We live near the Smith River in SW Virginia. It’s a beautiful river, famous for trout fishing, kayaking and other recreational pursuits. When I pass along the river, or above on a highway bridge in this case, I like to look for interesting views. Here are three to hopefully make you wish you could dip your feet in the cold water, during these hot summer days.
Category Archives: Landscape
Mount Airy, North Carolina is a very scenic town of around 10,000 citizens, located a bit north of Winston-Salem, and it’s become famous because of a popular iconic 1960’s television show, still being enjoyed in syndication by millions today. The Andy Griffith Show took place in the fictional town of Mayberry, and its star was born in Mount Airy. It is believed that the town formed the basis for Mayberry, and when one visits today, many stores are named for fictional businesses featured in the TV show. Tourists flock to the town and many purchase “Mayberry” memorabilia. It’s a great place to take a camera, as I did recently. I like going there, and being it’s just about an hour away from home, I try to do that often.
Starting with this old “stone” church in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there remain today an almost endless number of historical structures and objects, which are often referred to by photographers as views of “Americana.” Perhaps the modern roof on the church makes it less “historical” but the amount of loving labor it once took to haul and place thousands of mountain rocks together to make the walls and framed windows is impressive.
Looking at some more from our past, it seems as if old wooden barrels will never be replaced with metal or plastic. Thankfully, since I love the rustic nature of the wooden containers, holding fresh tomatoes or flowers.
And then there are many old wagon wheels just waiting for my camera.
And lastly, many “general stores” still operating today sell all sorts of fresh and homemade mountain goodies, with tables waiting to be used by visitors, especially during harvest time.
I travel much the same routes during my photo trips through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. On my way I pass views I’ve photographed before, usually during different seasons of the year. For the first time I drove by one of my favorite “barn scenes” when beautiful orange Lilies were in bloom. Now, I have that composition in my archives of photos. And, I’d like to share with you.
There are some photos which (for those having lived in the southern regions of the United States) might be recognized as being taken “down south.” My first photo involves a question. Why do old bank buildings look basically the same down south? Sadly, they no longer have the purpose they once did.
If you’re familiar with the Piedmont Regions of Virginia and North Carolina, you will recognize tobacco plants growing, soon to take over fields like this one. This crop is far less prevalent than it once was. That’s a good thing for many, not so much for others who make their living on the farm. Some of you may have labored picking tobacco leafs, which I understand was very hot and dirty work.
And then there are the numerous ponds and small marshy areas in the south. In their own way they are very beautiful with their vibrant colors at this time of year.
And lastly, it’s not hard to find old log-crib type farm structures down south, if you look for them. When I make photos of them, I like to look for a different view. Like this one.
Danville, Virginia has a vibrant railroad past, and it still has a passenger Amtrak line and busy Norfolk Southern freight line which pass through; Amtrak being a nice way to travel to New York City to the north, or New Orleans to the south. The first image below is the concrete arch railroad bridge crossing the Dan River. There are several auto and truck traffic bridges across the river at Danville as well.
The bridge which has always attracted my attention, however, is the original, steel-truss, Civil War era railroad bridge, that has been converted into a walking, biking and jogging path, for thousands of people annually. The details of the old bridge have always been of interest to this (not so old really) Army Engineer, and I suspect there are many just like me with the same opinion. Enjoy seeing what I saw.
On this 2015 Memorial Day weekend, I decided to drive a short distance yesterday from our home in SW Virginia to visit the National Veterans Cemetery in Danville Virginia. Walking around the grounds I noted the majority of grave-sites were from the Civil War era, but there were still lots of WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War headstones marking the final resting place for those veterans. I was alone there, and I think that made it more special for me, what with the silence and peaceful beauty all around. I was especially fortunate to be able to capture a pretty special view of the high flag pole with Old Glory blowing in the wind above. One day, all of us veterans of military service will join the ranks of those already resting in our final “Bivouac Above.”