Victoria Jean Photo Art: Blog https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog en-us (C) Victoria Jean Photo Art (Victoria Jean Photo Art) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:25:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:25:00 GMT https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/img/s/v-12/u246963173-o916956116-50.jpg Victoria Jean Photo Art: Blog https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog 120 80 One Year Ago https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2019/2/one-year-ago Its hard to believe this epic 3-month RV trip across the country was a year ago!

Looking back at all the pictures and reading the posts makes me feel like I'm living it all over again!

If you missed it the first time, you can relive it all by clicking HERE!

2018 RV Trip2018 RV Trip

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) adventure RV travel trip https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2019/2/one-year-ago Sun, 17 Feb 2019 13:52:19 GMT
Honey, I'm Home!! https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/baby-im-home The 2018 RV Trip Comes To An End

South CarolinaSouth Carolina

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Tuesday, April 10

Leaving the Suwannee Park area today, sadly because I love this place. We need to make it to Boca by the 12th and have one more cool place to stop along the way. We drove east for several hours and made it to the Silver Springs area just outside of Ocala. This was as far as we'd go today. Time to rest up and do some laundry. We found a nice RV resort to pull into just before the rain started again. 

Wednesday, April 11

Up early today with a short drive to get to Blue Springs State Park. Justin found this as a good spot to dive; a clear spring that forces out over 100 million gallons of water daily. It was a clear and sunny day around 68 degrees. The park was quite large. We checked in with the ranger, who gave us a brief outline of what we were not allowed to do while diving. First being not to mess with the two remaining manatees, second being not to enter the cavern system deep within the springs we were diving. I perked up at the mention of manatees, not expecting to see any, how lucky was I? This springs system is one of many they congregate to in masses during cooler winter months. The water stays a consistent 73 degrees for them. Right about now, they all should be moving back out, but two remained behind.

We found a great spot to park thick with shade. Lil would rest comfortably while we spent some time diving. We donned our gear and walked the boardwalk to the divers entrance. It felt like a jungle, with a lush green canopy of trees and plants around us. The water was crystal clear, absolutely beautiful! Right away we were able to spot the manatees, marked by park service with buoys on their tails. As we dropped into the shallow waters, I was surprised to feel the force of the current working against me. We sure wouldn't be swimming to the crevice, for this current was very strong. We could stand, with water at our chest, so we slowly waded through the water into the mouth of the spring. In my grace, I stumbled a time or two over fallen logs, clear as day to see, but I was watching the manatee buoys instead of where I was walking!

Once we were as far back in the springs as we could go, we put on our masks and dropped below the surface. Damn! Beautiful does not do it justice. The way the sun was splitting across ripples on the surface, it made diamond shaped illuminations that danced across the sandy bottom. It was so clear, I could see the lumbering giant sea cows 30 feet from me. Since they are protected, and it is illegal to bother them, I just stared for a while as they gently poked around the bottom picking at plants to eat.

We swam up on the crevice we were to dive. At first, the pitch black gap felt too ominous and uninviting to me. I felt just fine hanging out here in shallow water watching manatees play. Justin was first to descend, down between fallen trees into the crevice. It wasn't very wide, but opened up more as we dropped. I followed, and my eyes eventually adjusted so it wasn't a black hole any longer. Rather, it became a surreal underwater mini canyon. The force of the springs had worn away stunning formations in the limestone. I wanted to see more, so we kept diving farther down, pushing against the force of the surging water, until we eventually reached the depth of 60-something feet where the cavern system began. No farther could we go, which was fine with me, it was pretty dark this far down. I rolled over and looked up to see the remarkable image of sun rays streaming into the opening far above. Once again, I paused to appreciate it for a minute. Eventually, more divers entered the crevice, making it a little too crowded for my liking, so we eventually made our way back up into shallow water. It was at that point that I turned my GoPro to video to record bits of the swim through the shallows, letting the current carry us. There were so many fish, huge pan fish and even some long gars near the end. You'll have to watch the video to see what I saw.

Manatee!Manatee!This one was around 6 feet. The attachment on its tail is a buoy marker so park rangers can see where it is at in the springs. It's illegal to disturb or bother them so the marker helps boaters steer clear as well. They are very friendly and will approach swimmers and make physical contact.

Click on the photo above to see pictures from the dive.

Click on the video below to see the drift through the current in shallow water.
Blue Springs Apr 2018

After the excitement of the dive, we returned to the RV to clean up and start heading for Boca, where we would spend the next few days with family.

Friday, April 13

Friday the 13! I didn't even realize that until the day was almost over. It was a quick visit with family, but we had reservations with a dive charter in Venice for tomorrow, so we had to get moving. Venice is said to be the fossil shark tooth capital, with divers able to find many teeth along its waters. I was itching to see what the buzz was all about. We left late in the day after dinner, and arrived 4 hours later in the Venice area, around 9:30 pm, both fully exhausted from an eventful couple days. The spot we reserved would have been the perfect size for us, had the thickskulled self-important moron in a huge motorcoach in front of us not attached his trailer with car- it sat at least 25 feet over in our space and we had to work around it to get the RV hooked up. I was just glad we had a spot and could fit in, I was too tired to stress over it.  As the story seems to go, another early morning in store for us, so we needed to get some sleep.

Saturday, April 14

I dreamed of shark teeth last night, excited about the charter dive with Florida West we had scheduled this morning. The RV park we chose was close to the dive shop, and had electric so we could leave Lil in the AC to relax (she spent the last two days with a house full of doggies to play with). We rolled the scooter off and stuffed our few pieces of dive gear on, then burned off to the dive shop. There we were outfitted with the remainder of dive equipment we'd need for diving off the coast in the gulf waters. The last time we tried this, the charter was cancelled due to high winds, but today looked perfect with the only signs of bad weather rolling in later tonight.

We boarded the dive boat with several other eager divers, and they carried us out into the gulf. A warm morning, salty breezes on our face, turquoise blue water, it felt like paradise. The dive master dropped in the water, checking for good spots for us, and when he was satisfied, he gave us the thumbs up to plop on in. Justin and I dropped to the bottom at a depth of around 30 feet, ready to start hunting for teeth. The visibility wasn't perfect, seeing only around 10 feet in front of us, but it was far better than that of the Cooper River. I poked around with my hands, trying not to stir up too much silt. I knew I was on the search for fossil teeth, but the marine life down there simply captivated me, distracting me over and over again from the task at hand. We found a seahorse, many live seashells, and attracted a school of fish along the way. The teeth however, not as plentiful as advertised. Justin and I each found a partial megalodon tooth, and a handful of smaller teeth. We completed a total of two dives in the 77 degree water, and I was exhausted and chilly by the end of the second. The weather was changing, bringing in wind and higher swells on the surface. While we could surface swim to the boat after the first dive, the captain had us stay put on the second, bringing the boat to us instead. Exiting the water with all our gear and weights was more challenging with the boat rocking and bucking in the wind. All in all, it was a great experience and we didn't leave empty handed. Let me just say, there really isn't much that is sexy about diving; the wetsuit is tightly adhered to every roll in your body, hair becomes an entangled mess of algae and debris, the mask leaves a long-lasting indentation around your face, the regulator in your mouth bulges your lips out like a swollen fish, and let's not forget the snot or saliva strings drizzling from your face just after emerging from a dive... but I wouldn't trade it in for anything.

The DiveThe DiveMy view after surfacing from my first dive, with the charter boat off on the horizon.

This photo is my view as I surfaced from my first dive.

 

 

 


The FindsThe Finds

 

 

This is a photo of our collective finds.

 

 

 

Play the 10 minute video below to see our dive highlights.

While the water looks green, it really is much clearer.

The GoPro rendered to the best of its (and my) ability.

 

Venice Dive Apr 2018

After the dive, we scooted back to the RV, showered and cleaned up and pulled out to find lunch. We were both starving, and butter burgers and frozen custard from Culvers sounded perfect! After lunch we drove another 3.5 hours north back to the Live Oak area to look again at some land we were interested in. It was a hot day, in the 90's and very humid. When we arrived in Live Oak, it was late, but still hot. We crawled around in the woods along the river, looking at uncleared lots. When we broke out of the jungle-like brush, Lil sought relief by laying in some cool clay mud, leaving knobs of sticky clay to dry on her fur like cement. 

After land hunting, we pulled into the Spirit of the Suwannee Park where we'd stay the night. It was a huge hippy-like music festival complex outfitted with over 600 RV sites. My priority was to clean off Lil as soon as we hooked up. She took a shower in the RV after a failed attempt to use the hose outside while fighting off mosquitos. Once everyone was clean and fed, we all crashed for the night. Tomorrow's highlight...returning home!

Sunday, April 15

Everyone slept in a little, well earned I would think. We couldn't procrastinate long though, we had a long drive ahead of us and severe storms were rolling in. It was a windy ride home, and we felt we were being chased by the bad weather. A few stops along the way, including one flower photo op with Lil, and we arrived back in Charleston by late afternoon, just in time to feel the rain on our backs as we quickly unloaded the RV.

Ah, a sigh of relief to be back home!

Below, from the beautiful Boca coast we left behind to the weather that chased us home, a Georgia sky and a South Carolina roadway.

Florida BeachFlorida Beach Bad Weather Following UsBad Weather Following Us Georgia AfternoonGeorgia Afternoon South CarolinaSouth Carolina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a final tally of my collection; 93 pounds of fossil ammonite, 40 pounds of fossil trilobites and trilobite material, 94 pounds of quartz crystals, and other assorted rocks and fossils total a whopping 320 pounds!! 

The Final CollectionThe Final Collection Justin drove over 10,000 miles from coast to coast over the two and a half months we roamed. I managed to collect over 300 pounds of fossils and rocks. Lily hiked the desert canyons and frolicked in the snow covered mountains. From boondocking on sandy beaches, SCUBA diving in the middle of a desert, prospecting for gems, eating in the streets of Mexico, to seeing the many natural wonders of our states... it was an epic adventure all the way, leaving us with many wonderful memories to look back on.

And hey, thanks for following along! Stay tuned for a highlight reel of my favorite photos from the entire trip.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Ammonite Blue Springs State Park Boondocking Coast to Coast Crystal Dive Florida West Fossil Shark Teeth Fossils Landscape Photography Landscapes Manatee Megalodon RV SCUBA Shark Teeth Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trilobite Trip Venice Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/baby-im-home Wed, 18 Apr 2018 18:17:57 GMT
Soggy Days https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/soggy-days The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Raining On Suwannee River CypressRaining On Suwannee River Cypress

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Saturday, April 7 continued…

We arrived in the tiny town of Wilmer where we camped at a private RV park along a river. It was empty, but quite nice. Yet again, no excursions, a simple walk around the grounds with Lil ending with rain showers singing us to sleep later.

Camp RiverCamp River LilLil

 

 

 

 

Sunday, April 8

After leaving the Monroe area, we arrived in the Tallahassee late in the afternoon and found an RV park with laundry and wifi so I could catch up on some chores. We grilled surf and turf for dinner and enjoyed an evening of warmer temps.

Monday, April 9

We started off for the Suwannee or Withlacoochee River area near Live Oak. Our goal today was to look at several properties along the rivers in the area, hoping to find a nice little piece we could buy for recreation use. Along the way was Vortex Springs, a place Justin wanted to SCUBA dive, so we swung through and dove  for a short while. It really was a short dive, lasting only around 20-something minutes with our mini SCUBA sets. The water was a cool 65 degrees and crystal clear, teeming with panfish. The limestone and ancient coral formations below the waterline were stunning. There was a cave system farther down, but we just swam around the outer edge of it enjoying the character with the black hole beckoning us to enter the caves. I'd love to come back when its warmer outside and we have more time, and when my gopro is charged; unfortunately no photos were captured due to a dead battery. After drying off, we got back on our route to the Suwannee River to check out land.

We stopped at several properties, poking around through the overgrowth, gauging how suitable each was. Lunch was at one of the only restaurants around, just outside of the dying town of Lee. After lunch, we tried our luck at finding a camping spot at our favorite park in the area, Suwannee River State Park. We've been there before and knew we could only book online, which told us all sites were taken, but often times, people no-show. We pulled in and asked at the gate and sure enough, a spot was available. Before setting up, we drove back out with our reservation in hand and went on to explore a favorite spot of mine nearby where I’ve been able to find fossil sea urchins (echinoids) in the past. While I didn’t collect as many as before, I was happy with the specimens we were able to leave with. I actually got very warm while hunting, it was 87 degrees and 70% humidity, no wonder! Time to go back to the state park, plug in and turn on the AC!

The fossils of the Suwannee River!

Fossils At SuwanneeFossils At Suwannee Fossils At SuwanneeFossils At Suwannee Fossils At SuwanneeFossils At Suwannee Digging For Fossil EchinoidsDigging For Fossil Echinoids Fossil EchinoidsFossil Echinoids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we settled in, I took Lil for a walk down to the river and let her swim a while. She loves going just deep enough to be able to float and paddle around. While we were walking the shores, I found outcrops of fossil coral and beds of hundreds of tiny seashell fossils, no wonder I love this place!

We eventually made a small dinner and watched a movie. As night crept in, I took Lil out for one last walk with Justin. We wandered in the dusk to a part of the park we’ve not investigated before and found a large rock perched over the river where we could crawl out and sit, just soaking in the warm night breeze and fresh air. With light sprinkles coming in, we decided to head back to the RV. It was dark enough to notice the special spectacle of the plentiful fireflies twinkling among the woods. It felt so magical, we just had to pause and enjoy the show for a while. What a wonderfully enchanting night on the river! I was grinning from ear to ear with how lifted this place makes me feel.

Tuesday, April 10

Justin convinced me to rise before the sun this morning, I mentioned the night before how beautiful a sunrise would look on the river. I begrudgingly rolled myself out, gathered up my equipment and walked down to the river with Justin and Lil. They stayed a little while, but left me there to play with catching some images. It was very overcast, so I knew I wouldn’t see any colors of the sunrise, but the mist and lush green around the river was too beautiful not to shoot. It was a refreshing morning with the smell of rain in the air. I could hear low rumbles of thunder off in the distance and it made me smile. It wasn’t long before I started to see flashes of lightening around me, then the rain started. I wanted so badly to stay out in the showers, taking long exposures of the drops hitting the water, but I soon became drenched and couldn’t protect my camera enough to merit staying out. When I got back to the RV, I literally had to wring out my coat. We waited for a lull in the rain, then packed up and pulled out to continue our search for properties.

We toughed out the intermittent showers, squishing our way through soggy woods, braving saturated and sticky dirt roads with a few we wouldn’t attempt driving farther on for fear of getting sucked into the mud. It stayed warm enough, but we were soggy most of the morning.  Along the way, there were some picturesque areas, I don't think anything around here would be necessarily a bad find. Alas, the search was over as the weather made it difficult to get into some of the areas. We found rest just outside of Ocala in Silver Springs, still soggy and raining.

Click on any photo below to see the Suwannee River area.

Adventure LilAdventure Lil Suwannee River State ParkSuwannee River State Park Suwannee RiverSuwannee River Raining On Suwannee River CypressRaining On Suwannee River Cypress

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Coast to Coast Echinoids Fireflies FL Florida Fossils Landscape Photography Landscapes Lightening Bugs RV SCUBA Springs" Suwannee Withlacoochee Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art Vortex https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/soggy-days Tue, 10 Apr 2018 22:56:46 GMT
Driving Days https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/driving-days The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Lily the Flower GirlLily the Flower Girl

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery


Friday, April 6 continued...

We arrived at a small RV park in Monroe, in southern Louisiana. Our goal is to arrive in the Live Oak area of Florida by Monday, so we're not stopping for adventures these next few days. Looks like it was a good idea too because we arrived just in time to sit through a night of severe weather. It was 85 degrees and lightly raining when we parked. Justin started some quick maintenance on the RV while I started laundry, dinner and bathing Lily in the RV tub. Within a half hour, it was torrential rain and heavy winds. I love thunder storms, the excitement of it, but poor Lil was huddled in a corner in the safety of her blankets. Justin and I both became soaked to the bone the few minutes we were outside, and for a while we worried of lightening strikes or wind taking down branches. Nonetheless, it was an eventful night.

Severe WeatherSevere Weather Severe WeatherSevere Weather Flooding in MonroeFlooding in Monroe Flooding in MonroeFlooding in Monroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, April 7

We woke to temps in the low 40s, a cold front came in swiftly after last nights storms. No wind damage, but the park was flooded in areas right behind us. I was thankful we were not assigned any of the spaces along the edge of the lake. We pulled out and headed for Mississippi, stopping at a delicious southern buffet for lunch. Our camp for the night was on the Mississippi and Alabama border, in a little park along a small river. Once again, no excursions, so all you get for photos are those of Lil sitting in the many wildflowers blooming along the way. It sure does feel good to be back in a more lush environment.

Lily the Flower GirlLily the Flower Girl Lily the Flower GirlLily the Flower Girl Lily the Flower GirlLily the Flower Girl Lily the Flower GirlLily the Flower Girl Lily the Flower GirlLily the Flower Girl Lily the Flower GirlLily the Flower Girl Camp RiverCamp River LilLil

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Coast to Coast FL Florida LA Landscape Photography Landscapes Live Oak Louisiana RV Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/driving-days Sat, 07 Apr 2018 23:06:54 GMT
Ammonites Anyone? https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/ammonites-anyone The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Windmill In Flower FieldWindmill In Flower Field

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Wednesday, April 4

On our way out of Amarillo, we stopped by another canyon to let Lil get in a hike or two. Palo Duro Canyon is the country’s second largest canyon, cut through the high mountain desert by the Red River and spans across the panhandle area of Texas. It was a comfortable 55 degrees outside, and the wind dried our skin and dusted our faces. We all crawled around some of the canyon formations and walked along some of the many trails on the canyon floor among the hardwoods. We passed a segment of the red rock full of gypsum veins, also where Lil took a refreshing dip in the little creek that ran through.

Justin & Lil In The CanyonJustin & Lil In The Canyon

 

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see Palo Duro Canyon.

 

We left that area and drove east on through Texas through modern day ghost towns and past junkyards. We caught lunch at an authentic Mexican restaurant on the side of the road, where the wind nearly ripped off the side door to the RV. After lunch, we drove on, passing a small wildfire burning as it was fueled by the winds.

We arrived in Wichita Falls to stay the night. The only reason we stopped here was because it was a halfway point to our next point of interest which I picked based off a Facebook post I saw just the other day.

Thursday, April 5

I couldn’t sleep well, dreaming of the next stop where we would have the opportunity to hunt for fossil ammonites! We left Wichita Falls early, knowing we had only a few hours to hunt before we needed to hit the road again. Our goal this morning was Lake Texoma, where hundreds of ammonites of all sizes could be found in the limestone formation (Duck Creek Formation). I was pretty excited. Once again, I had all our excavation equipment packed in my backpack, eager to use it. We walked along the shore with Lil, my eyes panning back and forth looking for the circular formations. I was discouraged at first, not seeing whole pieces but finding many fragments discarded by past hunters. We eventually came to a spot where they were more plentiful, although tenaciously embedded in the hard rock. Justin and I worked hard extracting these from the hardened stone. We walked over mammoth sized ones searching for more manageable pieces. We found a few 5-8 inches wide, and two around 12 inches wide. I bloodied my knuckles and blistered my hands working to aquire a few to bring back. When we were satisfied with our finds, we walked back to the RV. It felt like miles for me, weighted down with what I would guess is 70 pounds of stone. We have a deal, if I want it, I have to be able to carry it out, and thankfully I’m a stubborn fool willing to break my back getting my finds out of their resting spots. I was absolutely overjoyed with what we came out of there with.

For the other fossil hunters I’ll share this with, I hope you get some good direction from this if you want to give the place a try. For other readers, forgive me a moment while I digress into detailed directions for other hunters.

We parked the RV in a gravel lot next to the Lake Texoma Spilway just off highway 91, next to where all the boat trailers were parking. We immediately walked along the shoreline, but if you go, you will want to walk to the end of the lot to a gate with a gravel road behind it (see photos). Walk that gravel road past two boat ramps, the second is pretty broken up and not used. You will descend a short way down to the shore where the limestone banks open to cliffs. Fight off the urge to dig and hunt here, better areas are ahead, though you’ll see a lot of fragments of ammonite as you walk.  Continue west along the shore past the first small cove into the second cove into an area that looks like limestone ledges you can walk on out to the water. Most whole ammonites can be found embedded within the limestone you are walking on. Either stroll back and forth looking for the unmistakable circular patterns, or begin prying and breaking away segments of the rock to see what you can reveal within. Work carefully, these fracture very easily. With patience and luck, you’ll discover many rewarding pieces. Tools you must bring; gloves, chisels, rock hammer, 3-pound mallet is useful, crow bar, safety glasses, a way to carry back 50-100 pounds of ammonite the mile or so you’ll walk, water, sunblock and patience. These pieces can be very large. We saw some the size of car tires! I carried one out that was approximately 12 inches wide and it was very heavy and awkward. I had a backpack for the smaller ones, but didn’t realize I’d have such a heavy load to carry, though I was damned determined to get these all back to the RV.  It was 60 degrees and very overcast when we went. A t-shirt and jeans was sufficient to keep us warm, you’ll be working hard to liberate these treasures so don't overdress. Respect other hunters you may encounter, follow property and state laws, and good luck!

After all our hard work, we left Lake Texoma, headed for Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park where we’d rest up for the night.

Our FindsOur Finds

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see the ammonite adventure.

 

Friday, April 6

This is a lovely park, bluebonnet flowers bordering the site here and there, and plenty of lush green space to spread out. Justin spent a bit of the morning fishing in their catch-and-release pond. The air was humid with stormy skies in the distance. It felt refreshing to be in green humid air after so much desert driving. I took advantage of the extra free time to rearrange all my fossils and rocks I’ve been collecting. Once we got everything situated, we left for Louisiana.

BluebonnetsBluebonnets Windmill In Flower FieldWindmill In Flower Field

Lily Enjoying Green GrassLily Enjoying Green Grass

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Ammonite Bluebonnet Ridge Coast to Coast Duck Creek Formation Fossils Gypsum Lake Texoma Lake Texoma Spilway Landscape Photography Landscapes Palo Duro Canyon RV Texas Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip TX Victoria Jean Photo Art Wichita Falls https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/ammonites-anyone Fri, 06 Apr 2018 18:17:14 GMT
Catching Views of Colorado https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/catching-views-of-colorado The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Lil Loves WindowgazingLil Loves Windowgazing

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Sunday, April 1

Today is Justin's official retirement day, retiring after 20 years in the US Navy. Congratulations babe, you've earned this time off!

We left Utah today heading into Colorado. We decided to give Mesa Verde National Park a try even though portions were still closed from the winter. The landscape through Utah remained unbeatable with the constant rising ridges falling into spanning valleys. We stopped briefly at a few viewpoints along the way, just long enough for me to gawk in awe at the view and try to capture it in camera. It is still astounding to me, how diverse and incredibly beautiful this land is; the different layers of rock, blending together in kaleidoscopic patterns with shapes and holes whittled by time. We drove through Moab, hoping to stop for lunch but it was teeming with tourists, way to busy for our taste. I swear there were more 4x4 dune buggies than there were people though, apparently this place is known for its desert 4x4 recreation. We caught a glimpse of some arches off the road, but didn’t brave the masses to get a closer look. Farther away from that bustle was something that caught our eye, the Hole In The Rock. We thought, sure, they’ve got to have food there, right? That too turned out to be a tourist trap, with a meager grocery store as its only source for food. It is apparently a 5,000 square foot “house” build into the mountain and can be toured for a small price- which we opted out of. I'm sure it would have been a really neat thing to see, but we were on a somewhat strict timeline. Instead, we scrounged together a lunch in the RV and went on our way.

Scenic WaypointsScenic Waypoints

 

 

 

Click to see photos of the trip from Utah to Colorado.

 

Our stop for the night was at BLM land in Cortez, Colorado, just beyond the Mesa Verde park. Before pulling in, we let Lil run for a while at the dog park in town. It was a fantastic park for her; very large, lots of brush to “hunt” in. She played for a while, then we left to go claim our spot at the BLM land. It was the first spot we found upon driving in. The area had around 12 spots along a rugged dirt road far off the main highway. It was all surrounded by trees and brush, so every spot felt very secluded. We walked all the way back in to see what the remaining spaces looked like, some were only suitable for tents while others could manage an RV. There were some pretty deep ruts in the road, and I was glad we didn’t decide to drive back in farther. By the end of the night, I believe every spot had been filled. We were treated to a gorgeous sunset as well, with the colors seeming to drench everything around us until it slowly faded away.

Suset on BLM Land ColoradoSuset on BLM Land Colorado

 

 

 

Our BLM sunset in Cortez, Colorado.

Monday, April 2

We left the BLM spot this morning and drove into Mesa Verde park, stopping at the visitor center to get a better idea as to what we would be able to see today. We had only 3-4 hours to burn here before we needed to get back on the road. Mesa Verde’s attraction are the multitude of cliff dwellings carved and built within and around the the cliffs and ridges of the area. The earliest known structure is dated somewhere near 640 AD and they continued building and rebuilding for several hundred years. Our tour was mostly a driving tour, stopping along the way to peer over the ledges to see ancient sites. It was astounding to imagine what it took to build these, then to come and go on a daily basis with having to climb the cliffs by way of foot and hand holes carved out of the stone. Some seemed as elaborate as small neighborhoods, containing up to 150 individual rooms and many other chambers for worship and gathering. We were unable to take any tours of the sites this day, but perhaps sometime in the future. As we drove back out, I couldn’t help but snapping a pic or two of the skeleton trees left behind from wildfires decades earlier.

Cliff DwellingsCliff Dwellings

 

 

 

Click photo to see the cliff dwellings.

 

We drove on to Albuquerque, a stop of necessity more than anything else. We had to stop at the military base there to get new identification cards since Justin’s official retirement was April 1. We arrived at the base late in the afternoon and simply made dinner then hit the sack.

Tuesday, April 3

After a surprisingly quick visit to the ID center on base, we were back on the road. Our trip back is going to be much faster than the trip out to the West coast. We’re trying to make good time, with hopes to get to Florida in 10 days or so. Our goal today, we picked Amarillo. The only reason was because it’s within our range of 300 miles, and the Cadillac Ranch popped up on Google Maps while I was looking. For some corny reason, I wanted to see that. We drove on through New Mexico, through the wind and pollution induced haze. Eventually, the horizon flattened out leading me to believe we finally crossed into Texas. It was still very windy when we arrived in Amarillo. We saw the Cadillac Ranch from the road and pulled over in the parking area to see what the draw was. I expected it to be more elaborate, but I’m guessing everyone that doesn’t research it said the same thing. It’s simply an art piece of a sequence of Cadillac cars erected in a cow pasture that people come to visit and paint sentiments over on a regular basis, reminding me of the Folly Boat. I took Lil and walked out into the field for a viewing, and was so cold from the wind, I didn’t take the time to photograph it like I wanted. Besides, there were so many people coming and going, many spray painting their own expressions upon the car bodies. Even on a windy day in a wide open Texas field, the smell of spray paint was heavy in the air, making me wonder if these things ever had a chance to dry before the next fella came along with a new coat of paint. Walking back out, I noticed hundreds of spray paint cans strewn about in the pasture.

Discarded Paint CanDiscarded Paint Can

 

 

Click photo to see the Cadillac Ranch photos.

 

We arrived on the outskirts of town a few minutes later and checked into a nice RV park, where I could catch up on a few chores before we scooted into town to have Texas steaks at Hoffbrau Steak House. It was a ff-ff-ff-ffreezing ride on the scooter, but the delicious coffee rubbed steak was totally worth it!

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Cadillac Ranch Cliff Dwellings CO Coast to Coast Colorado Dwellings Hoffbrau Steak House Hole In The Rock Landscape Photography Landscapes Mesa Verde National Park RV Texas Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip TX Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/4/catching-views-of-colorado Wed, 04 Apr 2018 01:54:37 GMT
Hunting Fossil Trilobites https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/hunting-fossil-trilobites The 2018 RV Trip Continues

The BiggiesThe BiggiesAround two inches each.

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Friday, March 30

On the road again after a refreshing break. Today we head south to a site rich with fossil trilobites, a place I’ve had on my radar for a long time and can finally go see what its all about. What’s a trilobite you ask? Well, let me introduce you to the little “bugs”. They are an extinct marine critter, known to be the first invertebrate life on earth. They look slightly like a segmented beetle or maybe a crab. These prehistoric little things scuttled about the sandy bottoms of the seas that have long disappeared, encasing their hard outer shell in limestone shale. These particular ones can range in size from a pinhead up to two inches in length and are quite fragile upon excavation, some 500 million years after their demise.

The site was U-Dig Fossils, declaring themselves to be the best place in the world to find fossil trilobites. We stayed the night in Delta, about 30 miles from the fossil site, at Antelope RV Park. It was an ordinary RV park, but while walking Lil, I happened upon several nuggets of obsidian! These days, I spend most of my time with my head hanging down in search of unusual rocks or fossils. Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic “glass”, created when lava rich in silica cools too fast for crystals to form, and is shiny like broken glass so it’s very easy to spot.  After our walk, and after my pockets grew too heavy with rock, we returned to the RV and Justin and I took the scooter over the bridge to grab lunch at the Ashton Burger Barn. Upon returning to the RV, I made sure we had all our tools together for the quarry the next day; rock hammers, spades, buckets, gloves, and so on. I was quite excited!

Saturday, March 31

Up and at it bright and early! It’s time for bug hunting! We pulled out and headed for the quarry. We turned onto a gravel road with a sign pointing us toward Death Canyon, which I was hoping we would avoid. It was 20 miles down this dirt road before we hit the fossil place. Nothing makes you feel more chubby than driving down a washboard gravel road and feeling everything on your body jiggle in rhythm. We finally arrived at the quarry and parked the RV. After a brief introduction to hunting, we gathered our tools and with Lil in tow, headed into the pits. It was a relatively small quarry, but the black splinters of shale were everywhere. We picked a spot and began hunting, eagerly splitting rock in search of the elusive trilobites. It’s quite a gratifying feeling when the hammer strikes the shale with a strong but hollow hit, fracturing open to reveal even the tiniest body. Lil quickly became bored being tied to my waist, so I built her a shade shelter from the rocks and perched her bed atop for the roof then laid my shirt inside for her to spread out on. She was quick to take advantage of the shade hut while Justin and I grew more burned in the afternoon sun; a 74 degrees at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet was warm for all of us. After a few hours, some blood blisters, and aching arms from hammering, we were satisfied with our buckets of finds. We collected nearly 30 small specimens which were smaller than a nickel, around 8 large specimens an inch or two in length, and several in between. I was thrilled! We sorted and stowed them and went on our way, with visions of trilobites dancing in my head yet.

We decided to continue on out of town to see how far we’d get before stopping for the night. We made it an hour and our dust covered aching bodies wanted rest. We still needed to see what kind of adventure we could find for the next stop.

These are the only photos of our excursion this day.

The QuarryThe Quarry Heartbreakers - Broken TrilobitesHeartbreakers - Broken Trilobites The HammerThe Hammer Lily's Shade ShackLily's Shade Shack The BiggiesThe BiggiesAround two inches each. The BiggiesThe BiggiesAround two inches each.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Ashton Burger Barn Coast to Coast Fossils Landscape Photography Landscapes obsidian RV Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trilobites Trip U-Dig Fossils UT Utah Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/hunting-fossil-trilobites Sun, 01 Apr 2018 02:47:38 GMT
You Gotta See Utah https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/utah The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Portion of Great Salt LakePortion of Great Salt Lake

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Monday, March 26 continued….

