A picture may be worth 1,000 words, so photography tells many stories.

Typhoon and I enjoy a sunrise

Scenes From The Salt Marsh – April 2020

May 6, 2020 |

With most businesses closed and tourists staying home, April 2020 was a perfect month for quiet exploration of our salt marsh.

Bald eagle resting in a tree

Quiet Month of Scenes

April 5, 2020 |

With COVID-19 gripping human society, the wildlife of Murrells Inlet continues to flourish. A collection of photos from this month.

The globe of the rising sun peeking over Huntington Beach State Park.

Winter 2020 In Murrells Inlet

March 3, 2020 |

While I have been mostly focused on writing, I did have some time to take some photographs of winter 2020 in Murrells Inlet South Carolina.

The jazzy brass sounds rang through the courtyard.

Atalaya Holiday Celebration 2019

December 8, 2019 |

Photos from the Atalaya Holiday Celebration at Huntington Beach State Park this weekend under absolutely perfect sunny skies.

Bald Eagle Landing on Tree

Eagles and Vultures, Oh My!

November 14, 2019 |

An incredible nature show presented itself just outside my back door featuring bald eagles and vultures, an impressive combination for photography.

Fisherman at sunrise

First Images Of Murrells Inlet

September 11, 2019 |

After years of living in the mountains, the images of our first month in Murrells Inlet are quite different but no less inspiring.

And the runners are off the starting line!

Gator Gauntlet 5K 2019 – Huntington Beach State Park

April 9, 2019 |

When visiting Huntington Beach State Park (SC) this past weekend, I stumbled onto the Gator Gauntlet 5K 2019 and broke out the camera.

Percy Priest Lake Sunset | September 27 2018

Percy Priest Lake Sunset

October 17, 2018 |

I was blessed to see a stunning sunset at Percy Priest Lake just outside Nashville. Hope you enjoy Mother Nature’s stunning display.

Bored with the humans and wolf tales and wants to go home.

Wolf Tales And A Ranch Dinner

July 25, 2018 |

Our next door neighbor, Cataloochee Ranch, hosts a local expert and friend on Friday nights as he shares some wolf tales.

Classic mansions of Charleston, SC

Charleston Harbor By Boat

May 14, 2018 |

During a recent visit to one of my favorite cities, we opted to tour Charleston Harbor by boat – a picturesque adventure.

Wet feathers

Birds Of A Rainy Camping Weekend

April 23, 2018 |

We took the RV over to Harrison Bay State Park near Chattanooga, TN. Guess what type of birds visit the campsite on a rainy camping weekend?

Don't Touch Me

Turtle Savior To The Rescue And Other Photographs

March 20, 2018 |

Today’s collection of random photographs includes a common snapping turtle who resisted its own rescue by a turtle savior.

Pair Double-Crested Cormorant

Coastal Wildlife Of South Carolina

March 12, 2018 |

Most of my photography captures the mountains of Western North Carolina, but sometimes I have the opportunity to share the coastal wildlife of South Carolina.

Moonlight On The Marsh

November 13, 2017 |

During our vacation at Huntington Beach State Park (SC), we were returning from a dinner in a restaurant. As we began to cross the causeway, we noticed the brilliant full moon rising in the east and the moonlight sparking off of the clear waters of the marsh. After dropping my passengers off, I returned with…

The bee does not look happy to have to wait.

Beautiful Butterflies – Photography Friday

August 11, 2017 |

Our summer weather has been a perfect mix of rainy and sunny days, prompting many late season blooms. Those blooms have attracted many butterflies flitting around our yard. My favorite photograph of the bunch is the first one – a bee waiting for a butterfly to move along so that the bee can do its…

Glorious Sunrise

Glorious Sunrise On A Summer Morning

August 4, 2017 |

With a week of crisp, clear mornings, we have seen a glorious sunrise each day. Today’s was spectacular as the sun rose behind the trees, reflecting light off of the sparse, floating clouds in the eastern sky. As I let the dogs out to play in the dew covered grass, I just took a few…

The steps to the shrine were completed in 1948.

