Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn fog

Shenandoah National Park 

Fall arrived a few days early here in central Virginia.

A couple of days before the autumnal equinox, a cold front moved through the regions bringing rain and much cooler temperatures. Fog and rain covered the mountains, and the first colors of autumn began to appear through the mist.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Western wildlife

Rocky Mountain National Park 

At breakfast we discussed the possibility of seeing wildlife up in the mountains—elk, bear, maybe even bighorn sheep. And we did see several elk and a black bear that day. The bear was in a tree and partially hidden by the foliage, but the elk were in the open. They are magnificent animals, much larger than I anticipated and with enormous antlers.

When I packed for the trip, I decided to take only my DSLR with my 17-70mm as a good all-purpose lens. For one thing I didn't want to lug a bunch of gear through the airports, and for another, nobody wants to be around me when I get engrossed in taking photographs. I was in Colorado to visit family, not to take pictures.

Consequently, I was without the long lens needed to photograph western wildlife, except for the friendly little fellow in the photo above, who came close and posed for me. The elk were more stand-offish.

Thanks for reading Photography In Place, and whether you travel or stay home this weekend, be safe and enjoy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Trees again

Rocky Mountain National Park

As much as I enjoyed (aside from a little altitude sickness) the rocky grandeur of the high mountains , it was good to see trees again when we reached the lower elevations. The open vistas of the west are very different from what I am used to here in the east where I live. But I am an easterner at heart. I love the trees.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mountain views

Rocky Mountain National Park 

At an altitude of nearly 12,000 feet, I was feeling a bit lightheaded and woozy. We did not stop on the way down, so all of my mountain pictures were taken from the moving car. I think my daughter was in a hurry to get me down the mountain before I threw up in her car.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Third Sunday - September, 2015

Frederick County, Virginia 

Meadow Mills Union Chapel - 1915

This wood frame church is located just down the road from Belle Grove Plantation and is currently known as Meadow Mills Church of the Brethren. There is a more modern brick addition built on to the back of this building.  The somewhat ornate bell tower on this architecturally plain church is of particular interest.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A touch of autumn

Shenandoah National Park 

The autumnal equinox arrives next week here in North America. The nights have already started to turn cool and soon the crisp fall sunshine will illuminate the fall colors. This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago along the Skyline Drive.

Whether you are looking forward to the arrival of autumn or spring where you are, have a great weekend and thanks for reading Photography In Place. Don't forget to check in on Sunday for our monthly Third Sunday post.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Along the Limberlost Trail

Shenandoah National Park 

Addie Pollock purchased 100 large hemlock trees in 1920 to save this area from logging. Her husband, George Pollock, established the Skyline Resort in what is now the Shenandoah National Park and was  involved in the establishment of the park. He named the hemlock forest "Limberlost Forest" after the 1909 Gene Stratton-Porter novel Girl of the Limberlost.

The hemlock trees are all gone now, destroyed by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Shenandoah National Park: Remembering

Home of a mountain family who will be resettled on new land 

Photographer Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985) was just 20 years old when he came to Shenandoah National Park in October, 1935, on assignment with the Resettlement Administration. His pictures of the land and of the people who would soon be removed from the land document a way of life that would disappear forever.

At the time of the park's creation, little thought was given to preserving the story of the mountain folks who were removed from their homes. Most of the houses and farm buildings were dismantled and the material used in the construction of resettlement housing.  Some were left to rot away as the forests reclaimed the clearings. In October, 2000, a forest fire started by an arsonist burned across 24,000 acres in the parks Central District, destroying all but a few of the remaining historical artifacts.

Dicee Corbin's cabin

House in Nicholson Hollow

Mountain cabin, Corbin Hollow

(All photographs were taken in  October, 1935 by Arthur Rothstein and are archived in the Library of Congress. Captions are from the LOC catalog.)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Shenandoah National Park: Remembering

Corbin Hollow Boy 

Last week I spent a couple of nights camping in Shenandoah National Park. Late summer wildflowers were in bloom and a touch of autumn color was beginning to creep into the trees on top of the mountain. In the park one enjoys nature seemingly undisturbed, but the natural beauty that we enjoy now came at a human cost.

The park was authorized in 1926, and in the following years hundreds of families living within the boundaries of the newly created park were moved off land that, in many cases, had been lived on for generations going back to the 18th century.

Children of Charlie Nicholson who is being resettled on new land

In order to justify relocating these mountain dwellers, they were often depicted as barely civilized, ignorant, illiterate squatters isolated from the progress of the 20th century. Park promoters, journalists, photographers, psychologists and other “outsiders” focused their attention on the most disadvantaged inhabitants. In the October 19, 1930 edition of the New York Times, a headline declared “'Lost' Communities In Blue Ridge Hills: Centres Where Intelligence Practically Is Missing Reported by Psychologists.”  Sensational and often inaccurate articles such as this did little to win public sympathy for the mountain people. More recent archaeological and documentary evidence suggest that the reality of life in the Blue Ridge was richer and more complex than the contemporary accounts allowed. It was a time of sadness and heartbreak for families forced to leave their home. 

Russ Nicholson peeling apples

Over the years, the mountains have returned to a wild state. Pasture and corn field, garden and orchard have been reclaimed by forest. Houses and outbuildings collapsed in decay and some were destroyed by forest fires. Today, few traces of the mountain folks existence remain.

There is certainly a case to be made that the creation of the park and the displacement of the mountain inhabitants was for the best. Surely their way of life would be doomed by the extraordinary changes that came about after World War II and continue to this day. It is against those changes that the Shenandoah National Park stands, preserving a mountain environment and protecting it from developers. There will be no shopping malls along the Skyline Drive. For that, we remember the people who sacrificed their homes and their way of life. 

 Dicee Corbin

(All photographs were taken in  October, 1935 by Arthur Rothstein and are archived in the Library of Congress. Captions are from the LOC catalog.)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015