Good Morning St John’s

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After a night of chasing ghosts, Emily (about a year old at the time) woke up early so I decided we should go on walkabout to see how Savannah transforms from the most haunted city in America to an enthralling architectural and historic beauty. This photo of St. John’s Episcopal Church captures a little of both as the golden light of morning pushes away dark shadows hiding vengeful ghosts. Shot on Fuji Provia 400X film (sadly discontinued in 2013).

Is it Rosary Pea..

…or an alien space pod? It is rosary pea (Abrus precatorius) to my best knowledge. As cool as this pod looks, the seeds of the rosary pea are actually more toxic than the infamous ricin. Paired with the fact it is an invasive exotic species here in Florida and you really have a deadly (non-space) invader.

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One picture too many

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My four-year-old daughter had enough at this point. We went to a food truck rally in the late afternoon and were met with hot sun, humidity so high you could practically swim, and long lines at the food trucks. A sure recipe for cranky kids (and wife). As fussy as she was about me taking her picture again, my one-and-change-year-old daughter had a level 5 meltdown (as seen in the background, willing my wife to disappear so she can play in the dirty puddles) that caught the attention of everyone within three city blocks. A hasty retreat soon ensued as “those people with the screaming baby” left under a cloud of shame. Well, at least I got that tasty Hawaiian burger (and this photo) before we had to hit the evac button.

Posting this, I notice that nothing has been published since April. Wow, has it been that long? Well, with the move almost behind us and getting through a crazy summer at work I hope to be doing some photography again and sharing it with you kind folks. Thanks for checking in!

AG

 

The Fiery Searcher

 

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Found this not-so-little guy hanging around my office today and he must have wanted his picture taken so I obliged. My first time seeing this caterpillar hunter, the fiery searcher (Calosoma scrutator). Name sounds like something from a J.R.R. Tolkien book! I think a book could be written about this….

 

The flower is only a part of its beauty

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One of the most exciting things about moving to new area is that you get to see and learn about your new locale. Food is always a fun and universal pleasure, but what about the plants? For me, that is the best part.

Making the two-hour drive back home from work can be quite tedious and I find myself looking for distractions, a reason to stop and take a picture or two. It was one of these drives that a small patch of white flowers on the side of the road caught my eye. Being pretty tired, I almost didn’t stop but the flowers looked like different. They stuck in my head for a few miles and I had to turn around to investigate. To my delight, they were a species I haven’t seen before and quite beautiful. I snapped a few photos excited by my new discovery and, being a plant geek, knew that the fun had just begun. What were they? How often do they bloom? Are they native or an escaped exotic?

It turns out this beautiful plant is one of Florida’s native rain-liles, Zephyranthes atamasca. This species reportedly flowers after a spring or summer rain. This lasts for a month or so before the flowering ceases altogether. Also, the bloom only lasts a short while, making it a good thing that I stopped when I did as subsequent visits have not found the rain lilies blooming as they did that day.

Its not always easy to break out of the day’s mundane, but sometimes taking a break to stop and smell, or photograph, the flowers leads to its own adventure. While finding the rain lily was a treat, leaning about the plant and its precious nature made it that much more beautiful.

 

Happy Anniversary to my wife, x5

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It was our first big trip together; Sonoma Coast wine country in California. One of many firsts for us as a couple and looking back a defining one. It is when I knew.

There were many memories made that trip, but one stands out. Watching the sun set on the Pacific, high on the coast, not a soul around us. I spotted this area earlier in the trip and wanted to come back to it one evening to watch the sun set. The first day there was a clear evening we decided to go for it and while most were heading back into town to catch dinner we headed out to see the day’s last light fall serenely into the ocean. We got there early and I remember thinking how long it was taking for the sun to go down. I got restless, as I do, fiddling with my camera, walking around to find the prefect vantage point and being the anxious person I am until she said to take it easy and come sit down. It was about this time that DMB’s “You and Me” (which was our wedding song) came onto the iPod and that was it for me. It just all come together and I knew I loved this woman and wanted her to be my wife.

The memories didn’t end with the magical sunset. Our rental Mustang sat low on the ground and got stuck on a bump on a hill as we were leaving the coastline. No cell phone service and night was coming down fast, I was getting worried about our chances of getting out of there in a reasonable amount of time until two good ‘ole boys pulled up and helped me lift the car off the hill to get us on our way. Crisis averted, we were starving and headed down the coast for some food. Being the middle of the week most places were closed and unlit so we drove on. And on. And on. It wasn’t until many miles later that we saw lights. And like hungry moths we flocked to the light, finding, of all things, an Indian restaurant in the middle of nowhere. I do not know if the empty pit in my stomach affected my brain chemistry, but it was the best Indian food I have ever had. And one of the most memorable  dinners we ever had, to this day.

This took place in April 2010 and is something that will be remembered all my days. A year later we were married. A year after that we had our first daughter. Two years forward we had our second daughter. Today, it has been five years since we were married, and though a lot has happened I am excited about what the future holds for us. As a family, as lovers and as friends.

Thank you, my love, for the great memories, beautiful daughters and life we have together. Happy anniversary with many more to come.

AG