When most people go into Western North Carolina’s very popular Maggie Valley, they go because of the surrounding mountains and the activities so related. I agree that’s mainly why I like going there. As some say, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” However, I’ve found there is a lot of beauty, manmade and natural, besides the mountains that makes me want to come back more and more. The following photos I made recently may prove my point.
Axton is a special place, for me, because I love making photographs of locations that today are far from what they once were. This very small town is located along the state line with North Carolina, near Martinsville, Virginia. Today there is an elementary school there which is part of the Henry County School System, a Fire and Rescue Station, some retail convenience stores, a few old buildings-some occupied and some not, and many small farms. The old water tower there definitely caught my eye.
Once, a train line passed through and stopped at this station. I walked around it, thinking about what it was like when a train approached on rails now gone.
There was a furniture store here at one time, now empty, and a Post Office building that to me looks like an old bank. It’s now being used to sell various items.
Lastly, the farming nature of the area is easy to spot by some vacant farm homes, barns and other structures.
Like I wrote earlier, Axton is a special place for me … and my camera.
My wife Barb is a very good “Quilter” and she has close friends here in SW Virginia who are equally so, or better. They each truly love what they do, and spend a good bit of time doing it together. A few days ago, I drove Barb to her quilting friend Patsy’s country home, to deliver an item she had made to be “machine quilted” on Patsy’s large frame machine. I was excited to go along because I wanted to see and photograph Patsy’s century-old family home. The brick style is classic, and it’s in very good condition. There were outside aspects of the home that caught my eye. Such as …
After I went inside, and after Patsy kindly said I could go look at whatever I wanted, I wandered about being most attracted to the warm wooden textures, especially on the well-worn stairs. The stained glass window in the front door was also interesting. It’s not an original, but looks like it.
I also walked around outside, making photos of her apple trees and the grape arbor, noting that birds and bees were thoroughly enjoying themselves on the fruit. Patsy also has a vegetable garden, and before we left she took me into her “root cellar” to show me all that she has preserved for later use. She offered me a couple of mason jars full of goodies, which I happily accepted.
Three hours after we arrived, we drove home having just experienced the true hospitality of a “SW Virginian” … folks we are so very happy to be close to.
While temperatures have been hot this summer here in SW Virginia, frequent rain has helped balance that out, and as a result the flowers and other greenery are really popping out.