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Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography

The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Part 2

Victoria Beyer

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I have spent the last month revisiting all the photos I took last summer on our 7-week road trip across America. I took so many photos, and I even did a good job keeping up with them as I took them, but there are always some gems that slip through the cracks. How did I not notice the above image, from Great Sand Dunes National Park? It is my favorite, I think, from the whole trip. We just happened to be there on a day when storms were rolling through but not really dropping much rain.

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I like this one, too. The shadows the clouds are making are so dramatic.

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All these folks are boarding down the dunes with special sand boards you can rent a mile or so from the entrance of the park.

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Here, my husband looks like he has been walking in circles.

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And this one isn’t too shabby, either. I love how small the hikers in the distance are. It really helps give scale to the sand dunes.

I’ve added the first and last images to my shop if you need some pretty for your walls!

Cypress Gardens Has Reopened

Victoria Beyer

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I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Cypress Gardens in my home, Berkeley County, S.C., has reopened! It has been 3 1/2 years since a big storm wreaked havoc and the park was closed for repairs. The park is waiving admission fee for Berkeley County residents until the end of June! I don’t know when I will be back in South Carolina, but I can’t wait to see everything that has been done to restore this fantastic attraction.

I took this photo many years ago, from one of the trails at Cypress Gardens. It’s still one of my favorites.

Hartwood Acres Adventure

Victoria Beyer

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Last Friday I woke to a fresh layer of snow, undisturbed by wind, so I headed out to Hartwood Acres. It was still dark when I got there, so I sat in my car for a few minutes, eating a granola bar and sipping my chai. One person beat me out of the car and onto the trail, but he was out for a run, so I felt no particular hurry. As light began to appear, I began walking, stopping first at two lovely skeleton trees.

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I took Trail 1, and found myself looking out on a neighboring farm, so idyllic in the morning hush. I had been walking along with my new wide angle lens, but stopped to change it for the above shot.

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When I unzipped my bag, I scared a few deer and I froze, just enjoying watching them. Three trotted up the hill to the left of the trail on the photo above, and you can see one crossing the trail at a run. I assumed I had scared it, and stood still so as not to bother them any further. Then I saw something that surprised me - a coyote ran across the trail after the deer! The two animals looped to my left, and I spun around to watch the chase, which ended with the deer hightailing it through the forest behind me, and the coyote retracing its steps in a semicircle on my left, and crossing back over the trail to where it originally appeared, disappearing into the brush. My blood was pumping with the thrill of watching such an exciting moment before me. I had see the coyote’s tracks on the way up the trail, but I never guessed I would see one in action. I was so sorry I had the wrong lens on, which made the deer and coyote seem like little dots in the distance. They were in fact just about 200 yards away.

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By the time I got back to the paved trail, the sun was cresting the hills, bathing everything in a golden light. It was such a beautiful sight, especially after the dreary days that seem endless sometimes here in the winter.

Old Santee Canal Park

Victoria Beyer

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While I was in South Carolina in early January, we headed over to Old Santee Canal Park, one of my favorite places in the whole world. It was warm, even at South Carolina standards, at 70+ degrees, and we were hoping to see an alligator. But they were not ready to be out and about. We did spot some other wildlife, including this little anole, and lots of turtles.

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I can’t even explain the peace this place has brought me, especially during this visit. I sincerely hope any nearby development doesn’t negatively impact this natural treasure.

The Bunny Quilt

Victoria Beyer

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We just returned from our post-Christmas trip to South Carolina. My daughter got a wonderful gift from my mother - one that she has been waiting patiently for years to receive. The bunny quilt, handmade by my mom, is one of the most special things my daughter could ever hope to get, and will be a daily reminder of how much Grammy loves her :)

Autumn Passes

Victoria Beyer

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We waited and we waited this year for the leaves to change. And when they finally did, it seemed so sudden. Within just a couple of days they were all on the ground, and now we wait another whole year for them to light up our hills here in western Pennsylvania.