Throwback Thursday

We all have these photos … throwback photos! Don’t we just… so many.

It’s described as ‘nostalgia-inducing pictures … from a different era of your life”.

I am posting my first #TB Thursday I am posting photos from old town Tallinn in Estonia , from 2014 I think ?

On the road

To start with he photos were not all that good, but I liked the light in them, so I made the in to art.

Same road, photos taken right after each other, so the light is little different, I used two different brushes to get a different outcome by thete texture.

Tybee Island

From the cemetery we were off to Tybee Island and another lighthouse. Tybee Island Lighthouse we only saw from the outside.

Significant events in the history of Tybee Island: During the Revolutionary War, Tybee was the staging area for French Admiral D’Estaing’s ill-fated 1779 “Siege of Savannah”, when combined multinational forces attempted to defeat the British held Savannah. During the War of 1812, the Tybee Island Lighthouse was used to signal Savannah of possible attack by the British.

Tybee Island light station

1958 two U.S. Air Force planes collided in the air and one of them had to dumb a nuclear weapon (hydrogen bomb). The lost weapon, known popularly as the “Tybee Bomb”, remained a security concern for several years, although the Air Force claims the bomb lacks a nuclear capsule and does not pose a serious threat.

On August 17, 1960, eleven African-American students were arrested on Tybee Island at Georgia’s first wade-in protesting the Whites-only public beaches. The commemorative plaque of the wade-ins can be seen by the Tybee South Beach. The plaque was installed only last year, 62 years after the event.

The weather was quite windy in Tybee and therefore we sat for a while in one of the swings by the dunes.

Later, we walked along the pier and watched the fishermen. One of them caught a small stingray. Unfortunately, the stingray got the hook stuck very deep inside of it. The fisherman was holding the sting with pliers while the bait shop keeper was trying to pry the hook with other pliers, without success. Eventually they had to cut the fishing line and the shop keeper took the stingray in his shop to be killed.

Walking on the beach we got some nice shots that I will post in an other post as this is already overloaded with them. These photos are shot with both of my cameras and also some are with mobiles.

And that was that. Soon we had to start thinking about driving back to Boynton Beach, Florida. It was a seven hour drive with one stop in Daytona Beach exit to get gas and eat at the Popey’s Chicken Restaurant, which proved to be nice surprise.
The traffic was fairly heavy once again but we were able to maintain an average speed of 75 mi/120 km, by following our friend Bob’s advice – stay in the pack. Go too fast and you’ll get a ticket and if you go too slow, you’ll get honks from the horns and you’ll cause hairy situations.

Savannah – by the river

Talking about Belles, in the afternoon we rode the free Savannah Belles ferry on the Savannah River. The ferries sail a triangle between the Waving Girl Statue, the City Hall and Convention Center. The view wasn’t that great but at least we can say we were on the Savannah River. Also, we met a very nice Polish American couple from New Jersey on the ferry. I guessed their origins from his accent. However, it was the lady who did most of the talking and boy could she talk. After we parted, she walked back to us and gave us their email address in case we ever need a place to stay in New Jersey. Nice!

After the ferry we walked along the River Street enjoying its old warehouses with their shop, restaurants and bars. We had drinks at the Warehouse Bar & Grillissä and then we had to hurry back to the hotel for the complimentary cocktail hour. The evening was spent on the River Street again having dinner at the Vic’s By The River, where we had the pleasure of tasting Shrimp and Grits.

Couple extra facts: If you paint the front door of your home or business red in Savannah, Georgia, it means you have
paid it off and are the 100% owner.

Comgrats, paid it off and are the 100% owner.

Savannah has the McDonalds with walk-through window. There is a restaurant where you can get deep-fired peanut butter and chocolate chicken wings,

Savannah – Old Time Trolley Tours

After breakfast we took the Old Time Trolley Tours Hop-on Hop-off busses. We were able to use our hard-earned vouchers from Hilton Head Island ��. The tickets were $51/person, so I felt like a winner. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for the Ghosts & Graves Tour. There was so much to take it during the tour – old historic buildings, squares and parks and the bus drivers/tour guides were such a wealth on information. We rode with three different guides, and some parts of the tour were the same, but the stories were a little bit different according to the guide. The most entertaining driver was an African American woman named Red . She was a barrel of laughs. All her stories were in a told tongue-in-cheek style, but I have no doubt they were all true, all the same.

First hop-off at the Forsyth Park were we also had lunch in the café. The park had plenty of artists and Jehova’s Witnesses. Luckily the JW people don’t bother you anymore on the street. I guess they have different approach nowadays or they save the push tactics to home visits. There was a filming of another tv-program or movie on the way in one city block.

Didn’t see any famous actors. Quite a few movies have been made in Savannah and guides pointed out, for example, where the bus-stop for Forrest Gump was situated and renowned Six Pence Pub on Bull Street is where Julia Roberts’ character and her on-screen husband play out a significant film scene in Something to Talk About.

