Gerry Monaco: Blog en-us (C) Gerry Monaco (Gerry Monaco) Wed, 06 Mar 2024 22:52:00 GMT Wed, 06 Mar 2024 22:52:00 GMT Gerry Monaco: Blog 101 120 Biking the Island ~~ Sunset Beach Biking the Beach

If you're a beach lover, you're certainly in the right place if you're along the Grand Strand or Brunswick County! It's not just about laying out in the sun and sand soaking up suds! You can actually enjoy the beach, the scenery and get a bit of exercise to boot! All beaches are not built the same though! One of our favorite pastimes is hopping on our cruisers and wandering along the shore. We've biked every beach from Huntington Beach State Park up to Oak Island but today is to tell you about our favorite: Sunset Beach, NC.

Let's talk a little about why we think it's the best! There are a mulitude of reasons so here we go:

  • Sunset Beach is a relatively quiet beach. Yes, it gets crazy busy in the summer but it's tolerable.
  • While there isn't a ton of parking, what's there is FREE, all year long (at least for now anyway!)
  • Since it's not overly crowded, you can combine biking the island itself and the beach.
  • As for the island/shoreline itself, it is by far the best beach to bike. At low tide it is the widest beachfront of all of the area beaches and the sand is virtually rock free and quite hard sand making for a very pleasant ride.
  • The island is just a bit over 4 miles wide so it's a very easy ride to navigate from end to end and back.
  • For approximately 2 miles along the western end of the island, there are NO structures at all....just the pristine beauty of Bird Island where you'll be able to visit the famous Kindred Spirit Mailbox and bike to the far west end to watch all the boats navigate the Little River Inlet out to the Atlantic. You can also stop adjacent to the mailbox to hike the Bird Island Nature Trail which leads you across the interior of the maritime forest on the island and back again to the shore. 
  • Sunset Beach is one of the only beaches all along the coastline that allows bicycles year round!
  • Don't own a beach cruiser? There are a couple of rental agents nearby.

If you'd like a glimpse as to what a typical ride might be, take a look at the route of a recent ride of ours just below.



Want a glimpse of some of the sights and views along the way? Check out the slide show below with some shots from our ride. Many more to see by visiting our Sunset Beach Gallery.

Any questions, comments, etc, please feel free to contact me or comment below. Thanks! -- Gerry


(Gerry Monaco) bicycle bird Island brunswick county grand Strand hiking kindred spirit mailbox sunset beach Wed, 06 Mar 2024 22:51:38 GMT
Sailing the Vineyard On my recent trip to Marthas Vineyard to visit family, I had the wonderful opportunity to sail nearly half way around the island  from Vineyard Haven to Menemsha aboard the sailing vessel Mia. It brought a whole new perspective to some of the spots on the island that I had seen before but not from this vantage point. It also brought into focus just what it takes to captain one of these beautiful vessels and maneuver it through changing waters dotted with multiple other boats large and small enjoying their day out in the Vineyard waters. I certainly would never be up for the task!

I'll take you out into the waters via the photos I was lucky enough to get along our way. With winds blowing and boats rocking, it was a challenge holding steady for photos but thanks to great Ricoh technology, I managed to have a reasonable amount of success. Even on such a clear & bright sunny summer day, in many cases I had to push ISO to >1600 in order to shoot fast enough to minimize blur.

I'll start of with 3 photos of the boat herself so you'll get a good idea of how spectacular our little voyage was. 

For each and all of the photos, please click on the thumbnail and you will be redirected to the gallery where you view the image full size as well as purchase the image (or any other on my website) in a wide variety of formats from reprints, calendars, coffee mugs, canvas prints and so much more!








The Route

sailing with tsailing with t

We started our day at the Vineyard Haven Marina, where the MIA is moored when she is not out on the water. The harbor was just abuzz with activity as one would expect for a lovely summer afternoon!


Sights in the harbor in Vineyard Haven


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While boarding and preparing to get underway, we were graced by the beauty of some of the finest boats around, which included the Schooners Alabama and Shenandoah, both part of the Black Dog Tall Ship group. Both of the beauties are available and certified for coastal cruising not more than 20 miles from a harbor of refuge. Please check out their website for more details.

A few years back, we were so very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to spot the Alabama up in Provincetown where she was preparing to depart on her voyage back to the Vineyard. How beautiful she was after raising her sails and setting her course!


The Schooner Alabama - One of the Black Dog Tall Ships


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We made our way slowly out of the harbor bearing in mind all the heavy traffic and the shout outs by the harbormaster to the misguided boaters ignoring the no-wake markers in the harbor. Be in on the road or thew water, there will always be those who feel safety rules do not apply to them, but that's a story for another day!

We followed the route under sail out into the sound that mirrored that of the Steamship Authority into Woods Hole. Two of my favorite lighthouses were along our path and finally within distance to get a couple good shots. The first (on the left) is West Chop Lighthouse which protects the west entrance to Vineyard Haven and on the right is Nobska Light with sits atop the bluff in Falmouth, overlooking the sound.


