delena's eYe: Blog en-us (C) delena's eYe (delena's eYe) Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:38:00 GMT Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:38:00 GMT delena's eYe: Blog 120 80 Garden Blessings You know sometimes life just throws you a curve ball but then Mother Natures throws you a hurricane!  Life on a sandbar is never the same as the sand shifts with the wind.

I often have wondered how my ancestors endured the harshness of the living on the edge for the past 300 or so years down the "Banks" and on Roanoke Island because today we have time to prepare for the storms and they never had that luxury.

Working at the Elizabethan Gardens and preparing for the onset of a storm tests our patience because there is so much to put away.  But the aftermath of the storm brings us together as a team to make it beautiful again for the public to be in awe. 

While raking the many piles of debris, I took a few moments to look up and the sight made the clean up process much easier! God's glory was shining brightly through the ancient old live oak trees as the smoke from the burn pile gave us the vision of sun rays...a ray of hope. 

Hope for the beauty of things to come or for seeing through to the other side!

What a blessing to look up and see hope...God Bless you all, God Bless America!




]]> (delena's eYe) Elizabethan Gardens Fort Raleigh do you see what I see gardens live oak tree outer banks soul outerbankssoul rays of hope smoke sun rays trees Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:31:08 GMT
First foggy day in October I wake up every morning with the sun shining in my room.  The warmth assures me that it will be a grand day.  If I happen to awaken before the shine, outside awaits a special treat!  


This particular morning was too quiet and when I looked out the back door there was nothing, oh so cool!  


I hurried to get dress and grab my cup of coffee and my camera.  

As I walked down the bank, the beauty of the fog unfolded...what a beautiful view indeed!










Bryce was also capturing a few photos to show to his professor as I am sure he has been bragging about living on the bay.






As I headed to work, I had to stop along the way because the fog was thick at the Cut-Through near the fire house and I could not resist stopping to capture a few.  



The sun was up over the trees so it was quite different from the view in the back yard.










Every morning is different, what will tomorrow present?  


Stop by often and see :)

]]> (delena's eYe) colington outer banks sunrise Thu, 25 Oct 2012 03:18:00 GMT
Welcome Mason Reed to the family Welcome to my grandson little Master Mason Reed!

]]> (delena's eYe) Fri, 27 Jul 2012 22:51:00 GMT
A few of my favorite things...  Wisteria, oh how I wish you could smell it!
















FERNS as they emerge from the winter ground



Native azaleas growing in the wild are so much prettier than the hybrids of today!  



]]> (delena's eYe) Thu, 31 May 2012 22:43:00 GMT
Revisiting downtown Danville My family makes an annual trek to Danville, Virginia to attend our family reunion.  Over the years we have seen many changes especially as we come down that hill on Route 58.  Always looking for the mill in the distance even in the night time it would be lit up like Christmas.  Nowadays, the mill has closed down and the essence of the mill "HOME OF DAN RIVER" is no longer showing us the way. IMG_3244 The sign was torn down a few years ago because it was aged and a hazard to safety.  I can still see it in my memories and it will be forever burned in that memory.  The other buildings on this side of the river are also gone.  The mill was a major employer in the area since the late 1800's. Founders of the Riverside Cotton Mills established the Dan River Power and Manufacturing Company mainly for the waterpower of the Dan River and in 1909 Riverside and Dan River merge to form Dan River Cotton Mills. dan river 1 During WWII the mills employed over 14,000 workers to operate 12 weaving and spinning mills filling orders for the military.  In the 1960's the textile world was beginning to change and imports began to take away from the American mills which started the slow demise of Dan River Mills.  It closed it's doors in 2006 with the last of the mill moving oversees and the collapse of the textile industry. 

I still have several quilts that my Great Grandmother made from the fabrics of the Dan River mills - where she worked as a young woman all three shifts over time before she finally retired.  I remember going up to Schoolfield to the mill stores and buying fabric on 8-12 foot high reams! The real feel of cotton and the way the sheets felt after being washed and hung out to dry will stay with me forever.  To this day, I have never found another sheet that was made as well!!