I forgot what character Justin’s grandpa was. It was good to see he hasn’t lost his feisty personality.  Lil took to him right away, loving up and sitting on his lap. He kept us laughing with wisecracks and stories of the old days while he showed us around his town a bit. Justin drove the RV with grandpa in the passengers seat, getting direction to a few local points of interest with only the kind of narration grandpa can give. One was Whiskytown Lake, a lake created when one of the first mining communities died off and was intentionally flooded after creation of a dam. The area now serves as a lively recreation lake with a small marina.  The second site was the Shasta Dam, holding back the Sacramento River to provide flood control, water storage during California’s dry seasons and also a source for power generation . Between tours, we sat and enjoyed lunch and dinner with him. When it was time to go, he reluctantly bid us good-bye, giving Justin a few more sly tips on life and love.

Spring  BloomsSpring Blooms

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see all of the Redding area.

 

We drove on into the night through the elevations of the Lassen National Forest, with the moon casting shadows of the tall pines over the snow. I had forgotten how beautiful and peaceful night shadows on snow really is. Our stop was in the valley town of Susanville where I can proudly say we spent our first night boondocking in a Walmart parking lot! It was great to finally find a safe place to stop and rest our head for the night.

Tuesday, March 27

As we head back East to return home, it only made sense to swing through the Salt Lake City area to visit with Justin’s sister. We couldn’t make the drive across Nevada all in one day, so we broke it up by boondocking one more night at BLM land on the Humboldt River in Nevada. This was one of the most serene spots we’ve found so far. It was a flat gravel pad on the edge of the river in a small canyon with ridges on either side. It sat on a dead end road of what was the old highway cutting through the hills before the interstate took over. We pulled in late in the afternoon, just as the sun started to set. While Justin walked Lil along the river, I made us a hearty pork steak dinner. We stuffed ourselves and settled in for the night.

Sunrise On Humboldt RiverSunrise On Humboldt River

 

 

 

This is the BLM area in Nevada.

 

Wednesday, March 28

We woke to a beautiful sunrise, which I didn’t roll out of bed in time to capture. By the time I got dressed and grabbed my camera gear, the sun was already above the ridges, but I was able to get a good image of the river with the flame red brush along the banks.

We pulled out and headed for Ogden, UT.  I was eager to see the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah. We came upon them just after crossing the state border. It was easy access since the interstate cut right through them. They haven’t always been so easy to navigate. Before the area was developed, early explorers would traverse them to find and settle new land. Even today, the environment is harsh and unwelcoming; back in the 1800’s it proved to be tragically dangerous for unprepared explorers to cross. The salt flats were created when the ancient Lake Bonneville covered nearly six times the area of the Great Salt Lake. As it became cut off from connecting waterways, eventually evaporating but leaving behind vast deposits of salt. Today, wind and water work back and forth to create the spanning flat rock-like crust of white salt. True to form, I couldn't leave without a quick taste!

Bonneville Salt FlatsBonneville Salt Flats

 

 

 

Click the photo to see all of the salt flats experience.

We arrived in the Ogden area that afternoon, where Justin’s sister warmly welcomed us in with a scrumptious meal, big bed, free laundry and long hot showers! Her two sweet doggos were full of kisses and overly curious about the scruffy hot blonde we brought along.

Thursday, March 29

Another thing to knock off my bucket list of must-see icons in the states- the Spiral Jetty right here in Utah! Justin’s sister was just as excited to see this spectacle and navigated us along long dirt roads to find it. I learned it was actually a work of art, from the day it was created, it remains in a constant state of decay as part of the artists intention. The Spiral is a 15 foot wide spiral formation of basalt rock which sticks out in stark contrast to the white salty sand surrounding it on the edge of the Great Salt Lake. It took approximately 10 days to create in 1970, and was covered by the changing waters of the lake within a year. It stayed covered for the next 30 years before water receded enough to reveal it again. Today, it attracts tourists to see it in its constant state of change; salt encasing the some of the black rocks, waters ebbing in and out from it’s edges, appearing just a little more intriguing by the magenta colors of the water made rosy by salt loving organisms in the water which has a salt content 10 times more salty than the ocean. This is one of those locations a person needs to visit on several occasions to see it in the many beautiful variations to the landscape that Utah offers.

Spiral JettySpiral Jetty

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see the Spiral Jetty.

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Bonneville Salt Flats Boondocking CA California Coast to Coast Great Salt Lake Humboldt River Lake Bonneville Landscape Photography Landscapes Lassen National Forest Nevada NV RV Shasta Dam Spiral Jetty Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip UT Utah Victoria Jean Photo Art Whiskytown Lake https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/utah Fri, 30 Mar 2018 17:47:41 GMT
Finding Gold https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/finding-gold The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Artistic Rendering of FallsArtistic Rendering of Falls

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Friday, March 23 continued...

After leaving Springville, we headed to Yosemite. Justin found an RV park just outside in the town of Oakhurst that participated in the wonderful Tents For Troops program, giving us a complimentary night for the RV. While driving in, we saw a few signs luring tourists to panning for gold in their area. I guess this part of California was a good spot for finding some. We read the largest “nugget” found in these parts weighed around 75 pounds!  I don’t think I’d call it a nugget at that weight. I won’t lie, part of me wanted to try panning, but we had other things to do.

We arrived at the RV park, which had recently been flooded from heavy rains. They were still cleaning up the Fresno River overflow sediment with small excavators. We were lucky and got a spot right on the river in a section they just reopened. You could see how far the river had overflowed, there was sand swirled in a churned pattern everywhere outside our RV. I also found fresh prints from a curious raccoon exploring what the river may have left behind for him. By the size of his fatty paddies, he had to be a big fella. Then I noticed it, shimmering golden flecks intermingled with the upheaved sand… could it be? Were we camping on a bed of gold dust? Of course, I let my imagination run with it even though I knew it was only flakes from the granite this area is also known for producing. No matter, I’ll be the fool and collect some of the shiny stuff just to keep as a memory.

We did a short walk with Lil to see how far back the river went, and saw where it rolled over a tiny falls at the edge of the campground. It really was quite lovely. After the stroll, Justin consulted the maps to learn which roads in Yosemite were still closed due to snow, and see where we could go in the park the next day. Another couple of campers pulled in to a spot nearby and wandered over to chat. We talked about how far we’ve traveled so far, about traveling with our pets, and so on. One thing I’ve enjoyed on this trip have been the brief encounters with other campers and hearing their stories. Then on occasion, bumping into some of those same ramblers at other stops along the journey. It really feels like a kinship of sorts to be able to share our experiences.  After dinner in the RV, we turned in, ready for a chilly night.

Saturday, March 24

Chilly, but not freezing. The crisp morning air felt good with the wash of sun breaking through. We pulled the RV out and stopped by the visitor center in town for a little more park information. It was a good thing too, the sweet ole gal we spoke with informed us of a storm coming in this day, a winter storm… snow! She asked if we had chains for our vehicle if we were driving up into higher elevation, which we were to get into the park. Knowing we were not prepared for winter driving, she advised us of the best places to hit up first in the park before the snow started to fall at noon. With her advice, we quickly went on our way. The sky was a beautiful blue, no sign of the impending bad weather, it was easy to get wrapped up in walking the trails and such.

The first sight we stopped to take in was Bridalveil Falls, though there were a few other falls waaay off in the distance we could see on the drive in. Bridalveil had a nicely paved walking trail to it. We walked along the path, making our way to the overlook, getting noticeably wetter as we walked. The falls overspray hung heavy in the air and turned into outright rain at the end of the trail. The temperature up there was so cold, the falls rain froze on the trees and plants around it. What a sight, everything from the sturdy branches to delicate leaves encased in an icy jacket, twinkling in the morning sun. I tried to walk up to the overlook to get a better photo of the frozen branches, but simply slid back in my tracks on the sheet of ice coating the path, so I dropped to my hands and knees and crawled up the path, of course. With as much precipitation that was falling, it was a quick stop. My coat clung to me under the weight of being soaked, and I quickly retreated, sliding back down the path.

Once back at the RV, I glanced across the meadow where a healthy sized bobcat caught my eye as he sauntered along the edge of the forest. I kicked myself for not having my zoom lens ready, but shot a quick photo anyhow. 

We drove on, stopping at a point where we could take Lil out on a path in the valley. I walked with her and met back up with Justin in the parking area of our next spot. Along the path, we saw more wildlife, a pair of coyotes snooping around in the meadow. They didn’t mind the tourists at all, and it made me a little uneasy knowing Lily was with, but thankfully she didn’t see them. After our walk, we left her in the RV while we went up the path to the Yosemite Falls. These double falls were stunning, strong and fast, swollen from all the recent rains. Along this path, the wildlife display consisted of a bluebird and a fat squirrel, both of which I had my zoom lens ready for. We walked along, with a small snow covered ice river to our side to remind us of the incoming storm.

By this point, it was after noon and the snow started falling in tiny ice beads that bounced off our cheeks. We decided not to push our luck and drive the 1.5 hour trip back out of the park before it got too heavy. A few times along the way, it was falling heavily enough to block out any distant objects, and as always, I was anxious rolling the RV through freezing rain, down the twisty turns on the road out.

Once out of Yosemite, we stopped at another RV park in Groveland on the other side of the park where we stayed the night. When we checked in, the gal told us several of the area roads had washed out from all the heavy rains. I hadn’t realized it was such an inundation, but sure enough, one of their main roads lay in ruins with large chunks of blacktop heaved over for the new little valley of water to run through. The sky over the park was dark and ominous, I was thankful we made it out before conditions deteriorated too badly. The freezing rain moved into our area soon after, dropping tiny pellets of ice everywhere. It was going to be a night hunkered in the RV, warm and dry. I took the opportunity of extra time to work on photos.

Sunday, March 25

It was just at freezing when we woke today, and the grounds around us were coated in thin crunchy ice, the kind that would melt away with just a warm breath, but no evidence of the freezing rain from the night before. We let the sun rise high enough to melt most of it away before we ventured on. Our goal this day was to reach Redding to visit Justin's grandpa. It was a long drive on fairly scenic highways that we broke up with a Walmart stop for groceries. The RV park we had for the night was quaint, poised on the Sacramento River. The banks were flat and abundantly populated with river rock, and noisy seagulls. Maybe I would find some gold nuggets here?

Monday, March 26

It's a beautiful morning! Cool, but not cold. The gulls, ducks and geese we had for neighbors were relatively quiet this morning. Our adventure today was to hang out with Justin's grandpa in Redding. It's a charming enough community, and I recalled the stories his grandpa told of how often gold was found here in this area. I will tell you, we found gold alright, real gold, not fools gold, shiny and lustrous... floating in a bottle of Goldschlager liqueur. 

ReflectionsReflections

 

 

 

 

 

Click on this photo to see all of the Yosemite area.

 

 

Artistic RenderingArtistic Rendering

 

 

 

 

 

Click on this photo to see artsy fartsy pieces.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Bridalveil Falls CA California Coast to Coast Fresno River Groveland Landscape Photography Landscapes Oakhurst Redding RV Sacramento River Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art Yosemite https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/finding-gold Mon, 26 Mar 2018 15:47:55 GMT
California Dreams https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/california-dreams The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Roll Back AroundRoll Back Around

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Friday, March 23

What a great break with the family these last couple days! It was wonderful to see both Mom and Dad Buckman. While in Westminster, we visited Knotts Berry Farm; I expected a commercial sized farmers market, but Justin knew better. It was a huge amusement park, featuring the Charlie Brown comic characters and Knotts berries everywhere. The shopping area was nicely set in an old west theme. I learned that the Knotts Berry Farm is where the boysenberry became famous, being created in California then made popular by the Knotts restaurant. I was able to procure a small amount of boysenberry flavored souvenirs, only after nearly making myself sick riding all the wild coasters.

Old West ThemeOld West Theme

 

 

 

 

 

Click on photo to see cell phone pics from our Knotts visit.

 

After leaving Westminster, we spent the last two days in Springville, where I was able to get out and play with my camera while I was here. Sure, the weather wasn’t sunny 70’s California typical, it was still very enjoyable for me with rain and even a brief thunderstorm.

Let me tell you a bit about the Springville surroundings. If you have ever wanted to travel abroad to Ireland to see their lush green slopes and rocky ridges peeking out of the morning fog, you really don’t have to go farther than Springville in the springtime! I don’t know if the rainy weather contributed to how magical the surroundings felt (I obviously love the rain ), because while we were scooting around the upper hills, I felt transported to another country. The air was thick and fresh, and the sights down into the valley were dreamlike with the Tule River, angry from heavy rains, rolling through the abundantly green pastures and meadows. I looked to either side, surrounded by equally green hills punctuated with boulders, peppered with smaller rock then lightly sprinkled with colorful spring flowers- it all really lifts your spirits. We didn't venture further for the roads to the higher elevations were still closed due to snow. Down below, Lily ran free in a very large area fenced in with Justin’s father’s two dogs, where she could hound around in the rock or tear around the yard in pretend chase. It was a great place to rest up a few more days. The surrounding countryside is vineyard area, some areas so perfectly arranged in symmetric fields, it felt like a painting. It inspired me to make some of the photos into photo art, giving them a painterly effect. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Rolling HillsRolling Hills

Click above photo for Springville area.                                                               

Spring FieldSpring Field

Click above photo for artsy-fartsy pieces.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Boysenberry CA California Coast to Coast Knotts Berry Farm Landscape Photography Landscapes RV Springville Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Tule River Victoria Jean Photo Art Vineyards https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/california-dreams Fri, 23 Mar 2018 16:02:59 GMT
West Coast Arrival https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/west-coast-arrival The 2018 RV Trip Continues

California BoundCalifornia Bound

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Tuesday, March 13

We started this morning with one last hike through Red Canyon before driving out of the area. Lil enjoyed it just as much today as the first day, climbing rock like a mountain goat.

Day Two Red CanyonDay Two Red Canyon

 

 

 

Click on photo to see Day Two of Red Canyon.

 

On our way to the next stop somewhere between Bryce and Las Vegas, we cruised up into some beautiful wooded mountain tops covered in snow and adorned with stark white birch trees sprinkled among the tall pines, the Dixie National Forest. The elevation was so high, it made the drive down quite nerve racking for me; extreme grades with the RV chugging into the declining curves like an out of control locomotive. O-kay, maybe I exaggerate a bit, but that’s how it played out in my head. We went along some back roads, riding atop washboard gravel, and found the first possibility for camping. It required squeezing the RV through two very narrow and short tunnels under the highway. We stopped right before going through to mentally measure the fit, and to measure our courage, of which I had none. Justin decided to go for it and slowly but expertly maneuvered through both tunnels with no difficulty. However, once we got through and into the campground, we struck out on finding any open spaces, so back through the tiny tunnels we went. Our next possibility was within the red rocks of another beautiful park. We drove in, again on gravel roads and every spot we came upon was occupied. We decided to go as far as spot 8, and if that was full, we’d  turn back. The farther in we drove, the more narrow and sketchy the road became. At one point, it was only wide enough for a single car, and as I glanced out my window, all I could see was a sheer drop off into a ravine after the soft shoulder. I squeezed my eyes closed and leaned far to the center of the RV, as if any of that would help if we slid off. Once again, Justin got us through it just fine, and not one line worry on his brow, though I will say he was getting tired of my anxiety fits. I was quite relieved when we got back on blacktop. We headed into the small town to get some lunch and decide our next move since we’d struck out at both camps. After lunch, it was decided we go the whole way to Las Vegas and rest up there for a few days.

Dixie National ForestDixie National Forest

 

 

 

 

 

Click on photo to see more of the Dixie drive.

It was later in the day when we arrived in Vegas, but Justin found the perfect spot for us to get some R&R at. It was the Oasis RV Resort just a ways off the strip. An easy night with pizza delivered right to our RV, then tomorrow we’d investigate more.

 

Wednesday, March 14

What beautiful weather!! Sunny, 70’s, and breezy. We walked Lil out to the dog park for some morning exercise then let her relax the rest of the day in an air conditioned RV. She seemed ready for a long nap after all the hiking.

We spent part of the morning at the pool in the RV resort. This place was pretty posh. Mostly filled with snowbirds staying for the winter, and they had all the amenities they could want here. For us just driving through, we appreciated those extra perks! After the pool, we had lunch at the RV with Lil, took another stroll to the dog park, then tucked her back in while we caught an Uber to the strip. Down on the strip, we strolled and drank while taking in the sights. We saw a fella dressed as Elvis come zipping by in his scooter. Ha, how awesome is that? I raised my hand to give him a high-five as he zipped by, and his only response was “Where’s your money? Where’s your camera?” and kept on rolling. Anything for a buck I guess, this is Vegas after all. Justin and I had a chuckle over it though. We deliberated catching a show, but opted to treat ourselves to what Google had told me was the best buffet in Vegas, The Buffet at the Wynn. I was more impressed by their décor at first; huge fresh floral arrangements of whimsical colors and other varied vibrant ornaments embellishing the fresh green vines growing throughout the lobby. What a gas! Even the buffet area was vivacious and stylin’. But the food, ohhhh maaan. They even had the crab legs already split so all we had to do was spoon it out and gobble it up! I gorged myself and felt like I was going to split open after eating so much. That brought an early end to our excursion, we both were too stuffed to do anything else.

Pool Time At RV ResortPool Time At RV Resort

I didn't bring my real camera into the city, so all you'll get for Vegas pictures are these few.

Thursday, March 15

We departed Vegas, satisfied we had seen all we wanted to. Our next stop was close enough, Bullhead City just outside of Laughlin, Arizona. There were a few things nearby we wanted to check out before leaving the area, and the RV spot Justin found at another snowbird village was free for a few nights. It sat high atop a hill with a perfect view overlooking Laughlin and the Colorado River, probably the best RV park around with this view.

Before settling in for the night, we parked over in Laughlin and took Lil on the riverwalk stroll, letting her play along the banks of the river. When we finished, we drove over into Bullhead City, just across the river from Laughlin, and had lunch at the Black Bear Diner; a very busy place with good ole café food. I ordered a taco salad thinking it would be a light lunch, and they brought out a salad the size of a watermelon! How the hell am I going to eat all that!? Who am I kidding, I tore into it and managed to make most of it disappear. We settled in at camp for the night and would check out Laughlin more tomorrow.

Bullhead City SunsetBullhead City Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the cactus to see a little bit of the Bullhead City area.


Friday, March 16

Still having great weather, even had to turn on the air conditioner last night, I sure am happy to be out of the freezing weather. Today’s outing was to Oatman where wild burros (mules) roamed the streets, eating from your hand. We kept Lil in the RV because the burros are known to try to kill dogs, thinking they are coyotes. The town itself was very small, and still mostly kept in an old western theme with wood plank sidewalks. The burros originally came from back in the 1800's when this town was a mining community. The burros would carry ore and tools back and forth in the mines. After the mines were shut down, the burros were released to make it on their own and the town mostly died. Today, the burros are abundant and have made friends with most of the townfolk, often being shooing off the wooden walkways. For the most part, they are welcomed, and a few even have names and will do tricks. Tourists arrive by bus and car and drive among them, slowly weaving past them in the roadway. We had a few cubes of feed we were treating them to. At one point, the burros were quick to remind us they are still wild animals and don’t give a shit if you’re in their path when they break out in a tussle or mini-stampede. A handful of them got feisty, kicking up their heels in a cloud of dust and chasing each other in an unruly fashion, barely skimming by myself and a few other tourists. That was enough to keep me away from the groups of burros, and spent a few more minutes photographing some of the younger ones, then we decided we saw enough and hit the road back to Laughlin.

Oatman BurroOatman Burro

 

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see our Oatman visit.

 

 

We played with Lil a while back on the riverwalk and eventually made it back to camp where we parked the RV and broke away on the scooter to check out the “nightlife” in Laughlin. We ate some appetizers at a few places while catching some beers. Most of the casinos were packed, and like Vegas, each had a stale smoky atmosphere. Laughlin is much friendlier and a slower pace than Vegas, our favorite spot was a cow-themed tiny casino on a second floor above a tiny convenience shop. Once again, after filling our bellies, we called it an early night.

Saturday, March 17

Happy St. Patricks Day! This morning, we went to check out a trail called Grapevine Canyon with Lil. It required traversing some steep granite-type rock which held a small spring, trickling through the middle. At the beginning of the hike were some 1,000 year old Native American petroglyphs. Interesting enough, though much looked as if modern imitation petroglyphs were carved over them.

PetroglyphsPetroglyphsWhile it almost looks like chalk on the rock, it is really images carved deeply through the "desert varnish" that builds up on the stone over many years.

 

 

 

Click on the Petroglyphs to see our Grapevine hike.

 

We left the Laughlin area and headed straight for Westminster, California to Justin’s childhood house where we would be able to relax for a few days with his Mom and little doggie, Martini. Maybe even catch up on maintenance on the RV. I hadn't been to Southern California since our wedding on Dana Point in, oh when was that again... 2012? I had forgotten how beautiful it was. The hills were rolling green with dense cities settled in the valleys. I had also forgotten how tough the traffic was, and I was certainly thankful I wasn't driving. We could immediately tell when we crossed into California, the price of gas increased drastically! We were happy and relieved to finally arrive at the house where Mom Buckman had already started corned beef and cabbage for dinner. What a great night!

The RoadThe Road

 

 

Click on the photo to see a few along the way to California.

 

With great food and company, there may not be much for blog posting over these few days, but I'll be back at it when we start touring again.

See ya later!

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Black Bear Diner Bullhead City Burrows Coast to Coast Dixie National Forest Grapevine Canyon Hiking Landscape Photography Landscapes Las Vegas Laughlin Nevada NV Oasis RV Resort Oatman Oatman Burrows Petroglyphs Red Canyon Riverwalk RV The Wynn Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip UT Utah Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/west-coast-arrival Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:35:39 GMT
The Voodoo that Hoodoos... Do https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/the-voodoo-that-hoodoos-do The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Bryce Canyon Day OneBryce Canyon Day One

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Sunday, March 11

It rained all night at camp, and it was pretty chilly. I worried it may have changed to snow up near Bryce Canyon where we wanted to go next. With the time change, we slept in then had a late breakfast at the Thunderbird Café across the road. It was a large scale classic diner kinda place, historic to the area. We waited long enough after breakfast that the sun warmed the day, melting anything that may have frozen on the roads over night. Leaving the Mount Carmel area was a scenic drive with cute little towns filled with rustic old buildings and antique junk cars. It wasn’t long until bits of Bryce Canyon formations started to tease us. I was getting anxious to see it all. We had to stop at Red Canyon so I could catch a few photos and Lil could get in a hike. We climbed up some pretty steep rocks to get a great view of the area below.

Red CanyonRed Canyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on photo to see more of Red Canyon area.

We drove to an elevation somewhere near 7500 feet where the land flattened out into a vast plateau. Our camp was at a small RV lot in the Ruby Inn area. After we checked in, we thought a quick drive through Bryce would help us know where to hike the next day. It turned out to be a long drive along the scenic road with many overlooks beckoning me out to photograph the spectacle of the canyon formations below us, which are called hoodoos. The ground became less barren, heavily filling with tall pine the higher we drove. Eventually, we got to the highest point near 9100 feet. I can’t even describe how astonishing it was. The hoodoo formations are a strong reminder of how 15 million years of wind, rain and tectonic shifts can carve out such intricate designs, some resembling small cities in the grand panorama. I stood at the top, the air felt so rich and fresh, I could virtually taste the melting snow, and the fragrance from the pine; it all rolled together in each intoxicating breath. Our excursion for tomorrow would take us down into the belly of all that, I couldn’t wait.

Back at camp, we warmed up and had dinner at the restaurant buffet then waddled back to the RV for a cold night.

Monday, March 12

Damn, did it get cold last night! I wanted to stay in bed until it warmed enough outside, but I was also eager to get going on our hike. We first took Lil out for her exercise so she could rest while we hiked down into the canyon.

Our hike was amazing! The sights enthralled me as we started down, but the farther we got, the more stunned I was by our surroundings. It felt like we were strolling through a fairytale land with rock cities rising above us in tall thin pinnacles. There was symmetry to a lot of them, their patterns so striking against the perfectly blue sky (my sky yesterday was not as pretty, so I was tickled). The trail wound through the pines, along broken colorful rock, and rose up through arch doorways in the rock. I couldn’t get enough of it. We eventually emerged at the top again, with the rock cities laid out below us. Man, what a view. I must have said that a thousand times. On the way back to camp, Justin dropped Lil and I off at the trail where we could walk a mile back so she could play, stopping to roll in what was left of the quickly melting snow. Today was a good day…

Bryce Canyon Day TwoBryce Canyon Day Two Click on the photo to see all of the Bryce Canyon images. The first half is day one, the second half is day two when we hiked down into the hoodoos. 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Arizona AZ Bryce Canyon Canyon Coast to Coast Hoodoos Landscape Photography Landscapes Red Canyon RV Thunderbird Cafe Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip UT Utha Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/the-voodoo-that-hoodoos-do Tue, 13 Mar 2018 15:32:52 GMT
I Survived!! https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/i-survived The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Angels LandingAngels Landing

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Thursday, March 8

On our way to Utah today!  We had several stops on our agenda before spending a few days in Zion. First stop were The Toadstools. These are some pretty neat formations, looking just like you’d guess, a giant mushroom.  It was a short hike in, and it revealed to us an unusual surrounding that felt a little like walking on another planet. The limestone eroded away into interesting mounds and hills, future toadstools in the works. The toadstools that were present were few, but nonetheless impressive. Time had worn away so much limestone, leaving large rocks precariously perched atop their pinnacles as if giants gently placed them there. We had fun climbing around a while before heading back. Lil seemed to enjoy climbing the rocks as well, but was ever so cautious when crossing gaps in the rock; she gets braver every day.

ToadstoolToadstool Click on photo to see The Toadstools.

Next stop along the way was Johnson Canyon Scenic Drive; a simple road along some noteworthy attractions. They are all on private property, so no hiking just yet. There was a list of things for us to watch for, making it feel a bit like a scavenger hunt. A few rock formations along the cliffs that resembled certain animals, and most interesting to me was the old set to the Gunsmoke series, or at least what remained of it.

Old TractorOld Tractor Click on photo to see more of the scenic drive.

Back on the main road, the last sidetrack was Huntress Slot (aka Diana's Throne), a few mile hike down into another well known slot canyon with striking mountain views. We parked the RV along the dirt road and started in on foot, sinking and sliding in the sand. It was brushy enough with quite a few tall trees, and the trails were well worn by 4x4 vehicles sporting about in the past. Somewhere along the trails, we missed the path to an easy way down into the slots, so instead we opted to scurry down a steep and slippery track made by rugged riders. Our mountain goat of a dog did just fine, though we struggled a little. Once at the bottom, the sandy trail wound through impressive scenery, multi-colored mountains looming over us with occasional trees dotting along the ridges. I was taken by how tenacious some of these plants were; with everything fighting for resources, trees clinging to sides of mountains, cactus and grasses squeezing out from cracks. Farther along the sand changed color a tad from an light orange to more vibrant coral, the contrast was subtle but eye catching. I had a hard time keeping up with Justin and Lil due to my frequent photo stops. We got to the end and had to turn back, giving us another vantage point of the path we just took. Then, the dreaded climb back out, it kicked my ass but Lil bounded up with no problem, pulling Justin a little as she climbed. Back at the top, I was breathless, thankful the rest of the evening would be low key. We found an RV park to stay at not too far outside of Zion, so we tucked in and called it a night.

Slot CanyonSlot Canyon Click on photo to see the slot canyon.

Friday, March 9

Up early, excited to start the day inside Zion National Park. We decided to drive the RV in and have a home base for the day. The one thing that made me slightly nervous was the tunnels. One is large enough for us, the other we were unsure of, so we paid the extra few dollars to have them close traffic going in one direction so we could drive down the middle. Now wait, don’t think we are unusual, this happens many times each day with the number of RVers that drive through. We eventually found a parking spot near the trailhead of the hikes we planned on for the day.

First hike planned was Angels Landing. This was the next thing I was apprehensive about. It is a few miles up some pretty steep switchbacks then a hazardous trek along the edge of the ridge, often described as a knife-edge 1400 feet in the air with sheer drop-offs and only chains to grip onto for dear life as you inch along the ridge. Some have fallen to their deaths on this particular hike, and I did not want to be the next name on that list. We got to the top just before the chains started. I gawked out over the thin ridge that laid before me, seeing only maybe a foot or two of walking space before the sides cut out drastically, then looking to either side of me and seeing the eensie weensie thread of a road and cars waaaay down at the bottom. OH HELL NO, nope, not doing that! I looked at Justin like he was crazy, because he was, and he convinced me I could make it. I was never so scared, and gripped on to that chain like a mad woman. The few spans where there was no chain, I felt like sprawling out onto my belly and inchworming myself along, but I couldn’t embarrass him that way. Instead, I shuffled along in squatty baby steps with my butt out and arms way out to balance. The sandstone was very slippery where it was covered in sand, which was EVERYWHERE.  A kid slipped in front of me and my heart leapt out of my chest as I squeezed my eyes closed and whimpered. But obviously, I made it to the peak and back. We even managed to sit at the top and eat a little (though I felt like vomiting), and snap some photos to prove we’d done it. I hadn’t taken many of the climb because I was way to stinkin scared. At any rate, I’d do it again, though next time I’d calm myself more so I could properly photograph it, because the view is stellar from way up there.

Angels Landing In The DistanceAngels Landing In The Distance Click on photo to see the hike to Angels Landing and more of Zion.

Back at the bottom, we were beat. Not just from the hike, but from the fried nerves from braving it. I took Lil for a walk along a pet friendly trail so she could get her excitement in for the day, and lucky for her, there was a herd of deer on the trail. After fussing at them for a minute or two, we moved along. The river ran along the trail, and at the first access point, she bounded down to the water and waded around lapping it up. She managed to hit up every river access point along that trail, and was also pooped out when she got back to the RV. We drove the scenic drive farther into the park, and squeezed and inched by all the cars crowding the road near the trailheads along the way. We stopped at the gift shop and picked up some t-shirts to commemorate our accomplishment for the day, then drove back out. Lil had the best seat, atop my lap on a pillow with her ears flapping in the wind as she hung her head out to see the park pass by. We bailed on our last hike we had planned, we were all worn out and ready for rest.

Saturday, March 10

After a well earned night of rest, we wanted to go back into the park but wanted to take the scooter this time. We decided to go later in the day so it would be a warmer ride. For the morning’s excursion, we went to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. I was so impressed by the white dunes, I wanted to see more, and the color must be spectacular based on its name. We got out to the area, it was more wooded than I expected with ridges outlining it, but the dunes were still remarkable. Lil was so eager, she bounded through the cold sand the entire time we were out there. I wanted a better vantage point, so we decided to climb the biggest dune in front of us. It was deceivingly sizable, much taller than we expected, and the sand ran out from under each step we took, almost feeling like we were walking backwards at times. When we finally made it to the top, everybody collapsed to rest. The colors seemed to change between lovely facets of orange and coral as the sun faded in and out of the clouds. My favorite part were all the little tracks we could see from the dunes residents, most notably the tiny plump paw prints of the kangaroo mouse and scuttle tracks from the endangered tiger beetle. It was a great time, and a good way to burn off energy in the pup.

