Photography and commentary by Paul Yarnall

Making Lemonade

With a reduced client load and Susie retired, for the past several years we have elected  to take extended vacations during the winter months.  Last year we hauled our camper from New York to California, then crossed the southern states back to Florida before making our way back to Canandaigua. A lot of miles, even in four weeks. (Best of the West)

This year we were delayed for various reasons, and our departure near the end of March turned it into an “early spring” rather than a winter jaunt. I had a vague notion that I wanted to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park area and I wanted to spend less time driving.  Other than that, it was “follow our noses.”

As luck would have it, winter was refusing to leave. Our first morning en-route we awoke to 6″ of heavy wet snow blanketing everything.  So much for spring.  We diverted towards the Carolina coasts where it was marginally warmer and definitely no snow.  This led to a visit with new friends who own Tregembo Animal Park in Wilmington, NC.  The unseasonal and persistent cold spell had delayed the park opening, but we were treated to a private audience with the heartier animals.

Onward south, we spent a few days in the Beaufort, SC area where I took advantage of a full moon and clear skies for some night and dawn photography… one of my favorite photographic genres.

A rendezvous with friends in the quintessentially southern town of Savannah, GA led to some street photography and a long climb up the Tybee Island Lighthouse.

We finally were able to head west toward the Smokys.  The mountains were disappointingly leafless, so I was forced to look for photo ops that did not need the greenery.  A rainy day spent at the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum turned out to be terrifically photogenic and a very rewarding experience – highly recommended, even if you are not motorcycle crazy like me.

I always look forward to “getting away” so I can focus on seeing the world through my lenses.  I never know what I am going to see, but I try to shoot it in a way that captures a story.   The weather was not terribly cooperative on this trip, but I had some fun.  If all you have is lemons… make lemonade!

Please visit Eclectic Bits of the South.


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  1. Marc

    Great photos Paul, I’m down in the Smokeys this week

    Nov 04, 2013 @ 8:46 PM