Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ride Along the Blue Ridge

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Today I tripped up a little north of Greenville, to the Blue Ridge Parkway..it was a super day for it too! The wildflowers are awesome right now...and that brings out the butterflies, I saw LOTS...

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I didnt bring along my butterfly field guide book, but I think this is a red spotted Purple..correct me if Im wrong..and then the Monarch was sooo pretty!

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Some areas had color showing up on the trees, I didnt get a good clear shot, TOO lazy to put up the tripod, but the color is pretty!


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The Parkway is filled with tunnels....VERY DARK tunnels!

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The views were incredible...in about a month I am coming back to dog sit...and the fall color should be at or near peak...I really hope to get back to the parkway for that!
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Heading back home tomorrow..and then if the weather holds we may go to the beach to celebrate our Birthdays! My birthday is only 5 days away from my Mom's!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today's Hike

Im enjoying being in the upstate, its much different here than the sandhills where I live..
SO today I went hiking at the Keowee Toxaway State Natual Area. ITs a beautiful Oak Hickory forest with a meandering swift Poe Creek following along the trail..there is a Natural Bridge where the creek passes underneath..

Here is a quick slideshow of SOME of the things I enjoyed..


This trip today is covered in the Waterfall Hikes of the Upstate By Thomas E King, on pages 182-186.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Upstate Trip...

Today I drove 150 miles north to my sister's for dog sitting again! It was a beautiful day for traveling--and I saw many campers on the road of every size, and kind! This one caught me by surprise when I came up behind it, At fist its hard to see the small car towing it! You can see by the road sign this was about an hr away from my destination, traveling on I-26 West.

On the Road Again-

On my last trip up here I purchased a book called WaterFall Hikes of Upstate SC by Thomas E. King. I thought it would be fun to try and see as many of these waterfalls as I can when I'm in the vicinity of one..so last time I marked off Twin Falls on page 194, and today I marked off Cedar Shoals on the Reedy River, page 216. I tried to find the Pelham Falls in Pelham..but unfortunately, urban sprawl has made the directions in the book, null n void, so Ill try again tomorrow...when its not rush hr and I can stop and make u-turns and all that other annoying stuff that we out of towners do...lol --I have visited many other waterfalls while in the upstate, so I have to go through the book and cross them off...This one was easy it was right off the highway..but it was on PRIVATE property so I didnt go down to the waters edge..BUT I was tempted!!

Cedar Shoals-

When I looked closely at this photo I saw the turtle family sunning on the rock in front of the little step fall there...what a neat place to live eh?


Turtle Tour

Friday, September 17, 2010

Great Resource

(This is a test post trying the "post by email" option.  Ive attached one photo and Im very curious to see if that comes through and where it will be posted?)
Now for the post...
My Sis sent me a link to this terrific website!  For those of you who love to photograph arches this website is a wonderful tool to bookmark! I even found an arch in SC that I hope to visit.
 
The website is terrific & simple to use...complete with links to every state and maps with directions. 
The Natural Arch and Bridge Society, I wish I could visit every arch!  My sister and I have sort of been visiting as many arches as we can when I visit her...BUT its invaluable information like the NABS website publishes that helps one find the off the beaten track sites!! Many of the arches listed are just that, one I would love to see is a 35 mile backpack trip into Paria Canyon to Lee's Ferry, JUST imagine what a trip that would be--DONT even know if could still carry a backpack, but without our dreams to carry us forward where would we be? 
Another great find along with this website with all the arches and natural bridges is Topo Quest!  I'm probably the last one to know about this, but I just didnt know!! I have a stash of large topo maps that covered the areas where we did backpacking trips, they are great, nice maps waterproof and all, but they are BIG!
I guess now there is an APP for a Blackberry to bring up these Topo Maps -wow imagine that...Not having to refold a large map and sometimes I get confused trying to read topo maps...BUT better to have than not to have when you are in the wilderness.
So Now Ill post this and see how it came out, hope it did cause this was pretty easy to do!  Maybe I would Blog more often if it was easier.  Im going to insert a photo here and see if it is located here when its posted.
 