Can’t forget the Mercer House, the home of songwriter Johnny Mercer, where the events for the 1994 novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt and the movie by the same name by Clint Eastwood, happened. I’m not going to list all the historical buildings or places where we stopped but needless to say Savannah is a true Southern Belle.

Needles to say these are just some of the beautiful old buildings in the city.


Savannah, the first of these posts, I have way too many pictures of the city to try to get them all in one post. Just not possible. Let’s get started with the arrival.

I have to add that for years I have wanted to go to South Carolina and Georgia, after reading books by Pat Conroy and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. And finally we arehere! It only an hour drive from Hilton Head but it was already dark when we got to Savannah. Driving along highway 17 and across the Little Black River Bridge was an experience itself.

Once again we drove towards beautiful sunset, just have to show these beautiful colorful sky’s.

Finding the hotel parking was really hard because of some road work. The hotel had sent us an advance warning and instructions, but they were of no help. Finally, I was able to navigate to the River Street below the hotel and walked to the reception. Luckily the parking was right next to the hotel and we didn’t need the car for two days.

We were really pleasantly surprised by hotel, Olde Habour Inn. It was originally built for Tidewater Oil Company 1892. Set between River Street and Factors Walk, this storied hotel is housed on the shores of the Savannah River in a former (and allegedly haunted) warehouse. Our 1-bedroom suite had a nice sized living room, hardwood floors, old logs and iron works were partly visible. Turn-down service included ice cream. Included in the room price was nightly cocktail hour from 5.30 pm to 7 pm with wine and tasty snacks. Breakfast included coffee, orange juice and muffins in the lobby. I have to add that front dest clerk Martin and the bell man/waiter Kevin were really friendly and helpful with everything. We also inquired about possible extra night, but the hotel was fully booked for the upcoming MKL-day long weekend. Only one 2-bedroom suite was available for the price of
$400. If you are visiting the city and need to book a room, I can recommend this one.

I am ending this post with two more sunset pictures taken also from a moving car.

Lens Artists Challenge #236: SouthMeets North

Amy’s topic for this weeks Lens Artists Challenge #236: East Meets West, This week we are exploring the different cardinal points East – West or South – North

I thought about this, as I live in North, in Finland. Arctic Circle is about 850 km from my home – so I live in the south of Finland.That could be one way to look at this challenge, or even more extreme could be Finland versus Australia down under. Or I could think about it as just the directions seen from my summer house as I sit in the yard and watch the sun move around it. … still thinking about about this:-)

First is the difference between light in the north and south of Finland during winter and well also in the summer.

There are four distinctly different seasons as far up north . However, locals think the conditions are in a constant state of change and say there are up to eight seasons in the year: midwinter, snowy spring, spring, summer, harvest season, autumn leaf colour, first snowfall, and Christmas. The photo is from Santa’s village.

The blue twilight of the Polar Nights last from mid November to Mid January. the light is this blue hues. Not black. This is Midwinter. This period takes place in January-February and is also known as the heart of winter. With only a few hours of daylight, a rather mysterious air of silence and peacefulness shrouds the natural surroundings.

The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon that takes place on and above the Arctic Circle in the summer months. On the Arctic Circle, the sun officially stays above the horizon for a full 24 hours on summer solstice, 21st or 22nd June. However, the Midnight Sun period in Rovaniemi lasts for a month, from 6th June to 7th July; this is due to the Earth’s slightly tilted axis and refraction of sunlight. The nights are white throughout the summer from late May until early August

So below you can see the blues of the day on North of Finland during the day. Also the landscape of southern Lapland is quite flat. There are few lakes, but forests, swamps, rivers and streams form diverse ecosystems. In Western Lapland, the flat and same level coast changes as you go further north: there are more and moreforested hills, the highest or northernmost exceed the tree line, and are therefore already actic hills.

Water reflections – obviously easiest to do.

In terms of topography, Southern Finland is a low plain. On top of the bedrock there are fine-grained soils. The climate is favorable for cultivation, so agriculture is productive, especially in the areas of the clay fields in Eastern Uusimaa.

Considering the large population, nature can be close to people even in Southern Finland. The most difficult and rugged areas can have natural areas.

There are rocks and small lakes in the Nuuksio National Park. There is a forest area of several thousand hectares in Sipoonkorpi, with rocks, groves, natural streams and traditional meadows. The Repove National Park has steep rock cliffs and the Valkmusa National Park has an oasis nature. Porkkala, which I have written about before. Porkkalanniemi is in Kirkkonummi, that is where I live.. The area consists of rocky shores, pine forest, and beautiful outlooks onto the sea. The Porkkala cape stretches far out to the sea and is one of the best places to watch arctic birds migrating. Seabirds thrive in the area due to its rich and diverse habitat. Porkkala has a considerable population of common eiders and is also an important resting area for long-tailed ducks. Lucky visitors may even spot moose or white-tailed deer in Porkkala.

