Photo A Day: Beach Rose at Sunrise 2, Newport RI

HEY, PAISLEYFRIENDS! I’ve started up a new website devoted to photos; I’ve been in the process of building that up, and it’s where I’ve been lately. Please drop in at beyondpaisleyphotos.com and let me know how you’ve been!

To try and keep me honest in posting my photos regularly: Welcome to my Photo A Day! Topic: Whatever strikes my fancy. Frequency: Daily-ish, I hope.

Herein lies another moment of worship toward the beautiful beach rose.

I’m shameless in how much and how quickly I came to adore these flowers, but it’s easy to fall in love with your surroundings when they are gorgeous. While walking the Cliff Walk in Newport, I stopped to take a picture of the sun and the flowers and the ocean another early riser–a man out for a walk with his dog–nodded and said, “It’s pretty spectacular, isn’t it?”

Well, hello, beautiful.

Indeed it is, sir. And a good morning to you.

Visit the original page at BeyondPaisley Photos!

Advertisements

Sunrise (Sort Of), Reykjavik, December 11, 2015

Our plane landed at 6:30 in the morning, Reykjavik time. We gathered our carry-on items and walked out of the plane and across the tarmac to the terminal, raising our faces to the light as the sun started to crest…

No we didn’t. We dug deeper into our scarves and hustled for the door. It was pitch dark. Just a tick shy of being within the Arctic Circle, Reykjavik doesn’t see the sun until 11AM in mid-December, and then it just rides the horizon line until 3:30 or so. Low-level not-quite-twilight, all day long. Or short. Depending on how you look at it.

Before the sun came up, haggard from the plane and looking at a day in which we needed to stay awake, the first thing we did was get a cup of coffee. Luckily, there was a coffee shop across the street from our hotel. Even more luckily, it was Reykjavik Roasters (their less-discussed second location, it seems), which is apparently one of the best places for a cuppa in town. For the record, it was a pretty stellar cup of coffee. Plus, the cafe was appropriately groovy, with artfully peeling paint and mismatched furniture and its own record collection.

9AM, no sign of the sun, Dave Brubeck on the stereo. Nice.

9AM, no sign of the sun, Dave Brubeck on the stereo. Nice.

From there, we decided to walk to Hallgrimskirkja, the much photographed church made of poured concrete that somehow manages to look like it’s ready to lift off. Bonus! We didn’t need a map, as you can see the spire from pretty much everywhere in the city.

...in 5...4...3...2...

TA-DAAAAA! …in 5…4…3…2…

At Hallgrimskirkja, you can (pay to) climb (climb, schmimb, there’s an elevator that takes you to one floor below the top story) the clock tower and feast one’s eyes on a panoramic view of the city. It only makes sense that that’s the place to go to watch the sun come up.

Going up?

Going up?

The church was incredible…so much so, it deserves its own blog, and I’ll get to it, I swear. But first, up and away, to enjoy the sunrise. Once we got up there…oh, man, was it worth it. All four sides of the tower have windows, so we were able to watch the entire city come to light. I’ll just let the photos tell the story.

IMG_0042-002

 

IMG_0043-002

 

IMG_0045-002

 

IMG_0058-002

 

IMG_0062-002

 

IMG_0064-002

 

IMG_0065-002

 

This is about as bright as it gets. Welcome to winter's high noon, Reykjavik style!

This is about as bright as it gets. Welcome to winter’s high noon, Reykjavik style!

Talk about a way to spend a birthday.

Talk about a way to spend a birthday.

Sunrise, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Feb. 21, 2015

It was another successful trip to Myrtle Beach, another successful visit to see the family that moved down there. George and I had a great time, went and saw some very cool…and kitschy…stuff (blogs on things we did while visiting, coming up), and spent the old QT with the fam. Double-QT, as both my brother and G’s niece live down there, and both sides of the family get along. It was all one grand time. Awesome. 

And, as I am busy trying to rebuild my photo portfolio since losing my external hard drive (yes, people, I’m on the cloud now–unlimited photo storage for Amazon Prime members! Hooray!), it meant I had to get up early and head to the beach for a second Myrtle Beach sunrise photo shoot. There are worse things to have to do with one’s time.

