Tag Archive: beach

After the 4th of July, it was time to pack for a quick trip to Hilton Head to pick up Ray’s 2003 t-bird, which was still down there, and needed to come back to New York to be inspected. On July 6th we drove south together to accomplish this task. This would not be a long trip, and definitely was not considered a “vacation”. We planned only to spend two days there to rest up before returning north again, with Ray driving the t-bird and me driving our Ford Edge. Of course I took the time to take some photos while we were there…

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1. Front Yard – Hilton Head Island
2. Sego Palm branch
3. Sego Palm

We didn’t do all that much during the two days there in order to rest for our return trip. The weather was hot — triple digit hot — so we limited our outside activities unless absolutely necessary. However, I connected with my friend, Kim – and we took a sunset photo walk on a beach up in Sea Pines the night before we left. It was hot and humid – even at that hour of the day, but the breeze was stiff which tempered the heat.

However, I ran into an interesting problem when I tried to take photos. The temperature and humidity difference between the air conditioned house and car and the hot sticky beach was great and my camera’s lens totally fogged up – – so much so that when it was at it’s worst, there was no way the camera would auto focus on anything. When I looked through the camera, it was like looking through my own foggy eye glasses when there is a change in temperature from cold to warm, so I understood what was going on. It’s not as if this was the first time this has happened to me with a camera, either. However, it seemed to take an unusually long time for the lens to finally right itself. Kim wasn’t having issues, and was taking photos, which worried me some. I didn’t know if I should intervene and clean it – but my instinct told me not to mess with that inner lens – especially on a windy, sandy beach where sand particles could get inside. Thankfully, right before the sunset, it finally cleared out – – just in time!

Here are pictures as taken through the foggy lens once it would auto focus:

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1. The first picture my camera took with foggy lens of sea debris
2. Oddly beautiful — eerie – facing into the sun.

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1. Professional photographers often use the beach as a backdrop for formal family photos, and this family is organizing for their picture. I think the choice of turquoise is nice contrast to the color of the sand.
2. The water is “liquid gold”!

The Sunset
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Sunset – far away and close up

If you wish to see any of my photos larger, click on them to see them in Flickr.


Whew! It’s taken me way too long to get back to blogging since our trip north. Though stressful, the trip went well. The cats were excellent travelers, although Felix’ “meow voice” was working over time! We are now safely settled into our home on Long Island, but during this period of time, I’ve been distracted and scattered, so much so that there were three days when I did not get that daily photo taken. I had vowed not to allow that to happen, but perfection is elusive. My few days “lapse” will not stop me from continuing to take daily photos.

As I said I would do, I’m going to return to the beauty of Hilton Head in order to update my daily photos from the last days on Hilton Head before heading north. It will be fun to relive it.

On May 1st, I took a gorgeous sunrise walk on Folly Field Beach with my friend, Kim. We moved from Folly Field, to Port Royal Beach, then onto to the edge of Mitchelville, where the ocean moves into Port Royal Sound. It was a leisurely walk, as we stopped often along the way to take photos of whatever fancied us. I’m not much of am morning person, so I miss way too many sunrises. However, once I’ve managed to tear myself out of my cozy bed, I’m always grateful that I’ve made the effort. That time of day has the best lighting for photos, as well as being much cooler and more comfortable in spring and summer. As we finished our walk, the temperature got oppressively warm, I was anxious to get out of the sun and the heat.

It will be difficult to choose one photo to be the photo of the day for May 1st – but with the option of bonus photos – I’ll just choose one:

365 photo #122. I have never considered jellyfish to be attractive or pretty, but they become almost like a stained glass window in the low morning light! There were tons of them on the beach that morning

Bonus photos:

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1. Good Morning! Sunrise!
2. Tide Pool reflections (of a house on the shoreline)

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1. surf line — with sea foam
2. sea creatures and plants – including whelk egg sacs

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1. shell – we placed it on end like this for photographic purposes
2. driftwood

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1. snowy egret
2. pelicans and sea gulls out on the sand bar

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1. sanderling – oh my do they love to scurry on the beach!
2. more driftwood out in the tide pools – with barnacles

I think it may be time to see what the beach is like here — before the tourists invade. We don’t have much more time until then….

More catch up in next entry…

For yesterday’s photo of the day, I had a variety to choose from, as, after church, Ray and I took a walk on our “Boneyard Beach”. It was a crystal clear day – though a little cool. I couldn’t figure out what to wear to be comfortable. In retrospect, my new fleece vest would have been perfect, as my fleece jacket was too much.

I traveled with only my 100-400 lens on my camera – determined to find and photograph some wildlife, and there was … some. Yesterday’s photo of the day is the elusive sand piper! They are so quick, and skittish around humans, making them difficult (for me) to photograph. There were groups of them in the water – and groups of them flying in chorus, but here is one that posed for me for a “milli” second – long enough to get this shot! *g*

365 photo #29

And — because I photographed so much more – here are a few bonus photos: (see larger by clicking them)

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1. Great Blue Heron – on an oyster bed … fishing
2. These shells are everywhere on the beach

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1. Mitchellville entrance to the beach — that’s Ray in the red
2. sea gulls – galore!