The light is different in south, the sunrises here in the winter even if for a short time. Less snow for sure. In the Summer, the sun sets even if for a short time, but it does not get really dark. More humidity as we are closer to the sea.

Porkkalanniemi – Kirkkonummi in Southern Finland

As I’ve stated before I am not a very technical photographer, more into composition, mood. I do my magic on the edit table mostly, if you can call it magic, more like my interpretation of places and people. I am also not one to write all that much, let the photos speack for themselves.

I have two cameras an old reliable SONY SLT-A65V, and I have two lences I use with it one for Macro Sony Macro 2.8/50 and portraits. The other for nearly everything a Sony 18-200mm.

The Sony has been in less use since I bought a new lighter one to carry around, its a Olympus E-M10 Mark II with a 14-150mm lense and I have a OM-D M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 for street and portrait photography

Charleston – Shem Rock Boardwalk

The lovely Shem Rock in town of Mt. Pleasant. Had a late lunch at Tavern & Table by the creek and prepared ourselves for the sunset. We walked along the Shem Creek Boardwalk, the boardwalk is a total of 2,200 feet long, it offers panoramic views of the marsh and Charleston Harbor to catch the glorious sunset.

The sunset was lovely changing colors depending were you looked, from warm tones to cooler ones the later it got from the sunset.

Charleston – Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge,

Later in the afternoon we drove over another spectacular bridge, Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, to Shem Rock in town of Mt. Pleasant. Had a late lunch at Tavern & Table by the creek and prepared ourselves for the sunset. We walked along the Shem Creek Boardwalk to catch the glorious sunset. I will post these photos in the nexrt post as this is already an overload of images.

The Arthur Ravenel Jnr Bridge was opened in 2005. The bridge, which stretches gracefully across the Cooper River. The bridge is the tallest structure in South Carolina and the longest stayed bridge in the area. It, connects the Mount Pleasant Towns to Charleston and was designed to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes, and hurricane winds, as well as incorporating two diamond-like concrete towers. With the sunset as a background the bridge looked great as did the sunset.

LAPC #235: Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome

LAPC #235: Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome, Patti’s looking for shadows a/o reflections but in monochrome. 


This week, we’re challenging you to show us photos with reflections and/or shadows captured or processed in monochrome. Feel free to process your image in different shades of blue, green, brown, or gray. You can also shoot your image in a setting that’s predominantly one color–like a blue sea and sky, for example. I’ve checked quite a few experts who agree that black and white photos are not two colors, but varying shades of one color–gray. Purists will refer to black and white images as grayscale. So, for our challenge, black and white images fall under the category of monochrome.

The photos below are from our recent trip to the southern states, South Carolina and Georgia.

Water reflections – obviously easiest to do.

Birds and reflection from Florida, and lake reflection from Nastola, Finland

Under the bridge in Kivenlahti, Finland on a February afternoon. Below also one from a pier in Savannah.

As I’ve stated before I am not a very technical photographer, more into composition, mood. I do my magic on the edit table mostly, if you can call it magic, more like my interpretation of places and people. I am also not one to write all that much, let the photos speack for themselves.

I have two cameras an old reliable SONY SLT-A65V, and I have two lences I use with it one for Macro Sony Macro 2.8/50 and portraits. The other for nearly everything a Sony 18-200mm.

The Sony has been in less use since I bought a new lighter one to carry around, its a Olympus E-M10 Mark II with a 14-150mm lense and I have a OM-D M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 for street and portrait photography

Next stop Boone Hall Plantation

Boone Hall Plantation in Mt Pleasant was founded in 1681 when Englishman Major John Boone came to Charleston area. Major Boone was quite respected and he was elected to the colonial Grand Council during the 1680s, but was removed twice because he illegally trafficked enslaved Native Americans, became associated with pirates, and concealed stolen goods. However, having slaves in general was no problem, as we have learnt from history books.

The Grand Avenue of Oaks that was first planted in 1743

The house on the plantation the third of its kind, built in 1935 and not your typical antebellum house. But the plantation is one of the oldest plantations still in operation having produced agricultural crops for over 320 years. Much older are the brick slave cabins located along Slave Street which date between 1790 and 1810. Only nine cabins are left. Some of the bricks from cabins that have not been saved were used to build a serpentine wall for the main house.

Talking about the bricks! By year 1850 the slave laborers were able to produce 4 million bricks on a yearly basis. Most of the historic buildings in the historic downtown of Charleston were built from the bricks of Boone Hall and Fort Sumter, as well. Not that we saw any, but the fingerprints of these workers are still visible in the bricks of many of these historic sites.
The agricultural tour didn’t go too much into slavery or anything unpleasant but some anecdotes made you wonder how hard living for the slaves must have been and the life expectancy must have not been too high. Times have changed but it still makes you wonder how that was even possible and did the owners ever think this is not right?

