Friday, January 29, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January Snow

Greene County, Virginia 

Yesterday I went for a long walk in the snow. The path was a familiar one, close to the house, and I have taken many pictures here over the years. But snow puts a new complexion on things, and encourages us to look at familiar scenes with a fresh eye.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Botanical #32

Greene County, Virginia

It has been six months since I last posted a picture from the Botanical series. Nearly two feet of snow fell here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge this past weekend, and this photograph, taken in May, 2013, is a reminder of pleasant days to come.

Friday, January 22, 2016

December fields

Washington County, North Carolina

If you live on the east coast of the United States, a snowstorm is on the way. The weather forecasters have been talking it up for several days and the grocery stores were mobbed Wednesday with people stocking up. Sometimes I wonder if the dire weather predictions are sponsored by the grocery stores. As I waited in the checkout line, I noticed the man in front of me had only two items—a snow shovel and a corkscrew. It pays to be prepared.

Stay safe this weekend wherever your are, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

December fields

Washington County, North Carolina 

The Monday after Christmas was damp and chilly in eastern North Carolina.

I stopped along the road and looked across the fields that stretch out into the flat landscape as far as the eye can see. In the distance I see the headlights of an approaching car, but it is too far away for the sound to reach me.  Winter is in the fields. It will be dark soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

White fence

East Lake, North Carolina

This fence is in the yard of an old church which sits beside a dirt road in a very rural part of eastern North Carolina. An old chimney stands in the field beyond the fence. There is no sign to identify the church, and although the grounds and small cemetery behind this fence are well tended, the church does not appear to be in use.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Wanchese, North Carolina

The late morning air coming off the water was cold and damp and gray clouds covered the sky. Maybe it would rain later. The Bridgot Denise lay alongside the dock with her engines idling and work lights shining in the rigging even though it was broad daylight. Stacks of packing crates and pallets were piled here and there and the ground was littered with green fish nets. They looked hopelessly tangled. An orange extension cord snaked across the parking lot. I couldn't see where it went. There was no one about.

Presently a man came out from somewhere, got into a car and drove off in a hurry. No time for questions. I wondered if the Bridgot Denise had just come in or if it was getting ready to go out. How does one pronounce Bridgot anyway? What do the fishermen catch and put in those packing crates. A L I E N.

 Life is full of little mysteries.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Fisherman's Wharf

Wanchese, North Carolina

The week after Christmas found me in the swamps and farmland of eastern North Carolina. The first day I had fried oysters for lunch at O'Neal's Sea Harvest in Wanchese. It is a bit off the beaten path, and seems to cater more to locals, but the fresh seafood is great. Another great place for seafood in Wanchese is Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant but it was closed for the season. The mural in the photo is painted on the side of Fisherman's Wharf.

After lunch I headed across to the mainland, and spent the afternoon dodging the rain and taking photographs which I will be posting this week.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Time it was . . .

Timberville, Virginia 

"Long ago . . . it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you."
Paul Simon - Bookends

When I was in Timberville last month, the building in this picture stirred a vague memory in me, the way a smell, or an old song suddenly makes you feel another place and time.

I am pretty sure that I have been through Timberville before, but it would have been 40-some years ago, and I don't remember. Did I photograph this building years ago, or do I just remember a photograph that I have seen somewhere? Memory is unreliable. Photographs not only preserve memories, but sometimes perhaps they create memories.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tracks through town

Timberville, Virginia

Railroad tracks often run through the most interesting parts of town. Perhaps not the parts that the Chamber of Commerce would like you to see, but the parts that are older, maybe a little dilapidated but full of character. When I look for places to photograph, following the tracks usually pays off.

The tracks that run through Timberville were rusted, making me think that the line was not in service. But as I walked along the rails, I noticed new ballast that looked like it had been recently installed. I later learned that  the tracks are part of Norfolk-Southern's Chesapeake Western line that runs north out of Harrisonburg, Va. Apparently there is very little traffic through Timberville.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Overgrown barn

Timberville, Virginia

In early December I took the camper over to the Shenandoah Valley for a couple of days. One of the days I spent at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, which I suppose is technically not in the Shenandoah Valley although the the town is on the Shenandoah River. The next day was all cloudless skies and harsh winter sunlight—not a good day for photography. But I went out anyway with the idea of scouting  locations that I could come back to later. By the time I got to Timberville, some clouds had rolled in and the skies had darkened and I was able to take some pictures.

This old barn is right in town, behind a house that faces the main street. One of the things that intrigues me about small towns in rural areas is the way the farmland comes right up to the town's back doors. The barn has seen better days though, and appears to be unused and neglected.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Bridges / Tunnel

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia 

The railroad tunnel through Maryland Heights across the Potomac River from Harper's Ferry was constructed in 1893-94 and modified in 1931. The steel Pratt truss bridge on the right also dates from 1894 and carries CSX Shenandoah Subdivision trains across the Potomac toward Winchester, Va. The bridge on the left was built in 1931 and now serves the CSX Cumberland Subdivision which runs toward Martinsburg, WV.

Looking across the 1894 Pratt truss bridge toward the western portal of the tunnel.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend, and thanks for reading Photography In Place.

 Builders plate on the Pratt truss bridge

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lock 33

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia 

This old stone house and store was built in 1840 at the base of Maryland Heights just across the Potomac River from Harper's Ferry. Located at Lock 33 on the C&O Canal, the building is often mistaken for a lock house. A wooden structure attached to the building housed the Salty Dog Tavern, which no longer stands.

During the Civil War, Harper's Ferry was almost impossible to defend, and changed hands 14 times. Confederate artillery commanding the town from Maryland Heights led to the surrender of Union forces there in 1862, but the strategically important town was fought over throughout the war.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Harper's Ferry, West Virginia 

Early in December I spent a day in Harper's Ferry and would like to share some of the photographs from that visit this week.

Harper's Ferry was a key center of transportation and industry at the time of the Civil War and the town changed hands several times. On the morning I arrived, the town was occupied by Union reenactors.

The railroad trestle in the picture above is in active use, but all was quiet in the morning except for this lone soldier walking under the tracks. The Shenandoah River is just behind the trestle, and on the other side of the river a high bluff, known as Loudoun Heights rises over the town. The sun was just clearing the top of the bluffs and the light along the river was a beautiful and unusual deep blue.

A CSX coal train rumbles across the trestle later that day.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Frosty morning sunrise

Warren County, Virginia

When I first started Photography In Place in January 2010, I had no idea I would still be doing it six years later.

A while back, Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer reported that of the over 700 million blogs in existence, only about 7 million are updated regularly, and of those only 700,000 are read by more than 15 people a day. As blogs go, Photography In Place has very few readers, but we do manage to average more than 15 readers a day.

It's not about the numbers though. This blog is important to me because it provides an outlet for my photography and an impetus to explore and learn. That's why I continue to do it after all these years. And to those of you who are regular readers, I sincerely thank you.

Photography In Place publishes a new post each weekday morning during the year, with occasional posts on the weekend. I hope you will join me in 2016.