Massive Fog Bank Settles over Our Auburn Trees :: P365 [Day 8]

Every year as the seasons change this tree puts on a different face. I’m guessing I have taken 100’s of photos of this one particular tree, and every shot looks different. Today we had a fog-bank cloud descend over the property making visibility a few hundred feet or so giving me this shot. The weather this year just seems freaky, like having 75*F and fog on December 6th, but in a few days it’s supposed to be below freezing. Oh well, that’s the weather in the south.

I know I post random photos on here from time to time but each individual photo I pull out of a shoot is part of a bigger set, and next year, I am actually going to do something I have wanted to do for the better part of 15+ years, and that’s Project 365 as it is so called now. Project 365 is something I will post about more later, but basically that is a project that refers to taking and posting one photo a day for 365 days. I know, sounds simple. Ever tried it? Maybe 2012 will be the year. Today this is the P365 [Day 8] photo.

Time For Chopping and Splitting Wood :: Friday Feet

That cold-ish time of year has come again, even down here in the south. On Wednesday it was almost 80*F, and now it looks like all that warm air is gone for now. One of the things we love about our house in the winter is our Lopi wood burning stove, but it takes a lot of wood too. Normally we cut and split wood all throughout the year, but the past year or two we haven’t really been able to catch up with the wood work so to speak. With all the trees down from the storm on Wednesday it’s too bad we couldn’t have just driven around Auburn and picked up all the wood, but instead I just cut my own up for today’s Friday Feet via my cell phone.

It was a little surreal driving around Auburn today in the sunshine seeing huge holes in people’s roofs, and massive trees down all over the place. I know there are still a lot of people in Auburn that are dealing with huge trees down on their property, and many with a lot of damage to their homes. Hopefully this will be the end of any more tornados for Alabama this year, this state has seen enough for 2011.

Blue Sky and Warmer Weather is Coming, and Spring?

Photo of the day today comes from my walk around the property yesterday. The sun is out, sky is blue, and it is so beautiful outside right now but Spring just isn’t quite here yet. I love these tall long needle pines. They don’t care what the season is, no matter if it’s freezing cold or 100*F in August, they stretch out their limbs dressed in green all year long.

Can’t wait to start seeing some leaves on the trees around here, Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Auburn where the streets are lined with flowers. Both of these shots were taken with my iPhone and basically taken right off the phone with a little crop.

Pictorial History of a Tree in Year Long Time Lapse

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This is not a true time lapse as we might think about today, but, a sequence of shots, taken over time, of the same subject. We have this great tree back behind our house and I usually take photos of it as the seasons change and I have been wanting to write one single post with all of the photos together to see how one single spot can change over time.  Below is where I sit in the summer and read, contemplate life, and view from the house in the winter and rain.  I love the warm open feeling it gives in Spring or Summer and the uninviting look of winter.  As the days count down for our departure to Virginia, this is one spot I am going to miss while we are gone.

The original posts that came from this photos can be found here:

Below is are some of the photos from the posts above.

Rare March Snowstorm in Auburn 2009

Deborah watching the snow

A rare snowstorm hit the state of Alabama this weekend.  It was 3,319 days since any measurable snow was recorded at the Birmingham airport and today they reported 2 inches of snow.  That said, we are two hours southeast of Birmingham so I am sure it has been even longer down here.  It was quite a storm and it snowed almost all day today until the sun went down.  It is supposed to get into the mid-20’s tonight so all that snow is going to freeze and should stick around at least until tomorrow.

I took these images today on my way to Cornerstone and some here at the house once I got home.  No telling when the next heavy snowfall will come down to Auburn so I tried to take as many photos and video as I could.  The one unique shot here is of our tree swing.  This will make just about every weather season we could get from the same angle.  I now have Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, snow, rain, and several others which I will post all together.  You can see all the photos from the snow storm on my flickr account here or go right to the March 2009 Snowstorm gallery.