Masonic Shrine On The Blue Ridge Parkway

July 28, 2017 |

One of the lesser known attractions on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Masonic Shrine, built in the 1930’s and home today to an annual gathering of Masons. The property is bounded on one side by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and on three sides by the Blue Ridge Parkway. The monument was completed…

The brilliant orange plumes of daylilies

Mountain Evening Blooms Under Cloudy Skies

July 20, 2017 |

After the briefest of showers, the clouds hung heavy in the skies while our evening blooms glistened. The Rhododendron are holding their blooms at our higher elevations while the daylilies are shining in their bright colors. NOTE – Click on any of the photographs to enlarge and start a slide show. Depending on your viewing…

The frog! A centerpiece on a table on the back patio.

Sudden Summer Storm & Torrential Rains

July 13, 2017 |

After last year’s difficult drought that resulted in so many devastating wildfires last fall, we are quite happy with our much more normal rainfall this year. Yesterday afternoon was no exception as a thunderstorm crested the Cataloochee Divide – the ridge marking the eastern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park behind our house. The…

Cataloochee Ranch Post Rain Showers

July 6, 2017 |

During dinner last night, one of those standard summer pop-up thunderstorms rumbled over the mountain.  I decided to go next door to Cataloochee Ranch with my cameras and see the views post rain showers. The sun sets over Soco Gap and the Cherokee Reservation, but the clouds obscured that view and created their own evening artistry. As…

Our Plentiful Wildlife – Rabbits And More Rabbits

June 29, 2017 |

When you think of wildlife photography, rabbits may not come to your mind. For us, they are everywhere. The most common threat to them comes from the skies – hawks, owls and eagles. Our coyote pack and our resident bobcat may catch several. Even my dogs have claimed a few who were dumb enough to…

Black Bear Visit

Pre-Dawn Black Bear Visit At The House

June 22, 2017 |

I stumbled into my study before dawn Saturday morning, glanced out the window, and was surprised to see I was receiving a black bear visit. We live on the eastern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so black bears are quite common. Still, it is always a surprise when you realize one of…

Valley fog glowing in the sunrise

A Day Of Sunrises, Clouds and Bumblebees

June 15, 2017 |

The Catawba Rhododendron blooms have faded for the summer, but the mountain laurel exploded in bloom. The bumblebees follow the blooms and allowed some very up close photography as they gathered nectar and pollen in the early morning cool. The weather conspired to give us a favorite sunrise treat – the valley fog below us…

Cataloochee sunsets

Cataloochee Sunsets – Timelapse Photography

June 8, 2017 |

When you get that rare moment to combine the things you love – go for it. Making this timelapse photography project – Cataloochee Sunsets – brought together so many of my favorite things. First, my terrific neighbors at Cataloochee Ranch. To get down the mountain through town, I first have to drive through the middle…

White Horse of Cataloochee Ranch - May 30 2017

White Horse of Cataloochee Ranch

June 1, 2017 |

Today’s photo subject is a gorgeous white horse from my next door neighbor, Cataloochee Ranch. The timelapse photography project I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is a series of sunset scenes, all photographed from the beautiful, mile-high ranch. I am blessed to have such a terrific neighbor with such awesome views, so they are…

Photographing Blue Ridge Parkway Rainy Days

May 25, 2017 |

Blue Ridge Parkway rainy days drives many tourists off of the scenic road, but the weather makes a perfect time for a photographer. Bright sunlight is quite unflattering for photographs, so the cloud cover provides a much more conducive light. More importantly, the clouds and fog provide a dramatic background to the already gorgeous mountains.…

Hemphill Bald Timelapse Project

Sneak Peek – Current Sunset Timelapse Project

May 18, 2017 |

I am spending my May evenings capturing sunsets in our mountains for a timelapse project that should be published in June. Timelapse is one of those fun photography projects that really tests your patients. At a fairly typical 24 frames per second for video, a simple 10-second clip in a film takes 240 photographs. If you…

