Zeus

Zeus

Zeus

Zeus is the master of his lake, Lake Wylie.  He lives on it, he lives in it.  He knows everyone and everyone knows him.  He’s Zeus.

[click on the image to enlarge]

 

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Drive By Shootings …

The Only Kind of Drive-By Shootings There Should Ever Be

Once I leave the house in the morning, my whole working day is off – it’s always been that way for me.  So after I was done running errands, I decided to make the most of it and take my camera for a ride.  “Wanna do some drive-bys,” I asked her.  She doesn’t talk much, but I knew she wanted to go.

I love driving around in my car and taking random shots or as I call them “drive-bys.”  That would explain why some are blurring – it depends on how fast I’m going, if I’m stopped or not, if I can hear a car coming in the distance … but they’re just fun.  Don’t worry, I never take my eyes off the road unless I’m completely stopped.

Neighbors

My neighbor’s front yard –  taken at the bottom of my driveway.  I love nature and I love that you don’t even have to leave your driveway to appreciate its beauty – it’s everywhere.

front door view

One quick turn to the right, and another neighbor’s yard catches my eye.  This is directly across the street.

Peaceful

I took a road I’ve never taken before (there aren’t many).  I tried to get lost – but first I got lost in this view.  Surreal moment – my cousin in New Jersey is on the speaker on my phone – we talked about everything from haircuts and hockey, to the “Housewives of New Jersey” (and OC) and I’m parked, chatting away, and shooting photos, taking in the scenery.  I thought I was on a road, but as I drove a little further, I realized I was in someone’s driveway – it’s easy to do around here – not to mention dangerous.  Around here, a mistake like that could get you shot for trespassing.  Ooops.  I did see someone and he just waved hello.  That happens a lot around here too.

Land, Water, Sky

Land, Water, Sky

After a quick turnaround, I found another road I’ve never taken before – a real road.  I took this as I stopped at the corner, waiting for traffic to drive by, but there was none.

someone's home

A bit blurry (but not the blurriest), but I just couldn’t miss taking this photo because as I drove up on it, my first thought was “Aw, this used to be someone’s home.”  I thought how different it must have looked when it was newer and lived in and it was sheltered from the sun by the huge tree (now cut down) that sat right outside its door.

Purple Rein

This field of wild purple flowers was just up the road from that old house on the opposite side – it’s not easy to take passenger side photos when you’re not the passenger, but I do love coming home and seeing how they came out.  It’s blurry, but for this shot, I think it’s okay because that’s exactly what it looked like as I sped up a little, noticing the truck coming up behind me.

honeysuckles

As I headed towards home (completely by accident – it’s weird how roads connect around here), I noticed the slightest, sweetest scent in the air and I took my last shot – a section of honeysuckle growing on a fence – it went on for acres.  I can also smell lilacs just outside my house, but I haven’t hunted that tree down yet.  Maybe tomorrow.

Thanks for coming on my morning ride with me around the town of Clover, SC.  I look forward to many more “drive-bys” with you.

Historic Belmont, NC

There’s a quaint little town called Belmont – part of the Charlotte, NC area – in a three block strip, there is a beautiful park that’s always filled with kids when they’re not in school, a fantastic steak house that makes the best key lime martinis (a must try), the next block up, you walk across railroad tracks and what looks like a formerly very busy train hub that is now more of a museum.  The trains are sitting on the track and you can always find parents loading their kids on the steps to take pictures that would probably be really cute – but I’ve gone here three times and there’s always a kid crying on those steps.  I don’t like kids crying – it makes me sad, but I have to laugh because it’s so typical and so cute how they go from “wow – a train” to flooding the tracks with tears in seconds flat.  [click the photos to enlarge]

All Aboard

Milltowne Railway Line

Nickel Plate Road

If  you get the chance to go to the Charlotte area, put Belmont on your list for a short day trip – there’s a consignment store, a general store, an antique stores (you could spend hours in) and it’s just three blocks of fun and a nice way to spend an afternoon.  The antique store reminds me a little of a place I love in upstate New York because they have an old fashioned soda fountain where they serve “Hershey’s Ice Cream” which I have to say makes the best chocolate shakes ever.   Belmont is really close to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, which, if you follow my blog, you know I love.

