Dauphin Island on the Alabama Gulf Coast

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Dauphin Island was a great surprise on our roadtrip through the South last year. We had considered going to Gulf Shores or another beach along the Gulf Coast; I’d never been to the Gulf Coast, and it was on the way. But neither of us really like your standard day-at-the-beach beach. A co-worker instead recommended we spend the day on Dauphin Island (pronounced “dolphin” island by a lot of people I talked to about it.

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I would definitely go back again, given the chance. One part of the island had a beach-vacation community vibe, with houses on stilts and people riding bikes to and from the marina along sleepy streets. But then there was also the stunning Audubon Sanctuary, where we wandered through gorgeous swampy nature along boardwalks until the forest dissolved into a beautiful white sand beach. There were only a few other people within sight on the beach. We waded in for a bit until our poor pale skin started to overheat and we needed to retreat to the shade (where it was still ridiculously hot and mugggy, I should add).

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There is also a civil-war era fort and a nature center on the island, although we didn’t have the time to go in either. We also didn’t spot any alligators, sadly, even though there are supposed to be a fair number living in the Sanctuary.

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[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. For more photos of my 2016 roadtrip through the South, click here.]

Nashville: Fall in Percy Warner State Park

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Another favorite nature spot in Nashville. This lovely park is on the west side of Nashville tucked in among some pretty swanky neighborhoods and mini-mansions of the rich and country-music famous. These photos are from Fall 2015.

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[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more photos of Tennessee.]

ÍS: Puffins at Látrabjarg (May 2015)

westfj1When Callie and I made the long, bumpy (vicious gravel roads going winding up and down mountains and around fjords) drive out to Látrabjarg in late May, it was my third visit to that magical place.
westfj2 Látrabjarg is the westernmost point in Iceland. This isolated promontory is known for it’s flourish populations of puffins, razor bills, guillemots, and other migratory sea birds. It is a breeding ground vital to the global survival of many species living there. It is also Europe’s longest bird cliff at 14km long and 440m high at certain points. In peak season puffins sit on the cliff edge and tucked into crannies within arm’s reach, calmly watching you and looking out to sea.westfj10Atlantic puffins are the only puffins native to the Atlantic Ocean- wait….I just realized that if you say ‘puffin’ a lot, the word just gets cuter and cuter until your face is all scrunched up in a big ‘awwwww.’ Anyway, the Atlantic puffin breeds inIceland, Norway, Greenland, Newfoundland, and islands in the North Atlantic, going no farther south than Maine. They mainly fish from the sea by diving into the water, using their wings as underwater propulsion. westfj4These adorable and incredible relatives of the auk spend the autumn and winter out at sea, flying along the water’s surface for easy hunting. However, other than “out to sea in the north,” we don’t really know where they go. It’s a delightful mystery. In the late spring and summer, they dig burrows into cliffs in order to lay a single egg, which takes six weeks to hatch.

Their small wings are a compromise between what they need for flying and for navigating in and under water. As such, they have to flap their wings very fast in order to stay in the air, which makes for a very comical sight (I captured it on an instagram video which you can see here)westfj11 [35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures of puffins in Iceland.]

ÍS: Hiking up to Glymur

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I made a third trip to Glymur (incidentally the place I shot my first roll of film, starting this whole blog adventure in earnest) in April while my boyfriend was visiting for a few weeks. We rented a car with two friends. The weather on the way there was spectacular, if a little windy, but unfortunately when we got to the canyon, we were faced with strong wind and icy rain almost the entire hike. The river was too flooded to cross on the wire (in the summer there’s a footbridge, but in the winter only a guiding wire that you can shimmy across if you’re brave); in fact, some friends had tried to get across the flooded river on the wire the day before and ended up getting soaked and stuck and having to call Search and Rescue (we didn’t hear about this until after we made our trek). My camera lens got foggy and wet at the top, but it makes for some fun lens effects.Glymur, Iceland
Glymur is the second tallest waterfall in Iceland. The river Botnsá flows from the lake Hvalvatn along a flat area before plunging 196 meters down the cliff. The word glymur means crash/rumble in Icelandic and refers to the enormous sound of the rushing falls. Glymur, Iceland

Glymur, Iceland

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Glymur, Iceland

Glymur, Iceland

000007land [35mm film taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures of Glymur in Iceland]