Flower in the snow

Heavy Snow on the Trees

Tree swing in the snow

Stop Sign in the Snow

Deborah and Ebby in the Snow

Long Ride to Florida and Key West by Motorcycle

Deborah Honda Shadow

Deborah Honda Shadow

Scott and Deborah

It usually gets to be about this time of year when I start dreaming about being some place warmer where the days are not 50-60* and gloomy (yes I know if you live anywhere farther north than the deep south 50 is not cold, but it is to us).  One of our favorite spots to go this time of year is the Florida Keys.  We have made more than a dozen trips down there over the years but a few years ago we did something different and road our motorcycles from Auburn Alabama to Key West Florida.

You may be saying big deal, who cares, but if you have never ridden a bike, or haven’t ridden more than about 50 miles at a time on a bike, it was a pretty big deal to us.  It is about 850 miles from here to there, and by car, usually takes us two days if we stop in Orlando.  That means long driving time in short light, and cold.  It was a great trip, and goal achieved, but one of the best and most memorable trips we have taken down to the keys (other than this one).  We didn’t make it all the way to Orlando the first night, and we only made it to Islamorada the second night, so it was a whole lot of very sore riding by the time we made it to Key West, but a memory I wouldn’t trade for anything.

So there are a few shots done with a point-n-shoot a few years ago, one while I was riding next to Deb while she was on her Honda Shadow VLX 600.  I was riding a Honda Nighthawk 750 at the time and loved to take pics of Deb while she was riding (of course).  We took many trips on these two motorcycles but this one trip to the Florida Keys was one of our favorite, and in one of our favorite spots in the country.

Closeup Snowflake Photo on a Frosted Window

Snowflake Photography

Snowflake Photography

I started off today with a beautiful creation by our Creator that I am not all that thrilled to see when I get up.  20* Frost.

I took this photo this morning when I went out to get in my truck.  We live in the deep south and I like to think that our winter days are mild, but not lately.  It is currently 30* outside and it is almost 11am, not a pleasant thing for those of us who have a wardrobe that consists of t-shirts and one or two long sleeve shirts that we never like to wear but do so when we can’t bear it any longer.

The first image is actually the sunrise looking through my truck window on the driver’s side, into the truck, then back out the other side.  The sun still hadn’t warmed things up enough to melt away the unique snowflake like frost that had formed all over everything last night.  There was just enough humidity last night at 20* to make for a beautiful close up of the snowflake crystals on the window (although handheld due to my tripod being in use at the time).

The second shot above is a further close up (beyond the macro 1:1 ratio for those photo techies) of the first shot above.  It took less than a minute sitting in the car for all of this beauty to melt away.  My next blog post is going to be where we should be this time of year, but for now, it is cold down here.  I don’t care if it is -10* up north and 20* isn’t cold to some, it is cold down here, time for Spring.

Gulf Shores Bike Trail to Beautiful Sunset Beach

Gulf Shores Sunset

Branyon Backcountry Trail

Bike ride

Bike ride

I would like to say that every day is filled with a bike ride and a walk on the beach, but at least, today, it was.  We use to spend quite a bit of time in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, and Perdido Key, but haven’t made it down here in the last 6 months.  This is our absolutely favorite time of year to be down here.  The beaches and parks are usually empty, the temperature is still pretty nice.

After getting some work done at home we drove down to a bike trail in Orange Beach that is easy to find but not on many maps or searches.  The Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail, which starts and runs through Gulf State Park, is a paved trail that have several different 1-2 mile sections that runs through the sand dunes and some beautiful nature areas.  We have driven by several times in the past but never stopped to ride the tail.

Of course no day would be complete down here without a walk on the beach.  We made it over to the sand just in time to see the sun set.  I walked a few miles down the beach and then we had dinner at a restraunt there on the beach, The Hangout.

I am always amazed at the beauty of the beach and the ocean.  I have seen it so many times, in many different states and countries and it still has some magical, almost mystic quality.  A place that for one reason or another allows you to remove the routine of life and the busy world around you and leaves you with sand and water… but a lot of sand, and an unreal amount of water.

