Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 228 – Diagonals

Our latest photo challenges comes from Patti who asks us to “explore diagonals as a way to add visual interest and depth to your photos.”

I chose a few images from around Coastal Georgia.

Talmadge Memorial Bridge, Savannah, Georgia
Walking and Biking trail, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Stairs leading to the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse, Georgia
Fences along the beach, Georgia

Many thanks to Patti for her Lens-Artists Challenge #228 – Diagonals

Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 227 – Home Sweet Home

If I had a visitor from another country who wanted to see my home country in a week or a month, where would I take them? This is the challenge Tina has given us.

I live in the United States. Many visitors from other countries are surprised by how huge it is. It would take more than a lifetime to see it all.

Instead, I will take the time we have to see the many beautiful sites in my home state of Georgia. There are mountains, farmland, friendly small towns, the Okefenokee Swamp, historic cities, barrier islands, salt marsh, beaches, lakes, and the city of Atlanta.

I’m not sure we could even cover the entire state in one month but we could give it a good try. We’ll start our tour in coastal Georgia where I live. We would visit at least one of the three inhabited barrier islands that can be reached by road, go on a dolphin tour to look for Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, walk on an uninhabited island that can only be reached by boat, and take a ferry ride to explore Sapelo Island or Cumberland Island National Seashore. We would catch blue crabs from the local waters and steam them for a delicious meal, snack on boiled peanuts, and feast on low country boil with shrimp fresh from the sea.

We would visit historic Savannah and enjoy a family style lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room.

We could take a ride to Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge to see nesting egrets, herons, and woodstorks in the spring. We could continue farther south for a boat ride through the Okefenoke National Wildlife Refuge.

We would take a road trip on back country roads to north Georgia. We would stop to explore Athens, the home of the University of Georgia, go to the top of Brasstown Bald, and look for waterfalls. We would pass by fields of cotton, corn, and pecan orchards along the way.

We would take another road trip to see the western part of the state and stop to explore Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain and President F. D. Roosevelt’s Little White House in Warm Springs. We would drive by peach orchards and watch the sunset at one of the many lakes in Georgia.

There is so much more to see in Georgia. Sadly, I don’t have photos of some them. In Atlanta we could see the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, Stone Mountain, the President Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. We could visit the Providence Canyon, also called the grand canyon of Georgia in Lumpkin and beautiful Rome in northwest Georgia, and too many more places to name.

I can’t end a post about Georgia without including the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team. Go Dawgs!

If you would like to see more about my home state of Georgia please visit visit this post I did a a few years ago Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Georgia.

Many thanks to Tina for her Lens-Artists Challenge #227 – Home Sweet Home

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #203 – Local Vistas

The Georgia coast is about 110 miles long and includes 15 barrier islands, miles of salt marsh, the city of Savannah, historic towns, and beautiful beaches. Jekyll, St. Simons, Sea and Tybee are the only islands accessible by car. The rest of Georgia’s islands can only be reached by boat. Cumberland Island National Seashore and Sapelo Island can each be reached by ferry.

Tybee Island is Georgia’s northernmost barrier island. Just 20 minutes east of downtown Savannah, Tybee is a popular tourist destination with miles of beach, many fun restaurants, the tallest lighthouse in Georgia, and Fort Pulaski National Monument and Cockspur Island Lighthouse nearby.

South of Savannah, St. Simons and Sea Island are the next islands that can be reached by road. With miles of beach, a village area by the fishing pier, Ft. Frederica National Monument, and golf courses, St. Simons is a popular beach destination.

The southernmost island that can be reached by road is Jekyll Island. Jekyll Island was once the winter home for many of America’s wealthiest families. Visitors to Jekyll can see many of these historic homes, ride bikes on its many bike trails, and enjoy its beautiful driftwood beach. Jekyll Island is owned by the state of Georgia.

Most of Sapelo Island is owned by the state of Georgia and is one of the barrier Islands that can only be reached by boat. A ferry runs from near the town of Darien.

Ancient Live Oaks dripping in Spanish Moss, spring Azaleas, salt marsh, waterways, shrimp boats, fresh seafood, and wild life are all part of what makes coastal Georgia so special.

Many thanks to guest host Anne of Slow Shutter Speed for this week’s Lens Artists photo challenge #203:Local Vistas.

Weekend in the Country

We recently spent a weekend at a super secret hideaway we go to several times a year. I can’t tell you exactly where it is because then it wouldn’t be a secret!

During my quiet morning walks I wandered along the edge of the woods and beside a creek I felt like I was miles away from civilization. I was constantly on the lookout for bunnies, white tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife. There were a few deer and wild turkey sightings but sadly I didn’t have my camera handy when I spotted them.

One of the things we we like to do when we are there is to go four wheeling through the woods. One afternoon a friend came by on his four wheeler to take us on some new to us trails. Our adventure was all on beautiful, undeveloped private property. Our friend started off the tour by crossing a creek into land we had never seen before. For most of the ride we were surrounded by a dense pine and hardwood forest with many old trees.

We came out of the woods and passed by fields of corn before stopping for an up close look at a sunflower field.

On our return trip we parked the Ranger in the middle of the creek, turned off the engine, and enjoyed the peaceful sound of the water running over the rocks.

Another day we took a drive to Milledgeville to explore the abandoned buildings of Central State Hospital. Founded in 1842, the hospital was originally known as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum. At one time there were over 12,000 patients in the facility making it the largest mental institution in the United States and possibly in the world. They were housed in numerous buildings spread out over about 2,000 acres. Today, most of the buildings are abandoned and neglected.

We took a self guided driving tour around the grounds. Our first stop was the Powell Building which once housed some of the patients and later was an administrative building. The buildings are all closed to the public but visitors can walk around for a closer look. A security guard was patrolling the property and advised us to stay away from dangerous areas which are in need of repairs.

Vines creep up the front of the building. I could just imagine the patients in those rooms, peering out their windows at the outside world. I noticed that some windows had curtains while some had blinds. I wondered if the patients were allowed to decorate their own rooms.

We followed behind the security guard’s car to the Cedar Grove Cemetery where there are over 25,000 graves.

Today part of the hospital is a maximum secure Forensics facility which provides care for around 300 people who are referred by Georgia State Corrections.

We explored on our own on a Sunday afternoon. On certain days trolley tours of the hospital campus are offered.