photography, on closer examination, bucket list, fun, adventure, perseverance, Florida landmarks, moments, history, 'scene' along the way, road trip, Just do it, making memories, exploring new places

Lighthouses…

Something is wrong with this picture. Not the actual picture. No, the idea that climbing up the 214 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse only burns 24 calories, there is something wrong with that number. Most landings announce how many steps you have left as you climb, something that didn’t make me pant any less hard. Some landings had benches and they did help get me to the top. In my anticipation of seeing this lighthouse I expected my view to be of the lighthouse plus ocean, which didn’t materialize. As a matter of fact the little park around the lighthouse is small enough that I had to mostly rely on my iPhone for photos. This is the first lighthouse I ever climbed, and I will admit the view was great, both on the way to the top and from the top itself. But one bite of cookie would negate the climb, that is just wrong…

The path from the parking area to the lighthouse.
The main event with the sun sinking behind it.
Yes, it’s pretty, and 214 steps to the top, keep that in mind.
I was dizzy just taking this photo.
One young man took these steps at a run, two at a time. I called him out for showing off.
I would never dream of what hard work this job would have been, at least in 1874.
I wouldn’t try anything that requires a parachute.
How they did it.
There were windows around every turn as you climbed, and they framed the view beautifully.
See what I mean?
At first there was a nice breeze.
The breeze got stronger as you climbed.
So happy it was a nice day.
Getting blown to bits was worth the view.
So pretty.
You never know what corner you may turn and find a like-minded photographer.

Was it comforting to read that you will spend another 11 calories climbing down the steps? Not so much…

photography, sunrise, fun, travel, adventure, perseverance, family, 'scene' along the way, road trip, making memories, exploring new places

Flagler Beach sunrise…

It’s always nice to have someone else to shoot with, and it’s always a surprise when someone else you know is willing to be out for sunrise first, coffee second. Thanks Lindsey.

Such a pretty sunrise.
The fishermen were out early.
I tried to catch this surfer riding a wave, but he only chose to ride a few.
I suspected this girl was also trying to catch the surfer in action.
Footprints.

This was my first trip to Flagler Beach, why did it take me so long?

adventure, Charleston views, exploring new places, flowers, gardens, history, Just do it, learning, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Middleton Place…

When I told my Uber driver that I was planning to go to Magnolia Plantation he immediately said that I should go to Middleton Place. I have friends who would have planned ahead and learned some of the history of both of these places, which of course I didn’t do. Middleton Place was every bit as beautiful as the day before, possibly because the two gardens are only a few miles apart and full of azaleas. This is the country’s oldest landscaped garden, is what the brochure said, and it’s also a National Historic site.

Welcome to Middleton Place.
Landscaped paths, but which way to go?
I affectionately dubbed this Swan Lake, though the brochure calls it the reflection pond.
More paths, definitely landscaped.
Do I know them? No, but she was cute…
I was surprised to see that you open the gate and walk into the sheep’s territory. I was looking at this live oak before I noticed the sheep, but I took the picture before I realized how many more sheep, and live oaks, I’d see.
Maybe I’ll go this way.
If I got the story straight this is the Wood Nymph, and it’s the only statue that survived the Civil War, and it survived because they buried it to keep it safe.
After a while I have no idea where I am, I just explore the view.
A couple spent a long time trying to point this alligator out to me, but I didn’t notice it until I walked a little further along the path. I suspect it’s not real, it’s too perfect. And I remember an incident where my friend and I went out of our way to take pictures of swans that turned out to be made of plastic. The swan in this post is most decidedly real, just sayin’.
The Middleton Oak. It is estimated to be between 900-1000 years old. Three major limbs have had to be removed. That it was allowed to remain in an otherwise formal garden setting was most unusual for the times. The signage said that this oak served as a trail marker for Indians long before our country was founded.
All that remains of the main house. The paved path at the top of the stairs marks the central hallway of the house that was in burned by Union troops in 1865, and then leveled by the Great Earthquake of 1886.
A wedding would take place here later on. What a great venue.
The views never end.
I couldn’t choose the best view.
Beauty everywhere.
Weavers in action.
I took a close up picture of the House Museum, but I liked this view better.
This little boy told me that his father taught him that if you approach a kitty slowly and put your hand out then he’ll know you are his friend.
My last picture of the day. I might have gotten excited to see the horse and not paid attention to where I was walking, or not, but either way no harm was done.

I hope there will be many more visits to this area in the future because both of these gardens deserve another visit or two, and there is more to see in the area also. I bought a tee shirt in the gift shop that says Middleton Place, because that is/was my kids’s last name, and it was mine for 10 years or so. I mentioned that to the clerk and she asked if I was a descendant, if I had said I was I wonder if I’d have gotten a discount…

adventure, birds, butterflies, Charleston views, exploring new places, flowers, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens…

The last time I was in Charleston missed the turn into my cousin’s development, but that meant I drove right past this gem of a place. I knew I’d want to visit when I came back this time. It was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, and consequently endured and survived our county’s history as the country was born, and as it struggled with the American Revolution as well as the Civil War. It’s said to be the oldest public garden in the county, opening in 1870, and continuing today.

The beautiful wisteria caught my eye when I arrived.
And this bench was a pretty sight also.
But the peacocks were calling me. You could hear them throughout the garden, so I went to the little zoo before I went exploring.
Nature does provide us with beautiful creatures.
Three of them were strutting their stuff, but this gal didn’t seem to be impressed.
Come walk with me.
Such a pretty view.
I loved this pond with it’s beautiful reflections.
And this red bridge with cascades of flowers dripping from it.
I took so many pictures of this bridge.
Come around a bed in the path and you come upon another pretty scene.
I thought of ‘Tiptoe through the tulips’,except they are azaleas. They really were a little past their prime, but still so amazingly beautiful.
You might need a rest by now.
There was a $20 charge for the gardens, in which I walked 2 1/2 miles. But for an extra charge you might want to tour the house, or take this boat tour, or walk the Audubon swamp tour, and/or more. I can return once more using my ticket, so I want to go back, but I don’t know which tour I want to choose.
There were lots of these fat bumble bees around, and I was happy to see them since they’ve seemed scarce anywhere I’ve been lately. And they gave me a reason to concentrate on the flowers themselves.
This was a very long distance shot from the wildlife observation tower. The horses were the only wildlife I saw.
The family tomb.
Another pretty path to lure you in. I’m sure I missed more paths than I actually walked.
And after walking paths with lots of helpful signage, I eventually was off by myself, on paths with no signage, and hopefully not lost, but I found a butterfly…

I’ve hardly put a dent in the pictures I took today. It was a good day.

'scene' along the way, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, family, fun, Just do it, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

A waiting game…

Taking care of business often involves a lot of waiting around, and that was the story of my day today. But I have to say that if you have time to kill there are worse places to be than here at my cousin’s house. Her bird feeders were very busy today, and consequently so was I.

The Mrs.
The Mr.
A tiny brown thrasher way up in a tree.
House finches.
And again, because he posed so nicely.
I switched to my 600mm lens just in time for this great blue heron to drop into the pond behind the house.
And the pond is where I found another favorite to shoot.
Up on the roof…
He thinks this is his good side.
But wait, maybe this is his good side.