Monday, March 31, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Shenandoah Valley farm

Luray, Virginia 

This farmhouse just north of Luray does not appear to be occupied, but the fields and barns are part of a working farm. The slanting sun of a late afternoon in February casts shadows across the faded clapboards of the old house. The Blue Ridge Mountains are in the distance.

Thanks for reading Photography In Place. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Walk on a snowy morning

Shenandoah River State Park

On the last night of my three day stay at Shenandoah River State Park in February, snow flurries were predicted for the next morning. I woke up and fixed breakfast just as snow started to filter down from the gray skies. I had planned to drive up into the mountains to visit Elizabeth Furnace, but the flurries turned into fast falling, large flakes which soon turned the ground white. Not a good day for a drive in the mountains. I grabbed the camera and went for a walk in the snow.

The Shenandoah River fades into the falling snow from Culler's Overlook

The snow fell rapidly. It had been snowing for less than an hour when this photograph was made.

 It was still snowing when I returned from my walk. My little travel trailer looked lonesome and cold, but it was warm inside. I made a nice, hot cup of tea and watched the snow fall outside the window until it was time to fix lunch.

Friday, March 21, 2014

River cabin

Shenandoah River State Park 

This one room cabin faces the Shenandoah River but is a couple of hundred yards from the river's edge. It is empty and no longer in use. This building does not  appear to be a park building; it was probably on the land before the park was formed. I cannot guess what it was used for.

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Along the river bank

Teasel - Shenandoah River State Park 

Common names for Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris) include card teasel, gypsy combs, church-broom, clothier's-brush, shepherd's-thistle and venus-cup. Teasel is native to Eurasia and north Africa, and probably came to North America with early settlers. The seed-head is not only ornamental, but was used to card wool and make mohair fabric both in the home and in textile factories.

Teasel seeds float, propagating along streams and rivers throughout North America, which explains the abundance of teasel along the banks of the Shenandoah River, where these specimens were photographed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Country lane

Shenandoah River State Park

Spread along over five miles of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, the Shenandoah River State Park occupies 1600 acres of mostly steep woodland, but with some river bottom-land which appears to have been farmed before the park was built in 1999.

At the end of February, I spent three days photographing in and around the Park, while camped in a travel trailer. The picture above was taken near the start of a two mile walk on Sunday afternoon, with temperatures in the 60s, sunshine and dark clouds over the mountains to the west.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday morning

Frederic Edwin Church - Campfire Near Mount Katahdin - c.1877

One of the problems of exploring new places is that as you travel further from "home base" it becomes necessary to stay overnight or longer in order to see and do the things you wish. With this in mind, I recently purchased a small travel trailer that can serve as a home away from home and make it possible to spend an extended period of time in one area.

The trailer is only 14 feet long, but has most of the conveniences of home, with a toilet and shower, a kitchen with sink, cook top and refrigerator, a dinette that makes into a double bed, a propane furnace and hot water heater. In a campground with electric hook-up, a microwave oven and air-conditioning complete the amenities.

At the end of February I took advantage of a few days with temps above freezing and spent two nights at the Shenandoah River State Park which is near Front Royal, Virginia, about 60 miles from my home. I spent three days photographing in the park and the surrounding area, fixing my meals and spending the nights in the trailer. Next week I will post some of the pictures that I took on this trip. It was an interesting three days, with one day of 60 degree weather, one clear and cold day, and snow fall on the last day.

The concept of camping has changed since Frederic Edwin Church painted his Maine camp scene in 1877. In place of primitive lean-to shelters and a roaring campfire in the back country, we now "camp" with the comforts of home. Folks often refer to travel trailers and RVs as "campers", but to me it is not really camping. On the other hand, I have no wish to sleep on the cold, hard ground.

All set up on an unseasonably warm February afternoon for three days at Shenandoah River State Park. The trailer is small and easy to tow, perfect for one or two people. This is the Sportsmen Classic 14RB model by K-Z Manufacturing.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tracks in the snow

Greene County, Virginia 

All of the pictures this week were taken last Friday morning. The sky was overcast and snow still lingered, but in spite of the gray and damp, there was some promise of spring in the air.

Meanwhile, the signs around the bird feeders are encouraging. The grackles are back and last week a flock of red-wing blackbirds passed through. The water in the birdbath finally thawed and a male mourning dove is attempting to unfreeze the heart of a very pretty little female dove. So far she has been coy, neither accepting or rejecting his courtship. He follows her everywhere and they sit together sometimes on a winter-bare branch of the cherry tree outside our kitchen window. Ah, spring!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014


Luray, Virginia

All of the pictures from Luray this week were taken on a windy and cold afternoon last month. It was not an ideal day for photography. The winter sun was harsh and there was not a cloud in the sky to soften the light, but I was there, my time was limited, and so I had to make the best of it. Later in the day when the sun was low in the sky conditions improved somewhat but it was still cold. Snow was falling the next morning. It has been a long winter.

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

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Virginia Oak Tannery

Luray, Virginia 

Surrounded by hardwood forests and with plenty of water available from nearby streams, Luray was an ideal location for a leather tannery. The Borst Tannery operated in Luray up until 1863 when it was burned by the Union Army. In 1882, the Virginia Oak Tannery was built  and operated in Luray until 1980, when tanning operations ceased.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

1955 Spring Sale

Luray, Virginia 

Murals are more and more commonplace in small towns. On a recent visit to Luray, I spotted this mural on the side of a building as I was driving out of town. There are three scenes by local artist Jennifer Bradt depicting a 1950s era Ford dealership painted on the walls the former Ford Motor Company building. Look for the other two scenes tomorrow and Wednesday.

Luray, best known for the Luray Caverns,  is located in the upper Shenandoah Valley.