Tag Archive: ocean


With the first day of summer just about two weeks away, I start to think of why it is my favorite time of year.  I think the warm weather is a bit of a given, but I have a few other reasons why I love it.

The Pool – I’ve been a water rat since I was a toddler.  I also lived close to the ocean in Virginia growing up.  So, I have spent many hours of my life in the water.  I’ve also been pulled out of the pool (over the side) because I couldn’t breathe more times than I care to remember.  That has not stopped me from going back in.  To this day, I still will spent a good portion of the day in the pool.  I love it!

The Grill – I love cooking on the grill.  I do it all year long, but it’s much more pleasant when it isn’t below freezing outside.  This morning I made bacon in a frying pan on the side burner of the grill.  I like to make it outside so it doesn’t smell up the house.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hot dogs or steak, I love cooking out there.  Plus the grill overlooks the pool.  Bonus!

Motorcycles – Riding is a huge passion of mine.  I still do it in some of the colder months, but like other things, it’s much more enjoyable when it’s warm outside.  Being on a motorcycle is such an amazing feeling.  It’s so relaxing.  It also will make you forget all your problems for a while.  Great for clearing your head.

Friends – This one sort of ties into all of the others.  Summer to me is about hanging out with your friends, having a cookout, swimming in the pool and riding.  There’s something about the camaraderie of bikers that makes you proud to be a part of that family.  I’ve met some of the best people while riding or talking about motorcycles.

Photography – This is also a given.  I do have a photography blog and a Photo Group.  The sun, the flowers, nature, cars and waterfalls all make me very happy when I get out with the camera in my hands.  There are a lot of places that I want to shoot this year.  Hopefully this nice weather (well, before this weekend) will continue and I can check more places off my list.

What about summertime makes you happy?

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This is for the birds…

In a previous post, I mentioned how much I love visiting Assateague Island when I go back home.  Most of the time, I will look for the ponies to take pictures of.  Every now and then, you get lucky and see a ton of turtles or many different types of birds.  You never know what you will see there when you drive through.  I have even seen a bald eagle flying overhead.

Last October, I was down for my cousin’s wedding.  I stopped by Assateague the following day and was doing my usually pony spotting exercise.  No luck.  They were there, but way out, even for the zoom lens.  So, we drove out to the beach and hung out for a bit.  On the way back, we saw a Great Egret.  I managed to get a few shots of this gorgeous bird in it’s natural habitat.

Great Egret At Assateague Island

Great Egret At Assateague Island

Great Egret At Assateague Island

Great Egret At Assateague Island

Great Egret At Assateague Island

Great Egret At Assateague Island

I really wish we had a great place like Assateague up here in New York to do shooting like this.  I really enjoy it.  Do you know of any places that might be similar?

And no, for once that is NOT a LOST reference.

From time to time, you will read posts from me about “back home” in Virginia.  Today’s blog is about another town close to where I grew up.  The town is called Cape Charles.  Growing up, it was a very poor town, with a lot of run down houses and old businesses that aren’t open anymore.  Over the past five or ten years, the town has been revived.  There are now gated communities, beautiful homes and golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.  It was quite a nice surprise to drive into town back in December and see the wonderful changes that have been made over the years.

Cape Charles is just 15 miles or so North of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  I learned a neat tidbit of information on this trip.  My grandmother told me that my grandfather used to take the ferry from Virginia Beach to Cape Charles back in the ’50s before the bridge was built.  He was in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk, VA and would hitchhike from Virginia to Massachusetts when he had leave.  Can you imagine that?  He would hitchhike 500 miles to get home.  Back then it was safe to do.  In his travels, he loved the area so much that he moved the family there in 1973 and lived there until he passed in 2006.  He was then, and always will be, my hero.

My grandmother asked me to drive her through the town so she could see the changes that had been made, as it is 30 or so miles South of her house.  We were pleasantly surprised.  I even grabbed a few pictures.  When you come into town, they have a water tower that has been decorated to look like a lighthouse.

Water tower in town

Water tower in town

There were some old train cars by the harbor that made for great shots.  They look like they have been well maintained over the years and some may even still be in service.

Rail car

Rail car

The old train

The old train

As my title implies, there were cotton fields in Cape Charles.  I had no idea they grew it there.  I was driving by the field and was like “what the?” “Is that cotton?”  It sure was.

Cotton

Cotton

Cotton field

Cotton field

At the entrance to one of the gated communities, there was a small pond with a magnificent bronze sculpture of a man fishing with his dog.

Man's best friend

Man's best friend

Have you ever been to Cape Charles, or even heard of it?

Who’s that lady?

