Category - travel

My Obligatory Autumn Photo…

…with a barn and a tree.

It was also along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.

So I was just driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway last week, when I saw this little barn… and this big, red, tree…

@BlueRidgeNPS @BRParkwayFDN @Interior @usinterior
#blueridgeparkway #friendsbrp #blueridge #photooftheday #thebest_capture #ig_masterpiece #nuriss_tag #architectur #travel #awe_inspiringshots #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #editoftheday #capture_today #waycoolshots #featuremeinstagood @instagood #igcapturesclub #ig_masterpiece #ig_great_pics #sunrise #virginia
©2015 aka @driver49

Sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

I went up to Virginia again last week, this time to visit a guy who is building a nuclear fusion reactor.  More on him later.

I stayed in Floyd, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The day I headed home, I got up before dawn and headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and saw this sunrise from the first overlook:

Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, VA – October 21, 2015

@BlueRidgeNPS @BRParkwayFDN @Interior @usinterior
#blueridgeparkway #friendsbrp #blueridge #photooftheday #thebest_capture #ig_masterpiece #nuriss_tag #architectur #travel #awe_inspiringshots #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #editoftheday #capture_today #waycoolshots #featuremeinstagood @instagood #igcapturesclub #ig_masterpiece #ig_great_pics #sunrise #virginia
©2015 aka @driver49

New Desktop Portals for June

Greetings, Time-and-Space Travelers,

I know, when I started this program I said I’d send out some new “desktop portals” every month.  I’m just a little slow on the uptake this month… but it is still June!

So I have two new images for your computer and mobile gizmo.

For your computer, I present the Beauly Priory, a small monastic ruin on a peninsula called “The Black Isle” near Inverness in the Scottish highlands.

Desktop-Beauly16-PA064846click here to download “Beauly Priory”

If you are a fan, you might recognize the site, which I just learned has been used as a location for the “Outlander” TeeVee Series.  It has an even greater signifance for me, personally – because in a very real sense, this is where “Portals Of Stone” began.  I first visited the site when touring Scotland with my wife in the fall of 2012, but I didn’t have nearly as much time as I wanted to photograph the ruins.  I remember very clearly thinking to myself as we drove away, “I need to come back here…” – which I did about six months later.For your mobile device, here is one of the very first portals that appeared after that return trip to Scotland in the spring of 2013:

This is looking out the main entrance of a ruin called Hermitage Castle in The Borders region of Scotland.  The castle served as fortress for a variety of families and has a somewhat colorful if brutal history; the site also figures prominently in the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, for it was here that the conspiracies that led to her undoing were first hatched.

Click here to see more of Hermitage and the other Castles and Abbeys from my 2013 expedition.

I hope you enjoy these images and you will download them and use them on your gizmos.

click here to download “Hermitage Stargate”

* * * *

Before I go, I have one other bit of news to share:

We probably met when you stopped by my installation at the “O” Gallery in the Arcade during one of the First Saturday Downtown Art Crawls over the past year or so.  So it is with some sad reluctance that I let you know that that installation will be coming down at the end of the month.  My last day there will be this coming Saturday, June 27.  I’ll be there from 1-4:00 PM, and after that I’ll be taking everything down.  If you’ve ever thought you might like to have one of these pieces to hang on your wall, come by Saturday and, well, you know… let’s make a deal…

I have no idea at the moment where I will display this work next, if anywhere, so if you’ve got any ideas or suggestions, by all means, pass them along.

I will try to get some more desktop files for you next month, but it’s already so late in June that I might just wait for August.  In the meantime…

Thanks, and see you “on the other side of the Portal…”


Storehouse: A Pilgrim Amid The Ruins

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 11.27.43 AMIt turns out that mostly what newborn babies do is sleep (and eat and poop, but who’s counting?).

Which means there is a lot of time to fill when hanging out with a newborn.

So I used the time to work on something I’ve been thinking about for a while:  I’ve joined a site called “Storehouse” which makes it really easy to create and share photo essays.  I’ve been thinking about compiling an post about the day I spent at Fountains Abbey last October, and finally got around to doing just that while we were in Portland.

So have a look at “A Pilgrim Amid The Ruins” on Storehouse.

Scotch Mist’s Greatest Hits (music from 1982)


Sailing off the coast of Maui on the original Scotch Mist in 1982

Well, that was ridiculously easy…

In the 1980s, I lived in Hawaii and owned/operated a yacht charter service out of Lahaina Harbor on Maui. The boats were called “Scotch Mist” – the name bestowed by the original owner who sailed his Cal 36 sloop in a race from Victoria, BC to Maui in 1970. I acquired the boat/business in 1980, and in 1982 added another boat, the Santa Cruz 50 “Scotch Mist II.”

