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Gibbs Gardens – Summer Blooms

Gibbs Gardens – Summer Blooms

Join fellow GNPA photographers for a Sunday morning photo shoot at Gibbs Gardens hosted by Jenny Burdette and Horace Hamilton. We will find roses, hydrangeas, magnolias, waterlilies, day lilies, and canna lilies, in addition to a host of annual flowers and other perennials. Photography opportunities at Gibbs include intimate landscapes, macro, sweeping views of blooms, and reflections in the numerous ponds.

Park and meet the group in the parking lot, outside the main entrance.

You must be a dues-paying member of GNPA to attend this event. Not a member? Click here to learn more about our organization and to join. We look forward to meeting you!

Lenses that may be useful include a short telephoto lens, a long telephoto lens (especially if you want to photograph the waterlilies), a macro lens, a wide-angle lens, and a Lensbaby. You may also want to bring a monopod or tripod, a circular polarizing filter, a neutral density filter, and extension tubes.

Tickets may be purchased online prior to your visit or in person on arrival. If you have a season pass, bring your pass and photo ID.

Ticket prices: $20 + tax, $18 + tax (65 and older)

Maximum number of participants: 20

Accessibility: The Valley Gardens (Japanese Gardens, Grandchildren’s Sculpture Garden, Waterlily Gardens) are wheelchair or electric scooter accessible. The Wildflower Meadows, Manor House Gardens, and Inspiration Gardens are not accessible. After periods of heavy rain, consult Gibbs Gardens’ website to check conditions prior to your visit.

According to Gibbs website, Uber and Lyft will drop off but NOT pick up at the Gardens. Once you arrive at Gibbs, there is no cell service. Please be sure that you will have transportation when it is time to leave.

As of now, the Tram is NOT operating.

Restrooms are available in the Visitor Center.

The Arbor Cafe is open from 10-4 and serves snacks, sandwiches, and drinks. The Cafe takes cash or credit cards.

GPS directions often take you about a mile past the main entrance. If you are driving north on Yellow Creek Road, turn right at the first sign for Gibbs Gardens, about 3.5 miles north of Old Federal Road and possibly a mile or so before your GPS thinks you are there.

Bring water, comfortable walking shoes, insect repellent, sunscreen, a hat, and rain gear for you and your camera.

Group size: 20

To register and learn more important details click here.

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

Join the GNPA’s Coastal Chapter for their June field trip at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park in Augusta, Georgia! Time permitting there will also be a visit to Audubon’s Silver Bluff Sanctuary and Brick Pond Park.

We hear the possibilities for bird photography in these areas are huge! Dr. Bill Lutin who lives in the area and is an avid bird photographer will be our guide.

“Our mission is to provide leadership for sustainable watersheds and economic vitality through research, education and by connecting people with nature. The vision of Phinizy Center is that every community will have a healthy environment that includes clean water and watersheds.” ~Phinizy Center for Water Sciences

To register and learn more click here or visit https://www.meetup.com/Georgia-Coastal-Chapter-Georgia-Nature-Photographers-Assn/events/285963937/ . Registered members will meet in the parking lot of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park at 7:30AM. The address is 1858 Lock and Dam Rd., Augusta, GA. Call 912-659-7064 if you are going to be late or can’t find us.

It is about a 25 minute drive from Phinizy Nature Center to Audubon’s Silver Bluff and another 25 minute drive from Audubon’s Silver Bluff to Brick Pond Park.

Bring your preferred lenses. Suggestions: A long lens for photographing wildlife, and a shorter lens or wide angle lens for landscapes or macro. Tripods will also be very helpful.

There will be no fees for Phinizy Center, Silver Bluff or Brick Pond Park.

There are restrooms at Phinizy Center Nature Park.

Bring water, snacks, comfortable walking shoes, rain gear for you and your camera, insect repellant and hat if needed. Check the weather forecast beforehand and dress for the weather and come prepared.

Group size: 15 max. GNPA Field Trips are for PAID GNPA MEMBERS ONLY.
Not paid up? Visit: https://gnpa.org/membership-join-us/ 

WE NEED YOU!

WE NEED YOU!

By: Bill White. Image by John Heinhold.

Join the GNPA team on Saturday, April 30, 2022, as photographers from Georgia and Tennessee will descend on Dallas in Paulding County to participate in the North Georgia Camera Club Council (NG3C) Thirteenth Annual Shootout photography competition.

The event will be held at the Chattahoochee Tech Paulding Campus location on Nathan Dean Boulevard in Dallas, GA starting at 8:00 a.m. Participants will be tasked with photographing subject matter illustrating randomly chosen topics from five photographic categories: Technique, Composition, Nature, Architecture, and Conceptual Photography. Following the assignment of topics, photographers will spread out into the community to create images for the competition.

Each club will submit its best entries to NG3C by 2:00 p.m. There will be lectures and door prizes through the afternoon whilst the images are being judged and ranked. The winning photographs and the photographers along with their clubs will be announced at an awards program held at 5:00 p.m.

Email president@gnpa.org to join the team.

