I was out making photos this week at a rather sheltered spot on a very windy day, and decided on a whim while driving home, to make a quick stop at a favorite photo location of mine near home: the overlook at the Philpott Lake Visitor’s Center near Bassett, Virginia. When I got there this is what I saw. Strong, steady winds with gusts I estimated to be above 50 mph had whipped up whitecaps on the water’s surface, and it was almost turquoise in color. I guess a combination of dark clouds with shades of blue sky in between made it look that way. Gusty winds coming down slope off distant Blue Ridge Mountains blew my hat off (I caught it) and made it very difficult to hold my camera steady. Life is never boring when opportunities exist to see such beauty in nature. I’m sure glad I followed my instinct to stop by the lake on my way home. Here’s more of what I saw that day.
A very popular location in SW Virginia at which to enjoy yourself is Fairy Stone State Park, with it’s swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing lake, plus many amenities designed especially for younger children. Now, it’s closed for the winter. Heavy rains have muddied the normally clear blue, spring-fed water, while fallen leaves and other debris have cluttered usually clean, white sandy beaches.
During warm summer days, there would be rental kayaks and canoes lined up along this shoreline, with fees being paid in the shed in the background. A different summer scene would be present below, with more rental boats lined up.
Fishing in the lake, both from shore (below) and on the water, is very popular; however, in the midst of winter, the lake is mostly deserted. Pedal boats are currently stored under picnic shelters, waiting to again be put in the water in just a few more months.
Also sitting idle are gymnastic facilities designed for young children. I’ve been there in the midst of summer and this specific place is packed with shouting, suntanned kids, while nearby parents watch happily.
Distinct contrasts between seasons in many locations all across northern regions of America may appear rather sad and drab when not snow-covered. I don’t look at it that way at all. It’s just a promise of what lies ahead.
When the light is right, and the water smooth, it’s possible to see some very nice reflections that could be seen as “modern art.” The more I practice seeing such compositions, the better trained my eye becomes to look for more.
There are moments that pass quickly before our eyes. It’s wonderful when we can capture them using a camera of any sort, so we can share with others what we saw during those fleeting seconds. As I walked out the front door this morning to our street-side mailbox to retrieve the morning newspaper, the scene above is what greeted me. Thankfully, I had my iPhone 7 Plus camera in my pocket or I’d have seen it, but couldn’t share. After this one, I made another.
This image was my favorite. Like many photographers do, I call the sun’s rays shining through trees or clouds, “God’s Beams.” These scenes started my day off right. I hope they improved your day as well.
After all the snow and extreme cold we’ve had over the past week, I decided yesterday I needed to get out and about, even if it was cloudy and in the mid 40s. I spend a lot of time with my cameras, driving around Martinsville, Virginia where we live, looking for interesting sights and memories to share. Why I picked going to Lake Lanier I don’t know. As the next image shows, I’m glad I did.
I made photos of the boat house and canoes laying on shore from various angles. Had it not been cloudy as it was, I’m not sure I could have captured the soft look I did.
And there’s the wildlife. Ducks, geese and two magnificent swans were there … the latter swimming up next to shore where I was standing. I felt like they were posing for me. Perhaps they were.
As I was walking around the lake (about an hour’s leisurely stroll) I spotted an adjacent pond with an interesting fishing pier projecting out. Peaceful indeed.
The lesson learned for me that day is that it’s not the weather that matters, it’s what we do with it.
These pansies and others just like them were covered a few days ago by a three foot deep pile of snow, shoveled off the driveway after a nine inch snow last week. I’m amazed just how hearty these flowers are. They flourish in winter and early spring but not so much in mid summer.
As the sun lowered in the sky late this afternoon, after twelve hours of moderate to heavy snowfall (the first of 2017 for us here in SW Virginia) the beauty of our back yard made me smile. I made the Barn Quilt you see attached to the side of our storage shed for my wife Barb several years ago, and its color, that of the shed and the dark blue sky really made this scene memorable. I believe this will be just one of hundreds more I’ll record during this new year. Many to share here.
When I visit favorite small towns and cities nearby, I tend to look for interesting architectural sights, and different angles of composition. A couple of weeks ago I did just that in Danville, Virginia. I made these with my iPhone 7 Plus camera. Pretty great camera. If they could talk, my other single purpose, and much more expensive cameras wouldn’t agree. Oh well. Camera technology moves pretty fast these days.
I listened to a talk recently that discussed how “what we think”, can define “who we are.” If for example, in 2016 we awoke every day worrying about a problem or situation in our lives we had to face that day, and let that define how the day went, we’d walk around sorta miserable all the time. If we continued that thought process day after day in 2016, by the end of the year there might be a good chance that pattern of thinking would carry over into 2017. Unless we change the way we think. Such as looking at each day as an opportunity to conquer some challenge, meet some goal, do good things for others, or being truly thankful for all the great things in our lives. If we think that way in 2017, even though in reality we still have all the same challenges we had in 2016 (maybe more), perhaps our attitude about ourselves and others in 2017 will be significantly better. I choose to think differently. Happy New Year.