Lighthouses in the Sound


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We continued on a heading seemingly to Woods Hole but of course we were headed that way merely to keep the sails up and the wind on our back! To make our way to Menemsha, we turned our course more south, southwest, into the wind and on diesel power. As we turned, we crossed path with one of the most beautiful boats on the planet: a Grand Banks Yacht!



We sailed south/southwest along the northwest facing edge of the island, an area I had never seen before and an area which is dramatically different from the rest of the island: heavily wooded and steep facing hills and sand leading down to narrow and rocky beachfronts. You can see from the photos below the terrain you're dealing with along the shore, the stairway from nowhere, the rocky beach and the homes cliffside.


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Continuing along the route provided us with some spectacular views of the sheer cliffs and the multi-million dollar homes perched along the dunes and hidden in the vegetation. To drop a couple names, the homes of John Kerry & Martha Stewart are along this stretch of waterfront.


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One of the more memorable and historically significant sights along the way is this tall, iconic spire rising 45 ft towards the sky. 

"On the craggy northwestern coast of Martha’s Vineyard, a roughly 45-foot chimney rises above the shoreline like an oversized maroon candle on a rubbly birthday cake. For mariners, that chimney in the sleepy town of Chilmark has long been a marker for plotting courses across Vineyard Sound. For decades, it was the most visible aspect of 18 overgrown, seldom-visited acres." Courtesy

The Brickyard was one of the earliest brick-making operations with much of their production going to help build the city of Boston. Please take a few minutes to read about the significance of the Brickyard here and here. Thanks to the Trustees for keeping the history alive and allowing the public to witness it as well!



What Gilligan would be foolish enough not to provide snacks for the 3 hour tour, the 3 hour tour!

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If you don't know where you came from, how will you know where you're going?


Coming up on our destination: Menemsha Harbor.



Coming up to Menemsha, the beach, the harbor and waters around were abuzz with summertime activity. There are few places quite so captivating and idyllic as Menemsha, It has maintained its historic fishing roots, albeit, significantly diminished. It is the 'go to' place for sunsets across the beach where, on any given early evening, you'll be parked at one of the last remaining drive-in theaters, showing repeats of the same nature movie night after night....but not one of them ever being the same.


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Once into the harbor, it is a feast for the eyes; sensory overload! The beauty of this harbor and the postage stamp town cannot be described or understated. 


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Once we disembarked, it was time to hit the market and prepare for dinner and wander around 'town' before hitting the pavement back to Oak Bluffs. If you've ever spent any time in Menemsha, you'll know that your first and usually only stop for fish and seafood is, of course, Menemsha Fish Market. Great fish, great prices and service that will astonish you! The $20 lobster roll ain't too bad either! Our menu, for the second night in a row, was of course lobster! (among other delicacies)


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A short walk around town and across the harbor reveals a plethora of hidden treasures and photographic opportunities galore!


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I hope you've enjoyed our little sail around the horn  and if you haven't visited this neck of the woods, I hope that this photo tour will provide you with the incentive to get out to the island.














(Gerry Monaco) marthas vineyard menemsha sailboat sailing Sun, 27 Aug 2023 02:32:29 GMT
Trumpet Flowers -- Flowers with a Buzz

(Gerry Monaco) flowers hallucinogenic trumpet Thu, 17 Aug 2023 16:27:14 GMT
The Mills of Pawtucket, RI  

The Mills of Pawtucket and the Power of the Blackstone River


Living in New England for most of my life, I was witness to or had good knowledge of how our area contributed to the great American Industrial Movement. The region was blessed with mighty rivers that contributed more than just the power to the mills and factories that were the backbone of New England.

I grew up along the Connecticut River valley where paper and textile mills dotted the 200 mile stretch of the river. One of the areas prominent brewers, Hampden/Piels Beer was located right on the river in Holyoke, MA, just a short drive from my home. The Merrimack River in Eastern Mass which flowed through Lawrence and Lowell was home to some of the finest shoe factories. The Blackstone River split Mass in half, flowed through Rhode Island and down to the Long Island Sound. It was home to the first cotton mill which was only a few miles from where we lived, but never bothered to explore its history until we moved South and made a visit back North. I was amazed and delighted to see what I saw and was able to capture. The architecture is simply stunning and the restoration of many of the buildings helps keep the history alive!

Here's a little background on the mills and a slide show of many of my photos. I hope you enjoy. You can view all the photos in their gallery here.





pawtucket mills

(Gerry Monaco) blackstone river cotton mills pawtucket rhode island slater Thu, 25 May 2023 18:21:00 GMT
Westport, MA ~~ Fishing & Farming for Centuries Tucked away on the Southern Mass coastline and adjacent to the Rhode Island shore sits an idyllic little town called Westport, MA. Westford Point sits, sheltered on the East Branch of the Westport River creating a safe harbor for what began as a whaling port and still continues as a viable fishing village.