Today’s photo of the day is – again – the wiry squirrel, taken right out of our back sliding glass door. We have so many squirrels, that I suspect there will be many who will make the 365 photo project. This little guy stayed in this position on the tree for quite some time — long enough for me to run to the bedroom – grab my SD card (which was in my computer), put it in my camera, change the lens to the 100-400 mm and go back to snap this photo, and several more! Ray wondered if he was “sunning” himself – kind of like we humans like to sunbathe on the beach!

365 photo #30

After church and our usual lunch at the Plantation Cafe today, Ray and I decided to walk off our big meal at one of the beaches which we can access from where we live. The weather was warm and sunny — “better” than perfect for a January day. One MUST take advantage of days like these!

I don’t know the actual name of the beach, but it’s on Port Royal Sound. It’s not the typical ocean beach with traditional ocean waves, and pristine sand. This beach is often littered with beach grass, a little pluff mud, oyster beds, driftwood and many assorted shells. This, for me, makes it more interesting than the average ocean beach. I have a photography friend who has the knack for finding bones, teeth and other artifacts on this beach. However, I don’t have an eye for those things, so when I’m alone, they’re lost on me. She and I have dubbed this beach “Boneyard Beach” because of her interesting finds!

Like the ocean, The tides affect this beach too, and there is always a line of grass showing the last high tide mark. There are also gentle waves, bringing the shells gently in and out. Often I see aquatic wildlife there — egrets, herons — hanging out in the tall grass grazing for food in the tide pools. But – there was nothing today except for a few sea gulls. So – I took pictures of the scenery

Today’s photo is of one shell that’s hung from a piece of driftwood. I’ve noticed on several beaches in the area that it’s become custom for beach walkers to sometimes hang shells from dead branches making the driftwood look like a very “beachy” Christmas tree! Sometimes red ribbon or other beach things like colorful seaweed is placed there which really adds a festive touch. Today I saw only this lone shell and thought it needed to have a photo taken of it….

365 photo # 8

As I said in my last entry, on the day of the earthquake and tsunami, a friend and I went to a beach on Port Royal Sound, which is not far from my house.  Because it’s not directly on the ocean, it’s a bit more sheltered and the water more “quiet”.  The waves are more gentle, though the tides still affect the water.  On this beach there’s lots of “pluff mud” in addition to sand and beds of oyster shells and numerous weathered and unique pieces of driftwood.  To me, this beach is more interesting because of the numerous things to inspect and photograph. 

My friend has dubbed this beach “Boneyard Beach” because of the artifacts she has found there on her many beach combing trips, and I’ve taken to calling this beach this name, too.  She’s come home with teeth and bones from various animals and aquatic wildlife who had once lived there.  I don’t have an eye for finding these, but she seems to spot them in among the shell beds and sand like they are a shiny needle in a haystack!   

On this day, I can’t remember if we found any artifacts.  I arrived at the beach reeling from the news of the earthquake – and lack of sleep from having watched too much of the news about it in the middle of the night just after it happened.  I almost didn’t want to go, but am glad I did.  I said this before, but it’s worth saying again:  I saw the water … and it was sobering to realize that this same calm water could cause such death and destruction – if given the right conditions. 

So – my friend and I went about our usual walking the beach with our cameras – enjoying the gorgeous, clear weather, the calm water, the beach, the driftwood, and shells – and, at least for me – appreciating it more than usual.

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1.  View of the beach showing pluff mud, beach grass, shells and sand – and on the edge of a little stream of water that flows from inland to the beach. 

2.  pluff mud at the shore line – the tide was high but receding

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1.  Great egret along the shorline and beach grass

2.  I believe this is a loon in winter plumage.  Loons breed on fresh water northern lakes, but they migrate to the coast – sometimes further south – to sheltered salt water bodies during the winter, and this loon is still in his winter home.  I’m not sure they go until April or even early May.  However, I also believe that it’s injured.  I was astounded at how close he allowed me to get to him.  As I got closer to him, he did move – but kind of limped toward the water.  I do know, however, that loons are very awkward on land.  Except to nest, they spend almost no time on land, so this may be it, too.  He did manage to waddle back to the water after being startled by my friend’s and my presence. 

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1.  An interesting close up of a piece of driftwood in the sand.  I see a head on this – and an eye, nose and even a mouth, too!

2.  More driftwood – along a stream that runs from inland to the beach whether the tide is in or out. 

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1.  Looking back to the stream of water that goes into the Sound.  If you look carefully, you can see a Great Blue Heron standing on those rocks.  The picture was taken into the sun, so there was a lack of contrast between the bird and the water.  Click on the picture to see it larger in my flickr account.

2.  The entrance / exit to the beach.  I took this as we were leaving.

From there we went over to Jarvis Park … next entry….!

Once again a portion of the world is covered in rubble from an 8.9 earthquake — and the ravages from a "wall of water" from the tsunami.  Since then, I have been watching the news.  But – more than that – I’ve been thinking about the ramifications of these natural disasters that come our way in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, and even hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, floods, droughts and the like. 

