Monday, April 30, 2012

Elkton Spring Festival- Tickets

Elkton, Virginia 

This week we will be looking at pictures taken at the Elkton Spring Festival. The event is held in April each year, but these pictures were taken on a cloudy Friday afternoon in April 2011. The fair was not open and there was no one about but everything was set up in readiness for the Festival. There is something lonesome and sad in a deserted fair ground on a cloudy and cool spring day.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Field Cemetery

Currituck County, North Carolina 

This is another "drive-by" picture taken from the truck on the way back from Dismal Swamp last month.

Small cemeteries like this one are scattered around this part of North Carolina, often right in the middle of an open field and planted all around. I call them "field cemeteries." Old family burial grounds, most likely, that have survived and hold on to a small plot of cropland,  plowed around and left alone, remembering those who lived on this land many years ago.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oyster Habitat

Engelhard, North Carolina

Walking along the docks in Engelhard, we came across a large lot on the waterfront covered with what appeared to be concrete beehives. There were dozens scattered about drying, and workers were busy pouring concrete into metal molds to make more. There were a couple of guys taking a break and I stopped to talk.

"I know this is a probably a stupid question, but what are these things?"

A young man who appreared to be in charge of the operation laughed and said, "Everyone that stops says the same thing; 'sorry for the stupid question'. These will  be carried out into the sound and sunk for oyster habitat."

I later learned that these structures are often called "igloos" and are used for several kinds of marine restoration projects, including forming artificial reefs to benefit fish and shellfish populations. According to the worker I talked to, the company has an order from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to construct 2500 of these concrete igloos.

The workers were in Engelhard on temporary assignment and allowed that the town is nice enough, but there is not much to do during off hours. They were counting the days until they could go back home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

B&W Bingo

Engelhard, North Carolina 

This week, a few more pictures from last month's ramble around North Carolina's coast. There are several interesting small towns in this area and I hope to get back to some of them again. This sign is above the porch roof of a run down old store that was deserted. A sign on a broken window says "Welcome to Merrick's Hair Creations Walk-Ins Welcome."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012


Camden County, North Carolina 

On the way back from our day in the Dismal Swamp, I took a few pictures from the window of the truck. (I wasn't driving.) Someone once said that photography is all about knowing where to stand and when to press the shutter. At 60 mph, one is not standing anywhere and releasing the shutter is a matter of anticipation and luck. Mostly luck. I would like this picture better if the tractor pictured on the sign was in the frame a little more, but at highway speed you take what you get. Shooting on the fly was fun, and I would like to take some more "moving pictures." Just need to find someone willing drive me around.

Thanks for visiting Photography In Place this week. Hope you will come back for a visit next week, and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Great Dismal Swamp "Loki"

Dismal Swamp State Park Welcome Center - North Carolina 

The sign reads:

In Memory of . . .
Moses R. White, Jr.
Known affectionately as a "loki," this 5-ton Plymouth Gasoline Locomotive, 36" Guage, was purchased by Moses R. White, Jr., owner and operator of M.R. White Lumber Company, in 1943.

He operated a shingle and sawmill on US Highway 158 and logged in the Great Dismal Swamp, using this type of locomotive to haul juniper, pine and hardwood timber our of the swamp.

At one time, he had as many as 8 miles of track reaching deep into the swamp using locomotive operations from 1933-1975.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Abandoned camp

Near where the Feeder Ditch from Lake Drummond connects with the Dismal Swamp Canal, we found a spot to land and went for a walk in the woods, where we came across this abandoned building. Most likely, it was a hunting camp at one time. There were two rooms in the cabin, with a simple kitchen and a room next to it with a small stove for heat. Parts of what looked to be an old tractor of some kind were scattered about inside. The small shed in the back was probably used for hanging meat and still housed a rusty refrigerator.

At one time the cabin had plumbing and was wired for electricity which may have been provided by a generator.

The cabin is now completely open to the elements and the chimney has fallen over against the roof. It is only a matter of time before this building collapses, and the last traces of life in this Dismal Swamp hunting camp disappear.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The way to Lake Drummond

This Feeder Ditch connects the Dismal Swamp Canal with Lake Drummond

Lake Drummond is a shallow freshwater lake that covers over 3,000 acres in the middle of the Dismal Swamp. Curiously, it is the highest point in the swamp and boats going into the lake have to lifted over the rim of the lake. We launched the inflatable in the Dismal Swamp Canal with the intention of entering the Feeder Ditch and following it to Lake Drummond. This was our first trip in the boat this year and we had technical difficulties about halfway up the Feeder Ditch that forced us to turn back before we reached the lake.

The Feeder Ditch is bounded by high banks. We expected to be surrounded by marshland, but when we stopped and climbed up the bank, we found a one lane dirt road running parallel to the ditch and open farmland beyond.

The water here is stained a deep brown by the high concentrations of tannins, and the reflections are most vivid. In places the reflections and the foliage on the bank merge into an almost abstract pattern of light and shadow.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dismal Swamp Canal

Great Dismal Swamp - Virginia

The Dismal Swamp Canal opened in 1805, and is the oldest continuously operating canal in the United States. Work on the canal started in 1793 and the twenty-two mile long waterway was dug entirely by hand, using slave labor. Canal transportation was the lifeblood of this region's economy during most of the 19th century but commercial use of the canal tapered off in the early 20th century and now the canal is owned by the Federal Government and maintained as part of the Intracoastal Highway.

These pictures were taken in Virginia, just a few miles north of the North Carolina line.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tobacco Barn

Camden County, North Carolina 

Next week, pictures of the Dismal Swamp from my recent trip to North Carolina.  Also, this Sunday is the third Sunday and we will have a picture of a lovely country church located in the George Washington National Forest near the Virginia/West Virginia border.

Thanks for reading Photography In Place, and have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 Opening Day

Cedar Grove, North Carolina

Play Ball!

At one time many small towns throughout rural America fielded baseball teams. Dorothea Lange made this photograph in 1939 while photographing in North Carolina for the Farm Security Administration. Her caption for the photo reads:
"Fourth of July, near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Rural filling stations become community centers and general loafing grounds. The men in the baseball suits are on a local team which will play a game nearby. They are called the Cedargrove Team."
Library of Congress  - LC-USF34-020010-E

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Coastal Town

Engelhard, North Carolina 

March 22, 2012 - It was nearly time for lunch when we arrived in Engelhard, a small farming and fishing community on Pamilco Sound. The village was founded in 1711 and is one of the oldest settlements in North Carolina.

Tomorrow: Engelhard's fishing fleet.

Monday, April 2, 2012

North Carolina Light

Near Stumpy Point, North Carolina 

March 22, 2012 - Traveling south on North Carolina highway 264 on a warm spring morning. It is still March but the mosquitoes are out. We came here in the fall of 2010,  but a fire was burning in the swamps. Smoke blanketed the entire region and the road was closed. Now we are back, and the day looks promising.

We turn down a gravel road and drive out to the edge of the bay. All is quiet in the morning sun and the marshes extend nearly as far as the eye can see. It could just be my imagination, but light seems to have a special quality near large bodies of water. A breeze stirs the surface of the water and briefly subdues the mosquitoes. Under the lone tree I gaze into the flat distance, happy to be back on the coast.

Tomorrow: down the road a few miles, the small town of Engelhard, North Carolina.