Weekend Wandering

Some pictures from Long Branch Environmental Education Center. This place was pretty neat.


Some pictures from a short walk in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, an old growth forest about 2 hours west of Asheville, NC. Some of the tulip poplars there are over 400 years old.


We found a recently hatched luna moth. 💚


Some cute Kentuckian.

Laurens, South Carolina

Upstate South Carolina is full of old textile towns and I think they’re so fun to explore. Even though it’s much hotter down there, I could spend a while wandering around those old towns. Unfortunately, my daughter decided we weren’t safe at this old cotton mill. After walking around for only a few minutes happily finding “ancient parts” (LoZ fans here), she was pretty convinced that cannibals were going to crawl out of the depths to feast on our flesh. We ended up being just fine, though.

Up popped the crocus

I was walking through a residential neighborhood in West Asheville earlier in the week when I spotted dozens of crocus on the edge of the lawn ahead. I spent a good 30 minutes sitting there on the sidewalk admiring them. : )

It’s amazing the difference a week can make. I did a few neighborhood walks during some time off last week, and here are some other pops of color I saw.

A post from weeks and weeks ago included a pic of a mantid egg sac. It’s still there among the horsetail grass! I looked it up and learned that this mantid sack has probably been there since around the first frost of the season last year. It will hatch sometime after spring begins. I am going to go back and relocate this sweet thing to my daughter’s grandmother’s garden. There will be plenty of things for the nymphs to eat when they emerge and I want to be there with my macro lens to document their growing up. I love mantids. Females that eat their male counterpart are bad ass in my book. ♀

Babies!

February

Just some pics from February. The flowers have started to pop up, so this will be my last gloomy post for a while.

Pics from Catawba Falls. This place sure has changed. They’ve added a gravel parking lot and two bridges. I preferred it when you had to get out there at sunrise in order to find parking and reaching he falls meant rock hopping across the creek.

Earlier in February I started a photography workshop.. The theme of the workshop is storytelling – finding or communicating narrative through photography. For the first prompt I submitted these photos, along with some others, and talked (very briefly) about my experience with therapy and finding compassion for self and all of the parts that make self up. We also talked about different technical elements, and how I use them in in photos like this. Photography has become a really beautiful outlet for reflection and walking in the woods with my camera is the most meaningful way I’m nourishing myself these days. I’m really enjoying the workshop and I love seeing how other people practice creativity. Signing up for workshops is definitely going to be an ongoing thing, I think.

January, so far.

You guessed it. Another moody, gloomy, winter botanicals post. I can’t get enough of these dreamy vintages lenses. I could walk around anywhere all day and not get enough of the swirly bokeh. Anyway, spring can’t come soon enough, and I’m thrilled that we’ll see subtle signs of her in the coming months.

One fun thing about January so far: I’ve been really into tarot cards. On the advice of a very experienced tarot reader, I purchased a really lovely deck. I’m absolutely hooked! There has been a really neat theme in the cards I’ve pulled so far.

Moody tones of green. We found a mantis egg sack nestled on a horsetail stem. I sure do love vascular plants and I’ve made a mental note to return to this spot with the macro lens in the next few weeks to try to find hatched babies

Excited to finally have some time to play with the film camera. More to come on this later as I slowly begin collecting what I’ll need for home development.

Sweet moments with this wild girl.

A former classmate asked me to photograph her in her wedding gown, so we had some fun one (very bright) day. Hoping to get more practice with portraits in the coming months! It’s definitely trickier than insects or flowers. Especially the editing process.

January has been lovely so far. It will conclude with my 31st birthday and hopefully some warmer weather. I’m really hoping to see signs of spring early this year.

Here are some recent pics of Mulato and some cozy morning shadows for good measure.

Inside Newry Mill

I found some backup and went back to explore the inside of the old Newry cotton mill. Once you’re inside it isn’t as spooky as I thought it would be. It’s actually pretty peaceful. The mill closed its doors in 1975 and it has been vacant since then. There isn’t a patch of the entire place that isn’t covered in graffiti, even in the dark bowels of the mill. There are multiple floors and each one seems a little more dilapidated than the last. You have to be very mindful of where you’re walking. Especially as you get closer to the roof.

The town itself is really nice to walk around in, too, and people still live in the old homes that were originally built for the first mill workers in the late 1800s. There’s still a dam there and it’s a pretty lovely spot to catch a nice sunset on the river.

Spooky guy.

More mill exterior.

Little River