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.
In October we took a trip to Turks and Caicos to celebrate the women in our lives. We stayed on the north side of Providenciales in a private home called Villa Palmera. Looking out over the infinity pool into the Caribbean Ocean you can see clearly through the water with coral spread out among it and waves crashing across the reef in the distance. We had a great time paddle boarding out and snorkeling along the coral. On the next to last day we stumbled upon a lemon shark about a half mile out from the house… we quickly returned home.
Here are several pictures looking out away from the house over the course of several days:
And here is the picture from our Delta airplane as we were flying away from the islands. You can see the reef that envelopes the north side of the island.
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).
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.
Last night I went for a bike ride to capture some night shots of Rosemary Beach. This is the Town Hall and US Post Office on the coastal side of 30A. The stars were amazing and show up well in this picture. The image was shot with a Nikon D800 and 14-24mm f/2.8, 100 ISO, 5 frames between 1.3 seconds and 20 seconds. It was processed using Photomatix and Lightroom.
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.