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.
A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity through the Trust for Public Land to go and photograph the Bellwood Quarry on the west side of Atlanta. The Bellwood Quarry is part of Westside Park, a new City of Atlanta park that will be 351 acres along with a 45 acre lake once the Quarry is filled up. This will be the biggest park in the city of Atlanta. The Quarry will also serve a drinking water reservoir for the city of Atlanta. Westside Park is part of the Atlanta Beltline Project.
The image below is available for purchase at www.CarsonMatthewsPhotography.com. 50% of the profits from sales of this photograph will be donated to the Trust for Public Land.
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).
These massive dump trucks were working hard to offset the erosion that is taking place at Sea Island. They were running back and forth from Ocean Forest to Sea Island delivering sand. The kids loved watching them fly back and forth down the beach. It will be interesting to go back this summer and see how it turned out.
This past week I stopped by the Whitewater Creek area of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Park to see how spring was coming in. Spring was in full force, the wildlife was everywhere. I crouched by the water to take a picture and a beaver popped up right in front of me checking out some wood for his fort. There were salamanders all over the place, and of course a blue heron and lots of ducks. Here is a shot looking north up the Chattahoochee. The clouds were vibrant and really made the blue sky pop.
I love this walking bridge over the swimming pool in Sea Island. In the summer this pool is stacked with kids and teenagers, but in February it’s cold as ice and empty. This is a 5 image HDR shot on a gorgeous winter day.
Sunday night we went to the Lodge at Sea Island to listen to the bagpipe player, have dinner and roast smores. This amazing sunset over the St Simons Sound behind the Sidney Lanier Bridge was a bonus. This is a 5-image HDR photograph taken with a Nikon D800 and processed in Photomatix & Lightroom.