DunesDunes Click on photo to see the coral dunes.

We took the RV back to our camp and let Lil rest while we bundled up in layers to scooter into the park. The ride was quite comfortable, and we were able to peel off all our layers and squeeze them into the scooter trunks to take on our next hike. It was an “easy” one up to the Emerald Pools. Most of it was paved and led to meek trickles for waterfalls and somewhat puddle sized pools.  We opted to continue up farther on the less improved path of rocks and sand. At that point, I was feeling the burn of all the hiking we’d been doing the past few days. The upper pool was a little more picturesque but sadly, not that emerald. The excursion left me with some good photos anyhow. By the time we got back to the RV, it was after 5:00 pm and we were bushed. A light dinner with some photo editing, and this day was done.

Mountain GoatsMountain Goats Click on photo to see all of the Zion photos including Emerald Pools.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Angels Landing Arizona AZ Coast to Coast Coral Pink Sand Dunes Diana's Throne Dunes Emerald Pools Gunsmoke Huntress Slot Canyon Johnson Canyon Scenic Drive Landscape Photography Landscapes RV Toadstools Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip UT Utah Victoria Jean Photo Art Zion https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/i-survived Sun, 11 Mar 2018 05:59:52 GMT
Not What I Expected https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/just-a-hole The 2018 RV Trip Continues

The BendThe Bend

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Tuesday, March 6 

Today marks one month on the road so far!

A cozy morning snuggled up with Lil in bed, it felt good to sleep in a tad. We had a big day planned, so we pulled out and hit the road as soon as our coffee was ready. We took the RV around to places today, just in case Lil needed a rest (really, it was because I was too cold to tough it out on the scooter, and I wanted Lil to get some hikes in). Our first stop was Horseshoe Bend. It was just a few miles out of town. This was on my bucket list; hiking out in the desert to the edge of a canyon where in the peace of the day I could take my time getting just the right shot to capture such a magnificent view of the Colorado River cutting a perfect horseshoe deep into the sandstone, a serene scene in my mind. Let me keep it real for those of you that haven’t been there. My idea was shattered when we pulled into a parking lot holding several tour busses and many other cars, people streaming up and down a trail. The place was packed and the hike was just a stroll up over a knoll where just beyond fell the bend. People were speckled everywhere and scurried about jockeying for position at the rim to get their selfies. Some were even posing, getting pose direction from their photographer. All this activity going on around a rim without railing (yet), and the hard sandstone coated with microscopic marbles making parts of it quite slippery. I half expected someone to trip over the edge, echoing their scream as they fell. The canyon itself was massive in size making us all look tiny, and thankfully, the people everywhere really didn’t ruin my shot. Though it wasn’t peaceful, it did turn out to be entertaining to watch everyone. I wanted to come back later in the day when the shadows were not so overbearing, so we left. While it wasn't what I expected, I was still not disappointed and looked forward to coming back later in the day.

The BendThe Bend Click on photo to see Horseshoe Bend, see if you can spot the people on the edge.

We drove out to Antelope Canyon next, taking our chances on getting in on a tour of the lower canyon. This area is privately owned by the Navajo Indians, so we must get a permit and go with one of their tour groups. We got in on the 10:15 tour with a group of 8. People were streaming in masses down into the canyon with other groups, so I wasn’t expecting a very private excursion. Once again, my expectations were shattered. It was more impressive than I imagined. We climbed down extremely steep staircases like ants into their hill, disappearing into the wavy engulfing curves of the canyon walls. The trail at the bottom was so winding and narrow, seldom did others come into view, so it really did feel like a private tour, and I was snapping away. The shapes and curves of the walls were absolutely remarkable. The colors would change as the sunlight changed. It’s one of those places that make you feel so small and insignificant in the world, and must be experienced in person rather than through photos. It took about an hour to wind through it, and at the end, I was amused by how we all emerged from a small gap just a few feet wide in the crust of the earth. This time, I was blown away by what we just experienced.

Lower Antelope Guided TourLower Antelope Guided Tour Click on photo to see all that is Antelope Canyon.

Next stop, lunch! We grabbed a quick bite of BBQ at a joint in town before moving on. It seemed like the right time of day to try Horseshoe Bend again, so out we went. There were more people there now, but I didn’t care, I knew the view was going to be great. Lil had a little more fun hiking it this time too, climbing up on rocks with Justin, really getting into the adventure spirit. I got what shots I could, and quite happy with that, we left again.

Still not tired out yet, we drove on to check out Lake Powell. We got out at the park area, letting Lil dip her paws in the water for a bit. Stunning views of Navajo Mountain painted the horizon. Along the shoreline, some of the sandstone were turning white from mineralization. It was a beautiful area to play around in. We drove up and over to the other side where we could get a view of the Glen Canyon Dam holding back the water of the Colorado River. The viewpoint we walked out on was a bit dizzying. The sandstone rolled and split in asymmetrical layered chunks. I crawled out as far as I felt safe on one ledge, imagining the flaky sandstone layers giving way beneath me. After a bit of playing around on the stones with Lil, we all were exhausted and decided to call it a day.

Lake PowellLake Powell Click on the photo to see the Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam area.

A few hours to work on all my photos, have dinner and then get some good rest for the next big adventure.

Wednesday, March 7

We rolled out around 8:00 this morning after making sure we reserved one more night here. We wanted to get out to the Antelope Canyon Tribal Park Office this morning to inquire about getting a permit to hike a more secluded portion of the canyon on our own. They happily granted access and out we went. It started as an easy hike through sandy canyon trails, and got more challenging the deeper we got into the canyon. Eventually, it narrowed to barely a foot wide but towered over us. Sunlight was reflecting off the slot walls illuminating it in a beautiful golden color. Lighting dramatically affects the look and colors of the canyon. It was a significant difference between the two days we walked within its walls. Lil was doing great, in fact, she was having a blast. She stayed out in front of us climbing rock almost the whole way. The only obstacle we came across was a cobbled together ladder around 10 feet tall. Justin carried her up as she clutched on to him, and as soon as her toes hit the sandstone, she was off again. We hiked in as far as we were allowed, somewhere around 3 miles, then sat for a while to absorb the awesomeness of it all before we hiked back out.

A bit of an afternoon rest after grabbing some supplies at Walmart, then back to one last adventure for Page, catch a sunset over Lake Powell. We hiked up about 1000 feet, straight up a very steep mound, the tallest in the area. We had a grand view of the lake and surrounding area. Sunset was masked by clouds, but a sliver of pink burst through at the very last minute. We hiked back out in the slimming remnants of light, drove back to camp and had a quick dinner. I think we've all earned a relaxing evening.

Hiking Back From Sunset Over Lake PowellHiking Back From Sunset Over Lake Powell

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Antelope Canyon Arizona AZ Coast to Coast Colorado River Glen Canyon Dam Horseshoe Bend Lake Powell Landscape Photography Landscapes RV Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/just-a-hole Wed, 07 Mar 2018 22:30:47 GMT
The Colors of the Desert https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/the-colors-of-the-desert The 2018 RV Trip Continues


Abandoned Car On Old Route 66 In Painted DesertAbandoned Car On Old Route 66 In Painted Desert

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

 

Sunday, March 4  continued…

Our next stop was at Petrified Forest National Park. As you guessed, it has one of the largest deposits of petrified wood in the world, but wait, there’s more! The drive along its roads reveals the magical marvel of the Painted Desert, more ancient petroglyphs, ancestral Puebloan homes, fossil dinosaurs, a portion of the original Route 66 and so many vistas to pull aside and attempt to take it all in. Today was a lovely day for this stop too, nice blue skies with just a smattering of fluffy clouds, and a gentle breeze, well actually more like a fierce striking wind. It was so damn windy, I had trouble standing upright at times, and Justin mentioned a point where he felt the RV would actually flip on its side. Apart from that, it was an overwhelmingly fun day. I couldn’t believe the palate of colors mother nature conjured up in just one area, it was impressive. There were areas of “forest” we could walk to get a close-up view of the crystalline tree trunks strewn about. There was one particular area called the Rainbow Forest where the most abundant and colorful pieces could be found, with remnants splintered around in sparkly wood chips as if they crumbled off a dead tree just yesterday. Actually, this area used to look like the tropical jungles of Costa Rica today, back over 200 million years ago when trees were dense and dinosaurs called this place home. Well protected since becoming a National Park in 1906, there is so much to see, we made a day of it. After we all were winded out, exhausted and dried out from fighting the intense desert gales, we parked just outside the park at a souvenir shop where they welcome boondockers. It was time to relax, work through the zillion photos I took and get some grub in our bellies. Even Lil was worn out.

Painted DesertPainted Desert  There are a ton of photos to click through here, trust me, it's worth it!!

Monday, March 5

It got cold last night! 17 degrees when we woke, and the water in the RV froze (not the first time that’s happened to us). I was very thankful we had the propane heater to keep us warm through the night. It didn’t take us long to get things together to meander on.

We were headed in the direction of the Meteor Crater in Arizona, so we thought, why not stop? The terrain was so flat and boring as we drove on, I thought I’d be able to spot this thing miles away, after all, it is over 4,000 feet across and 700 feet deep. But surprisingly, it wasn’t that easy to distinguish; what appeared to be foothills were actually the rim. When the meteor struck (estimated to be about 150 feet across, weighing several hundred thousand tons and hurtling into the crust at 26,000 miles per hour), it raised up and folded back the plains sending rock and debris the size of houses flying for miles. They found large fragments of it, and sell small fragments in their gift shop to suckers like me.  Some people were not impressed, calling it “just a hole in the ground”, but me, I geek out about this kind of stuff. It was damn cool to be teetering on the edge of this massive event that happened some 50,000 years ago, knowing that we are not all that strong and untouchable of a planet. It was a quick visit, and thankfully, active duty military get in free, or we may not have seen it at all. In the first photo, look for the people standing on an overlook to the lower right. That should give you an idea as to its size.

Crater View With People In DistanceCrater View With People In Distance Crater ViewCrater View

On we drove, through mind-numbing sameness as Justin said. We were close to the Navajo Nation Reservation, and were seeing a lot of signs along the road beckoning us to come visit their shops. We fell for the one with a large photo of a mouthwatering Navajo taco, and swung in there for a nibble. It was a large complex in the town of Cameron, selling all sorts of Native American creations and trinkets. The restaurant was also oversized, able to handle the busloads of tourists that come through during busy season. We split the Navajo taco, good thing too because it was more food than we could eat. It was just as good as the photo made it look; frybread layered with cowboy beans, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and some spicy green chilies. I got some of the frybread to go to have it with syrup later (Dad called it “stretchers” when he made it as a treat for us). Imagine warm slightly doughy and chewy bread deep fried just enough to give it a faint crunch. I should have gotten a bag full.

Driving after eating was even more sedating, and I hoped we’d arrive at our destination soon because I was fighting off sleep. Eventually, the town of Page came into view. We found a good spot in an RV park and settled in. We’d be here a few days based on what the area has to offer. We rolled the scooter off the back and burned around town a bit. It was very chilly, but we didn’t have far to go. We had a beer and munchies at one stop, then went back to the RV to crank the heat while we laid out plans for the next few days.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Arizona AZ Coast to Coast Landscape Photography Landscapes Meteor Crater Petrified Forest National Park Route 66 RV Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/the-colors-of-the-desert Wed, 07 Mar 2018 03:15:29 GMT
Amazing Albuquerque https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/amazing-albuquerque The 2018 RV Trip Continues


Hot Air BalloonsHot Air Balloons

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

 

Thursday, March 1 continued...

We arrived in Albuquerque and found the RV park within the Kirtland Air Force Base which meant a good chance to catch up on the blog with their wifi and do some laundry. You know, I brought all these books, games and other things to do during the down time I thought I'd have. Turns out, this blog has been keeping me very busy with the photos and writing. 

Justin did a bit of research on this city, and there is quite a lot a person can see and do here. It's also a nice change from hiking dusty trails, though it's still plenty dusty here. Someone told us they had rain for the first time in seven months last week. 

Friday, March 2

After a night of rest and catching up, we were ready to check out the town on scooter. First stop was the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, after all, I'm married to a nuclear mechanic that has worked with both types of nuclear onboard a submarine- destructive power (nuclear bomb) and energy power (nuclear reactor).  This place was pretty fascinating, and the volunteer staff were quite helpful and friendly, adding in their own bits of experience and history. We strolled through for a while, viewing their extensive exhibits from the pioneers of the atom to the possibilities for the future of nuclear power. The things that struck me; I've never seen a ballistic missile before and the sheer size of the thing "blew me away" (bad pun, I know), and they also had pieces of Trinitite, melted sand and residue left behind on the desert floor after testing a nuclear bomb at the Trinity site in July, 1945. I bought a few small pieces from their gift shop, and they came in a tiny protective case with strict handling instructions.

After the museum, we buzzed into Old Town Albuquerque. Along the way, we traveled down part of Route 66 through the city. It was such a feast for the eyes. I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and hip this city was. The businesses were adorned with bright colors and interesting shapes and textures to catch your eye. There were still some of the old kitschy neon signs reminiscent of an earlier era of the city when Route 66 was an attraction.

Old Town was founded in 1706 by Spanish Colonists, and still had much of the original adobe houses and shops. It’s just what I was hoping for; vibrant yet slow paced, narrow streets and alleys leading to more stimulating décor, shops with all kinds of collectables, restaurants that had outdoor seating in clean and small patios. It was quite fun strolling up and down this small section of history. We caught lunch at a diner just outside the historic district then headed back to the RV.
Lil needed some attention, so we secured her into her scooter bucket, donned her doggles and buzzed off to a nearby dog park. She loved the open free space and chance to play with other dogs for a while. It wasn’t long before she tired herself and we headed back.

Saturday, March 3

I was excited for this mornings excursion, a hot air balloon ride over the city! We rolled out of bed early enough to catch the first ride of the morning with Rainbow Ryders. It was really something to watch them prepare for the ride, and how much of an orchestration it was to get the balloon inflated. Our basket held approximately 6 people, and we stayed warm enough being under the propane burners. As we lifted off, I did get that tiny butterflies feeling. We ascended to an altitude of around 7400 feet above sea level (2400 feet off the ground). The view was breathtaking. I could literally see the curve of the earth on the horizon, though my fisheye lens helped exaggerate that. We were one of nearly 30 balloons up in the air this morning. Apparently, this is quite a regular thing around here since it’s the perfect climate for hot air balloons. I’d love to see this place when they have their hot air balloon festival attracting over 500 balloonists. We landed safely and were welcomed back with an Irish balloonist prayer and a champagne toast; “The winds have welcomed you with softness, the sun has blessed you with it’s warm hands. You have flown so high and so well that God has joined you in laughter, and may he set you gently back again into the loving arms of Mother Earth.”

More to see and do! We drove just a little ways out of town to see another ancient attraction, the Petroglyph National Monument, Petroglyphs of the West Mesa. These were drawings carved into lava flows which erupted from the earth around 200,000 years ago. Ancient people carved stories and images into the sides of the black lava rock strewn across the area. It’s difficult to date exactly how old these are, but archeologists estimate some to be as old as 3,000 years while some may be as young as 500 years. The carvings have evolved over time, being added to and changed, and sadly destroyed by vandals in more recent times. It was fun to walk along the trails at the base of these rock to try to spot where they were. There were so many, it seemed at one point that every rock and been marked. Lil had more interest in the smells of other critters that played within the brush along the trail.

We worked up an appetite so we found a local pizza place to get our fix. The local favorite was cheese, pepperoni and green chili peppers, and I’d agree with locals, it was pretty tasty! After lunch, we worked our way onward. The ridges in the distance had perfectly flat tops, flattened by relentless winds that slowly eroded the facade exposing multicolor layers. An occasional dust devil would swirl by, uplifting tumbleweeds and debris into a dirty funnel. I even was able to catch a shot of a tumbleweed as it rolled by! There was a lot more lava along the drive; New Mexico is actually home to many young volcanoes which was interesting to me. Such beautiful countryside, much of which is held in protection by differing Native American tribes. We continued on to Gallup on Route 66 where we found a nice and clean RV park to stop for a night, rest and catch up on chores. They even had a dog park where Lil met a new friend and played a while.

Old TownOld Town

 

 

 

 

Click on photo to see all we did in Albuquerque.

Sunday, March 4

Chores done, weather is warming up. Time to pack up and pull out.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Albquerque Coast to Coast Hot Air Balloons Kirtland Air Force Base Landscape Photography Landscapes National Museum of Nuclear Science and History New Mexico NM Petroglyph National Monument Petroglyphs Rainbow Ryders RV Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/amazing-albuquerque Sun, 04 Mar 2018 15:31:52 GMT
White Sands Black Lava https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/white-sands-black-lava The 2018 RV Trip Continues


RV Life180222_00113

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

 

Tuesday, Feb 27 continued…

After leaving Guadalupe, we went into Carlsbad. We were curious if the Carlsbad Caverns were going to be worth the stop so we briefly checked out the attraction’s visitor center and decided it was a definite! Lunch at a Mexican restaurant just outside the park, and we were done with our excursions for the day. I really wanted to upload some of the photos I took over the last few stops, so Justin was sweet enough to let me have a wifi stop in town while he and Lil went off to run errands (gas, groceries). Needless to say, I had so many photos, I ran out of time and wasn’t able to get them all up. We weren’t in any kind of rush, so he let me sit at Starbucks for a few hours while my laptop churned away. Our camp for the night was simply a patch of BLM (Bureau of Land Management) acreage outside of town, boondocking. When I noticed light starting to fade, I abandoned my wifi task so we could go find our BLM spot. We got there just as the sun was setting.

It was indeed a patch, of dusty gravel in the middle of a scrubby cattle field, polka-dotted with dehydrated cowpies here and there. It was very peaceful really, especially with the lovely sunset. We were the only ones there, and nothing for miles; the desert hills in one direction and a few lights from the town far off in the other direction. Reviews told us this was a good spot to let your dog run, and so… she did. At first it was cute; she would grab up a cowpie like a frisbie and run in circles like a nut. Then she caught wind of something that gave her the speed of Flash Gordon. She tore off into the desert brush as the last bit of sun slipped away. I ran after her as long as I could, but for every foot I gained, she gained ten. I’ve never seen that chubby dog run so damn fast, and within a minute she was out of my view. Yup, you can guess, I lost my shit. Thank goodness for Justin (my rock) or I most certainly would have had a meltdown. Here we are, literally in the middle of the desert, dangerous spiders and snakes all around, and my baby girl is lost, likely thirsting do death, and every terrible scenario possible is flashing through my mind. We walked for almost a half hour, back and forth on a dirt road in the darkness calling for her. I had just given up, hoarse from yelling and running. (Cue dramatic music) I dropped to my knees like a blubbering fool with my tears staining my dusty face. (Now cue angels singing.) Just then I heard a faint crunch of gravel in the dark in front of me. I raised the beam of my flashlight up and saw the glorious goofy face of my tired but still very excited mutt. I hooked on to her harness so fast, then rolled her up for some hugs. Man, were we lucky. I was ready to put down roots in this forsaken place until she came back to me. Learned my lesson too, never ever again will this spaz be off leash until she is trained on recall.

We got back to the RV and checked her over for any injuries, properly hydrated everyone, I took a long shower, then all exhausted parties collapsed for a restless night of slumber.

Fisheye of CavernsFisheye of Caverns Click on the photo to see more of our Carlsbad experience.

Wednesday, Feb 28

Restless night of slumber I was saying… Wind was gusty and kept knocking around a loose cap outside on the RV, keeping us awake. Of course, I brought Lil up to cuddle with too, still stupidly grateful she came back to us.

I made some bad french toast for breakfast, then we drove up to the Caverns. It was very windy and still chilly up in the elevation, somewhere near 4400 feet. Lil stayed behind in the RV while we walked the caverns. We took an elevator 750 feet down to the “Big Room”, an immense 8.2 acre area adorned with colossal features like “The Bottomless Pit”, “Giant Dome”, “Rock of Ages” and so on. Let me tell you, when I previously exclaimed how wonderful the Cathedral Caverns were in Alabama, I was woefully unprepared for the marvel of Carlsbad Caverns. If you ever find yourself in this area, you really need to make the time to visit the caverns, it will blow your mind. After taking it all in, we headed back to the RV.

With no real destination in mind, we started driving, aimlessly headed northwest. We wound up at a small RV park in the town of Mayhill, a tiny town up in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains with one store and one restaurant. I was stunned to see snow flurries in the air. The spot was cute enough, a crystal clear brook babbling just outside, and flocks of farm geese grazing by driving Lil crazy. We even were visited by more deer and turkey. I'm keeping this dog under lock and key with so many tempting things to chase. We don’t need any more drama. We did walk up to the tiny town with her where the shop owner invited us all in to stroll around, telling us how much he likes dogs. It was cold enough, we hunkered down for the night to enjoy a relaxing evening for a change. Hot tea, soup and salad.

Thursday, March 1

The night was cold, but we stayed warm enough with the propane heater going. We woke to find a thin delicate layer of snow that quickly melted away with the rising sun. We were too cold to enjoy it further here, onward we go.

Desert SouthwestDesert Southwest Click on the photo to see more from Mayhill area.

We curled up and down through the twists and turns through the Sacramento Mountains, it was beautiful and quite a change from the desert we'd been seeing. Soon, the mountains broke to reveal a vast white area in the valley below too far off in the distance to make out what it was, but I knew, and we made our way down to those white sands, White Sands National Monument to be exact. It was just a stop off on our way to Albuquerque, but I was jazzed about seeing and walking on the tall white sand dunes. They are so large, they can be seen from outer space. It sits around 4200 feet above sea level, covers approximately 275 square miles. It's unique because it's sands are composed of gypsum and reflect the heat from the sun (typical sand dunes are crystal and absorb heat). If you want all the nerdy details, look them up at the Wiki site. We spent a fleeting half hour there, though after seeing them in person, I could have spent several days photographing them. It is really quite surreal, to be able to walk and sled along them anywhere you want, even camp if you get the permit. This is a place I'm coming back to!

The DunesThe Dunes Click on the photo to see more of White Sands.

After that brief stop, we were hungry, and we saw a sign for Del Taco along the way. Let me just say, I haven't eaten there since moving away from the Pacific Northwest, and had been googling close locations as we drove west. If you've ever had their chicken soft taco, you'll know why I'm nuts about it. We filled our bellies fast, it tasted so good, then drove on. 

Along the road, I kept seeing signs for Valley of Fires camping. How inviting, I thought. Then I understood why it was called that. In a small area, there was a massive lava flow field, huge knots of folded oozing lava from a nearby volcano many years past. It spans nearly 20 miles and is quite the sight to behold, a break in the daunting monotone desert and a lovely contrast to the white sands we previously played in. Of course, we stopped long enough to get Lil's picture atop one of the frozen flows.

Lava FlowLava Flow

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see more of Valley of Fires.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Carlsbad Caverns Caverns Coast to Coast Landscape Photography Landscapes Lava Mayhill New Mexico NM RV Sacramento Mountains Sand Dunes Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Valley of Fires Victoria Jean Photo Art White Sands National Moonument https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/3/white-sands-black-lava Fri, 02 Mar 2018 23:07:35 GMT
SCUBA Diving In The Desert https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/scuba-diving-in-the-desert The 2018 RV Trip Continues


RV Life180222_00113

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

 

Thursday, Feb 22  (continued)

On the roads to the next park, there were 3 or 4 different border patrol cars parked, we even had to drive through 2 random checkpoints. Easy enough because we must not look suspicious. They just asked if we were natural born citizens and let us drive on through. The song, The Traveler by Chris Stapelton played; “I couldn’t tell ya honey, I don’t know… where I’m goin’ but I’ve got to go. ‘cuz every turn reveals and open road… I’m the traveler…”

Blammy! Our peaceful wandering was shattered by another stinking blown tire! Same area as the last time. And now, we were on some road near the US-Mexico border with nearly non-existent cell service. We pulled off the side on to a gravel road and climbed on the roof of the RV to try to get a signal to call roadside assistance, again.  This time they were surprisingly fast, sending a couple of kind Mexican fellas in a pick-up equipped to render assistance. It happened at 1:30, and by 2:15 it was repaired and we were rolling again! We decided to make our next stop Del Rio. There was a Goodyear there where we could get 5 new tires to replace the old ones with to this doesn’t keep happening.

I noticed there were more goats and sheep than cattle as we drove along, and a lot of named creeks with not a drop of water- though they seemed to gradually fill as we got closer to Del Rio. Every now and then a citris tree heavy with brightly colored fruit would catch my eye and make my mouth water.

We arrived at our next camp just outside of Del Rio, Lake Amistad (meaning “friendship”  in Spanish). This was a huge National Park that lies on the United States-Mexico border.  It is a reservoir created for flood control, water storage and power generation. This park spans 81 miles up the Rio Grande and other neighboring rivers, which feed it giving it over 540 miles of shoreline; like I said, HUGE! (You should say that word in your best Donald Trump voice, otherwise it doesn’t hold merit.) So, with that much water, you would think this place is a tropical oasis- quite the opposite. It was very dry and the lake had receded so much, what would have been a water front camp site was a mile or greater from the water.  It had a warm and dusty charm, I say charm because we had previously been traveling through so much mist, I welcomed the dryness. Plus, most people will tell you the desert has its own way of charming people.

There were only 2 other campers in the entire area we picked. We were boondocking again (with the exception of paying for the site) and had no hook-ups, so running the generator wasn’t so bad with so few people around, but we kept that to an absolute as needed basis.

We went for a walk with Lil, in a feeble attempt to find the lake without trails to follow. We were surrounded by overgrowth of scrub brush, thorny and thick in spots and sparse in others. Tiny freshwater clam shells were crunching under our feet, we were walking on the lake bed. Not far into the hike, (or bushwhacking?) Lil caught the scent of deer and saw them bound away. The sun was setting low in the sky, giving a gentle glow on the tall yellow grasses and sage green brush. With still no water in sight, we aborted our adventure and started back to the RV. It would be very easy to get lost in this brush, for there was miles and miles of it, and who knows what kind of dangerous critters come out at night in these parts!

I watched the sun set from the roof of the RV, hoping to get some good photos. The thicket was still warmly illuminated by the long and low rays, and the sky started to turn all sorts of beautiful colors. They say sunsets in the Texas desert area are the most beautiful, I believe that now.

I made us un-stuffed peppers for dinner, worked on my hand-written journal until my hand cramped, then we fell off to sleep.

SunsetSunset Click on the photo to see more of the Lake Amistad area.

Friday, Feb 23

A very comfortably warm night, not too hot and not too cold. Lil and I went on a short walk around the empty camping area and saw 5 more deer cross the gravel road right in front of us. They moved slowly, curious and cautious about our presence. One walked with heavy stomping feet as if he were warning us off, or taunting Lil.
Soon after that we were ready to go, not much to unhook when we boondock. On the drive out, a couple large turkey flew up from the ditch. So much to see around here. We needed some supplies, most importantly, those damn tires, so into town we went. We had decided the day before to walk across into Mexico since we were this close, and it was deemed the safest area to cross around here.  We found a designated parking area for pedestrians where left Lil to guard the RV. The weather was mild, in the low 60’s and heavy overcast, so we knew she would not overheat. Our plan was to just stroll across into the little town, buy a trinket, eat some food, have a beer and come back, maybe 3 hours max. I was very nervous with butterflies in my stomach. I had so many bad stories about Mexico rolling around in my head. We paid our 75-cent toll to cross and made it over with not a single person manning the bridge. The Rio was actually very pretty, though very small. The town we crossed into welcomed us with tightly packed streets and plethora of  vendors selling crappy clothing and cheap souvenirs. Justin pointed out a bar called Crosby’s telling me it was made famous by George Strait in a song… I’ll have to look that one up later. Within under 5 minutes we passed by a guy selling tacos from a roadside cart. We passed, but I quickly turned when I smelled them, I was starving and would risk eating something from the side of the road in Mexico. They were little cheese, bean and beef filled corn shells rolled tightly then covered in sautéed onions, a pile of fresh veggies and drowned in a mildly hot guacamole sauce. Oh my gosh were they delicious! The vendor spoke fluent English, and helped me understand how much they would cost me… $2.00, a steal! We walked and ate those tasty little buggers and swung into another tiny store to grab a couple of cold Mexican Cokes to wash them down. Ahhh. A little more aimless wandering and I found a shop to get a set of carved marble turtles (because I saw a couple turtles in the Rio when we were crossing). Again, the clerk was very helpful but didn’t speak English. Justin talked to him in Spanish to get a good price for my little set and I walked out happily clutching my $6.00 set of little turtles. One last goal to accomplish- a quick beer. None of the bars were open this early in the day, probably a good thing. We did find a “fancy” restaurant where we could sit at their bar and we enjoyed a couple of Dos Equis. With that, our time in Mexico was over. We walked back, hoping there would be no trouble crossing into the US. The customs agent had a light casual conversation with us about our experience, throwing in his necessary questions, and once again we were back on US soil. In all, we had been gone around 1.5 hours, but that was more than enough for me! Next time we visit Mexico, it will be at an all inclusive resort.

Streets of MexicoStreets of Mexico

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see more of our Mexico experience.

 

We checked in with Goodyear, but our tires were in yet, but no luck so we found a laundromat and we sat there for an hour while I did my chores. Then, we decided to just go to Goodyear to see what they had in stock rather than waiting. While Justin worked with them to get new tires, I spent some time at McDonalds uploading photos. Feeling accomplished with everything we took care of this morning, we made our way to our next stop.

Seminole Canyon State Park was where we stayed. The draw to this place were the ancient pictographs; Pecos River rock art dating back 4,000 years. There were no open RV spaces, so once again we were boondocking for the night. The spot we had was still a campsite, although a primitive one. It had an awesome view over the desert and the trailheads were very close. We had a dinner of chili dogs then took Lil out to explore some of those nearby trails. Lil’s favorite part was a rabbit she found hiding under a bush. Mine was the who-knows-how-old broken glass strewn along the ground up off the trail. I let myself imagine it was from the days the Southern Pacific Railroad ran along this very spot (built in 1882 per a historical marker).

Saturday, Feb 24

This morning, we got out on the scooter to buzz up to the park office and see if we could get in on the 10:00 am tour down into the canyon to see the pictographs, and luck held out for us.  It was not a strenuous hike, but a significant one. We were led down into the belly of the canyon, where time had eroded a large dome under one of the walls. It was there that ancient people drew out stories of their times, displaying elaborate animals, Shamin priest figures and other meaningful symbols. They were considerably faded, but still remarkable. Nobody really fully understands their meanings, but it’s obvious this place was a magical one to the people. Along the path were some of the various limestone rock, split to reveal some of the fossils of long ago; 90-million year old sea creatures, and some mammal teeth, possibly camel that roamed these ravines long ago.

After our pictograph experience, we had lunch at the RV and took Lil out for a good hike to a canyon overlook. The sky was clearing nicely, mist fading off to reveal dreamy blue skies. I was stunned by the beauty of the canyon, vast and seemingly endless, bending and cutting deep through the heavy stone to make its way to the Rio Grande. This hike was maybe 3.5 miles round trip, but long enough. As the day drew on, it got hotter and you could almost hear the plants slurping up any remaining dew droplets. Looking across the landscape you could see the heat waves begin to ripple into the sky. Lil had plenty of drinking water we brought along but she chose to cool off by laying in one of the few watering holes on the rock. Through the trails, I stepped over many more of those 90-million year old fossils from when this was ocean. I’m still amazed at how much our planet has changed.