On a recent trip up North to visit family, I decided on a half day trip down to Horseneck Beach which I hadn't visited in decades! As I got closer to the beach, I noticed a small harbor filled with boats and made myself a mental note to try to find a way down along the river to get a closer look. When I finished my walks and photographs down at the beach, I started to make my way back home and lucky for me, I had no trouble finding my way down the dead end road and arrived at the Westport Shellfish Department. I was astonished at the beauty that I saw all along the quiet road down to the water. With camera in hand, I strolled up and down Main Rd in awe of the beautiful 18th century ship captain's homes and their back yards along the river. 

Here's a slide show of the homes along Main Rd. I'll follow up with photos of the fishing fleets that called Westport home.


(Gerry Monaco) Tue, 09 May 2023 23:42:20 GMT
The Gingerbread Houses of Oak Bluffs In all the years that I've been going to the Vineyard and driving right through Oak Bluffs, the only time I've taken the time to notice any of the gingerbreads is when I've been driving along Beach Rd or photographing Christmas lights at Ocean Park. I knew there was an entire community nestled back in town but just never took the time. This trip I vowed I would wander around with the intent of not just seeing the houses but photographing them at Christmastime. 

A little background on the 'Hansel & Gretel' houses and the community: it was a group of Methodists who held religious retreats and meetings on the Islands back in the 1800's and at the time, they camped out mainly just in tents. As the attendance grew, so did the need for better and more permanent accommodations as well. 

The original cluster of 500 cottages was initially known as “Cottage City,” until the name was changed to Oak Bluffs in 1880. The storybook design is actually an architectural style called Carpenter’s Gothic which was very popular at the time. As time went on,  these individually decorated cottages, painted with bright and vivid colors with candy-like pillars and ornaments, became known as the “gingerbread houses.” 

There are currently about 300 of these houses in the "campground," the cottage museum at the entrance, and the Tabernacle at the center of the complex where meetings and religious activities take place and where it is rumored that Larry David will occasionally surface. The big event of the year is Grand Illumination Night which began in 1869. The campground and the cottages are decorated with paper lanterns transforming the area into a magical fantasyland!

Just below you'll see a sampling of the utter cuteness of the gingerbread homes taken a few days after Christmas. Click on each one to view full size in the gallery. If you are interested, any of the photos can be purchased in many formats and you can purchase a digital download for just $2 which affords you unlimited, non-commercial use.

The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community.


(Gerry Monaco) carpenter gothic gingerbread houses marthas vineyard oak bluffs Fri, 13 Jan 2023 20:41:51 GMT
Huntington Beach State Park Bike Route

(Gerry Monaco) Mon, 07 Nov 2022 15:51:41 GMT
Kindred Spirit Gift Giving Guide Gift Giving Guide

We're coming up on that time! It's time to start thinking and planning for Holiday gift giving! If you're a lover of Sunset Beach, Bird Island & the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, we've got some wonderful gift choices for you, from wall art, puzzles, tote bags, beach towels, apparel & so much more!

Click on the image below to visit our shop and start planning your gift giving.

Art Prints

(Gerry Monaco) bird island kindred spirit North Carolina sunset beach Tue, 11 Oct 2022 15:53:05 GMT
Shop Now! Fine Art America


(Gerry Monaco) Tue, 11 Oct 2022 15:26:14 GMT
Shrimp' Ain't Easy!

(Gerry Monaco) englehard shrimp shrimp boats varnamtown Tue, 13 Sep 2022 11:00:00 GMT
The Three Sisters Lighthouses

(Gerry Monaco) cape cod' lighthouses eastham nauset beach sisters" three Mon, 12 Sep 2022 11:00:00 GMT
Staying Safe at the Grand Canyon

(Gerry Monaco) arizona grand canyon Sun, 11 Sep 2022 11:30:00 GMT
Lady Deborah Making the Rounds!

(Gerry Monaco) ledy deborah new Bedford oriental NC shrimpers Sat, 10 Sep 2022 11:00:00 GMT
The Beauty of Telluride, CO

(Gerry Monaco) colorado rocky mountains telluride Fri, 09 Sep 2022 14:20:34 GMT
Our NEW Facebook Page I'd like to invite you to visit and 'Follow/Like" my NEW Facebook page. It will be a slow and deliberate process but I hope to be back up to speed as soon as possible!

(Gerry Monaco) gerry monaco our carolina shore Tue, 06 Sep 2022 15:02:06 GMT
Georgetown Wooden Boat Show IMGP0631Wooden Boat Show

We've heard about the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show for a number of years now, but we've never had the opportunity up until this year. By coincidence we had planned a little morning adventure with Rover Boat Tours out to North Island in the Thomas Yawkey Preserve in Winyah Bay. When we got back into Georgetown, we decided that we might as well take a cruise around town at the festival. We were soooo happy that we did! We've never seen such incredible wooden boats, so many of them hand made. We really regret not having spent the entire day there, especially since the weather was so fabulous! We'll be planning for next year!

