Always Looking Up

There was a time when friends of mine would notice me walking and ask why it was that my head and eyes were usually looking down in front of where I was walking. Versus eyes forward, or perhaps looking around. I still do this out of habit, but I do spend a lot more time looking up, especially when there are nice clouds above. Such as in the above image I made following a recent thunderstorm. In times past, I didn’t notice such things as much as I do today. Age, medical challenges, and just plain faith and trust that what lies about us in nature, hoping we’ll take notice, is not there by accident. I’m thankful for that blessing. So, I’ll keep on looking up. Both in my state of mind (attitude) and with my “photographic eyes” to see what opportunities are waiting to be recorded.

A Peek at the Peak

As stated on the North Carolina State Parks website, “Since its creation as a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps project, Hanging Rock State Park has offered the best of a traditional outdoor experience with 73-site campground, picnic grounds, stocked lake for swimming and canoe rentals and more than 20 miles of hiking trails that climb onto spectacular views and weave alongside clear streams and waterfalls.” For me, the attraction has always been “hanging rock” cliffs and rugged trails that lead to great views of the surrounding North Carolina and Virginia Piedmont region. My age and weaker legs have prevented me from hiking and climbing today, but I have fond memories of once doing so on several occasions. It’s near Danbury, NC and is a jewel just waiting for fun and exploration. Here’s a “peek” of what gave the park it’s name.

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Mikey’s Ridge

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Our daughter Amy lives in a beautiful location in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I wrote a fictional short story about how I think growing up would have been living there. I titled the book, “Hiking with Mikey” and a primary geographic feature in my story is “Mikey’s Ridge”. There is an actual location like that, and this view from Amy’s porch is what I call “Mikey’s Ridge.” I was lucky recently to be able to make some photos of Mikey’s Ridge. Here are a few more images I made right after a thunderstorm had passed, with cooler temperatures, and thus the fog and wispy clouds. Perfect time for photography.

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Father’s Day Beauty

I have a love for photography, and all that involves. Amateur variety of course, but that matters not. Coinciding with the Father’s Day period now underway, was an opportunity for me to spend time with two of our grandsons, one of whom made this really nice photo, which I asked him to share with me, it being so nicely done. Thanks, Brandon!

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So, I couldn’t resist early one morning after a night’s rain in the Western North Carolina mountains where our daughter lives, to make a few close up images of my own to add to the flowery beauty so well captured by Brandon. Isn’t life great?

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Summer Green

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It’s sure “green” in SW Virginia where we live, and I love it. For a time we lived in coastal North Carolina, on a barrier island, and often missed the lush green vegetation further inland, given the beach sandy soil, dunes and associated vegetation; some green most not. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, beach living has it’s own unique beauty. But here and now, I’m liking the color green. Lots of it.

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U.S. Coast Guard in Kodiak Alaska

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Our grandson is assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro named for the only Coast Guardsman to be presented with the Medal of Honor. The ship itself is impressive, but when seen as a part of Kodiak Alaska, it becomes even more interesting. When given time off from ship’s duties, our grandson is doing a bit of exploring on the rugged, remote island. I’ve been to Kodiak so I can attest to its beauty. But I’m enjoying posting some of our grandson’s photographic work here. He gets all the well deserved credit.

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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.

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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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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