Spring Wildflowers - Fleabane - May 10, 2017

Spring Wildflowers – An Excuse Not To Mow

May 11, 2017 |

One of the great advantages of rural living is a different mindset about lawns. We don’t fertilize or spread herbicides, preferring a much more natural look to the fields that surround our house. Add in an abundance of both rain and sunshine this spring, and our fields are alive with spring wildflowers. We do mow…

From The West Overlook

Norris Dam Open Spillway

May 4, 2017 |

The Norris Dam open spillway filled the air with the roar of crashing water for the first time in four years. Our recent heavy rains had flooded area rivers and lakes, and the TVA dam needed to release water – a fairly rare event. Of course, this created a terrific photography opportunity. Construction of the dam…

Byrd Creek Dam at Cumberland Mountain State Park

Byrd Creek Dam Of Cumberland Mountain

April 26, 2017 |

We are visiting Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville, Tennessee. Bright blue skies and sunshine greeted our morning walk. The calm waters of the reservoir reflected perfectly, which created this beautiful view of Byrd Creek Dam. The dam was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the largest masonry structure they constructed. The facing is Crab Orchard…

Anhinga Drying Wings II at Huntington Beach State Park - April 1 2017

Anhinga Drying Wings At Huntington Beach State Park

April 19, 2017 |

During our recent visit to Huntington Beach State Park, I photographed this anhinga drying his wings. And then I found out why he does that. While I enjoy the grace and beauty of birds, I freely admit that I am not a birder. After capturing the photographs in this post, I began researching to identify…

Feeding Time

Alligators At Huntington Beach State Park

April 5, 2017 |

My goal was bird photography while visiting Huntington Beach State Park, but the alligators became my subjects as they swam the waters. The creatures are always fascinating in their prehistoric appearance and size. And, as the photograph above shows, they are quite comfortable lying in the sun for hours with no noticeable movement. When prowling…

Fence In Snow - March 14 2017

Snow Last Week; Spring Today

March 22, 2017 |

Amazing the difference a week can make. We were dealing with snow last week and today’s weather was sunny and warm – typical spring. Our winter has been unseasonably warm, so the fact that the two snows last week also happened to be our biggest snows of the season is not a surprise. Neither was a particularly…

Wary Bobcat Staring - March 13 2017

Wary Bobcat Near The House

March 14, 2017 |

Bobcat sightings can be quite elusive, but for a second time, a wary bobcat strolled just outside my study window during its hunt. I was working in my study in the front of the house when one of my dogs sat up and stared at the window. He saw something of great interest based on…

Empty Winter Pasture - February 21 2017

Empty Winter Pasture Waiting On Horses

February 22, 2017 |

With our spring-like weather pattern, my thoughts wandered to the return of the horses to an empty winter pasture of Cataloochee Ranch. Our neighbor’s horses winter near Charleston, SC, and return each spring around the first of April. Normally, February is a time of snow, cold, and winter, but we are seeing weather that is…

Brilliant Orange Sunrise - February 13 2017

Brilliant Orange Sunrise – Long Exposure

February 14, 2017 |

Monday morning was clear and cold, a perfect day to capture a long exposure image of the brilliant orange sunrise rising to our east. The image was captured with a thirty-second exposure (iso 100 @ f/10) using a 10 stop neutral density filter. The long exposure allowed me to capture all of the brilliant orange…

Snow Days Title

Snow Days: A Timelapse From Our Recent Snow

February 6, 2017 |

Our winter has been unseasonably warm and dry, but we finally had a couple of snow days last week – a perfect timelapse photography target. Normally, we have had several snows by this time of year. Just a year ago, I was taking photographs that looked much more like this, but this year has been…

Misty Morning Sunrise - January 12 2017

Misty Morning Sunrises In The Winter

January 18, 2017 |

One of those photography moments when the clouds broke just at the right moment to produce a brilliant misty morning sunrise. Without snow, the January mornings are dreary. Cloudy skies day after day. Many mornings, the clouds wrap our mountains in a dense fog. This particular dawn started like so many, a thick fog that…

