Tag Archives: June

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Drift fence and grass, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Somehow I never get tired of walking along the drift fences and catching the shadows of the fencing and the green grasses growing up through the sand.  I sometimes feel like I’ve done too much of this, but then I end up seeing something new and different and off I go.  More of the same but never the same…almost like snowflakes!

There may be a few minor technical flaws in this photo, but given the vagaries of wind and shifting frame to to image stabilization, I like how this turned out.  Loving the juxtaposition between the grasses and the fence with the shadows behind.

We’ve All Got Our Baggage

Haulin’ It To The Beach

Kathy & I have tried to be very careful in our travels to not carry around too much – as we like to say it – ‘shit.’  To be polite I’ll call it ‘gear’ but the idea is the same.  Whatever our “thing,” there is a certain amount of gear that we all have to have with us.

If you are a photographer, your travel packing list has to include a certain amount of camera equipment.  If you are a cyclist, you need to have a bike or bikes, plus all the requisite tools, spare parts and clothes to suit your needs.  If you are a kayaker, the same applies.  Fishermen, metal detector-ers, sunbathers, surfers, the list goes on.  RV-ers and boaters – my heart goes out to you.  It ain’t for me, thanks.  Nothing like loading our Subie up with two bins for clothes and food, a cooler and a camera bag and heading off for parts known or unknown.

What triggered this conversation was watching endless people either carrying or pushing carts loaded with chairs, umbrellas, coolers, boogie boards, toys and other gear to the beach.  And it is even worse for those who come to the beach with kids!  It’s no wonder people have huge cars with car top carriers and luggage racks hanging off the back.  Too much gear!

Searching for that perfect spot

When we packed to come to the beach, we were feeling like we had over packed, but quickly realized that the majority of the extra stuff we brought with us wouldn’t be going home with us.  It was mostly water, food and adult beverages, to minimize trips to the grocery store.  When we go to the beach in the morning we take a small cooler with breakfast, water, iced coffee & tea and a beach bag with towels and reading materials.  And usually my camera.  That’s it!  We rent chairs from the life guard service, but it is our choice to pay a few dollars instead of carting chairs and umbrellas (not to mention buying them in the first place) from home and then to the beach and back every day.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  It’s just our choice to pay for the convenience.

Years ago we started to have a bug about living on a sail boat, but eventually realized that it wasn’t the sail boat the appealed to us but the idea of a life without all the extra gear.  We’re not completely down to the bare bones level, but we do tend to travel that way.  And we like that!

Everything But The Potty

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Sandals on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

(With the appropriate attribution and apology to Mr. Buffett)

One of the podcasts I listened to yesterday afternoon was the latest on David DuChemin’s A Beautiful Anarchy.  In it, David talks about the concept of Gargoyles as it relates to the “demons” we face in our lives, mostly as they relate to our creativity, but also as they relate to the filtering of all the so-called scary stuff we read and hear about daily.

Kathy & I have recently been having discussions about the idea of the ‘boogieman,’ or ‘monsters under the bed,’ as it relates to all of the conflicting information flowing from all corners of the world, and the fact that all of this stuff sounds scary until you figure out whether it is real or just stuff that is made up to scare us.  My thoughts are percolating on this subject and I may have more to say about it as I give it some more time.  Suffice it to say that a lot if the stuff that we react to – even if it does happen to be true – is way too often irrelevant to our own circumstances and only stands to get in our way.

Along similar but different lines, we struck up a conversation yesterday with a family who happens to have reserved beach chairs to ours that was interesting.  She happens to be a news anchor for a television station in Youngstown, OH, and was remarking about how few masks they saw on people down here.  She said that in Ohio it was unusual for people to not be wearing masks and that she was surprised.  Yesterday we were at the beach from about 8:00am until about 6:00pm and saw a total of 4 people wearing masks, out of the hundreds we saw parading up and down the beach.  Now, those same people might still be wearing masks to  the grocery store, I don’t know.  And of course we’re all outside and the beach – except at high tide – is pretty big.  But still.  Things have appeared to be quite a bit more relaxed here, whatever the reason.  It’s been nice to be away from all of the boogieman talk.

