Monday, April 29, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Travels: Currituck Beach Lighthouse #3

Light Keepers Quarters - Corolla, North Carolina 

Nathaniel G. Burris was the first head light keeper at the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. In addition to maintaining and operating the light, the light keepers helped out in rescue operations whenever there was a shipwreck nearby. Burris writes in the logbook:
"November 26, 1877 - Some bodies from the wreck of 'Huron' came ashore near this station. More came on the 27, 28, and 29. The light keepers helped bury them."
"January 31, 1878 - About 11AM I was informed there was a wreck on shore below here. I immediately hastened to the spot. We did all we could to save the passengers and crew and afterwards minister to their wants. The vessel is a total wreck and most of the cargo lost. Near a hundred of the passengers and crew remained and were fed at this station."
This smaller house was moved to the grounds in the 1920s to house the 3rd Assistant Light Keeper. After the lighthouse was electrified and automated there was no need for an on-site light keeper and  the buildings and grounds fell into near ruin. Restoration began in 1980.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse is still in service as an active aid to navigation.

Much of the information in this post, including the quotations from the light keeper's log, came from the November/December 2012 issue of  Lighthouse Digest.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Travels: Currituck Beach Lighthouse #2

Corolla, North Carolina 

Above: the view of Currituck Sound from the top of the lighthouse.

Left: Climbing the iron stairs to the top.

Below: Looking down on the grounds from the top of the lighthouse. The large house in the center housed the keeper and assistant keeper. The smaller building on the right was a dwelling for a third keeper. On the left is a small storage building.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Travels: Currituck Beach Lighthouse #1

Corolla, North Carolina

The treacherous waters off the coast of North Carolina's Outer Banks have earned the name "Graveyard of the Atlantic" because thousands of unlucky ships and sailors have met their end there. After the Civil War, shipping increased along this dangerous route and the need for better navigational aids was recognized.

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse, also known as the Corolla Lighthouse, was completed under the supervision of Dexter Stetson, who had also overseen the construction of  the Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses. The first order light shone over the Atlantic for the first time on December 1, 1875.

"Currituck" is derived from a Poteskeet Indian word meaning "the land of the wild goose."

The lighthouse, seen here from Currituck Sound, stands 162 feet tall and is visible 18 miles out to sea.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spring Cardinal

Juvenile Cardinal - Greene County, Virginia 

Third Sunday is coming up this weekend and we will be posting pictures of the Gentry United Methodist Church in Albemarle County, Virginia. Stop by on Sunday to see this country church building which dates from 1846.

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

First Daffodils

Greene County, Virginia 

These miniature daffodils were the first flowers to bloom in our yard this spring. My wife picked a bouquet and put them in a vase. A week later they are wilted, but still beautiful. Brief flowering spring—life is short.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


If you are wondering why there is no regular post today and missed my announcement on Friday, Photography In Place is operating on a new schedule. We will be posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday instead of five days a week as in the past. See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finally Spring

Greene County, Virginia 

Last week a couple of warm days, a couple of hot days and a rain shower finally kick-started Spring here in central Virginia. Suddenly there is color everywhere. This week we will be looking at a few signs of emerging spring. The redbuds are blooming, and the grass is turning green.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Old Oregon Inlet Coast Guard Station

Dare County, North Carolina 

On the northern tip of Pea Island stands the former Coast Guard Station. Built in 1897, it was vacated by the Coast Guard in 1988. The abandoned building was vandalized and nearly buried by sand but efforts to restore the Station, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, were begun in 2009.
Starting next week, Photography In Place will be posting on a new schedule. Instead of posting every weekday as we have since beginning in 2010, we will post regularly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Hope you will visit often.

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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Travels: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse #3

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

Lightkeepers and their families lived on the grounds of the lighthouse. It was often an isolated and lonely existence, although the Cape Hatteras lightkeepers were more fortunate than most in this regard, with several life stations and the town of Buxton nearby. The structure pictured above, known as the Double Keepers' Quarters, dates from 1854 and housed the families of the two assistant lightkeepers. Below is the Principal Keeper's Quarters, built in 1871.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Travels: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse #1

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina 

After leaving the Bodie Island Lighthouse, we drove south across Oregon inlet and on to Cape Hatteras. The day was cold and windy, not a day to be on the beach.

In 1999 the lighthouse, on the brink of being destroyed by the encroaching ocean, was moved more than half a mile to its current location. This picture of the the lighthouse in its new location was taken very near the original site where the lighthouse stood for 130 years, At the time the move was undertaken the lighthouse was a mere 120 feet from the ocean.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Squirrel, locust tree

Greene County, Virginia 

The other evening just before sunset I was looking out the kitchen window and spotted this squirrel in our locust tree. I went to get the camera, thinking he would most likely be gone before I could get a picture. But when I got back he hadn't moved and seemed to be enjoying a quiet moment in the early spring sunshine.

The locust tree is quite immune to the charms of spring. Other trees are starting to display ripe buds and will soon be unfurling their leaves, but the locust shows no sign of life. It will be the last tree in the yard to put out leaves, but the cool locust shade will be worth the wait when the hot days of summer arrive.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Travels: Coastal North Carolina #3

Bodie Island Lighthouse - Dare County, North Carolina 

On October 1, 1872, the Bodie Island Lighthouse was lit for the first time. This 156 feet tall structure is the third lighthouse to be build in the vicinity. The first light was built in 1847 but was constructed so poorly that it became unsafe and was razed in 1859. The second light, built in 1859, was destroyed by Confederate soldiers in 1861. Restoration of the current lighthouse is nearly complete and will be open to the public on April 19th.

The 1871 first-order Fresnel lens was removed from the tower during the restoration and the 344 glass prisms were cleaned. The lens was being re-installed the day that we visited,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Travels: Coastal North Carolina #2

Wanchese, North Carolina

Looking out across Roanoke Sound from the fishing village of Wanchese, the Bodie Island Lighthouse is visible in the distance. When I visited the lighthouse in December, restoration work was underway and the tower was surrounded by scaffolding. The scaffolding is down now and the restoration is nearly complete. Later this month, the work will be complete and the public will be able to climb to the top of the lighthouse for the first time ever.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse is our next stop.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Travels: Coastal North Carolina #1

Waterfront - Wanchese, North Carolina 

Last month, on the first day of Spring, I left work early and drove to North Carolina for a long weekend on the coast. The weather was not very spring-like. In fact, the weather was better when I was in North Carolina right after Christmas.

Thursday morning was cloudy, windy, cold and the sky promised rain, or perhaps snow. It was not the kind of weather for a day on the water, so we decided to drive down to the fishing village of Wanchese for lunch.

As luck would have it, we arrived at the Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant on the day they opened for the season and from our table overlooking the waterfront, we planned the rest of our day.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Opening Day - 2013

Dorothea Lange - Farmers' baseball game in the country - Arkansas, 1938 

Play Ball!

Today is the first day of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. I expect there are going to be some cool, damp games for the first couple of weeks given the weather lately. But nevertheless, it is spring when the robins arrive, and the Orioles and Cardinals take to the field.

Baseball hasn't changed much over the years, but this year the Houston Astros will move to the American League, and inter-league games will be played all season. Everything changes, I guess, but the robins in  my yard this spring looked the same as ever. Play ball!