Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vintage Old Car City USA!

There is no accounting for taste and when it comes to my taste, I have a slight affinity for 'vintage'. If you ever find yourself wandering the highways just northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, you simply have to pay a visit to Old Car City USA.

Old Car City USA has 4,000 vintage cars dating from 1972 back. I kid you not when I say there are 34 acres of vintage cars or to put a different way, six miles of vintage cars. The beauty of it is, this place only sits about a half mile off I-75 in White, Georgia. CBS News Sunday Morning did a feature story on Old Car City back a few years ago. You can actually do a search online via You Tube and watch it if you like.

Everything about this vintage car city screams decaying, molding, dilapidated and slowly being reclaimed back to the Earth from which it came. There were strings of hub caps and stacks of car doors. There was even a huge row of old bicycles and an old ambulance and single engine airplane toward the front entrance. Everywhere one looked car doors were ajar, truck doors were ajar, the doors were ajar from visitors taking photos of the interiors, which by the way, were also decaying.

While my visit was brief having arrived late in the day, I had to cut it short, as it never occurred to me that before you go into a dilapidated graveyard of automobiles that are rusting and molding away, I needed to apply bug spray. Hence, I found myself getting ate up alive, and while I'm getting ate up alive walking back to the entrance, I'm running news stories through my head about the Zika Virus. Normally, I am amply prepared for my treks, but this day I forgot one important thing, bug spray.

This 'Off the Beaten Path' journey took me back to by gone days of the old Buick my Dad used to pile us into every Friday and off we'd go to the country to my Uncle Lee's Farm, where we would spend the weekend wading in the creek and running through the fields of tobacco and such.

The iconic name plates displayed on the vehicles whether they be leaning deftly due to time warn days or displayed perfectly surrounded by rusty, decaying metal were so cool. But the really really cool thing I loved the most were the fins on some of the old cars. This one in particular was rusting beautifully. Almost as though it knew it was going to be a masterpiece for a photographer's eye. God how I miss the look of the old cars. They had style, real style.

One of my favorite images from my brief visit to this end of the line 'vintage car graveyard' is this rusting red 1955 Plymouth Belevdere. If I squint my eyes just so I can envision one of these on the highways years ago, but seriously I was born in 1955 and the images I conjure up are probably just my imagination. Still so querky looking.

It bears mentioning here before I leave you in the midst of this decaying post, that I will have another post with more pics sometime soon. Oh, the stories these cars could tell if only they could talk! And least I forget, photographers from all over the world travel to Old Car City USA just to photograph the dilapidated cars with their Georgia Pine needles slowly reclaiming the ground they sit on. And to think you thought I had nothing new I could pull out of my hat. And what do I do, but go visit a decaying field of metal objects shaped in strange sizes and shapes covered in Pine needles and peeling pieces of paint layers. The lengths I go to. ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dragonfly in Waterlily Gardens

Here's one of the many frequent visitors to the Waterlily Gardens. A beautiful Blue Dasher, as Steve would say at Shooting My Universe. Not everyone would, but I consider Steve to be one of the consummate Dragonfly photographers here in the States. Why? Well, he's photographed a few!

The Waterlilies were aplenty as I walked around the Waterlily Gardens at Gibbs. Such vivid color, such glorious shapes, such a beautiful setting. I simply must go back. I think I see a trip on the horizon in Spring, when the fields of Gibbs are covered in thousands of Daffodils, and the gardens are laden with every color Tulip one can conjure up in one's mind. Well, I am a tad under the weather so I haven't left comments this week, but I sure did check out everyone's beautiful posts and they were just that, beautiful. I hope you enjoyed my walk in the Waterlily Gardens, and the beautiful specimen I chose to feature today, as much as I enjoyed sharing it. ENJOY!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Resplendent Waterlily

Fall is slowly creeping into our lives and perhaps, more than creeping in, at the higher altitudes. I believe I saw a snowfall on the Weather Channel this week. I wanted to close the week with this resplendent Waterlily bloom I captured while walking around the Waterlily Gardens at Gibbs Gardens a few weeks ago. I have been decorating for Fall, adding touches here and there, throughout my place in an attempt to bring the outdoors of Fall indoors. Are you knee deep in faux pumpkins and splashy wreaths adorned with Fall leaves and stalks of corn. On another note, I hope you are enjoying the cooler temps. While we have had a few hot days this week in the 90's with some humidity, we have not had stifling days like we did back in July and August. Just that slight difference in temps is a big help. Wherever you are this weekend I hope it finds you dreaming of Fall! ENJOY!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Reflections, Japanese Gardens

The Japanese Gardens at Gibbs Gardens is one of the largest in the nation covering 40 acres with seven naturally spring-fed ponds. As you meander through this architectural wonderland, of large rocks and massive boulders, and cross over the bridges that take you from one magnificent landscape to the next, you feel as though you have found a small slice of paradise.

As a photographer I wasn't convinced any photographs I captured would do justice to this beautiful, serene landscape with its gorgeous foliage and draping Weeping Willow tree branches hanging over the large ponds.

Everywhere you turn your eye meets a new reflection in the water. The Japanese Pagodas, the Cherry Blossom trees, the Japanese Maples and the Weeping Willow trees surrounded by thick, lush foliage are like an explosion to your senses. One of my favorite images of these beautiful gardens surely is the Weeping Willow branches as they hang gracefully over the water.