Monday, September 13, 2010

In the Sand Box of Photography!

Ya'll know Im a photography buff, always have been, never took lessons most people don't they teach each other, and learn by doing. I love to learn! I get asked "how did you do that" sometimes, well the answer is I just try to get a good shot and sometimes I DO, it may take 30 frames...Thats one reason I blog--I read many blogs I like to leave comments, ask questions, and share what I know and try and continue to add to what I know on a dialy basis!

Trees Eye View
Canyonlands National Park in Utah. One thing I love to do is use framing provided by nature--and this one was perfect, what a view this tree is protecting! The thing to watch here is Depth of Field or DoF, I wanted the tree & the landscape beyond to both be in focus so this shot was made at 1/800 shutter speed or .0001 of a second!! Now thats fast and the aperture was set at F/4.0

SO over at Flickr I enjoy the work of fine array of photographers from all over the world, and each one has a special technique, almost a signature style--THAT is something I cant seem to do...I cant find one thing that sets me apart--there are a multitude of things that set off sparks for me, but there is no way I can zero in on ONE thing, one style, or one kind of shot...I'm all over the place-I think the same way-- all over the place--my best friend calls it rambling---she is right.

First Summer Male
This action shot requires that you have a very fast shutter speed to stop the action of the wings and I want the BIRD to be in focus and not the Background so 1/250 or .0004 of a second with f/5.0 and I used my Action High Speed Setting! (the one that has a icon of that guy running) see the tiny feet wrapped around the bamboo stick?


I love nature tho, and you can bet its always gonna be about nature--the very first Geo Cities Web page I made up I called myself The Nature Nut..lol I wonder if that page is still up? Anyways some of the photographers concentrate on Long Exposure shots only, Some on HDR Landscapes only, some on a particular part of nature, this one fellow I follow posts only photos of these white Deer that live in his area they are so beautiful too...Im so thankful that he posts those or I wouldnt get to see them!!

Rhododendron
This shot is not about the camera, its about looking for something special like this lighting provided by nature!!! The shot was there I just had to find it and SNAP it!

I like to draw horses thats my speciality when it comes to art...I can do other things but horses are my thing, I could draw them over and over and never tire of it...but when it comes to taking photos I will take photos of ANYTHING I find in nature--not too many people in my photos and I have no sense of style, like one fellow I follow on Flickr he is in NYC -a lifer - he focuses on People shots, he has awesome shots of all sort of people from People pierced all OVER to kids skateboarding and he seems to capture the esssence of their soul...he seems to click just at that majik moment!!!

WoodDuck
But I get a bigger kick outta getting just the right light on the face of a wood duck while he is out of the water waddling around looking very awkward on foot.

SO what I do is try to learn from everyone I take my time to visit! Each visit I learn something...even if I have to stare at the photo for an hr, I come away saying Ah'HA!! I dont have a fancy expensive DSLR camera, but I have one I enjoy, its what they call a bridge camera..and Ive even seen some Flickr groups that have in their RULES, ABSOLUTELY NO BRIDGES, and that doesnt mean like the ones of Madison County, it means only DSLR shot work need be submitted-no Bridge cameras!!

Last night's Cresent
Ive gotten many messages from other Flickr users asking me HOW can I get such a close photo of the moon using my Bridge Kodak, the answer is--I just keep trying! This was taken at 1/25 or .04 of a second with an f/5.0


OKAY...thats fine I know when Im not wanted and I sure wouldnt want to rub elbows with the wrong class...(cough, cough) but anyways my photography is about ME-what I see that impresses me, a bug, a flower, a landscape, the sky, and all its components!! But I try all the tricks I learn when I'm out and about with my little camera and I can get lost in that moment and my reward is the tranquility that I receive when Im out there trying to find that unique thing that sparks my interest and excute the lessons Im trying to learn...and in the time it takes the shutter to snap & I've got what I wanted, the thrill of the moment that peaceful ZEN of Me & My Camera!--- is Heavenly~

Blu-Sky
This is one of my attempts @ long exposure shots of night sky clouds. My shutter speed was 16 seconds with a F/4.5

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dog Gone Good Weekend!