I’m leaving this lovely place soon and going back to New Jersey.  Yes, it’s colder there, yes, I’ll miss the Carolinas, but right at this moment in my life, I miss my family more than I could miss any place.  The last year or so has made me quite a gypsy, which is unusual for a girl who loves “home,” but I found that home really lies within our hearts.  I will miss South Carolina, but I have a feeling that I’ll be back – at least to visit.  And since North Carolina is a mere few miles away, it’s safe to say I’ll miss that too.  What I won’t miss though is pumping my own gas and not being able to go to a diner – two things that Jersey is pretty famous for.  I’m sure once I hit the first snow in NJ I’ll be looking for warmer climate again – it’s addicting.

… As Time Goes By

There’s a big part of my personality that loves “what used to be,” and it blows me away when I think of all the things that didn’t even exist when I was born – things that got invented soon after and then even sooner became extinct. Think about it.

There’s this old gas station near my house. Clearly it’s part of the same property where an abandoned house sits; it probably belonged to the owner.  I always dream up different scenarios of how it became abandoned – I think it kind of looks lonely.  I joke that this town is like living in Mayberry, but I’m sure there was a time when it really was a Mayberry kind of town, and that makes me smile.  A simpler time.  Gas Station BW signed

Looking at this picture reminds me of my dad and how I used to go to the Texaco station with him on weekends in our big old car with the wings in the back like the Batmobile. I was a weird kid, I loved the smell of gas – it’s different now than it used to be, but then so again so are most things.

Get Your Photos on National Geographic

A Note to My Photographer Friends:

Sometimes my self-diagnosed ADD gets me involved in a lot of things – everything interests me an I’m an eternal student of life. When I stick with something, I know that it’s meant for me to do – there are three things that stick with me – My love of writing, my love of creating art in many forms, and photography, which could fall under the art label, but I feel it deserves it’s own special place.

Don’t Let Opportunities Pass You By

When I think back to my childhood, before I got caught up in life and it’s expectations and obligations, I can remember junior high and taking my first photography class (before the days of digital), how I always wanted to be an underwater photography when I grew up, and thinking how much I would love to work with Jacques Cousteau.  Now that Jacques’ grandson is the star oceanic exploration, I’m reminded of how quickly life passes us by and how important it is to keep our dreams in front of us instead of behind.

beach buds for photo site

I don’t want anyone, including myself, to miss the opportunities that pop up unexpectedly, so when I went to a site that I add to once in a blue moon, National Geographic, I thought of all my wonderful photographer-blogger friends.  You’ve all inspired me and cheered me on and now I want to return the favor.

Make a Gallery – Submit a “My Shot” and get Noticed

If you don’t already know about it – I think you should post your fabulous pictures of all types to National Geographic.  You can sign up for free and they give you a gallery you can post to daily, but they also have a thing called “My Shot” (not to be confused with their “Your Shot,” which is your gallery – maybe, I’m always confused on that, but once you get there, you’ll figure it out).

Anyway, once a month you can post a “My Shot” and they pick a “daily dozen” that they show on their main website under “photography” and if you’re really lucky, they might pick one (could be yours) to add to their magazine.

You’re all such wonderful artists and I wanted to share this opportunity with you because you never know … So go to National Geographic, start a profile and post your beautiful photos – just don’t forget to read the photo rules.

I can’t wait to see them.

Charleston, SC Southern Charm

While in Charleston, we wanted to see the College of Charleston and the City of Charleston – who knew that one is the other and vice-versa. As someone had told us, “the town is the college,” that was definitely true. The buildings are placed throughout – some are old, some are modern. And the city itself … well, part of Charleston’s charm is the way it seamlessly blends the old and new, the modern and the timeless. It all just flows and nothing looks like it doesn’t belong exactly where it is. It’s quirky and classy and simple yet charming.  (Click any of the images to enlarge.)

WindowsClick to Enlarge

I know, I need to either hold my camera straight or get some software. I did try to fix it on my camera and thought I had, still, I can admit my foibles. It was a fun day and I had fun taking these photos, and in the end the memories are what mattered most to me on this trip.
College of CharlestonClick to Enlarge
Magnolias
Gated Arch
PassagewaySame here – this pic could be much straighter and with so many corners and angles in it, I think I’ll just blame this “askew-ness” by saying that this is a very old archway that has probably done much settling since it was built.  When you stop laughing, you can move forward to see some straighter pictures.

 Gated
Entrance WayI love the way you can look through three doorways to see the backyard from the frontyard.

Wilson-Sottile House

Wilson-Sottile House

Pierrine Miniature RosesClose-up of Inscription