Finally, some color in the Blue Ridge


I made this photo two days ago, from the overlook of Philpott Lake at the Army Corps of Engineers Visitor’s Center. It was a clear day, mid morning. I used my iPhone 7 Plus camera. The lake is a favorite of mine, and I’ve paddled canoes and kayaks along it’s 100 miles of shoreline. Colors are not as vibrant this year as I’ve seen them, but it’s not bad … at all.  As you can see below.





Wind on the Water


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.



Fitness is Good


Our daughter Amy teaches 3rd Grade students in North Carolina. She’s also been trained in various aspects of “physical fitness”, and plans to obtain her professional certification in that regard. Being retired military, I understand what fitness is all about. When Amy’s son Stephen decided he wanted to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard, Amy took it on her own to help get him ready for the rigors of Boot Camp. Her youngest son, Daniel shown below to the left is a natural athlete himself, so he’s sort of along for the ride, and when called upon may serve as a “demonstrator.” He did just that showing Amy how to walk the parallel bars at an Army Corps of Engineers built and managed “Fitness Trail” near where I live. While Stephen and Amy “sweated it up” jogging in-between fitness stations, Daniel and I walked ahead to recon the difficulties that they’d see, and Daniel noting how he’d done a lot of these rigorous exercises when he was playing high school football in Texas before they moved to North Carolina. Like my title says, “fitness is good.”




Three for Today


This morning in SW Virginia was clear and cold (low 40s but enough to make me wish I’d brought along my gloves) and it was a good time for me to go on a local road trip with my camera to see what I could see. The barn above is a favorite of mine, and while the fall colors are not that great here, the scene was still inviting to my eye.


Later I found one back-lit tree that was still very colorful so I walked through the woods to get under it at just the right sun angle.


Last was a location I keep going back to: Philpott Lake, as viewed from the Army Corps of Engineers Visitor’s Center Overlook. My intent here was to capture the last of the Fall leaves before they drop, as dropping they certainly are. The water surface and the clear blue sky added to the photo. So,these are my “three for today”

Where’s the Color?

So far this year around SW Virginia the Fall vegetation colors are not as spectacular as they have been in prior years. Maybe it’s still a bit early, but the weather experts around here report that the windy and wet weather we have been having for the past several weeks is not helping. One of my favorite photographic vistas is adjacent to the Army Corps of Engineers Visitor’s Center which overlooks Philpott Lake, a Corps managed reservoir which is a very popular recreational area for people from all over the United States. The photo I made last weekend on a very clear day shows the lower elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, with a portion of the 100-mile shoreline lake spreading out below. This area is perhaps one of the most scenic areas around our home and thus a popular place for me to visit. I intend to travel up to higher elevations this coming weekend to see what I can find. In the meantime, enjoy this view.