From Near the PictographsFrom Near the Pictographs Click on the photo to see more of the Seminole Canyon experience.

A busy morning left a tired doggy, she snoozed on the couch while we drove to our next destination. The rock formations along the way were carved out to make room for the road, leaving exposed the multitude of flaky layers of crust, folding and drooping in places.  The terrain became more hilly, and looked like someone had poured gargantuan piles of salt from the heavens, then sprinkled them with pepper and parsley leaving us looking like a flea scurrying among them. The view was endless and no civilization was in sight; no towns, no towers, just desert and scrub brush. I thought I saw a cell tower at one point, but that was just a mirage. In the distance, faint outlines of mountains came into view.

It was almost without warning that we fell into a valley of giants, Big Bend National Park. Once we passed through the entrance, the road edged in blonde grass went on for over 20 miles to the first stopping point.  Big Bend is over 800,000 acres! It’s named for the great curve of the Rio Grande where the story of Pecos Bill lassoed a tornado, which carved out the mountains we drove through.

The sun was setting low and started to cast long magenta shadows on the mountains and caverns. We were driving through a dehydrated dusty basin with jagged foothills shooting up around us in peaks and columns. This was the first time not having a plan didn’t work out so well; there were absolutely no spots left for RVs, and we drove around trying to locate an overflow lot, but this place was so large, we couldn’t find anything. We drove on another 30-something miles out of the park to the town of Terlingua where we found a spot with hook-ups at a big RV facility. It was just on the edge of the park, and had gas and a restaurant so we felt lucky. It was so dry and windy, we could taste the dust being kicked up. By the time we got settled in, it was after dark and we were tired. Dinner at the café was mediocre, but it filled the hole. All I wanted was food and sleep. I tried to take Lil out for a potty walk, but she couldn’t find a single patch of grass to go in, it was tough, but she found her spot eventually.

Sunday, Feb 25

The desert does have hot days, but man do the nights get cold! Low 40s last night after having temps in the upper 80’s earlier, such a swing. The sun brought a good view to the park we stayed at. Basically hundreds of RVs nestled in a dust bowl. The bright sun rapidly warmed us, leading up to a beautiful day to spend inside Big Bend. We decided to make the morning of it and drive on in the afternoon.  As we drove through the park, the mounts seemed to morph and move with each turn. The dust (and surprisingly- air pollution) in the air created a haze that softened the harsh features of distant peaks. There were a few gas stations located throughout the park, there had to be with a park this size. We took advantage of one to make sure we’d make it out ok. Our attraction today was the Santa Elena Canyon; a deep cut into one of the mountain ranges where the Rio passes through. One quick stop along the road to get a photo of some horses that stood below on the edge of the river. Those horses were grazing on the edge of the Chihuahuan desert in Mexico. All we had to do was walk across the shallow area of that river and we would once again be in Mexico. When we got to Santa Elena, we stopped briefly at some old ruins on the side of the road where I met a friendly horny lizard. Then again at an overlook just on the outskirts of the canyon. It was staggering, literally dizzying, the magnitude of it and how it loomed over us. On our way down to the river, a road runner scurried across the road in front of us. We parked the RV just under a tree surrounded by tall grasses and had lunch at a picnic table right behind the RV. I walked down to the water to get a better view of the Santa Elena, and man was she magnificent! It made me wish we had a canoe to paddle in. Lil was not allowed on these trails, so we skipped the hike in, I was satisfied enough with this view anyhow.

Big Bend SunsetBig Bend Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

Click on photo to see more of our Big Bend experience.

On our way back out I couldn’t stop gaping my mouth at the sheer size of the boulders that tumbled down off the mountains. Solid rock the size of cars or greater laid at rest in the grasses next to the road. Farther along we drove, a long and quiet ride aside from the wind gusts. Fence, windmills and grassy desert went on for miles with an occasional herd of cattle. It was tranquil, but lonesome.

We arrived at Davis Mountains State Park late in the day. We had hoped to partake in a late night stargazing experience at the nearby McDonald Observatory, but they were closed this night. That gave us time to take Lil on a stroll up the hill to check out their “Lodge” area. Now, it held a park store and restaurant, all of which was closed and absent of any life. This building didn’t look like a lodge to me, rather, I told myself it was an old secret research facility hidden deep in the mountains until it was purchased and made part of the state park. It held an eerie clandestine character to it. I imagined there were long corridors and many more rooms far below ground level. Justin just laughs at me when I tell him these things. A walk back crossing over a bone dry riverbed to the RV for ham, stuffing with gravy and green bean casserole for dinner!

SceneryScenery

 

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see more of Davis Mountain.

 

Monday, Feb 26

After leaving Davis Mountains, we wandered over to Balmorhea State Park. It held a natural San Solomon Springs that we wanted to SCUBA dive. It was a pool around 25 feet deep that covers 1.3 acres, holding 3.5 million gallons of water and gushing out 28 million gallons daily! We brought with a mini SCUBA system for each of us, something Justin designed to be more compact than a standard dive rig. The weather was low 70s but windy. The water was warm, around 72-75 degrees all year long. We donned our wetsuits and slipped (literally) into the spring. It was surreal to be in such a tropical feeling environment in the middle of a desert.  It was crystal clear, and teeming with friendly endangered fish that would nibble at our ears. We even spotted a turtle swimming around near us. At the bottom, we could see the springs jet out of the sand, making it writhe and wiggle like there were thousands of worms squirming about in it. I could feel the force as I waved my hand over it, praying that my gopro camera on my head was catching some of this. After about 30-40 minutes, we ran out of air and had to end the dive. What a great way to refresh after all the desert driving.

SpringsSpringsDCIM\109GOPRO

 

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see more of the Springs experience.

 

Our stop for the night was Guadalupe Mountain, where we scored one of the last RV spots in their “park”, which was really just a parking lot deep up in the valley of the mountains. We got the perfect corner spot, and the park was filled (holding maybe 20 RVs) by 6:00 pm.  A walk down to the office with Lil led us to read some info plaques telling us that these mountains we were viewing are actually fossilized reefs from an ancient time when the very spot we stood would have been an abyss within a vast ocean some 265 million years ago!! We walked back to the RV and I couldn’t stop staring in wonder at those towering reefs and how insignificant we really were in the age of this planet. While our SCUBA gear dried on the table, we sat and enjoyed the view.

Tuesday, Feb 27

This morning we wanted to partake in a hike but once again, no dogs allowed on trail. We chose the shortest and fastest one, leaving Lil to rest in the RV sitting in the cool mountain air. After halfway in, I was glad she hadn’t come, this terrain would have been difficult for her though she would have given it her best shot. It started as a dusty trail through grass, emerging into white rocky crevices and eventually crawling deep into gorges with sheer rock faces on either side. It ended within a canyon called the Devil’s Hall, quite the spectacle of nature with tall slate grey walls that echoed with our chatter. We turned back at this point, but I’m sure further exploration would have led us to more wonder.

Back at the RV, Lil was actually still sleeping, and greeted Justin happily for a walk along some picnic trails before we pulled out for the next destination.

It’s time to get out of Texas.

Guadalupe SunriseGuadalupe Sunrise Click on the photo to see more of the Guadalupe experience.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Balmorhea Big Bend National Park Coast to Coast Davis Mountains State Park Guadalupe Mountain Hiking Lake Amistad Landscape Photography Landscapes RV San Solomon Springs Santa Elena Canyon SCUBA Seminole Canyon Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/scuba-diving-in-the-desert Tue, 27 Feb 2018 23:03:18 GMT
Texas, Texas, and More Texas... https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/texas-texas-and-more-texas The 2018 RV Trip Continues


Abandoned Building at the ParkAbandoned Building at the Park

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Tuesday, Feb 20

The night was warm, and the air inside the RV grew stagnant. It must have been around 1:00 am that I broke down and turned on the a/c. The open windows and ocean breeze just wasn’t cutting it. I was awake early enough to try to catch the sunrise over the ocean this morning. I took Lil out with me, my camera and a hot thermos of coffee while Justin stayed back at the RV. The sun stayed hidden behind clouds, which turned out to my advantage for I wouldn’t have been able to get the photo over the water with the stirring blur in the water and rolling clouds. If you’ve ever been to the coast, you noticed how all the trees bow inland from the constant push of the ocean winds. While trying to make a dramatic looking photo of one of those trees near the beach, my sweet dog decided to photobomb the shot. I couldn’t resist, I had to snap it quick and include it in the gallery. That’s just my sense of humor, take it or leave it.

Gulf Coast, TXGulf Coast, TX Click on image to see more of Corpus Christi experience.

After getting back to the RV, we decided to try boondocking for our next stop. Boondocking is staying where there are no developed campsites, no amenities, no water, electric, and for free. We chose Padre Island down the coast a bit. It is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier islands in the world, and camping is allowed directly on the beach, in the salt and sand. Sounds lovely, but I was getting hangry, so we found a spot to stop for lunch, Mikels & Mays right on the beach 10 minutes from Padre Island. While we sat eating, I couldn’t help but notice how one customer was being refused service while he sat patiently on his chair waiting. I felt bad, so I threw him some of my sandwich, which he promptly flew down to gobble.

Padre Island… it was everything one could imagine for camping on the beach. We drove along the sand, careful to avoid the really soft spots, and snugged the RV up next to some dunes. Very few other people around, it felt as if we had miles of the beach all to ourselves. Some moody weather was rolling in again which had the gulf churning out some good sized waves. It sounded like a roar at times.  With still 3 hours to go before high tide and the aggressive waves making their way closer and closer to our wheels, we moved back up off the beach until the tide changed. Lil enjoyed al long walk on the beach with us, so many interesting smells for her, and there were Portuguese Man-of-war jellyfish blown up everywhere, we were careful not to step on any. Surprisingly, there were almost no seashells, but don’t be sad for me because I was able to find a perfect sundial, slipper shell and shark eye shell. By 6:00 pm, we were back down on our spot and all set up. We grilled hot dogs for dinner as the sun set. Then built a small fire to sit around and soak up the whole experience; camping in the sand on the beach with a fire. Lil was wrapped like a little burrito in her serape. She had curled up in my chair after I got up, and she was too damn cute there to move, so I sat on her beach bed and enjoyed the beach fire with her and Justin up in their chairs. After the warming glow of the fire faded off, we went to bed, leaving some windows open to let the sounds and smells of the ocean fill the RV. The occasional rain pattered on the roof throughout the night. Life is good!

Sand CastleSand Castle Click on image to see more of the Padre Island experience.

Wednesday, Feb 21

Two weeks on the road! I’ve got a lot more in me, this whole experience has been wonderful so far!

The high tide in the early morning had come up over our wheels, but did not entrench us in the sand. We were able to easily drive out of it. Another beach walk with Lil and we tucked her back in her bed in the RV so Justin and I could take the scooter down the beach farther than the RV could go. We puttered through soft spots, having to push the scooter at times, and made it about 5 miles before having to leave the scooter. At a certain point, only 4x4 vehicles are allowed, so we parked next to the warning sign and went on foot just a little farther. The beach was the same as where we had camped with the exception of those larger soft spots that would have trapped us. Apparently, near the 20-mile point there are much larger shells to be found, but since we only made it to the 5-mile point, we called it good. I did find a cool yellow float that I grabbed up. We puttered back to the RV, rinsed off the scooter (she was covered in sand) and consulted maps to find our next destination.

Onward into the west plains of  Texas. I found classic country road trip songs to sing along to (Texas Tornado by Tracy Lawrence or On The Road Again by Willie if you want a soundtrack for the blog). There were a few hokey roadside attractions along the way; a rusty iron longhorn, a giant snake, and even an oil rig outfitted with longhorns to look as if it were a bucking bronco while it worked the field. The farther we drove, the palm trees and sand were replaced by white rocky fields , scrub brush, yucca and cactus and every now and then you could see more oil rigs pumping away. Lil stayed curled on my lap most of the way, watching out the window and jumping up in excitement every time she saw cattle pass by. I knew we were getting close to our next stop of Laredo when we saw Border Patrol units more frequently.

We arrived in Laredo late afternoon. It was pretty much right on the border of Mexico. We picked Lake Casablanca International State Park to stay the night. I hadn’t expected much being so close to the city, but was pleasantly surprised as we pulled in. The grounds felt secluded enough, and were surrounded by rolling bluffs. There were trails strewn along the sites, covered in white shale and a fun mix of other beautiful rock. I immediately noticed a sweet fragrance in the air. It was warm enough to merit a t-shirt so after we parked, I quickly changed immediately took Lil and my camera out on some of the trails. Again I find myself picking up the precious pebbles, and even found an agate broken exposing the tiny crystal city inside. That sweet fragrance was coming from patches of colorful desert flowers. I stopped to get Lil’s photo in one while she stuck her nose up taking in the smells. There was also an old abandoned building atop a bluff, which was begging to be photographed. The park service believes it may have been used as a museum at one point, but it now sat empty, boarded up and watching over the park from its perch on the mount. We walked the trails past many cactus and some pretty intimidating crown of thorns bushes. While all the pokie plants didn’t seem inviting, I was loving the terrain. So different from where we had traveled from; arid and dry yet still vibrant and intriguing. After getting back to the RV, I took some time to work on photos and the blog, then made a dinner of tortellini. During dinner, we decided that while we’re in Texas, we just have to find a genuine Mexican restaurant and also try Texas BBQ. One last quick walk with Justin and Lil led me to run back to the RV to get my camera. The city lights were illuminating the sky in a lovely blended manner and barely lit the old building I shot earlier. With a brisk wind making me work quickly, I took a minute to shoot the building against the glowing night sky.

Abandoned Building by Night Lights of LoredoAbandoned Building by Night Lights of Loredo Click on image to see more of the Lake Casablanca experience.

Thursday, Feb 22

It got much cooler throughout the night, mid 50’s by morning. I made us eggs and bacon for breakfast, then suited up to go explore the nearby lake with Lil. I read that this place was rich with fossils from marine and mammals if one found the right spots. I walked along the lakefront with Lil, her bounding in and out of the water. Eventually, we came upon some bluffs that calved away washing into the lake. The stood a good 25 feet above the waterline and exposed several different geographic layers in time. Just below them, on the water, the waves had washed away enough to expose what I was looking for; fossil oyster beds where many fossils of both marine and mammal could be found. I was able to find a piece the size of my hand to look more closely at, hoping it would yield some nice tiny specimens. From what I've read, around 42 million years ago Laredo had large gulf waves breaking along a beach, and wasn't the dry dusty climate found today over 150 miles from the gulf.

We got back to the RV and tidied up. Justin had done some research on the maps and found a good trajectory to continue on in, so on we went!

 

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Boondocking Coast to Coast Hiking Lake Casablanca State Park Landscape Photography Landscapes Mikels & Mays Padre Island RV Texas Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip TX Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/texas-texas-and-more-texas Fri, 23 Feb 2018 20:56:18 GMT
The Mist https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/the-mist  The 2018 RV Trip Continues

180213_00118Back Seat Driver

 

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

Friday,  Feb 16

On through Oklohoma we drove, our next stop we decided would be the Broken Bow area. I needed to upload a few days worth of photos so we stopped at a coffee shop near the park. Internet was soooo slow (if you recall from my intro to the last blog post) I abandoned that task for the moment.

We pulled into Beavers Bend State Park. It was in a hilly area with a nice lake nearby, though we were not planning on partaking in activities, simply a stop over. We did get to walk the trails with Lil along the Red River though, which was a nice setting close to our RV.

180216_00108Beavers Bend Click on image to see more of this area.

Saturday, Feb 17

On through Oklahoma. This area boasted Native American heritage. The views were of rustic yet upscale log houses, horses and beef herds. Our breakfast was at this cool diner called the Gemini Coffee Shop in Oklahoma. On the outside, it looked like just another hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a dying strip mall, but when we walked in, I realized what a find it was. Bubbling with local regulars, and quaintly decorated in a friendly farm style, I felt right at home. We sat at the half moon diner style bar in retro 60’s chairs and placed our orders. The owner seemed to know everybody, greeting them all by name, and had regulars phoning in their orders for pick up. The food was great and the atmosphere was hard to leave, but on we must go into Texas!

Our next stop was Mission Tejas State Park in Texas. It was very small, and heavily wooded. We didn’t expect much here, but I was pleasantly surprised but the history this tiny park held. It contained a segment of El Camino Real (Royal Road or Kings Highway), a segment of roads leading up from Mexico that local tribes used for trade and travel.  On the grounds was also the Rice Family Home built in 1828 as a family home, but hosted travelers along the Camino Real. Also here is the Mission Building which was build by the Civilian Conservation Corps to demonstrate the style of log homes built in this area in the early 1800’s. Lil enjoyed walks along the nature trails which had recently been burned (controlled burn I’m guessing). It was here she had her first introduction to white tail deer bounding away from us on the trail and a large roly-poly armadillo scooting past the RV in the night.

The Mission HouseThe Mission House  Click on image to see more of this area. 

Sunday, Feb 18

Another early out morning. Nothing more to see here so we headed toward our next stop of Galveston Island. I will say, road kill is a different kind around here; black pigs and armadillos.  We stopped for gas in the small town of Crockett, Texas. While we were checking the maps, an old silver haired duffer in a faded wrangler shirt and a sharp military haircut pulled up next to us in his pickup to bend our ear a while. He liked our “rig” and was curious about it. The conversation carried on about work, health, honesty, discipline and respect. He had a true heart of gold and a genuine smile, telling us of his childhood when he trained with the great Roy Harris right in his own back woods. He spoke of his dog Zero and how he would “doodle off” to go get him ice cream treats from the kitchen every day. He melted my heart, it was such a treat to chat with him a while.

We drove on, headed south. This rain or mist seemed to keep following us. It now hung in the air around craggy oaks, silhouettes against the contrasting white wooden fences. I wondered if we were ever going to outrun this weather. At least it was warmer, 70’s I’d guess. Our lunch was at Whattaburger chain; we’re told it’s the bomb here in Texas. I’d call it only average. While stopped, I took advantage of the PetCo across the way to get Lily’s nails trimmed.

We made a quick stop at Sheldon Lake State Park, a day use park. Justin wanted to fish their sites. Lil and I walked the boardwalk while he fished. He caught one, but nothing he’d brag about, but it’s time spent fishing nonetheless, a good day.

Trail BoardwalkTrail Boardwalk Click on image to see more of this area. 

After leaving Sheldon, our resting place was Galveston Island State Park. We checked the forecast to see if the weather would allow a visit to the Schlitterbahn waterpark, but with a high only in the low 70s, it would be too cold for me to spend the day all wet. I’m hopeful we’ll hit up a waterpark at some point in this ride though. Our spot was on the bay side closer to all of the nature trails, which suited us just fine. Though, for some evening entertainment, we did scooter up and down the coastal road to see if there were any neat spots to stop at for a local drink. We had Lil in her bucket on the scooter, outfitted in her doggles. I swear she enjoys these rides more than me. She also brings a smile to everyone that sees her. We found one spot close by and stopped for a quick drink on the deck where Lil could sit with us. She won over the bartender, who brought her some dog treats.  We soon left, scooting along a back road, and passed the most random blip of a pasture with a few cows and chickens,  then ended the day with a taco supper at the RV. The sunset was almost a watercolor painting, perfectly blended and matte.

EstuariesEstuaries Click on image to see more of this area. 

Monday, Feb 19

I’ve come to really love these mornings. Lil gets invited up into bed to cuddle for the last hour of sleep we enjoy, and the sun slowly creeps through the windows. The smell of coffee brewing while I’m squished up next to Lil all warm and cozy. Plenty of breeze came through the open windows last night to keep us comfortably cool.  We took Lil on a walk along the many trails along the estuary. There were many birds to see, one being a type of large light pink spoonbill kind. We climbed the viewing tower to get a better view spanning over the bay area, it was very relaxing.

We left Galveston Island, next stop was Corpus Christi where today we were lucky enough to just score the last RV spot on the water at the Naval Air Station. Alas, our luck didn’t hold. With the sound of a sharp and very loud pop, we quickly  knew we had just blown out a tire. Justin safely pulled us off the road into the nearest driveway, just barely on the outskirts of a small town called Edna.  It was the passenger side rear inside tire (duels). While these RVs do come with a good replacement tire, they do not include the jack necessary to lift such weight. I called our roadside assistance, and after an hour, they still had no luck finding a service to aid us. And just like that our luck returned; the place we pulled into was a small shop of some sort and one of the workers just returned. He had all the tools needed to jack us up and spin off the lugs to get to the inner wheel. Justin and he had it replaced very quickly, and we headed into the little town to get the blown tire replaced… you know, in case it happens again. Back in business 3 hours later. We drove through a little town called Victoria. We had hoped to spend a bit of time there, but we had already run short of that so it was just a drive through. Corpus Christi was close, so we kept driving. All of the homes along the beach were so vibrantly colored; ranging from azure, yellow, kiwi green, coral, seafoam and so on. I adored the character. The names of the towns were equally charming; Jamaica Beach, Coconut Cove and so on. Then you had the names of the houses; Yappy Turtle, Banana Boat, Pelicans Nest.  A quick gas stop in Surfside Beach where there were food trucks and a place selling daiquiris to go.  I’m in heaven!

Closer to Corpus Christi, the landscape changed to a more industrious one. I spied wind turbine fields off in the distance, and what seemed to be refineries scattered along the skyline.

Upon arrival at the base in Corpus Christi, we found our spot on the breezy beach, on a concrete pad. It was very nice, though a full RV park. I was thrilled with the free laundry facilities nearby, and the wifi. It’s stops like this where I’m very grateful to be able to catch up on laundry, photos and my blog, but I feel terrible for Lil who sits staring off in the distance waiting to play.  After laundry and homework, it’s Texas steaks on our grill tonight! And we’ll be rocked to sleep in the arms of welcoming ocean breezes.

Gulf Coast, TXGulf Coast, TX Click on image to see more of this area. 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Beavers Bend State Park Coast to Coast Corpus Christi Galveston Galveston Island State Park Landscape Photography Landscapes Mission Tejas State Park OK Oklahoma RV Sheldon Lakes State Park Texas Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip TX Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/the-mist Fri, 23 Feb 2018 20:55:57 GMT
Oklahoma Coffee and Slow Internet https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/oklahoma-coffee-and-slow-internet  The 2018 RV Trip Continues

180213_00118Back Seat Driver

 

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

 

It's Friday...I think. We found a small "coffee shop" in the south eastern part of Oklahoma so I could upload. So far, the coffee leaves much to be desired and the internet is slug speed. As I type this, a server walks by to ask "We just got opened last week so is the internet ok?" and I feel guilty for complaining. At any rate, you should get some photos, and at the very least the text at this stop. 

 

Monday, Feb12

We left the caverns at 8:00 am, it was too damn cold to do anything outside anyhow. This was a driving day for sure. We stopped for an hour or so at a Starbucks in the nearest town so we could use wifi. I obviously was able to get all my photos up and a bit more on the blog while Justin worked on downloading some navigation updates to the nav system in the RV. It was then that we decided to head to Memphis, TN. We found an RV park there that boasted of free laundry and wifi, two things we seem to take for granted when at home. It was still cold, mid 30’s but the sky was blue. I’m thinking we try to head south after this, look for warmer weather.

When we got to the park, again it was very empty. It was on the edge of the Mississippi river with a cool view of passing barges and tugs. The banks were lined with broken limestone rock and the swift water was a gritty muddy brown. It was still cold, so I dedicated the afternoon to doing laundry and walking up and down the river banks with Lil. We did happen upon a fossil shell stuck in a large limestone rock, too large to carry and too tough to break out, sadly it stayed right there in the clenches of the stone. I was able to get a sunset photo, but didn’t try too hard because I’m a sissy in the cold, go figure.

Through out the night, I could hear the hum of barges working tirelessly on the river and it lulled me to sleep. Morning came and greeted us with frozen puddles in the park. Nothing on the RV froze, so that was a relief. A quick sunrise photo over the mighty Mississippi, a brief walk with Lil, and we pulled out to go check out the big city of Memphis.

All the night before, I was singing to Justin little excerpts of  “Walking In Memphis, walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale…”, I was sure he was sick of it, but he wound up playing it for us anyhow. We strolled with Lil past Union Avenue and up and down Beale street. It was still early, but the city still held a lively vibe, even when the neon lights were still resting from the night before. I could just imagine the night crowds, hear the blues rolling out of each doorway, see the glowing lights and smell all the soul food. Made a mental note to come back when we have time to experience it at night. On our way back to the RV, we strolled along the cobblestone banks of the Mississippi past the riverboats, then on we went in search of Graceland. Just a quick stop so I could get a photo of the outside, after all, they were closed for tours today anyhow. It was its own small piece of majesty nestled in a downtrodden area of the city, surrounded by kitschy souvenir shops. A few quick photos and some  support to the closest souvenir vendor and down the road we went.

Lil's Best Elvis ImpressionLil's Best Elvis Impression Click on photo to see more of the Memphis area. 

This was the first time we ran into heavy traffic, basically a parking lot on the interstate, but our navigation got us off and past it rather quickly.

Into Arkansas we went, south toward Hot Springs National Park.  There was so much litter along the roads, and any most roads leading off the interstate were dirt. A lot of the paved sections looked like patchwork pieces with all of the repair the’ve had. And with as many vacant business as I saw, I thought, this is where gas stations must come to die.

We passed through a few industrious in their time river towns; some had successfully bloated into a large city like Little Rock, but most seemed to be barely hanging on. Farther on we went until we started gaining elevation into the Hot Springs area. We got our RV spot right on a little river with many trails along it. Then scootered a mile or so into town to see what the area’s “hot spots” were.  This town was actually pretty cool. Stuck in time with the early 1900’s era architecture, but you could tell in its heyday that it must have been quite an attraction. The hot springs had been harnessed and commercialized into bath houses resembling ancient roman buildings encased in various creative stonework. They still had much of the original detail, and a few were open for tours while others had been slightly modernized to still accommodate bathers. I couldn’t help but feeling a little twinge of creepiness, like I was standing in the set of an old horror movie, waiting for ghosts to pass in front of me in a mirror or something. The whole town felt that way, but its also part of what I liked about it. We strolled up and down the main street until the rain started again. It was too cold to tough out, so we scootered back to the RV to warm up for the night.

 

Wednesday,  Feb 14

Today marks one full week on the road so far. I’d say we’re doing great. I love my office on our bed with squishy pillows, a cuddly dog, and the creek right out the back window.

Rain again last night, a lovely patter on the roof of the RV. I could also hear the creek babbling no more than 20 feet from the back of the RV. And true to form, the rain quit by the time we wanted to go outside. The morning started with eggs, bacon and mimosas. With that fuel, we took Lil on a hike through the trails up the hill (mountain?) behind us. It was a moderate hike uphill, around 4 or so miles. At the top was a lookout, but with the heavy mist in the air, one couldn’t see more than 50 yards, but that in itself was just as captivating, almost eerie at times.  Some of the foliage seemed to glow with color, almost as if they were radioactive. Every now and then an old foundation of a tumbled building or century old buildings themselves would creep into view from the mist, and again I felt like I was in a scary movie; you know, the one where someone escapes from the local insane asylum and tears off running through the woods to disappear into the fog. Maybe I just have an overactive imagination. Along the trail, there were so many different kinds of rock, ranging from white to rosey pink milky stone to jet black flaky flint stone. I can see why this area is known for producing such stunning gem and rock formations. Arkansas is one of the top places in the world to get high quality quartz, and there are several local mines in the Hot Springs area. Walking along the trail, I even found two lovely little crystal pieces mixed in the gravel.

After the long hike, we tucked Lil in and took the scooter into town, about a mile out. With this town being named for the bountiful hot springs, we had to partake. We opted for a soak in the mineral pools of the Quapaw Bathhouse.  Four different pools ranging in different temps from 98-108 degrees. It was so soothing to relax in them for the morning. Since they didn’t allow recording devices in the pools themselves, I have only a few quick pics from sneaking in my cell phone so please forgive the poor quality.

After the baths, we had lunch at the Ohio Club, the oldest saloon in Arkansas known for hosting gangsters like Al Capone and even the local celeb, Billy Clinton (he grew up in this town).  20’s era styled music played while we enjoyed our meal. Onward to another local attraction, the aquarium. Quite small, it felt more like a pet store selling fish, but still interesting enough for me.  There was a creepy old wax museum as well, but we didn’t brave that one, I didn’t want any nightmares tonight. One last stop on the way back was at the local mine’s gem and rock shop. So many eye catching stones, it was hard to walk away with just a few, but I did, with the promise of being able to visit their mine tomorrow and mine for some crystal myself.

And to end the day on a fantastic note, spaghetti for dinner!

Bath House RowBath House Row Click on photo to see more of the Hot Springs area. 

 

Thursday, Feb 15

It got a little warm last night, and the misty haze seemed to be lifting, just in time for our adventure we’ve got planned for today. We started the morning with yet another hike with Lil. Just a few miles this time, up to Goat Mountain. The view was exceptional with the clouds clearing, but wouldn’t ya know it, this time I left my camera behind. We found so many rock clusters that yielded lovely colored stones so I picked up a few (ok, I picked up a lot, filling every pocket I had) so I could send some home to the nieces and nephews. When we got back, we packed up and headed north 16 miles to find the crystal mine, Coleman Mines. They have an area open to the public to allow us to “mine” for our own crystals.

The weather was much warmer, and after all the rain, it was certain to be a red clay mess. We stopped off at walmart to get some throwaway clothing so we wouldn’t ruin our good clothes. When we arrived, we were greeted by an enormous quartz crystal rock the size of a garbage can with crystals the size of bread loaves emerging from it! They say we have to be able to carry out what we find, well I’m sure as hell gonna find a way  to carry that out if I find one like it! We got our permits to mine and drove the RV right out to the edge of the entrance. It was a gaping wound in the earth with heavy machinery excavating deep into the crust. I felt a little guilty for participating but the temptation to find crystal was too strong. We tromped up a surprisingly dry road into the public hunting grounds. While it was messy, it wasn’t muddy. There were tall dirt piles surrounding the roads leading into the active mining pit, so we climbed up one and began the hunt. At first I just raked through the dirt to look for them, but I soon realized it was easier to look atop the piles for glistening gems. I found plenty ranging from a grain of rice to a quarter, and was thrilled at those, glistening and purely clear. It was surreal. Then I began to collect the larger specimens of rock displaying the different forms and stages of crystal. When my load got too heavy and I got too hungry, we went back to the RV to unload and eat and sort through our finds. Of course, Justin outdid me in sheer size and quality of his finds, some of his crystals were the size of a candy bar! We went back out and finished up with one last sweep. With too many pieces to carry, we ended our search. Granted, most were not great quality, but we did get a couple dandies, I’ll sort through them later. I did learn one thing; I was willing to reach my hand into a fire ant hill to acquire crystal, then quickly regretted it!  The whole drive on to our next stop, I couldn’t stop thinking about how great of an experience it was, and the feeling of the smooth cold crystal on my fingers upon the first find. Memories that are going to last me a very long time.

Our RV at the MinesOur RV at the Mines Click on photo to see more of the Mining experience.

