Saint Brigid’s Cemetery – Easthampton, MA

I have a love affair with old Catholic cemeteries that is only rivaled by my love of felines, a perfect cocktail, and my husband.  I used to think that it was a love for all old cemeteries (and they are all great in their own unique ways), but is the Catholic iconography that speaks to my soul.   All Dr. Who fans are familiar with the way that an angel statue can strike fear in the hearts of any who lie eyes on it and it doesn’t take a true believer to feel the power of a well-love Madonna.  Still, there is something special about the small monuments – the ones so often left for loved one.   You can’t see them for the road, you have to search carefully for each and every one.

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“Day Dreamer” St. Brigid’s Cemetery – Easthampton, MA March 2016

I call her my Day Dreamer – she is so thoughtful.  I visit her every time that I go to my local cemetery and she always makes me feel better about my day.

 

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“Dirty Halo” St. Brigid’s Cemetery – Easthampton, MA March, 2016

This girl I’ve seen so many times and always wanted to capture.  The day that I found her sitting with dirt cakes into her halo was the day – she has never been more perfect or serene.

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Sunset on South Beach – Charleston, SC

At this point in my trip I had seen alligators and I would have been content if not for my parents talking about the dolphins that they seemed to see every time that they walked South Beach at sunset.  It was cold – not cold for us New Englands who had left 20 degree Winter behind us as we flew South – but 40-50 degrees is a bit cold for my version of  walk on the beach.  Still – dolphins!  Sure I’ve been to the Boston Aquarium, but I’ve never seen dolphins in the wild before.  So off we went.

There is really little else better (photographically at least) than the Golden Hour on a beach.

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But I wasn’t there for golden sands, or even really for the setting sun (though it was magnificent) – I wanted to photograph the dolphins.  We headed towards the end of the beach were a river met the sea – this, we had been told, is where the dolphins liked to feed.

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We spooked the birds first – they had been feeding on the edge of the beach and didn’t enjoy us encroaching on their grounds.  As they flew out, they seemed to call to the pod of dolphins that we could just barely see on the other side of the water.  Then, in a moment, everything changed.  The dolphins swam straight for us!

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There are moments like this in life – when nothing could be more perfect.  Time and again the pod breached and surfaced and swarmed – we couldn’t see what they were hunting and it made their display seem meant for us as they moved (seemingly in time with us) back down the beach.  Here you can see the droplets of water turn red from the light of the setting sun.

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The sun sank lower and lower towards the horizon as the dolphins fed until finally they crossed the very line of reflection of the setting sun in the water.

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My brother, husband and I taking in the majesty.   (This last photograph is by my Sister-in-Law and not mine, obviously.)

Aiken-Rhett House – Charleston, SC

Still re-visiting my trip to Charleston early this year – this time our trip to the Aiken-Rhett House.  This is a really unique historical house that exists almost unaltered since the Antebellum period in the South.   I was in vintage photography heaven.

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So many people spend all of their time trying to make their photographs “look” vintage – there’s a whole industry of people selling Photoshop Actions to help you age you images. I’m not into that as much, I like to represent a scene as it was (especially in my travel photography) – BUT what I do love is finding real vintage things to take photographs of.  Like this chandelier – no editing needed.

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This is a portrait of my family checking out a portrait.  A bit post modern, but I like it that way.   I probably wouldn’t have checked out the house if my brother and sister-in-law hadn’t suggested it, but it was definitely worth checking out.  And this portrait was absolutely gorgeous – and check out the chandelier!

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I call this photograph “Hauntings” – it was definitely my shot of the day.  Everything – the old dappled mirror, the harp, the aged wall…I was instantly in love with the room. And I think that it shows.  I also see the creepy girl from The Ring crawling out of the mirror one of the days and you know what?  I think that I’m okay with that.

Love Wins: June 26, 2015

This was a post I made for the SCOTUS ruling last year, but I feel this so much more today. I am deeply saddened by the tragic events that transpired early Sunday morning – almost too deeply for words. This is something that’s ripple can be felt through many communities throughout our country, and Northampton is no exception. But we have to remember that Love Wins – that standing up and being our own true selves has to be the answer. We are with you Orlando, and we love each and every one of you so, so much.

