Savannah Sights, Sounds & Scents

I’ve been wanting to spend a Saturday in Savannah shooting the beautiful old details in the historic district. Since most trips to Savannah mean mostly shopping, I decided to take the rainy Saturday God blessed us with and head up there.

I couldn’t have asked for better conditions, unless it would’ve been fewer weddings in Forsyth Park. There were several wedding parties having photos taken and I felt a little sorry for the photographers. Yes, there are many beautiful spots in the park but there are also always tourists wandering about, or people just out to enjoy the beauty.

Before I got to Savannah, I stopped at Bamboo Farms and Coastal Gardens, an cooperative extension of the University of Georgia. Here are a few shots I took there.

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Can you figure out plant this is?

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Any closer?

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It is the unfurling of a Sago Palm.

Next I went to Wormsloe Plantation, and was very happy to get some better shots than the other ones I have. There was such a light rain that it almost looks more like fog on the photos. It makes everything look nice and green and contrasty.

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If you go to Savannah, this is worth the drive to see. It’s a little south of the city on Isle of Hope. Costs about $6/person to get in and there is a historic plantation site to visit as well if you like history.

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After a cream-filled Krispy Kreme doughnut for fortification, I headed out to Tybee Island. I have been to Tybee a few times for a few minutes. I went to the lighthouse hoping to get some beach shots with the light in the background, but the lighthouse is surrounded by buildings and I couldn’t find a public beach access nearby. It’s probably good it is far enough from the water’s edge, because the first and second lighthouses that were built there were too close to the water, and the surf washed away the foundation.

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Both of these were shot from the street, looking through someone’s yard. The flowers are oleanders.

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Back to Savannah and to the historic section of town. There is so much character in the buildings of historic Savannah. To say there is wrought iron in Savannah is like saying there are Amish in Lancaster County. 🙂

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One of my favorite shots:

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The same could be said regarding ivy.

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Another of my favorite shots, except that the angle is off:

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This house overlooks Forsyth Park. How cool is that?

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The fountain, which is a popular place for weddings.

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A little memorial garden that has some flowers, and little fountain where a brown thrasher (?) was bathing, until I (accidentally) chased it off.

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Some beautiful lilies blooming there.

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Magnolia trees are in full bloom these days.

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Another shot of the fountain area.

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At one point I heard some happy chatter coming down the street. I’ve never seen these before but I can’t imagine they’re very popular in the 100 degree weather we’re having right now. Unless it’s one way to burn off some vacation calories.

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Everyone has pedals like a bike and they slowly move down the street. Slow Ride is not a misnomer.

I very much enjoy slow paced photography excursions. Some day I want to go on a trip that is dedicated to photographing a particular area. Not sure at this point where my favorite place would be to go. Most things are more fun when experienced with others, but to have an experience exclusively for photography would be great!

Good night, people! It is high time for me to be in bed. The 2.5 hour nap I got after work gave me a boost but it is wearing off. 🙂


I know some of you’ve heard me mention poutine before so if this sounds like it’s a bit redundant, glance at the pictures and move on. For those who have Deep South roots but have been uprooted, and talk of Southern Soul Food is a painful topic, I apologize in advance for the emotional pain this part of the post may bring on.

“Quebecian” comfort food is poutine. Here in the south we know a lot about comfort food. We have fried chicken, rice with okra and ‘maters, many different kinds of peas and beans including but not limited to: black-eyed peas, field peas with snap beans, lima beans, and they are all cooked to oblivion and served over rice, we have biscuits, and macaroni pie, which is not quite the same as mac and cheese. Macaroni pie has eggs, milk and sharp cheddar cheese. And everything is cooked in butter, if you believe Paula Deen. Oh, and we have sweet tea. How could I have forgotten sweet tea? Or peach cobbler? Or key lime pie?

So, anyway, this is supposed to be about Canadian comfort food, not southern. Just wanted to whet your appetite a little. Poutine (pronounced pooh-teen or pooh-tin) comes from Quebec, according to wikipedia. And the version I’m familiar with is fries, topped with cheddar cheese curds and gravy. To me, the gravy is what made the difference. When I was in Alberta with Christy in November, I got some at Swiss Chalet and then later at A&W. Gotta say A&W’s just hit the spot. Of course, it may have been because we had just finished a long day of wedding photography and were hungry.

I’ve attempted to make it before but this past winter I tried it again and it was as close to A&W’s as I could imagine. We had just been to Holmes County so I bought some cheese curds. I LOVE cheese curds and it’s good that I don’t live close to where they live. You could make poutine with a mild flavored white cheese, such as farmers or Monterey jack, but for me it’s best to assume curds are the ONLY option, so as to not get tempted to make it often.

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I don’t have an exact recipe to share with you, but here’s kinda how it’s made, give or take a few cups, teaspoons or pinches.

I found some frozen fries that were in dire need of being eaten, and stuck them in the oven to bake them. If you enjoy making homemade french fries, by all means, fry ‘em up.