Frozen Bell - January 8 2017

Frozen Dawn Of A Cold Winter Day

January 9, 2017 |

Our first snow of the season. The temperature hovered at 0ºF / -18ºC. So, of course, I was outside with a camera in hand capturing the frozen dawn. The dinner bell above is a reminder of my grandfather’s house, a place I spent most summers growing up. The bell was used to call us up…

New Year Dawn - December 31 2016

New Year Dawn – Opportunities Before Us

January 1, 2017 |

Funny thing about plans – they are often affected by what you can not control. Take the simple concept of sharing the New Year Dawn as symbolic of the opportunities of 2017. My plan of capturing the first sunrise of the year and sharing it as my first public photograph of 2017 was thwarted by…

Coyote 1 - December 18 2016

Coyote Neighbors Visiting

December 20, 2016 |

Our coyote neighbors usually stay in the lower field, but one visited in the front yard mostly shrouded in the fog of sunset. We have long shared our property with a pack of coyotes. They compete with the dogs for rabbits and love to join in the dogs’ songs, but otherwise cause no issues for…

An empty trail beckons winter hiking.

Winter Hiking and Photography

December 13, 2016 |

Without snow clogging our trails (yet), winter hiking is splendid with empty trails. And crystal clear vistas are perfect for photography. The horses and cows have left the neighboring Cataloochee Ranch for the winter, so we can hike and enjoy the views without worrying about running into others. The ranch has numerous trails to explore…

Before and After The Storm

Before And After The Storm: A Timelapse

December 7, 2016 |

To celebrate the rain quenching our extreme drought conditions, I created Before and After The Storm: A Timelapse photography. Western North Carolina and the surrounding region has been suffering from extreme drought conditions for quite a while. Most notably, the horrific Gatlinburg fire raced through that scenic town destroying scores of homes and businesses and…

Horses Preparing For Winter - November 21 2016

Horses Preparing For Winter

November 29, 2016 |

Though we have not had too many cold days yet, we know that winter is right around the corner. The horses of Cataloochee Ranch will soon be leaving the mountain for their winter home. Before they leave, however, we get to watch the horses preparing for winter. Their coats are getting thicker, ready to protect…

Sunrise #2 - November 22 2016

Cold Morning Sunrise Glowing With Color

November 22, 2016 |

What a glorious cold morning sunrise today! Temperatures have dropped over the last several days, enough that Cataloochee Ski next door has been making snow since Saturday (and they opened on Monday). The colder air is also very dry, chasing away our traditional haze that gives this area the name of the Great Smoky Mountains.…

around the house

Around The House – Timelapse

November 15, 2016 |

Just in case taking dozens of photographs is not enough, you can always pursue time-lapse photography and take thousands and thousands of photographs. With the autumn so pretty in the Great Smoky Mountains, I thought taking some time-lapse around the house would be perfect. Over a period of several days, I stationed the camera at…

Wings at Huntington Beach - November 11 2016

Huntington Beach State Park Bird Photography

November 9, 2016 |

Two or three times each year, we visit Huntington Beach State Park just south of Myrtle Beach, SC. Unlike the crowds and development of Myrtle, Huntington has three miles of pristine beaches for quiet walks. Coupled with the beach is 2500 acres of wetlands with a rich variety of wildlife. A few years ago, we…

Proud Bull Elk - October 12 2016

Bull Elk in Cataloochee Valley

November 1, 2016 |

Photographs from a sunrise trip into Cataloochee Valley. This Bull Elk was proudly protecting his herd of cows and calves. Yes, he did appear to be strutting quite proudly in front of us, though that is really more behavior making it clear to us to leave his herd alone. Notice the one broken horn on…

Ground Fog in Cataloochee Valley - October 12 2016

Ground Fog In Cataloochee Valley

October 25, 2016 |

On a recent morning, I left the house before sunrise with the intention of capturing some photographs of the elk in nearby Cataloochee Valley. I arrived just before sunrise to find the fields covered in their normal fall ground fog. Unfortunately, as you can see in the photograph, the elk themselves were being quite uncooperative…