It was kind of a cloudy morning, but I caught all the sun almost anyone could see, that morning. By 10:30 it had completely clouded over and was gray and drizzly all the rest of the day. Here’s to the benefits of early rising! All photos were taken alongside the pier at Surfside Beach.

At Surfside Pier.

At Surfside Pier.

I’m including more photos than I normally would, and don’t have a ton of narrative.

No sun yet.

No sun yet.

Because mostly, the pictures speak for themselves.

I love when the birds show up.

I love when the birds show up.

Speaking of birds…

This guy's going about on very important gull business.

This guy’s going about on very important gull business.

I almost started to think, maybe this was as good as it was going to get, with the weather looking sketchy.

Clouds were moving in.

Clouds were moving in. At least the birds were having fun.

 Then I started to see the sun peek out a little.

Hey.

Hey.

And a little more.

Well all right all right.

Well all right all right.

And then…holy pockets!

We got us a sunrise!

We got us a sunrise!

This clear patch of sky is the definition of “window of opportunity”.

This always gives me a sense of peace.

This always gives me a sense of peace.

And the low clouds helped keep the light golden.

IMG_0187-002

Funny how clouds can be a good thing.

I had to check out how things looked under the pier.

Mid-pier.

Mid-pier.

And from the other side.

Here's looking out your side entrance.

Here’s looking out your side pilings. Baby.

For a moment things lightened up and started to look suspiciously like a Monet painting.

But there's a lot going on in that sky.

But there’s a lot going on in that sky.

And then? Le BOOM! Back to gold.

I love the fiery pinks in the clouds.

I love the fiery pinks in the clouds.

Though the sun was getting ready to disappear for the rest of the day…

Not long after this, it was all gray and cloudy.

Not long after this, it was all gray and cloudy.

…it sure put on one hell of a show for me when it showed its glorious face.

This photo right here? Is why I get up early.

This photo right here? Is why I get up early.

I hope you enjoyed the sunrise! I know I did.

 

Travel Theme: Golden

Ailsa’s travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? is “golden”. Groovy! I don’t have much time to be chatty today, so let’s get to it, shall we?

First stop: close to home. Beautiful Lewisburg, PA, where the trees put on quite the seasonal display and turn a stunning shade of gold in autumn.

It's kind of spectacular here in the fall.

It’s kind of spectacular here in the fall.

These Italian fig bundles look like little golden dessert ravioli. Stuffed with figs. They’re like a dream come true.

IMG_0062

Bask in their golden aura!

 

And speaking of Italy…here’s a cozy little street in Florence that turns golden once the sun starts to set and the lights come on.

I want to live here. That is all.

I want to live here. That is all.

Relax during the holidays! Be like Buddha, in perfect tranquility in a lotus flower. As seen at the MFA in Boston.

I feel all zen and groovy.

I feel all zen and groovy.

And finally…here is a sunrise that’s about as golden as it gets. Taken at North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It’s one heck of a way to start the day.

Nature is so effortlessly beautiful.

Nature is so effortlessly beautiful.

This was a great challenge for me to do. It’s been an opaque gray here for about a week; I’ve been starved of brightness. (No, wait. There was one notable hour of sunlight; we were all so happy to see it we made sure our friends and neighbors checked out that strange fiery sky orb, but I digress.) I hope you enjoyed the photos! Or, of course, you’d be more than welcome to participate. See you ’round the internets.

XOXO

Sunrise: Normandy Beach, NJ; May 4, 2014, 5:52AM

I had considered and rejected the idea of getting up for sunrise photos this Sunday. I was exhausted after a weekend of celebrating my niece and her new husband, and making the concordant travel, and general busy-ness. After the wedding, we visited two friends who have a beach house in Normandy (to extra-clarify, Normandy Beach NJ, not France), which was near the general area of wedding festivities. Awesome, right? A few days with the fam, and then a groovy night with friends. What could be better? We (as in George, said groovy friends, and I) wandered around a few different boardwalks, had some beers (including my first summer shandy of the season, joy!), found a nice bar in which we watched the Kentucky Derby (sorry, Wicked Strong, I was rooting for you!), then went out for dinner and stuffed ourselves silly. I am one of those people who needs downtime in order to recharge my batteries. I had none. I was beat. Sleep was my objective, not early rising.

Fate had other plans.

