I’m working on a couple of photography projects and have stumbled across quite a few photos which have been tucked away in the depths of my computer for a very long time. Photos, I clearly had a purpose for taking (whether it was because they simply caught my eye, or I had a special place or need).
A few of my favorites are of the tall Live Oaks of St. Simons Island with the Spanish Moss draping from the tree limbs. You can almost feel the warmth from the slivers of light beaming through the tree tops beating down on the ground below.
This photo is of a park just off Mallory Street, a few short blocks from the pier and the lighthouse.
Spanish Moss thrives in humidity, and can be found in the Southern U.S. and in extreme southern parts of Virginia (source: Wikipedia – Spanish Moss ). But, did you know Spanish Moss isn’t really a moss, but a member of the Bromeliad family? Yep, it’s actually a flowering plant which reproduces in one of two (2) ways: through “pups” just like other Bromeliads or seeds carried by the wind.
While researching its history I found a great article written by Celeste Booth: The Story Behind Spanish Moss. Her article covers everything you would ever want to know about this unique plant, even mentioning an interesting folk lore about how it’s name came from a Spanish explorer Gorez Goz. It must be a fairly popular folk lore because I ran across it on a few other sites (Florida Memory).
Credit: State Archives of Florida
Because St. Simons is covered with Live Oaks, Spanish Moss is everywhere perfectly framing and enhancing each scene as it gently sways with the breeze.
Jeep Ride on Old Demere Rd
Bagpipes at Sunset – The Lodge at Sea Island
Young Love, First Kiss Under The Oaks at The Lodge at Sea Island
There is something so magical and romantic about Spanish Moss……don’t you agree?
I’m switching things up for this week’s pic by posting something from my archives. Not that I haven’t been taking photos every day, but because they’ve mostly been of the current moon phase and……….the Atlanta skyline. Don’t get me wrong, I have some pretty cool photos of both, but I’ve been feeling as though I need to vary the subject matter a bit.
The picture I chose is from last March during one of our weekend getaways to SSI Casa de Playa. Based on the time of day this was taken, I’m pretty sure we were out on one of our jeep rides.
Why I like this photo….the marshes were still brown and seemed to be absorbing the colors of the setting sun. I also love the reflection of the Egrets (and those other tiny birds) feeding in the mudflats. I call it “Serenity.”
Field Notes: Focal Length 370mm; Exposure Time 1/1000; Aperture F7.1; ISO 400; Time of Day 6:54p.m.
She was a basket case when we found her. A piece of gray fiberglass, loosely mounted on a car frame. Parts and pieces were stacked throughout the garage. We were assured by the seller (a retired airline mechanic) that everything was there……..as he handed us the plastic Rubbermaid container with mirrors, dials and other miscellaneous parts and pieces.
Her engine, came from a 1993 Ford Mustang donor car. All of the paperwork was there including the dusty instruction manual from the kit car manufacturer (who by the way was no longer in business).
But, my husband had a dream and a vision. A dream that was formed from the influence of his brother who would take him out to the drag strip every weekend. A vision formed from his dream car, a 1969 Camaro Z28, black with gold racing stripes down the middle. And so, as he loaded her into the car hauler another journey began.
It was a labor of love……….and patience. Looking back our expectation was that in a few months we would be zooming around town in our sporty convertible. We soon learned otherwise. Car restorers are artists and you don’t rush them. And so, the process began.
Three (3) years later we finally brought her home after winning a “Top 10 Best of Show.” We had a blast and enjoyed all of the looks we would get. It was amazing to watch kids hanging out of their car windows, snapping photos as we zoomed by. Once, we even had a woman stop us in the grocery store parking lot and ask if she could have her picture taken next to the car!
She was sleek and fast! Our motto (taken from a Toby Keith song) became “get in, sit down, shut up and hold on!”
We made some great memories with her and even managed to fulfill a dream of taking her on a road trip to SSI……a special celebration for my husband’s birthday.
But, as all good chapters in our journey of life must come to an end, we said “goodbye” to her last weekend. It was bittersweet watching my husband run through the car controls and settings with her new owner. But, he had fulfilled his dream, had his fun and was ready to move on.
And so, as he unlatched the hitch and the new owner backed his pick-up to the car hauler, we closed the chapter of “The Cobra.”
I started this blog a few months ago as a place to share my photography with others and to also sharpen my writing skills. You see, I’ve been in Corporate America for a long, long time so I’m a little rusty when it comes to “creative writing” or finding the time to do something with my passion for photography.
A friend of mine and fellow blogger, Janet Berridge (check out her blog at Spanish Moss Series) gave me the inspiration to try my hand at it. So, here I am a few months into this with a personal commitment of writing one blog per month. I was doing fairly well until June came around and I just couldn’t quite get one completed (although I have several drafts started). I’m hoping that through Blogging 101 I can learn a few things which will help me to improve my blogging experience.
With that, thank you for stopping by and checking out my site. Here, you’ll find my bio, a few blogs I’ve written about St. Simons Island, Ga and a glimpse into some of my photography, of which the following are a few of my recent favorites.