Phase 2: Day…Whatever – A Change of Scenery

First evening on the Beach, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Kathy & I arrived in Hilton Head Island, SC yesterday for a week.  Hilton Head is our absolute favorite beach destination and we love to come here as often as we can.  There are other beaches that are “hoitier” and “toitier” than HHI but we find this to be just right for us.  Beautiful beach, nice restaurants (when we want to eat out) and convenient grocery stores and other services.

Our rationale is that we’re going to live here for a week just like we would live at home…with a better view!  We brought a supply of food so we can minimize our going out – just like home.  Interesting so far that – other than one gas station just south of Columbia – we haven’t seen a single person wearing a mask.  Take that however you want, but things are overall a bit more relaxed here than in the Big City.  We are on Island Time, after all!

Phase 2: Day 22 – Time For A Change of Scenery

See Ya!

Kathy & I are working on plans to see friends and family in Ohio and Pennsylvania in early July.  When we talked about spending time with other people over the July 4th weekend, I told her that “we need a different sound track.”  I feel like we’ve been listening to the same album over and over for 13 weeks and it is time to hear some new music.

In the mean time, enough of this sitting around at home with itchy feet.  It’s time to “get out of Dodge” for a little while.  So we’re headed to the beach for a week.  Back tomorrow with photos from a new location.  No power lines or shopping carts! 🙂

Phase 2: Day 20 – Life In Color

Morning walk in the neighborhood

We took our first foray into the restaurant world last evening to celebrate Kathy’s birthday.  It was a nice experience, not a lot different from what we’ve come to expect from our favorite restaurants, except the tables were farther apart, no one hugged and all the servers wore masks.  It was our first restaurant meal since March 16, and between our travels and the Coronacrisis, it was our first time at this restaurant since Christmas Eve.  We’re still not in a hurry to resume our normal visitation, but it was nice to see our friends.

This photo is one I took on our morning walk yesterday and it says several things to me.  The new X-T4 handles dynamic range really well, and it has very little noise despite a lot of shadow and highlight adjustment.  This was taken with the 23mm f1.4 prime lens.  The in-body image stabilization seems to work really well with non-stabilized lenses – as advertised.  In this photo, the lens exhibits very little flare and barely any chromatic aberration.  The 23 has been my favorite prime, it works really well on the X-T4 and makes a nice walk-around lens.

Phase 2: Day 19 – Life In Color

Construction workers at the mini storage construction site

One of my weekly routines is to go through the sale ad for our regular grocery store.  It amuses me to look at some of the foods that are advertised and wonder who eats them.  Today’s chuckle came from something called “Daily Crave Bourbon BBQ Quinoa Chips.”  I mean, that doesn’t even sound good.  I like bourbon, I like BBQ and I even like quinoa.  But I don’t know about mixing  them.  ‘Quinoa chips’ must be another one of the ways that food companies destroy otherwise healthy food by adding stuff to make it taste good to people who don’t know what healthy food tastes like.  I suppose you would wash those down with a Snapple. 😉

Phase 2: Day 18 – Life In Color

Pine cone inspection

I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the protests that have been going on around our country.  Not because I don’t care, I do.  But while I agree that things need to change, I fear that until the people in charge are held accountable, these demonstrations will only provide entertainment for the masses and actually accomplish little.  I always try to be an optimist but optimism can be tough to come by these days!

It’s hard to be anything but optimistic when our grandson Edison is around!  One of the things he enjoys is using an old pair of my binoculars to watch the birds and the squirrels, and to make people seem “right next to me!”  He has a very curious mind and loves looking at interesting things and taking “nature walks” behind our house.

Edison examining the neighbors’ flowers with binoculars
May I come in?

Phase 2: Day 17 – Life In Color

Construction equipment at the mini storage construction site

I’m still working with the settings on this new camera and processing of the files.  Our grandson visited yesterday so I got some photos of him.  Shooting pictures of a moving 4 year old was a good test of focus tracking, and also of the user’s ability to use the camera!

No, these are not his toys. 😉  I may have a photo or two to share soon.