Sailing and Adventure


The Lanier Photographic Society is a meet up group that is near our area. Saturday June 29 they arranged a visit to the Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega, GA. We are were able to visit the mine after hours. This enabled us to get some great photos.

Dora and I visited the Newman Wetlands Center in Hampton, GA. This is a wonderful place to spend a couple of quiet hours. The area is a marsh area that is a natural habitat for a numerous wildlife. It is a great place to photograph dragonflies. Mosquitoes are not a problem as the dragonflies are one of their natural enemies. It is also a great place to find butterflies. Pictured below is a Blue Dasher dragonfly and a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

Dora and I drove up to White, GA to visit Old Car City USA. This is a 34 acre property full of old junked cars. We were there for about 2 hours and only saw one small part. We will have to go back again to see more.

Berry College is located near Rome, GA. It is a beautiful campus with a rich history. There are a number of historic landmarks as well as an abundance of wildlife. Deer can be seen frequently around the campus.

Our trip to Alaska helped us check off a bucket list item, visit all 50 states. The trip began in Seattle 0n September 15, 2013 aboard the Golden Princess, a 950 foot 108,865 ton cruise ship. Our cabin was on deck 12, starboard. From the balcony we had an awesome view of the Seattle skyline prior to departure.

Dora and I just returned from the week-long MO cruise, planned by John and Anita Kjallberg. Our original plan called for us to sail from St. Marys, GA to Cumberland Island. Cumberland Island is a National Park and Seashore. Due to the government shutdown Cumberland Island was closed and stiff fines were in place for going ashore. We opted instead to sail to St. Simons on St. Simons Island where we could tour the St. Simons lighthouse. A cast iron spiral stairway of 129 steps leads to the top of the lighthouse. Every 21 steps there is a landing which made for a rest. It took Dora and me awhile but we finally made it to the top. There was a street art festival going on as well and after visiting the lighthouse we walked around the town to see the festival.

Cumming, Georgia has about 25 of these eggs located around town. The project is known as Eggstraordinary Outdoor Art Exhibit. You might wonder why eggs? Forsyth County has a number of poultry businesses. Several groups are involved including the Sawnee Women's Club, Sawnee Artists Association, Forsyth County Parks and Recreation, Forsyth County Art Alliance, and Art Students of North Forsyth High School.

I grew up in Mt. Shasta, a small mountain town in Nothern California. In the mid-to-late 1950s and early 1960s I didn't have any idea about light pollution. The night skies were filled with stars and we gave little thought to their presence. Years later I find myself living in a light-polluted world and wondering what happened to all those stars. It turns out they are still there. Photographer friend Amy Little arranged a photo shoot in a field in Lincolton, GA. Dora and I left the Atlanta area around 3:00 PM on Saturday, July 26 for the three hour drive to Lincolton. The field Amy found belonged to a family friend. We arrived in Lincolton around 6:00 PM. After finding a place to eat we arrived at the field around 7:00 PM. We were a bit early and had the field to ourselves for awhile. There was an old abandoned International 2000 truck used for drilling. Several years ago it broke down and was never repaired or moved. I took some photographs of it while waiting for the rest of the group.

Seabrook, TX is home to approximately 30 six to eight feet tall fiberglass pelicans. The Seabrook Pelicans were created to honor the return of the brown pelican to Seabrook. We saw several of the pelicans during our visit to the Catalina 22 National Regatta June 21-June 26. My favorite was this fellow. His name is Holiday and is located outside the hotel we stayed at.

Simpsonwood, a 227-acre Conference and Retreat Center, is another photo project I have been working on. Simpsonwood is a beautiful property that is heavily wooded that also functions as a nature preserve along the Chattahoochee River. Visitors are allowed to walk the property and enjoy the natural beauty freely.

A retired Norcross school teacher, Miss Ludie Simpson, first left this property to her Presbyterian Church with the stipulation that the land be kept intact and a small chapel built in honor of her father. Five years later the chapel still had not been built and she got the property back. In June of 1973 Miss Simpson gave the property to the Methodist Church with the same stipulation. The Methodist Church built the chapel and it is the site for many weddings.

In recent years the Conference and Retreat Center has not been profitable enough for the Church to maintain the property and they have gone as far as having the deed of trust overturned in court. The property has been purchased by Gwinnett County with plans to turn the property into a park. Currently the gate into the property is closed to traffic but it can still be walked. It will be interesting to see what the county does with this area to make it a park. In the meantime I continue to explore the trails and photograph the many beautiful and natural surroundings. For more images of Simpsonwood click here.

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