One Magnolia Tree

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There is a very large Magnolia Tree across the street from our home. Every year at this time the sweet fragrance of its large-petal blossoms add much to my day. But, alas, it’s gone far too soon. Within a day or two the petals fade from ivory white to faded brown and then fall off. But, it I catch them just right as I did recently, I’m rewarded. Magnolia trees are an iconic part of living in southern regions of the United States. I’m glad I’m there to enjoy the beauty.

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Brighten a Day

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May time flowers and bushes make for a special time in SW Virginia. For me and my camera. And for you reading this. The lens of my iPhone 7 Plus captured each of these photos, and the more I use it, the “sadder” my other single-purpose cameras become. Technological progress. Or, if one is a “purist”, maybe not so much.

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One Boot Camp Graduation

P1050436I recently attended the graduation of one U.S. Coast Guard Boot Camp class, in which our grandson was a part. Being retired military myself, I had looked forward to this day for months, even back to a time when he was working hard to get himself physically prepared at home in North Carolina, for the rigors of the training. Which, I learned, was a lot tougher than he expected. But all that was put behind the proud young men and women standing at attention before me and others, seated nearby.

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Leaders made introductions and speeches, and afterwards it was time to present the coveted Certificates of Graduation to the 80-plus “Coasties” standing in formation.

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And then it was over and family members like me moved quickly to shake hands, hug and generally say we too felt pride in the accomplishments made by these fine men and women. Within a few days each of the graduates would be off to their first assignment “in the fleet.”  But first, a handshake and hug.

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Graveyard or Cemetery

I’ve been fortunate to have lived and traveled throughout Europe, and it was during one visit to England when I learned there is a difference between a “graveyard” and “cemetery.” It’s all related to a church. This United Methodist Church in southern New Jersey in the United States, illustrates my point. In the 17th Century, burial places located on church property in Europe were called graveyards, but as the population grew significantly in the 18th Century, church yard space was filled and thus burial locations were located some distance away and … cemeteries were created. I’m happy that the United States has so many close historical ties to Europe, especially Great Britain.

Colorful Cape May

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Cape May is situated along the southern shore of New Jersey and besides the interesting and beautiful Victorian Style homes, private and rental, the colors and welcoming atmosphere is what made it enjoyable for me last week. Here are a few images made that might make you want to visit. Very unique “beach” location.

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Action and Beauty Along a River

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Some photographers say that “lighting” is key to making a photo special. This one and the one below proves that, to me at least. Made these at Western North Carolina’s Nantahala Outdoor Center near Bryson City. These rapids are a small part of the Olympic-level kayak and canoe training and championship event site.

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And then there’s the bottom-feeding duck. Funny watching him bob up and down.

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Historic Wright Tavern

Per North Carolina Historical Marker online research: “The Wright Tavern is a landmark in Rockingham County that has successfully been restored to its nineteenth century condition. Construction on the inn commenced around 1810. The building remained in the Wright-Reid family until it was sold to the Rockingham County Historical Society in 1967. “I’ve visited the site several times, and each time I do I see more than I’d seen before.

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I like to “get close” after making an overview photo, and by so doing I’ve been transported back in time. I especially liked the open “walk through” area between adjacent living areas, with the old stairway to the second floor..

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Details of the historic structure, and out-buildings made me smile. I’m even more pleased when I see the results of volunteers and others renovating rare buildings such as Wright Tavern, and by doing that they bring great credit to the locality involved.

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Here comes Spring

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Here in SW Virginia we’re seeing a lot of activity in terms of flowers opening up to display the beauty of Springtime.  I love it, but it all seems to pass so quickly that I’m reluctant to stay inside and miss something special. So,today, after a recent rainfall, I went out walking and here’s what I saw.

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Nantahala Waters

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The Nantahala River flowing through the Nantahala National Forest in Western North Carolina is home to the Nantahala Outdoor Center.The 500-acre adventure center offers (among many other activities) kayaking, canoeing and whitewater rafting. In sum, it’s a great place to visit. In my day, I spent many hours kayaking and canoeing but never on river rapids such as this. Now, I enjoy it through my camera lens and images thus created. When the river water is high, as it was recently during my visit, the rushing river waters create spectacular views. Enjoy what I saw.

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