I’m fortunate in my work as a NC Interiors, Real Estate and Architectural photographer, to spend time in some really cool homes. They come in all shapes and styles, mostly traditional, some contemporary, but occasionally I get to see something really different and unique. Such was the case when I photographed this home for the March issue of Salt Magazine. The home is in Carolina Beach and is owned by Todd and Tina Piper. Todd is the owner of Tidal Wave Construction, an avid surfer and the builder of the home. The Pipers share the home with their two boys, Noah and Fisher.The home was designed by architect Kevin Pfirman and is built with steel-reinforced concrete and mainly recycled material. It is a veritable fortress on the beach and highly efficient.

I could go on and on about the home, but there is a much better, detailed story offered by talented writer, Anne Barnhill in this months issue of Salt Magazine. Its on the racks now and if you haven’t already picked up your copy, you should. It offers the best insight into the real Wilmington and everything the area offers. Meanwhile, enjoy a brief tour of some of the highlights of the Piper home.

413ClarendonBlvd-19

413ClarendonBlvd-4

413ClarendonBlvd-7

413ClarendonBlvd-6

413ClarendonBlvd-5

413ClarendonBlvd-9

413ClarendonBlvd-14

413ClarendonBlvd-17

413ClarendonBlvd-15

413ClarendonBlvd-11

413ClarendonBlvd-18

 

 

I just returned from a trip to Arizona. My wife, Mickie, had a conference scheduled in Phoenix so we decided to take some much needed time and extend the visit. Sedona has always been on our list of must see areas so we headed north. Along the way we stopped at Montezuma”s Castle. By the way there was no Native American Indian named Montezuma. The next stop was Jerome, a small mile high town built into the side of a mountain. It was once known as the wickedest town in the West. It originated as a copper mining camp and has a thriving community of about 500 plus or minus souls. While there we visited the Jerome Grand Hotel which was a former mine town hospital and insane asylum. Many people died here and it is said to be the most haunted building in Arizona, with many claims of  paranormal activity. We walked around and inside the hotel, saw no ghostly figures, but talked to some staff who swear it happens. After lunch on the main street of Jerome, we stopped briefly at the ranch of new friends in Cottonwood and then made our way to Sedona.

Sedona is a special place with good energy, amazing red rocks and beautiful vistas. We had several memorable hikes, visited some energy vortex areas and took a day trip to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. It was a calming, restorative trip and I would highly recommend Sedona as a destination not to be missed. We hope to return. Below are some photos of the Sedona leg of the trip. I hope they give a sense of the beauty of the area.

Montezumas Castle

The Jerome Grand Hotel

Old Car parked outside the hotel

The Main street in Jerome

I liked how the light was hitting these Cottonwoods.

Cathedral Rocks

This view of Cathedral Rocks is from the opposite side of Oak Creek and is approached from Verde Valley School Rd. Its a great hike.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

This small chapel stands between two pinnacles and is a very calming and beautiful structure.

Sunset reflecting off the rocks from Airport Mesa

Another View from Airport Mesa

The Climb to the Boynton Canyon Vortex

This was the view as we climbed to the spot of the Boynton Canyon Vortex. We met a gentleman named Robert who was sitting atop of the far left spire playing a Native American flute. As one who has taken an interest in the Native American flute, it was a special moment to hear such melodic sounds coming from such a special place. He said he comes twice a day to play. The Boynton Canyon Vortex is said to  balance a persons masculine and feminine sides.

Rock Totem

One of many rock totems in the area of this climb erected by visitors.

View from the top of Boynton Canyon Vortex

Looking up to Boynton Canyon Vortex

Grand Canyon, South Rim

Managed to capture this Elk as we were driving in Grand Canyon Park

The following are of the Grand Canyon from various vista positions. I like some of them for the vertigo feeling you get when viewing the image. It is a magnificent place.

 

The sun has barely broken the horizon. The mockingbirds have been singing their morning tune for about a half hour. Wrightsville Beach is starting to stir. For those who wake with her its really a magical time.

