A friend and I traveled to New Mexico to visit family in Ruidoso, and while there, we took a road trip to visit the White Sands National Park. We didn’t spend long there, since it was quite a way to travel and also it is extremely hot at this time of year, so extended hikes through the dunes were out of the question. We did enjoy the late afternoon when some weather rolled in and it cooled down a little – enough to coax us out of the air-conditioned car and explore a little. Here are a few of the images I came away with.
I had fun photographing a family of three generations who spent a week at Folly Beach celebrating the grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It was hot, and it’s sometimes challenging to accommodate the spread of ages in such a large group, but these guys were troopers and we came away with lots of images that will provide happy memories for years to come.
This is probably my favorite genre of photography. Most of the time, I don’t know the personalities of the families that I shoot, since I have only just met them. I still try and highlight obvious traits, like the mischief in a child, or the tenderness of a mother, but this shoot was different, because I was photographing my own six grandkids, all of whom I know very well. They range in ages from one to twelve, and here are my favorites of each of them.
One has to time one’s visit to this location carefully, otherwise you run the risk of driving an hour South from Charleston, walking the trail to the ocean, only to find that a high tide has rendered it completely impossible to access the beach. I saw a low-tide opportunity during the late afternoon yesterday and decided to pay a visit. The weather had been unsettled and was overcast in Charleston, but at this time of year it is so changeable that it was worth a try. The beach is always wonderful, and I so enjoy just being there, but the air was hazy with smoke from the Canadian wildfires, and the colors were pretty dull, so I decided to convert the images to black and white. Here are a couple.
While in the area, I spent some time at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm where there is a very active rookery. The squabbling and screeching of birds of all types created a deafening cacophony as chicks squawked for food and parents fussed over the chicks while defending their clearly defined territories. I guess the rules are baked into the general chaos and all the birds understand them! My favorite youngsters were the tricolored heron chicks and I was entertained by their antics for a couple of hours. All the while, the alligators loitered lazily in the swamp below, waiting for the occasional hapless baby to fall from a nest. Here are a few of the images.
I had the opportunity to swap houses with someone who lives in St. Augustine, Florida, and since that is one of my favorite towns, I decided to take a quick trip on the I-95 south for a couple of nights. This is one of my favorite American beaches, Marineland. I just managed to get there in time to see the sun as it cleared some clouds on the horizon. It’s good to be alive!
My nephew farms some land in the Swellendam area of the Western Cape, set against a stunning backdrop of the Langeberg Mountain range. He uses completely natural, sustainable farming principles, and keeps mostly pigs, although there are a couple of goats and sheep who have been adopted along the way. Saroo, the Great Pyrenees farm dog is the protector of all! Here is some more information about Simon’s farming philosophy: https://www.facebook.com/1792394950/posts/pfbid0oKAosnyzS1TNvyiv3YxoPDfYLChEfWp3skyGKmS2PY8gm8mL6gQrDgusvtrFTWbHl/?mibextid=cr9u03
We spent a night in the area and here are some of the images.
This is the land of my birth, and much as I love and appreciate being a citizen of the USA, there are definitely ties that bind me to South Africa. I have family ties here, and it is also one of the most beautiful countries in the world. That’s not just my opinion; it is echoed by many who have traveled here. I have returned every year since I left (except for a brief COVID interruption) and although like most countries, this one has it’s share of problems, the beauty is unchanged. Here are a few images of places in the Western Cape area.
As quickly as spring burst upon the scene a week ago, so we watch it fade again. A few days ago, my calendar was clear for the afternoon, so I decided to take one more foray into the country for the season until next time. A friend and I drove from Charleston to visit the Cypress Wetlands in Port Royal, but were unimpressed. We were looking for spring landscapes and although there were many birds and alligators to admire, it was otherwise ho-hum. With a little help from Google, we found the Old House Plantation near Ridgeland (also known as the Daniel Heyward Plantation), birthplace and burial site of Thomas Heyward, Jr., one of SC’s four signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Nothing much is left of the original buildings except the family cemetery and surrounding brick wall. The house was destroyed by fire in 1865. The driveway and Avenue of Oaks are really beautiful although the azaleas had peaked already.
After we had wandered around for awhile, we headed for home via Tomotley Plantation and the Old Sheldon Ruins. The Sheldon Ruins have been further “ruined” (at least for photographers) by the addition of an ugly black fence that surrounds the remaining structure. One can understand why however, since some people just can’t seem to resist defacing these historic relics that we should be actively protecting.
Yes, we are choking on pollen and sneezing all day, but the upside of Spring in Charleston is the beauty all around us. These images are pretty typical of what we are seeing at every turn. Enjoy!