IMG_3222 This is the main street bridge (or what I have always called it.  I remember when it was only two lanes as we crossed it to go to see my Aunt Sis' hair shop which was just on the other side of the bridge.   IMG_3587 It was a hoping beauty shop back in the 60 and 70's.  What awesome hairdos came from that shop...beehives as tall as the Eiffel tower they would say. 


We took a few left hand turns and ended up down by the train station.  There is a lot to see and do in this section, the Amtrak station is part of the Danville Science Center. 

IMG_3513 IMG_3533 IMG_3523











They offer many exhibits that include large stuffed game animals, animals native to the region, butterfly collections, geology area downstairs and out side is a butterfly garden which was my favorite of the day's adventure!












IMG_3389 IMG_3424 IMG_3474










IMG_3417 IMG_3443


The Butterfly garden was filled with some beautiful sights, even as the train roared by the gardens remained calm in spite of the rumble and the noise of the whistle...guess nature has adapted to their surrounds and everything is in harmony.


IMG_3480 This is my sister Brenda who will not be happy that I put this pic in my blog, but she will forgive me sooner or you! 


Thanks for spending the day with me...hope it was not too boring!



Next we took a long walk across the Dan River on an old railroad Mom walked across this bridge many times to come to town on a Saturday.  She grew up in Glenwood but it was never to far to walk to town, back in the day everyone walked to get to their destination :)  


IMG_3264 IMG_3275 IMG_3276 IMG_3282 IMG_3266 IMG_3269 IMG_3294 IMG_3316 IMG_3319 IMG_3289 IMG_3290





















IT WAS A GREAT DAY OF FISHING FOR THIS MAN...He was catching catfish and claimed that one day he caught one as big as his leg!! 


He had three poles with lines out and he was not happy with the boaters on the river for fear of snagging his lines.  


I do not think I would want to reel in a big fish that far up from the river, but then this old man looks like he could handle the situation with no problems :)


This road is Highway 58 and the other bridge is also an active railroad bridge.  My father had an automobile accident in the famous curve and his mark is left where the yellow stripes are...paid a pretty penny for the the dent he left too.



The railroads played an important role in the development of the City of Danville.  The history is rich and interesting, guess it is in my blood!

IMG_3253 IMG_3254










IMG_3585 IMG_3547










IMG_3555 IMG_3584 So cool to see these still on the side of the buildingIMG_3561 IMG_3563 My great-great-great grandfather worked as a "cooper" in this vicinity of the tobacco district back in the 1880's.  The business was ET Ferrell and Company and it was located on the corner of Lynn and Loyal.  Coopers made barrels of all sorts used for whiskey, dry goods, washing clothes and so much more.  

IMG_3564 We had a great afternoon strolling through the old part of downtown Danville...seeing where our ancestors worked gave us a sense of what it may have been like for them.  I really feel a connection when I find something from my is part of what I am today.


Enjoy your day...hugs!

]]> (delena's eYe) Amtrak Danville Railroad butterfly garden history park Tue, 22 May 2012 03:58:00 GMT
Adventures with Grandmama Dee I just love it when my granddaughter comes for a visit!





 We ventured up to Currituck to see Great-Grandma and spend some time at the pond.  




We played in the yard and tossed rocks in the pond trying to find the frogs that were croaking. 







On the way back home we stopped at the beach to dip our toes in the sand and Atlantic Ocean.

Just waiting patiently for our next adventure!!!

]]> (delena's eYe) Sat, 28 Apr 2012 22:26:00 GMT
Happy birthday Elizabeth! Happy happy birthday dear sweet daughter of mine!


I love the spirit of YOU...the grace with which you welcome each challange, the childlike wonder that still colors your days. 


I love the originality of YOU, your willingness to stand out from the crowd, your unique prespective on what's happening in the world and in your life.  



I love the wisdom of YOU, the way you trust your intuition, your unfailing commitment to doing the right thing!


Most of all, I love the heart of YOU, the genuine compassion, empathy and friendship you offer to everyone you know.  


I guess it's pretty clear...I love everything about YOU!  



This is your birthday and I am wishing you joy and blessings to you my beautiful daughter and friend!  


