Seeking Solitude in Nature

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

There was a break in the weather.  A crack in winter’s grasp, spring has begun to gain a foothold, It was time to get out into nature for an afternoon.

Last Sunday afternoon I took a few hours for myself.   I took a 40-minute drive to Stone Mountain State Park to seek some healing solitude in nature.  My intentions where modest, simply to take a short walk to Wolf Rock & Cedar Rock and then back to the parking lot.  I chose this route hoping to avoid crowded overlooks within the park.  For the most part, I was successful.  I only met a handfull of other nature seekers on the trail.

Along the trail, I was also keeping my eyes open for photo opportunities.  The only camera I carried was my iPhone.  The idea was to travel light and have a device that I could slip out of my pocket easily to capture a quick snap while walking the trail.


The first composition that caught my eye were these fallen trees.  I liked the mix of old and new,  a life cycle within the forest.  The two mature trees that were more than likely blown over now serve to enrich the forest soil for the younger saplings and vegetation that will take hold.

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Not much farther up the trail, I noticed lichen growing on this tree along with this stringy vegetation.  I’m not sure if it is a species of moss or something else all together.

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I paused to take this photo of the trail bed, with it’s winter covering of leaves.

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Now, nearing Wolf Rock, I noticed the moss growing on a low hanging tree branch as I ducked to pass below it.

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My primary destination, Wolf Rock.  Before walking out onto the rock, I paused to shoot this puddle with it’s reflecting light.  Wolf Rock is a large gently sloping rock outcropping that can easily be walked over most of it’s surface.  I was hoping to have it all for myself, but, I initially had to share it with one other gentleman.  so, I’m not complaining.  I found a nice spot and sat for a while.  I listened to the wind blow through the trees and mountains, I watched the clouds pass by overhead, I observed a few soaring birgs, and I sat, still & quiet, just soaking it in, letting the experience of nature wash over me.  I would have stayed longer if I could have.

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Thanks for reading my words and viewing my photos,  I hope you have a great day. – Mike

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Unlikely

05-06-18 Unlikely

Above is my entry for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.  The theme for this week is unlikely.  This may not be the best example of unlikely, but I didn’t expect to find this colorful little guy hanging out at my back door this weekend.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to look around a bit.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Experimental

Experimental (1 of 3)

The theme for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is Experimental.  This theme is really a blank slate, it can be interpreted in so many ways.  When I was trying to decide what direction to take this challenge in.  I thought I wanted to experiment with lens flares.  Shooting directly into the sun is something I never intentionally do.  So trying to photograph a subject that is back-lit by the sun is something completely new to me.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, so for me, this is certainly experimental.

Below are a few photos that I took for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge “Experimental”

Click on any of the photos below to see a higher resolution version.

Experimental (1 of 3)

Experimental (2 of 3)

Experimental (3 of 3)

Weekly Photo Challenge – Temporary

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For someone who maintains a blog dedicated to drawings and photography one would think I would’ve participated in a Weekly Photo Challenge before now.  Oh well, one only has so much time…

Below are a few photos that I took for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge “Temporary”

Click on any of the photos below to see a higher resolution version.

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Travel Photography – House Creek at Cherry Grove Beach, SC

House-Creek-View
This is a view of the House Creek marsh from our Balcony.

This is the first visit to Cherry Grove Beach for me and my family.  We are here for vacation and have enjoyed getting away and slowing down the pace of life for a few days.  Our hotel fronts on the Atlantic Ocean but has a wonderful view of a tidal marsh area behind the hotel.  This tidal waterway is named House Creek.  It plays host to water fowl and a variety of other wild life.  The creek is never the same twice since it’s water level is constantly changing with the flow of the tides.

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A crane stands on the exposed land at low tide.

I went to the marsh just after sunrise hoping to get some photos in the early morning light.  I did manage to find some wild life to photograph but I did not find the early morning landscape photo I was hoping for.  Still this was a successful outing simply because I was able to experience a new place and had photography opportunities that I do not have at home.

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Water fowl taking flight at House Creek

That evening we had a few thunderstorms passing to our north.  The photograph below shows one of those storms building in the distance.

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Thunderstorms build in the distance. Photo taken from our hotel balcony.

Nature Photography – Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway Mountain View

Below are more images from my drive along a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  These photos were taken in and around the Doughton Park area.  We also stopped and photographed a small pond just north of the park but I do not remember the name of the pond.

Open field Doughton Park
A photo of an open field at Doughton Park.
Doughton Park Rock Outcropping Landscape
Same field, just a different perspective with the rock outcropping in the foreground.
Landsacpe Photo Doughton Park
This photo was also taken at Doughton Park. You can see one of the balds in the distance.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mountain View
Layer of mountains fade into the distance. This photo was taken at Doughton Park at one of the many overlooks within the park and along the parkway.
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Small pond just off the parkway.
Blue Ridge Parkway Pond
Same pond from a different vantage point. The water was really calm and still.
Blue Ridge Parkway Pond
Portrait view so I could include a bit of the sky. By this time is was getting later in the evening.

Nature Photography – Wild Flowers

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Over the weekend me and a fellow photographer visited the Blue Ridge Parkway with camera’s in hand to capture anything of interest.  Our first stop was Doughton Park.  While there we photographed wild flowers growing on the natural balds within the park.  For those who may be unfamiliar with the term bald.  It is simply naturally occurring grass lands within the mountain terrain.  These are somewhat large areas, that for the most part, are devoid of trees.  Below are a few photos from our visit.  I plan to post more images in a day or two, so please check back.

Click on any of the images below to open a larger view.

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Yellow wild flowers growing in Doughton Park along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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A closer view of a violet colored wild flower.
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There where lost of these delicate flowers growing in the grassy fields of Doughton Park.
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Another shot of these delicate little flowers. This time with a bit more of it’s surroundings.
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It was not my intention to photograph this little guy. I tried to encourage him to move along but he seemed to really like this flower so I just let him be.
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These where quite numerous as well.
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These guys where growing down into the grass & close to the ground.
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Another purple and white blossom.
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I had good sunlight for this photo. I do not know what type of flower this is. But, it was very delicate and it caught my eye. I only saw this one.
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Tight crop of a Dandelion.