Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #158 – Along Back Country Roads

I am honored to be guest hosting this week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge. As I pondered what topic to choose for the challenge I thought about how many of us are happy to be able to travel again. For this challenge I am asking you to show us your images that show your interpretation of going along a back country road. It can be a road where you walk, go for a bike ride, take a scenic drive, go off-roading in a jeep or four wheeler, or a road you take to get somewhere.

To me, a back country road can be any road that’s off the beaten track. The road can be paved, gravel or dirt. It can be one that takes you through farmland, desert, forests, quaint small towns, or in the middle of nowhere. It may even be one with quirky roadside attractions or funny signs you see along the way.

When we go on a road trip we enjoy getting off the main highways for a more scenic drive. Recently, we have even started avoiding interstate highways altogether. The header photo at the top of the page was taken on the Dalton Highway north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Have you ever driven by a dirt road and wondered where it went? That’s just what we did one time when taking a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. We couldn’t resist turning on the road in the first image below. I don’t remember where we ended up but the beautiful stream shown in the second image ran beside the road.

Sometimes the only way to get where we want to go is on a dirt or gravel road. These next three images are examples of some we have taken in our adventures.

The Great River Road in Arkansas follows the Mississippi River
Top of the World Highway in Yukon Territory, Canada
A steep dirt and gravel road to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina

On a recent trip to Orlando, we traveled over 1,000 miles without driving on an interstate or major highway. It was heaven not dealing with semis or drivers passing us like it was the Daytona 500.

The roads were paved, two lane roads with little traffic. There were some fun things to see as we drove along.

Bison farm near Darien, Georgia
Woodbine Fire Museum and Antique Shop on Highway 17 in Woodbine, Georgia
Businesses just outside the Ocala National Forest, Florida
I wondered where this road went in the Ocala National Forest
Lunch was delicious at this popular local restaurant in Salt Springs, Florida

I’m honored to be one of the guest hosts for the month of July while Tina, Ann-Christine, Patti and Amy took the month off.

In your post, please include a link to my original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so everyone can find your post in the WordPress reader. Be sure to check out the first three guest hosted challenges.

John Steiner of Journeys with JohnBo – On the Water

Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed – Black and White

Bert and Rusha Sams of Oh the Places we see – Getting Away

Next week on July 31, please visit Ana Campo of Anvica’s Gallery for her challenge – “Postcards.”

I’m looking forward to seeing where your back country roads have taken you!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #157: Getting Away

Our guest hosts Bert and Rusha Sams of Oh The Places We See have challenged us with the theme: Getting Away.

Henry and I have always enjoyed getting away. When we were both working and raising our family, one of our favorite places to get away was to the Florida Keys. We started off camping in state parks there, first in a tent and later in a pop up trailer.

Beautiful day in the lower Florida Keys

In 2006, we bought our fifth wheel trailer and took off for our first RV road trip with no set schedule and no reservations. For two months we wandered around the United States and two Canadian Provinces. We loved exploring the National Parks and National Monuments and all of the places in between.

Mount Rushmore National Monument

After our first RV adventure we were hooked. We continued taking RV trips until the end of 2019. Our longest and most memorable trip was our four month journey to Alaska in 2013.

Majestic mountains and glacier in Alaska

This year we were able to get way to three completely different types of destinations for three short road trips . Oh, what a wonderful feeling to travel again!

In March we traveled to Cedar Key, Florida for a relaxing and fun weekend. Located on the Florida Gulf Coast in the area known as the Nature Coast, this small town was just what we needed for a short getaway.

After Sunset at Cedar Key

In May we traveled to our daughter’s home in Virginia for Mother’s Day. It was wonderful to visit with family and on Mother’s Day we enjoyed a relaxing walk together around Pandapas Pond.

Turtles at Pandapas Pond

We returned to Florida in June for a week long getaway to Orlando. While we didn’t visit any theme parks we still enjoyed a little Disney Magic with two memorable meals at Disney resorts. We had fun being kids again at a dinner with Mickey Mouse and friends. Another day we had a fantastic lunch with a view of animals in the savanna of Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Many thanks to Bert and Rusha Sams for this challenge. Please be sure to visit their original post at Lens-Artists Challenge #157: Getting Away

Backyard Bees, Butterflies and Birds

We’ve had lots of activity in our backyard these first two weeks of July. Bees and Butterflies are frequent visitors to the butterfly garden.

Ruby Throated Hummingbirds and Northern Cardinals are two of the birds we see every summer around our back yard. Snow Egrets are frequent summer visitors to the salt water creek. Roseate Spoonbills first started coming to our area a few years ago. I’ve seen them two years in a row now so hopefully they will keep returning each summer.

Shared with Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge: Birds Common in your area this time of year

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #156: Black and White

Many thanks to Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed for guest hosting with the theme of Black and White. My contribution to the challenge is a selection of photos from a recent tour of Andulsia, author Flannery O’connor’s home in Milledgeville, Georgia. She was the author of two novels, thirty-one short stories, and many essays and reviews.

O’Conner lived at Andalusia from 1951 until her death in 1964. To help take us back to the time when Flannery lived here I converted these photos to black and white.

Andalusia was first settled in 1814 as a cotton plantation and farm. In 1931, Flannery’s uncle purchased the property. She moved to Andalusia in 1951 after being diagnosed with Lupus and lived there with her mother until she died in 1964. She did much of her writing while living there.

Our tour began at Flannery’s home which is shown in the header image at the top of the page. As we walked through the rooms I felt like I had gone back in time to my childhood.

There are several out buildings around the property. Hill House was built in the 1820’s and was the original home at Andalusia.

The cow barn.

Flannery raised Peacocks and these two are descendants of her birds.

Andalusia was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Today it is owned by Georgia College and open to the public. To learn more please visit Georgia College – Andalusia.

All of these photos were shot in color and edited using Photoshop Elements.

Many thanks to Anne Sandler for this challenge. Please be sure to visit her original post at Lens-Artists Challenge #156: Black and White

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155: On the Water

Many thanks to John Steiner of Journeys with Johnbo for hosting this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge “On the Water”.

His challenge immediately made me think of boats and ships. Boats are a common sight on the water where I live in coastal Georgia. There are pleasure boats, working boats, and even giant container ships going in and out of the port of Savannah. The above image is the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle as it led the 2012 Tall Ships Challenge out of Savannah.

I love to see boats on the water wherever we wander.

Many thanks to John for this challenge. Please be sure to visit his original post at Lens-Artists Challenge #155: On the Water