I love you a bushel and a peck...YOU are my SUNSHINE <3


~ Hugs Mom

]]> (delena's eYe) Sun, 15 Apr 2012 19:29:37 GMT
Nags Head Sunset  




Nothing can end the day like a great sunset!!


March 19, 2012















April 10, 2012


To see the glory of God's awesome beauty takes my breath away!  




No sunset is ever the same just as the sun rises so shall it set.



April 11, 2012

Changing a few tics on my camera can change the view dramatically but still a beauty to behold.



]]> (delena's eYe) Harvey Access Nags Head Thu, 12 Apr 2012 03:09:47 GMT
Just another day in paradise! JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE...seems to be my favorite statement lately!

Whether your day is good or bad, all in all, it will be what it will be...cliche.  I refer to "this as another day in paradise"  :)  



I live in the Outer Banks and many say that this is paradise. I would like to think that paradise is wherever you are in the moment and how you are feeling in that moment.  

Sometimes I find paradise when I finally lay down at night to rest my tired bones or sipping on the morning cup of java watching an awesome sun rise while enjoying the sounds of bird life on the water.  




It does not have to mean that your venue is in a tropical land, drinking exotic beverages or soaking up the sun rays, it can be right at home!

What ever you do today...make it a great day in paradise!




]]> (delena's eYe) Elizabethan Gardens Fort Raleigh Roanoke Island azalea bee gatehouse Wed, 11 Apr 2012 18:04:00 GMT
Drive by eye candy As we travel the same road to work everyday, do you see any thing that changes? 

Everyday is a new day and each one is different just as the scenery!  


Island Farm on Roanoke Island -

I love to slow down as I pass the Island Farm each morning.  The light in the morning gives the farm a warm country feeling as the sheep are grazing and the horses are trotting along the fence...what are they thinking about  I ask out loud! 


The afternoon drive by is much different than the morning drive by!  The lighting is completely different and in the late afternoon the animals are being lazy just hanging near their feeding bins!  Time to feed then get tucked in for the evening rest.  



I stopped this week to capture the dogwoods in bloom.  The afternoon proved to be a great shot as the sun was setting, it stroke the barn and highlighted the dogwood!  So cool to see the main subject full of light!

Last year I watched the blooms and never got a chance to stop and photograph the farms change of color.  


The Island Farm is very special to me as I learned a few years ago that the farm belonged to my ancestors on my Dad's Mothers side of the family, the Etheridge Family.  

What a feeling to walk the same land as they did over 150 years ago.                                                                    

The old house has been restored and you are able to walk around to see how they lived long ago.

What a special treat to share with my children and grandchildren!



They are opening for the summer season on April 4th so if you get a chance, please stop and visit the Island Farm.


]]> (delena's eYe) Etheridge Island Farm Roanoke Island farm life farming Wed, 28 Mar 2012 00:42:00 GMT
Spring is here! Well, we have had an incredibly warm winter this year so it looks like spring has sprung two weeks earlier.  














I work at the Elizabethan Gardens and what a joy to watch spring just burst open! And what a blessing to be able to take a special walk each day and see the beauty of God's awesome hand.  You must stop, take a deep breath and exhale about every 30 feet or so.  I feel like there are few words to describe what my eyes can see...I call it my "WORDLESS WALK"!


Come for a visit if you are in the neighborhood, it is worth the ride if you are traveling from afar.  We are open 7 days a week 9am to 5pm (6pm starting 4/1/12).  


We have new walkways and have opened up the water viewing area.  Cool breezes and lush green grass make the Overlook Terrance the place to have a picnic lunch.



Miss Virginia Dare is blooming with her azaleas.  

She is a beauty in her own category! I love to capture the different lighting that reflects on her stunning pose. She is captivating and a mystery to us all but you is forever in our hearts.



Wisteria (invasive species) is in full bloom everywhere and there appeared a small patch that escaped into the gardens!  You could smell the aromatic essence that made you want to follow the scent to eternity.