Surely by now you know how much I love water, and the reflections at every turn of my walk, made my visit to Gibbs Gardens such an amazing experience. If you look closely, you can see the subtle changes from Summer to Fall taking shape as the greens give way to Fall colors. If you live near a botanical garden, visit this Fall and experience the riot of colors that Fall brings us. I hope you are enjoying my visit to Gibbs. The weather here is hot today, but cooler temps are on the horizon. Enjoy your weekend. ENJOY!

Linking to Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Waterlily Gardens, Gibbs Gardens

As beautiful as the lush Japanese Gardens were with the gorgeous foliage and large ponds with the Weeping Willow branches draped over the water, the Waterlily Gardens at Gibbs Gardens was simply gorgeous. Clumps of Waterlilies blooming in vibrant captivating colors graced the many ponds of the Waterlily Gardens. There are supposedly 140 varieties of Waterlilies that bloom here throughout the year.

The water source here comes from underground springs adding to the natural feeling you get as you walk among the ponds. As you meander from path to path, you encounter wooden bridges, covered bridges and even natural rock bridges, not to mention small waterfalls and even a Japanese pagoda. Remarkably, this Waterlily Garden has the largest natural display of Waterlilies in the nation.

The star of this feature garden though is the Waterlily flowers in bloom with their vibrant yellows, pinks, blues and lavenders. Before I left Gibbs for the day, I took a second walk around this particular garden as it was so captivating an experience. I was in my glory with all of the color and the beautiful Lily Pads. On this particular day the temperatures were milder than had been all Summer which I had noted on the forecast while planning this trip. I knew I would be spending three or four hours or longer walking throughout these gardens and I wanted the day to be somewhat mild. Thankfully, it was. What a magical place. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed taking them. ENJOY!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Japanese Gardens, Gibbs Gardens

After moving to Nashville last year, I researched gardens, parks and wildlife refuges nearby so that I could visit these places throughout the seasons. I happened upon Gibbs Gardens, located in northern Georgia, in my research and after viewing their website knew I would have to visit. I had planned to spend this week photographing South Carolina's Low Country, but with hurricane weather dominating the forecast I decided to reschedule that trip for another time. Instead, I made the drive to visit Gibbs Gardens which as it happens sits at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

Jim Gibbs is a world renowned landscape architect who designed this 292 acre world class residential garden some years back. It is said he spent six years looking for a suitable site with a strong water source and beautiful mature trees covering a rolling topography to fulfill his dream and create this magnificent garden setting. There are 16 gardens total with three main feature gardens. Gibbs personal residence sits high up on a hill overlooking several terrace gardens on the property. A tram ride will take you up to the 'Manor House' where you can sit on Gibbs own veranda and view the terrace gardens as they slope down the hillside. Gibbs Gardens is one of the nation’s largest residential estate gardens.

The first feature garden you approach as you start your walk throughout Gibbs is the Waterlily Garden which has a full size replica of Monet's Bridge situated next to one of the main ponds. The next feature garden is the Japanese Gardens which has an enormous abundance of trees, shrubs, flowers and Japanese sculptures featured throughout it. This sculpture of a pair of Swans sitting on an island in one of the larger ponds was so stunning and, of course, you know I couldn't resist capturing a few images. The reflections of the foliage in the water caught my eye even before I saw the Swans standing on the island.

I can't begin to imagine this garden in Fall with its red Japanese Maple trees and yellow and orange shrubs and bushes. It surely must look like it's on fire. There is a photo of it on the website you might want to peak at. Our weather is slightly cooler, but 90's keep creeping back in. However, nothing like the 95 and 100 degree heat and 110 heat indices like we had in July. Fall is around the corner and it is beginning to feel like it. I can hardly wait. ENJOY!

Linking to Rattlebridge Farms and Our World Tuesday

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hello September!

Hello September! May you herald in cooler temps, dryer afternoons, blue skies, balmy breezes and the slightly hint of Fall. Photo taken in Cade's Cove, Great Smoky Mountains, in June after a bit of rain a rainbow came out. Back soon. ENJOY!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Blue Aster Dreams

At Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, Kentucky, many seasons back, I walked among the gardens and captured images of brightly colored flowers blooming throughout the flower beds. These Blue Asters were blooming in abundance as I stopped to captured a couple of images. Butterflies were flitting all around the blooms while a cool breeze blew. It was the perfect Fall day in Kentucky with plenty of sunshine and blue skies.

Here in Tennessee, there are signs of Fall's approach slowly creeping into my daily life. As I shop online I see new Fall decor showing up in the web stores. As I travel around the city, I see 'Help Wanted' signs perched on lawns and hanging on drive thru windows everywhere, as teenagers have returned to their books, leaving shops and restaurants in need of help.

Browsing local boutiques and shops, I discover new displays set out for Halloween with wreaths and garland and witches on brooms adorning tables and mantels alike. Soon there will be pumpkins and hay bales and dried corn stalks lining doorways, walkways and driveways. Temps will wane to chilly and the nights will turn crisp. Talk of witch's brews and cauldrons, of scarecrows coming to life in the night, will bring fright to the faces of youngsters. Falling leaves and painted pumpkins, candy corn and trick or treats. Fall is making it's way in as the dusty, heat saturated days of Summer bid us a fond farewell. I hope you have enjoyed this post as I bring you beautiful flowers and my fond memories of Fall's past. Wherever you may be on today, I wish you a wonderful weekend. ENJOY!