Posted on 4 Comments

Turks and Caicos, Paradise: Dream Destination Come True

Turks and Caicos, the dream destination

“It starts with a dream. Add faith, and it becomes a belief.

Add action, and it becomes a part of life.

Add perserverance, and it becomes a goal in sight.

Add patience and time, and it becomes a dream come true.” – Unknown

Turks and Caicos, the dream destination

I love to travel. It’s a known fact. But there are some travels which seem too far, too far-fetched, though I have traveled around the world. My dream destination has always been an island in the Caribbean, since I was a girl.

Turks and Caicos, the dream destination

I have never been able to visit a Caribbean island until a week ago, when after saving and planning and waiting and waiting, my sons and I set our feet in the powdery sand on the island of Provo in Turks and Caicos. It was a dream come true.

The trip turned out to be more than I expected. I never thought the photographs I’d seen of clear turquoise water would actually be real. I thought Photoshop had helped those photographs to look better than the scene is in real life. But I was wrong.

Turks and Caicos, the dream destination

The beach in Turks was pristine, with white sand and the clearest water I’ve ever imagined. I never thought nature could be cleaner and clearer than a perfect swimming pool.

Turks and Caicos, the dream destination

It turns out the color was not an exaggeration. It was incredible. I soaked it in all week.

The goals I’d set for the week: feet in sand, bathing suits only, no shoes, nothing but fun and watersports with my boys on the beach. The snorkeling was amazing — schools of multi-colored fish swimming alongside us. The sailing was action-packed and full of sea spray. The paddleboarding and kayaking and swimming and eating together was all perfect. It was the vacation I had always dreamed of having, together as a last spring break before my oldest leaves for college. I am so thankful.

Turks and Caicos

As for dreams, there is nothing as satiating as getting to do the dream after a long time waiting and working to achieve it.

Turks and Caicos

Here’s to dreams and the places where they come true. Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Have you been to Turks and Caicos or another Caribbean island? Where did you visit? What is your favorite?

Posted on 2 Comments

Destination Coastline: Sunsets, a Photojournal

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida's Coast

“The sky broke … into full sunset and the water caught fire.” -Pamela H. Johnson

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida's Coast
Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida's Coast

As I type, I sit below a large canvas painting of a coastline sunset where the water reflects so much citrine color it looks as if it is on fire. I painted it several years ago, and it is my personal favorite. In the center of the painting, a girl stands in the lapping waves with her skirt hiked up, askew, as she stands transfixed.

In the same way that some of us can’t stay away from a sumptious chocolate or a handful of vine-ripened raspberries, I am drawn to the coast. And in particular, I love coastline sunsets. There is something about the way that the earth meets water, and then touches sky, that grabs my heart and keeps hold. Every time we are near an ocean or the sea, as time approaches for the sun to dip to bed for the night, I find myself standing along the shore, rapt by the sun’s grand color show.

This week, passing through photos, I caught a glimpse of a photo I took along the Florida coast just over two years ago (above). And I knew I had to share it. To me, there is something about the colors which won’t let go, about the vibrant light which boldly says “I am alive.”

In the past few years, we’ve been able to see many coastlines on different parts of the world. Here, four of my favorite sunsets from four different Seas:

Sunset over the Adriatic Sea, from Coastal Croatia
Sunset over the Adriatic Sea, from Coastal Croatia
Sun Setting over the Mediterranean Sea, from the coast of Tuscany, Italy
Sun Setting over the Mediterranean Sea, from the coast of Tuscany, Italy

 

Sunset Color in Maine, Lands' End Harbor of the Atlantic Ocean
Sunset Color in Maine, Lands' End Harbor of the Atlantic Ocean

 

Florida Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico
Florida Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

Do you have a favorite place to watch sunrises or sunsets? One particular time you remember?

Posted on Leave a comment

Photography: The Magic of Shooting in Low Light

Sunset on Italy's Maremma, over the Mediterranean
This is the second in a series of posts about photography. Click here to read the first.
I love visiting the ocean, and having time on the beach. To me, there is something about the rhythmic crashing of waves, the wide feeling of timelessness, and the gentle scrubbing of the saltwater and sugary sand to wipe away all of the world’s cares. I love being at the beach.

