Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home sweet home?

The only lodging within the boundaries of Great Smoky Mountain National Park are hike-to cabins high atop Mt. LeConte. During our visit, all cabins were booked, so we just hiked up, had lunch, then hiked back down.

This is one of the cabins, from our lunch-picnic vantage point. Some processing done in PS, with use of Topaz Adjust and a little desaturation.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Working for a living

Mary Lou...this one's for you!

In the Smokies, one hike we took led us to the summit of Mt. LeConte, where the National Park Service maintains a lodge and restaurant. All lodge inventory is brought in by llama - linens, food, beverages (except water). We happened to be up top when the llama team arrived. Here, some of the staff unload the goods. The next day, the team was hiked back out carrying trash.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just for fun

We had drenching rains on many of our camping nights on this recent trip to the Smokies, and stopped to do some laundry and use the big commercial dryers at this friendly place...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

From the archives

As none of our travels this summer will take us to the ocean, I thought I'd post a photo taken in 2004 (with my P&S Fuji 2MP camera) to hit the theme of "Seaside". This was taken from the deck of a cruise ship as it headed out of Miami, on its way to the Bahamas. It was on this trip that I also photographed the result of towel-folding 101 by the cabin stewards; the towel duck that has since become my avatar. Note that in the original photo of Ducky, he was facing the other direction. Amazing what a little PS wizardry can do!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A panoramic vista unfolded before our eyes

In the misty Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it was tough to get any kind of clear shot. Following in the HDR shoes of  Mike (Boomer) and Ron, I bracketed my shot & took 3 exposures, then used Photoshop and Topaz Adjust to come up with this image. My 3 shots were hand-held, and perhaps in the compilation process, PS saw some camera movement, because I ended up with some ghosting around the tree in the left corner. Still, making an HDR from this panoramic view was a fun project!

Friday, June 25, 2010

We came. We saw. We zipped.

Jon and I had a ball trying out zip-lining on a canopy tour high in the Appalachian Mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We seem to be missing eleven kangaroos

At the Atlanta zoo, I didn't find a dozen kangas, but I did find one that was dozin....

(Feel free to roll your eyes and groan...)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Searching for supper?

In the darkness of the forest in Congaree National Park, we almost missed spotting this raccoon, who had hopped off a log into the water to search for a snack. The water is tinted green from the reflection of the trees, which lie out of camera range in this image. The canopy is so thick, that even at noon on a sunny day, I had to shoot at ISO 1600 in order for my camera to take any kind of image.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beach scene

Not every beach is sandy, or on the ocean. We paddled past this tiny stretch of river beach along Cedar Creek in the Congaree National Park, in South Carolina.

Enlarge this one for most "pop". If you do, you may just see a tiny, female cardinal enjoying her solitude.

Monday, June 21, 2010


The color of this African Black Rhino doesn't reflect his name....but he was rolling in the reddish dust to cool himself on a hot Atlanta summer afternoon.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nothing like the bright lights of downtown

Folks head to a big-city downtown for many reasons - shopping, banking, sight-seeing. Others gravitate towards attractions, such as Zoo Atlanta, where we happened upon this fellow, taking a mid-afternoon mud bath.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This is the city...

Anyone remember that old TV classic, "Dragnet"? The opening line, spoken by Jack Webb, was "This is the city, Los Angeles, California".

This shot is not of LA, but of just outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Evening sky from atop Brasstown Bald, the highest point in the state of Georgia.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Early one morning....

Jon is dwarfed by the trees on the trail to Blood Mountain early Wednesday morning. The summit of Blood Mountain is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail, in the state of Georgia.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day is done, gone the sun

Dusk in the North Carolina Appalachians is a lovely time of day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oh, the places you'll go

Jon's trusty little Subaru is our vehicle of choice on long road trips. Here, it waits patiently at an overlook on the Blue Ridge Highway in North Carolina.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ah.....the Great Outdoors

Down in North Carolina, there's lots of rain, which feeds the many waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On one short hike, I popped a tripod in my pack and did some experimenting with getting the water silky. I need many of my images, the rocks were silky, too! Here's one that turned out OK:

Shutter speed: 1/8, f/29, ISO 200, focal length 130mm, shot in Shutter priority mode (Tv)

(This one's for my friend Greg!)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's really easy, being green...

Say the trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Yes, folks, it's summer and we are on the road again. Here's a shot from a hike to Laurel Falls.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bucky Badger?

Anyone follow the University of Wisconsin sports teams? The mascot is Bucky Badger, modeled after one of these little guys...

Friday, June 4, 2010

New blog to check out!

My DBF Jon has started a blog to post his bird photos. Check it out! He'd be tickled to receive some comments!

For Purple Martin majesty, above the fruited plain!

Well, those aren't quite the lyrics, but I like this purple martin, nonetheless...

Actual lyrics can be found here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stumping for a (be)cause?

I took a picture of this tree stump because I thought it would be a fun subject for Topaz filters. I used Detail, and dragged around the Levels adjustment in Photoshop. I like the effect on the bark, but I think the foreground leaves are a little too green. Of course, I decided this after I tossed the PSD file. Lesson learned...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Common Yellowthroat

This pretty little bird has a sweet song and an outstandingly unoriginal name...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Red-winged Blackbird

These birds are very common in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. I snapped this guy's photo at the Horicon Marsh.