Sunday, March 22, 2015

Azaleas? What azaleas??

 Members of my 21st Century Photography Group held a "preview" walking tour Saturday of the famed  FLOWERTOWN in Summerville March 27-29..

A light cloud cover felt good as the dozen or so photographers gathered at Azalea Park to "beat the crowd" next weekend.

The walk leader, longtime Summerville native Charles Giet, as always, was very informative as we ambled along in search of the elusive flowering azaleas.

We saw lots of evidence on pine trees of the yellow dust pods that burst forth and trigger allergy sneezes but saw very few red, pink and white flowers.

By the time we finished lunch at Montreux, and walked back to the parking area, the yellow "sneezing powder" had settled on all of our cars and any other flat surface.

But, we are not a group of negative people.

(Get that, a film reference in this digital age.)

Charles steered us around marshy patches along the route up Sumter and back down South Laurel streets.

Member Andy Reilly moved in close to capture shots of one particularity flowering bush in the aptly-named Azalea Park.

Leader Charles explained that our 2nd annual flower preview walk was a victim of the festival dates being moved around a week earlier to accommodate the Bridge Run.

Last year the blossoms were fantastic.

So, instead, we zoomed in on historic homes, framing them with bushes and moss-draped limbs.

The group shot was taken at a Bed & Breakfast situated on Sumter Street, behind a home dating back to 1812.

Charles was particularly proud as he pointed out the home where he and his 5 sibling were raised.

I asked if it were historic and he answered it certainly was to his family.

He chatted with several homeowners as we passed. They were tending to yards that would be on display to 200,000 attending the 43rd annual Flowertown festival.

After we snapped several churches, we turned up South Laurel Street.

I spotted a home where laundry had been done and was hung out for the solar dryer.

The camellias were plentiful so we did shoot some flower pictures.

My eye now was tuned for unusual pictures.

I did step back often to show the members doing artful work with their cameras.

With a newspaper photographer's background, I often look for the human interest angle,  rather than me pausing and stooping down to take close-ups of flowers.

The colorful clothes on the line had caught my eye.

My zoom lenses kept me from trespassing in someone's back yard.

Saw this sad, rain-smeared notice of a lost cat.

Of course, that same rain would have made it uncomfortable for the missing tabby so I wished it - and the anxious owners - well.

I remember a cartoon of a cat's picture, posted on a telephone pole, with the caption "Not missing. Just think my pet is an awesome looking cat."

Hope this misplaced kitty tale has a happy ending.

Even before we left the parking lot at Azalea Park, we photographers had a cute photo opp.


Two Dads and their small children, were enjoying a soap bubble time together. 

There was just enough breeze to blow the bubbles past us.

Obviously this parent moment deserved having some pictures made.

One of the bubble-makers was set on "automatic" and fired off a bevy of bubbles each time the trigger was pulled.

Giggles were heard by all of them.

And, a few of us.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

It was a pleasant walk and fun conversations at lunch afterwards.

Some of us had trouble linking our Smartphones to the restaurant's Wi-Fi even after we were given the "secret" code.

My attention was on an excellent bowl of shrimp & grits.

If you want to keep track of the Photo Group's meetings and planned outings, just go to http://photo.meetup.com/687.

Bring along your camera or even just your phone-that-also-takes-pictures.

We're a friendly bunch of photographers ...and wannabes.

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