Last night the kids were playing with sparklers, the stars were out and the moon was slim, so it made for some good pictures of the palm tree in our yard and the stars behind it. Each image is available on my website www.CarsonMatthewsPhotography.com. The change in ISO from 3200 to 800 made a big impact on what is visible in each picture.
This weekend over Fall Break we made a quick trip up to Highlands North Carolina. On Saturday morning we strolled up to Sunset Rock to get the kids out of the house before lunch. The trail head is located just past Mountain Fresh and only takes about 20 minutes to hike. There is parking across the street from the Highlands Nature Center on Horse Cove Road. Sunset Rock offers a stunning overhead view of the town of Highlands. In the morning the sun behind you provides beautiful light over the town, highlighting the fall colors.
In the evening the sun sets perfectly over Highlands. Below is a picture taken in November of 2015 over Thanksgiving.
This past week over New Years we spent a few days in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida. The weather wasn’t great, but at least it wasn’t raining. I found some pretty nice size sharks teeth and got some good shots of the shorebirds hanging around the beach. Below was my favorite picture of what looks like a Sanderling or Dunlin. I only say that after looking at this website http://jaxbirding.com/duval_lifelist.php that shows a lot of the common birds found around this area of northeast Florida. This and other pictures of Ponte Vedra can be found at http://www.carsonmatthewsphotography.com/Travel/PonteVedra/
This past week I had the opportunity to visit the Altama Plantation, formerly called Hopeton, near St Simons Island, Georgia. It is such a beautiful property with a rich history with records dating back as far as 1763. It was most recently owned by the Jones family that also owned Sea Island. One of the original owners studied water control in Holland and put that knowledge to work in a diking and drainage system that supported the rice fields of Hopeton. It was also home to sugar mills, and ruins still remain, two of the chimneys pictured below with the year 1899 engraved with cut bricks. The ancient oak and pine trees are just stunning with drooping Spanish moss, and Gardenia’s like you have never seen before left over from prior owners gardens. Wildlife is abundant, while only there for 24 hours we saw an alligator, wild hog, tons of deer, a water moccasin, a turkey, several hawks and a massive owl. Coming from Atlanta it was simply amazing to be in a place like that.
We went for a walk on the beach after a storm on Monday and found all sorts of creatures washed up on the shore. I don’t have any idea what kinds of seaweed these are, so chime in below in the comments if you can identify any of these seaweed species. Both of these are 5-image HDR shots taken with the lens resting on the beach sand (very carefully).