Friday, Feb 16

Our next stop was another nearby gem spectacle; Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. We were prospectors after all so why not try for diamonds? The night was warm upon our arrival and the park was quiet. The ranger told us we came at a good time, for they were turning away RVs for March already. The diamond field was walking distance from our space. The night was restless with the humid warm air and dreams of crystals and diamonds. When morning came, the weather shifted and brought in a cold and windy day with light precipitation. I took Lil on a mile or so walk down to the Missouri river, then we headed to the field sporting our throw-away Walmart outfits. The field had greenish soil from mineral deposits. Other than that, it looked like a regular farm field, plowed in furrows. They plow only monthly, and a hundred people or more must search this area daily. We set off to an outer edge to surface hunt, on our hands and knees picking at anything shiny. With an average of only 2 diamonds a day being found, we knew our chances were low, but we had fun anyhow. Our feet turned into elephant feet as the mud clung on, but we never lost a shoe! After three hours, I was so cold I had to quit. We screened our slim pickins and brought them to the shop for identification. Just as we expected, no diamonds but enough calcite and crystals. No matter, we can still say we mined for diamonds. A long hot shower, lunch in the RV and some research for our next destination.... Oklahoma, then south, way south, to warmer weather.

Unfortunately, there are no photos to go with this stop, too muddy to bring out my camera. I still see quartz crystal clusters every time I close my eyes.

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Coast to Coast Coleman Mine Crater of Diamonds Crystals Hot Springs Hot Springs National Park Landscape Photography Landscapes Memphis Mississippi Mississippi River Ohio Club OK Oklahoma Quapaw Bathhouse RV Tennessee TN Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/oklahoma-coffee-and-slow-internet Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:26:34 GMT
We Found Internet! https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/we-found-internet The 2018 RV Trip Continues

Cathedral CavernsCathedral Caverns

 

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

It's been a busy few days-  without internet and little cell service so I haven't been able to post. I can catch up now, and hopefully will get some photos up soon depending on this internet connection. But please do check back to see when all of the pics get up. Here are my last few days:

 

Friday, February 9

A cool crisp morning. Justin had n 8:00 phone interview so Lil and I went off for a walk. I grabbed some fresh coffee and poked around with her for a while. We got back just in time as he wrapped up his phone call.  Places to go, things to see! We packed up and were out by 9:30.  We are headed north.  Approximately one hour up is Calhoon Falls, SC so we stopped there for a break from driving.  The hike was refreshing, but do our dismay, no falls to be found within the park itself. At the very least, we got some more exercise in for Lil.

TrailTrail

Click on photo to see more of this area.

One of the things I am looking forward to on this whole trip is finding hole-in-the-wall places to eat when we have to eat on the road.  That’s what we did, found this place called Hudson Café; “You’ve tried the rest, now try the best!”.  How could we go wrong? It was a large shed type building with a few booths sprinkled around the inside. We ordered at the counter, then sat to wait for them to bring it out.  We waited, then waited some more. They sure were not fast, but the food was quite good! Score one for the dives! With full bellies, we hit the road again.

Headed north yet, aiming for Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia, the gorge there has some raving reviews for activities, if one gets granted permits to hike to the floor of it. I could see faint outlines of the Blue Ridge range in the distance. The rest of the drive held dramatic scenery of red dirt, small ravines and large limestone mounds among the tall pines, and every so often it was littered by the rotting remains of abandoned buildings.  There were a few towns dotted along the way, seemingly accidentally antique, leaving the feeling as if time had forgotten them.

Lil spent most of the drive snuggled up in her bed on the couch, but every so often she would climb up on my lap to watch where we were going. We arrived at Tallulah Falls and were set up by 3:00 pm, but unfortunately we were not granted permits to hike the gorge floor. It was too late by our arrival, and any for the next day were cancelled due to incoming rain. Not to worry though, we still had enough other trails to walk. We started with the North Rim trail around the gorge, I’d guess between 300-600 gain in elevation in the short distance it was. The views over the edge into the gorge below were captivating. A time or two, In peering over the lookout ledge, I’d feel myself sway a bit from the view. It was a strong yet fragile image with bold rock faces leading down to the falls and river far below.  Some of those mammoth rocks were precariously balancing, awaiting erosion to free them to fall to the gorge basin below. I kept wondering how often that would happen, and if any hikers had the experience of seeing the event. I suppose this is one of the dangers that require them to issue access by permit only.

Lil was again quite the adventurer. She was pulling us along the trails most of the day, but no off-leash today. I didn’t want to risk her running off trail into a dangerous part of the gorge where I couldn’t get her. At every overlook, she was up on her toes peering as far as she could get her nose to see what was below, but with such caution it melted my heart. That dog!

Tallulah FallsTallulah Falls

Click photo to see more of the Gorge area.

We got back by 5:30 pm and relaxed with a couple beers while sitting outside, waiting for the rain to move in. It was a gorgeous campground, hilly and with many trees but nearly empty this time of year. How fortunate were we that the whole place was nearly all ours. The temps stayed comfortable in the mid 50s, great for hiking!

Later that night, we looked at the map to see where to next. This is where Justin had to remind me that it’s not about the destination, rather the journey.  With a vague eastern direction in mind, we were satisfied.  Tacos for dinner, then I worked on some photos from the day, and we actually made it to bed at a normal time by 9:00 pm. This time, Lil is going to start sleeping on the couch. It’s just a tad crowded when she takes up half the bed.

 

Saturday, February 10

The rain moved in during the night, and such a soothing sound it made on the RV. Lil did great on the couch until the rain, she seemed scared so I put her back in the bed where she curled tightly next to me. The rain quit by morning, well, mostly. It was a fine mist in the air but nothing worth spoiling our morning hike. We went along the South rim this time, which held a more spectacular view. Stirring as described by Justin. Lil enjoyed it just as much as the one the day before. I proceeded down stairs to get to a suspension bridge while Justin and Lil went back around to the North rim to meet me on the other side.  The view of the falls from down there was quite something!  Such a closer view, and I was so close to getting on the trail to the floor, but I minded the rules and stayed on the proper trail. On my way back up, the some 600+ stairs kicked my butt a little, but I’d say it was worth the work.

When we got back to the RV, we decided to pull out since the rain was getting heavier. We left by 10:00 am headed East driving in the rain. The only radio station we could get in was blues playing on an old country station, which fit the weather perfectly. About an hour East, we stopped an a tourist trap of a town called Helen. It was a bustling small town tucked within the foothills boasting a solid German theme; from building façade to food. We lunched at a place called Old Heidelberg Restaurant and Pub. We were the first patrons of the day, and the food came rather quickly after ordering and delicious it was! We wandered the streets for a spell before getting back on the road.

German Town of Helen, GAGerman Town of Helen, GA

The rain got heavier as we drove, and the rolling hills with twisty turns made me a bit nervous. It was vineyard country, and some of the hills faded into the foggy rain. I guess it would have been a beautiful sight had I not been so nervous about our RV on these roads. Instead, it felt a little creepy.

Next stop was Amicolola Falls State Park. There was a steady drizzle but we went up to see the falls anyhow. I’m glad we did because this was the most impressive falls I’ve seen yet, so wide and monstrous that at one point while taking Justin’s picture with Lil, the falls seemed to come straight from the sky above. But more damn steps!

Upper FallsUpper Falls

Click on photo to see more of this area.

We were making such good time on these stops today, we decided to head East for one more park.  The rock façade changed from limestone to a heavier, more impressive lumbering landscape.

We arrived at Cloudland Canyon State Park by 5:00 pm. The rain was heavy again so I took the time to work on photos and the blog, staying cozy and warm inside the RV. I’m sure Lil appreciated the break too, she had a lot of hiking these last few days.

 

Sunday, February 11

It rained all night, heavy at times, and the wind shook the RV every now and then. Lil started the night on the couch but wound up in bed again, leaving me with only 12 inches of space for myself.  Not a restful night for me.

The rain did end by 7:00 am, the weather gods must be smiling on us because we’ve gotten lucky every day while this storm system works through the area.

The temps were mild in the 60s still, a good morning for a hike since we really didn’t get a chance to get out last night.  We drove the RV out to the parking area where the overlooks and trailheads were. The vantage point was pretty stellar with a sweeping view of the lower canyon and falls. The three of us hopped around peering over each overlook. Justin took Lily to a fishing hole where no license was needed and he fished a while so I could continue down the trails to photograph the falls. More stinkin steps! I quit counting after 550 on my way down because it was making me sad to know I’d have to climb them all on my way out. Both of these falls (Cherokee and Hemlock) were quite stunning. I could feel their booming force in my chest and I just stood there a minute to absorb it. One of those moments where it’s so forcefully loud but peaceful at the same time.  Again, we seemed to have the whole place to ourselves.  The mist from the falls was heavy in the air and it made it a little tricky to shoot them without getting my lenses too damp. Along the trail to the second falls was one of those gargantuan boulders hanging out above the path. I stood a moment to imagine that thing giving way wondering how or where it would land in the gorge below.  By the time I was done playing around down in the falls, I was pretty damp, but welcomed it because the hike out was quite warm.  We met back up and hit the road toward our next destination, eastward into Alabama!

Overlook ViewOverlook View

Click on photo to see more of Cloudlands area.

We stopped at a Walmart so I could find a gate to block Lil in our “living room” so she might stay on the couch at night. We’ll see how that works out.

Then in sticking to our goal for local eateries, we had lunch at Carliles in Scottsboro. The hospitality in this area is more southerly welcoming than in Charleston. The hostess was quite chatty; I tried my hardest to quiet the inside voice that was screaming “I just wanna eat, I’m starving!” and smiled while she carried on. Even our waitress had to bend our ear a while about how much she loves sweet tea. Goodness. Food was good though, I had some of their tomato pie, a first for me.

We got back on the road and arrived at our destination of Cathedral Caverns State Park.  I can say so far, Alabama seems to be somewhat behind Georgia in updating their park system. The RV site was a little scary, I swear I could hear banjo music off in the woods. Setting the unease aside, we went to take a cave tour. Holy smokes, I was blown away! I’ve toured a lot of caves and caverns, and none held as much splendor as this. Some of the rooms were as big as an auditorium with formations as tall as a water tower, the photos simply can’t serve justice. And wouldn’t you know, one of their charmed talking points was a fossil shark tooth exposed high above in one of the ceilings.  We saw many other fossils in the stone along the way. I wanted so badly to jump off the path and begin chiseling some out. We were also fortunate enough to see the caverns during uncommon flood stages, making the sight even more dramatic. I fully enjoyed the tour.

Cathedral CavernsCathedral Caverns

Click on photo to see more of the Caverns.

Spent the night swatting away mosquitoes while catching up on all the photos I took today, and hopefully tomorrow we will find wifi somewhere so I can upload them all to the blog.

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure AL Alabama Amicolola Falls Calhoon Falls Carliles Scottsboro Cathedral Caverns Cloudland Canyon Coast to Coast GA Georgia Helen Landscape Photography Landscapes RV SC South Carolina Tallulah Gorge Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/we-found-internet Mon, 12 Feb 2018 14:49:03 GMT
The 2018 RV Road Trip Begins https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/2018-rv-road-trip-begins 2018 RV Road Trip Begins

Rocky WaterfrontRocky WaterfrontClick on the photo to see more of this area.

Click Here to Get to Entire RV Trip Gallery

 

February 7

Wednesday

It’s a 72 balmy degrees in Charleston today, heavy humidity and moody storm clouds rolling by giving us warm gusts of wind. It feels like there is a heightened level of energy in the air; it’s either the stormy weather or it’s my anticipation and excitement of leaving home today to head out in our RV, living on the road for the next couple months exploring the states. Whatever it is, I love the feeling!  Just a few last minute checks and tasks and we’re on the road by 11:30 am.

Our goal is to only drive 3-4 hours before stopping for the day, and we haven’t laid plans out more than a day or two, we’re going to just see where circumstances take us!

It rained most of the way to our first destination, and the wind gusts were strong on our RV.  We arrived at Pointes West Rec Area near Augusta, Georgia somewhere around 3:00 pm. The rain had subsided, and the air reminded me of those warm spring afternoons in Wisconsin.  Our spot sat just above the edge of the lake, and since it was off-season, the place was nearly empty. Sublimely peaceful.  All we could really hear were the birds.

After setting up camp, we made a quick late lunch of hot dogs on the grill, then parked our butts in the chairs to sip a beer and gaze across the water.

Later, we took a short walk with Lily to investigate the grounds a little. We walked out to a point overlooking a larger section of water, and I was really taken by the scenery!  This place felt otherworldly with its outcroppings of shale and red clay mud.  The stone looked as if tectonic plates shifted, forcing them straight up out of the ground.  And the waterline at one point had washed away the red dirt beneath the tall pines, leaving gnarly black roots exposed, winding out on the shale as if reaching to the water to quench their thirst.

Like I said, the scenery was quite moving to me, and it seemed Lil enjoyed it just as much. We let her run off leash for a bit, and she couldn’t stop zooming from one place to the next, trying to fully investigate these new surroundings, red mud squishing between her toes, lapping at the water every now and then.  I think this dog is going to do quite well on this trip!

After rinsing off Lily and our boots, we hopped back into the RV to relax for the day. A little light reading and we were tired enough to take on sleep by 7:30, which means he’ll likely be up at 4:00 am!!

 

February 8

Thursday

A fairly restful night, with the exception of a goose honking at 2:00 am then again at 4:00 am, likely in defense of something. Based on what I heard, he may have held his own just fine.  We rolled out of bed after laying awake for a spell, just in time to see the remains of the sunrise over the water out on the point.  Justin and Lil went back and let me stay a little longer to photograph some scenery… until my battery died. Thankfully, two more fully charged ones are waiting back at the RV.  It was time for breakfast anyhow. 

Fried eggs and bacon with mimosas, fresh coffee, again while overlooking the water. I have to soak these moments up because I’m sure not every stop on this trip will be this serene. Today’s weather, marvelous!  No rain, and sunny, somewhere in the low 70s.  Another walk with Lil and my camera, trying to burn off some of her limitless energy. 

Later, Justin and I rolled the vespa off the back of the RV and scooted around some of the local area outside of the park.  It was much cooler on the scooter, and even though Lil could ride with secured in her bucket on the back, I was glad we left her home to rest. She might have been a bit too cold on this ride.  Found Mistletoe State Park and investigated that a bit, though it looked much the same as where we were camping. An old house did catch my eye on the way back and I snapped a quick photo.  After getting back, we ate a quick lunch of sandwiches.

Spent the rest of the afternoon reading and working through my photos. We’ll make steaks for dinner later and look on the map to see what may be a good direction to head, but we will pull out tomorrow and make our way up to Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia to see if we will be lucky enough to be granted a permit to hike within the gorge itself. After that, who knows what’s next!

WaterfrontWaterfront

Click on the photo to see more of Pointes West Rec area.

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Adventure Coast to Coast GA Georgia Landscape Photography Landscapes Pointes West RV SC South Carolina Tallulah Gorge Travel Travel Blog Travel Photography Trip Victoria Jean Photo Art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2018/2/2018-rv-road-trip-begins Thu, 08 Feb 2018 22:10:37 GMT
Charleston360 #316 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/10/charleston360-316 #316

I had fun creating this photo. I could hear the waves crashing against the wooden hull. Stormy weather breaking with the sunrise.

El Galeon Andalucia150830_00197aA historically accurate reconstruction of a 170-foot 16th-century Spanish galleon El Galeon Andalucia which carries an all-Spanish crew that lives onboard the ship and travels from port to port by way of the open sea.

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina Spanish galleon nautical ocean rough ocean storm stormy stormy seas tall ship https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/10/charleston360-316 Thu, 01 Oct 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #315 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-315 #315

Docked in Charleston for the weekend, being the subject of many photographs... I took my creative liberty on one shot of it, you'll have to come back tomorrow to see it!

A historically accurate reconstruction of a 170-foot 16th-century Spanish galleon El Galeon Andalucia which carries an all-Spanish crew that lives onboard the ship and travels from port to port by way of the open sea.

150830_00178150830_00178

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina Spanish galleon nautical ocean tall ship https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-315 Wed, 30 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #314 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-314 #314

Shooting the sunrise on the water in Charleston Harbor, I found this bike resting on a lamp post in Waterfront Park. I'm really digging this image. It sighs leisure.

150830_00175150830_00175

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina Waterfront Park bicycle bike park sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-314 Tue, 29 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #313 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-313 #313

I adore the symmetry and meticulous landscaping at some of the homes.

150830_00157150830_00157

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina brick symmetry https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-313 Mon, 28 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #312 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-312 #312

Brick streets, brick walks, brick walls, brick homes... I can't imagine how many times brick is repurposed in this historic city.

150830_00155150830_00155

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina brick https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-312 Sun, 27 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #311 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-311 #311

More of the beautiful iron work decorating buildings downtown.

150830_00152150830_00152

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina iron https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-311 Sat, 26 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #310 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-310 #310

The Old Slave Mart Museum.  Believed to be a privately owned slave auction house in operation during the  1830's to the 1850's.  

Nowadays, tourists visiting Charleston often mistake the City Market (at another location) as the place where slave auctions occurred; in reality, it was where slaves and farmers alike went to sell their goods.  

This is said to be an actual auction house. Many people do not realize that 35%-40% of slaves entering the US during these times entered through Charleston.

150830_00148150830_00148

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC Slave Mart South Carolina auction slave slavery https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-310 Fri, 25 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #309 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-309 #309

In a colorful downtown, a house appropriately named "The Pink House".

150830_00147150830_00147

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina The Pink House house pink https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-309 Thu, 24 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #308 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-308 #308

The lovely buildings are adorned with unique and beautiful iron work.

150830_00145150830_00145

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina gate iron https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-308 Wed, 23 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #307 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-307 #307

The Dock Street Theatre, built in 1809 in the French Quarter of Charleston- it was the first building in America built exclusively to be used for theatrical performances.The first opera performance in America took place at the Historic Dock Street Theatre.

150830_00143150830_00143

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 French Quarter SC South Carolina building https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-307 Tue, 22 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #306 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-306 #306

The French Huguenot Church built in 1844.

150830_00142150830_00142

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 French Huguenot Church SC South Carolina church pink https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-306 Mon, 21 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #305 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-305 #305

My second favorite street. This one I see often depicted in wedding shots. Its just a cool building.

150830_00141150830_00141

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina brick building palm tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-305 Sun, 20 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #304 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-304 #304

St. Phillips Church

150830_00139150830_00139

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina St. Phillips Church church https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-304 Sat, 19 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #303 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-303 #303

This is one of my very favorite walls downtown. When standing on this street, it really feels as if you've stepped back in time.

150830_00135150830_00135

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina brick building https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-303 Fri, 18 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #302 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-302 #302

So much character to all the buildings downtown. Imagine the stories they could tell.

150830_00131150830_00131

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina brick building https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-302 Thu, 17 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #301 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-301 #301

Charleston Harbor Sunrise

150830_00125150830_00125

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina harbor sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-301 Wed, 16 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #300 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-300 #300

The marsh along Waterfront Park at sunrise, looking out over Charleston Harbor.

150830_00124150830_00124

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina Waterfront Park harbor sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-300 Tue, 15 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #299 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-299 #299

Another one of Waterfront Park's fountains shining in the golden light of the sunrise.

150830_00114150830_00114

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina Waterfront Park fountain park https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-299 Mon, 14 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #298 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-298 #297

Another view of the fountain at sunrise.

150830_00100150830_00100

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Pineapple Fountain SC South Carolina Waterfront Park fountain park sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-298 Sun, 13 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #297 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-297 #297

I finally got myself up early for a sunrise shoot at the infamous fountain at Waterfront Park. Sadly, the sunrise wasn't much of a show. I'll have to retry this when I get the gumption again.

150830_00088150830_00088

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Pineapple Fountain SC South Carolina Waterfront Park fountain sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-297 Sat, 12 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #296 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-296 #296

Another thing Charleston is known for, bow-ties.  These are hand made in a local shop on King Street. I love the one depicting Rainbow Row (the row of rainbow buildings, an actual place here for you out-of-towners).

150829_00080150829_00080

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina bow-tie tie https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-296 Fri, 11 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #295 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-295 #295

Charming Charleston - one of the many captivating buildings downtown. More to come!

150829_00069150829_00069

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina building floral pink purple https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-295 Thu, 10 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #294 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-294 #294

Charming Charleston - one of the many captivating buildings downtown. More to come!

150829_00067150829_00067

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina building https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-294 Wed, 09 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #293 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-293 #293

Charming Charleston, one of many captivating buildings downtown.  More to come...

150829_00065150829_00065

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina building https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-293 Tue, 08 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #292 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-292 #292

Charming Charleston, one of many captivating buildings downtown.  More to come...

150829_00060150829_00060

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 SC building https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-292 Mon, 07 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #291 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-291 #291

Just your typical back yard scene in downtown Charleston.

150829_00043150829_00043

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 SC statue yard https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-291 Sun, 06 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #290 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-290 #290

Who doesn't enjoy watching these being created?

150829_00041150829_00041

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 SC drawing farmers market market https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-290 Sat, 05 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #289 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-289 #289

Yes, I'm attracted to colorful things. Hand made jewelry at this market.

150829_00039150829_00039

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 SC farmers market jewelry market https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-289 Fri, 04 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #288 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-288 #288

Here's something I haven't seen at a market before - fresh made pasta! I've got to come back for some of this! 

Look at how colorful it all is...

150829_00037150829_00037

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 SC farmers market market pasta https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-288 Thu, 03 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #287 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-287 #287

Fresh baked bread at this farmers market. Smelled marvelous!

150829_00034150829_00034

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 SC bread farmers market market https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-287 Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #285 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-285 #285

Fall brings abundant farmers markets!

150829_00033150829_00033

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 SC corn farmers market market https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/9/charleston360-285 Tue, 01 Sep 2015 21:37:35 GMT
Charleston360 #284 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-284 #284

Bidding August farewell with one more Charleston Harbor sunrise.

sunrise IIsunrise II

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Ravenel Sunrise harbor ocean https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-284 Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #283 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-283 #283

Tiny delicate white mushrooms.

150809_00017150809_00017

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island fungi mushrooms rustic https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-283 Sun, 30 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #282 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-282 #282

A good place to sit and watch the sunrise at Treehouse Island, overlooking the Edisto River.

150809_00028150809_00028

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Canoe Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island chair river rocking chair rustic https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-282 Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #281 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-281 #281

The Treehouse, Treehouse Island, South Carolina.

150808_00007150808_00007

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Canoe Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island river rustic https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-281 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #280 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-280 #280

A quick bowl of chili-mac for our dinner at Treehouse Island.

150808_00002150808_00002

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Canoe Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island bowl chili river rustic https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-280 Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #279 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-279 #279

The treehouse on Treehouse Island; the destination point after our 5.5 hour canoe trip on the Edisto River. Here is where we'll stay the night, then head back out the next day.

While it looks like a free-standing cabin on stilts, it is actually built upon and anchored to two large trees (one of which is dead and partially cut down) on either side with the lower platform built for stability and extra outdoor space.

150808_00008 A150808_00008 A

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Canoe Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island river https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-279 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #278 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-278 #278

Its pretty cool to have this beauty so close. So many different and beautiful scenes along the Edisto River as we paddled on.

150808_00134150808_00134DCIM\102GOPRO

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Canoe Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island river willow https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-278 Tue, 25 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #277 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-277 #277

On with our canoe trip...

 

150809_00284150809_00284DCIM\102GOPRO

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Canoe Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island river willow https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-277 Mon, 24 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #276 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-276 #276

A scene along the Edisto River. I was taken by all the willows overhanging the river. If the water looks muddy, it's not. The river is stunningly clear, with a soft brown sandy bottom, so shallow in spots we bottomed out!

150808_00055150808_00055DCIM\102GOPRO

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Canoe Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island river willow https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-276 Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #275 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-275 #275

Over the next few days, let me take you on a trip we did.

Unguided canoe trip down the Edisto River to a treehouse on an island where we spent the night.

What a fun adventure it was!

Say hello to one of the members that sent us on our way...

150808_00019150808_00019DCIM\102GOPRO

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Canoe Charleston Charleston360 Edisto Edisto River GoPro South Carolina Treehouse Treehouse Island cat go-pro https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-275 Sat, 22 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #274 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-274 #274

Another gorgeous sunrise in the harbor on a misty morning.

sunrisesunrise

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Ravenel Sunrise harbor ocean https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-274 Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #273 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-273 #273

Sunrise at the Port of Charleston where BMW vehicles manufactured here in the Lowcountry await loading to be shipped to dealers far and wide. Ravenel bridge in the background.

IMG_6552 copy copyIMG_6552 copy copy

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) BMW Charleston Charleston360 Ravenel Sunrise harbor ocean tracks train https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-273 Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #272 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-272 #272

Imagine this fella's body the size of a matchbook, overall close to the size of a coffee mug. I happened upon him after being clotheslined in his web- not even breaking it! I knew right away what kind of web I just ran into, and carefully backed up as to avoid damaging it further. These webs can be some of the most stunningly beautiful webs to see. While the spider itself is fairly harmless, it can bite, injecting a non-lethal but painful venom. 

Sometimes referred to as silk orb-weavers, giant wood spiders or banana spiders (genus Nephila araneomorph).

 

150815_00037150815_00037

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina banana spiders giant wood spiders silk orb-weavers spider web https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-272 Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleasto360 #271 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleasto360-271 #271

Cypress swamps are everywhere in the south.

150815_00034150815_00034

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina cypress tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleasto360-271 Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #270 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-270 #270

 

Another image of the Cypress trees near the shore of Lake Marion, SC.  This manmade lake was created in 1941 by the construction of a dam and left some of the nearby trees flooded in its waters.

150815_00031-2150815_00031-2

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Lake Marion" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 SC cypress tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-270 Mon, 17 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #269 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-269 #269

Cypress on Lake Marion, the largest lake in the state of South Carolina, covering 110,000 acres.

150815_00028150815_00028

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Lake Marion SC South Carolina cypress tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/8/charleston360-269 Sun, 16 Aug 2015 17:08:45 GMT
Charleston360 #268 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-268 #268

Now this is what I picture when I think of Myrtle Beach.  Hot sunny day on the beach with the festive city beckoning me for the nightlife.

Myrtle BeachMyrtle Beach

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Myrtle Beach SC South Carolina beach coast ferris wheel ocean https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-268 Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #267 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-267 #267

Still in Myrtle Beach, the city in the background.

Myrtle Beach BoardwalkMyrtle Beach Boardwalk

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Myrtle Beach SC South Carolina beach coast ferris wheel ocean https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-267 Tue, 16 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #266 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-266 #266

Feeding frenzy!  Up the road from Charleston by a few hours is another tourist destination; Myrtle Beach.

These crazy fish were found at "Lake Broadway" of Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC.  It's a popular attraction, parsing out quarters for fistfuls of fish food to toss into the water below the boardwalk.  These fish have been well conditioned.  They wait, mouths gaping open as if to scream out in starvation, waiting for the next gullible tourist to toss them food.  They aren't the only scavengers, they fight for this food alongside ducks and turtles.  From what I understand, when this attraction opened in 1995, this lake was stocked with Israeli Carp, Catfish, Japanese Carp, Bream and Hybrid Bass.  I'd say they are flourishing. It's certainly one of my favorite things to see here.

Feeding Frenzy at Myrtle BeachFeeding Frenzy at Myrtle Beach

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Broadway at the Beach Charleston Charleston360 Lake Broadway Myrtle Beach SC South Carolina https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-266 Mon, 15 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #265 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-265 #265

This was neat to witness.  It's a locust drying its new wings after emerging from its molt.

150523_00010150523_00010

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina bug locust https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-265 Sun, 14 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #264 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-264 #264

Back at Pitt Street Bridge again, with a softer feel this time.  That's historic downtown Charleston in the distance and the Ravanel bridge that connects it to Mt Pleasant.  Lazy Lowcountry Life.

150515_00001 a150515_00001 a

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Lazy Lowcountry Life Mt Pleasant Pitt Street Bridge SC South Carolina https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-264 Sat, 13 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #263 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-263 #263

A little laugh for you.  It almost has the makings of a bad joke, "Two goose butts and a turtle..."

150517_00084150517_00084

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina goose pond turtle https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-263 Fri, 12 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #262 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-262 #262

I felt like going for a swing today.  It makes me feel like a kid again.

150515_00035150515_00035

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina swing https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-262 Thu, 11 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #261 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-261 #261

This just seemed to iconic of southern charm to me.

150515_00033150515_00033

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina gazebo https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-261 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #260 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-260 #260

Can you believe there are only 100 posts left to complete this series?!

How about some baby duck fuzzy cuteness for today?

150517_00071150517_00071 150517_00083150517_00083

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina baby duck duckling https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-260 Tue, 09 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #259 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-259 #259

There are three different shots of the morning sun washing over the wetlands as seen from Pitt Street Bridge. Not a bad morning at all.

150517_00053150517_00053 150517_00052150517_00052 150517_00050150517_00050

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Mt Pleasant Pitt Street Bridge SC South Carolina palm sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-259 Mon, 08 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #258 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-258 #258

Like I said yesterday, a gem of a place to sit and watch the sunrise.  This is a good depiction of how long and narrow the park is.

150517_00040150517_00040

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Mt Pleasant Pitt Street Bridge SC South Carolina bench sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-258 Sun, 07 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #257 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-257 #257

Yesterdays view was toward downtown Charleston.  If you turn around, facing the other direction is a view of Isle of Palms which sits right on the Atlantic ocean.  This is a gem of a location for watching sunrises.  If you look closely, you can see the little dots of palms that line the connector to Isle of Palms.

150517_00038150517_00038

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Isle of Palms Mt Pleasant Pitt Street Bridge SC South Carolina sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-257 Sat, 06 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #256 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-256 #256

Here are a couple photos with a view of historic downtown Charleston from Pitt Street Bridge.  That's it, waaaay out there in the distance.

150515_00023150515_00023 150515_00018150515_00018

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Mt Pleasant Pitt Street Bridge SC South Carolina https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-256 Fri, 05 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #255 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-255 #255

Let's take a trip somewhere else.  A local treasure of a park, old Pitt Street Bridge in Mt. Pleasant.  No longer a complete bridge, it once spanned the waters between Mt. Pleasant and Sullivans Island. Now, it is a long and narrow park with a small pier at the end where the bridge once stood.  I can just imagine this bridge in its heyday, carrying soldiers and citizens across to go about their business in neighboring towns.  Today, to get from Mt. Pleasant to Sullivans Island is a much longer drive.  The photos over the next couple days will show you the serene surroundings of the Pitt Street Bridge.

150515_00025150515_00025

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Mt Pleasant Pitt Street Bridge SC South Carolina https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-255 Thu, 04 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #254 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-254 #254

Flowers and palm trees!  I can't decide which version I like better...

150510_00109150510_00109 150510_00106150510_00106

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Hampton Park SC South Carolina flowers palm https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-254 Wed, 03 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #253 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-253 #253  

Gorgeous magnolias are now in bloom.  Can't you just smell them?

150510_00094150510_00094

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Hampton Park SC South Carolina bloom flower magnolia white https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-253 Tue, 02 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #252 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-252 #252

I love the tight unfurled fists of these blossoms.

150510_00059150510_00059

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Hampton Park SC South Carolina flowers orange https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/6/charleston360-252 Mon, 01 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #251 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-251 #251

Sit in the shade and take in the scenery at Hampton Park.

150510_00057150510_00057 150510_00052150510_00052

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Hampton Park SC South Carolina bench https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-251 Sun, 31 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #250 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-250 #250

A closer view of the beautifully colorful flower beds at Hampton Park.