Back in June, I saw a Tweet from All Over Albany stating that there was a huge yacht docked in Troy, NY just outside Albany.  I had to run out to grab something, so I grabbed the camera and out the door I went.  You couldn’t miss this boat.  It was huge.  I had never seen a yacht this big before.  Here is a little info on the boat from Oceanco.  This thing is 182.5 feet long!

So, I snapped a few pics and ran my errand, then headed home.  Later that day, I processed the pics and went looking for more information about this huge boat.  I found a forum using Google called Yacht Forums and there was a thread already started discussing the boat.  I posted up my pic and asked the members for any information on the boat.  They loved my pics and said they should be postcards and ads for the company.  Thanks, but I don’t think they are that great.

Through The Trees

Through The Trees

What really made me smile was one of the members’ comments.  It turns out that one of the members helped build this boat and it held a very special place in his heart.  He went on to tell us about how this vessel was the largest in the world at the time it was built.  I really valued his sentiments and appreciate the feedback.  It must be pretty amazing to have worked on a groundbreaking boat.

This boat is huge!

This boat is huge!

It even has a helicopterIt even has a helicopter

It even has a helicopter

The images were posted on the forum late Saturday afternoon.  Monday morning, when I walked into work, I had an email from Oceanco yachts, the company that built the boat, saying they loved the pictures and wanted to use them in their brochures and on their website.  I exchanged a few emails with the lady, and was a little perturbed that they wanted to use the photos I took without paying for them.  This boat sold for close to $100 million when it was new.  They sell yachts like this all the time.  Yet, they wanted to use my pic for free.  I ended up not agreeing to let them use it, but I still wonder if I should have – just to get my name out there.  They had agreed to make sure I got full credit for the picture.  I often wonder if I did the right thing…

What do you think?

A few days back, I wrote about ‘back home’ in Virginia.  I grew up on the Delmarva Peninsula in what the locals call the Eastern Shore of Viriginia, or ESVA for short.  I spent most of my childhood in a small town called Onancock in the county of Accomack.

I was born and raised there until I was 18 and moved to Massachusetts.  That’s another blog for another day.

The Eastern Shore is a very small quaint area, heavily reliant on the surrounding Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay.  Lots of friends, and even some family worked on the water to make a living.  The area is also very reliant on farming.  Quite a bit of the land there is farmland.  After being in such a populated area, it is strange to go back and see the miles and miles of wide open fields and wooded areas.

My title refers to a small island on the Eastern Shore called Assateague Island.  Assateague is where we always went as kids.  It was ‘the beach”.  as a child, I can remember 25 or 30 foot tall sand dunes with stairs over them to take you out to the warm sand of the beach.  Today, after many hurricanes and Nor’easters, you can sit in the parking lot and see right out to the ocean.  It is very sad to see this when I go back to visit.  I guess I am lucky to see anything at all, as they have to truck sand in every year to restore the parking lot and part of the beach, just to keep their main tourist attraction going.

On the island, there is a National Wildlife Refuge, and a lighthouse.  The refuge is home to many wild animals, and I try to get there and photograph them every time I am in the area.  The biggest draw are the wild ponies.  You may have heard of Misty – written by Marguerite Henry.   No relation to me, as far as I know.  Every year, they swim these wild ponies across the channel and auction them off at the “Pony Swim“.

Nursing Pony

Nursing Pony

Resting

Resting

The lighthouse has always been near to my heart.  You can see it coming from Chincoteague across to Assateague Island, and I have been to see it many times.  Growing up, you could walk the sandy trail to the lighthouse and take pictures.  However, you were not allowed to go inside the lighthouse.  Back in 2006, my girlfriend Rose and I were heading to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and made a pit stop on the “Shore” to visit.  Rose had never been, so I took her to Assateague to check it out.  We walked down the little sand covered path and were very surprised to see the lighthouse door open.  Cool, I thought.  Must be a gift shop.  Not only was it a gift shop, it was a tour that allowed you to climb the lighthouse.

Assateague Light

Assateague Light

Awesome!  Let’s do it!  We climbed to the top and got another pleasant surprise.  You could go up into the actual light  area of the lighthouse.  The view was amazing.  You could see all of Assateague and most of Chincoteague.

Round and Round We Go

Round and Round We Go

Inside the Light Area

Inside the Light Area

Me Inside the Light Area - Photo by Rose Winters

Me Inside the Light Area - Photo by Rose Winters

We have been back a few times since then, but you aren’t allowed to go into the light area anymore.  Someone purchased the lighthouse and fixed the catwalk area on the outside.  Now you can go outside the lighthouse up top and walk around, just below the light.  Again, a stunning 360 degree view around the lighthouse.

So, if you’ve never been, it’s definitely a great place to visit.  If you’ve been, or live there, let me know.

See you soon...

See you soon...