Friday, March 29, 2013

Bull Run

Prince William County, Virginia 

This picture was taken in December, but it looks warmer than the pictures I have taken in March. When will spring arrive?

Last week I was in North Carolina and the weather there was also unseasonably cool and not very like spring. Next week I will be posting pictures from the trip, including visits to the Currituck Beach, Cape Hatteras and Bodie Island light houses. Hope you will stop by for a visit.

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

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Winter morning at the lake

Greene County, Virginia

The other morning I walked down to the lake. I hadn't been there for a while and I wanted to see what was up with the geese and ducks and swans. After the recent rain and snow, the water was muddy and brown, and the woods were bleak looking except for a slight blush of spring reds and greens.

A group of turkey buzzards perching in the tall pine trees close to the bank flew off as I approached, and a few ducks flushed up from the edge of the water. A light rain started to fall. Across the lake, three Bufflehead ducks (Bucephala albeola) were feeding close to the shore, too far away to photograph. This is the first time I have seen Buffleheads on the lake and hoped to get a good picture of them, but they swam out of sight and did not return.

A blue heron flew in and perched on a log that had fallen in the water. After a minute, he flew away.

After the heron flew off, a pair of geese swam by. Away across the lake a rooster crowed. The mute swans were nowhere to be seen.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Confederate Breastworks

Shenandoah Mountain Pass, Virginia 

In April of 1852, General Edward "Allegheny" Johnson moved his small Confederate army to the top of Shenandoah Mountain and built Fort Edward Johnson to defend the town of Staunton, 25 miles to the east, and to protect the strategic Parkersburg Turnpike. Over one mile of trenches, known as "breastworks" were dug into the frozen ground, and some 3000 soldiers camped on the cold and rocky mountain, prepared to stop the Union advance from the west. In May, 1862, Stonewall Jackson came to Johnson's assistance and the Union army was forced to retreat in the Battle of McDowell.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Third Sunday - March, 2013

Highland County, Virginia 

The Headwaters Presbyterian Church was built in 1899 as a chapel by the McDowell Presbyterian Church.

In May 1862 Stonewall Jackson crossed the mountains to the east and passed through this area to engage the Union forces at McDowell, just a few miles west of Head Waters. The Battle of McDowell was the first battle of Stonewall Jackson's successful Valley Campaign.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sugar cat

Highland County, Virginia

This bobcat stands guard In the rafters of Duff's Sugar House. He carries a small jug of maple syrup around his neck

Hope you have enjoyed our visit to the Highland Maple Festival. This Sunday our Third Sunday church is in Head Waters, a small mountain town in Highland County. Stop in for a visit.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Duff's Sugar Camp

Highland County, Virginia 

During the Highland Maple Festival, serveral sugar camps open their doors to visitors who wish to see how maple syrup is produced. Tim Duff and his family operate Duff's Sugar House, the smallest syrup producer in the county. It is a labor of love, and an attempt to preserve traditional methods of sugaring that are nearly lost.

The maple trees are tapped with spiles made of elderberry, the old fashioned way, and the sap or "sugar water" is collected by hand in buckets. The sap is brought to the Sugar House for cooking.

Duff's Sugar House

The sap is cooked for 12 to 14 hours in a wood-fired pan, which requires constant attention.

After being cooked in the pan, the remaining dark liquid is transferred to a sugar kettle for final "finishing." Cooking in the kettle takes another 5 to 6 hours, the syrup is cooled for 24 hours and then is filtered and bottled.

Mr. Duff and his iron sugar kettle, which dates back to 1885

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Highland Maple Festival

Monterey, Virginia

The annual Highland Maple Festival has been held in Highland County, Virginia since 1958 to promote and celebrate the region's production of sugar maple products. The main activities of the festival, part street fair and part crafts show, are hosted in the town of Monterey on the second and third weekend of March each year. If you are in the area, it is not too late to plan to attend this coming weekend. Highland County is often referred to as "Virginia's Switzerland" and the drive through the Allegheny Mountains alone makes the trip worthwhile.

Foot-powered spring pole lathe

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shenandoah Mountain Pass

 Highland County, Virginia 
Tuesday, 13th May, 1862
"I have been much struck with the wild & mountain scenery. The Shenandoah Mt.Pass is grand indeed, you asend to the very top of the mountain & from there you see as far as the eyes can reach, Mtn. after Mtn. in every variety of shape & grandeur whilst away down below a little valley & stream with winding road, winding around from Mt. to Mt. to desend the grade."
 Diary of Frank B Jones
Major, 2nd VA Infantry

Monday, March 11, 2013

Room for rent

Greene County, Virginia 

This weekend my wife and I went to the Highland Maple Festival in the mountains of western Virginia close to the West Virginia border. The snow was still on the mountains but it was a lovely, almost spring-like day. Starting tomorrow I will be posting pictures from this trip, including a visit to a working sugar camp. Hope you will join us.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Foggy road

Greene County, Virginia 

Seldom do I go for Photoshop "effects", but I liked how the vignette suggests roundness in this photo.

Why do photographs have to be rectangular? Why not round, or triangular, or trapezoidal or octagonal or some free-form shape that suits the subject like Brook Jenson's photos in the shape of  uchiwa, Japanese fans. Take a look here, and here. Why not?

That's it for another week and I thank you for reading Photography In Place. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March snow

Greene County, Virginia 

Yesterday we had the first, and most likely only, snowstorm of the winter here in central Virginia. The snow started falling overnight and by Wednesday morning we had about 10 inches of very heavy, wet snow.

Here are a few pictures taken in the snow yesterday with my new Nikon P7700 point and shoot camera. I have had the camera only a few weeks and will post my initial impressions of it shortly. All of the photos were taken in RAW mode with minimal processing in Lightroom 4.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Metal chicken

Greene County, Virginia 

For the past several weeks the weather around here has been uncooperative and it has been hard to get out and take pictures. I did manage to pull myself out of my mid-winter funk a couple of times to take pictures in the Green Springs Historic District which I hope to turn into a long term project.  And then there is the yard and the area close by the house, where I go with the camera just because I enjoy taking pictures. I think of it as practice and I like the challenge of trying to see something  fresh in an environment that is so utterly familiar.

A trip to Yosemite is not on my horizon any time soon, but a trip around my yard requires no planning or expense. And after all, where else can I go to photograph a metal rooster?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013


Highway 61 South of Vicksburg, Mississippi 

With the arrival of March, Spring is just around the corner. The winter storms that pummeled New England have skirted past us so far this winter but a big snowstorm in March would not be unheard of.  Going down the driveway this morning I noticed that the daffodils under the dogwood by the road are up, a sure sign that spring cannot be too far away.

Enjoy the weekend  and thanks for reading Photography In Place.