150510_00049150510_00049 150510_00048150510_00048

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Hampton Park SC South Carolina floral flowers https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-250 Sat, 30 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #249 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-249 #249

Here are two more scenes found while strolling along the paths in Hampton Park. Spring is a lovely time to visit here with all the flowers in bloom.

150510_00045150510_00045 150510_00042150510_00042

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Hampton Park SC South Carolina floral flowers path https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-249 Fri, 29 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #248 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-248 #248

Hampton Park is filled with beautiful old oak trees.  Not only do people like to come and relax here, but even the ducks find this setting quite tranquil!

150510_00038150510_00038

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Hampton Park SC South Carolina clover duck lawn oak sleep sleepy https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-248 Thu, 28 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #247 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-247 #247

We're at Hampton Park today.  Beautiful scenery here!

150510_00023150510_00023

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Hampton Park SC South Carolina geese pond https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-247 Wed, 27 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #246 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-246 #246

This scene was inspiring to me; to see life sprout next to such old growth.  I felt some symbolism there.

150419_00010150419_00010

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 sprout tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-246 Tue, 26 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #245 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-245 #245

Another backyard friend I actually encourage visits from!  I feed them corn and peanuts.  Did you know that they tend to eat only the nutritious rich heart of the corn kernel and throw the rest?  Eventually though, it all disappears if I don't feed for a while.

150421_00013150421_00013

150421_00018150421_00018 150421_00036150421_00036

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 squirrel https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-245 Mon, 25 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #244 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-244 #244

I adore these little fellas!  I'm trying to promote their survival in my yard by giving them proper habitat.  I know they like brush and vines to hide in, and decaying wood to lay eggs in.  I've even provided a few shallow saucers for water they get to share with the birds and squirrels.  

150421_00058150421_00058

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) anole charleston charleston360 green lizard https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-244 Sun, 24 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #243 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-243 #243

150424_00064150424_00064

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 goose https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-243 Sat, 23 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #242 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-242 #242

These little fellas were cah-yooot!   Turtles sneaking up to steal some of the bread we threw to the geese.  He looks like he's been sitting for a while withall that growing on his back.

150424_00079150424_00079

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 turtle https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-242 Fri, 22 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #241 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-241 #241

Well how about that!  You get a photo of me!  My husband actually shot this, I thought it might be a little fun to share our afternoon feeding the geese at the park.

150424_00134150424_00134

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-241 Thu, 21 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #240 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-240 #240

I totally dig geometry in nature.  

150426_00145150426_00145

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) banana charleston charleston360 floral flowers green plant https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-240 Wed, 20 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #239 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-239 #239

There is just something about delicate spring wildflowers that gets me.  I know, I'm such a girl.

150414_00005150414_00005

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers marrington plantation https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-239 Tue, 19 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #238 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-238 #238

 

150414_00086150414_00086

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers horse marrington pasture plantation https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-238 Mon, 18 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #237 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-237 #237

Another grand oak stretching out over the road on Marrington Plantation.

150414_00077150414_00077

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers marrington path plantation woods https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-237 Sun, 17 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #236 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-236 #236

Don't you just want to lay down in these?  

150414_00071150414_00071

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers marrington plantation https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-236 Sat, 16 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #235 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-235 #235

I half expected Robin Hood to poke his head out from around this tree.  It really felt like an enchanted forest to me that day.

150414_00069150414_00069

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers marrington oak path plantation tree woods https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-235 Fri, 15 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #234 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-234 #234

Marrington Plantation.  These oaks are baby sized compared to some found here in the area.  Still an impressive tree.

150414_00065150414_00065

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers marrington oak path plantation woods https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-234 Thu, 14 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #233 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-233 #233

I'm going to keep you in Marrington for a few days, it's simply too pretty here and I want to share with you the beauty I have found.

150414_00003150414_00003

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers marrington path plantation woods https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-233 Tue, 12 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #232 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-232 #232

A path found on Marrington Plantation in Goose Creek.  It's so inviting! So mesmerizing!

150414_00053p150414_00053p

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers marrington path plantation woods https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-232 Mon, 11 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #231 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-231 Today is Mothers Day!!

In honor of my mom, I share with you my first Peony flower of the season!  I placed it in a milk can; they remind me of the farm where I grew up and used cans exactly like this one to bring in fresh milk from the bulk tank in the milk house.  Mom always grows the most beautiful flowers!

Milk Pail FlowerMilk Pail Flower

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-231 Sun, 10 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #230 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-230 #230

Let me welcome you back with gentle spring breezes and swaying wildflowers.

150414_00010150414_00010

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) charleston charleston360 floral flowers https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/5/charleston360-230 Sat, 09 May 2015 15:04:33 GMT
Charleston360 #229 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-229 #229

Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia again.  Oh the little Lorikeets!  We can feed them here.  They are so used to human interaction, they are fearless!  They invite themselves to sit on you and search for food.  (see next image too).

150213_00241150213_00241

This is how they act, pecking at my earrings as well as my camera!

FeedingFeeding

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Columbia Zoo" "Riverbanks Zoo" Charleston Charleston360 bird colorful lorikeet tropical zoo https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-229 Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #228 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-228 #228

Such pretty eyes.

150213_00190150213_00190

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Columbia Zoo Riverbanks Zoo SC South Carolina eye giraffe lash zoo https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-228 Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #227 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-227 #227

Another image from the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, an African Crowned Crane.  It's hair looks like mine some mornings.

150213_00119150213_00119

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Columbia Zoo Eastern African Crowned Crane Riverbanks Zoo SC South Carolina bird zoo https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-227 Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #226 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-226 #226

We went to the local zoo in Columbia the other day.  I saw a lion.

150213_00030150213_00030

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Columbia Zoo Riverbanks Zoo SC South Carolina lion zoo https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-226 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #225 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-225 #225

There are so many old homes in the Charleston area, so many on my list to explore.  This one was fascinating, it revealed a winding staircase to the third floor.  Welcome to the Nathaniel Russell House.

It was constructed for $80,000 in 1809.  I captured only a few photos of the interior, I MUST return for another more in-depth photographic tour.

150219_00011 bw150219_00011 bw

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Nathaniel Russel House" "South Carolina" Charleston SC spiral staircase stair winding https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/3/charleston360-225 Sun, 01 Mar 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #224 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-224 #224

Well, here is another little surprising scene.  Looks and feels like a jungle to me, but this was actually in the middle of an office complex lobby.  I'd love to have this right outside my office!

IMG_5027IMG_5027

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) fountain jungle palm plants rain forest rainforest tropical https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-224 Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #223 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-223 #223

It's surprising where I can find scenes like this...  while visiting a new local hospital/clinic.

IMG_5034IMG_5034

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) corridor hall https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-223 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #222 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-222 #222

Something springlike today.  Believe it or not, it is coming!!

IMG_5033IMG_5033

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) floral flower green pink spring https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-222 Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #221 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-221 #221

It almost looks like the uninviting boundary to a castle.  In reality, its simply an ornate border around property downtown Charleston.  I am hoping the iron work is to deter seagulls from perching...

150119_00086150119_00086

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 architecture fence https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-221 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #220 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-220 #220

I was hoping to catch some pelicans this morning, but had to settle for this shot instead.  They are some kind of ibis or egret, not quite sure yet.

150126_00032tz150126_00032tz

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" Charleston Charleston360 birds egret ibis water https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-220 Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #219 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-219 #219

I spotted this glowing gem while strolling along one of the back streets.  It was simply glowing in the afternoon sun.  I adore greenhouses, and imagined this one to be a relaxing retreat of serenity and natural beauty tucked in the middle of downtown.  I could almost smell the sweetly humid tropical air inside.

150119_00073150119_00073

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 architecture building greenhouse https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-219 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #218 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-218 #218

Yet another good example of the great architecture of Charleston.

150119_00071150119_00071

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 architecture building https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-218 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #217 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-217 #217

The downtown area of Charleston has many captivating buildings to investigate.  I get caught up in the careful details of attentive landscaping and exterior accents, and sometimes let my imagination dictate what I think I see.

150119_00072PPA copy150119_00072PPA copy

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 architecture building symmetry https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-217 Sat, 21 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #216 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-216 #216

The Ravenel Bridge spanning the Cooper River at sunrise.  I love how you can see the distinct warm glow of the sun on the bridge as it rises.

150119_00055150119_00055

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Ravenel Bridge bridge cooper river river sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-216 Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #215 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-215 #215

An iconic Charleston image, the palmetto tree silhouetted against the rising sun.

150119_00050150119_00050

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 palm palmetto silhouette sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-215 Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #214 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-214 #214

I'm fond of interesting marina buildings, even if they are new.  This one is the Charleston Harbor Fish House and Marina Store sitting at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant overlooking the bay.

150119_00044150119_00044

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston Harbor Fish House Charleston360 Marina Mount Pleasant Patriots Point SC https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-214 Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #213 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-213 #213

Buzzards!  Hanging out in town, waiting for some easy lunch.

150126_00061a150126_00061a

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Daniel Island bird black buzzard https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-213 Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #212 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-212 #212

Sunrise fountain at Patriots Point, Mount Pleasant.

150119_00018150119_00018

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Patriots Point fountain sunrise https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-212 Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #211 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-211 #211

A fun collage of some of the architectural geometry around downtown Charleston.

140924_00016 trio1140924_00016 trio1

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 architectural geometry deco decorative ironwork round square https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-211 Sun, 15 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #210 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-210 #210

Here is an early morning view of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier which sits retired at Patriots Point, Mount Pleasant.  Across the water is Charleston.

150119_00025150119_00025

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Mount Pleasant Patriots Point SC USS Yorktown https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-210 Sat, 14 Feb 2015 12:48:20 GMT
Charleston360 #209 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-209 #209

I love retro and colorful bikes.  They're everywhere down here.  I've yet to get my own, but soon enough.

150125_00054150125_00054

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 bicycle bike fence https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-209 Sun, 08 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #208 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-208 #208

I love the spanish moss of the south, swaying in the breeze.

150125_00047150125_00047

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 moss spanish moss https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-208 Sat, 07 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #207 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-207 #207

A departing shot from Oyster Fest, empty buckets of belly fillers everywhere.

150125_00046150125_00046

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Boone Hall Plantation" "Oyster Fest" Charleston Charleston360 oyster https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-207 Fri, 06 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #206 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-206 #206

Hungry yet?  Nothing better than southern BBQ.

150125_00023150125_00023

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Boone Hall Plantation Charleston Charleston360 Oyster Fest bbq ribs https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-206 Thu, 05 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Schedule360 #205 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/schedule360-205 #205

A few more of Oyster Fest to show the level of interest this fun event draws.

150125_00031150125_00031 150125_00032150125_00032 150125_00038150125_00038 150125_00040150125_00040

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Boone Hall Plantation" "Oyster Fest" Charleston Charleston360 oyster https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/schedule360-205 Wed, 04 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #204 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-204 #204

Oyster Fest!  The largest oyster festival in the world, right here in Charleston, SC at Boone Hall Plantation.  It brings in well over 11,00 people consuming an estimated 80,00 pounds of oysters each year.

150125_00014150125_00014 150125_00015150125_00015 150125_00017150125_00017

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Boone Hall Plantation" "Oyster Fest" Charleston Charleston360 oyster https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-204 Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #203 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-203 #203

Fields of cotton!  I always wondered what this looked like.

150125_00011150125_00011 150125_00009150125_00009

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Boone Hall Plantation Charleston Charleston360 cotton field https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-203 Mon, 02 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #202 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-202 #202

A popular piece of art here in South Carolina, sweet grass baskets.  Now I understand why they are expensive, there is a lot of work put into weaving them.

150125_00028150125_00028

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 basket oyster sweetgrass https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/2/charleston360-202 Sun, 01 Feb 2015 13:31:35 GMT
Charleston360 #201 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-201 #201

An oyster shell beach along Wando River.

150105_00086150105_00086

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Wando River" Charleston Charleston360 Sunrise dock moss oyster pier river shell https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-201 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #200 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-200 #200

Sunrise on the Wando river.

150105_00006150105_00006

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Wando River" Charleston Charleston360 Sunrise dock moss pier river spanish moss https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-200 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #199 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-199 #199

Its beautiful to me even in monochrome, and I really love my colors so that's saying something!

150105_00041150105_00041

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" Charleston Charleston360 black and white monochrome mystical oak tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-199 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #198 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-198 #198

I took a walk, needed some quiet and beautiful surroundings this day to clear my head some.  This is where I wound up.  Yes, it was this bright and beautiful.  I sat for a bit and soaked it all in. I couldn't help but smile at how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such beauty!

150105_00031150105_00031

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" Charleston Charleston360 mystical oak tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-198 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #197 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-197 #197

Still on Daniel Island looking out over the Wando River.

150105_00010150105_00010

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Mark Clark Expressway" "Wando River" 526 Charleston Charleston360 riverfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-197 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #196 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-196 #196

A sandy beach along the Wando River waterfront in Daniel Island.  

150105_00091150105_00091

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Wando River" Charleston Charleston360 oak riverfront tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-196 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #195 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-195 #195

The many faces of the Wando River.  There really isn't an area around here where one couldn't capture great images!

150105_00063150105_00063

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Mark Clark Expressway" "Wando River" 526 Charleston Charleston360 bridge river riverfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-195 Sun, 25 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #194 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-194 #194

How about another sunrise along the Wando River?

150105_00007150105_00007

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Mark Clark Expressway" "Wando River" 526 Charleston Charleston360 Sunrise dock pier river riverfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-194 Sat, 24 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #193 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-193 #193

Mark Clark Expressway, Highway 526 Bridge over the Wando River going into Mt Pleasant.

150105_00062150105_00062

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Mark Clark Expressway" "Wando River" 526 Charleston Charleston360 bridge river riverfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-193 Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #192 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-192 #193

More of the forgotten Lesene cemetery.

150105_00023150105_00023 150105_00054150105_00054

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Mark Clark Expressway" "Wando River" 526 Charleston Charleston360 Lesene cemetery grave river riverfront tombstone https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-192 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #191 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-191 #191

Sometimes it's easy to forget what progress covers up or destroys.  In this case, a cemetery dating back to the very early 1800s was affected.  This is what remains of the Lesesne family cemetery.  The Mark Clark Expressway (Hwy 526) went through these grounds spanning over the Wando River connecting Daniel Island to Mt Pleasant.  The second photo is what you can see of the bridge through the forgotten grounds.

 

150105_00055150105_00055 150105_00057150105_00057

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Mark Clark Expressway" "Wando River" 526 Charleston Charleston360 Lesene cemetery grave river riverfront tombstone https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-191 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #190 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-190 #190

Loving the sunscapes around here!  This is sunrise on Daniel Island on the Wando River.

150105_00005150105_00005

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Daniel Island" "Mark Clark Expressway" "Wando River" 526 Charleston Charleston360 Sunrise dock pier river riverfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-190 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #189 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-189 #189

One of my most favorite locations, the waterfront on the harbor downtown Charleston.  A lovely pastel sunset painted the sky this evening.

IMG_4879IMG_4879

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina harbor marina sunset waterfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-189 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #188 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-188 #188

Imagine sitting here alongside the river, watching the sunrise.  This park in Beaufort, South Carolina is so beautifully landscaped.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00288141207_00288

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Beaufort Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens South Carolina bench park waterfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-188 Sun, 18 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #187 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-187 #187

Man I love the look of shrimp boats!  This one sits along the river in historic Beaufort, South Carolina.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00287141207_00287

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Beaufort Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens South Carolina boat shrimp boat https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-187 Sat, 17 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #186 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-186 #186

This is the last shot of Savannah as we cross back into South Carolina.  What a grand time in a grand city, so close, I imagine we will make quite a few more visits in the future.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00278141207_00278

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah Savannah River capitol river riverfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-186 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #185 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-185 #185

The Cotton Exchange building is a grand reminder of the heavy influence that cotton had on the local economy.  

 

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00224141207_00224 141207_00226141207_00226

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Cotton Exchange building Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-185 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #184 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-184 #184

The view here in Savannah is so magical, I honestly felt like we were in an old city somewhere far across the ocean.  It really didn't seem like home was a short drive away.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00215141207_00215 141207_00228141207_00228 141207_00236141207_00236

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia River Street Savannah Savannah River street https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-184 Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #183 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-183 #183

Ah, the speak-easy.  Hidden along the back alley of River Street, Savannah, this still popular libation location is where only members or 'key holders' are allowed entry.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00209-2141207_00209-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia River Street Savannah alley speak easy street https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-183 Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #182 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-182 #182

The back alley of River Street, Savannah Georgia.  It really felt like we were taking a step back in time.  I couldn't help but wonder how many drunk sailors, pirates and 'ladies of the night' stumbled through these very alleys in the early 1800s.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00203141207_00203

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia River Street Savannah alley street https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-182 Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #181 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-181 #181

I love this memorial.  It's sheer size was impressive.  It sits at the end of River Street, Savannah Georgia.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00189141207_00189

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia River Street Savannah WW2 Memorial memorial https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-181 Sun, 11 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #180 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-180 #180

Getting some lattes from a greek cafe on a cool December morning along River Street.  This jolly fella was our greek 'baristo'.

 

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00186141207_00186

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia River Street Savannah The Olympian Cafe baristo coffee https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-180 Sat, 10 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #179 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-179 #179

Gulls circling in search of food leftover by tourists walking along River Street, Savannah Georgia.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00179141207_00179

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah bird building seagull https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-179 Fri, 09 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #178 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-178 #178

Here are some scenes from River Street, Savannah Georgia.  I loved the energy of this area.  Even in the morning when shops were just opening and few were on the street, there was an exciting vibe.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00174141207_00174 141207_00176141207_00176 141207_00193141207_00193

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia River Street Savannah pirate street https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-178 Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #177 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-177 #177

I adore the nautical decor of Savannah's riverfront.  Heavily influenced by pirates, obviously.

 

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00167141207_00167

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia River Street Savannah pirate street https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-177 Wed, 07 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #176 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-176 #176

Savannah's riverfront lies below downtown, and as a result, many old cobblestone stairways still remain to gain access to the River Street area.  I'm told that sailors used to hide their gold under some of these stone, in hopes of saving it from robbery should they be the victim of an attack.

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00239141207_00239 141207_00165141207_00165 141206_00073141206_00073 141206_00076141206_00076

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah historic stairs street https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-176 Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #175 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-175 #175

Inside the historic 250 year old Pirates House, Savannah Georgia.  Ghosts of departed sailors are rumored to be walking these halls.  None were found on our visit, sadly.

 

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00244141207_00244 141207_00248141207_00248 141207_00251141207_00251 141207_00254141207_00254

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Pirates House Savannah haunted pirate https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-175 Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #174 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-174 #174

Part of Savannah's rich history is that laid by pirates!  This building (or combination of buildings) are the oldest in the State.  With being constructed in 1734, and being the watering hole for many sailors and pirates that found their way here, you can only imagine how much history echoes through these walls.

Tunnels ran under its foundation leading out to the river.   Many unsuspecting young men came to the tavern to enjoy in drink and carry on with others, and instead they were carried away, shanghaied through these tunnels out to awaiting ships where they were sold and enslaved.

 

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

141207_00157141207_00157 141207_00239141207_00239 141207_00161141207_00161

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Pirates House Savannah pirate https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-174 Sun, 04 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #173 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-173 #173

One of the highlights of our Savannah visit was the haunted tour of the most haunted parts of the city (which also included the most haunted house in the United States).

(For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!)

 

Of course, there had to be a full moon on this walking tour.

141206_00132141206_00132

Below is a photo of the Marshall House, used as a war hospital in its day.  They performed so many amputations on one level, they started disposing of the dismembered limbs beneath the floorboard.  They say only recently did they discover the bones beneath the floor during a renovation.

141206_00119141206_00119

This graveyard is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a little boy.

141206_00134141206_00134

The ghosts of children that perished during an orphanage fire haunt this vacant building.

141206_00153141206_00153

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah creepy haunted moon night scary spooky https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-173 Sat, 03 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #172 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-172 #172

This is Art.  No, really, his name is Art.  He is a piece of art sponsored by the Savannah College of Art and Design.

 

For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!

141206_00120141206_00120

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah art https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-172 Fri, 02 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #171 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-171 #171

Today is my birthday!  Have a drink on me!

Here we enjoy a dark and stormy before a Savannah ghost tour; this is one of my husbands favorite cocktails.  Appropriately named for it's look of dark and stormy skies over a calm sea.

 

For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!

141206_00113141206_00113

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah bar cocktail dark and stormy drink tavern https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2015/1/charleston360-171 Thu, 01 Jan 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #170 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-170 #170

A historic train car at the Savannah Visitors Center.

 

For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!

141206_00085141206_00085

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah railroad train https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-170 Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #169 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-169 #169

The Savannah Capitol building, shot from a few different angles.

 

For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!

141206_00053141206_00053 141207_00218141207_00218 141206_00057141206_00057

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens Georgia Savannah capitol https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-169 Tue, 30 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #168 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-168 #168

While on our walkabout downtown Savannah, we stopped for refreshments.  This is my first taste of raspberry moonshine.  Pretty tasty!

For the photography enthusiasts, this was shot with a cheap $20 CCTV 35mm f1.7 manual lens on my Fuji mirrorless.  I found I really really enjoyed shooting with this little nugget!

141206_00052141206_00052

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Georgia Savannah bar drink raspberry moonshine tavern https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-168 Mon, 29 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #167 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-167 #167

Another monument in Forsyth Park, this one is the Confederate Memorial monument, dedicated to those who gave their lives fighting for the Confederacy.

141206_00046141206_00046

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Confederate Memorial Forsyth Park Georgia Savannah memorial park statue https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-167 Sun, 28 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #166 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-166 #166

This is a fountain in Forsyth Park, Savannah Georgia.  As we were told, it was actually ordered from a catalog and erected in 1858!  It is one of four such fountains, designed to resemble the beautiful fountain in Paris at Place de la Concorde.

 

141206_00044141206_00044

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Forsyth Park Fountain Georgia Savannah fountain park https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-166 Sat, 27 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #165 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-165 #165

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Back to business.  

Where were we?  Ah yes, back to our local get-away to nearby Savannah, Georgia.

Yeap, I love cool retro looking bikes.  In an historic town with so much urban ornamental decor, this bike was begging to be photographed in these surroundings.  

141206_00034141206_00034

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Georgia Savannah bike street yellow https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-165 Fri, 26 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Merry Christmas from the Coast https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/merry-christmas-from-the-coast No Charleston360 post today, I take liberty to use one of my 5 allowed days off from it.  Instead, I say Merry Christmas from the coast!  No snow? Well, here's a sandman instead of a snowman, enjoying a sunset.

I'm delighted to be away from the warm southern weather to spend some time in wintery Wisconsin today with loved ones and family I haven't seen for a while.

Merry Christmas!

141129_00433a141129_00433a

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/merry-christmas-from-the-coast Wed, 24 Dec 2014 13:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #164 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-164 #164

Such a nautical town.  This is a fountain sculpture along River Street, Savannah GA.

141206_00010141206_00010

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Georgia Savannah boat fountain sculpture https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-164 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #163 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-163 #163

This is a view of the Old Talmadge Memorial Bridge which spans the Savannah River.  This river is the route of many cargo ships, sail boats and tugs like the little tug in this photo.  A very busy river indeed.

141206_00006141206_00006

141207_00182141207_00182

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Georgia Old Talmadge Memorial Bridge Savannah Savannah River boat river riverboat tug https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-163 Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #162 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-162 #162

A tall ship docked along the Savannah River.

141206_00004141206_00004

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Georgia Savannah Savannah River river tall ship https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-162 Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #161 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-161 #161

While most of you start traveling for Christmas, I will take you back to our recent little get-away. 

When you want a little vacation, but don't want to travel far from Charleston, where do you go?  Savannah, Georgia.

I revealed some of the holiday light photos earlier, and will now share the rest of my favorite shots from this lovely nearby city.

141206_00003141206_00003

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Georgia Savannah Savannah River river riverboat https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-161 Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #160 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-160 #160

Looks like a friend of our pet hedgehog.  Really, its a common sea urchin found in the tidal areas along our coast.

IMG_4802IMG_4802

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 aquarium sea urchin urchin https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-160 Sat, 20 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #159 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-159 #159

Hangin Out.

This is a unique look at the local alligators!

IMG_4804IMG_4804

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 alligator aquarium gator https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-159 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #158 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-158 #158

Here is a friendly face at the aquarium where I volunteer.

IMG_4809IMG_4809

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 aquarium octopus https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-158 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #157 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-157 #157

Can you see them?  Look closely.  
Flounder buried under the sand in hopes of hiding.  

IMG_4812IMG_4812

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 aquarium fish flounder https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-157 Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #156 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-156 #156

A fun part of their tradition in Savannah is a parade along River Street.  This was my favorite 'float'.

141206_00099141206_00099

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Christmas Coca-Cola Coke Georgia Savannah lights street https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-156 Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #155 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-155 #155

A few more lovely decorations near the area, but the lack of snow makes it seem a little less festive.  

These were from Savannah, Georgia.  Average temps here are around 60 degrees during the day.  A short drive for a fun get-away.  Much as I miss seeing snow for Christmas, I do love the comfortable weather for outdoor activities!

141206_00084141206_00084 141206_00117141206_00117 141206_00155141206_00155

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Christmas Georgia Savannah lights street https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-155 Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #154 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-154 #154

Getting ever closer to Christmas Day, and I still love seeing all the decorations out there.

141206_00068141206_00068

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas Georgia Savannah decoration ornament tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-154 Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #153 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-153 #153

My kind of Christmas decorations!

141207_00281141207_00281

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas Georgia Savannah decoration ornament tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-153 Sat, 13 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #152 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-152 #152

Saved the best for last on the holiday light show!

141202_00082a141202_00082a

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas James Island County Park Festival of Lights blur holiday lights https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-152 Fri, 12 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #151 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-151 #141

This one is my favorite light display.  I love spanish moss, and to make the lights resemble that was a cool idea!

141202_00092141202_00092

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas James Island County Park Festival of Lights holiday lights spanish moss https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-151 Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #150 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-150 #150

Another take on speeding through the lights!

141202_00089141202_00089

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas James Island County Park Festival of Lights holiday lights https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-150 Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #149 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-149 #149

Warp speed!

141202_00068141202_00068

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas James Island County Park Festival of Lights holiday lights https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-149 Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #147 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-147 #147

While the snow is missing, having lights on the water is kind of pretty.

141202_00041141202_00041

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas James Island County Park Festival of Lights holiday lights https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-147 Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #146 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-146 #146

We took a "train" ride through this tunnel.

141202_00039141202_00039

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas James Island County Park Festival of Lights blue bridge holiday lights tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-146 Sat, 06 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #145 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-145 #145

Of course, palm trees even get lit up!

141202_00035141202_00035

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas James Island County Park Festival of Lights holiday lights palm https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-145 Fri, 05 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #144 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-144 #144

With Christmas trees comes holiday light displays.  The next few days will be photos from our visit to the James Island County Park Festival of Lights.  Somehow, it just isn't the same without snow.

Keep up, I'm saving the best one for last!

141202_00029141202_00029

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV Movie lens holiday tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-144 Thu, 04 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #143 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-143 #143

It's officially that time of year!  We went to get our tree last night.  I brought my camera with a new $20 cheap-o lens I wanted to play with.  This is the result.  I kinda like the effect it gives, fun little investment.

141202_00011141202_00011

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Christmas Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV Movie lens holiday tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-143 Wed, 03 Dec 2014 15:05:25 GMT
Charleston360 #142 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-142 #142

Truckin. 

141126_00044141126_00044

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 highway stop traffic truck trucking https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-142 Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #141 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-141 #141

Dusk begins another day's work at the mills along the Cooper River.

141126_00023141126_00023

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cooper River dawn mill river https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/12/charleston360-141 Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #140 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-140 #140

Fall leaves still litter the sidewalks.  More of that cool snake grass in the background.

141125_00012141125_00012

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 colorful colors fall green leaf leaves snake grass yellow https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-140 Sun, 30 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #139 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-139 #139

Snake grass.  I love the patterns it makes.

141125_00001141125_00001

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 snake grass https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-139 Sat, 29 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #138 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-138 #138

More from the fog.  This time, with an old photo feel.  Simply a shrimp boat waiting to start the day fishing.  I think I love these old boats, I need to find more of them to photograph.

141124_00001141124_00001

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 boat fishing shrimp https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-138 Fri, 28 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #137 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-137 #137

Strange weather on this morning...  warmer than normal temps, misty fog evaporating over the river as the bridge disappeared into the bright fog with the sun shining bright- it made everything glow.  This little boat was shining proud and bright under that fading bridge.

141124_00003141124_00003

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 boat bridge https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-137 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #136 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-136 #136

I don't know what this remodel is leading to, but I would go just for their vibrant color!  What a great repurpose of screen door frames.

141124_00013141124_00013

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 colorful colors https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-136 Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #135 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-135 #135

With colder temps here, I think of warm sweaters and cozy scarves made of cotton.  Ever wonder what it looks like when it's just picked?  Here are some cotton clusters mingled with ivory seashells.  Yes, they go together!  They are both found right here in South Carolina.

141123_00002t141123_00002t

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 cotton cream ivory shells seashells white https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-135 Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #134 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-134 #134

I clearly am attracted to old and abandoned buildings and structures.  Sometimes I wish I were more of an Urban Explorer, but for safety, I generally don't poke around where I am not welcome.  This is part of the current Amtrak station in Charleston which is still in operation.  Although it has a newer building, the passenger canopy that extends over the tracks is still old and quite interesting looking.

141122_00007141122_00007

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 train https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-134 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #133 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-133 #133

A new view of Charleston.  See it, waaaaay out there in the middle?  That's the bustling business district of downtown bordered by a marina filled with yachts and boats, a different look than the historic cobblestone we're used to seeing.

141120_00020141120_00020

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 bridge harbor yacht https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-133 Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #132 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-132 #132

Take a walk with me!  While I'm seeing all the snow accumulating up north, here we still have fall colors.

141119_00008141119_00008

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 fall path https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-132 Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #131 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-131 #131

Walking by a shop, the vibrant strawflowers caught my eye, and then dropped in this busy little bee!  It's November and I'm still seeing signs of summer.  I just love living in the south.

IMG_4648IMG_4648

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 bee flower strawflower https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-131 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #130 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-130 #130

Another view from the aquarium boardwalk.  The flags seemed too iconic not to photograph, especially with the bridge in the background.

IMG_4645IMG_4645

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston Harbor Charleston360 boat flag harbor ocean ship https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-130 Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #129 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-129 #129

I volunteer at the South Carolina Aquarium once a week.  This is the view from it's lower deck.  A lovely view of the harbor, which in this case had a container ship docked while loading.  It was actually pretty cool to see.  On any normal day, I can also see anywhere from 20-50 dolphins playing in the harbor.  I love spending time at the aquarium.

IMG_4640IMG_4640

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston Harbor Charleston360 harbor ocean ship https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-129 Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #128 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-128 #128

One last fun shot from my client shoot.  Looks so romantic, huh?  Let me give you the back story.  My client has a business site she is creating, and needed love-themed images.  I thought of this while driving over, stopped and got a rose and asked a complete stranger in a coffee shop if he would be willing to hold it while standing in front of her, so I could catch this classic image.

How does this fit into my Charleston360 theme?  Well, its a glimpse of what I am up to out here!

