Sunrises can be Special

Photographers love sunrise and sunset photo opportunities because of the special light and vibrant colors. I’ve made many that are very unique in that regard. Clearly “keepers.” But the simple photo I made a few mornings ago made me feel “peaceful“ after I downloaded it into Lightroom on my iPad. It isn’t that great, but I need scenes like this to put my mind in order, as we continue to be stressed during 2020.

Sunrise at 0738, October 8th, in Ridgeway, Virginia, near Martinsville.

Countryside Morning

I’m really not sure why I was motivated recently to go buy gas for one of our cars before I ate breakfast, but I’m glad I did. The sky was clear and because of recent warmer than usual weather there was a lot of ground fog about. I remembered there was a dead end road behind the gas station where I was going. I’d driven down that road before and because of the morning fog, my mind envisioned possible photo compositions. After buying gas, I drove down that dead end road and this is what I saw.

Going past the barn I drove to the end of the road and looked up toward the low hills through a pathway in the brush that was inviting. However I decided just to record the scene and return home for a waiting breakfast, happy I’d been so motivated so early in the day.

A Small Country Church

As I was driving along a rural highway close to home, I happened to glance behind a popular local food market I pass frequently and saw a small church I’d never spotted before. I stopped and found this nice photo opportunity.


What made it special to me was the brightly painted mailbox out front. I’m not sure if church services are still held inside, but the building itself is reasonably well maintained to make that possible. This proves my belief that we photographers always need to keep an open eye to our surroundings, there is much to be discovered.

Happy Little Tire Swing

This peaceful farm scene is just two blocks away from our home. It’s nice to live in a small town residential area with such a variety of potential photo compositions within walking distance..




One of my favorite movies is “O Brother,Where Art Thou.” Toward the end, there is a climactic scene where our three main characters are seeking their way, trying to stay clear of pursuing lawmen,  back to a Tennessee depression era farm location where they are told by the farm owner there is “treasure” and they will know they have arrived when they see” A happy little tire swing.” Once there, they don’t see it. One character explains. “Where’s the happy little tree swing?” They notice fearfully it’s been replaced by three hanging nooses put there by waiting corrupt lawmen. Not to worry, God intervenes and they survive. So, wherever I see a tire swing I think of this iconic line from my favorite movie.

First Daffodils – 2019

It was a rainy day yesterday when my wife looked out the kitchen window, saw a small bit of yellow about 50 yards away across very wet ground, and alerted me by saying, “I see the first Daffodils!”. Just five were blooming. We have literally hundreds of plants all over our 2.5 acre yard. Bright green stems of the flowers are poking out of the ground in mass. Hundreds of yellow and white blooms will soon follow. With hard rain falling I made the image below while sheltered under the patio roof … with decorative ceramic squirrels frozen in their usual place. I needed more photos. But, not enough to get wet. So, I waited.


Around 1800 the rain turned to drizzle so I decided to make a soggy walk across the grass with a few muddy pools to dodge, and get at those yellow blooms that attracted our  attention in the first place. The light was not good, so it was time to use the built-in camera’s flash.


Not satisfied with what I had captured thus far, when I got out of bed this morning I grabbed my Fujifilm camera with 35mm prime lens and again dodged wet places in the grass to get close to the scant number of yellow blooms. It was much more satisfying. Especially the last two images below. The tilting LCD on the camera makes it possible to “get low” which would have been difficult on the sloped, muddy ground, coupled with my creaky, aged body. I felt good when I finally got the photos I wanted to represent our first Daffodils for 2019. It brightened my day. Hopefully yours as well.



Signs of Fall


Small town Produce Markets displaying Pumpkins, Gourds, Potted Mums, and other seasonal items are now doing business in that regard. Like the farm market just two miles from where we live in SW Virginia. I saw this while driving past, and on my way back home, I stopped to make these photos using my iPhone 7 Plus Camera. Always handy and very capable.