The surf is quiet this morning. The usual line of surfers is thin save for those few hoping things will change. A few walkers and joggers break the stillness on the beach. Moving onto Lumina the traffic is almost nonexistant, just those early risers making their way to work or perhaps a form of play. Who knows? A waitress rides her bike for the early morning shift at Neptune’s. It starts soon. Admiration is always in order for those who must start their day so early. They catch a small taste of this special time of day before they have to face their chore.

The bikers are already working a pace line as their efforts create a small breeze in passing. The Loop is starting to come alive with the early morning regulars: John, HD, Jerome, Colin and his dog, Nancy and her dog. There is the girl with the pretty smile from Harbor Island. Thats all I know of her, but its enough. We say good morning to each other almost every day. That’s the way it is here. Friendly.

The air is “cut with a knife heavy”  as that humidity that we embrace and sometimes loathe starts to take its hold on the Island. Its Summer and as long as the sun is in the sky, its as cool as it will get on the Loop. But thats ok, its what we expect this time of year. The sun climbs slowly and the Island starts to yawn.

On a lucky day its possible to catch a dolphin or two frolicking in Banks Channel. Today its distance swimmers, Stand Up Paddle Boarders and the occasional fish breaking the surface. It brings a smile to your face. Still quiet. Soon the solitude will be broken by the sound of car and boat traffic as the Island and the beach come alive. Awakening.

In North Carolina they call Chapel Hill, the “Southern Part of Heaven”. I’m really not so sure about that claim, but this place would have to run a damn close second. If you are one of those who are out and about on WB early on a Summer morning, you know of what I speak. It just has that indescribable feeling. An energy of its own. Check it out for yourself. You’ll see.

 

This past Saturday was a beautiful day in the Port City and I decided to once again visit the Rims on the River auto exhibit downtown. Its a great show and features many varieties of  customized and restored vintage cars. It always draws a great crowd and its a boost for the downtown business owners. There were even a few alleged sightings of actor Robert Downey Jr., as he is in town in preparation for the filming of the new Iron Man film.

I enjoy shooting automobiles, planes etc. and most of the time I capture little details of the subject. This was no different. Personally I was attracted to the old VW’s on exhibit. My favorite was not restored, but will make a great project for the owner. It was an old VW micro bus with the crank out safari wind shield. You rarely see them here and on the West Coast they bring a nice price. It was cool. Below are a few of my favorites from the day along with that of One Man Band Guy, as I call him, who was entertaining the crowd. He shows up quite a bit at downtown events. Kind of adds even more local color to the festivities. If you haven’t seen this show and you like cars, plan on catching it next year! It’s a great outing for family and friends.

 

A recent long weekend took me to Manassas, Virginia to visit siblings. The original purpose other than the family visit was to take the Metro into the city and view the cherry blossoms. It had been a long time since I was in DC for the bloom . Well, alas, due to the warmer than usual weather that Northern Virginia and its surrounds were experiencing, it will be a little while longer before I can once again experience the cherry blossoms in all their splendor in DC. They had come and gone, with the peak long since over before our visit.

Anyway, the weather was being cooperative after a day of cool rainy weather, so we hopped on the Metro and spent a touristy, Sunday afternoon walking and visiting a few memorials. Two that I had not had the opportunity to visit were the MLK Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. They were both impressive. The Vietnam Memorial is one I have visited several times and I always look up the names of a few past acquaintances whose names unfortunately grace its walls. One thing that always struck me when visiting these memorials is the solemnity that pervades as people close in on their boundaries. Save for the voices of children who don’t understand, the quiet that is noticeable is unlike any I have witnessed, as people gather their thoughts in their own personal tributes. Its why the memorials are there and they make us reflect on what they mean to us as individuals. The opportunity for this abounds in DC as in no other city I have visited. It always has a sobering effect on me, as I’m sure it has for many.

Of course I had a camera with me and posted a few images from that Washington, DC afternoon.