Young elk calf

Elk Calf In Cataloochee Valley

October 18, 2016 |

The majestic bull elk are always a photographer’s target, but this young elk calf just kept mugging for the camera and was irresistible. With the Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park just a few minutes drive from the house, heading over for sunrise photos of the elk is a common trip. The…

Beginning Fall Colors 1 - October 10 2016

Beginning Fall Colors 2016

October 11, 2016 |

Driving through Cataloochee Ranch yesterday on the way home, the clear blue skies and beginning fall colors called out for the camera. Our nighttime lows have been flirting with freezing and the days are shortening. Fall is such a lovely time in the mountains, perfect for a person like me who just thrives on being…

Bull Elk in Foggy Cataloochee Valley

Elk In Foggy Cataloochee Valley

October 4, 2016 |

Living on the Eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I am blessed with a short drive into the foggy Cataloochee Valley for elk viewing. Last year’s fall weather was much more seasonal, so September mornings in the park were frosty and clear (see some fall Elk pictures here). The warm temperatures this…

Wild turkey flock sauntering down our road

Traffic Created By Wild Turkey Flock

September 27, 2016 |

Obstacles abound on the simple drive to our house. In this case, a wild turkey flock was blocking our path, so I took photos. A female turkey lays a dozen or more eggs in the spring, so a large flock like this is not uncommon (16 poults based on my best counting efforts). The adults…

Lake Junaluska #1 - September 9 2016

Reflections in Lake Junaluska

September 20, 2016 |

Sunny, blue sky walking day at Lake Junaluska. The reflections of buildings, trees and clouds shimmered in the calm water. A popular walking path circles the lake and offers near constant beautiful views of the water and the community that surrounds the lake. On a late summer day, the haze can still be seen against…

Miss Spider In The Dark

Good Morning, Miss Spider

September 13, 2016 |

Turned on the floodlights to let the dogs out and discovered this beautiful web spread between the roof and the top of the fence. Good morning, Miss Spider. Normally, the web would have been invisible in the fog and dark of the rainy morning, but the floodlight was perfectly positioned to illuminate my subject. As…

Summer Evening For Horses

Summer Evening For Horses

August 29, 2016 |

We had a perfect late summer evening for horses last night.  Our weather has been unseasonably hot the last few weeks, though that is still much cooler than most of the east coast. Yesterday evening, however, was near perfect for this time of year with clear skies and little threat of showers. We were driving…

Sarge's Downtown Dog Walk 2016

Sarge’s Downtown Dog Walk 2016

August 7, 2016 |

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation held their 11th Annual Downtown Dog Walk 2016 yesterday (August 6) in Waynesville, NC. As the largest fundraiser for this terrific animal rescue, the event is very well attended with well over a hundred of man’s best friends in attendance. For the past several years, I have edited a video of…

Orange mushroom

Queen Annes Lace and A Mushroom

August 2, 2016 |

A walk around our property with my visiting Super Nephew allowed us to explore the various plants, including Queen Annes Lace and a bright orange mushroom. Queen Annes Lace grows commonly in our mountains. Most people do not realize, however, that it is a member of the carrot family and is commonly called Wild Carrot.…

Staring Steer

Staring Steer (Nope. Don’t Want to)

July 21, 2016 |

More than wild animals wander into our yard, as shown by this staring steer. He wandered over from next door and resented my suggestion he go home. The horses of Cataloochee Ranch are the stars, but a herd of cattle also lives on the ranch through the summer. With the ranch approaching a thousand acres,…

Female Downy Woodpecker


July 11, 2016 |

Our woods are alive with so many colorful birds, but my eye was drawn to two different woodpeckers foraging for their dinner. The Downy Woodpecker is common to our forests, but can be hard to spot. The males have a bright red splash of color on the top of their head, but the females, like…

hazy skies from waterrock knob

Hazy Skies From Waterrock Knob

July 5, 2016 |

Hope everyone’s Independence Day weekend was safe and enjoyable. I spent a part of the weekend photographing the hazy skies from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our weather is in that summer doldrum – hot and humid with a chance of thundershowers every day. In fairness, we could use a few days of steady rain, but…


