Saturday, September 14, 2013

Summer's End

Hello all!  I know most of you are probably kicking into fall mode now (I am too) but before I completely leave summer behind for another year, I want to share a few images from the beach trip we took over Labor Day weekend.  We normally go to the beach much earlier in the summer, like May for instance, but this year we couldn't manage that.

September and October are beautiful times to be at the coast, too; we've discovered that in years past.  After all the rain, rain, rain, and dismal skies we had most of the summer here, it was beautiful and sunny for the three days we were at Oak Island.

Dry Street Pizza in Southport, North Carolina

The Southport Tea House is new since we were here last September.

Shops in Southport

 The Intracoastal Waterway, as seen from Southport just before sunset.

You can see the Oak Island lighthouse in the left background of this picture.  We could tell the days were getting shorter with less hours of daylight; we had to rush to take these pictures after dinner before darkness fell.  I love autumn, but the end of summer is still a little sad.

 The town of Southport was founded in 1792 as Smithville.  It was named Smithville after Benjamin Smith, a Colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and later a governor of North Carolina.  The name of the town was changed from Smithville to Southport in 1887.  It is situated along the shores of the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway at the river's mouth of the Atlantic Ocean.

Southport is one of my favorite towns in North Carolina.  It's filled with historic houses and moss-draped live oaks.  We've been visiting there for over 23 years, and more people have certainly discovered it during that time period.  But it still has the feel of a sleepy, coastal town.

While we were at the coast, we made a day trip to South Carolina to visit Brookgreen Gardens, which I've written about previously on my blog.  Mr. Forest Manor and I love to spend an afternoon walking around these beautiful gardens, situated on land that used to comprise four rice plantations before the Civil War.

I'll just share some of the pics now and save the rest for a later post (probably next spring).  One thing that always reminds me of summer's end are the multitude of butterflies and dragonflies; we saw some beauties in the gardens that day.

My husband captured these great closeups of the dragonfly...

I don't know how he did it, but you can actually see the dragonfly's eyes in the above picture.

I captured this shot of a Gulf Fritillary butterfly; isn't he gorgeous?

 I was able to identify this beauty in my "Butterflies of North America" book, by Jeffrey Glassberg.  This book has nice, big photos that make it easy for amateurs like me to identify the different butterflies.

My pictures just can't compare with the ones my hubby takes with his DSLR camera.

This is the Gulf Fritillary again.  Have you ever seen this variety of butterfly before -- maybe they live in your area of the country?  This is the first time we had seen them.  Their coloring is so vibrant!

This butterfly is a Palamedes Swallowtail.

Check out this butterfly...  :)

It's a garden bench; I've never seen anything like this before -- I love it!

I was especially proud of this picture that I took of the Diana Pool.  I can't believe how well those reflections show up.  There are lots of pools and fountains in these gardens, and the flowers and trees were reflecting beautifully that day.

The leaves on this Angel Wing Begonia remind me of the beautiful winged butterflies and dragonflies.

 I want to end this post by showing you these images of thousands of colorful Caladiums planted all along this live oak allée.  It was a gorgeous spectacle.  You can definitely see an artistic hand at work in these gardens, not only in the sculptures, but the flowers and plantings as well.  These next pictures were taken by me.

Hal (Mr. Forest Manor) took the next two pics.


I have rarely seen a more peaceful, beautiful place than these gardens.  You can see more pictures of Brookgreen Gardens Here, Here, and Here.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thank you so much for your visit!!  I'm joining the Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays and Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Mondays (next Sunday).  Thank you Alma and Mary for hosting!!



  1. The gardens are beautiful and so are the butterfly's. The pictures are great. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Looks like a beautiful place to visit Denise! Lovin' the fun butterfly bench:@)


  3. love these photos, Denise.

    we're taking a few days in late oct. and this just might be the perfect place to visit.

    we love the coast in oct. cause neither of us can handle the heat of summer..


  4. Denise, This is a lovely post. Both you and hubby take awesome photos. I am loving those of the butterflies and the dragonflies. Oh, heck, I love them all. The pics of Brookgreen Gardens are so beautiful. I know straight away, I NEED their gardeners.
    Have a great week, Ginger

  5. The photos are wonderful Denise--both your husband's and yours. The close ups are amazing! I do want to go there the next time we go that direction, it looks so beautiful! I'm glad you had such a nice weekend!

  6. That looks like a fun town to visit. Love the sea views with the sailboats going back and forth and the sun sparkling off the water.
    Great close up shots, both those you took and the ones your husband took.

  7. The gardens are beautiful. A nice way to say farewell to summer and hello to fall. I will usher in fall by pulling up tomatoes plants and putting the garden to bed. Beautiful butterfly photos. It is always fun to see butterflies in other parts of the country. Have a great week.

  8. Thank you for taking me along through your beautiful photos, dear Denise! I would love to visit the tea room and oh my, those gardens! Aren't those caladiums stunning in the masses??!! Wow!

  9. That garden looks beautiful! Looks like you guys had a great trip. I am so glad for summer to be on the way out. The cooler weather we've been having has been nice. I've enjoyed getting to be outside more without all the sweating. :-) We have one last beach trip planned for next month. I hope it's a little bit warm for us there but I am glad it won't be like it was in August.
    I've never been to Southport, but I hope to visit sometime. I hear so many great things about it.

  10. I enjoyed this post and the wonderful photos immensely! From the beach to the Diana pool to the gorgeous dragonfly and butterfly shots to the gardens! Loved the tour! :)

  11. I missed this garden! Wish that John took such marvelous photos. That could free me up for what I like doing best. Poking around at other people's houses!



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