Sometime in 1982, I put together a mixtape of island and sailing songs – the old fashioned way: by dropping a needle into a vinyl groove, then recording the track onto a reel-to-reel tape. Stop the tape, find the next track, cue the tape, drop the needle, rinse and repeat a couple dozen times. It took about two days…

Last night I saw the name Danny O’Keefe in a thread that J Fred Knobloch started about great guitar solos. I recognized the name because a song called “Islands” – from his 1973 LP “American Roulette” – was one of the tracks in that “Scotch Mist” mix tape I assembled in 1982.

After finding “Islands” on Spotify, it occurred to me to see if I could find the same tracks and build a playlist on Spotify. I found all but one (Mark Almond, “Trade Winds”).

It took, oh, maybe 15 minutes to search for every track in the list and add them to a playlist, which is posted here for your “summer has arrived / Memorial Day weekend” musical enlightenment:

Fountains Abbey At Twilight

I recently joined a Facebook group called “England from the Roadside” and submitted this as one of my first posts to the page:

Fountains Abbey – Yorkshire, England@Welcome2Yorks @GreatBritain @instagood

more at
#medieval #UK #medievalworld #UnitedKingdom #GreatBritain #travel #ig_europe #photooftheday #thebest_capture #ig_masterpiece #nuriss_tag #architectur #travel #awe_inspiringshots #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #editoftheday #capture_today #waycoolshots #featuremeinstagood @instagood #igcapturesclub #ig_masterpiece #ig_great_pics
©2015 aka @driver49

Easter Morning, 2015

Yeah, I know, I’m late with this one… I posted it to Instagram on Easter Sunday, but didn’t remember to post it to the digest.
From my Celtic Pilgrimage to the UK in the spring 2013, this is the ruin of Linsifarne Priory, on the Holy Ilse off the coast of Northumberland – the cradle of Christianity in Northern England.

For your #Easter weekend: Lindisfarne PrioryThe cradle of Christianity in northern England (#Northumberland, to be precise)more at @GreatBritain @instagood #medieval #UK #medievalworld #UnitedKingdom #GreatBritain #travel #jesus, #christian, #religion #worship #ig_europe #photooftheday #thebest_capture #awe_inspiringshots #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #editoftheday #capture_today #waycoolshots #featuremeinstagood @instagood #igcapturesclub #ig_masterpiece #ig_great_pics
©2015 aka @driver49

Portals of Stone: Fountains Abbey

Sometimes, when I’m on a location and shooting the sights, something will light up in my mind’s eye… an idea for a treatment of the scene in front of me that will have to wait until I can get it in front of me on a screen, in Photoshop.

I had a lot of moments like that during the day I spent at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, England, last October.

sweet_postThe idea for reflecting the “night sky” in pools of water around the abbeys first struck me that night as I was leaving Sweetheart Abbey in Dumfries/Galloway Scotland, and I saw the lamp post reflect in a puddle.

After that, I kept an eye out for similar situations at other locations.  And since then, I’ve given a great deal of thought to how I would make the starscape reflect in the puddles.  I knew I couldn’t just replace the water with an inverse of the starscape; I’d have to find someway to make it look like it was really reflected in the water.

So it took a lot of trial and error with countless layers, but I think I’m finally seeing what I imagined that afternoon in Yorkshire:

Fountains_PA180726_HDR-IGSee more from this series at

Portals of Stone: Fountains Abbey

My day at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire last October – I was there from about 10AM till 9PM – produced some of the best work I did on that trip.  I’m still finding my way through the files.  Here is one of the massive nave, the main sanctuary of the abbey church, from the east end looking back at the west gate.  The first time I walked through the west gate, I swear, it just took my breath away…
See more at

Fountains Abbey – Yorkshire, Englandmore at
@bekkymott @GreatBritain @instagood #medieval #UK #medievalworld #UnitedKingdom #GreatBritain #travel #ig_europe #photooftheday #thebest_capture #ig_masterpiece #nuriss_tag #architectur #travel #awe_inspiringshots #pro_ig #global_highlights #igworldclub #ig_select #editoftheday #capture_today #waycoolshots #featuremeinstagood @instagood #igcapturesclub #ig_masterpiece #ig_great_pics
©2015 aka @driver49