Tag Archives: Calendar

Welcome to February!

Abandoned house along SR 264 near Englehard, North Carolina
Abandoned house along SR 264 near Englehard, North Carolina

I mentioned that we had a new house, right? 🙂

I received a number of favorable comments on a similar photo I posted last week and I thought it made for an interesting subject, so I processed another shot from that same location to share as this month’s wallpaper.  I thought about using a snow photo, but for some of us, we’re hoping that the little bit of snow we got this past week means that we’re done for the year and that we can get on to spring.  We’ll see how that works out, but that is the optimist’s view!

Well here we are, already into the second month of the year.  I know I am looking forward to finishing the moving in process at just about the time the weather warms up enough to make getting outside a bit more enjoyable.  Here in the south, February can sometimes mean an early spring or it can mean “don’t hold your breath.”  I’ve got my hopes on an early transition.  We’ll see what happens!

Happy 2014!

Sunset, Hilton Head Island, SC
Sunset, Hilton Head Island, SC

Whew! I have to say that 2013 was a wild one for the Dills family! We sold two houses, observed the construction of a new house, moved twice, took a couple of great vacations and just generally had a lot of fun. But I’m just about worn out! Kathy & I are really looking forward to a little quieter year in 2014, with some time to recharge our batteries, catch our breath and enjoy life with just a little less “excitement.”

In keeping with the “quiet” theme I decided to go with a beach scene for this month. This is another from the archives – all the way back to 2007. Taken on the beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, this photo reflects the peace and calm I feel at the beach, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. One of our very favorite getaway locations, the beach is high on our list of places to return to in 2014.

We have a little more settling in to do in our new place, but we’ve got things just about to the point where I can start thinking about photography again. I sort of hit the big “Pause Button” this past year, since I just wasn’t able to give it the time and attention I like to devote to my photography. I’m looking forward to settling in and really wrapping my brain around it again. Stay tuned!

December 2013 Wallpaper

Woodland Trail at Chincoteague Island National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague Island, Virginia
Woodland Trail at Chincoteague Island National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague Island, Virginia

Wow, last month of the year!  And although it’s been a good one there’s a lot to look forward to in 2014.

This month’s calendar is something a little different, but hopefully not too different.  It’s a little more “abstracty” than sometimes, but I was looking for something a little different, that spoke to the season without screaming “CHRISTMAS.”  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.  It’s just that I wanted something a little…quieter.

I hope everyone has a great month, a joyous Christmas/Holiday season and best wishes for a wonderful 2014.

November 2013 Wallpaper

Boat Reflections on Far Creek, Englehard, North Carolina
Boat Reflections on Far Creek, Englehard, North Carolina

OK, so I’m a little late this month – SORRY!  Actually I sort of forgot.  But at least ONE person contacted me to tell me that they missed my update.  Sorry, Kevin W, that you had to go almost a whole day without the latest calendar! 🙂

Lots happening in the House of Dills this month.  Hopefully I’ll be broadcasting from my new “studio” for the December update.  We’ll see.  I’ve got some posts in the works, though.  Words for some, photos for others.  I just have to put them together.

For those of you who also have my print calendar, this is one of the few times that I’ve duplicated my print calendar with my desktop calendar.  But when I turned the page on my printed calendar this morning, I liked the photo so much I decided to put it on my computer screen, too!  I hope you enjoy it.

October Wallpaper Calendar

Morning light and fall color from Pounding Mill Overlook on the

I didn’t shoot a lot of desktop-worthy fall color last year, so I had to go back two years for this one.  While it isn’t “fall leaves and acorns” it is nevertheless color in the sky that you just don’t get too often over the summer.  Not until the humidity blows off do you get these vibrant colors in the mornings.

Pounding Mill Overlook is on the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of the SR 276 intersection, so whether you are in Brevard or Waynesville it is an easy sunrise destination, especially in the fall when sunrise is at a very civilized time.  People don’t believe me when I say that the best color is often 30 minutes or more before sunrise.  Why?  Because people don’t usually start looking that soon, and because it is still really, really dark.  But the color is there, you just have to be ready for it.

Kathy & I have a little bit of fall travel planned, although we will mostly be making day trips. I’ve used up nearly all of my vacation time for this year, and we’re holding onto what few of our vacation dollars are left until we can close on our house.

September Wallpaper

Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia
Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia

Tired of Nova Scotia photos yet?  Good,  ’cause I’m not!

Another photo from our July adventure, the light is what I think makes this photo. The boarded up windows on one side and the hint of color in the other window hint at possibly a difficult past with some hope for  the future.

We saw a lot of buildings with this shake siding, much of it in need of a coat of paint. Probably very durable against the elements despite occasional deferred maintenance.

I hope everyone has an excellent September.

August 2013 Wallpaper

Kidston Island Lighthouse, Bras d'Or Lake, Baddeck, Nova Scotia
Kidston Island Lighthouse, Bras d’Or Lake, Baddeck, Nova Scotia

With so many photos of Nova Scotia, I had to post something from that trip for the August wallpaper.  This is one of my favorites so far.