Sunset on Italy's Maremma, over the Mediterranean
Sunset on Italy's Maremma, over the Mediterranean


Sunset on Italy’s Maremma, over the Mediterranean
When I brought my first camera to the beach, I made the classic mistake time and time again. And I was always disappointed with my photographs. The colors always appeared washed out, my subjects were always squinting, and the objects I was trying to capture for remembrance always turned out pale. One morning, when I was up with the sun, I watched the woman staying next door to us, out with her impressive camera. After she was done taking photographs, she chatted with me for a moment, and made a comment I’ll never forget. “At the beach, don’t even bother to take photos when the sun is high. Only shoot at sunrise or sunset.”
The day’s first light, on an Aromatherapy rose
Since then, I have found her words to be true, for more than just taking photos at the beach. Because when the lighting is low, the colors are rich, and the photographs become magical.
The same type of rose, under high light
When I had a garden in the United States with many roses, my favorite time to be in the garden was at dawn, with my camera in hand, as the light turned the dew into diamonds, and the roses and other flowers sparkled like gemstones in the low sunlight.
Lavendar Illusion daylily, with low light
I began comparing the photographs I took in low light with the photographs taken in high sunlight, or with a flash, and the difference was unmistakable.
Lavendar Illusion, taken at midday with a cloudy sky
Lavendar Illusion, again with low light
Starting the Conversation: Can you see the difference? Do you have examples of times when you’ve noticed your photos are better than other times?

Please, leave a comment, and / or send in your own photos, of a scene that you love, and I’ll post it in a future blog and link it back to you. Just email your favorite photo to me at photos at jenniferlynking dot com. I’ll be collecting them over the next several weeks. I can’t wait to see your work! Thank you, Jennifer

Posted on Leave a comment

The Story of a Rose on Both Sides of the Ocean

a coastal Rugosa Rose
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
-Shakespeare

About six years ago, anticipating a roadtrip vacation to Maine from our home in Cincinnati, I saved up many pennies and bought my first SLR camera. (For those who don’t know SLR, it means Single Lens Reflex, which means what the photographer sees behind the lens is also the same image captured by the camera, with no delay. Or the big kind with detachable lenses…) This SLR was nothing fancy–actually I even bought at Target, but I squeaked by with enough money leftover to buy a decent macro lens to attach to it. I had always dreamed of a having camera to capture what I saw, and the trip to Maine was the perfect opportunity to give more serious photography a try.

The weather in Maine couldn’t have been better the week we were there– brilliant skies, azure sea pounding up against beaten rocks, whitewashed lighthouses sparkling in the sun. This photo of Portland Head Light is one of my first favorites.

 

Portland Head Light, Portland, Maine

One misty morning, I captured a photograph of the intensely fragrant Rugosa roses which thrive amongst the Seaside rocks.

 

a coastal Rugosa Rose
a coastal Rugosa Rose

Ever since that photograph and that trip, I have become captivated with photography and the ability to capture the world that I see, to share. And also, I became a fan of the resilient roses doused in heady fragrance, the Rugosas.

 

A Rugosa, just on the other side of our Prague fence

Since moving to Prague, Czech Republic, last summer, I noticed many unruly roses growing wild in the vacant land surrounding our home. And this week, I discovered just what those roses are: Rugosas. Even now as I type, windows and doors wide open (as the air-conditioner-less Europeans do) I can smell the lusty fragrance lingering on the breeze, from the Rugosas next door.

 

Czech Rugosa Rose

Though I also enjoy cultivated roses, the finicky delicate ones which unfurl in passionate spirals, I must admit to my hope to be like the Rugosas– those who can bloom and thrive despite difficult growing conditions, on both sides of the Ocean …

By the way … my website has just emerged from a redesign and updating. I’d love to have you stop by, and would also love to hear what you think. https://www.jenniferlynking.com/ Thanks!

Starting the Conversation: What plant / flower do you appreciate for its durable disposition? Do you have a favorite “difficult to grow” flower?