Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Filling Station

Creswell, North Carolina 

Oh, but it is dirty!
--this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it's a family filling station),
and all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.

Some comic books provide
the only note of color--
of certain color. They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsute begonia.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)

Somebody embroidered the doily.
Sombody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Sombody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
to high strung automobiles.
Sombody loves us all.
 --Elizabeth Bishop

Filling Station, from Elizabeth Bishop, The Complete Poems 1927-1979. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983

Friday, January 27, 2012

Winter Walk 5

Greene County, Virginia 

These are the last two pictures from my winter walk last Sunday afternoon. Thanks for reading Photography in Place; hope you have a great weekend and please stop by next week.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Walk 3

Greene County, Virginia 

Just before the light faded, I stood on the edge of the water looking at the soft shapes and colors on the opposite bank when a pair of swans swam into view. They made a chattering sound to each other as they dabbled underneath the overhanging bushes.

I stood and watched for a long time, and then turned the camera off and started for home.  Later, sitting in front of the fire, I felt most fortunate to have shared a wet and cold winter's afternoon with a pair of swans.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter Walk

Greene County, Virginia 

Late yesterday afternoon, I took a walk down by the lake. A little snow mixed with cold rain was falling and the branches of the trees were coated with ice. The sky was gray and a winter fog was forming over the water. It was lovely in the soft light and cold winter air. I was still standing on the edge of the water when it became too dark to take more pictures.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

First Snow of 2012

Snow fell here last night, and then changed to freezing rain, leaving a half-inch or so of snow on the ground and ice in the trees. It is our first snow of 2012. I walked out in the yard this morning a took a few snapshots to record the event.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stevens Mansion - 1850

Quinque, Virginia 

This house has been vacant for as long as I can remember, but recently there has been some activity around the place. The grounds, which were overgrown a couple of years ago, have been cleaned up and trimmed and it looks like there may be work going on within the house. At one time there was talk of opening a bed and breakfast but I don't know the current plans for the property. This picture was taken on January 8, 2012.

The house was built for the Stephens family around 1850 and for many years the Stephens practically owned Quinque, which had a store, a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright shop, a distillery and mill. The town may have been named Quinque, which is Latin for five, because of the five buildings located there.

Today, Quinque consists of a Post Office, Ryan Funeral Home, the Pic 'n' Pac grocery store and Snow's Feed and Supplies, which occupies the old mill building.

Historical information is from Greene County, Virginia: A Brief History by Donald D. Covey, The History Press, 2007

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Third Sunday - January 2012

Pembroke, Virginia

Last spring, after visiting Pearisburg, I stopped in Pembroke for a few minutes, hoping to find that the train station was still standing. Pembroke is in Giles County, Virginia just a few miles from Pearisburg. The train station is gone, but I came across this church and was attracted to the somewhat unusual architecture and the large square steeple. As I was taking pictures, I saw a person walking down the street and asked her about the church. She said that there was someone living in the church but she knew nothing of the history of the church, or when services were last held.

There was an old car in front of the building and toys scattered around the yard. The signboard was blank and the church was a bit run-down but appeared quite sound. Unfortunately, further research has failed to turn up anything about the history of the old church. I would like to know more, for it is certainly one of the most interesting white wooden churches that I have come across.

Friday, January 13, 2012

One lane bridge over Swift Run

Albemarle County, Virginia 

In 2010, we published a series of black and white photographs of white wooden churches, one church each Sunday for 31 weeks. The series was called A Month of Sundays.

Church buildings are an interesting study in American architectural history and are among the few surviving 18th and 19th century structures that continue to be used for the purpose for which they were built. This coming Sunday I will begin a new series of church photographs. The new feature will appear on the third Sunday of each month.  Hope you will join us, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Southern Steam Locomotive 4501

4501 appears clean and well maintained in this photo.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, I purchased a few small prints of railroad subjects in the Richmond Book Shop. Included was a photo of the famous Richmond Triple Crossing, which I posted here. These pictures of Southern 4501 were also among the prints that I bought. The prints were not dated and I do not have any information as to the photographer's identity.

The 2-8-2 Mikado class 4501 was built for the Southern Railway in 1911 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. In 1948 Southern sold the locomotive to the Kentucky and Tennessee Railway where it served until it was retired in 1963. It was purchased by a rail-fan who restored the locomotive and made it available for use in Southern Railways steam excursion program. When the excursion program came to an end, the locomotive went to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum where it is on display.

For the complete story of Southern 4501, and lots of great photos, visit HawkinsRails web page.

4501 pulling what appears to be an excursion train, probably sometime in the 1960s

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Winter evening on the pond

Greene County, Virginia 

Sunday afternoon I spent a couple of hours out and about with the camera. I was on my way home in the last of the afternoon light when I spotted these Canada geese on a pond with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background. It was a peaceful scene, touched by the setting winter sun.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dove down

"What's that patch of gray under the cedar tree?" my wife asked me one morning last week.

We were standing on the deck in the cold December air. This fall and winter has been very wet and I thought perhaps the gray might be some kind of fungus, but later I knelt beneath the cedar and found the remains of a dove. There was nothing left but the feathers.

The dove may have been taken by an owl. We have seen a screech owl around the neighborhood, and the modus operandi suggests an owl predator. Owls eat birds bones and all, leaving only the feathers.

I felt a little sad for the dove who met an untimely death under my cedar tree. But the owl has to eat too, and I was glad for the owl's supper on a cold night. The feathers will be gone soon, scattered by the wind. Perhaps a thrifty wren will line her nest with dove down. Life goes on.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Pigeon Hole

Charlottesville, Virginia 

On New Year's Eve my wife and I drove into Charlottesville for a visit to a couple of used bookstores located on "the corner" just off the campus of the University of Virginia. While my wife was looking, I walked down the street to get a cup of coffee and took a picture of this bright blue house, which now houses a restaurant.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter fog

Greene County, Virginia 

Happy New Year and thanks for reading Photography In Place. I hope you will visit often in 2012. We publish a new post at 7 a.m. each day Monday through Friday with an occasional post on the weekend.

The holidays have been quiet here in central Virginia, with mild weather and lots of rain. The photo above was taken on a rainy and foggy day last week just before dark. Fog moved in late in the afternoon and by twilight visibility was down to a couple of hundred yards. Winter will be around for a while.

Have a happy and safe 2012.