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.
'scene' along the way, adventure, birds, blessings, family, friends, fun, grandchildren, making memories, perseverance, photography, strangers become friends

Setting sail…

I don’t know that I ever thought of setting sail in a pirate ship as an Easter activity, but it sure turned out to be a fun day. The weather was gorgeous and the company was the best. John’s Pass is a fun place to visit and I wandered until it was time to board the boat. Oops, ship.

I knew these keyhole shapes in the bridge abutments were there.
They give a nice frame for your picture.
I watched this sailboat coming in and tried, and failed, to get a shot of the drawbridge opening to let it pass.
I stopped to take this picture and hoped that that balcony on the left would give me a view of the draw bridge, but it didn’t.
Normally sailing would seem to me to be such a peaceful way to spend the day, but those jet skis took care of that notion.
Then I had to run because I saw that people were boarding the ship. Not the Dolphin Quest, the pirate ship behind it. I liked this view because I’ve been here for night photography and loved the rigging and flags when the string of lights is lit.
Handsome pirates. I have grandchildren older than they are.
We were in view of land the whole trip.
When I took this shot a lady beside me nodded knowingly and said that she had taken that shot too. LOL.
My new friend and nominee for ‘best costume’ of the day!
I was so happy to see that I’d gotten a dolphin shot, then I saw that his fin is torn and half is drooping.
And then were were back, and hungry. It was time to visit the Friendly Fisherman.
I had a discussion of F-stops with my grandson, I hope he sees this shot.
As I was eating my grouper tacos, YUM, I kept taking pictures of the various birds that perched on that post, putting themselves into a perfect frame. A pelican had stayed there so long that someone asked if it was real.
I guess the pelican was king of the castle because the egret took no chances, it got itself out of the way.

What a fun way to spend the day with family and friends. And nobody had to walk the plank…