By the way...if you've never been to a wooden boat show, there's still time this year and you won't have to go far! The Southport Wooden Boat Show will be taking place on Yacht Basin in Southport on Saturday, November 6th from 10 AM to 4 PM. We will also once again be one of the vendors for this event so we'd love to have you stop by and visit with us!

Here is a slide show of just a handful of the boats on display at the show, including many of the shrimpers docked at the marina. Enjoy!

(Gerry Monaco) Wed, 20 Oct 2021 16:38:34 GMT
North Island Lighthouse ~~ SC's Oldest IMGP0602North Island LighthouseNorth Island Lighthouse

This past weekend we finally got around to visiting South Carolina's oldest ligthouse, North Island Lighthouse (commonly referred to as Georgetown Light) which sits along the shore of North Island in Winyah Bay. Thanks to the philanthropic efforts of the Yawkey family (of Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park fame), North Island, South Island & Cat Island have all been preserved and designated as a barrier island wilderness, never to be developed!

You can access the island and view the lighthouse only by boat via Rover Tours out of Georgetown, SC. The lighthouse nor the grounds around it is open to visitors so the only photos you'll get are from the boat. The trip out to the island is about 45 minutes long each way depending on how much time is spent along the way slowing down to view dolphins, sharks and whatever other marine activities going on! Once at the island, you're given approximately 90 minutes to explore the beach and the dense maritime forest of the island. A variety of shells can be found along the shore and we were lucky enough to see a peregrine falcon watching over us from atop the oaks. There were also countless numbers of monarch butterflies flitting about along the shoreline and in the forest. 

Here is where you'll find the Yawkey Preserve & North Island.


Here are 3 shots of the lighthouse taken from the boat.

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You can see more lighthouses from up and down the east coast here in our lighthouse gallery.


And here are a few more from our 'island adventure!'


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Below you'll find a wonderful article that will provide you with all the background that you'd want regarding North Island Lighthouse courtesy of the South Carolina Maritime Museum. Please visit their webpage for so much more valuable information about everything South Carolina maritime!



(Gerry Monaco) georgetown lighthouse North Lighthouse Rover Tours shelling Winyah Bay Tue, 19 Oct 2021 12:35:56 GMT
2022 Sunset Beach Wall Calendars Our 2022 Sunset Beach Wall Calendars are NOW available just in time for our Fall & Holiday Marketplace Season which begins on Saturday, 9/11 on Sunset Beach at the One Love Market and continues throughout the year with all of our dates listed here.

If you can't make it to a marketplace event, have no fear as you can order them directly here on our website at a cost of $20 including shipping.

You can view each month of the year in the video below.





(Gerry Monaco) 2022 calendar sunset beach sunset beach photos wall calendar Thu, 02 Sep 2021 15:53:06 GMT
Kindred Spirit Christmas Cards It's that time of year again! Time to start thinking about your love of the Kindred Spirit with all of your friends and family and sharing that love with a Kindred Spirit Christmas Card. Our cards are available now for purchasing right here online or at any one of our upcoming events.

This year the cards are 5x7, folded down to 3 1/2 x 5. They will be priced as follows:

  • Pack of 6   ~~  $6.00 + $4.00 shipping
  • Pack of 12 ~~ $10.00 + $6.00 shipping
  • Pack of 24 ~~ $18.00 + $8.00 shipping

Shipping will be via USPS Priority Mail with delivery between 2 and 4 days depending on specific location. 

***PLEASE NOTE***  If you live locally, ie, Brunswick or Horry County, we will deliver your cards to you to avoid the shipping charge. Please contact us here with how many cards you'd like to order and include your address and phone number and we will arrange delivery and payment, or simply call or text 508-685-7998 with those details.

Click on the video below to see all 4 panels of the card and clcik on the photo below to be taken to the order page.



Gerald Monaco: Christmas &emdash; cover


(Gerry Monaco) Bird island cards" Christmas greeting cards kindred spirit Sun, 22 Aug 2021 15:41:03 GMT
Calling All New Englanders It's an easy task these days down here in the Carolinas to run into folks who have made the plunge into the sub tropical climate from the New England area. Most everyone still has some sort of tie to New England and for whatever faults it may have (like maybe the weather???), most everyone misses some of it. We are certainly no different and we have many family ties to New England that send us back there at least a couple of times every year. Aside from family, it's not hard to understand how the beauty of the montains, the fertile valleys, the Cape & the Islands can draw you back in, just when you thought you were out! It's a photographer's heaven to boot!