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Make a roux by throwing some flour and oil (veggie, canola, olive or other) in a frying pan.

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Over medium heat, keep it stirred until it turns a golden brown.

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Slowly pour in beef broth, stirring as you go. Let it simmer until it thickens into a nice gravy. I think the ratio I used was 1 cup of broth to 1 T. each of oil and flour. Salt to taste.

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Place your fries in your serving bowl, place the curds over top of the fries and pour on the hot gravy. You want the cheese to get melted enough to be stringy.

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Goodness that’s alot of cheese! You really don’t have to use that much. Let’s just say I was trying to o.d. on calcium.

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Sprinkle some black pepper over top and dig in. These pictures are about 4 months old and I’ll just have to look at them for a while. There are no curds in my near future. Sad. My cousin Twila who lives in Wisconsin dairy country told me that the A&Ws there sell fried cheese curds. Oh my!

What comfort foods do you like?

Meanwhile, Back on the Globe ….

So last week and the first part of this had quite the wide spectrum of news reports: terrible tornadoes in the south, a Royal Wedding and the death of a long-sought-after terrorist.

Seeing the photos of the tornado aftermath is nearly unbelievable. The loss of homes pales as the loss of life is calculated. But what are that many people doing for lodging since their homes are destroyed? How are the survivors handling the trauma of what they’ve been through?

Fully believing God has control of the weather, I am not one who believes that God sends these storms to punish people. Remember Hurricane Katrina? There were a few who made such declarations. So why does He allow storms like these? I don’t profess to know. But what if through His allowing people to feel need, they would come in contact with people who portrayed Jesus with skin. What if this is another reminder that this world is not our home, that to hold tightly to anything here is futile. That there is nothing here besides souls that we can take with us? That some things just aren’t as important as we though they were.

As I was getting the order ready for the family who won the canvas on the Dream Come True giveaway, suddenly their city of Birmingham jumped out at me. I wondered if they made it through okay and was able to find their blog where Mrs. McFarland tells of their experience.

And there’s the news story coming out of our small town:

She sat at her desk, casting furtive glances at the ominous looking clouds glowering down at her from their lofty position. Having seen the videos on of the hurricane devastation in Alabama captured the night before did nothing to calm her nerves. Knowing that same weather system was the one glowering at her did not either.

Eye witness reports from over the years describe the sound of a tornado as similar to the sound of a freight train. Keeping that in mind she made a mental checklist of available hiding places should a tornado actually develop and hit their small town. She decided the desk in the back office was most likely to be safe. Only 1 window in the room, vs. 2 in each of the others.

Suddenly as if in a dream, the sound like a freight train could be heard roaring closer and closer. She ran to the door to see what exactly it looked like, having never actually seen a tornado before. And it would be necessary to identify a funnel before actually crawling under a desk. But the deafening roar (or so it seemed) came and went rather quickly.

When it was over, the only evidence of what had just happened was the steam silently rising from two silver ribbons leading south out of town.


The Royal Wedding I did not get to see in live. I forgot about time difference, and nearly forgot that the wedding was going to take place on Friday. As I was driving to work I heard on the news, “And the Royal couple has just left ….” and I thought. Oh, it’s over already. Duh. Ever heard of a things called time zones?

So I watched a couple of videos, and was charmed. Yes, a lot of hoopla and it gave me claustrophobia to imagine being in the middle of those huge crowds in the streets, but the groom was handsome, the bride beautiful and elegant and it was good to see something good in the news for a change.

I was young when Charles and Diana got married, although I remember it fairly well, for not having TV, and internet was on brewing in the mind of Al Gore.

Looking back over the life of the former Royal couple, the story of Diana, Charles and Camilla is still sad to me. Hopefully Princess Di’s children have learned important life lessons on how not to do relationships. I wish the new Royal couple all the best. Not that they need it or anything. 🙂

And the news breaking Sunday night about Bin Laden. I’m not even quite sure how to put my thoughts into words about this one. I imagine that was news heard around the world. I know it has an impact on a global level. However, I don’t believe it made the same waves on a spiritual level. Evil has not been eradicated. (There have been Hamans, and Herods, and Neros, and Hitlers through history. Their deaths have not ended evil on earth.) Another unsaved soul was plunged into eternity to face his Creator and for that, I can not help but being somewhat sad. I am thankful that his ability to influence is gone. To think of the waste of a life who obviously was a huge influence of a lot of people, the potential that same influence could’ve had for the good instead.

I can’t help but wonder what Rob Bell thinks of Bin Laden’s death. In case you are not familiar with him, Bell is a pastor, who believes hell is experienced on earth, instead of in eternity, and that Love Wins and in the end everyone will be saved because they cannot resist God’s love.

I enjoy reading the blogs of Jim Daly and Randy Alcorn’s, because they usually talk about current events, and their compassion for people comes through very clearly in their writing. I apologize for not linking to their blogs. Right now I’m on a slow internet connection but I may try to add them later.

So, what’s your take on the past week’s events?