The purple and lavender colors and hues were eye candy to my lens. Just wish that you could capture the smells to share :)




The crepe myrtles have been pollarded and are starting to show the first signs of new growth this week.  Before we know it, the pink flowers will be in full bloom.

Hope to see you in the gardens real soon!

Happy Spring

]]> (delena's eYe) Elizabethan Gardens Fort Raleigh Roanoke Island Virginia Dare fountain gatehouse statue wisteria Tue, 20 Mar 2012 23:37:00 GMT
Painted Barns of Cameron, North Carolina Workshop - Painted Barns Session One


Workshop was located in Cameron, NC and was conducted by Jamie of New Life Photos based in Greenville, NC 


We met at the Dewberry Deli under the Old Hardware about 8am. We paired up and set out for our morning session not to far from the town hub.


Up on a small hillside stood 6 out buildings of all shapes and colors.  We had a short talk about the barns, how they came to life and set up with the tripods to capture that special moment.


I set up with my tripod and started shooting my pics, I could see so many different compositions through my lens and Jamie suggested just the same.  She taught me some nifty shortcuts for the features on my camera that I dreaded to learn.  


It seems like all that I learned so many years ago in high school started coming back but I fought it because of the simpleness of Digital SLR :)  But this old dog did learn some new tricks and I was so happy with my new found tricks.



Most of the barns were old tobacco drying barns.  The outside looks very weathered but inside the wood look beautiful.  They were constructed of  wood, metal, cinder block and combination of two or more types. 








The colors were awesome and still very vibrant while others were showing their age!


I can only imagine the stories these barns could tell...especially when there were 20+ summer students back in 1999 painting the barns!  The talent is relevant in the finished product.  They have captivated my interest in knowing the story behind each piece.  I have done some research online and there are many webpages you can view that will describe the barns in more detail. Just google the title of this blog and read on! 






I hope that you will look at the page with all of my barn photos.  

It was a full day of  sharing tricks of the trade, good laughs, great lunch, and total satisfaction of a capture worth processing!



]]> (delena's eYe) Cameron Lee County Painted Barns tobacco Fri, 02 Mar 2012 04:26:00 GMT
Back roads of central North Carolina I took a trip recently to Cameron, North Carolina for a photography workshop.  I shared the weekend adventure with my Mother-in-law Sonja and her best friend Phyllis.  We left the beach on Friday and took some of the back roads.  I must agree with Phyllis that it was more entertaining than I-95 was - just going through all the small towns was a treat!


Johnston County - Named for Gabriel Johnson, governor of North Carolina, 1734-1752


  • Micro - Population 537 and home to 7 churches.  It is a small town with a BIG heart! For more info:
  • Selma - Born as a railroad town, it still supports AMTRAK service at the Mitchener Station built in 1855.  Considered the oldest train station in North Carolina.  for more info:



  • Four Oaks - home to House Autry Mills and the best seafood breeder around. The history of the mill started back in 1812 when the House family came to America from England.  They ported in Wilmington and ferried up the Cape Fear River, then by oxcart and mules to the town of Newton Grove.  In 1967, the House mill merged with the Brothers Mill and formed House-Autry. They relocated to Four Oaks in 2001, just northeast of Newton Grove. For more info:


  • Benson - Scenic little Americana town with beautiful victorian houses of many colors and over 30 churches with stained glass and steeples so high they are reaching to the heavens. For more info:  



































Harnett County - Named for Cornelius Harnett, Revolutionary patriot that was the president of the Provincial Council, the Council of Safety and a Delegate to the Continental Congress.


  • Coats - "The story of Coats begins with an ambitious 26-year-old. He was James T. Coats, who bought 700 acres of farming land here in Harnett County and set up a general store. The store attracted other farmers as well as the railroad. With growth at the dawning of the 20th century, his modest plot of land became the Town of Coats, with Mr. Coats himself its first citizen." For more info: 


  • Buies Creek - Home to CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY...woohoo! Found as Buies Creek Academy in 1887 by James Archibald Campbell, a NC preacher who believed that no student should be denied admission because of lack of funds. Over 125 years of a proud heritage, Campbell University is still committed to its mission of providing students with a christian worldview and a charge to be "the salt and the light of the world". For more info:  