I think people are attracted to the beach because it represents life.  Water that is living, breathing, and a constantly changing yet every time you go to the same beach, it looks relatively the same.  Taking a walk a few miles down a nice white sand beach (especially in January) is a spiritual thing, and I will take a walk any chance I get.  Here are some photos from the day.

Olympic Gold in China for Photos and Photographers

Have you been following the Olympics? Working from a home office gives me the advantage to have the coverage on all the time and it has been great. If you can watch during the day you get some of the less highlighted sports in the summer games like Badminton, indoor volleyball, fencing and more.

The swimming is of great interest to those of us here in Auburn. The Auburn University Swim and Dive program has become one of the premiere training grounds for Olympic swimmers, worldwide, and it is really something to watch the swimmers from right here in Auburn compete so strongly in each event.

Auburn Womans Gymnastics

Auburn Men\'s Swim Team

One area of interest to me of course are the incredible photos that are coming out of Beijing. I have been following Vincent Laforet, an incredible photographer who is covering the Olympics for Newsweek, (see most recent post for Newsweek called Things Are Starting to Click—and I’m Not Talking Only About Cameras This Time) and each day he has brought the world more incredible images of the summer games in Beijing.

Watching these event on TV, like the U.S. Gymnastics team win gold or seeing Michael Phelps break his own world record, is great, but being there and taking those images with your own eyes must really be something. Vincent, through his photography of the Olympics can give us a perspective that shows the intensity of the competition, the agony of all the training that it took to get there, and the faces of winning a gold metal.

The Summer Games in Beijing has inspired me to get moving with our plans for the Winter Games in Vancouver 2010, now only a year and a half left before the opening ceremonies in February 2010. I hope our plans to go to the winter games in Vancouver will come to pass, if so, I will be lugging all my camera equipment to Canada to get what action I can get.  It won’t matter if I am shooting for a local paper, or something bigger, there will be some incredible photographic opportunities in Canada in 2010, and I plan on being there.

Of course there are thousands of photographers covering the Summer Olympics in China. Another also shooting for Newsweek, Donald Miralle, has also produced some fantastic images (see his latest post Badminton is My New Favorite Sport).  Another is Mike Powell (also shooting for Newsweek, see A Bit of Sun) who has captured some great shots of the gymnastics and kayaking.

Vincent also maintains a personal blog (latest post Things Are Starting to Click—and I’m Not Talking Only About Cameras This Time), although he requests comments be left on the Newsweek blog to save a bit of editing time on his end. Great job Vincent, Donald, and Mike, I love photos that inspire, that is what keeps photography alive and exciting.

Cold Day on the Beach in February is Empty and Fun

Sunset at the Marina

Some days a cold day on the beach is better than a warm day inside. The beaches, in most parts of the country right now, are completely empty, but put a nice cool breeze and January into the mix and you get this (see beach image below). Not only is there a rare February thunderstorm in the distance but the only visible moving object on the beach is a tiny little bird in the very center of the image. The sunsets at the marina are always so dynamic and each one is different. The thunderstorms here made just enough of a hole in the sky to give us a great sunset today.

This image was actually taken by my cell phone. I am really amazed at the quality of images that can be taken by a cell phone these days. Not that it is worthy of publication but for just sticking a phone up in the air, its not bad.

Gulf Shores in January

This weekend we did spend the day on the beach (see all the photos below) but we came down to be on Laughalot. We did enjoy the peace and quiet that the marina always has around this time of year, and of course on the beaches too.

We have several favorite beaches down here, some are in Florida, some in Alabama, but depending on the time of year, you can usually walk several miles in either direction and enjoy a quiet walk. As is customary for me, I try to get in about 5-7 miles while I am on the beach, here I am on my way, yes, it is cold. I don’t look all that thrilled but I really am glad to be there, even if the weather is a little harsh.

Scott going for a walk

Of course, DK has here own way of keeping warm, stay in the tent, don’t move much and have a ton of layers on. We do have some larger shots of the tent area on the beach but this close up gives a better idea of how cold it really is down here today.

Deborah's Beach Tent

It still made for a very nice sunset at the marina and we had a great weekend on Laughalot.