Legends of Darkness Photography

In honor of the SCOTUS ruling today, some photos from the Northampton Pride Parade that I photographed in 2014. I think that we all needed a reminded that love wins this week.

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Audubon Swamp Garden – Charleston, SC

I don’t want to downplay how awesome the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens were, but for me the best part about our visit was the late afternoon walk through the Audubon Swamp Garden which is connected to their property.  I had one goal in going to Charleston (other than eating ALL of the good food anyways) and that was to see an alligator.

Yeah, it may seem like a silly goal to anybody from the South, but I’m a New England girl and I’d missed out on our trip to NOLA a couple of years earlier.  I wasn’t going to miss out this time!

The Audubon Swamp Garden is a platformed walk through black water swamp.

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The green algae(?) covering everything was cool and quite beautiful if you are into that sort of thing.

After following the walkway for a while we came to a section of lakeside known as the “Rockery” due to the number of blue heron that build their nests on the small islands through the waterway.

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Of course, we can see blue heron rookeries back home in Massachusetts – it was cool, but not what I came here for!   Thankfully despite the relative chill in the air, there were a few alligators planking out in the lake!

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This guy had some turtle friends to keep him company.

We decided to follow the path around the lake since we were having so many great animal sightings.  Though it was only about 50 degrees, we’re hearty New England stock and it was below zero at home so we were going to make the most of the sunshine and relative warmth!

Most of the way around the lake, I spotted a blue heron by the side of the path.  Having never been so close to one before, I had no idea how tall they were!  “Stop!” I hissed frantically at my husband and parents.  And then “Stop!” again as they didn’t listen to me.  I was thinking about not spooking the bird, but they thought I was warning them that there was an alligator in their path!  Oops!

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What a good model!  Though the heron was wary, it let me get remarkably close and only startled when I dropped my camera lens about 5 ft. from it.  I got close enough that I had to back up again because I couldn’t fit the whole bird in the shot with my 100mm lens! Luckily the bird came back after it startled and I was able to get this shot.

We were nearing the closing of the park and had to head back towards our car, but I couldn’t resist taking one final shot of a gator planking in the late day sun.

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It was an amazing day with some great animal encounters!

 

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens – Charleston, SC

I have gotten really behind with this blog – that happens to the best of us, right?   I’m not sure why I stopped writing here really.  I’d guess that in the juggling of so many social media platforms to represent my business, my blog (arguably the most important) fell through the cracks.  I am not even sure where to start to catch up, but Charleston seems as good a place as any.

Travel is always relevant.

My parents rented a house on Seabrook Island in South Carolina for two months this Winter and as a Christmas present flew the whole family down to visit.  It was an amazing experience – other than a trip to New Orleans a few years ago, I’d never been farther South than Arlington Cemetery.  My husband and I were excited to eat the great Low Country food that we had read so much about and I (of course) couldn’t wait to find out what photo adventures the week would bring.

As it was the second week in February, we were very out of season for a lot of the photographic beauty in and around Charleston but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. We spent most of the first day at the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens.  This is an old English styled “Romantic Garden” built on the grounds of an old rice plantation – a beautiful walk through the woods over old white washed bridges and black water swamp.

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As well as being a gorgeous environment that feels so foreign in comparison to my New England home, it was full of flora and fauna that I’d never encountered before.  The Plantation had a cute “petting zoo” full of peacocks that were super friendly if they thought that you might share your lunch with them.

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And the birds!  So many different types!  This egret was fishing for minnows in shallow water and was completely unconcerned that I stopped to take its picture.

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The later Winter flowers were nothing to scoff at either.  Though in comparison to the photos from online there was very little blooming (I might have to go back some Spring down the road), there were still some gems if you looked.

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I’ve gotten pretty good at flower identification in Massachusetts so it was great to see a lot of types that I had never encountered before!  This one in particular caught my eye (bonus points if you identify it for me):

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And the statues!  The garden was full of statues that were all pitted from weathering the humid South Carolina Summers!  It is really interesting to see how different they look from their Northern brethren.

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And I can’t end this without talking about the Live Oaks – they had such an amazing feeling of power to them – I couldn’t stop photographing!

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Even out of season, it was a lovely walk and very worth it.  Though it did take MUCH longer than the brochure said that it would – perhaps because I stopped so often to photograph.