Friday, June 29, 2012

Fat Freda's

Colonial Beach, Virginia

This past week has been perfect early summer weather here in Virginia, with clear skies, plenty of sunshine and cool breezes keeping the temperatures comfortable. But hot weather is heading our way this weekend so it will be a good time to find a cool retreat.

Hot or cool, have a great weekend, and thanks for reading Photography in Place.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Riverview Inn

Colonial Beach, Virginia 

The Riverview Inn was built in 1949 and evokes the "modern" architecture of the 1950s. Line the street with  period automobiles and you have a 1950s movie set.

The sign may not be original. Earlier photos show the hotel operating under a different name with a much smaller and less decorative square sign. The current sign seems quite appropriate for the building; perhaps a little too tall, but nicely reminiscent of the era.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Evening on the Potomac

Colonial Beach, Virginia

The first river trip of the season was this past weekend. Other than some rain Friday evening as we left, the weather was perfect and Saturday morning we headed down the Potomac to Colonial Beach, where we spent the day. This week we will be looking at some pictures from this trip and exploring some of the older buildings and architecture in the town of Colonial Beach.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Herons on Monkey Island

Currituck County, North Carolina 

Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) are common along the Potomac River and occasionally one will visit the lake where I live, but I had never seen either of the two species of heron in the picture above before visiting Monkey Island. (I did not see any Great Blue Herons on the island.)

The Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor), pictured on the left above, is listed in my older Peterson Field Guide as the Louisiana Heron. The name was officially changed in 1983 to Tricolored Heron to eliminate the local reference to a bird that ranges up and down the eastern seaboard and all the way into Central America.

The Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), coming in for a landing on the left, is much smaller than the Great Blue Herons which I am familiar with. They make themselves right at home in egret colonies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monkey Island History

The Pamunkey tribe of Algonquin Indians were the early inhabitants of Monkey Island and there is said to be  remains of an Indian burial ground on the northern end of the island. Ownership of the island changed hands several times in the late 1800s and in 1919, the Monkey Island Hunt Club was established.

For a first-hand account of life on Monkey Island in the early 1900s, visit here

The roof of the abandoned clubhouse is barely visible through the trees

There are several buildings still standing on the island, including the original clubhouse and adjacent caretakers cottage.  The hunt club closed in 1976. The land was subsequently purchased by the Nature Conservancy and then sold to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, the island is a wildlife refuge and the ruins of man's habitation will soon be overwhelmed by nature.

From left to right, a Snowy Egret, a Little Blue Heron. a Cattle Egret, an immature Little Blue Heron, a Great Egret and overhead in flight, another Little Blue Heron. I am not entirely certain of my identification so if I am wrong about any of these, I hope someone will set me straight.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monkey Island

On a clear and calm Saturday morning at the beginning of May, my friend and I launched the inflatable boat into Whalehead Bay near Corolla, North Carolina. Two small children were paddling two small kayaks around the launching area under the watchful eye of their mother.

"I'm ready for adventure!" called out the boy who was 8 or 9 years old to his little sister as they cautiously ventured toward a half dozen or so Canada geese who were dabbling in the shallow water nearby.

We left the dock behind and ventured into Currituck sound, ready, if not for adventure, at least for a pleasant morning on the water. Soon, Monkey Island appeared on the horizon, and we decided to make the trip.

Monkey Island

Monkey Island is an uninhabited island owned by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge. The island hosts a large colony of wading birds. Even from a distance hundreds of birds were visible

From a distance, hundreds of birds were visible in the trees

There are several species of birds on the island, including Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Tri-colored (Louisiana) Herons, Glossy Ibis, and White Ibis. The vast majority of birds we saw on the island that day were egrets.

An egret rookery

Access to the island is restricted, so photography is difficult. These pictures were taken with a long lens from near the shore, and are often at or near 100% crop. But it was hard to pass up the opportunity to see and hear and photograph so many birds in one place. Adventure enough for one day

Tomorrow: a bit of Monkey Island History.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rainy day trackside

Ivor, Virginia 

The Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad was completed in 1858. According to legend, William Mahone, the chief engineer who supervised the construction of the railroad, and his wife Otelia traveled on the newly opened railway naming stations along the way. Otelia was reading Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe, and the book provided names for the places they passed through. The little town of Ivor's name came from the Scottish clan McIvor. 

In more modern times, the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad became a part of the Norfolk & Western which is now the Norfolk Southern.

 Ivor, Virginia

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Culpeper Machine and Supply Co.

Culpeper, Virginia

Built around 1900, the Culpeper Produce Company building is part of the late 19th, early 20th century commercial/industrial street-scape along Wausau Place, just a couple of blocks from the train station. The arrival of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in 1853 spurred the growth of Culpeper into an important transportation center. Today the old Southern Railway mainline, now Norfolk Southern, runs behind these buildings.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baby Jim's Snack Bar

Culpeper, Virginia 

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I had to go to Culpeper, which is about 35 minutes north of us. I carried along my Pentax MX camera loaded with Fuji Acros 100  film. I have passed by Baby Jim's sign many times and decided that I would finally get a photo of it. You never know when it will be too late.

While I was taking pictures of Baby Jim's, a man came up to me and introduced himself. He said his father started Baby Jim's in the late 1940s and the sign dates from around 1953. The business is still in the family.

I didn't have much time that day, but did take some more black and white photos around town with the old Pentax, and we will be looking at them this week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Currituck Sound

Currituck County, North Carolina 

"I sit in happy meditation on my rock pondering . . .  upon the ways of trout and men. How like fish we are: ready, nay eager, to seize upon whatever new thing some wind of circumstance shakes down upon the river of time! And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook. Even so, I think there is some virtue in eagerness, whether its object prove true or false. How utterly dull would be a wholly prudent man, or trout, or world!" - Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
 Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.