Something–and I swear, I don’t know what–woke me up at 5:20. And you know, you start to weigh options and make bargains. “If it’s even a little cloudy, I’m going back to sleep.”

It was clear.

OK, OK. “If it’s windy and cold, I’m going back to sleep.”

It was surprisingly warm(ish), and not windy at all.

Pffft. Hmm. OK. “If George isn’t willing to go with me, I’m going back to sleep.” (Please note: I’m not sure why that was important to me at 5:30 in the morning, but it was.)

George got right up and started getting ready to go. Bless his heart.

So, bejacketed and bleary-eyed, we walked five minutes up the road to the beach and climbed the newly installed sand berm to the much-beleaguered Jersey shore, and watched the sun come up. While I hesitate to say that something is “magical” because really, anyone who says that is hopelessly twee, I’ve got to say…I’m really glad I was there. The sunrise went a little like this:

Well, hello, bird.

Well, hello, bird. And charter boat. Thanks for being scenic.

Off to the side, houses keep watch.

Off to the side, houses keep watch.

That rock has waited a long time to be exactly in this position to see this sunrise.

That rock has waited a long time to be exactly in this position for me to photographically exploit. Thanks, rock!

And here it comes.

And here it comes.

It's relentless.

It’s relentless.

I mean, this all took place in what was only a matter of minutes, really.

I mean, this all took place in what was only a matter of minutes. We’re really whizzing around in space.

Oh noes! That ship!

Oh noes! That boat! It will never survive!

Suck it, Eye of Sauron. You've got nothing on this.

Suck it, Eye of Sauron. You’ve got nothing on this. (Plus, *chomp chomp eat ur boat*)

While I strive to love all my photos equally, I think this one is my favorite.

While I strive to love all my photos equally, I think this one is my favorite.

In psychotic weather news, two hours later it was overcast and drizzly.

Meanwhile in psychotic weather news, two hours later it was overcast and drizzly.

Or maybe this one's my favorite. I love the textures you can see.

Or maybe this one’s my favorite. I love all the textures you can see.

Even crazy silhouette guy likes a good sunrise.  (Full disclosure: it's George, in a hoodie.)

Even scary silhouette guy likes a good sunrise.
(Full disclosure: it’s George, in a hoodie. *phew*)

Almost free of the horizon line...

Almost free of the horizon line…

And there it goes! Le soleil, off into the yonder. Which I would say is wild blue but we can clearly see is seething orange.

And there it goes! Le soleil, off into the yonder. Which I would say is wild blue but we can clearly see is seething orange. I love that the waterline looks like liquid gold.

So. There you have it. Sunrise, Jersey shore style. There’s still so much work to do down there after Hurricane Sandy, but you know, lesson learned. This world of ours keeps on rolling along, and so must we.

Here’s a little Ellis Paul to play you out.

A Frosty Morning in Vermont

George and I recently celebrated our 9th anniversary.  I just looked it up; the 9th anniversary traditionally is the “pottery” anniversary, updated in modern times to the “leather” anniversary, kinky tarts that we’ve become.  Rather than leather it out, we decided to take a fabulous long weekend at The Essex, a spa/culinary resort about 20 minutes outside of Burlington, VT.  Yes, this was our ultimate destination when we decided to detour over to Syracuse for our night of fun-filled musical tomfoolery.

There will be more about all of this later.

What’s important here is, I’ve apparently developed an internal timer that won’t let me sleep when we’re away, if I need to catch a sunrise on my camera.  On the one hand, that’s cool.  On the other hand…

We were up while the moon was still out.

We were up while the moon was still out.

…it’s not like I hate to sleep.  It just seems that way, most of the time.

Anyway.  It was cold that morning!  Colder than I have yet to experience at home, since winter’s just getting her chill on in central PA.  I stepped outside and I realized…ohhhhh…the world is shimmering and crunchy.

Bluebells in the morning frost.

Bluebells in the morning frost.

It’s not a bad way to wake up, if you can’t help but find yourself wide awake at 6:30AM on your last morning of vacation.  Anyway, let’s get right into this.

The grounds at the Essex have a lot going on.  They’ve got manicured lawns and secluded tennis courts, raised produce beds for their kitchens and things like hammocks and gazebos for hanging out in on days warmer than the one in which I was running around outside. Surrounding that are some pretty thick woods and a steep ravine or two.  We made a right turn, started our way around the building and…

Pretty, right?

