Art Roundup, week of February 26th

I’m hoping to get these art round-up posts on a regular cadence, but with the hectic month I’ve had, this contains more than normal. One hiccup I had with some of my images was publishing Sapona’s Ribs early. The rest of that brief series will come along later, so pay for future updates. If you see any images here that aren’t available on Natural Desygns or SM Desygns reach out to me through the Etsy store and I’ll add the image to the correct store. In the meantime, click any of the images to head over to DeviantArt to get a better look.

Beaver Dam

The first thing I saw when I stepped upon Neabsco Regional Park’s boardwalk was a beaver dam with water crashing over the blockage’s ledge. While I loved that initial view, it wasn’t until I finished my loop that I discovered a better view of the animal’s efforts. In order to grab this image’s original photograph, I needed to inch toward the stream’s edge to preserve the best angle of the water cascading through the debris.

Despite growing up in Woodbridge, there are too many parks or walking trails I’ve never visited when I was younger. As a result, when I got to Neabsco Regional Park, I didn’t know what to expect. After walking through the asphalt path, I saw the sprawling wooden bridge that sprawled across the wetlands. After taking some pictures of the beaver dam right next to the boardwalk, I enjoyed the brief stroll and stopped to capture a stretch of the upcoming walkway and the winding stream.

Raised Path

Paddling of Ducks

During my stroll along Neabsco Regional Park’s boardwalk, I noticed that a group of ducks (or more accurately, a Paddling of Ducks). Unfortunately, I did not have a zoom lens that would have let me take a close-up photo of these majestic creatures. As a result, I quickened my pace and went to a location that gave me a better shot. After collecting the photo that served as this image’s base, I tried to get even closer. Unfortunately, as I stepped through the foliage, the ducks took to the sky, leaving an empty patch of water.

While this wasn’t the first submerged (or partially submerged) vehicle I’ve explored, it was the ever present schools of fish that I remember without looking at my pictures. This one focuses on the side of the ship as a school weaves through the trio of columns formed from the ship’s hull.

Sapona's Ribs

Radiant Sunshine

Despite the purpose of the trip being diving, there was plenty of time where we were lounging about the boat. One of the side effects of diving is a buildup of nitrogen in the bloodstream. And in order to remain safe, we have to let the excess gasses bleed out of our bodies. So during one of those stretches, I spent a lot of time staring into the endless ocean. On one of those occasions, I saw the sun peeking through a patch of clouds. The radiance of the beams of light made me smile. Hopefully, it can lighten your day as well.

In life, there are a handful of memories that sear themselves into your mind. One of mine was the first time I breathed underwater. Despite the controlled environment, an inflatable pool that was no deeper than my waist, it was a magical moment when I sat under the water and breathed as if the water was submerged. With that magical memory pulsating in my mind, I ensured that my first digital camera, a Nikon point and shoot, could join me on my underwater adventures.

After testing the underwater housing, I took it on my scuba cruise in the Caribbean, Blackbeard Cruises. Unfortunately, the bulk of those initial pictures weren’t the best. Of course, that was when I remembered to bring the camera or turn it on. However, while we were at one of the early dive sights, the divemaster told us to hop in and explore without our tanks. During that jaunt, I captured an image of a white fish with yellow fins swimming along the ocean floor. DM me if you know what kind of critter I captured.

Solitary Fish

Hide and Seek

Even without a tank providing me with a steady supply of air, I was eager to explore the site. So, I meandered on the surface and when I found a patch of coral that I wanted to explore, I took a deep breath and shot into the depths. On one of my trips to the ocean floor, I caught sight of some small yellow fish disappearing into the expansive coral. However, as I drew closer, I noticed the patch of living rock wasn’t attached to the sandy bottom, letting these tiny fish seek protection from potential predators.

After the divemaster helped pull up the sailboat’s anchor, we were taken from site to site. Unfortunately, on the next dive or two, I was so caught up in the dives that I forgot to bring my camera. However, when we came to Eagle’s Nest, not only did I remember my camera, I turned it on before diving into the ocean. While this patch of water contained a lot of coral, both soft and hard, my basic camera and housing took pictures I wasn’t able to convert into watercolor rendition, while keeping its beauty. Thankfully, despite my amateurish attempt to capture the beauty of the depths, I coaxed one of the better shots of the sea floor out of my camera during this dive.

Underwater Bouquet


Despite an abundance of coral on this site, my buddy and I went to the site’s edge and when we got there, I saw a strange fish swimming through the swaying seaweed. Fortunately, I could capture the odd swimmer. The most distinctive part of the fish’s anatomy appeared to be the sole of a shoe attached to its head. I’m sure someone from the crew told me what kind of fish it was, but as the years marched on, that memory faded into oblivion. Either way, when I look at this image, I’m pulled through time and space and dropped into the middle of the ocean with this guy swimming beneath me.

Sole Fish

Submerged Range

One thing I learned on this trip was just how extensive coral is in the ocean. When the boat dropped anchor at Tripple Seven, we were treated to an extensive strip of twisting coral that presented us with an interesting avenue to swim through. As I rose from the outcropping, I was presented with an amazing view that looked like a mountain range. As I hovered in place, I saw a handful of fish swimming over the outcropping like birds soaring over a mountain range.

Towards the end of my Tripple Seven dive, I stumbled upon some seaweed attached to the coral. As the underwater current swept through the site, it caught the plant whipping it this way and that. Fortunately, I was able to capture the flowing vegetation to anchor my memory of the drive.

Swaying Growth

It Begins

The most memorable dive of my trip was the shark dive at Bull Run. This patch of the ocean had a unique coral layout. There were two major components to the site. The first bit of coral formed a giant U. Each of the divers were placed against the outcropping so we could stare at the central bit of living stone, where there was an eyelet driven into it. That bit of metal served as the anchor to the chum line that attracted and fed the Caribbean Reef Sharks.

Once the sharks caught a whiff of the blood, they swarmed the bait and started feeding. Here is one of the first elegant predators that I caught sight of.

As the seconds ticked by, my head was whipping about, searching for every shark that came to partake in the feast. Unfortunately, the sharks captured in some of my pictures blended perfectly into the ocean and, as a result, they’re hard to see. Fortunately, this image captured a shark as it swam unfazed through the air bubbles emanating from the other divers.