141112_00009141112_00009

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 believe couple flowers love rose https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-128 Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #127 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-127 #127

While shooting with a client near Folly Beach, we encountered this adorable couple, sitting together watching the sunset.  I asked them if I could take their picture because they looked so happy and in love, and they were more than happy to oblige.  I sat next to them to talk a bit while waiting for a quick wardrobe change with my client.  They went on to tell me how they met in Italy, her a fetchingly beautiful young native and he a love-struck young service man that was stationed there.  He told me, "one look at her and I knew she had to come back home with me".  She tried to teach me a little italian.  "Molto importante" is what she taught me, that love is "very important".

141112_00235141112_00235

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Folly Beach beach believe couple elderly inspiration love sunset https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-127 Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #126 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-126 #126

Gosh, I LOVE the beach!  Folly Beach at sunset here.

141112_00301141112_00301

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Folly Beach beach believe dream inspiration love nautical ocean sunset https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-126 Sun, 16 Nov 2014 14:33:18 GMT
Charleston360 #125 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-125 #125

While most of my friends are digging out of over a foot of snow, I'm still finding flowers! My most favorite flower (take note ;) is a zinnia.  Obviously because of their differing vibrant colors, but also because they make an awesome cut flower.  

Yup, an added texture/effect to this photo.

141110_00012p141110_00012p

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 floral flowers pink zinnia https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-125 Sat, 15 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #124 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-124 #124

Another still-life from home.  If you know me, you know how obsessed I am with sea shells (also much to my husbands dismay). It's a recurring theme throughout the house.  The big (9") spiny conch in the background has been in my family since I was a toddler.  I'm not sure where my mom got it, but I'm quite certain its the root to my love of sea shells!

141109_00004p141109_00004p

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 nautical sea sea shell shell still life https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-124 Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #123 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-123 #123

Another image of fall colors!  This one was quite difficult to get to for photographing.

It was simply so pretty, I had to capture it.  I love how the white offsets the vibrant colors along the canal.  The fall colors are almost gone around here.

141110_00009p141110_00009p

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 autumn fall leaves https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-123 Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #122 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-122 #122

If you recall, my goal with Charleston360 is to force myself to shoot more (much to my husbands dismay). Even in the comfort of my own home.  What better place to shoot a few still-lifes?

141109_00002141109_00002

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 still life wine https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-122 Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:37:24 GMT
Charleston360 #121 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-121 #121

I love the fair!  Especially at night.  This was just recently at the Coastal Carolina Fair in South Carolina.  A fair in the fall?  Why not!!  

141104_00032141104_00032

141104_00038141104_00038 141104_00052141104_00052

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Coastal Carolina Fair" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 fair ferris wheel https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-121 Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #120 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-120 #120

After leaving Botany Bay Plantation, we drove into Edisto for some lunch, and to warm up a little.  We found a place to eat with this for the view.  Imagine seeing this view with a big storm rolling in.  While it was a little stormy this day, the view was still very moving.  We even saw dolphins playing in the waves.  Sadly, I didn't get a shot of them.

141101_00130141101_00130 141101_00128141101_00128

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Botany Bay" Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Edisto beach ocean tide https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-120 Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #119 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-119 #119

Leaving Botany Bay Plantation.

141101_00123141101_00123

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Botany Bay" Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Edisto beach ocean tide https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-119 Sun, 09 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #118 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-118 #118

Another path within Botany Bay Plantation on Edisto Island.

141101_00110141101_00110

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Botany Bay" Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Edisto beach ocean tide https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-118 Sat, 08 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #117 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-117 #117

Edisto Bone Trees 

A few depictions.  Motion blur of the waves, then a little different feel with the waves crashing around the trees, and lastly a monochrome for more mood.  Remember, this day was a cold and blustery one.  I think these show the mood well.  Now, imagine the sun rising on the horizon, that's my next goal!!

141101_00054141101_00054 141101_00058141101_00058 141101_00051141101_00051

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Botany Bay" Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Edisto beach bone tree ocean tide https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-117 Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #116 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-116 #116

Back at Botany Bay Plantation, on the beach.

I was overjoyed when I saw this beach!  I've seen many photographs of the 'bone trees' of Edisto, but didn't know they'd be this beautiful.

This beach is a protected piece of the Botany Bay Plantation.  These trees are what remain of a beach oak forest.  Though these trees get a pounding every day from the tides, their dense oak helps to preserve them.  Now, they stand as a popular attraction on Edisto Island.

Tomorrow, I will share my version of the ever-photographed bone trees in the tide.  141101_00039141101_00039 141101_00035141101_00035

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Botany Bay" Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Edisto beach ocean seashells shells tide https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-116 Thu, 06 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
The Mercantile https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/the-mercantile I decided to share a short story I wrote a few years back.  I don't know how, but I had forgotten about it.  So, here it is... with photos to go with!!

 

The Mercantile

Salt water is splashing down on the nearby shore. I’m standing in the middle of a peculiar shop filled with riches plucked from the ocean and abandoned furniture revitalized with a fresh flair… and I’m grinning from ear to ear.  For over thirty years, my life drifted through the seasons in a rural farming town in Northwestern Wisconsin, nowhere near the salty ocean.  I knew nothing more than storybook winters filled with snow while looking forward to the hot sticky summer days where we could be fishing alongside the local potholes, or chasing fireflies under the heavy cloak of a country night.


My childhood memories now play in my head like an old Country Time lemonade commercial. I remember like it was yesterday, the sunny afternoons I carried coffee out to my dad while he was busy working the rolling fields then running up the hill to play in the apple orchard trees. The spring mornings where songbirds carol in the lilac bushes below my bedroom window in the farmhouse; their fragrance wafts through the open window and, even now, I can hear the curtains rustle in the sweet perfume of that breeze.

 

Times may have been tough for my folks, who spent endless hours tending to the rigors of our dairy farm.  They exchanged that life for the tumultuous endeavor of running a small general store and animal rehabilitation farm, but they never once left my four siblings or I to enjoy anything less than the good life.  They instilled within each of us devoted gratitude and a strong work ethic. To this day, they continue to support and encourage us all as we travel along through our own adventures in life.

My mom possesses a fine appreciation for antiques and can reanimate the old and broken.  Dad has an uncanny knack for craftsmanship and can build, fix or mend virtually anything he gets his hands on. Though I have learned to appreciate these attributes in more recent years, as a child my head was in the clouds, or rather, in the ocean. The collections I’d amassed throughout my youth consisted of a colorful bounty of seashells and corals. I buried my nose in the writings of Jacques Cousteau and seashell encyclopedias, daydreaming about becoming a marine biologist, but never believing I would leave Wisconsin to see the ocean firsthand.


Guided by my zeal and with my family’s support, my adventures eventually led me to the coast. The beaches lining South Carolina were my first taste of coastal living.  Since then, my life has led me to relish the allures of the Pacific Northwest, and yes, this is a stunningly beautiful place to live.
Being from a mid-states farm, I never knew how mesmerizing seaside towns could be, nor could I have fully anticipated the magnitude of the ocean’s wonder.  The waves unfurling, reaching as if to beckon me nearer.  Their mystery hugs my expanding imagination, relentless in retreat, but I prefer it this way. The song of the sea rolls through my soul with an earthy heartbeat. The tincture of the briny air tattoos itself upon my senses.  I suspect the ocean has this effect on everybody, though I like to believe we have a secret kinship.


It's in the little treasures, like those found in this mercantile, that I find the perfect balance between my rural childhood and the enchantments of the ocean.  Country bumpkin meets beachy chic in splendid accord with rustic grace and beauty. It takes me back and carries me away all at the same time.

My Zen is here, in this quaint shop. Comforts of antiques and refurbished pearls of past, mingled with seashells and nautical embellishments, clamoring together to make serene harmony that begs my eclectic spirit to dance. Twine ropes and barn boards married to barnacles and anchors have my name etched upon their lingering rust and tattered fibers as they lie in wait for life anew. I can hear the echoes of my youth reverberate as the ocean does from within the purloined conch shell. Everything seems to tell the story of my journey from life on the simple farm to my undying romance with the ocean.  

 

“Yes, I do believe I have just the spot for you,” I say to each newly acquired fragment of seaside heaven. I think fondly of how much Mom and Dad would appreciate this place; both the mercantile itself and where I have am in life.  Here in both, I feel like a kid again.


“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonders forever.”  Jacques-Yves Cousteau

 

GardenGarden

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) antique flea market mercantile nautical https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/the-mercantile Wed, 05 Nov 2014 13:46:08 GMT
Charleston360 #115 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-115 #116

Lets continue on our trip to Edisto, Botany Bay Plantation.

After a frigid half mile walk along a well-worn path, we found ourselves at the beach.  Now remember, I'm from Wisconsin, and I know what cold weather is, but this was down right freezing (for Charleston area).  40 degrees with strong and shear winds and freezing rain.  Not my idea of a comfortable walk, but totally worth the numb ears and fingers.

The path led us to another 'island', really just the start of the beach surrounded by more wetlands.  Imagine walking into an open jungle area near the ocean on an abandoned island; palms, vines, spanish moss all blowing with the sound of waves crashing nearby.  A path leading toward those waves, but not quite in sight yet.  I was so giddy, it really felt like I was in a movie, about to discover a long lost treasure.

Then the path opened to the beach and I was breathless.  I'm a seashell nut, so to see the abundance of such fine specimens was overwhelming.  (Strict DNR rules not to remove any shells or artifacts from this property.) 

There were shells hanging from every tree and every branch within reach.  It was as if that is how visitors signed in to the beach's guest book.

Tomorrow, see what totally blew me away.  I was expecting this amazing view, but to see it first hand was out of this world!

141101_00096141101_00096 141101_00097141101_00097

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Botany Bay" Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Edisto beach ocean seashells shells tide https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-115 Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #112 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-112 #112

Went on an unexpected trip to Botany Bay Plantation this day.  It was a cold and very blustery day; 40 degrees and freezing rain.  It did not seem to take away from how magical this place is!  
We got lucky.  Access is closed off during most of October through December for hunting.  We chanced it, and when we saw the gate open, I was thrilled!  You'll see why in upcoming photos.  Its beaches are wild and absolutely beautiful.

Its history began in 1798, or somewhere around there.  It's said to be one the last plantations (if not the last) actually on the ocean.

This is just one of many roads running through the 3,360 acre property.

In this scene, there are wetlands on either side of the road, leading into a forested area where the wet and cold mood of the day left me waiting for Swam Thing to emerge from the swamp.

141101_00106-2141101_00106-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Botany Bay" Atlantic Charleston Charleston360 Edisto path road https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-112 Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #111 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-111 #111

A morning view of the Charleston City Marina, just after the fog cleared.  An hour earlier, this would have been a cool shot!

141028_00029141028_00029

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston City Marina Charleston360 harbor marina wetlands https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-111 Mon, 03 Nov 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #110 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-110 #110

Another Charleston Harbor view, this time from Fleet Landing restaurant in Charleston.

141025_00135-2 copy141025_00135-2 copy

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 harbor waterfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-110 Sun, 02 Nov 2014 12:37:49 GMT
Charleston360 #109 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-109 #109

Scenic rest along the path in the park, with a view of Charleston Harbor.

141025_00130141025_00130

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 River Front Park bench park https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/11/charleston360-109 Sun, 02 Nov 2014 12:36:24 GMT
Charleston360 #108 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-108 #64

Here is one for Halloween for everybody.

Stormy skies and decaying trees with moss blowing in the wind.  I half expected to see The Swamp Thing come creeping out.

140907_00026140907_00026

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina spooky tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-108 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #107 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-107 #107

Just in time for Halloween, here are some zombies from our recent Run Dead race in Charleston.  These things actually chased us through the trails!  I don't think I've ever ran so fast in my life!

141025_00155141025_00155 141025_00149141025_00149 141025_00142141025_00142

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Halloween clown costume zombie https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-107 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #106 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-106 #106

Charlie!!  Remember my earlier post about the famous gator, Charlie?  Well, he was out sun bathing this day!  Figure his wife, to his left, is about 8 feet long, he is twice that size!  He looked so fat he could barely move.  Their little family of over 10 babies gathered around again for us to feed.  They average around 3 feet in length.

141025_00070141025_00070 141025_00073141025_00073

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Charlie alligator gator https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-106 Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #105 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-105 #105

Are you tired of seeing avenues of beautiful trees draped in spanish moss?  Not me!  Found this one on the Navy base here.

141025_00009141025_00009

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 fall moss oak trail https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-105 Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #104 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-104 #104

A peaceful morning view from James Island; across the water (Charleston Harbor), is the city of Charleston and the Ravenel Bridge.  The rosy glow is what was left of that morning's sunrise.  Too bad I didn't get there a little sooner.

141021_00069-2141021_00069-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 James Island bench harbor palm https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-104 Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #103 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-103 #103

Fort Johnson, James Island, South Carolina.  
April 12, 1861, the first shot of the War of Secession was fired from here by the Confederate State Army.  It exploded over nearby Fort Sumter, the beginning of a four year war.

141021_00058141021_00058

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Fort Johnson" Charleston Charleston360 James Island South Carolina https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-103 Sun, 26 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #102 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-102 #102

Dinner time!!  Mama 'gator watches as her not-so-little ones scamper up to feed. Lots more pics to see here, read on.

The largest 'gator you see here lurking in the water was mom, of course.  The dad was not visible this day.  His name is Charlie and is said to be over twice as large as this female.  The rest are the babies, which we counted 10 of at one point.

Their story; Charlie resides in a fenced in water reservoir.  These reservoirs are all fenced in, for security reasons, not to keep any animals captive.  Charlie is a bit of a celebrity due to his size.  He likely remains here because he is fed so often by visitors.  Most of these 'gators can come and go through culverts or canals between reservoirs.  I suspect this family may remain because they enjoy the ease of feeding.

Charlie himself was last measured at approximately 13 feet long, over 830 pounds, and at an estimated age of 25 years old.

141020_00033141020_00033

141020_00005141020_00005 141020_00007141020_00007 141020_00011141020_00011 141020_00016141020_00016 141020_00025141020_00025 141020_00029141020_00029 141020_00031141020_00031 141020_00035141020_00035 141020_00046141020_00046 141020_00052141020_00052

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 alligator gator https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-102 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #101 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-101 #101

Sunset from my back yard.  That's all.

141019_00218141019_00218

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 sunset https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-101 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #100 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-100 #100

Halloween.  I adore how creative some people get with their decorations!

141018_00079141018_00079

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Halloween autumn fall scarecrow https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-100 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #99 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-99 #99

I love this view.  This is along the waterfront near the Charleston Maritime Center.  It is such a lovely location, I think I'll revisit a few times.  Believe it or not, you can actually watch dolphin playing in these waters most days.

The Ravenel Bridge is in the background.

141016_00295141016_00295

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Ravenel Bridge bridge harbor marina https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-99 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #98 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-98 #98

Flowers trying to make an old rusty fence look pretty.

141016_00003141016_00003

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 fence floral flowers https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-98 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #97 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-97 #97

I drive by this place twice a day.  It always has a line outside it every morning.  I'm in love with colorful scenes and unique settings.  This one takes the cake.  I stopped by during lunch to snap a quick shot, and met the owner, Terry.  After checking out their home cooked lunch selections, I totally understand the draw; everything smelled and looked so delicious and their prices were insanely inexpensive.  Contrary to the name, they serve more than fish, quite a varied selection.  I MUST try this place soon.

The Fish Hut, Charleston

141015_00015 a141015_00015 a

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Fish Hut https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-97 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #96 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-96 #96

This is Dolphin Cove Marina in Charleston.  It seems rather hidden and not as popular as its remnants indicate it once was.  Pretty cool little marina none the less!

141015_00011141015_00011

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Dolphin Cove Marina dock marina https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-96 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #95 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-95 #95

I see the light!  

You could interpret that any way you like.  Are you a Lightstalker (photographer) or do you see religion here?  Why not both...

141015_00005141015_00005

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 church cross religious https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-95 Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #94 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-94 #94

View from down here...

flying highflying high

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 bug hornet sky wasp https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-94 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #93 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-93 #93

Stained glass windows in a favorite restaurant of mine, with a painterly touch added by me.

stained glassstained glass

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 color colorful stained glass window https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-93 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #92 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-92 #92

Simple monarch atop the weeds in a swamp.  Ok, so the weeds were so ugly, I had to do something with them to enhance the photo.  

140928_00076_sketch140928_00076_sketch

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 butterfly monarch https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-92 Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #91 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-91 #91

Ah, more mossy oaks.  Botany Bay Road, Edisto, SC.  I also had some fun making this into a fall digital art piece, see additional photo.

140927_00032p-2140927_00032p-2 140927_00032p_fall140927_00032p_fall

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Botany Bay Road" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 Edisto fall oak path tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-91 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #90 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-90 #90

When I walk along the trails in the woods and see groups of mushrooms like this, so colorful and perfect, I feel like I'm walking through an enchanted forest.  You know I'll never pass up a chance to photograph mushrooms.  I have a few vantage points here of these little beauties. 

140928_00111140928_00111 140928_00117140928_00117 140928_00120140928_00120

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "America Amanita caesaria" Charleston Charleston360 fungi mushroom https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-90 Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #89 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-89 #89

It's times like this when I wish I had a macro lens!  I can only imagine how stunning this fly would have been.  Let me tell you though, aside from his jet black coloring and giant matte eyes, his sheer size amazed me.  Look at the photo below, he was at least an inch long!  I identified it as a common Black Horse Fly.  I hope to never get bitten by one of these!

140928_00098140928_00098 140928_00067140928_00067

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Black Horse Fly (Tabanus atratus)" Charleston Charleston360 bugs fly https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-89 Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #88 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-88 #88

So many critters to see around here!  This guy was about 2.5 inches long, resting on a stem in the swamp at Marrington Plantation.  I attempted identification of him, and I believe he is a Banded Sphinx of some sort.  He blended so well with the pinkish stems around him, I almost missed him.

140928_00096140928_00096 140928_00093140928_00093

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Banded Sphinx Charleston Charleston360 Eumorpha fasciatus catepillar https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-88 Sat, 11 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #87 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-87 #87

I love the big old oaks around here.  This one rests at Marrington Plantation overlooking a swamp.

140928_00081140928_00081

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Marrington Plantation" Charleston Charleston360 oak spanish moss tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-87 Fri, 10 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #86 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-86 #86

This one is in honor of the latest season of one of my favorite shows, The Walking Dead.  For the other fans out there, can't you just see the zombies come staggering out from the far edges of the woods?

140928_00124_chalk140928_00124_chalk

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Dead End eerie spooky https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-86 Thu, 09 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #85 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-85 #85

Quite an inviting scene.  

140927_00037paint140927_00037paint

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 church https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-85 Wed, 08 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #84 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-84 #84

Birdhouses for sale!  Another roadside business around here.

140927_00034140927_00034

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Edisto" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 birdhouse https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-84 Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #83 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-83 #83

The neat burly texture of a tree trunk.

140927_00014140927_00014

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Edisto" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 burl grain woods https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-83 Mon, 06 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #82 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-82 #82

Remember yesterday's post, LOST?

Well, this is what you see when you cleared the brush on the trail to the beach.

140927_00011140927_00011

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Edisto" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 beach trail https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-82 Sun, 05 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #81 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-81 #81

LOST

That is what this scene reminded me of, if any of you were fans of the show.  It's the overgrown path to a beach.

140927_00007140927_00007

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Edisto" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 beach trail https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-81 Sat, 04 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #80 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-80 #80

Backyard buddies, I just love these little guys.

140818_00006140818_00006

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charleston360" Charleston critter toad https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-80 Fri, 03 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #79 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-79 #79

A path within Magnolia Cemetery.  

140821_00038140821_00038

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 Magnolia Cemetery brick bridge path https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-79 Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #78 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-78 #78

Sun setting on the Cooper River.

140831_00003140831_00003

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Cooper River" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 river sunset https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/10/charleston360-78 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #77 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-77 #77

Signs of the times.  Just an old neon sign on a building in Charleston.

140906_00015-2140906_00015-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Signs of the Times" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 hamburgers https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-77 Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #76 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-76 #76

A tiny bit of sunshine for you all.  (For the techies, I used a bokehlicious lens at f1.2 to achieve this, no post processing techniques.  Those are pine needles in the background.)

140910_00003140910_00003

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 daisy floral flowers yellow https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-76 Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #75 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-75 #75

Some of the abandoned buildings around Charleston.

140924_00014140924_00014

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 abandoned architecture ramshackle https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-75 Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #74 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-74 #74

Well, it's just pretty.  Peeling colorful paint with pretty purple flowers.  I love how a lot of local buildings are such vibrant colors!!

140924_00019140924_00019

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 floral paint https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-74 Sat, 27 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #73 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-73 #73

Ugly Duckling?

Well, Momma Duck isn't the prettiest thing, but she sure has some little cuties!  I was surprised to find these little newbies this time of year.  September seems pretty late to be hatching yet, no?

140924_00006140924_00006

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 duck ducklings https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-73 Fri, 26 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #72 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-72 #72

Mark my words... One day I will be bitten or stung by one of these buggars.

I found it on my patio door, and gingerly moved it to my banana plant so it could go on about its business.  I talked to it a bit, and noticed how 'friendly' and calm it was, which led me to think of it as cute.  I really need to be more careful.

This particular spider is a Green Lynx (Peucetia Viridans), capable of squirting venom up to one foot, and able to inflict painful venomous bites on humans.  The female is very protective of its egg sac.

This one was around the size of a 50-cent piece, including legs.  Its beautiful vibrant green coloring with the very hairy legs is what drew me to 'save' it from being slammed in the patio door.  Its a very pretty looking specimen, but obviously dangerous.  

Sigh.  When will I learn?

140916_00003140916_00003 140916_00011140916_00011 140916_00013140916_00013 140916_00020140916_00020

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Green Lynx" "Peucetia Viridans" Charleston Charleston360 arachnid spider https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-72 Thu, 25 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #71 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-71 #71

Shrooms!  Under the shade of a palm.

140915_00010140915_00010

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 fungi mushrooms https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-71 Wed, 24 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #70 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-70 #70

I'm simply at a loss for identification of this pretty little fella.  Some kind of swallowtail?  I'll throw in extra photos in case anybody wants to take a stab at identifying him (her?).

140912_00042140912_00042 140912_00051140912_00051 140912_00059140912_00059

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 blue butterfly moth https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-70 Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #69 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-69 #69

I love these little guys!  They are everywhere! Green Anoles, in this case, a male trying to court a female nearby.

140912_00026140912_00026

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" "green anole" Charleston Charleston360 lizard https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-69 Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #68 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-68 #68

Land of a thousand suns!  With the heat down here, it sure can feel like it.  I like making starbursts, as my husband will testify.  This one turned out better than I expected.

140912_00013140912_00013

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" "sun flare" Charleston Charleston360 leaf tree https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-68 Sun, 21 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #67 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-67 #67

Just another bug.  Sometimes I think I should have been an entomologist.

 I found this cicada laying in the driveway.  He was so large, I had to pick him up and inspect.  Insect wings always draw my curiosity, especially when they are this big.

140911_00055140911_00055

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 bugs cicada lace wing https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-67 Sat, 20 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #66 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-66 #66

I found our fixer-upper honey!!

This cute (but well-weathered) house was on the ocean-facing street on the Isle of Palms.  I could actually see us getting this little gem and breathing new life into it.  I just don't think we could afford the price tag though.  Most empty lots along this beach-front road go for over 1 million bucks!

 

140910_00016a140910_00016a

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 House abandoned https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-66 Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #65 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-65 #65

The North American Millipede.  This fella was about as big as my finger.  I have been wanting to find one of these!  They are actually quite common around here, but I have not seen one until this day.  Their habitat is in the cool moist decaying shadows of the woods.  Despite having four legs per segment (except for the first segment), they move very slowly.

And contrary to what my sister told me, they are a little cute.  I had a hard time not bringing this one home as a pet.  Though, I'm quite certain my husband would not have found him as interesting as I did.

There ya go lil buddy, run free!... er, well, slowly crawl free!

140907_00050140907_00050

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 North American Millipede South Carolina millipede https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-65 Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #64 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-64 #64

I'm not quite sure what the story is here.  These bushel baskets were stacked near the garbage can in a riverside park, left to decay.  I liked the scene, so I shot it.  That's what I do.

140907_00031140907_00031

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina baskets https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-64 Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #63 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-63 #63

Some may call it graffiti, but it's really a work of art painted on the side of a building in North Charleston.  I dig how it is reflected in the puddle.

140907_00023140907_00023

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina graffiti reflection https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-63 Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #62 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-62 #62

Same photo as yesterday, Kapstone paper mill.  Only in monochrome.  I couldn't decide which I liked better.

140907_0000a-5140907_0000a-5

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Kapstone South Carolina paper mill https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-62 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #61 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-61 #61

Those of you who had the pleasure of living near the paper mills of Charleston can already smell that special aroma.  Sitting near the beautiful marshes of the lowcountry along the rivers, these industrial complexes dot the landscape.

This one in particular is Kapstone.  Quite the sight by night.  I'll share a photo of that some day soon.

 

140907_0000a-4140907_0000a-4

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Kapstone South Carolina paper mill https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-61 Sun, 14 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #60 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-60 #60

Magnolia Cemetery has many famous graves.  One site in particular was moving to me.  These are the graves of the men that perished on the submarine, H.L. Hunley.  The Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America and played a part in the American Civil War.

It was a submarine of approximately 40 feet long and was the first submarine to sink a warship.  Launched in 1863, the Hunley lost 21 crewmen in three different sinkings of the boat before its last attack in Charleston's harbor in 1864, where it became lost.

In 2000, it was recovered along with the men that were the last crew.  On April 17, 2004, the remains of the crew were laid to rest here.  Tens of thousands of people attended the ceremony.  All of the Hunley crew were laid to rest here with full military honors.  

140821_00055140821_00055

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Magnolia Cemetery" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 Hunley https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-60 Sat, 13 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #59 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-59 #59

Magnolia Cemetery.

Established in 1850, it sits along the banks of the Cooper River, resting on 92 acres of a former rice plantation.  

This is the Confederate Monument and graves of fallen soldiers.  The inscription on the monument reads,

"In memory of the sons of Charleston, who fell around her walls, who sleep on many battlefields in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina, and who lie in distant graves around their Northern prisons.  They died for their State."

140821_00046140821_00046

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Confederate Monument" "Magnolia Cemetery" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-59 Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 Special Day https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-special-day In addition to my regular daily posts to my Charleston360 series, I add this special one in honor of this National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Thank you  to those who protect and serve us.

Charleston Fire Department Station 9

140911_00026140911_00026 140911_00030140911_00030

140911_00022-2140911_00022-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" "fire engine" "fire house" Charleston Charleston360 firefighter firemen https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-special-day Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:32:54 GMT
Charleston360 #58 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-58 #58

This chain and lock has been around this tree long enough to become embedded in it.  I can only imagine how it will look in another couple years.  It made me think of how we impact nature.

140821_00027140821_00027

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 chain padlock trunk https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-58 Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #57 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-57 #57

Ah, the bubbler.  Nothing historic or iconic about this photo.  I just liked the style of it. Plus, it was a pretty hot day the day I shot this.

140821_00023140821_00023

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 bubbler fountain water https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-57 Wed, 10 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #56 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-56 #56

A moss covered tree hangs over a pond in Charles Towne Landing.  Yes, the water really is that green.  Not somewhere I'd care to swim, but let me tell you, the turtles and alligators loved it!

140831_00089140831_00089

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charles Towne Landing" "South Carolina" "spanish moss" Charleston Charleston360 marsh https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-56 Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #55 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-55 #55

Recall Charles Towne in my previous post?  Here are one of the cannons used to fortify the settlement.  

140831_00081140831_00081

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charles Towne Landing" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 cannon https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-55 Mon, 08 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #54 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-54 #54

What could this key be to?  

140831_00040140831_00040

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charles Towne Landing" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 key https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-54 Sun, 07 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #53 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-53 #52

A candle sits on an old wooden ledge in a recreated dirt-floor house that sits in the fortified area of Charles Towne Landing.

 

140831_00036140831_00036

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charles Towne Landing" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 candle wax https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-53 Sat, 06 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #52 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-52 #53

Mending the curtains.  Here, an actor in total period costume, recreates some of the tasks completed by inhabitants of Charles Towne Landing.

Charles Towne Landing is the original site of the first permanent English settlement in Carolina, established in 1670.  It sits on 664 acres which is now a protected state park.  The guide signs within the park tell the story, "War between Spain and England ended ten years before the founding of Charles Towne, but the hatred and mistrust between the two empires remained.  In an era of empire building, Charles Towne's existence directly challenged Spain's claim on the land they called Chicora.  The colonists implored the support of Lord Ashley against the Spanish threat: 'We are here settled in the very chaps of the Spaniards...'   Aware of this eminent threat, the settlers prepared themselves for the worst.  These earthen fortifications, equipped with 12 cannons, strengthened the already formidable natural defenses of the marsh and river against Spanish naval forces."   

Many of these names are commonly found in the area.  Chicora remains the name of a neighborhood, the Ashley river runs great lengths nearby, even King Charles II held influence of Charles Towne in the late 1600s, which I can only assume is where the Charles in Charleston comes from.   

140831_00046140831_00046

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charles Towne Landing" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-52 Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #51 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-51 #51

A path lined with oaks giving an embracing canopy.  A southern scene repeated over and over around here.

140831_00011140831_00011

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charles Towne Landing" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 watermelon https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-51 Thu, 04 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #50 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-50 #50

Everyone has a way of making a living.  Here, I get to find roadside stands selling summer treats.

140831_00008140831_00008

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charles Towne Landing" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 watermelon https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-50 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #49 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-49 #49

I love old bicycles.  Strolling through the triangle area of West Ashley, I caught a glimpse through an alley of somebody's sweet yellow ride.

140831_00001140831_00001

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Charles Towne Landing" "South Carolina" Charleston Charleston360 alley bicycle https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-49 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #48 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-48 #48

Sit a while.  Such a mix of textures in this scene; rusty wrought iron bench, peeling painted brick wall, mossy brick deck under the sweet shade of palms.

43684368

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina bench brick iron https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/9/charleston360-48 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #47 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-47 #47

A lion sits at the stoop guarding the entry to a home.

140825_00157140825_00157

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 lion statue https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-47 Sun, 31 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #46 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-46 #46

Learning my ABCs.

140825_00153140825_00153

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) ABC Charleston Charleston360 alphabet https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-46 Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #45 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-45 #45

More of the artistic embellishments of the city.  Just beautiful, isn't it?

140825_00152140825_00152

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 lion https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-45 Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #44 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-44 #44

I started a new job here in Charleston, one where I get to photograph the historical hardware that decorates these old homes.  I know, I'm excited too!

The pineapple is a commonly found piece here in Charleston.  It symbolizes hospitality, and it must be true for Charleston is continually voted the most friendly city in the United States.

140825_00126140825_00126

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 doorbell pinapple https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-44 Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #43 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-43 #43

I have yet to learn the history of this landmark, The Bowles-Legare House.  All I presently know is that it was built somewhere between 1797-1801 in downtown Charleston.  Until I learn more, all you get to see is the gate!

140825_00108140825_00108

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Bowles-Legare House Charleston Charleston360 iron mailbox https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-43 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #42 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-42 #42

Sea monster?  Nope.  This is the green moray eel from the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.  He seemed to be around three feet long, and a little frightening looking.  

