Another year, another year in photos! I’m thankful for things almost returning to normal now after the pandemic. I was able to travel to Ireland with my buddy Mark, and I was also able to get in a few domestic trips as well!

I didn’t get my camera out and about as much as I wanted, but I still have a few picks. Seems I’m getting more interested in bird and butterfly photography…

Somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains (Highway 26 turnout just south of Erwin, TN, looking towards the Appalachian Trail)

This was a viewpoint in the distance from a highway turnout south of Erwin, Tennessee. Turns out this is looking toward the Appalachian Mountains, and somewhere around the Appalachian Trail!

Bee and blossoms at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

I discovered Lake Junaluska this year, which is a nice Christian retreat area near the mountains. Pretty relaxing place with a nice walk around the lake - nice semi-local place to get away from it all.

Common buckeye butterfly and bee at Williamson Preserve near Raleigh, North Carolina
Sleepy orange butterfly at Williamson Preserve near Raleigh, North Carolina
American lady butterfly at Williamson Preserve near Raleigh, North Carolina
Tufted titmouse near my apartment in Cary, North Carolina
Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly at Williamson Preserve near Raleigh, North Carolina
Early fall colors on a maple leaf (Cary, North Carolina)
Nio temple guardians, Kamakura period, 1185-1333 (Smithsonian accession number F1949.20)

These two temple guardians originally protected Ebaraji (家原寺) in Sakai, Osaka, which is about a 45 minute walk from where I briefly lived years back. They’re now on display in the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC.

These Nio guardians (仁王) have their origin in India, and represent the beginning and the end (e.g. alpha and omega). Agyou (阿形, mouth open) utters the sound “ah”, meaning birth, and Ungyou (吽形, mouth closed) utters “om”, meaning death; the birth and death of all things (A-un, 阿吽). Originally pained red, but has worn away due to being exposed to the elements.

Pied Wagtail resting on a tombstone in the cemetery at Clonmacnoise Monastery, Ireland

Ireland was a trip of a lifetime! One of the highlights for me was Clonmacnoise Monastery, a really ancient place which just seemed to reverberate with my soul. I had to sit down on the thick pillows of grass to take it all in for a bit. So much history here and so much of a peaceful feeling. It’s a place I could have easily spent the entire day at.

Paul Revere statue in front of the Old North Church in Boston, USA

Taken on some downtime on my work trip to Boston.