Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University are right around the corner but I tend to stay away because 1) I’ve shot there a gazillion times and 2) so has everyone else. That said, when I do go it’s a pleasant reminder of the exceptional collection and variety of plants and flowers they have. It’s the one place I can find stunning water lilies and the only place I know of around where there are Lotus blossoms. I missed the Lotus blooming peak but there were still a few to be found. You can wander around for hours in any season and still not see it all. Every excursion offers something new and an afternoon retreat that’s really good for the soul.
Whether or not you’re a fan or have ever seen The Andy Griffith Show, you’ve probably heard of Mayberry, the fictitious North Carolina town in which the show is set. It is believed that the inspiration for the series and it’s many colorful characters was the birth place and home town of Andy Griffith, Mount Airy, NC. I’ve lived in North Carolina for more than half my life and I’ve never been there even though I live just 2 hours away. Recently I was in Winston-Salem and decided I’d make the half hour trip north to Mount Airy to check it out. Mount Airy is a quaint little town with a population of about 10,000 where they fully embrace the idea of Mayberry and the fame of their favorite home town celebrity Andy Griffith.
It’s a quaint sleepy, friendly town reminiscent of days past. Shops and diners like The Snappy Lunch and Barney’s ice cream parlor on Main Street bring the fictitious town of Mayberry to life. Beautiful architecture and huge trees line residential streets. Among other attractions there is an Andy Griffith museum and a bronze statue of Andy & Opie in the middle of town. Down the road from the historic center of town is a re-creation of the the sheriffs office, Emmet’s Fix-it Shop, and Wally’s Service where you can buy a tour around town in the ’60’s police cruiser complete with sirens. It’s a bit “touristy” but I did find it fun to explore.
The highlight of my visit was meeting Russell Hiatt and his son, Bill. Russell, now 91, has owned and run the City Barber Shop on Main Street since 1946. It’s believed he was the inspiration for the character of Floyd the Barber. While Mr. Hiatt still goes to the shop daily he stopped giving haircuts and trims about a year ago due to failing health. Stereotypical Southern women and gentlemen stop by to say hello, and with a smooth southern drawl share their stories, and reminisce about growing up with Andy.
Among some of the other historic attractions in town is the Earle Theater built in 1938.
It’s curious to me that people from all over the world stop through to visit Mount Airy and Mayberry. Perhaps it’s nostalgia for a simpler time or just the chance to slow down and sit a spell.
I have passed by this old house on my drive to the lake for several years always wanting to stop but never have until now. The sunrise light was perfect and the timing right. Sitting empty but cared for, it stands perhaps as a monument to it’s past. it shares the property with a more modern lived in home.
I recently had the pleasure of shooting studio and product images for Cathy Burnham of Blue Heron Jewelry in Chapel Hill, NC. Working with artists is always fun and creative and I thank Cathy for trusting my skill and vision to portray her work in the best possible light.
Full of texture, color, and interesting shapes her pieces were deserving of something other than the standard black or white background product shots and I wanted to convey the creativity of Cathy’s work. I found the tools of her trade fascinating and visually interesting so decided to use them as props to highlight her beautiful designs.
All of Cathy’s work is skillfully hand crafted and unique, be sure to stop by her website to take a look.