With our market season finishing up for the Summer season this Saturday, we're preparing for our Summer sojourn up to New England so naturally, photos from our past visits have come to mind, as well as anticipation of what new beauty we'll find. I'm anxious to take our 4 yr old grandson out with his new digital camera and see if he can teach me a few tricks! One place we both love to visit is Marthas Vineyard where he can play with his 2 aunts and rub elbows with the rich and snotty famous! If you've never visited the Vineyard or just want to refresh your memory of the beauty of the island, I hope that these photos will bring back memories or prompt you to go!

If you'd like to bring some of these photos into your home, we are offering all Marthas Vineyard photos printed on canvas for 33% off. (UPS shipping is $8 extra) Simply choose your photo(s) of choice from theis slide show or from the entire gallery, go to the shop and use the code "MV33" to receive your discount. This offer expires on Aug 9th.

Click the photo to cycle through the slide show or view singularly from the filmstrip below the photo.

(Gerry Monaco) beach cape cod lighthouses marthas vineyard Fri, 23 Jul 2021 16:42:57 GMT
For The Love of Fences IMGP5069Safety from the cliffsOverlooking the red clay cliffs of Aquinnah Fences are fascinating! Having grown up in New England, the fences we were so accustomed to were stone fences rambling through the wood, up and down the hills, setting lines of demarkation and the introducing the concept of private property, borders and nationalism. It brings to mind another lovely poem by Robert Frost: "Mending Wall."



Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’

Also from living in New England. we became accustomed to seeing the wooden snow fences lining the fields and the roadways protecting from the onslaught of New England snowstorms, not to mention pulling double duty on the shore holding back the snow and protecting the dunes. We hope that you enjoy the slideshow of fences here. We also invite you to visit the gallery where any of the photos can be purchased in many formats. If you'd like to print on your own, digital downloads, which affords you unlimited non-commercial use, are available for just $2.00.


(Gerry Monaco) fences poetry robert Fraost rock walls snow fence Wed, 21 Jul 2021 17:50:03 GMT
Create Your Own Carolina Room

(Gerry Monaco) carolinas kindred spirit landscape photos north carolina sunset beach Sun, 18 Jul 2021 18:27:18 GMT
Sunset Beach After Matthew

(Gerry Monaco) hurricane damage hurricane Matthew sunset Beach Sun, 18 Jul 2021 17:42:52 GMT
Looking Back To Hurricane Seasons Past

(Gerry Monaco) hurricane Matthew hurricanes stormy tropical storms Sun, 18 Jul 2021 17:18:01 GMT
It's A Kindred Spirit Christmas In July! We're celebrating Christmas in July, Kindred Spirit style! Our ever popular Kindred Spirit Christmas Cards are back again this year and available starting NOW! We've purchased a large initial quantity this year which is allowing us to lower the price to you. 

This year's cards are 5"x7" (folded to 5"x3.5"), printed on 13 pt premium, recycled matte paper with envelopes included. They will be available at all of our upcoming market events starting with this Monday, 7/19 at the One Love Summer Market on Sunset Beach. On line ordering will not be available until Aug 9th, however, we'd be happy to set aside a quantity for you and invoice you on the 9th. Simply contact us here with the quantity that you would like. 

Pricing this year is as follows: 

$6.00  ~~  Pack of 6

$10.00  ~~  Pack of 12

$18.00  ~~  Pack of 24

(Local delivery is available at no cost; shipping charge is $6.00)

If you're not into the whole physical card deal.....have no fear for our electronic Kindred Spirit Christmas cards will be available at no charge as we get closer to the season. You can send an E-Card to as many friends as you'd like. Keep your eyes here or on our social media for that rollout. You can take a look at exactly how the cards look right here:


(Gerry Monaco) christmas christmas cards kindred spirit Sat, 17 Jul 2021 20:56:45 GMT
Crystal Coast Weekend ~~ Beaufort & Morehead City

(Gerry Monaco) beaufort nc crystal coast icw morehead city nc shrimp boats Sat, 17 Jul 2021 00:26:50 GMT
Black & White ~~ From The Darkroom to the PC

(Gerry Monaco) black and white photography converting color photos Thu, 15 Jul 2021 20:01:10 GMT
Roanoke Island ~~ Gateway to the Outer Banks

(Gerry Monaco) bicycling bird island brunswick county sand dollars sun bicycles sunset beach Mon, 29 Mar 2021 18:21:35 GMT
Hiking the Vereen Botanical Gardens  

This time of the year when it's still a tad chilly for swimming, lots of families are searching for alternative activities, such as hiking. There aren't a ton of marked trails in the area, but one such place is in Little River just as NC turns into SC and it's called Vereen Botanical Gardens. It is one of the very few places where you can get an unobstructed walk and view down to the intracoastal waterway. There are miles of trails throghout the thickly wooded areas of the park as well as a number of over marsh walkways that provide some stunning views of both the marsh and the waterway. You'll see pleasure boats, shrimp boats. gambling boats, fishing boats and so much more. Bring some chairs and fishing poles/crab pots as you can fish right off of the dock over the waterway or right along the shoreline. Check it out....adults, kids and pets very welcome!