Inn at Tranquility Farm

June 27, 2016 |

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation, one of my favorite charities, hosted an event last week at the Inn at Tranquility Farm. While I have a long history with Sarge’s, this marked my first visit to the Inn. Fortunately, the weather cooperated to make the evening mountain perfect. So we started our evening enjoying hors d’oeuvres and drinks…

Pigeon River rapids

Cool Summer Rivers

June 23, 2016 |

Nestled in the beauty of our mountains, rivers form. On a hot summer day, the coolness of the flowing water beckons me to the shore. Our home county – Haywood in North Carolina – is the highest average elevation county east of the Rocky Mountains. Thirteen mountain peaks soar above 6,000 feet. That altitude produces…

moonrise in pink sky

Moonrise in Pink Sky

June 20, 2016 |

Yesterday evening provided one of Mother Nature’s brilliant portraits – a moonrise in a purple and pink sky colored by the setting sun behind me. Stepping out to the back porch, the brilliant hues provided by Mother Nature caught my attention. The setting sun behind me turned the eastern sky into a brilliant pink hue. The…

Weather Vane On Blue Sky

Weather Vane

June 16, 2016 |

We live in rural country and farms are plentiful. Where farms exist, barns exist. And barns often have a beautiful weather vane topping them. As I have mentioned, I love weather. Our lower field holds a weather station that transmit data to a computer in the house and the National Weather Service. The station is…

Horses on the Hill at Cataloochee Ranch

Horses On The Hill

June 13, 2016 |

Mowing may never be a fun task, but catching a view of the Cataloochee Ranch horses on the hill makes tractor time more enjoyable. The setting sun added a gorgeous golden tint to the herd of horses and the pasture grass. Of course, I don’t normally carry my camera with me when I am operating…


Bees and Catawba Rhododendron

June 8, 2016 |

A bright, sunny June day. The Catawba Rhododendron are in full bloom. And the bees are working hard. The beauty of nature is often in the small things. As the sun was rising on a gorgeous June morning here in the mountains, I was enjoying the peace and quiet. But quiet in nature always has…

WinterFest Smoky Style 2016 – Mushing

February 28, 2016 |

WinterFest Smoky Style 2016 is a celebration of the winter season in Maggie Valley, NC, sponsored by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. The event is the idea of Maggie’s former mayor, Ron DeSimone, a visionary who understood the potential of the winter season to our tourism dependent economy. WinterFest Smoky Style 2016 was held February 26-28…

winterfest smoky style 2016

WinterFest Smoky Style 2016

February 27, 2016 |

WinterFest Smoky Style 2016 is a celebration of the winter season in Maggie Valley, NC, sponsored by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. The event is the idea of Maggie’s former mayor, Ron DeSimone, a visionary who understood the potential of the winter season to our tourism dependent economy. WinterFest Smoky Style 2016 was held February 26-28…

Polar Plunge 2016

February 6, 2016 |

The Haywood Waterways annual Polar Plunge raises money for youth education on the importance of our rivers on the environment. And people willing to jump into frigid waters in the winter makes for great photography. My home county, Haywood County North Carolina, is the highest average elevation county east of the Mississippi River with thirteen…

Glowing snow caused by landscape lighting

Snowscapes and Glowing Snow

January 24, 2016 |

Two totally different pictures today and both fun to take. One is a classic snowscape and the other is a more interesting play with lighting and glowing snow. The first landscape photo is a gorgeous view from the back of the house- the snow covered mountains on our first sunny day post storm. The clear…

A cleared driveway and path to the firewood bins.

The Day After the Storm – Snowy Pictures

January 23, 2016 |

The day after the storm, so time to get outside and start clearing a path. Of course, I can’t help but take some photos as I am clearing snow. The first picture is from the top of my driveway looking down our road. Since we live at the very end of the road, we can often go…

Cataloochee Ski next door is certainly happy with some fresh powder.

