White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

This morning it rained buckets.  But it stopped at midday, the sun came out, the wind came up, and the temperature rose to 70 degrees F - pretty great for a winter day according to my New England blood! 
 
The storm brought a favorable surf for the surfer dudes - even though the water temp was still only in the upper 40's F.

Surfers weren't the only ones enjoying the after-storm activity, this river of fresh water runoff on the beach became the preferred bathing spot for hundreds of gulls. 
Don't they look just sparkling clean and fresh now? 

But the day passed quickly - a lone gull stood in the waning golden light just before sunset.

And in the immortal words of Elmer
Fudd, "uh.....that's all, folks!"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grand Strand, South Carolina, USA

The Grand Strand refers to a 60-ish mile arc of beach beginning at the North Carolina/South Carolina border and stretching southward.  This scene is in Myrtle Beach.

This scene is at the northern end of Cherry Grove Beach.

The houses on this canal in Cherry Grove Beach are only a block or so walk to the ocean to the East and, via the canal, also have access to the intracoastal waterway and tidal marsh areas to the West - truly the best of both aquatic worlds.

This scene is in North Myrtle Beach - not that the gulls really care what the humans call the place.

This scene is at the saltwater marshland of Murrells Inlet.

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, USA

Brookgreen Gardens is the extraordinary legacy of  Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 9000 acre former site of four separate rice plantations, showcases more than twelve hundred American sculptures throughout its gardens.

Live oak trees draped with the epiphyte Spanish moss line walkways through the gardens.  Many of these majestic trees were planted more than two hundred years ago.

The few photos that follow are but a very small glimpse of the hundreds and hundreds of works of art.



















Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

It may still be February but that doesn't stop the cherry trees from blossoming along Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina dating from the late 1600's and receives many accolades for its charm.

White Point Gardens at the Battery.

Decorative iron work is commonplace - the horse drawn carriages not so common.

White Point Gardens.

One of the old mansions with curved windows.

An inviting alleyway between two houses.

Street view along East Bay.

The tourist's eye view of a backyard garden.

Another private alleyway between houses.

A city that embeds street names in bronze on the corner is clearly a city that doesn't get snow in the winter.

Green grass in February? Yep.

And of course the city lawyers always get their say - but at least they don't get to say "no wading" like most cities probably would.  The sign seems a bit tongue-in-cheek - I hope that was the intent.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Nice place to have a back yard patio deck...... I am calling the shrubbery in the foreground the area's namesake "myrtle" until someone more knowledgeable about plants corrects me.

North Ocean Boulevard hosts countless beachfront condos and private homes in addition to bike lanes on both sides of the road. I kept staring at the bike lane logo each time I passed it and was struck by the realization that the rider's head looks more like the little black plastic plug-in thingy for Mr. Potato Head's eyeball than it does a bicyclist's head.

This oceanfront home gets my "coolest tree overhanging the driveway award."

And if you're not rich or fortunate enough to have direct oceanfront access, the city offers numerous access points with some free parking at many of them.

Or, if your feet long for concrete or planks on which to walk, downtown between 2nd Ave and 14th Ave they have a recently completed "boardwalk."

The 2nd Ave Pier features a restaurant, bar, and fishing/walking pier.

A section of the "boardwalk" with recently planted palms.  This will be stunning when the palm fronds get bigger.

After all that walking, it's time for yours truly to rest the weary muscles.
(Sorry to blind you with the pasty white sun starved New England skin).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Although parts of Myrtle Beach are certainly reminiscent of the Maimi-Ft. Lauderdale stretch of beach, Myrtle still has quirky delights.

Like the resident who brings a pocketful of gull food on his beach walks.  The gulls know him well and seem to recognize his arrival at the beach.

He's a smart guy, too, he only feeds them walking into the wind so they stay slightly behind him - this prevents the gulls from leaving an unwanted surprise on his head or clothes.

Oceanfront real estate varies widely - resort style high-rises.........

.....or resort-style mid-rises......

.......or private mansions.......

.....or 1950's era bungalows.

According to Zillow.com, the Zillow Home Value Index in Myrtle Beach, SC is $111,000, compared to Ft. Lauderdale, FL at $172,000; Miami Beach, FL at $219,000;   Boston, MA at $322,000; San Francisco, CA at $670,000; Laguna Beach, CA at $980,000; Newport Beach, CA at $1,100,000; or Beverly Hills, CA at $1,900,000.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA



The day dawns at high tide in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Named after the southern wax myrtle shrub which grew abundantly, this former home of the Waccamaw tribe now hosts millions of tourists annually to enjoy the mild winters or hot and humid summers.

Although the air temperature was in the mid seventies Fahrenheit, water temperature in the upper forties kept all but the children out of the water.

What is it about kids and birds?

Midday at low tide creates a hard-packed sand perfect for long walks.........

..........or any other beach pastime.

And as the sun dips toward the horizon, the light turns golden before the end of another day.

Meanwhile, there are still two feet of snow on the ground back in the Boston area.