Friday, May 29, 2015

Wales: Dolwyddelan Castle

This one is for Alexis, it's another castle!  Next up on our castley tour of Wales was Dolwyddelan Castle, which is different from the other castles we saw because it was actually built by a Welshman (well, probably not one dude by his onesies) rather than being built by the English to subdue the Welsh, and it's also tiny.

I kind of love this picture.

Which also comes in vertical ; )  This castle is so small, it doesn't have its own little shop or people working there but it's not totally rubble so they still want to charge you to get in.  So the people who live in the farmhouse that's at the bottom of the hill also take cash for getting into the castle.  We had the Wales Explorer passes (totally worth it if you're doing a trip through Wales like this one and want to see a ton of castles) so we didn't have to pay, but we still checked in.  And then we walked up the hill to the wee castle.

I believe this is a foxglove.  And it's a very pretty color too.

I think this might be one of my patented tilting pictures.  Because that's more fun than straight up and down...and maybe sometimes I don't mean to tilt the camera, but this time I did.  Might as well work with my off-kilter-ness to make nice pictures, right?

Getting closer...

And closer...

We made it!  They had several signs up on the castle walls and inside the castle telling about it.  And of course they're in both Welsh and English.

Hey, I know that guy!

We shared the castle grounds with a couple of sheep, who apparently have free range all around it.  Watch out for sheepoo.

Dolwyddelan is very tiny, it's got two floors and a basement in the tower that's still standing and then this is the roof.  It's more a tower keep really.

And there's the view of the gorgeous Welsh countryside.

And the remains of the second tower that collapsed around 1810.

More countryside...

And again, more countryside.  Wales is simply beautiful.

One more shot of the tower up on the hill.

We didn't really take pictures inside the tower because it's just a bare room with a fireplace, but they did have this map of the medieval Welsh kingdoms.  It's not a huge land area, but Wikipedia says there used to be twenty different kingdoms.  And in quite a few of the Arthurian stories I've read, Guenevere was a Welsh princess from Gwynedd.

One windy castle selfie and we're done for today!  Three more Wales posts, two more Old Car City posts.  What's next?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rust Goes With Everything: Old Car City, Part 1

Ok, so I had a couple of votes for car pictures and your wish is my command.  Unless I don't want to do it, but I'm going to go along with it this time ; )  So last Saturday, Lee and I drove about 3 hours north to White, Georgia, to visit Old Car City.  I was trying to explain it to Dad, and he's like is it a car museum?  Is it a car lot?  Nope, it's more like an old car graveyard.  They've got acres and acres of old cars sitting out in the woods, just rusting.  And it's cool to take pictures of them, so we spent three hours doing that, then drove back home.

New Gibbs Rule:  Don't go to Georgia without bug spray.  I got about 100 mosquito bites while we were at OCC, even with Lee standing behind me trying to swat away the mosquitoes while I was taking pictures.  State bird of Georgia, right there.  (Mom, I do NOT have West Nile.  And the bites are already fading a lot.)

So we still only have the one big nice camera, so Lee and I traded it off all day long and I'm not sure who took each of the pictures.  And also this is the first post of at least three; between the Nikon camera and the iPhones, we took about 700 shots.  So even though I've whittled it down a lot, this is probably still more pictures of old cars than you really want to see.  I'll probably do minimal blah-blah, so if you click on the first picture to see it bigger, you can just scroll through all of them and then come back later to read the blah-blah : )

Our first shot of the day, before I fixed the settings.  But I kinda liked it all dark and shadowy.

Same car.

I know this is one of Lee's (above).  I like the angle with the wheel well in the foreground.

I really, really liked taking pictures of the decals and model names on the cars.  Even better if there were nice rust patterns around them.

Or if the cars were damaged.

I think this is one of my favorites; I love those 50s-ish old fonts and I like the rust in this one.

Another one of mine that I'm rather proud of.

I keep thinking this is trying to say Boulevard, but it definitely says Borgward.  What the heck is a Borgward?

Think this one is Lee's.

My car knowledge is quite limited, so I have no idea what this bit used to be, but I thought it made for an interesting picture.

I just like the textures on this one, between the rust and the paint strokes and the shiny door handle.

Another one of the cool fonts!  Reminds me of a '50s diner.

So there's part 1.  More cars next, or another Welsh castle?  Are you castled out?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Swamp Thing, Part 3

Howdy, peeps.  I decided I'm going to finish out the swamp pictures before I share pics from Saturday's photo safari...I will tell you that my new personal rule is never go to Georgia without lots of bug spray.  I think I've got roughly 100 more mosquito bites decorating my legs.

Anyway, to finish out I've got a few pictures that I cropped so you can see closeups of some of the bugs that WEREN'T trying to bite me, and then some of Audra's pics that she shared with me.

I love dragonfly stuff, so I was happy to see lots of dragonflies in the swamp.  We saw blue ones, lime green ones, copper ones, all kinds of colors.  I wonder if I like them because they've got "dragon" in the name?  After all, I named my blogs Snapdragon.  I do love dragons...

The cool thing about the dragonflies is that if they landed on something, they would often stay there for a good long while and allow you to photograph them.  This one was sitting on the edge of the sign at the front of the swamp; he was there before I arrived and he was still sitting there after I took a bunch of pictures of him.  And he was alive ; )

Love the blue color on this one.  I actually liked the uncropped photo of this too but I didn't convert it to share here.

Less excited about this dude and all his eight-legged friends.  Spiders are creepy.

So from here on out are some of Audra's pictures!  Love the saturated greens in this one, and the fog among the tree trunks.

Frank, Audra, and me.  Apparently Audra has a rule that she gets a photo of herself with state park signs for every park she visits.  And you can't wear sunglasses in the pic either ; )

Had to stop another time to get the Okefenokee sign.

And one more sign for good measure!  We didn't feed the alligators, but I did feed the mosquitoes.  Not that I wanted to.

Last picture, isn't this awesome?  Makes me think I should have busted out my macro lens when we were out there, but I don't like changing out lenses outdoors because that's an opportunity to get your camera sensor dirty, and we have to send our camera off to have that cleaned.

So that's it for Okefenokee Swamp.  What would you rather see next, more Wales or Old Car City?