Dusk on St. Simons Island with Sidney Lanier Bridge in the background
Walk on the beach at low tide. East Beach, St. Simons Island
Sunrise over the St. Simons Island Lighthouse
I still have some work to do in building out my site and blogging skills, so please pardon “the dust.”
Growing up I spent a lot of time in church……..A LOT!! In fact, throughout middle school and high school my best friends were from my church youth group. So, I guess it isn’t surprising that years later as my interest in photography grew, I started a photography collection of churches.
Yet, way beyond the great memories of my youth there is something more that draws me to them. Every where my husband and I travel I’m always on the look-out for that unique church in a very unique setting. Perhaps it is the similar, yet distinct differences in their architecture, the spiritual beauty and place of worship they represent or the simple fact they have been the center of most communities for thousands of years.
I’ve often thought about taking my collection and publishing a booked filled with the images and the stories behind each church. You know, one of those coffee table books neatly piled on top of a stack of other books waiting to be picked up and thumbed through. But, that is a project that will have to wait for another day when I have more time to devote to it. In the meantime, instead of letting these photos sit endlessly on a hard drive, fading away into far too distant memory, I thought what better place to begin building the book and sharing these photos (and a little bit of their history), than here? And, since my current adventures are in the “Golden Isles of Georgia” why not start with the three (3) oldest churches on St. Simons Island.
LOVELY LANE CHAPEL – EPWORTH BY THE SEA
This beautiful little building, “Lovely Lane Chapel” is located at Epworth by the Sea Methodist Center. Built in 1880 by Norman Dodge and designed by Atlanta architect, G.W. Laine. It was originally known as the Union Church and was consecrated as St. James Episcopal. In 1949 it was re-consecrated Lovely Lane Chapel after the 1784 founding conference of American Methodism in Baltimore, MD.
I remember visiting Epworth by the Sea when I was in high school with my church youth group for some type of retreat. While the exact memory of the event escapes me I do recall the fun and happy feelings of the trip and the many names and faces of those who were with me.
CHRIST CHURCH, ST. SIMONS ISLAND
Quietly, tucked away on the North End of the island you will find Christ Church. Originally built in 1820 it was damaged during the Civil War by Union Troops. Anson Dodge Jr. financed the new building of the present day church in honor of his wife, Ellen, who passed away while on their honeymoon in India. Eventually, Anson became the first rector of the new church. As you walk through the cemetery, you’ll also recognize many family names familiar to St. Simons Island.
ST. IGNATIUS EPISCOPAL CHURCH, ST. SIMONS ISLAND
If you’re driving too fast on Demere Road you will miss this church. I’m told this church also was erected by a member of the Dodge family and the inside is similar to Christ Church and Lovely Lane Chapel. I haven’t been able to work my way inside, yet, so I thought I would share a few photos from the exterior.
Credits: There is so much more to the history of these three (3) churches that I can’t possibly capture it all in this one blog. If you’re interested in learning more about each of these I encourage you to start with Christ Chapel. The Docents are wonderful and extremely knowledgeable about their history and their influence on St. Simons Island. You can also find more information at http://www.jekyllislandhistory.com/christchurch.shtml
“Life is a journey, not a destination……….you are the artist, paint what you will.” This is a combination of my two (2) favorite sayings and very appropriate these days as my husband and I embark on a new adventure. We have always wanted to move to a coastal town where life is simple, the people are friendly and everyday is a new beginning; a place that beckons our inner souls to do the things we always wanted to do, but were held back by the demands and commitments of life. We recently found that special place on St. Simons Island, Georgia (known as SSI by the locals). It’s a neighborly place where people smile and say “hello” with the genuine sincerity of a long time friend; it’s a simple place of no demands or stress which comes with city living; it’s a beautiful place of ocean breezes and streets lined with large oak trees draped in Spanish moss.
Spanish Moss drapes the overhanging trees of Old Demere Rd.
We first visited SSI in 2012 when some dear friends invited us down over the 4th of July. I had never experienced the true meaning of small town America until that first visit. As we arrived on The Island and headed down Kings Way, we immediately found our blood pressure drop…. the large oak trees lined the road with their canopy arching high welcoming us to the enchanted village. It was like a page out of history or a scene out of Mayberry R.F.D. (for those of you old enough to remember the T.V. show). July 4th was straight out of a movie. The streets were lined with locals anxiously waiting for the parade; their golf carts festively decked out in stars and stripes fanfare; and fireworks bursting over the Pier.
Fast forward to 2015, after many visits to SSI we finally purchased a second home where we can escape, relax and begin living the next chapter of our lives. Thanks to a wonderful suggestion by our dear friend, Meg, we named our new home “SSI Casa de Playa.” There’s not much to SSI Casa de Playa. It’s a simple place, a clean canvas that beckons us to fill it with our personalities. We’re both excited and cautious about this journey; excited because everything we have dreamt about is finally coming to life; cautious because every time we visit our new home we have to pinch ourselves to make sure it’s real; and a little humbled because all of the years of our labor are finally paying off. I have no idea what will unfold from here, but I do know that every time we visit it becomes more difficult to leave.
Shrimp Boat off SSI
“Life is a journey, not a destination……..you are the artist paint what you will.”