Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wind-driven clouds

Greene County, Virginia

The weather in central Virginia was unsettled on Friday. The forecast called for high winds, the possibility of thunderstorms and further to the east a threat of tornadoes. As I drove home from work Friday evening the clouds were putting on quite a show in the windy atmosphere. Just before the sun went down, I pulled off the road and took a picture of the southwestern sky in the fading light. By the next morning, the wind had swept the sky clean.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Water's edge - #4

Greene County, Virginia 

After snow last Sunday, we are ending the week on a spring-like note here in central Virginia, with temperatures reaching into the 70s. As a result of this mild winter, the landscape looks more like late November when autumn lingers than February when spring seems like a dream.Spring is still a few weeks away, and who knows what surprises old man winter might yet have in store for us.

Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Water's edge - #1

Fishing spot - Greene County, Virginia

Earlier this month, on a gray winter's day, I walked down to the lake. While poking around in the underbrush I came across this bench on the bank, most likely put there for fishing. I don't know who the bench belongs to, but I sat down for a few minutes and looked out across the water. The day was still and quiet; even the birds made no sound.

As I sat there, my eye was caught by the tangle of weeds and bushes at the edge of the water, and soon I was exploring along the bank where the land and water meet. This week, Photography In Place will be on the water's edge.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Snow day

Yesterday afternoon the first significant snow of the winter fell here in Greene County, Virginia. By mid-afternoon the snow was sliding down the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains.Soon the snow began to fall in our yard and the mountains disappeared in the clouds.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Third Sunday - February 2012

Mount Zion Baptist Church - Advance Mills, Virginia 

Mount Zion Baptist Church was established in 1876. The current church building replaced an earlier log building on the site and probably dates from around the turn of the century. Many years ago the church was known as Bush Harbor Meeting Place.

At the time of slavery, arbors built of sapling poles and covered with brush were built by slaves, often secretly, for religious services. Later, revival meetings were held in this type of shelter, variously called brush arbors, bush arbors or bush harbors. Mount Zion traces its roots to before the Civil War, when it is believed that slaves worshiped in a bush harbor on this site.

I visited Mount Zion on Martin Luther King day, and just as I finished photographing, a car pulled up in front of the church and a man got out and introduced himself as George. George is a member of Mount Zion and has lived here all of his life. He offered to show me the inside of the church building. George was very proud of the church, and rightfully so. He pointed out the new wood flooring in the sanctuary and described the work that went into renewing the foundation and replacing floor joists under the old building. The church was immaculate inside and out.  Next to the church, there is a small cemetery, and as I said goodbye to George, I had a sense that I was standing on sacred ground.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Smallwood's Retreat

Charles County, Maryland 

Not far from the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division grounds (scroll down to yesterday's post)  is Smallwood State Park. General William Smallwood served in the Revolutionary War and was the Governor of Maryland from 1785 to 1788. The Governor's plantation house and grounds overlooking the Potomac River were restored and opened as a historic park in 1958.

This Sunday is the third Sunday of the month, and we will be visiting the Mount Zion Baptist Church. Hope you will stop by on Sunday to see this interesting and well kept wooden church that was built in the late 19th century.

Thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Building 2012

Charles County, Maryland 

On an October afternoon we anchored just off the Potomac River in the mouth of Chickamuxen Creek and took the small inflatable boat into the swamps, following the creek until it became too small to navigate. We climbed onto the bank to stretch our legs, and noticed a road nearby. It was a pleasant day so we followed the road for about a mile and a half. There were neat buildings scattered along the way and I took a few pictures. The immaculately maintained grounds and numbered buildings suggested that we were on some kind of military reservation, but we encountered no one  until a security policeman pulled up in his car and politely informed us that we were in a restricted area and would have to leave. We told him we had come in off the river and he offered to drive us back to where the inflatable was tied up.

Turns out we were on the grounds of the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center. Building 2012, though small, is characteristic of the buildings we saw on the grounds. Their purpose remains a mystery.

This building, near where we landed, appears to no longer be in use.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CSX Westbound

Charlottesville, Virginia 

This CSX train is one of several a day that pass through Charlottesville with empty cars over track operated by the family owned regional Buckingham Branch Railroad.  This picture was taken behind the Charlottesville Amtrak station as the train was entering the "diamond" interchange with the Norfolk Southern mainline. Amtrak's Cardinal also operates over this track.

The January 2012 issue of Trains magazine ran a 12 page feature on the Buckingham Branch which operates from Doswell, which is near Richmond, to Clifton Forge.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Before Photoshop

Long before Photoshop came on the scene, photographers were busy manipulating images. This postcard, postmarked May 26, 1949, was mailed from Eganville, Ontario to Norwich, New York with a 3-cent Canadian postage stamp.The handwritten message on the back of the card reads:

Guess we have caught most of the fish here.
Be home soon. 
Cecil and Ellen

Monday, February 13, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012


Poecile carolinensis

"That whimsical fellow called Evolution, having enlarged the dinosaur until he tripped over own toes, tried shrinking the chickadee until he was just too big to be snapped up by flycatchers as an insect, and just too little to be pursued by hawks and owls as meat. Then he regarded his handiwork and laughed. Everyone laughs at so small a bundle of large enthusiasms." 
from A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Seaboard Air Line Locomotive 358

This is another photograph from the group of old prints that I came across in a bin at the Richmond Book Shop in Richmond, Virginia back in December. The photographer is not known.

Seaboard Air Line No 358 was a 2-8-2 Class Q-3 "Mikado" locomotive built in 1924 by Baldwin Locomotive Works. The air pumps mounted over the headlight give No.358 an unusual look. The engine and tender together weighed 490600 pounds. I believe this locomotive was scrapped in 1952.

 See other railroad photos from this group here and here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yellow shed

Greene County, Virginia 

"There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.

"To avoid the first danger, one should plant a garden, preferably where there is no grocer to confuse the issue.

"To avoid the second, he should lay a split of good oak on the andirons, preferably where there is no furnace, and let it warm his shins while a February blizzard tosses the trees outside. If one has cut, split, hauled, and piled his own good oak, and let his mind work the while, he will remember much about where the heat comes from, and with a wealth of detail denied to those who spend the week in town astride a radiator."
from A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Mimus polyglottos - Greene County, Virginia 

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corn-cribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."  Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird

Monday, February 6, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

South River Road

Greene County, Virginia 

Yesterday was Candlemas, also known as Groundhog Day, which marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Today we are on the downhill side of winter. The winter here has been mild so far, and temperatures reached the upper sixties yesterday. It seems like spring is here already.

I have been taking advantage of the warm weather to photograph birds  even though I know that taking pictures of birds or kittens can get me kicked out of the Secret Guild of Really Serious Photographers. Next week: mockingbirds and chickadees, and maybe a steam locomotive.

Hope you will join us and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yellow garage

Charlottesville, Virginia 

"I was the worst hitter ever. I never even broke a bat until last year when I was backing out of the garage"  - Lefty Gomez

Pitchers and catchers will report to spring training in less than three weeks.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Parts and Service

Charlottesville, Virginia - 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving down West Main Street in Charlottesville and noticed that these buildings were being razed so I stopped to take a couple of pictures. I had taken pictures here in 2008. The old garage was interesting and I liked the signs painted on the buildings, so I hate to see them go. Not sure what the Main Street Market Annex is going to look like, but it sounds up-scale, and I will miss the old garage.

Charlottesville, Virginia - 2008