Snowy Morning

January 21, 2016 |

We finally had our first measurable snow of the season, so it was a perfect snowy morning to wander around the yard with the camera. Our next door neighbors at Cataloochee Ski were certainly happy with some fresh powder. We have a second storm that will hit us Friday and Saturday, adding about a foot…

Looking down through the meadows.

Snowy Meadows at the Ranch

January 20, 2016 |

We finally are having some real wintry weather, so took an opportunity to take some pictures of some snowy meadows of the ranch next door. And how did this opportunity happen? To get to our house, you have to drive through the middle of this ranch. So the road you see in the picture above…

Looking across a pasture toward Soco Gap in the distance.

Misty Mornings

January 7, 2016 |

Sunrise dawned on one of our many misty mornings we receive in the mountains. I found myself in the middle of the ranch looking west with the sun rising behind my back. And the view was of the morning fog burning off and creating patterns of mist against the mountain faces. I was particularly captured by…

House in snow winter surprise

A Little Winter Surprise With First Snow

January 4, 2016 |

Our high has climbed all the way up to 19ºF (-7ºC). Ok, the wind drove that down to a wind chill of 11ºF, but still not too bad. But the real winter surprise of the day was that our snow flurries fell a little heavier than expected. Not enough to really cover things or cause…

A hubcap glowing in the sunset.

Hubcap in the Sunset

December 15, 2015 |

Walking our dogs at sunset this evening through Cataloochee Ranch, we spotted this hubcap that had been placed on a fence post. Apparently, a car had thrown it while being driven down the gravel road. Someone had placed it where it would be highly visible in case the driver returned to recover it. With the colors of…

Bobcat looks right at me

Here Kitty, Kitty – Bobcat Sighting

November 24, 2015 |

I would love to tell you that I am about to share some exquisite pictures, but this was a classic example of trying to capture a moment when everything was wrong. I was sitting at my desk when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I assumed at first that it was…

Deep Orange Sunrise on a cold morning

First Cold Morning of the Winter

November 23, 2015 |

Good morning! We are having our first truly cold morning of the winter season here in Maggie Valley with a low of 16ºF (-9ºC). The cold, dry air clears away most of the haze. but enough haze remains to reflect the morning light in this brilliant orange. The orange cast of the sky and the…

Summer Sunrise - Dawn

Clear Skies, Brilliant Sunrise

October 7, 2015 |

In my opinion, interesting light can make for the most amazing photographs. A simple capture of the shadows a tree casts can be fascinating. And I can think of no light more fascinating than a brilliant sunrise or sunset, that moment when Mother Nature displays her most brilliant colors. As often happens, I did not plan…

The horses crossing the ranch road in front of us.

Horses in the Fog

October 4, 2015 |

After over a week of rainy weather, it was nice to get out today. The horses in the fog next door at Cataloochee Ranch seemed to agree and were enjoying a beautiful fall day, despite the low lying clouds. As so often happens, the horses were disputing our right to drive the ranch road to…

The horses from Cataloochee Ranch are grazing in the pasture.

Early Color of Fall

September 30, 2015 |

It has been raining for the last six days and is supposed to rain for several more days, so I had to take advantage of a break in the precipitation to get outside and take a few pictures around the house. As much as anything, I just wanted to get out of the house and…

Large Bull Elk Bugling

Elk in Cataloochee Valley

September 24, 2015 |

Last Monday morning (Sept 14) was our coldest morning of the fall, so I thought it would be a great morning to drive over at sunrise to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for some elk viewing. September and October are rut season for the Elk, so the bulls are busy gathering and defending…

Loved the brilliant red of the berries against the fading leaves and blue sky.

A Beautiful Fall Day

September 13, 2015 |

We had an absolutely beautiful fall day with crisp, cool weather. Big fluffy clouds and bright blue skies are perfect for hiking and photography. The clouds added to the images, but never threatened any precipitation. Despite the clouds, it was one of the better long-range view days in months. The last of the blooms are…

A thunderstorm had rattled our ridges, but the clouds over Soco Gap began dissipating just before sunset.

