What a Beautiful Day!

Today was spectacular! The weather was perfect, and everything about the day warbled spring!

I started the day heading over to pick my mother up for breakfast.  On the way over (less than half a mile, by the way), my daughter and I managed to rescue two animals from being hit by a car.  Granted it was my car, but that’s beside the point.  Before we even got out of the neighborhood, we happened upon a mama bird giving her baby a flying lesson.  Unfortunately, Junior ended up sitting in the middle of the road. My daughter hopped out and got the little fluff-ball out of the road while mama bird watched and squawked a bit nervously.  Then, on my mother’s dirt road, I had to hit the brakes, because there sat a turtle basking in the sun.  My daughter hopped out again and gingerly picked that little guy up and put him on the side of the road out of the way too.  Then it was off to breakfast!

After breakfast, my daughter headed off to work, and Mama decided she wanted to go for a walk (as neither of us really wanted to go home and cut grass).  My feet weren’t quite dressed for the adventure, so we headed back to my house for shoes, water, and of course, my camera.  Then we headed off to Turner Lake Park to walk some trails and photograph whatever caught my fancy.  Boy were there some things to photograph today!

Turtles ruled the pond today!  There were more turtles there today than I have ever seen!  On this log alone, there were 19!

May 02, 2018Turner Lake34.jpg There were at least three different species as far as I could tell, and they were everywhere. I took more photos of turtles on this one day than I have taken in all my years of photography put together.  It was fantastic!

Along the trails, Mama and I talked and talked, and I spotted some small butterflies, a frog, some flowers, some insects…the usual stuff.

As we headed out of the woods and back around the lake, I happened to spot a Great Blue Heron across the water.  I watched him for a bit and took quite a number of photos.  Mama had a bit of trouble seeing him from that distance because he blended in to his environment so well.

As we made our way back toward the car, we stopped by where the geese hang out.  They are pretty used to people hanging about, so they went about their business of preening and napping.  And of course, I sat and watched and photographed.

A couple of squirrels wanted in on the photo shoot too, so I took pictures of their cute little selves.

As we walked away from the geese, however, we saw a very unfortunate little casualty.  A big brown bat was flopping around on the shore.  He seemed very injured and not very interested having anything bother him in what I believe were his final moments.  It was quite sad.  He was quite beautiful.

Then I saw the Great Blue Heron fly over to our side of the pond, so I was able to get a few great shots of him up close.

Then, we headed over to the dock to see the ducks.  There were a few of these guys hanging about.

As we walked out on the dock, I noticed quite a commotion going on in the trees near the water’s edge.  Some birds were having quite a fit over something.  Curious, I headed over to take a look.  I watched them fussing about and carrying on for a bit, and then I noticed what all of the commotion was about.  It appeared that a black racer had invaded the little bluebird couple’s humble abode.  I assume he made a meal out of their future offspring…very sad and unfortunate, but I suppose it is the “circle of life”.  I’ve never really photographed a snake before, so I seized the opportunity born from this unfortunate event.  I was able to get fairly close as he was in a tree and not likely to be able to get at me (though I think he was more afraid of me than the other way around).

We spent about three hours out there at the lake, and we thought we were done with our little adventure.  But just as soon as I turned down the drive to take Mama back home, I had to stop again.  There on the side of that little dirt road sat two little bunny rabbits.  My daughter grabbed the camera from the back of the car, and I was able to get a couple of good shots before they hopped away.

What an amazingly beautiful day!

 

 

Old Car City

Well, the year of 2017 found me twice in this gem of a place in the middle of nowhere in White, Georgia. It is a true photographer’s heaven, especially if you love old cars, junkyards, and the beauty of nature reclaiming the landscape. It’s not too shabby for getting those creep factor shots in either…a bit eerie when you’re wandering about in there alone. No need to worry though. The owners are fantastic, the trails are well worn, and the signage along the way is quite entertaining.

When my photography club set up this outing, my first thought was, “If only I had known about this place while my Daddy was still alive. He would have loved it!” This thought was only confirmed as I arrived there and began wandering about.

When you first go in, you might stumble upon some interesting, and maybe even creepy things …like dolls. “Dolls?” you ask, “in an old car junkyard?” That’s right…dolls.

You just never know where you might find one…or twenty…lying about. Now, I don’t think they move about, so you might be safe. But one just never really knows, you know.