  • Lillington - the County seat, on the Cape Fear River is named in honor of Alexander Lillington, another Revolutionary patriot. Before the Revolutionary war, immigrants from the west side of Scotland came to the Carolinas looking for land similar to their homeland. Archibald Buie was from the Isle of Jura and was the first settler.  For more info:


  • Mamers - Gateway to Raven Rock State Park. Geological feature of the park is a massive rock outcrop 152 feet high, jutting out at a 45 degree angle over the Cape Fear River. Highland trees and shrubs mix with typical Piedmont vegetation and it is home to the largest salamander population east of the North Carolina mountains. For more info:



  • Ryes, Seminole, Broadway and finally our destination of Sanford:) WOW what an adventurous afternoon.



Do you feel like you have just taken a history lesson online?  








Try traveling with two retired teachers...they have taught me so much and I felt that I need to share more than just my photos of the trip.  

Sonja and Phyllis are seasoned world travelers and I am so happy that they wanted to take a trip with me...I feel so honored!                                                                                            

The return trip was much of the same, just on the other side of the car and Mom stopped more along the way to let me capture the beauty of this land.


]]> (delena's eYe) Benson Buies Creek Cape Fear River Coats Harnett County Johnston County Lillington Piedmont Selma Smithfield Thu, 01 Mar 2012 01:30:00 GMT
I am going to be a Grandmama again :) Great news today from my son Bobby and his wife Kim...Olivia is going to be a BIG sister :)

WOOHOO, I am so excited they are having a SON!!

Their little family is growing again with their new edition to arrive sometime the end of July

]]> (delena's eYe) Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:53:00 GMT
Game Land sound off Lars and I took a ride to Plymouth on Saturday to see family!

On the return trip, as I was driving I remember a turn off I had seen earlier in the day.  Finally there it was, so I turned off Highway 64 in Tyrrell County to the entrance an access road to one of the many State game lands preserve.  I could see that the fields had been flooded for the migrating birds and the recent rain had swollen the fields about a foot deep.


Oh what a capture this would be as the sun was setting!  When I got out of the truck I began to see with my ears. The sounds were spectacular and it was sweet music to me. Being serenaded while snapping the shutter was a special treat! 












As I walked from one side to the other I started to read the posted signs at the entrance and I think  I was NOT supposed to be there...oh NO!  So I captured what I could and got out of Dodge :)



I will return as soon after March 1st as I can and I will do my research so I know that I am in the right place and the right time!


]]> (delena's eYe) Game Lands Tyrrell County birding birds ducks geese migrating sunset Sun, 19 Feb 2012 04:15:00 GMT
Wrong way home Have you ever come to an intersection of roads and knew the way you should go but today you took the wrong way home?

Well I did just that last Friday as I left work...I was drawn to the Light!


For several years, I have taken my left out of work and as I looked both ways before, the colors to my right were always different, some days very bright, orange, yellow, red, pink, gray, blue, white!  Curious to venture but just never having enough time to go.


This day I followed the light to the end of the road and found a small park on the waters edge.  The lighting was awesome as the sun was setting in the western sky.  There was a small water shed from the over wash of the sound...calm and quite reflective so the double picture reminded of the the painting we did in elementary school (make a design and fold the page to get a copy of the same).


I will return when time allows as I have found a new sweet spot!  I am excited to see what each visit produces.


]]> (delena's eYe) Manns Harbor Outer Banks Roanoke Island sound sunset Sun, 19 Feb 2012 03:53:00 GMT
"D"interest Pinterest is one of my new loves!

So I think am calling mine d-interest



As a photographer and my love of sharing my capture, I have seen many photos of awesome wonder on Pinterest!  However, I am concerned that credit is not being given to rightful owner of the photo.  Even though it is being shared over and over and wow what a testimony to someone loving your capture but I would suggest to all users of Pinterest to leave the credits with the photo and/or tell something about it instead of "." or nothing :)

Show us some love for the photo!!!!!

Thanks for your understanding too             Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ


]]> (delena's eYe) Wed, 15 Feb 2012 04:37:00 GMT