Get a preview of what awaits you by scrolling through the instagram photos just below.






Visit the Vereen gallery where you can see many more photos, all of whch can be purchased on the website in many different formats.

Here you'll find a map and directions to the park. An easy drive from just about anywhere.



(Gerry Monaco) crabbing fishing forest hiking intracoastal marsh vereen Fri, 19 Mar 2021 19:14:16 GMT
Tim's Used Books Our photography business began in earnest a short while after we moved to the Carolinas, hence the name of our business: Our Carolina Shore. The region left very little to want for in terms of subjects to photograph and our mission since then has been to photograph as much of our Carolina shore as we possibly can. We've photographed from the Outer Banks (as far north as Nags Head) down to Beaufort, SC and so very many places in between. What I've learned from our vacationing customers is that they want to bring home with them a little piece of their stay so that they can have it with them at home until their return. For that reason, the vast majority of printed photos that you'll find at any of our events are photos from that general area. 

Since we still do have numerous connections in New England and take a number of trips that way, we also have many photos from our favorite spots along the New England shore. Sometimes I'll even sneak a few of these photos into our displays here in the Carolinas! One of my most favorite places to shoot is Provincetown on Cape Cod. The people, the colors, the architecture, the angles and the alleys are just fascinating. One photo I took recently was of Tim's Used Books, a landmark in P-town for nearly 30 years (read more about Tim here). Most of the time I see my photos as simply capturing a space in time to remember forever. This photo hit me a little differently and I wanted to see if an image not germane to the specific locale would generate any interest. I decided to have it printed as a canvas and within a couple hours of having it on display for the first time, it sold. I then went a step farther and had it printed and framed with a wonderful whitewashed wooden frame made from reclaimed lumber which complements the picket fence along the alley so perfectly! Much to my surprise, it continues to sell. At a recent event, a couple was guessing between themselves as to the location of the photo where one said Charleston and the other (much to my dismay!) said Provincetown!! The frame can be purchased directly from (or we can purchase and frame the canvas for you).

Here is the brick alley leading you to Tim's. You can purchase this photo in many formats including canvas prints by clicking on the photo where you will be redirected to the store.

tims booksTim's Used BooksHidden at the end of a narrow alley you'll find mystery and magic within the dusty shelves  

Here is the canvas framed in a barnwood frame created with lumber reclaimed from barns across the American landscape.

tim's books2Framed CanvasWhite, barnboard floater frame

We'd love to have you stop by and see Tim's Used Books in person at any of our upcoming events or you can purchase directly through the galleries or by contacting us directly.

(Gerry Monaco) canvas prints Cape Cod Provincetown Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:37:27 GMT
February 2021 "Snow Moon" IMGP6357IMGP6357

A hazy, mostly clear night provided the perfect opportunity to get out and capture the 'Snow Moon' of 2021. We drove down to the Southestern point on the island at Katama Point. Katama is a residential area in the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts, on the south shore of Martha's Vineyard. It is bordered on the west by Edgartown Great Pond, on the east by Katama Bay and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. The moon rose beautifully up over Chappy and across Katama Bay. Here are some photos from that early evening. You can see many more views of the Vineyard by clicking here.

Click on the photo below and scroll right for more. All photos are available in many formats including digital downloads at just $2 each.

(Gerry Monaco) full moon marthas vineyard snow moon Sat, 27 Feb 2021 23:01:06 GMT
The Southport 'Skyline' At the confluence of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal waterway and the Atlantic, Southport creates the perfect backdrop for delightful panoramic views. Click on any of the photos to view them in the gallery where they are available for purchase in many formats.

IMGP0628Southport Yacht Club IMGP0631The yacht basin, Southport IMGP0639Intracoastal Sunset boats in southport harborSouthport Waterfront IMGP0645Oak Island Light

(Gerry Monaco) ICW lighthouse marina North Carolina OKI southport yacht Tue, 23 Feb 2021 21:10:27 GMT
Winter's Hanging On In New England Spring is just 4 weeks away so there's no reason to expect that Winter won't let go its grip on us, especially in New England. Just because the calendar says Spring, that doesn't guarantee no snow before, or even well after that date! We still hope that once we get close to turning the page on February, we'd start to see some moderating temperatures and the quick disappearance of any new snow. 

With a trip to visit family up North in our plans, our hearts were set on some greys, browns and a hint of greens on this trip but alas, Mother Nature had other plans for us. We arrived to sub freezing temperatures and a fresh blanket of snow. An afternoon of blue skies and a bit of solar warmth made for a pleasant walk around the golf course visualizing a couple iron shots into the greens and perhaps a couple of near Currier & Ives moments!

As always all the photos are available for purchase from the this gallery. They are also available in color in this gallery.

Click on the photo below to scroll through the photos.


