Thursday, October 24, 2013

Early Fall in Transylvania County

Every year about this time the mountains beckon, and so I found a window of opportunity midweek and headed up the I-26 to the North Carolina hills of Transylvania and Hendersonville counties.  Funny, you just can't predict when the leaves are going to be at their peak color.  This year they are late.  Why?  Maybe all the rain, who knows.  Anyway, for a photographer it is always a challenge to make it work.  If what you came for is not quite what you anticipated, then switch to Plan B - whatever that is.  Part of the fun is the exploration of unfamiliar territory.  A lot of of the time I have to admit I was hopelessly lost - even with my GPS.  I wandered down roads called "Three Knob Road" and "Hard Times Ridge", always with great anticipation as to what I might find around the next bend.  Here are some of the images of the trip.  See you in the Spring, Hannah Ford Road ...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Diversity under South African skies Part 7

This is the final part of scenes from the road.  These images were taken in and around the Cape Town area during a day trip we took which included watching my nephew shear sheep, photographing Right Whales in Hermanus Bay, and very diverse landscapes being Khayelitsha Township, a sprawling shantytown along the N2 near Cape Town, and a wildly colorful display of purple wildflowers in Elsenburg.
Whale watching in Hermanus

Right Whale breaches in Hermanus Bay

Purple wildflowers in Elsenburg field

Simon shearing sheep at Elsenburg Agricultural College

Children playing in Khayelitsha township

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scenes from the road - South African Diversity Part 6

Here are a few more scenes from the route from Graaff-Reinet to George, traveling along Cape Route N9.  There is a quality of light in these parts that is incredibly photogenic.  To just pass through really doesn't do it justice.  Just love this country.
Classic Karroo Scene with sheep and watering hole

Another abandoned farm

Scenic settlement against the Swartberg Mountains

Approaching George on the Outeniqua Pass (looking at the old Montagu Pass)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Diversity along Cape Route 62 - Part 5

The Cape Route 62 from George to Cape Town through Montagu and other iconic wine towns is very good and incredibly scenic.  We enjoyed stopping and exploring as much as possible.  Here are a few views from the road.
Vineyards at Boplaas Winery with the Calitzdorp church steeple in the background

Abandoned cottage along Cape Route 62

Infamous landmark - Ronnies Sex Shop in the middle of nowhere

Route 62 through Montagu, Cape

Friday, October 11, 2013

Diversity under African Skies Part 4

And so the road trip continues, across the Karoo and over the Outeniqua Pass into George, then back across the Swartberg Pass, a historic gravel road to Prince Albert, stopping into Oudtshoorn en route for breakfast and stopping everwhere for photo opps.  In Prince Albert we stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called Dennehof Guest House.  It is situated in the middle of a farm, hence the images of grazing herds of goats.
Ostriches near Oudtshoorn

Carpets of Wildflowers near Rietfontein in the Karroo

Aloe somewhere along the N9 through the Karoo between Graaff-Reneit and George

The Swartberg pass

Herd of goats in Prince Albert

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Valley of Desolation - Diversity Part 3

After spending two days in the game parks, we traveled inland and stayed overnight in Graaff-Reinet, a small but historic Karoo town, also known as the "heart of the Great Karoo".  It is surrounded by the Camdeboo National Park.  The Valley of Desolation is part of this park.  We visited during a howling gale which made the experience even more memorable.

Mum, leaning into the wind and laughing

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Diversity under African Skies Part 2

These images were also taken at Schotia, a very well-organized and impressive private game park.  I would highly recommend it.  The rangers are knowledgeable, the food is great, and the overall program with the scheduled morning, afternoon and night drives works very well.
one of the dirt tracks into a camp

skull of luckless antelope

giraffe grazing

Lion waiting for his ladies

Milky way from the bush outside our lodge
Lioness spotted during a night drive

Monday, October 7, 2013

Diversity under African Skies Part 1

I have been in South Africa for the past couple of weeks, and I meant to keep up my blog with regular postings of my wanderings.  Limited internet access and a busy schedule got in the way of that, so now I will play catch-up and post images over the next few days that will show some of the wonderful diversity of this land.  These first few were taken in the Schotia private game reserve and Addo National Elephant Park, both near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
White Rhino, victim of poaching for horns, believed (incorrectly) to be an aphrodisiac

Lioness in Schotia Game Park

Herd of elephant playing in a waterhole, Addo Elephant Park

Zebra grazing, Schotia Game Reserve

The zebra that didn't get away