Pretty, right?

I have no idea what kind of plant this is.  Suggest away!

I played with the black and white on this a little, since this picture didn’t have a lot of color to worry about to begin with.  It was still pre-dawn and the branches of this whatsitsface plant were thick with frost.

The noble..errr...frosty chickenfoot plant.

The noble..errr…frosty chickenfoot plant.

Fine.  If I’m going to be out in the world menacing nature with my camera, I suppose the least I can do is learn the names of various flora and fauna (though I’m pretty good with the fauna, I must protest).  I will, some day.  But it is not this day.

We walked back towards where the sun was starting to peek through: see gnarly woods and steep ravines.  I was in no mood for climbing, not before coffee, mmm mmmm, no way.  So.

This was about as close to a clearing as I could get.

This was about as close to a clearing as I could get.

You're getting warmer...

You’re getting warmer…

I mean seriously. It's practically like time-lapse photography.

I mean seriously. It’s practically like time-lapse photography.

We wandered back behind the tennis courts like a couple of bad kids in high school.  Only I didn’t care quite as much about the sumac trees back then.

Awww, he didn't have to go with me. <3

Awww, he didn’t have to go with me. ❤

And on our way back across the lawn, encountered a frosty rose:

"Nice Martian seed", said a friend of mine. Pah!

“Nice Martian seed”, said a friend of mine. Pah!

A cluster of grapes that had come on hard times:

IMG_0299-002

Is it too late to turn this into ice wine?

And the remnants of a misspent evening.

I hope you're drinking white.

I hope you’re drinking white.

Ground cherries!

I couldn't help myself. I tried one.  Even frozen, it was delicious.

I couldn’t help myself. I tried one. Even frozen, it was delicious.

I kind of obsessed over this spigot.

I spent way too much time hanging around this spigot. But it's so cute!

I spent way too much time hanging around this spigot. But it’s so cute!

Photographed what may become Christmas cards from me and George.

Quelle rustic!

Quelle rustic!

And called it a day when we made our way back around to the front of the hotel and smelled bacon coming from the kitchens.

Soup's on! Figuratively speaking, that is.

YES! Soup’s on! Figuratively speaking, that is.

Stay warm, everyone.  And go to Vermont.  It’s extraordinary.  Just, you know.  Pack gloves and extra socks.

Sunrise on Lake Superior; Lutsen, MN

Once again I have come to the entirely inescapable conclusion, after seeing it once more with my very own eyes, that Lake Superior is, indeed, one great frigging lake.  Some day…sommmmmmme dayyyyyyy I will drive the entire perimeter of Lake Superior, some day, though it is not this day (and I refrain from using the term “Bucket List” because I hate the idea and the movie and pretty much anything that relates to Jack Nicholson because sorry but he is overrated (there, I said it) but that’s how the entire world relates to any future aspirations now–well, I want to do it before I die, how wonderful is that?–and so I have to suck it up).

But I digress.

So, sunrise, on the north shore of Lake Superior.  A photographer at the wedding we were at two days before told us that we’d have a better view “on the other side of the lake” which I could only take to mean “Canada”.  Considering the semi-sheltered area we were in, I’m sure he’s right.  Too bad we didn’t have our passports and another two days to get around to “the other side” because we were a mere 60-ish miles from the border.

Holy snowshoes! That's up there!

Holy snowshoes! That’s up there!

The days before had, for the most part, been cloudy and gray (and oof, chilly!  I’m so glad our friends warned us to bring jackets and other sundry cool-weather clothing) but happily, our last morning there dawned clear and bright (and chilly, but at least I was sensible enough to pack plenty of socks and some sturdy shoes).  Down to the rocky little beachfront we went…and I’m just going to let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

IMG_0583-001

IMG_0585-001

IMG_0595-001

IMG_0603-001

IMG_0613-001

IMG_0645-001

IMG_0651-001

IMG_0664-001

IMG_0679-002

The light quickly became too intense for me to take any more pictures here without worrying that I would burn out my camera, so it was sunrise and done.  But!  This li’l fella kept me company the whole time.

IMG_0712-001

No more posts.