(Gerry Monaco) new england snow winter Mon, 22 Feb 2021 16:53:21 GMT
Look What Meg Found! Over this last year, our shopping habits have made a marked turn towards shopping local. The pandemic has had dire consequences on an untold number of small businesses, many of whom will never be returning. Many of us are still weathering the storm and looking towards 2021 with caution but lots of optimism. One of our fellow local, small business owners, Meg Campbell of Meg Campbell Designs is not only a partner, but a customer as well. Meg was kind enough to pass along her thoughts and impressions of our photography and our products for which we are eternally grateful!

Meg has established a new You Tube channel where she spotlights new, local small businesses who are doing their best to ride the storms! If you're interested in supporting our local small businesses and finding out what's new and exciting out there, we hope that you'll subscribe to her You Tube channel so that you'll be alerted when she finds something that may just tickle your fancy!

As we said earlier, Meg is one of our fellow small business owners who specializes in a very unique product: solar lanterns!

meg's solar lanternSolar LanternsCheck out the amazing assortment of lanterns on Meg's website

We encourage you to please visit her website or her Facebook Page to see what she has to offer. You can order directly from her website or come visit her at a number of outdoor marketplace events this coming season such as the upcoming One Love Market which kicks off its season on Saturday, March 13th!

fall-shop-localGrow Your CommunityShop Local!

Remember....when you shop local, you support your neighbors by helping them put food on their table and pay their rent!



(Gerry Monaco) shop local shopping small business Tue, 09 Feb 2021 19:29:09 GMT
One Love Market Returns! One Love Market Sunset BeachOne Love MarketOne Love Market - Back at the Beach!

We are back at the beach!!

We are thrilled to announce that we will once again this year be participating in the One Love Market on Sunset Beach! Not only will we be back at the beach as we were last Fall right across from the pier parking lot, but we will be there ALL YEAR! Thanks to the wonderful cooperation from the Sunset Beach Pier, we will be holding Saturday markets in the Spring and Fall and Monday markets during the summer! No more driving off island across the bridge as we'll be within walking distance from everyone on the island! All of our markets this year will once again be held from 9 AM until 1 PM.
We encourage you to visit the Events Page on our website to 'check in' and/or share the event with your friends and relatives. It's going to be a great year this year on the beach! We encourage you to visit and support the Sunset Beach Pier in person and on their website since they were so instrumental in bringing our marketplace back to the beach this year!
Our season kicks off this year on Saturday, March 13th. PLease mark your calendars and share the event with everyone so that we can make this market year one to remember! PS....

We are currently looking for vendors for Local produce and eggs, crafters, wood workers, artisans, photographers, Flowers/plants, baked goods, fabrics/clothing, repurposed or embellished... etc. Click the link below and fill out the vendor application!!!!

For an up to date schedule of all of our marketplace events, please visit our Calendar of Marketplace Events.

Our Carolina ShoreOur Carolina ShoreBring a little of our shore into your home!


(Gerry Monaco) calendar of events marketplace North Carolina shop local sunset beach Thu, 04 Feb 2021 15:00:00 GMT
Carolina Ice Storm We see photos from up north today with snow drifts up to the eaves! With all the yankee transplants down here at the beach, I'm sure there must be a few who miss the white outs! (OK....maybe there's only 1 or 2 of those fools). Winter doesnt escape the Carolinas though. We've been cold as a polar bear's picnic here lately but fields are being plowed (no...not of snow) and seeds will be down soon and Spring is just around the corner.

On this week 6 years ago though, things were very different as we were locked in a 4 day cold snap and ice storm that paralyzed the coast. Take a look back to see just what you missed if you weren't here. You never know...the snow still could fly.

(Gerry Monaco) ice storm winter Tue, 02 Feb 2021 17:13:46 GMT
Our Carloina Shore -- Calendar of Events Looking to find out where and when you can view and purchase our photography? Listed below are the dates and locations where we will be set up to assist you. As new dates become available, the calendar will be updated. We hope to see you somewhere down the road! Please feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

(Gerry Monaco) calendar of events marketplace photography for sale Sat, 30 Jan 2021 19:43:04 GMT
Weekend On The Outer Banks Our photography goal has always been to take as many photos as possible in as many places as possible all along the North & South Carolina shore. From our home in Little River, we'd been as far south as Charleston and as far north as Cape Lookout, the southernmost portion of the outer banks. While we've traveled up the entire stretch of the banks in the past, it's never been with a photo objective.

With a wonderful weekend forecast recently, we decide to make a quick getaway to go farther up the outer banks. With beaches, shrimpers & lighthouses in mind, we made plans for Nags Head and after 5 hours behind the wheel, in the dark, the wind, and the rain, we landed at Oasis Suites Hotel, our weekend home resembling heaven! 