 

Bear Island WMA / Donnelley WMA / Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Bear Island WMA / Donnelley WMA / Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Join the Coastal Chapter on April 23rd for their field trip to tour Bear Island WMA, Donnelley WMA, and the Old Sheldon Church Ruins (pictured above). The group size is limited to 20. To learn more and register, click here.

“Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, owned by the SC Department of Natural Resources, is managed to provide quality habitat for wintering waterfowl and other wetland wildlife including threatened and endangered species such as woodstorks and bald eagles.”

“Donnelley WMA is named in honor of the late Gaylord Donnelley and his wife Dorothy for the contributions they made to the ACE Basin Project and conservation across the continent. Donnelley WMA is owned and managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Ducks Unlimited, The National Wild Turkey Federation, US Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy and other conservation interests participated in establishing the property.”

“Sheldon Church, formerly known as the Prince William Parish Church, has a tumultuous and eventful history. From its first service in 1757 to its present peaceful setting, the church has followed the travails of our nation’s history. It is one, if not the first church built in temple form in the United States.”

Bring your preferred lenses. Suggestions: A long lens for photographing the wildlife, a shorter lens or wide angle lens for landscapes, and a macro lens for macro. Tripods are also helpful. Use filters if you know why (what effect) you are trying to achieve with them.

There are no fees for Bear Island, Donnelley, or the Sheldon Church Ruins. GNPA Field Trips are for Paid GNPA Members only. Not a GNPA member? Visit: https://gnpa.org/membership-join-us/

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

By: Jamie Anderson.  Images by: Jamie Anderson

If you like photographing birds in a rookery during breeding season, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see place to visit. Paid GNPA Members can join the Coastal Chapter on March 26th at 7:30am for an opportunity to experience this rookery and photograph these beautiful birds displaying their breeding plumage and building their nests for the season. Click here to RSVP for the meetup.

The name “Pinckney” comes from some of the original owners of the land. Charles Pinckney purchased the island in 1734. At the time the land was used for rice plantations. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney inherited the island in 1758. A two-story home with ornamental gardens was developed by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney but was destroyed by hurricane in 1824. A daughter, Harriet, inherited the island in 1825 and managed it and 349 slaves until 1860. The plantations were destroyed by the union during the Civil War and Harriet died in 1866. In 1869 the land was confiscated briefly for back taxes before heirs regained the land. Freed slaves lived on the land after 1862. Some were drafted in the army and served in the 21st Company, US Infantry. Some grew cotton as tenant farmers until the boll weevil killed the crops. In 1937 heirs sold the property to James Bruce, a New York sportsman and millionaire. He and his wife maintained the property as a hunting preserve. In 1954 Edward Starr and James Barker became co-owners of the island. In 1975 Barker deeded his half of the island to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1982, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge was opened for public visits and today the refuge receives nearly 250,000 visits a year.

The best time for the breeding season is between March and July. In March the birds will be building their nests, displaying breeding plumage and rituals, breeding, and laying eggs. In April and May the chicks will be hatching and adult birds will be feeding the chicks. In June and July, the chicks will be fledging the nest. Once the birds leave the nest and learn to hunt food on their own, there is really no need to come back to the nest. They don’t need a nest to sleep in overnight and the nest really doesn’t provide shelter from the elements. So, what birds can be found here? Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Green Herons, Night Herons, Ibis, and even Anhinga are commonly found nesting here. I’ve also seen adult Great Blue Herons here, but have not seen them nesting yet.

 

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is located on a spit of land in South Carolina between Hilton Head Island and the town of Bluffton on the mainland. It is accessible from US278. On US278 going toward Hilton Head Island, there are two bridges. The first bridge connects from the mainland to Pinckney Island. Turn left here following the signs before crossing the second bridge which connects Pinckney Island to Hilton Head Island. Follow the signs to the parking lot and trail head entrance. There are no restrooms or port-o-johns in the parking lot or anywhere on Pinckney Island. Travel is by hiking or biking from this point forward with one exception. There are free shuttle tours on Tuesdays from 10am-11:30am the require pre-registration. (See: https://coastalrefuges.org/https/www.coastalrefuges.org/event-3607707/). Otherwise, it’s about a ¾ mile hike to the Ibis Pond which is the first pond you come to. Here the main rookery is located. There is also a beautiful butterfly garden on the north side of the Ibis Pond. There are over 14 miles of hiking trails in the refuge altogether. If you can handle more hiking, the next pond up is the Starr Pond. Ibis and ducks are more common in this pond. Here’s a link to a complete trail map if you would like to plan out more hiking or biking: https://www.fws.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Trail-Map-Pinckney-Island-NWR.pdf .

 

When planning a photography trip here, plan to use a long lens for bird photography. You can get very close to the rookery in the Ibis Pond but you are still separated from the rookery by water. So, for closeups, a long lens is preferred. Also, in bright sunlight, it is very easy to blow out all the detail in the feathers on white birds e.g. the Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets. For best results, use spot metering on the white feathers and make sure the meter is just under the +2 stop mark.

As always, keep safety in mind. Check the weather and plan for rain, bugs, and beware of snakes and alligators near the water’s edge.

Jamie Anderson is a nature landscape and wildlife photographer of the Coastal Georgia and the low country area. For more information about Jamie, visit: www.CoastalGeorgiaPrints.com .

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