Mamie’s Hat

The Archibald Smith Plantation Home in Roswell, Georgia is a museum of southern life.  The house includes artifacts of the family and servants that made the house and surrounding property a prosperous farm for over 100 years.  One of Roswell’s founding families, the Smiths moved from Savannah to Roswell in 1838 and started work on what would become the Smith Plantation.  The home was sold to the City of Roswell in 1985 and was opened for tours beginning in 1992.

The last of the Smith family to occupy the house were Arthur William Smith, grandson of the founder, and his wife Mary Norvell Smith.  Most of what is on display in the museum is from the time that Arthur and Mary lived in the home from 1940 until the home was sold.

 In her later years, Mary became sick and the family cook, Mamie Cotton moved into the house to assist with Mary’s daily needs.  Mamie lived with and worked for the family for over 50 years up to and beyond their deaths and her room is part of the museum display.  On the headboard of her bed, this hat hangs just waiting for Mamie to come pick it up for a stylish outing.

Mamie’s Hat
Archibald Smith Plantation Home – Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  2.5 sec – ISO 200

Hickory nut

I went out searching for natural subjects yesterday and found once again, that interesting things are all around!  While our recent dryness has resulted in lots of browns, that does not mean that there aren’t any bits and pieces to catch the eye.

This scene includes a hickory nut and part of its shell scattered among leaves and twigs on the ground.  The autumn light helps bring out the detail and makes this almost monochrome image feel like you are exploring a forest.

Bulloch Hall
180 Bulloch Avenue
Roswell, Gerogia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/25 –  1/4 sec – ISO 100

Drinking life’s nectar

Joy is not found in comparison to others but in counting our blessings

It does not matter if you are a spectacularly colorful butterfly or a drab little moth, you can drink of life’s nectar and have your fill if you stop by the flowers at the right time.

I posted a beautiful swallowtail butterfly from Gibbs Gardens a few days ago.  The graceful wings and bright colors of those glorious insects make the flowers look puny by comparison.  At the same time, this little moth was flitting about and enjoying the same flowers.  They don’t get much notice with their little wings and duller coloration but, they get to feast on the same flowers.

I think it should be the same way for us.  Beauty, fame and fortune are nice but we all can enjoy the good things of life whether we are moths or butterflies.  Focus on the blessings you have been given, not on what you do not have.  Even those who we look on as rich and famous are often un-happy.  It doesn’t matter what you position is, if you don’t care about anything but comparing what you have to what others have, you will never be satisfied.

Be the little moth who happily drinks from the best flowers and don’t worry about what others think of you.

Gibbs Gardens
1987 Gibbs Drive
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/6.3 – 1/200 sec – ISO 100

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Lily pond reflections

Nature paints such beautiful pictures!

Another water-lily image from Gibbs Gardens.  This one shows a trio of pink lilies shining in the summer sun with reflections glowing in the surface of the pond they float in.

It is strange how we can look at something we’ve seen many times before and either walk by blindly or view it with new eyes and be amazed.  Flowers are like that, especially in places where elaborate landscaping is on display in many places.  You see flowers in large numbers along every sidewalk, at every shopping mall and at each front lawn.So, are they less beautiful because there are more of them?  No, we become jaded by over-exposure.

I think it is a basic requirement in trying to find happiness, that we are able to notice and appreciate the beauty in things regardless of how common or small they may be.  Paying attention to detail and not ignoring what is right in front of us is key to seeing the world as an awesome place.  When we are moving too fast, we fail to see the value in what is around us, particularly anything that isn’t “new”.

Going new places and seeing new things are great but, you have to live in the moment and appreciate your surroundings wherever you are to be able to get joy out of life.  Today, I will try to be present to the beauty that surrounds me and to be thankful for it.

Gibbs Gardens
1987 Gibbs Drive
Ball Ground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/6.3 – 1/200 sec – ISO 100

#GibbsGardens #BallGroundGeorgia #Georgia #WaterLilies #LilyPond #reflections #flowers #south #southern #gardens #Nikon #WithMyTamron

Watch your step

Vintage rail cars have so much wonderful detail

This was something that caught my eye at the Southeastern Railway Museum.  The detail of this gate and the WATCH YOUR STEP stencil on the wall of the car just called out, look at me!  With the grass in the yard and the other rail cars off in the distance it just seemed to me to be a combination of color, light and texture that I couldn’t pass up.

Sometimes, I am not sure what will interest others when I spot things like this.  You might not share my enthusiasm for the patterns and contrast in light but it made me smile.  Trying to please others is a continual exercise in self-abuse.  Somebody will always criticize and someone else will not like anything you do, no matter what.

If I was doing this as a profession, I would probably drive myself nuts.  As long as I enjoy what I’m doing and I am continuing to grow and learn to do better, that’s what makes me keep going.  So, if I like the outcome, at least one person is happy.

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Highway
Duluth, GA 30096

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
21mm at f/10 – 1/8 sec – ISO 100

At the side of the tracks

The equipment may be rusty but that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful

One of the really neat things about the Southeastern Railway Museum is all the cars that are out in the yard just sitting on the rails.  Being able to walk right up to the equipment and see the structural detail of the cars is amazing.  You don’t normally think about the mechanics of the wheels and couplings but seeing them up close gives you an appreciation for how complex they are.

This is also one of those environments where you can appreciate the beauty of rust.  We usually associate rust as a sign of things that are no longer useful or desirable.  At times though, the colors and textures that you see are so interesting.  It’s kind of like those images you see of old industrial buildings.  Even though these items are past their prime, you still get this haunting reminder of what they must have been like before.

Some of the equipment at the museum is in the process of being restored and some of it may never move beyond their current state of decay.  Whether these reminders of railway days gone by ever get polished and painted, they are all very interesting to see.

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Highway
Duluth, GA 30096

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
10mm at f/10 – 1/30 sec – ISO 100

Anyone for a train ride?

All aboard the Southeastern Railroad Museum train

How can you have a real railroad experience without a ride on a train?  The Southeastern Railway Museum offers rides on an operating full-scale train so everyone in the family can get a little time feeling the rails beneath their feet.  Engine #3 (shown above) is  a 50 ton Diesel Switch Engine that was built in 1948 by General Electric. A couple of cars and a caboose provide room for riders to get a joy-ride around the yard.

RailroadMuseum-2-Edit

It is fun to watch as the engineer, conductor and the yard crew get everything ready for the “All aboard”.  People stand and wave to the other museum visitors as they depart on their ride.  Children of all ages seem to be thrilled by their time on the railroad.

RailroadMuseum-3

This is really a very interesting place and a great source of photo opportunities.  There are wonderful details, beautiful colors and rusty textures all around.  The museum is open Thursday thru Saturday with more going on during the summer than other times of the year.  Train rides usually start around 11:00 in the morning and have a several times before and after noon depending on the volume of visitors.  Check dates and times on the website before going but, it’s definitely worth the trip whenever you can go!

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Highway
Duluth, GA 30096

Featured image settings:

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
24mm at f/8 – 1/160 sec – ISO 100