A short night and up at the crack to see what beauty awaited! The fishermen beat me well before sunrise to cast their lines off the causeway bridge, luckily casting with the gusting, cold north wind coming off of the sound. If you look closely in the photo, you can see them lined along the bridge

IMGP5608Sunrise across Roanoke SoundThis was a long exposure so it looks at though the water is dead calm when in reality, it was churning up pretty rough, especially for an inland sound. IMGP5621Sunrise through the cloudsThe rays of sunrise working their way through the ominous cloud cover. The clouds did dissipate to yield a lovely cool & sunny Autumn day

As the day progressed, the sun climbed high and the winds climbed higher and the marsh began to take on its glorious golden hues! Some of the instagram posts that follow have multiple photos attached which you can view by swiping left or clicking the arrows.


As a reminder...ANY of the photos you see can be purchased in many different formats directly through the galleries

(Gerry Monaco) beaches day trip landscape photography North Carolina Outer Banks Sat, 30 Jan 2021 17:03:40 GMT
Bald Head Island - Pandemic Antidote One of the best ways to social distance these days is to go where there are fewer people! You can do that on Bald Head Island, just a short boat ride from Southport. Spring and Fall are wonderful times to visit the island, whether it's for a day, a weekend or longer. Going to Bald Head doesn't mean that you will dispense with all the precautions that you're following at home. You will likely have fewer opportunties for social interactions except when you're shopping or dining on the island. Bring your bike if you're planning on an exercise visit or rent a golf cart to cruise across the island. Remember to bring your camera as it's a photographer's paradise. 

Click on the photo below and you can scroll through a number of photos from the island; hopefully enough to convince you to plan your next (or first) visit!

If you need more convincing, check out this great video tour of the island coutesy of Bald Head Island Real Estate


And if that's still not enough, please visit our Bald Head Island Gallery where you can see and purchase photos in many formats

(Gerry Monaco) Bald Head Island day trip pandemic Sat, 30 Jan 2021 16:41:58 GMT
Roanoke Island - Gateway to the Outer Banks On a recent spur of the moment weekend getaway up to the Outer Banks, we chose a spot to stay purely by location. Our plan was to spend the weekend photographing the beach around Nags Head, lighthouses, shrimpers and anything else that came in front of our eyes! From looking at the maps and hotels nearby, Roanoke Island became the logical choice. We couldn't have made a better decision!

We stayed at fabulous little hotel along the causeway between the Island and Nags Head: the Oasis Suites Hotel. With water out the front and out the back, the setting was ideal. Just a few words about the hotel in the event you're ever considering spending any time in the area. This was truly a suite of rooms. In all honesty, we were expecting (and would have been happy with) a single room. We were stunned upon walking in to our 3rd (top) floor suite into the living room with deck overlooking the water to the south. What we thought was the bedroom off of the living was actually the guest bedroom. Down the hallway & through the kitchen area, fully furnished with stove, micro, full size frig, we came to the bath area with walk-in shower and jacuzzi. Off of the bathroom was the master bedroom. We could not have been more pleased or comfortable.

The photos below should give you a good idea of the beauty that literally surrounded us. Across the street to the marsh provided and ideal spot for sunrise over Rodanthe Sound and behind the hotel gave us sunset across Croatan Sound. Click on the main image below and you can sroll right to the remainder of the photos.

Driving off of the causeway to the west brings you on to Roanoke Island itself. The north end of the island is Manteo, the birthplace of English colonization in America. We knew of Manteo because it is home to one of the fine aquariums in the North Carolina collection of great aquariums. Unbenownest to us until we tripped over it, there is a waterfront portion of town lined with lovely homes, restaurants and shops, not to mention a lovely marina tucked in the harbor adjacent to the Roanoke Island Festival Park. Among other things, this park includes walking trails that wind along the inlets, the bay and throughout the downtown and marina and continues along the manteo waterfront and past, yes....a lighthouse with a very interesting history! Click on the photo below to scroll through some scenes we captured along the waterfront.

One of more exciting attractions along the waterfront downtown was the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum and the adjacent boathouse which is named after George Washington Creef, a local builder who developed the Shad boat in the 1870’s. The Museum is also a working boat shop where volunteers and staff take on projects including small craft restoration, exhibit design, and new boat construction. Unfortunately the museum itself was not open at the time of our visit, but the Boathouse was and I was thrilled to be able to photograph some of the boats there.

At the very southernmost tip of this small island is a charming little fishing village called Wanchese with a lovely protected harbor where, you guessed it, fishing boats! This quaint village was actually the very first fishing village on Roanoke Island and it is believed that it was populated around 1500 years ago by indigenous fishing families. Little did they know that NatGeo would end up in their village filming Wicked Tuna Outer Banks! While the fishing and shrimping is not what it was during its heyday, there are still a significant number of boats providing seafood products in North America and Europe as well!

(Gerry Monaco) bodie island manteo nags head outer banks roanoke wanchese Sat, 30 Jan 2021 16:23:42 GMT