Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island

 In these days of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to find time to get away for a mental health vacation. Most importantly, the destination should be COVID conscious, provide some much needed pampering while also offering access to nature and outdoor adventures that calm the spirit. This is my latest for Forbes on the Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island. 

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Nature-Based Adventures in Rhode Island

Many travelers associated Rhode Island solely with summer fun and, especially, with a visit to Block Island. But there’s so much more to experience in this the smallest state in the U.S. With hundreds of miles of coastline and myriad state parks in the interior, Rhode Island is a year-round delight. Here are some photos from my most recent travels there. 

After the skies cleared one stormy morning in Weekapaug, Rhode Island, I strolled along the waterfront and found the silence to be stunning and comforting.

Solitary hiking along the DuVal Trail system in Rhode Island gave me an opportunity to feel an intimate connection with nature, whether it’s the enchanting tree tunnels, the colorful thickets of mountain laurel, or the fields of glacial boulders that are clustered in the shade of black oak and white pine trees.


At the Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, RHode Island, I had numerous opportunities to connect with nature, including kayaking on this placid salt water pond. 

As I strolled along the barrier beach steps away from the Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island, I was enwrapped by a sense of the serene and the scenic.

While roaming along the coastline of Rhode Island’s Weekapaug area, I explored the wee lanes that wiggled through the serene neighborhood.

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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Travel Photography - Sea + Sky Landscapes

 After asking what’s my favorite destination —I love every place I visit for different reasons — most people want to know why I travel all over the world. Aside from my keen interest in learning about other cultures, there are myriad psychological benefits to traveling, including learning to be present centered, and developing resilience, skills that are especially useful in these days of the pandemic. Below are a few of my landscape photos from my round the world travels.

Traveling far afield — where the unknown resides around any corner — offers opportunities for resilience.

During these turbulent and challenging times, I strive for a sense of serenity, even if it lasts for only a moment.

Watching the ever changing shapes of clouds and the placid movement of the waters is a balm for the soul.

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Travel Photography - Pastoral + Mountainous Landscapes

 Whether I travel to far-afield locales or domestically, I often gravitate to non-urban environs. These are a few of my photographs that focus on some of my favorite subjects: sky, mountains and trees.

I derive a sense of comfort from nature.

Trails that thread through mountainous terrain into cozy villages and hamlets offer so many possibilities.

Unlike when I’m in most urban environs, when I’m traveling in the mountains, moody weather makes for a joyful experience.

The trees breathed energy into this bucolic scene that I wandered into.

Trees dominate my thoughts.

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Watercolors + Collages from My Travels - Part 3

For me, writing, painting and taking photographs are a way to still the mind and remain present centered, even when the world is in turmoil. My art work - whether watercolors or collage - reflects the creative process, my travels and, especially, my love affair with nature. 

Sometimes creative ideas rush into my mind like a gust of wind.

2020 has conjured up a mix of extreme emotions.

Eyeing the world and loving all its differences.

Inspired by my many trips to Portugal where I visited medieval hilltop villages.

When the night is the darkest is when some of my most creative ideas bloom.


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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Watercolors - Scenes from New Mexico

As a travel writer and a photographer, I’m particularly fond of the American Southwest. The colors in the nature scape as well as in the man made structures and art galleries are what I gravitate to.

Below are two of my watercolors.

All of my photographs and paintings are available for sale as prints. Contact me through this website for inquiries.

A Santa Fe scene from an original by Bill Sortino.

Journeys on the road from Chama, New Mexico - from an original by Kay Harvey.

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

Photos - Travels in Rhinebeck, NY

Originally settled in the 17th century, the historic village of Rhinebeck in New York’s Hudson Valley is a beauty. Wander its streets to explore the various architectural styles, from Gothic Revival to Queen Anne, while shopping, browsing or sampling the farm-to-table cuisine.

Named for the many authors, including Washington Irving, who are said to have strolled this scenic property set along the Hudson River in Rhinebeck, NY, Poets’ Walk Park (including this grand gazebo) can’t help but engender inspiration for all who walk the trails through field and forest.

Though Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck, NY often attracts those whose sole desire is to climb the 80-foot-high fire tower for its panoramic Hudson Valley views, I prefer exploring the network of trails that course pass ponds and through dense woodland.

In Ferncliff Forest, the 80-foot-high fire tower attracts those who desire dramatic views of the Hudson Valley. But, for me, ambling through the woodlands offers the intimacy with nature that I crave.

Expansive Ferncliff Forest offers several idyllic picnic spots like this one beside a small pond.

Along the network of trails lacing idyllic Poets’ Walk Park in Rhinebeck, NY, shady expanses deep in woodland quickly turn to sun-splashed fields and meadows.

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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Why Visit the Azores in Portugal

I have a thing for archipelagos and the Azores in Portugal is one of my favorites. Each of the nine islands is quite distinctive in terms of landscape, geography, culture and product it’s noted for. I’ve visited eight of the nine, hoping to visit the hardest to reach and the tiniest, Corvo, in late 2021. This is my latest for Forbes on the Azores.

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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Watercolors - Iceland’s Westman Islands

The only inhabited isle of the idyllic Westman Islands, Heimaey is just off Iceland’s southern coast. I had spent almost a week exploring this walkable island, including the verdant cliff tops where puffin birds waddle as well as the lava flow that in the 1970s swallowed up houses on the east side. Taking the ferry gives you the best perspective of the island’s precipitous cliffs crowded with sea birds.

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