Three days ago I was unfortunate to have stepped barefoot onto a swarm of fire ants. As a child living in Florida I well remember fire ants and stayed far away from them. I had no idea they had moved as far north as Virginia. Too bad I had to find out the hard way. When I first stepped on them it felt like I was being shocked. I immediately saw them and luckily I was only a few feet from the pool (the reason I was barefoot) and jumped in. I guess I was fortunate as I was only bitten about 30 times. The good news is that the pain went away within a few hours but the itching soon commenced. Fortunately the itching was not on a par with poison ivy or chiggers. But the bites look really nasty. I will spare you any photos of the damage. If you want to get an idea of what a fire ant bite looks like, try Google.
While I wait for my ant bites to heal I have been trying to stay busy. I took a ride out to one of my favorite places nearby and took some photos. I am still experimenting with my new camera. My lens collection now consists of the original 18-50mm lens, a 50mm f 1.8 lens, and a 55-210mm lens. I bought a camera backpack from Amazon to store all my equipment. I have not had an interchangeable lens camera since my film days. I’m really enjoying the versatility I now have. Anyway, the photos I am posting are from two little burgs named Rescue and Battery. They are very quaint, peaceful, beautiful places. I saw a home for sale there and I was thinking it would be nice to live there.
Anyway, here are the photos I took. I hope you enjoy them. God Bless.
I have lived in the Hampton Roads area since the 11th grade, which means since 1966. You figure out how old I am. Before that, as a Navy brat, I had lived in Newport, Rhode Island (my birthplace), upstate New York, Texas, Florida, and finally here in Southeastern Virginia. Although the area has seen tremendous growth since I first came here, not all of which has been good, I would still be hard pressed to find a better place to live. We are very close to the ocean and a 4 hour drive to the Appalachian Mountains. There are no really big cities in Virginia, which is fine by me. It is not as rural as it used to be, but it is still a wonderful place to call home.
There is a lot of history in Virginia, a lot of it very close to where I live. From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, from the first English colony at Jamestown, to the Lost Colony at Roanoke, North Carolina, there is a lot to see and do, and most important of all, take photos of. Yesterday I took a little trip up to Smithfield, which is a beautiful, quaint town with lots of Colonial and Victorian houses and shops. It is also home to the world famous Smithfield Meats. Smithfield is also home to St. Luke’s Church. Historic St. Luke’s is the oldest church in Virginia and oldest church in British North America of brick construction. Anyway, as I said this area is a photographers delight and Smithfield is a typical example. I hope you enjoy some of the photos I took of the area.
Since I received my Sony mirrorless a6000 camera with its 18-50mm kit lens, I have been taking more photographs than before. This new camera is a big step forward in capabilities than my old Panasonic. Since I have gotten my Sony I have purchased two news lens; a F1.8 50mm and a 55-210mm telephoto. I have to admit I love the ‘nifty fifty’ the best. I love the shallow depth of field and low light capabilities of the 50mm. Last evening I went down to the waterside at Portsmouth with my tripod and 50mm and tried my hand with some night scenes. The results, in my humble opinion, were pretty good. Take a look for yourself at a couple of them.
Fall is fast approaching. The leaves are starting to change colors and the temperatures are dropping. I will miss Summer but I love all the seasons. They are all chapters in the book of Gods creation of the Universe. Soon I will be doing fall foliage photos and before you know it winter scenes. Can’t wait. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
Three more weeks until Labor Day. I hope to make the best of them. The weather has been nice, with the temperatures in the 80’s and the humidity down. I have spent a lot of time in the pool or on the back deck enjoying the day. Life has been good. Our church had three baptisms and five new members. Another church used our bapistry to baptize four people. God is great! Our Vacation Bible School starts Monday and we are hoping for 30 children or more. Our new Pastor will be holding an adult Bible school. Our new Pastor has been great since he answered the call. His sermons are great and if you want to hear them go to our website at Park View Christian Church (DOC).
I took a short trip to Suffolk to visit the Cedar Hill Cemetery. This 32 acre expanse of hilly terrain and ancient cedar trees has many stories to reveal. Also home to one of Suffolk’s official Virginia Civil War Trail sites, The Confederate Monument. There are an amazing number of unique headstones and grave markers. A lot of the graves date back centuries. It is the most beautiful cemetery I have ever visited. My reason for visiting the cemetery was to view and photograph some of the more famous grave sites. The cemetery is so big I will have to go back another day to see it all.
I am still exploring the capabilities of my new Sony a6000 camera. I bought a book covering all the capabilities of this amazing camera, and it is quite a long book. It is amazing how much capability they can put into such a small camera. I am thinking of getting another lens for it, but am not sure whether to buy a fast 50mm lens or a telephoto lens. Currently I am leaning towards the telephoto. I will be taking a photography class this month or next taught by a professional photographer friend of mine. It will cover sunrise, sunset photography. She is an amazing photographer and I expect I will learn quite a bit from her.
That is about it for now. Have a blessed day and enjoy the summer, or what’s left of it.