Fever

I know it’s not hard (like when men were called up to war) but it’s just plain boring to sit around at home. Besides, I end up eating way too much, just because I bought all these snacks! Anyway, today I resolved to get outdoors, but where? The beaches, county parks, city parks, golf courses are all closed and I’ve walked my neighborhood until I know it better than I want to. So I headed south down Highway 17 and explored the area down Bennetts Point Road, including the Donnelley Wildlife Management area in the Ace Basin. Nice, but the gnats and mosquitos definitely rule out there, and no amount of repellent seemed to have any effect. Plus, as soon as you open your car door, they all fly inside. Aside from all that, it was a good day!

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