Back home again after the long weekend...It seemed short tho to me!! BUT now I'm having major trouble trying to remember what day it is!! This seems like Monday to me.
BIG news is I took the little rescue dog Poco with me when I went to my sisters and the next door neighbor Adopted her!!! So now she is sleeping in the bed with their daughter---and has a brand new GOOD home!!! I was so thrilled I guess it was meant to be! Now that leaves me in good shape to offer help to some other dog who might be having a hard time--sometimes LIFE is so rewarding.

We took our dogs, now 2 yrs old on their first big road trip(3 days and 2 nights) ...they were so GOOD!--they sat in the back seat like polite visitors, and they got along really well with their Cousin Indie-- we took them hiking and on a family picnic which they enjoyed very much!! Its hard to take photos while holding onto 2 dogs but I managed a couple, it was a perfect day for hiking along the stream and then up to the lake!!!


sneek a peek

This is Cousin Indie she is a 10 yr old lab/chow mix she loves the water!!

Indie hiking




Sulphur Springs hike Annie

And Annie ^ & Flossie >
resting at the top of the trail by the lake-

Sulphur Springs hike Flossie

We found this strange fungi- IT looks like a sea sponge, but its quite firm to the touch almost like plastic!! Any ideas on what it is exactly? I poured over many pages of photos on the web but came up empty!

What is THIS?

Friday, September 3, 2010

September~finally

Hello September!!! and cooler weather..

This morning I was awaken by a LOUD crash!!! The top shelf in my book case cabinet fell!!! SO I had books and a heavy shelf sitting right on top of my fairly new HD TV--YIKES it seems to be ok, not broken but Ill have to work on getting the shelf back in...it was held in place originally by some cheap plastic buttons, I guess I overloaded it a wee bit~~~


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Tomorrow we are headed upstate to stay with my sister for the long weekend. I hope we will take a hike in the mountains and we are planning a labor day picnic...We are taking the dogs with us this time...THEY need to learn the ropes of traveling.

Speaking of DOGS...this week we added a new one -well we think she is a keeper...Living where we do unwanted animals get dumped out!! Two yrs ago I had to find homes for 7 puppies that were abandoned and starving!!!! We found homes for 5 and ended up keeping 2 thats my Girlz and I wouldnt take anything for them...IVE been around dogs my whole life the only time I was without a dog is when I was living in NYC for 6 yrs...

SO this week I found this little Jack Russell wandering around, starving, dirty, flea infested, dehydrated, and scared. She is such a sweet little dog. She was standing right in the middle of the road as if she was flagging down some help. "HELP ME IM LOST"... I called her and she snaked over and I put her in the car she lay down and immediately went to sleep..she was exhausted!! So after a bath and a meal she hardly stirred..you can see where she has had a collar on for a very long time, in fact so long the hair around her neck is rubbed off!! SO who ever had her is guilty of neglect!!! IF she escaped from someone I have no clue where to look, she was in the middle of NO WHERE...This is not a very good photo but she didnt want to pose for me...so I just took what she offered ---a shy leave me alone sort of shot---




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We have been calling her Poco..which is short for un poco or "little bit" in Spanish. I dont think she has been fixed either..SO we have to decide if we are keeping her or are we going to look for a home for her...Anyone out there who wants to give a sweet dog a home, just email me!! Meanwhile after the holiday weekend that starts today--she will have to make a trip to the vet for shots n such since we dont know if she has had any!

I hope all of you have a great Labor Day, Im happy to say goodbye to this summer...I hope Earl is not reeking havoc on any of you...our weather is marvelous right not...LOW humidity ,yesterday we had 89 degrees with 39% humidity it was FABULOUS...I worked outside all morning weeding, mowing, and tiding up the yard ---without getting a heat stroke!!!
Im on a quest now to find a piece of Yard Art to go in the front...I saw these awesome metal sculptures in Glenwood Springs Colorado but of course I couldnt transport that back home and the price tag was WAY outta my range but something along these lines or Something made of STONE...


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