As we roll over another year and look ahead to 2020, may we learn from the mistakes we have made and make amends where appropriate. Life is like potpourri, the good all mixed up with the ugly and the bad. Take the good and build on it, leave the rest behind. This was the western end of Folly Beach last evening, CCPRC’s Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve. Dominion Energy lit the lighthouse from 6pm until 10pm for New Year’s Eve.
One of the markers that sets the rhythm for the changing seasons of Lowcountry life is the classic Southern oyster roast. This is an eagerly anticipated annual event at the company where I work, but we started to get a little concerned at the weather forecasts that all predicted 100% rain for last Friday. No scattered showers here, rather a messy front making its way up from Florida. We hastily ordered bigger tents and made some other contingency plans, and although we had some anxious moments around lunchtime as we bailed out water from inside the tent, the rain let up towards the evening, and it turned into one of the best yet! Whew!
Back in the USA and getting into the groove of another Carolina Christmas, but just posting the last few of my favorite images from my South African visit. It’s a brutal 24 hour travel ordeal to get from Charleston to Cape Town, and so this part of the world is not visited frequently by Americans, but it is very popular with European tourists, since the time difference is not so great, and it is a much shorter flight with fewer connections. Those who do endure the trip however, return again and again. Sala kahle for now.
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!