Turkeys and Sunsets

September 5, 2015 |

Turkeys and sunsets have nothing in common, unless you find both while wandering through Cataloochee Ranch on a Friday evening. Wild turkeys are very abundant in the Western North Carolina mountains and the flocks can be quite large.Turkeys will assemble large flocks to enter the winter months but then break into smaller flocks in the spring…

A relaxing, warm summer day and a pasture of green grass - a perfect horse day.

Horses and Clouds

August 29, 2015 |

Horses and clouds make the perfect photography subject, particularly at the beautiful, sprawling Cataloochee Ranch – our next door neighbors. The ranch was established in 1933 by Tom and Judy Alexander and is run to this day by their descendants. The nearly thousand acres of ranch provides terrific riding opportunities, but they also can take…

1/80 sec at f/11, ISO 2000, 72 mm - Horses and cows at Cataloochee Ranch

Horses and Cows at Cataloochee Ranch

August 21, 2015 |

I love driving home on a cool, summer evening and seeing the horses and cows at our next door neighbor, Cataloochee Ranch. Driving through the ranch, I can’t help but grab the camera and take a few pictures of them enjoying their pasture land.       By the way, Cataloochee Ranch has great guest cabins, good…

Sunrise from Maggie Valley

Sunsets and Sunrises

August 16, 2015 |

Sunsets and sunrises offer the most brilliant colors and light for photography which is why the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset are commonly known as the golden or magic hour. We are blessed with the addition of mountain ridges and dramatic storm clouds, so resisting the urge to photograph these times is…

Captured exiting the barrel roll - 1/1600 sec at f/11, ISO 500, 180mm

Fighter Jet Practice & Barrel Roll

August 12, 2015 |

Living on the eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, once of the most unusual visitors we receive are fighter jet practice as the pilots do their training runs. With yesterday’s beautiful, fall-like weather, I was able to capture a few pictures of a Navy pilot training – including part of a barrel…

Clear Blue Skies

Clear Blue Skies

August 12, 2015 |

The middle of August in the mountains can still produce a beautiful fall like day with clear blue skies and cool breezes. We love the mountains for a variety of reasons, but the four distinct seasons are a major highlight. We have gorgeous falls with brilliant colors, snowy winters, and the promise of spring. And,…

Storm Brewing

August 11, 2015 |

Man’s best plans can be so easily diverted. Never is that more true than when a photographer sets up and Mother Nature starts a storm brewing. My goal was very simple – capture a photograph of the sun setting over Soco Gap through a mix of the puffy clouds that had been around all afternoon.…

Random art of Cairns built in the French Broad River in Asheville, NC

Random Art

August 9, 2015 |

The beauty of living in the Asheville, NC, area is the creative spirit of those who live here, producing random art wherever you might be. The creative spirit in this area is empowering and you see inspiration everywhere. For example, we were walking our dogs in Carrier Park in Asheville. The park borders the French…

Rain Chains

August 7, 2015 |

Rain chains are a favorite photography target on dreary, rainy days with the challenge of fast shutter speed and low light. One of the last steps in the construction of this house was the installation of gutters and downspouts. When the installer suggested rain chains rather than downspouts for the back patio area, I really…

Sunrise Time Lapse – Summer – July 2015

July 31, 2015 |

A friend takes a great deal of time lapse photography and has challenged me to practice. Like much about photography, I have a great deal to learn about capturing light. Time lapse photography makes this particularly challenging since you have to capture light consistently in hundreds or thousands of photos. When photographing a sunrise or…

Sunrise – July 22, 2015

July 22, 2015 |

Sunrise. The world is quiet and peaceful. The colors are beautiful. And you have the promise of the whole day in front of you. Don’t get me wrong. I love sunsets as well and will often photograph them. But dawn is just different. Fewer people take the time to get up and enjoy the early…

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