After a short overnight in Truro following our flight to Halifax, we officially began our trip with a drive to Baddeck, a nice little inland town on Bras d’Or Lake.  Baddeck is best known for being the home of Alexander Graham Bell during the time when he did most of his work.  His home there is still owned by the family and is not open to the public.  But Parks Canada has built a wonderful museum that houses exhibits and artifacts from that era.  It’s a great place to visit.

The Kidston Island Lighthouse is a landmark in Baddeck and can be easily seen from the downtown area, in particular the marina near the Baddeck Yacht Club. This was an especially clear night, and I loved how the blue color really came out after sunset, with just enough light from the western sky to illuminate the lighthouse.  The biggest challenge that evening was battling the mosquitos long enough to get my shot!  Tom: 1, Mosquitos: 0. 🙂

Taking Comfort in the Familiar, and July 2013 Wallpaper

Sunset from Morton Overlook, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Sunset from Morton Overlook, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

I guess it’s human nature that we find comfort in returning to things and places we have been before and know well.  Even when we have moved on to so-called “bigger and better things” we never completely get away from our past.  Whether that is good or bad is to be determined, and is up to each of us to decide.

While it’s where I started my “serious” photographic endeavors, I find myself doing very little classic  “Nature Photography” these days.  Not that there is anything wrong with it, as there are few things I enjoy more than standing at an overlook in the pre-dawn cold or the late evening dusk waiting for that Magic Moment.  But there’s just so much more to do than that.  As much as I love it, in many ways, as a photographer I’ve moved on.

I need to be a little cautious here, because I have a lot of good friends for whom nature photography is exactly what they want to do, and they spend all of their spare time, effort and money doing it.  So I’m not trying to make myself out as better than anyone, or suggest that I am more of an artiste than someone else, just because I like taking photographs of peeling paint and shadows.  It’s just that after a few hundred sunrises and sunsets, eventually they all sort of started looking the same to me.  While I still do my share of sunrises and sunsets, flowers and bugs, there’s only so much time, and I want to see what else there is!

So with all that said, this month’s calendar is one of those cliché photographs from an iconic location.  Morton Overlook in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of just a handful of places you can shoot sunset standing next to your car.  Plus, it often has just the right combination of good light and interesting sky that it often produces interesting results.  The downside, however, is that there is really only one view.  You seldom need anything but a 24-70 lens, which is what I used for this photo.  You can go wide or long within those limits, but for the most part that’s about what you have to work with.  The rest is up to the fate of the weather conditions.  Makes it a little hard to be contemplative or creative, it’s mostly a matter of luck.

This was taken with my long-obsolete Canon 20D and the now-ancient 24-70 lens.  Re-processed in Lightroom 4 to take advantage of some new technology.  Still not a bad photograph, I’d say.  And I’ll have that lens with me for a while!

June 2013 Wallpaper

"Tree on the Beach at Sunrise"
“Tree on the Beach at Sunrise”

This photo is one of my all-time favorites, and one of my best-selling prints.  I don’t think I’ve used it before as a wallpaper, and if I have used it before I will cheerfully refund your money!

Whether you call it living in the past or sticking to a theme, this is another one from the archives.  I shot this back in 2006.  I have no idea where this tree came from, but it was laying on the beach for the whole week we were there.  I photographed it a few times, but on this morning the combination of timing and conditions came together for the scene I had been looking for.  Unlike some of the over-cliched “tree in the water” photos we see, this was a fleeting moment in the passage of time by the sea.  A slice of time to be captured and enjoyed while we were able to see it.

Kathy & I got moved over the last week and are just about settled in our new place.  I’ve got some pent-up words that I may need to throw on the blog over the next few days and weeks as we get things sorted out and get back to a life without moving preparations and boxes!

May 2013 Wallpaper

Sunset from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
Sunset from Waterrock Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

This month’s photo was my second choice for last month’s wallpaper, and I liked it so much I decided to run it for May.  Plus there is an added bonus of getting to tease my friend Kevin W. who made the mistake of telling me that he was homesick for the NC mountains and that my photos made him more so.  Come on back, Kevin!

Amazingly, this photo was taken just 4 1/2 minutes after the photo I used for last month’s calendar.  Looking west from Waterrock Knob, out over Cherokee and the Oconoluftee River toward the crest of the Smokies, this is one of my favorite views.  Not as famous (or as crowded) as some other sunset spots, I like it because I can practically shoot out of my car, and there are facilities nearby!

In the months and years after I took this photo, the view started to get overgrown with trees and brush.  Until the Park Service recently cleared some of the overgrowth, it had gotten to the point that there were very few vantage points for a good sunset view.  I’ve been back a few times recently, but the conditions haven’t been cooperative.  But it’s a place I return to often, and one day I’ll get my next Waterrock Knob sunset.  Maybe soon!

I know I’ve been a little quiet lately, but I’ve got some non-photographic backlog to get through and I’ll be back.  That’s a promise!