Did you know that they are the only fish that can swim forward and backward? They also have a very keen sense of smell and use that to help find their food.

photo 2 (4)photo 2 (4)

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Moray Eel eel https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-42 Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #41 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-41 #41

Time for an iPhone photo.  Sometimes I spot something I want to capture and don't have my camera with, so out comes the iPhone.  I was drawn to the contrast in this photo.

photo 1 (4)photo 1 (4)

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 leaves tree trunk vine https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-41 Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:35:19 GMT
Charleston360 #40 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-40 #40

Well, I didn't say everything I post would be scenic.  I saw this bizarre setting of an abandoned teddy bear in a rusty shopping cart far off any common roads alongside the riverbank.  Clearly, this little bear has seen better days, but he still sits and waits for someone to come back for him.  Say it with me now, "awww".

140814_00004140814_00004

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina bear teddy bear worn https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-40 Sun, 24 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #39 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-39 #39

Sometimes nature gives you some rather artistic creations begging to be photographed.

I found this black leaf in a state of very colorful decay.

140804_00001140804_00001

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Fuji XT1 South Carolina color colorful leaf https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-39 Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #38 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-38 #38

Julia
Dryas julia/iulia 

A simple name for a beautiful butterfly.  Native to Brazil, I found it within the butterfly garden enclosure at Cypress Gardens, Charleston SC.

140802_00171140802_00171

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cypress Gardens Dryas julia Fuji XT1 Julia South Carolina butterfly floral flower https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-38 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #37 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-37 #37

Dizzy Daisies

140802_00191-2140802_00191-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cypress Gardens Fuji XT1 South Carolina black eyed susan floral flower https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-37 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #36 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-36 #36

Standing out in a crowd.

140802_00190140802_00190

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cypress Gardens Fuji XT1 South Carolina black eyed susan floral flower https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-36 Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #35 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-35 #35

Can you see him?  Perfect camouflage.  This little alligator hides within the algae and stumps of the cypress swamp.  The swamp is said to be home to over 20 alligators, some reportedly 10 feet long.  This little fella was almost a whole foot, still in the cute stage.

140802_00107140802_00107

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cypress Gardens Fuji XT1 South Carolina alligator cypress swamp gator swamp https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-35 Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #34 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-34 #34

Cute as a...  trees knees?

Still in the cypress swamp.  Did you know that trees can have knees?  These cypress trees do.  They protrude from the ground surrounding the cypress trees.  Their function is not solidly known, but some scientists believe their purpose is to assist in bringing oxygen to the root system or to aid in anchoring the trees in the muddy swamp soil.  They can grow upwards of four feet high.

140802_00100140802_00100

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cypress Gardens Fuji XT1 South Carolina cypress knees cypress swamp swamp https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-34 Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #33 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-33 #33

Cypress Gardens

One of the few bridges spanning the cypress swamp, as seen from the row boat.

140802_00083140802_00083

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cypress Gardens Fuji XT1 South Carolina bridge cypress swamp swamp https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-33 Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #32 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-32 #32

A monochromatic look upon the Cypress Gardens swamp.

140802_00071140802_00071

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cypress Gardens Fuji XT1 South Carolina boat cypress swamp swamp https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-32 Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #31 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-31 #31

My most favorite discovery out here by far.  Not far from where we live, we wandered upon the Cypress Gardens park.  Originally part of the Dean Hall rice plantation in 1750, this area is now a beautiful scenic park.  It boasts an 80-acre blackwater cypress swamp.  Part of its charm to me is that visitors are allowed to take row boats out into the swamp all on their own, or opt for a guided tour if they choose.  

If you think you recognize it, you probably do!  It has been the location of many movies; most notably, "The Notebook "scene with James Garner and Gena Rowlands rowing on the pond with swan floating nearby.  Also filmed there have been "The Patriot "with Mel Gibson, "Cold Mountain" with Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, the ABC miniseries "North and South", and of course, "Swamp Thing".

140802_00062-3140802_00062-3

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Cypress Gardens Fuji XT1 South Carolina boat cypress swamp swamp https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-31 Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #30 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-30 #30

Charleston hosts many different musicians.  This night, we went out to Reggae Nights, a James Island County Park concert series.

140801_00015140801_00015

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Fuji XT1 concert music reggae https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-30 Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #29 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-29 #29

Shrimp Boats in Shem Creek.  Midday did not leave many to photograph as the working boats were out gathering a fresh catch.  On average, one can find approximately a half dozen along the docks (a far cry from the 80-90 boats around 40 years ago).

140730_00050140730_00050

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Mount Pleasant Shem Creek South Carolina boats shrimp shrimp boats https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-29 Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #28 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-28 #28

Crabs everywhere!  This is a poor representation of the multitude of these little fellas.  Most scuttled back into their little tunnels they were digging when they saw me loom over for a photograph.  You literally couldn't take a step without fear of stepping on one.  This was along the boardwalk in Shem Creek, Mount Pleasant.

140730_00044140730_00044

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Mount Pleasant Shem Creek South Carolina crabs https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-28 Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #27 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-27 #27

Wildflowers bathing in the dunes along the beach.

140728_00072-2140728_00072-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina Sunrise beach coast dune pier sand sand dune surf https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-27 Mon, 11 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #26 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-26 #26

The best way to get around the bustling streets is by bike.  Being a beach town, cruisers in tropical colors are most popular, and an obvious favorite of mine!

140730_00071140730_00071

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Mount Pleasant South Carolina bicycle bike color colorful tires https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-26 Sun, 10 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #25 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-25 #25

Sunrise over Folly Beach Pier, Folly Island.

140728_00099-2140728_00099-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina Sunrise beach coast dune pier sand sand dune surf https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-25 Sat, 09 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #24 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-24 #24

Dramatic color of the Caladium. 

140728_00078140728_00078

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina caladium colorful plant https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-24 Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #23 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-23 #23

Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, with a view of Ravenel bridge in the distance.  With a history as early as the 1740s, Shem Creek began as a location for mills and factories.  During the Civil War, its industry disappeared.  Long after, in the 1940s, a new industry of shrimping was introduced. Now, its a great location for finding eateries on the water as well as taking a stroll out on the boardwalks into the marsh along the creek.  In one direction, you can see out into Charleston Harbor; in another direction lies the Ravenel bridge spanning the Cooper River.

The Ravenel is another popular landmark of Charleston, which connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant.

140730_00054140730_00054

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 Mount Pleasant Ravenel Shem Creek South Carolina https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-23 Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #22 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-22 #22

Picket fences and pretty flowers.

140728_00077-2140728_00077-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina Sunrise beach coast dune pier sand sand dune surf https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-22 Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #21 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-21 #21

Folly Beach on Folly Island.

This abandoned board belonged to a father who was out of camera range off to my right; he left his board to go out in the small waves to teach his boy how to surf on his own board.

140728_00047140728_00047

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina Sunrise beach coast dune pier sand sand dune surf surfboard https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-21 Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:16:50 GMT
Charleston360 #20 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-20 #20

Just what everyone expects to see in the south, Spanish Moss swaying in the summer breeze.

140707_00063140707_00063

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina Spanish Moss https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-20 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #19 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-19 #19

I'm not so much a fan of the architects here, but I do love the delicate construction they leave behind.

140728_00083140728_00083

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina honeycomb hornet nest nest https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-19 Sun, 03 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #18 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-18 #18

I have another obsession, mushrooms.  I belonged to a mycological society in Wisconsin; a fancy name for a mushroom club.  I loved to hunt for the hard-to-find gem, the Morel, and cook them up (so tasty).  

I still enjoy spotting them in the area, and with everything else I like, I photograph them.  While I don't know the species in this area well, I believe this is a kind of Chanterelle, which are known to be very delicious as well.  

We'll leave it at that, I don't feel confident enough to pick these and eat them.

140727_00025140727_00025

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Chanterell Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina mushroom nature outdoors https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-18 Sat, 02 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #17 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-17 #17

Folly Beach Pier

Another take on the dramatic scenery offered here.

140728_00033-2140728_00033-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina Sunrise beach coast dune pier sand sand dune surf https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/8/charleston360-17 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #16 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-16 #16

There is something so calming about sand dunes on the beach. Here on Folly Beach, the fragile sand dunes are strictly protected as part of the natural ecosystem.  Visitors are only allowed to walk through them on the public walkways between each station.

I'm glad this is enforced.  It leaves such a beautiful landscape, undisturbed by our aimless wandering.

140728_00054-2140728_00054-2

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina Sunrise beach coast dune pier sand sand dune surf https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-16 Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #15 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-15 #15

Well, it may become obvious I like to photograph bugs.  

With the zillions of dragonflies down here, it isn't hard to find some to shoot; but to find some in the midst of strange (to me) behavior, I'll give credit to my husband for pointing this one out.  Apparently, their diet isn't exclusionary of other dragonflies.  This Eastern Pondhawk has eaten the entire head off of the other.  He wasn't finished either, when he flew away after I approached too closely, he carried his victim with him.

Here are some odd dragonfly facts:

  • They can date back to 300 million years ago, being some of the first winged insects to evolve, some growing to monster sizes.
  • A dragonfly nymph breaths through  *ahem* its butt.
  • A single dragonfly can eat hundreds of mosquitos per day.
  • They can crush their prey to a pulp to eat.
  • The male dragonfly has secondary sex organs.
  • They have serrated teeth.

Somehow, they don't seem quite so cute any more.

140727_00019140727_00019

 

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina bug dragonfly insect nature outdoors https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-15 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #14 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-14 #14

Folly Beach Pier at sunrise.  The beach is littered with broken shells.  

Erosion is a large problem along some of our most favorite beaches.  Here at Folly, it has been partially attributed to large jetties built here in 1898. While the jetties served their purpose by preventing sand from building up in Charleston Harbor, allowing the shipping industry to grow in the area, they caused rapid erosion.  By the 1930s, the shoreline was quickly disappearing.  In the 1940s, some work was done to try and prevent the further devastation, but in 1989, hurricane Hugo destroyed those efforts.  Erosion has been estimated at four to six feet each year! 

In January 2014, the US Army Corps of Engineers began a controversial six-month long project of pumping sand dredged from three miles off shore back on to Folly Beach.  The Folly Beach Renourishment Project was an attempt to slow the erosion of the beach by bringing an estimated 1.5 million cubic yards of sand back on to the beach.

140728_00028-2140728_00028-2

 

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) East Coast Folly Beach South Carolina Sunrise beach coast dune pier sand sand dune surf https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-14 Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #13 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-13 #13

My backyard friend! A Praying Mantis. This little fella was very fast and very attentive; his tiny noggin followed my every move.

140724_00006140724_00006

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 Praying Mantis South Carolina bugs green insects mantis https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-13 Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #12 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-12 #12

One of my great pleasures is seashell hunting.  Even the tiny ones intrigue me.  Sometimes, I'm taken by the little scenes the beach presents and of course, I stop to photograph. Sullivan's Island.

140723_00007140723_00007

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina Sullivans Island beach ocean sand sea seashell shell surf waterfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-12 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #11 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-11 #11

Yes, I'm still at the beach, in my mind at least.  Here is another take on the beach view.  It's one of the many container ships off in the distance that come through the harbor and head up the Cooper or Ashley rivers.   140723_00002140723_00002

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina Sullivans Island beach container ship ocean sand sea surf waterfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-11 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #10 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-10 #10

Let's go to the beach! Sullivan's Island, one of my favorite beaches; rolling sand dunes decorated with tall sea grasses.  

Ahhhh.

140723_00024140723_00024

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 South Carolina Sullivans Island beach ocean sand sea surf waterfront https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-10 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #9 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-9 #9

Angel Oak from a different perspective.  Yesterday, I gave you the iconic version.  Today I give you reality.  This photo not only depicts the sheer size of this old beauty, but how honored she really is (the tourists- myself included- that come to see the old oak tree).

 

140719_00041140719_00041

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Angel Oak" "John "South Carolina" , majestic, oak, old, s, trees Charleston Island SC SC" https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-9 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #8 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-8 #8

Angel Oak, John's Island, SC

This majestic oak is estimated to be in excess of 400-600 years old.  It was more grand than I expected, towering over 66 feet tall and a whopping 28 feet in circumference, its canopy covers 17,200 square feet!!  The longest branch last measured was over 187 feet.

It certainly draws spectators; it was difficult to catch one photograph void of gawkers (I'm sure I made it into a few pictures of others as well).  This is one place I will revisit many times in attempt to catch that one shot that exemplifies to me the pure grandeur of natures relic.

 

140719_00032a140719_00032aAngel Oak

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) "Angel Oak" "John "South Carolina" , majestic, oak, old, s, trees Charleston Island SC SC" https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-8 Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #7 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-7 #7

A stroll through the streets, enjoying the lush greenery and flowers, fountains in every courtyard.

140714_00040140714_00040

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina floral flower fountain hibiscus red https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-7 Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #6 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-6 #6

The cemetery at St. Phillips.  Many laid to rest in this tiny area.  It was protected by the shade of magnolia trees almost as old as the stones themselves.  While you may think it may have been a tad creepy, it actually felt quite peaceful.

In these grounds lie Charles Pinckney (1757 - 1824) signer of the United States Constitution and Edward Rutledge (1749 - 1800) signer of the Declaration of Independence.

That should give you some idea as to how historic and old this town really is.

St. Phillips Cemetery

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 SC South Carolina cemetary grave graveyard tombstone https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-6 Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:45:00 GMT
Charleston360 #5 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-5 #5

A holy city indeed.  

Did you know Charleston is dubbed "The Holy City"?  This is because of the multitude of church steeples that dot the city skyline, as well as being home to over 400 places of worship.  This part of the culture is rich and found anywhere you would walk through the city streets.

140714_00009140714_00009

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Angel Charleston Charleston360 monument statue https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-5 Sun, 20 Jul 2014 14:15:00 GMT
Charleston360 #4 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-4 #4

Vines creep over the brick and blocks everywhere.  Most of the time, they are kept neatly trimmed to provide a lovely contrast to all the stone walls.

140714_00004140714_00004

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 brick vines https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-4 Sat, 19 Jul 2014 12:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #3 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-3 #3

B is for Buckman!  I couldn't help myself, the monogram was begging to be photographed.  Yet another piece of decor in the building blocks of this historic city.

 

140714_00025140714_00025

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) B Charleston Charleston360 brick letter https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-3 Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #2 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-2 #2

One of the many things I adore about this city- the ornate architecture decor.  Particularly the very old and worn pieces that adorn the broken down buildings.  This one gave me a sense of being watched over.

140714_00030140714_00030

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 pinnacle statue https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-2 Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:00:00 GMT
Charleston360 #1 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-1 #1

St. Philip's Episcopal Church Steeple

This church was formed by Charles Towne colonists and is said to house the oldest congregation in South Carolina.

The original (first) church was built in 1681 at another location, and was a smaller wooden structure.  The second church was brick and was built at the current site.  It was partially funded by duties from rum and slaves.  The third church (pictured here) was built in 1835; the steeple was actually designed by EB White and added 10 years later.

140714_00038140714_00038St. Philip's Church Charleston, SC

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston Charleston360 St. Phillip's Church church steeple https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360-1 Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:54:42 GMT
Charleston360 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360 Back to where it all began. My 360 degree journey, my return to Charleston, SC.  

This is where I met my loving husband and regained my enthusiasm for photography.  This journey took me across the states to Washington, and back again.  It was a wonderful experience, but I am eager to rediscover this area.  I have also made an agreement with myself to complete daily blog postings where I will share a photo a day of Charleston and the surrounding area-  well, for at least 360 days of the year (allowing myself 5 days off).  

Hopefully you will find these images and this area to be just as interesting as I have.

 

Charleston360Charleston360

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Charleston360 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2014/7/charleston360 Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:45:00 GMT
Olympic College Security https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2013/9/olympic-college-security Today is the last weekday before classes begin for the fall on the campus of Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington.  It was yet another beautiful sunny and mild day, few of these are in store for us as fall draws in.  I decided to get a little fresh air and run some last-minute errands before my schedule would be bogged down with courses and studying.  One of those tasks was to obtain the fall parking permit for my car which is done at the Security building on campus downtown.

130920_00006130920_00006

Driving down the side streets, I was headed toward my typical parking area in the student lots.  As I neared, I saw the mass of police cars and emergency response vehicles, more than I imagined this city had.  My parking lot was barricaded off with "DANGER" tape and being watched over by someone to prevent people from breaking past the barrier.  I made a u-turn in the street and found parking next to a church a block away.  I walked to the Security building without concern, and waited inside for the clerk to attend to me.  In the background, I heard the squawking over emergency radio; status updates of buildings as they were swept and cleared for dangerous individuals.  Still, I was not concerned.  Why?

Today, September 20, 2013 is the day that Olympic College played host to a drill aimed at testing the emergency response to a shooter on campus.  It is officially called a "Homeland Security Training Exercise".  While it only affected portions of the campus, it was difficult not to be impacted by this event.  I'm not talking about if it created a burden for students wishing to prepare for classes on the last free weekday before the fall quarter begins.  I am not talking about how all the personnel involved with this drill had to deal with us returning students getting in the way.  I mean that it really made me realize a tragedy such as this mock exercise could easily happen here, could happen to us.

130920_00022130920_00022 130920_00021130920_00021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were told that there would be over 100 actors in costume and make-up, portraying injured or deceased.  These participants were expected to use simulated weapons that look and sound like real guns.  While the area was cautioned not to be alarmed at the sounds of 

gunfire and sirens, it still may cause a slight response of fear.  The president of Olympic College was quoted in saying the intent is not to frighten, but to prepare.  I can honestly say it brings a small amount of comfort knowing our area is making an attempt to formulate some kind of response to a tragedy we are seeing all to frequently these past years.

To see more photos of this event, click here:  Photojournalism Olympic College Security Drill

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Olympic College drill security https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2013/9/olympic-college-security Fri, 20 Sep 2013 22:01:33 GMT
Seattle... again https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2013/9/seattle-again Yes, more about the city of Seattle.  I am getting a little more nostalgic with it as soon we will be moving away.  Though, this trip did have a purpose.  This time, I went to spend the day furthering my knowledge on website maintenance and only brought my camera with for the walk to and from the seminar.  Yes, that is one thing I sincerely love; to walk the streets of this diverse city with camera in hand.  

Far from most perceptions, the weather in the summer is really quite pleasant.  This summer has been bathing us in sun with few wet days to recall, and even those were fits of rain instead of dreary drizzle.  This trip to Seattle graced me with more of the same sunshine and mild air.  I actually left early enough to watch the sun rise while I was on the ferry, but there was enough dense fog that not even a shimmer of light from a shoreline could be seen. Although it also hid the tops of the buildings in Seattle, it did quickly burn off.

Seattle Through the FogThrough the FogEven through dense fog and a saturated window, the city of Seattle still looks mesmerizing.

Of course, I did find more interesting things to photograph on my walt to the seminar, but I'm saving that for a "Farewell Seattle" post in the near future.  If you'd like to see the images, click this link - Seattle to be directed to the Seattle gallery.

About the seminar, I will spare you the technical details we covered.  I really to get a lot from these kind of functions.  Most important aside from the techie stuff is the networking I get to do.  I meet so many fantastically talented people that are eager to share their tips and tricks.  There were a handful to note at this event.  One in particular; a Google Glass Explorer.  This gal was one of few that is being able to test out the new Google Glass eyeware system.  The easiest way I can explain it if you don't already know what it is; a barely-there pair of eyeglass frames equipped with all the clever little features of a smart phone, but better.  I was even allowed to try them out myself for a spell.  What a hoot!  And Suzanne, the Explorer was quite the gem, so outgoing and intelligent~ everything I'd expect from an explorer!

In conversation with a few of the others at the seminar, I gleaned some interesting quotes I had to share with you.  

"I came here (Seattle) to live.  I thought I'd get rich and famous.  Instead, I just got stuck in traffic."  ~Mark Anthony, Photographer

"I believe in the sentiment; what is the best way to totally ruin a hobby you love? Turn it into a profession."  ~Christopher Colgan, Photographer

 

 

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) Google Glass Seattle Washington photography https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2013/9/seattle-again Mon, 16 Sep 2013 23:34:29 GMT
Seeing the Unseen https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2013/3/seeing-the-unseen Although I have a couple topics I could elaborate on for my next post, I chose to comment on my most recent project, the world of infrared (IR) photography.  

Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by a photo, there is something so unusual and beautiful about it, you cannot pull your eyes away?  I have found myself being drawn in just this fashion to a particular style; so much so that I began to research some of the artists that repeatedly produced mesmerizing pieces. This was when I began to learn about IR photography. Such magical photographs were emerging with this process, I wanted so much to emulate them. With more research, and eventually having the opportunity to shoot using an IR camera (more on that later), I learned it was no easy task to capture the world of the unseen.

Let's start with the basics.  When I say unseen, it is because the human eye cannot see the infrared waves that lie just beyond the visible spectrum. What we can see is within the range of 400-700 nm (nanometers).  IR falls approximately between 700-1200 nm.

Though we cannot see it, the IR is there; bouncing off the leaves of towering trees to sliver blades of grass. Vegetation creates a bit of a glow due to this reflection whereas rivers and bodies of water will be darker and deeper. It was this 'glow' that caught my eye and makes IR photography seem so surreal.

A camera can capture IR using a few different methods. A film camera could simply be loaded with IR film, likely the most inexpensive option. Filters can also be placed on the end of lenses.  Using filters will also reduce the total amount of light that falls on to the sensor or film, so compensating properly is necessary for achieving the best exposure, and using a tripod is good practice to avoid blur from camera shake.  Another method is to dedicate a camera solely to IR by removing the filter that sits right in front of the camera sensor and replacing it with a filter that allows in only IR light. This of course is the most expensive method, but in my opinion will produce the absolute best results.

I was able to use Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot that had been converted to an IR camera.  Ideally, shooting in RAW is best to allow for a lot more control during processing. This particular camera did not have that option.  It still gave me a wonderful experience to whet my appetite!  The first thing I learned was how important proper white balance was.  Depending on the weather and the sun's behavior, I changed the white balance accordingly by pointing directly at a patch of grass. With a few test shots, I was off and running. I found that I enjoyed photographing structures as well as the greenery in the local area. Now that I had an ample selection, it was time to process.

Here is where it gets tricky. To get the result I have been so moved by in the work of greater artists, I would need significantly more practice and research (as well as patience!).  I began to learn more about channel swapping and how manipulating the colors using this method could produce images with a realistic blue sky or water. Since IR photographs do not contain any real colors, it truly is a practice in artistry to create a recipe of channel swapping, white balance, saturation or other styling to end with a realistic final piece.  It also may require a bit more investment in software that is more capable than my Photoshop Elements.

As I progress, I will become more comfortable with managing the myriad of adjustments and may eventually develop a style I can proudly share with the world.  For now, I can present the images I created using the IR camera and making processing adjustments within Lightroom.  Most you will see below have been converted to black and white.  The original files of these photos will remain as my stock for future attempts, so as I progress, you may see the same photos repeated with different end results... at least until I can afford to invest in a IR converted camera!

Ah, the intriguing and inspiring world of photography.

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2013/3/seeing-the-unseen Sun, 17 Mar 2013 04:01:37 GMT
Increasing My Exposure https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2013/3/increasing-my-exposure  

This past weekend, I  had the opportunity to travel over to Seattle on the ferry and meet up with a dear friend to shoot the Emerald City Comicon (boasted the largest comic convention in the Pacific Northwest).  Thrilled, was I (for you Star Wars fans). Thrilled for many reasons.

Yes, because I love to ride the ferry, seriously.

I feel ignited by the city life in Seattle.

And mostly because I was going shooting with some very talented people.

 

I had hopes to glean some knowledge or techniques of street photography from this excursion, but I got so much more than I anticipated!  Right out of the gate, I was able to try out a new lens to me, the Canon 35mm 1.4 prime lens - which I was highly anticipating.  This was the first time I have shot with a lens that fast.  I was eager to see what the results would be.  We trekked along the city streets up to the convention center, chatting along the way.  The weather was perfect this day; warmish with no rain, but no overbearing sun to fight while shooting.

Upon meeting a friend of the photog I was with, he graciously offered me the chance to shoot with his mirrorless system, the new Sony RX1 full frame camera.  Yup, that's right, I said full frame mirrorless.   Link to RX1 site

I've read about this little but powerful piece in my recent interest of mirrorless and rangefinders. I couldn't turn down this chance.  I quickly swapped out SD cards and put that beauty in my hands.  It was so much smaller and lighter than my 60D I was using, but is capable of producing images that some say rival if not beat those put out by the newer Mark III I was salivating over a while back. Plus, the Sony has such a nostalgic style reminding me of the earlier years of photography.  

It has a fixed 35mm 2.0 fast Carl Zeiss lens with aperture adjustment ring on the lens itself and analog style knobs on top for other adjustments.  It took a little getting used to as I was so accustomed to my digital adjustments on my DSLR.  I did make haste in getting comfortable with it though; I had to because these comic characters were flooding by with little time to compose the shot.  I was quickly turned onto the compactness and light load that a camera like this can provide as I had my DSLR gear hanging off my back and shoulder.

                                                      Photo by Bob Towery

After a quick couple hours shooting and complimenting all the characters, we ventured off for some grub.  Along with lunch was more photography conversation.  I felt like a withered dry sponge sitting in a pool of fresh cool water, just soaking it all up.  Man, was I enjoying this!

After lunch was a little more wandering, making a planned stop at the Photo Center NW gallery for a Vivian Maier exhibit.  She has some very compelling street photography.  It was very moving for me, especially since today was an exercise in developing my street photography skills.  You really should go take a look.  www.vivianmaier.com

Then, the unexpected happened… I was bestowed the use of the Leica M9 digital rangefinder system! I can still hear angels singing.  Seriously, this is one fantastic camera, and I recall saying, “I feel like I’m being crowned” as the strap was placed over my head.  Link to Leica M9

My recent fascination with rangefinders came as I was researching for my photography class all the different kinds of cameras out there.  Of note were medium format (being one I am completely enamored with, but that’s a whole other topic) and Rangefinders, drawing my interest in their compact design and wonderful quality given in lower lit situations.  Most unique to me was their focusing system.  Its totally different than what you are used to on SLRs.  I’ll try to explain.  The focusing mechanism will display two images of the subject.  As the user turns the focus ring, one image moves until it coincides with the other until both are perfectly aligned and optimum clarity or focus is achieved.  It’s not an easy or fast maneuver for me.  Another feature I grew to like was how you could turn the focus ring to specific distance markers on it, allowing you to guesstimate your distance from a subject and turning the ring to your guessed distance for focus.  Why do this? So you can shoot incognito, keeping the camera at your waist, without most nearby noticing you are taking any photos at all.  This was another new technique I learned on Saturday.

I found that in using this system, I started to actually pay attention to what I was shooting.  I started to massage my composition techniques and began to see from a different perspective.  It is a kind of training I think every beginning photographer needs to go through.  I became all to complacent with my DSLR and like many amateurs, I would throw up the camera to my eye, and spray and pray!  Hoping something in what I just shot would turn out.  With the system I used on Saturday, I began to feel what I was trying to achieve.

I’ve got a long way to go, but that feeling is addicting man, and I’m hungry for more!

As for the new 35 lens I began the day with, still testing! But again, I think I'm in love!

Special Thanks

Bob Towery www.dreamtomorrowblog.com

Ashwin Rao  www.photos-ash.blogspot.com

                                                                                                               Me and one of my mentors, Bob Towery                 Photo by Ashwin Rao

 

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2013/3/increasing-my-exposure Tue, 05 Mar 2013 03:21:29 GMT
Farewell 2012 https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2012/12/farwell-2012 Although I don't consider December 30th the official end of the year, it's close enough for me to call it on my blog. I am quite sure my actual New Years Eve will be far too busy to accommodate any computing.

Upon reflection this evening, 2012 has been a stellar year! So many wonderful things have happened to me, biggest of all is marrying the most wonderful man I have ever known. Someone that keeps me grounded while inspiring me to endless horizons at the very same time. He has been right here with me in every momentous part of the year. 

Second most noteworthy item was officially launching my business of photography and watching my dream come alive right before my eyes. What an exhilarating feeling! From the new friends and mentors I've made, the new skills developed, participating in two local Art Shows, being hired by complete strangers from word of mouth, selling fine art pieces off my website... gosh, I could continue but I'd probably bore you.  Suffice it to say I feel so fortunate and endlessly grateful for all I have in my life.

The journey continues in a challenging but fruitful path as I ease into 2013.  Ease, hell, who am I kidding?  Just two days ago I left my well-paying full-time job to pursue a full-time college career toward a degree in Web Development with an emphasis in photography.  That's not exactly ease, at this point it feels more like a quantum leap!  But again, I have the support and encouragement of friends, family and my magnificent husband.  Thank you everyone, from the bottom of my heart!

I'm confident 2013 will be just as rewarding, and I hope you tag along and share in my endeavors. 

Cheers!!Rubber Drinky

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2012/12/farwell-2012 Mon, 31 Dec 2012 04:17:05 GMT
Back To School https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2012/12/back-to-school Today, I completed the final steps in launching a new goal to obtain my Associates Degree in Applied Science for Web Development and also continuing my education in Photography. After a lot of anticipation on my part, my appointed time to register for my Winter start at college finally arrived. I was able to register for all the classes I wanted for my first quarter back to school, I was relieved, but even more so, excited! The whole day seemed to exemplify new beginnings. Even the weather for the Pacific Northwest in December was cooperating; with the skies a vibrant bright blue,  popcorn clouds drifted overhead and heavy warm sunshine washed over me. Man, what a great day this turned out to be! The Student Center buzzed with student life, and that just escalated my excitement for my endeavor. With all this jazz going on, it was very difficult to allow my fears of the heavy course load ahead overshadow anything I was feeling today. Off to school I go!

]]>
(Victoria Jean Photo Art) https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2012/12/back-to-school Thu, 06 Dec 2012 00:18:07 GMT
The Keepers Wife https://www.victoriajeanphotoart.com/blog/2012/12/the-keepers-wife This post chronicles my recent stay at Point No Point Lighthouse. However brief this life was, it will have an everlasting existence in my memories. For two days, my husband and I lived at the lighthouse, in the very Keepers Quarters that over a hundred years ago housed those put in charge of manning the beacon. It was a surprise get-away that my loving husband had arranged for us, much to my worry for I don't fare well when I am not able to plan for my adventures. I'm learning to allow this spontaneity in my life with more ease. But I digress; let's stick to unfolding my experience as a pseudo Keepers Wife.

The Keepers Wife

A good place to start- the beginning.  In 1841, Navy Lt. Charles Wilkes was on his famous expedition exploring the Puget Sound.  The spit of land the explorers could see from their ship was referred to as Hahdskus by local Indian tribes, which meant "long nose".  A seemingly good fit, when the tide waters were receded enough to reveal the point. However, once tides rose, the point would disappear. This is one version of the naming of Point No Point that I learned about while chatting with the local historians. In 1855, the treaty of Point No Point was signed between the tribes of the Northern Kitsap Peninsula and the Washington Territories (as Washington was not yet a State).

 

The lighthouse construction on the point began in 1879. The first Keeper was actually a dentist, Dr. John Maggs. He left his practice in Seattle to begin the Keepers life in 1880. Of the many stories I've been treated to, one in particular comes to mind. It shows the fortitude of the keepers and the resourcefulness that was necessary in order to survive the life of a Keeper as many lighthouses were located in some of the most uninviting locations. Point No Point was not far from that reality. In it's beginning, it did not have local roads leading out to charming towns and easy resources. In order to feed your family,