You’ll mostly definitely stumble upon an old bicycle line-up.  It leads the way into the heart of the city.

Oh, and another doll. I forgot about her. I think she’s been waiting a really long time for a ride.

There are also other odds and ends scattered about, like old cash registers, chairs, cans…you name it, and you can probably find it in there somewhere.

Oh, and there’s another doll I missed. Strange how they mysteriously pop up. Hopefully, we won’t run into any more.

Did I mention that there’s a bit of an artistic flair to this 32-acre masterpiece?

Now, be sure to put your walking shoes on and take some water and snacks when you head out there (because I know you’ll want to see this place for yourself).  There are 6 miles of walking trails, and trust me, you’ll get wandering about and turned around and travel the same trail twice or more, and that 6 will turn into 10 pretty quick! Well, maybe not quick, because it’ll take you all day and probably a couple more to see everything. And if you spread your visits out like I did, you might just find a few things change in the newer parts. Then you’ll have to see it all again.

Well, thankfully no dolls showed up in the middle of those trails. I was beginning to get a little worried. So now I guess it’s time to get to what you really wanted to see…all of those old cars.

Mother Nature decided to put her artistic touch throughout the city, and I think she got a little carried away with a few of her pieces.

But for the most part, nature and machine blend quite nicely.

I thought we were safe from the dolls, but I see one popped up on the hood of a truck. That little one is especially creepy.

While you’re there, don’t miss all of the cool hood ornaments.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Some of those aren’t actually hood ornaments. But hey, at least we didn’t run into anymore creepy dolls.

So, I hope you enjoyed the journey, and if you ever get the chance, head on out and see this place for yourself.

Happy trails!

My Assistant…Enderchick77

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Many moons ago…one to be exact, because the date on the photo album is October 12…my lovely assistant and I headed out to Indian Springs State Park to get the backup camera ready for the wedding the following weekend. I had a second camera body that had not been set up yet, and my assistant needed to get comfortable using this camera and taking video with it.

Well, as you probably know from my last blog, my assistant is my beautiful daughter. So here she is…

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Yep…that’s her. The blurry vision behind the tree looking at me with a “Seriously…you’re gonna take a picture of me now?!” kind of look. That’s Kat…my lovely teenage assistant. She’s learning a bit about photography, and she has a pretty good eye for it. She also loves vlogging and script writing. Her YouTube name is Enderchick77, so be on the lookout for some videos. And if you happen to be in a store somewhere and see “Enderchick77 was here”, know that she was there. As personalities go, we are probably polar opposites. She is outgoing, full of energy, and quite the social butterfly. She’s more like her father in that she takes life as it comes. My son and I are the planners of the family.

(By the way…my son is jwcato24gaming on YouTube. He does MineCraft videos with his friends…The Server Guys. He and his friend, Tyler…aka TheFullRunThrough…started The Server Guys many, many moons ago…as in more than one.)

Since I’m giving plugs, here are some links:

https://www.youtube.com/user/captkatcato/videos

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpXZFoqZ54VmOquvhNnYv9A

(this is jwcato24gaming, co-founder of The Server Guys…there is a list in the sidebar of all of the other Server Guys. Check out their channels too.)

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheFullRunThrough/videos (founder of The Server Guys)

https://www.youtube.com/user/Kilaung/videos (Kilaung…another Server Guy)

https://www.youtube.com/user/Cacille (Cacille…another Server Guy who uses MineCraft and YouTube to teach the English language.)

And here’s my favorite video by The Full Run Through and JWCato24 Gaming:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWAR9XGnAjM

And so…back to the focus of this blog…my assistant and our day at Indian Springs State Park.

When we arrived at Indian Springs State Park, there was a wedding going on in the pavilion. This meant we had to work our way around without disturbing the ceremony. We took the long way around, going from the parking lot, back up around the park store, and over to the bridge to get to the stream.

We set up at the top of the hill and took some video and pictures, and then we headed down to the water. Being the brave photographers that we are, we worked our way out into the middle of the stream and got some great photos.

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And I got several candid shots of Kat.

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We had a lovely afternoon, got the camera set up, and….only fell in the water once. But the camera didn’t get wet! Kat on the other hand…well…

So, that’s the story of my lovely assistant, Kat (Enderchick77), and our day at Indian Springs State Park.

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