First of all – the videos that have come from Japan are heartbreaking – watching cars and houses crumble and move about like they were toys shows the amazing power of amassed water. The fear of what is going on with the nuclear power plant is also frightening. I’m not sure they are reporting the total truth about that. The human element in all of this is the worst – the mass death and destruction, is hard to imagine. Realizing all of this — it is hard for me to "sit" with this in the comfort of my home. Prayers are all well and good, but the victims need the basics of life now. What is the world’s role? What is *my* role? Yet – too many helpers only confuse things. In many respects – we are all "one" on this planet earth – or we should think of it in that fashion, but how do we take action?

I initially got immersed in the news right about when it happened. I was not able to sleep for some reason – and had also changed the channel from my usual HGTV to CNN. As I watched in the dark and silence of the night, the reports were almost surreal, and there was no going back to sleep for me. Basically I had only 2 hours of sleep that night – max.

Japan was as ready as any country for this kind of tragedy. They know their land is prone to this, and even the word "tsunami", I think, is a Japanese word. Their government is as well structured to handle it as is any country. (as compared to Haiti, for example). But – no one can be truly ready for what happened. 8.9 is "the big one", and I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been if the buildings / roads / bridges had not been built to earthquake codes. And, it’s my opinion that no one can ever be ready for a tsunami like the one they saw. Who could prepare, short of banning all habitation "that" far from the ocean’s shore?  To me – this shows, beyond the shadow of a doubt that WE humans are never not in charge. 

We humans think we are so smart, and have become cocky enough to think that our brains, amassed knowledge and technology can (or has the potential to) master anything, control everything, and be strong enough for any contingency.  The reality is – the universe rules.  No matter what we are able to do, or seemingly control, the universe is always capable of being in charge of the outcome.  Control is truly only an illusion.

This leads me to the role of God in all of this, and, to be honest … I don’t know.  I don’t want to get too heavy into this because, for me, my faith is weak and the unknown is too great.  I ask too many questions for which I have no answers.  Is God behind the universe and all these natural disasters?  If so, how much so?  Did He create them and cause them?  We give Him credit for nature’s beauty.  Should we not also give Him credit for the “bad”?  Is it possible that because of our limited human capacity to see the larger picture that we cannot see that there will be some good which can – and will – come out of tragedy?  Maybe that benefit won’t affect us – or the Japanese now, but could there be a future plan for all of this?  I can’t imagine that this would be much of a consolation to the Japanese most affected by this tragedy, maybe even feeling like a slap in the face!  I have heard it said that to try to answer these questions is not our job.  Our job is simply to trust that God has a Good Plan for us, and is there to give us strength and comfort during our trials.  I also get to thinking about some of the Old Testament “punishments” for “evil doing” by an “angry god”, and it’s also easy for me to go there when these huge disasters strike.  I write all of this, but continue to shake my head in bewilderment and skepticism.  Yeah … I did start this paragraph about my faith being weak, didn’t I…  I’ve come full circle.

Like the US, Japan’s people are used to all the amenities of modern life — electricity, plumbing, technology, communications of all kinds. Once we get "soft" by getting used to these things, having to go without, with little sign that these things will return is maybe harder. I am often amazed at the strength of human character when faced with these kinds of things, though. I’m not sure any of us know our own strength unless we are forced to be strong.

Thankfully the affects of the tsunami was lighter on Hawaii and the Pacific shoreline. Yet — there were people who were either crazed with fear beyond what was necessary – or those foolhardy folks who decided to purposely go out in the surf at the time of the "wave".

Yet – it is reminding me that Ray and I have houses on the two largest barrier islands on the east coast of the US. Are we crazy?  We’re not the only ones, either… Humans flock to the beach for it’s beauty and recreation — building houses, hotels, restaurants on the edge of gorgeous beaches, forgetting that all that beauty can turn on us.  It’s true that tsunamis and earthquakes aren’t quite as commonplace as they are on the west coast — but they DO happen, and there are fault lines in varieties of places all over the US. It is not out of the question that we could have "the big one" here, too. It’s probably not "if", but "when". I guess we all hope that it’s "not in our lifetime". Humans have a knack for burying their collective heads in the sand and forgetting that even though the ocean is magnificent – and gorgeous. It can turn nasty and mean during storms and tsunamis. Mountains also are majestic and beautiful – but we can’t forget how hills are formed — good old fashioned earthquakes (and volcanoes) are one way our landscape changes. Out of the ashes rise such beauty…?!  And good?

Sometimes I think we know precious little about all of this, and we need to learn more.

The day of the earthquake, a friend of mine and I went on a photo walk along a local beach not far from home.  It was kind of bittersweet for me to see such beauty – realizing that on the other side of the planet – this same water did such destruction — and how this water could do the same with us. Oddly – I found I appreciated the beauty more – maybe because I was more keenly aware of it’s potential strength, too.

There really are no good words about all of this, and this entry is just me — spinning my wheels – trying to find them. I suppose there rarely are understandable words to explain things when this kind of tragedy hits.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this tragedy…. I guess that’s the bottom line.

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