Unfortunately photographing was not allowed inside the house and the second floor was completely off-limits, as well. However, the stories presented by the guide were very colorful and entertaining. John Stone the man who had the latest house built liked to entertain he had many famous visitors to his big parties, like the composer George Gershwin, if my memory serves me right?

Driving into the plantation couldn’t be more beautiful with the grand Avenue of Oaks that was first planted in 1743 and completed by the in 1843. The avenue consists of 88 live oak trees and one magnolia.

When we arrived the the sky was still blue and the avenue was in totally different shade than when we left, the sun had already started to set and the avenue turned into beautiful yellow and orange tones. I took so many photos and trying to choose the ones I liked best was hard as you can see from the amount of photos I have here.

January probably wasn’t the best time to visit when you think about the surroundings. The Avenue of the Oaks might have been even more beautiful if the Resurrection Fern would have been in bloom. But you can’t do anything else but to love the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees. It gives the plantation or any surroundings such a lovely and eerie backdrop.

Even though arriving late afternoon we were able to manage to take part of house tour and the “agricultural tour”, meaning the tour of the grounds. Boone Hall Plantation consists of 738 acres. The landscape includes areas of cultivated, seasonal crop fields, preserved wetlands, creeks, and ponds. Boone Hall is still very active operator in the area in not only caters to tourists, but they
organize many events to locals as well, for example, Halloween events. In the beginning the main products of Boone Hall were indigo (used for coloring the uniforms of British troops), rice and cotton. The production of cotton was discontinued in 1880 because the plantation could not compete with other plantations that were using machinery.

The cotton dock on the river had been rebuild lately.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively who were married at Boone Hall Plantation in 2012. Ryan Reynolds have regretted having the wedding there because of the historical reasons.

Driving from Boone Hall towards Charleston during sunset was treat. We hit a traffic jam but on the other hand taking pictures of Wando River and Don N. Holt Bridges became much easier. Especially Don N. Holt Bridge provided a nice back drop for the orange sunset. Driving across the bridge we experienced very familiar smel,l to us Finns, like rotten eggs. And sure enough we saw a paper mill. Later on, I read from online news that the mill has become one of the dirtiest polluters in the United States since being acquired by an investment group led by Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots football team. Go team!

St. Augustine

Unfortunately we got to the town center after 5PM so we did not have much light time to take photos of the buildings, also there were so many people around that getting a shot was a challege. This is clearly a tourist area with lots of shops and restaurants and bars in these old buildings.

The 29th Annual Nights of Lights was still going on so the there were plenty of lights. Our stop in was quick, one night only so we did not see all that much of the city. We ended the evening looking at the moot at Castillo de San Marcos

You can’t stay in in St. Augustine without visiting the Castillo de San Marcos, “St. Mark’s Castle”. It is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. The construction started in 1672 and finished in 1695. The fortress is made of coquina stones.
The fort was declared a National Monument in 1924, and it was deactivated in 1933 after 251 years of continuous military possession.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

Hardly a day goes by without checking out a lighthouse. So, before going into the historic city of St.Augustine we hit the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The climb to the top was exactly 219 steps. The view was spectacular.

The first lighthouse or should we call it a watchtower was built in 1589 by the Spanish colonials. Sturdier structure replaced the wooden tower in 1737 and it was made or coquina (shell rock) and wood. The current lighthouse was finished in 1874.

Lighthouse Keepers house was worth visiting, also, with its historic displays. It was early January so the Christmas decorations were still there, not really my thing, so they limited a bit of what I photographing as I did not want seasonal photos.

We were told that you could get the best shot of the lighthouse from the pier, unfortunately due to the backlite the shots from the pier did not turnout the best, but I understand that during an other time of the day that would have been the case.

My husband Mara Sillanmäki provided most text

The Society of the Four Arts

The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach garden, Florida. Such a lovely spot to take a break, I don’t think a really appreciated all the different gardens- or to be honest noticed them, but it was a lovely spot to visit. See some art. There were several people there reading, stretching and drawing and just sitting in the shadows of the pergolas

.Originally designed in 1938, the Botanical Gardens are demonstration gardens that educate residents and visitors about the diversity of plants that thrive in South Florida’s climate. The gardens are divided into themed spaces that reflect popular architectural and planting styles in the area: Chinese Garden, Fragrant Moonlight Garden, Palm Garden, Bromeliad Garden, Jungle Garden, Spanish Facade Garden, Formal Garden, Tropical Garden, and Madonna Garden.

My favorite was the Chinese garden and I found the statues and art to be lovely.