"Art is not what you see,
but what you make others see."
Truth, beauty, and goodness
- Elk watching in Oconaluftee Valley, N.C.
On a recent trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, we went to Oconaluftee Valley to see some of the Elk there. There weren't any out in the big front field, so several of us in our group went around back by the creek to see if there were any crossing the creek to get to the field. Well, we saw two large males go over to the field, and then most people left. Two brave people decided to stay to see if the elk would come back over the creek to the other side where the harem was. So I timorously stayed with them...we really weren't supposed to be so close to them. We set up our cameras and tripods and as we were talking, about 50 feet away one of them just showed up. They are quiet and sneaky! He slowly started crossing the creek and we quickly started photographing him. As you can see from one of the photos, I was hiding behind a tree because he was only about 20 feet from me! I'm glad I got up the courage to stay.
We then left the creek and went over to the field where the harem was. It was getting to be dusk, but there they all were. The first photo is of two males looking like they were fighting, but we think they were playing.
The next photo is the big daddy, who was "snarling" at us to get away from his harem. Actually, we were across the street and the park ranger was there, so we weren't in any danger.
The last photo is him in his glory, done with a painting effect.
Nature Walk at Stone Mountain8/2015Instead of climbing Stone Mountain, which was a little daunting for me just looking at the steepness, I opted to go on the Nature Trail with a friend from the GNPA group we went with. It was fun and much cooler in the woods than out in the hot sun, but didn't produce many flowers. We saw a lot of mushrooms, though! Here are a few mushrooms and other little gems. We also saw a pretty little bird that at first was pretending to have a hurt wing, but we soon realized that it was leading us away from her babies or something else she didn't want us to see.
Bluebird ActivityJuly 5, 2015We have two bluebird houses in our backyard. We were privileged to watch one of the little ones jump out of his house for the first time. Very exciting! He was obviously quite scared because Momma was off with the first one who left, and this little one did it on his own. Very proud of him!
Momma going out for more food.
These babies are always hungry!
Ok, Momma. Where are you? I'm ready to jump, but I'm scared!
Wow! I'm on the ground. I think I'm supposed to practice flapping my wings now.
Made it to the fence. Hey, and who are YOU? You don't look like my Momma!I feel more at home now that I'm back in the tree where our house it.
Another old car placeOctober, 2014But these cars were for sale. This was on a short trip to Tennessee to photograph elks, and on the way we stopped at this little very old car lot. The sun was beautiful and soft on this car. These photos are of a 1937 Plymouth, the kind where the front and back doors open both from the middle. These pictures were taken with my iPhone, which actually I have more respect for the more I use it!
Old Car City
November, 2014Late Autumn a few of us went to a fascinating place in northern Georgia called Old Car City. It's owned by a guy who just collects old cars and never sells them. There are hundreds of cars and trucks just stacked all around his many acres of land, piled up with pine straw in the Fall. I would think the Spring would be the best time to go there because there wouldn't be as much pine straw, and I wouldn't want to go in the summer for fear of snakes. But it was a lot of fun, and the owner took us into his warm "office" and told us many stories of the famous people he has met who want to buy his cars, and the TV shows that have been interested in filming there.One thing I noticed was how very colorful old cars can be!Insides all grown over.An old VW bus and a truck with advertising.Parts of cars can be just as interesting.
- Perry's Water Garden Beauties
July 14, 2014
The best time to take photographs outdoors during the daytime is when it is cloudy or overcast. Even better, when taking photos of flowers, is if it sprinkles just a little which puts little droplets on the petals. Our local nature photo club went to Perry's Water Garden in North Carolina on a sprinkly and blessedly cool day recently. There weren't too many flowers, and the water had a lot of debris, but the flowers that were there were quite lovely and fun to photograph.
A little bud just beginning.
Pastel Water Lily
Lilies and Pads
Droplet with Reflection
A Fun ExperimentJune 19, 2014There was a glorious sunset tonight, so I sat out on our back porch to photograph it. I decided to do a little experiment just for fun. All I did was change the white balance on my camera, and voila! New and exciting colors in the sunset! I usually try to get the white balance (the setting that adjusts the lighting in order to make white objects appear white in photos) to match what I'm seeing, but this was just neat to try something different for drama.Cloudy White Balance:Fluorescent White Balance:Incandescent White Balance:Flash White Balance: