Simple Beauty and Good Light

My eye was drawn to this beautiful flowering tree backed by an old brick factory wall in Eden NC. The manner in which the sun was shining made the colors sparkle. I wanted to show the tree and flowers from afar, then a bit closer, then really close. Had the sunlight not been as it was, I’d never have been able to make this series of photos look as good as they do.




Joe’s Place


This is “Joe’s place. The sign in front reads “Joe’s Triangle” (it’s hard to make out the second word) and it’s impossible for me to determine what it once was, except for the fact it sits at a triangular intersection between two roads leading into the small town of Eden, North Carolina, a short distance from our home in SW Virginia. As I was making this photo and the ones below I was thinking about who Joe was and what he did here. Perhaps it was a bar, perhaps a small store selling who knows what, perhaps it was a barber shop, or perhaps it was just “Joes” home. One of the neatest things about photography is being able to imagine these sorts of thoughts about the scene you are photographing. This is especially true when deserted buildings are concerned, or when you see a faded-paint sign on the side of a farm building out in the middle of the country. Unfortunately, American has in many respects become too urbanized and we often fail to notice remnants from our history still standing, even if they are usually dilapidated and overgrown with wild vegetation. Joe’s is from a simpler time. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be able to go back there and revisit places like this when they were in their prime.




Pink and Vacant


One of our more “yard friendly” neighbors is always putting some sort of ornament in her front yard. A couple of days ago while on my “health walk” I spotted this pink bird house, hung nicely off a limb on a pink flowered dogwood tree. I did not have my camera with me that day, but today on my walk I did. So…you get to see what I saw…a pink and thus far vacant bird house. Made for a nice photo.

On a Brick Wall

I’m not sure why anyone would want to hang these ornaments on the outside brick wall of their home, but they did…and I recorded it with my camera. Makes for a better photo than it does an improvement to the looks of their home. But, to each their own.



Bleeding Heart

No, this post is not about some romantic movie or television show, it’s about a unique flower which we have (fortunately) blooming for a short period every Spring in our yard. I transplanted it as spindly VERY small, single flower plant several years ago and it has grown larger as the years passed. Aptly named isn’t it?


Inspirational Dogwoods

The Dogwood trees in our yard and neighborhood this year are spectacular…whites and pinks…in full bloom. After the week we’ve had in the United States with terrible events in Boston and Texas, it’s God’s work like the beauty you see here that inspires us to overcome adversity, no matter its form.




Flowering Trees


I think it’s much, much better photographically to get up close when making an image of flowering trees, such as this wild cherry variety. It sits across the street from our home, and every year at this time I watch it change from just a tangled winter season mess of crooked limbs, to beautiful pink flowers which quickly lose their petals during spring thunderstorms, and then finally to basic green leaves for the summer months. What I like the most about this photo is the blurred green background (which is actually the surrounding grass) which makes the flowers and buds stand out. That was made possible by using a telephoto lens and getting up close.

George of the Green Thumb


This is the back deck of our neighbor’s house, home to a person I’ll call “George of the Green Thumb.” His deck is a bit cluttered especially at this time of year when he devotes all of his energies to “making things grow.” He is an all organic gardener, and uses seeds gathered from last year’s crops of various vegetables and wild flowers. One might call him a “hoarder” (he calls himself that all the time) and he makes maximum long term use of whatever natural and well-used man-made materials that come his way. I believe my photo proves this point. No matter, George is perhaps the most deliberate and successful gardener I know…even if his ways are a bit cluttered. So, while George was away somewhere I wandered over to his back porch and made this image. I thought it describes George very well. He is a retired lawyer by the way and a very nice person. “George of the Green Thumb” he most definitely is as well.

Waiting for the Bumblebee


The bumblebees are out in force here in SW Virginia, and their opportunities for various sorts of flowers from which to draw sustenance are great. The main problem for us photographers is to be able to find one or two actually feeding and to have them stay still long enough to make an image. In this case the little guy decided to rummage beneath the flowers, tunneling his way along so that all I could see was the movement of the bright flower petals to know he was there. But eventually he surfaced and took this pose, which he kept until just after I snapped the shutter and then he was gone. But, patience paid off and I got my photo. This is the way it is many times with photography…you have to be patient. Click the image to see more detail.

Simple Tulips

Every year in April our tulips start to bloom. Unlike the daffodils that proceeded them by a couple of months and are still in bloom, the tulips are short-lived. In fact, you’ve got about a week to catch them at the peak of their beauty. Thankfully I have a camera to record it all…as I do every year.