Trains don’t stop here anymore

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I’ve written many times that I love trains and most things associated with them. Especially old depots such as this one in Madison, NC. Trains still use the adjacent tracks, and that’s good. It’s just that they don’t stop here anymore. When I visit such locations I like to imagine what it was like living here during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s in America when passenger and freight trains were the main mode of transportation, and many small cities and towns like Madison were serviced daily. When I was a young boy I recall traveling about on passenger trains with my parents, going from city-to-city. It was exciting, albeit a bit daunting, to have to walk along a passenger and baggage platform that ran in between train depot tracks, where massive locomotives sat waiting to depart. The steam engines hissed and rumbled above me as we walked along. But I began to relax as we boarded our train, with a friendly uniformed Conductor helping me climb the steep steps into our assigned car. I always had a window seat with my face plastered to the glass most of the time, peering out at passing sights. These are memories I’ll never forget. I guess that’s why I like making photos at places like this old depot.

Danbury, NC — Small but Historic

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Danbury, NC was not a location of American Civil War battles but it was, toward the end of the conflict, part of Union forces forays through the state, destroying Confederate facilities that had some relation to sustaining the war. The iron works near the town were one such target, as were rail lines. Today, Danbury is home to some historic and beautiful buildings such as the old Stokes County Courthouse (above-below) and the adjacent Moodys Tavern (third image) which was headquarters for Union Army forces in the area. Part of the old building is now home to a few of the approximate 200 residents of the town, and it still has the “look” of what it once was. The next photo I liked very much, because I was not expecting to find such a building there. It’s a nicely designed small building used by the town’s present day government, and it fits in very well with surrounding facilities. Last, is a small church I found a bit of a walk away from the courthouse. I liked the wooden cross at ground level by the freshly painted white picket fence. Danbury isn’t a place most folks would travel “to”, but mostly “trough.” I’m glad I stopped.

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Graveyard or Cemetery

I’ve been fortunate to have lived and traveled throughout Europe, and it was during one visit to England when I learned there is a difference between a “graveyard” and “cemetery.” It’s all related to a church. This United Methodist Church in southern New Jersey in the United States, illustrates my point. In the 17th Century, burial places located on church property in Europe were called graveyards, but as the population grew significantly in the 18th Century, church yard space was filled and thus burial locations were located some distance away and … cemeteries were created. I’m happy that the United States has so many close historical ties to Europe, especially Great Britain.

Colorful Cape May

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Cape May is situated along the southern shore of New Jersey and besides the interesting and beautiful Victorian Style homes, private and rental, the colors and welcoming atmosphere is what made it enjoyable for me last week. Here are a few images made that might make you want to visit. Very unique “beach” location.

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Historic Wright Tavern

Per North Carolina Historical Marker online research: “The Wright Tavern is a landmark in Rockingham County that has successfully been restored to its nineteenth century condition. Construction on the inn commenced around 1810. The building remained in the Wright-Reid family until it was sold to the Rockingham County Historical Society in 1967. “I’ve visited the site several times, and each time I do I see more than I’d seen before.

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I like to “get close” after making an overview photo, and by so doing I’ve been transported back in time. I especially liked the open “walk through” area between adjacent living areas, with the old stairway to the second floor..

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Details of the historic structure, and out-buildings made me smile. I’m even more pleased when I see the results of volunteers and others renovating rare buildings such as Wright Tavern, and by doing that they bring great credit to the locality involved.

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Looking for something different

When I wander around the Virginia-North Carolina region in which I live, I’m drawn to the numerous small, rural towns nearby. These places contain a wealth of photo compositions, most probably unseen by those who don’t walk around like I do, looking for something different. It’s easy to make photos of popular attractions or scenic views. It’s harder to make photos of things that tend to blend in to the surrounding area. Like, why would anyone want to make a photo of this?

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Or how about these two compositions? I saw them and jumped with joy.

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To end this post, I offer the following images which prove my point. There are many, many  interesting sights out there, folks, if you’ll just take time to find and “see” them.

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First Snow

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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.

Interesting Views in Danville

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.

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Christmas in Danville

We live just a short drive from Danville, Virginia, a town with an interesting history, much remaining today for us to enjoy visually, through photos such as what I have here. My theme is obviously Christmas. So, I looked for decorations on some of the Victorian-style homes there. I keep going back to Danville again and again to find something new I’d missed before. I’m never disappointed. Merry Christmas to all!

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