Patricia Temples Photography

MAKE IT AN ADVENTURE! All rights reserved.

Canada Geese

In 2000, while I was still working as a school social worker, my husband and I owned a 32-acre farm where we spent weekends and summers. It was a beautiful piece of property with two ponds. We inherited a handicapped Canada Goose when we bought the property. Lucky Eddie could not fly because of a damaged wing, but he was the king of the property. He had a pair of Canada Geese friends who lived there with him, and they had young goslings in the spring. I used to sit on the hill above the pond to watch the geese parents training their young. It was fascinating. They had different steps as the goslings were becoming more mature. I even went back to one of my elementary schools and talked about writing a book about how they approached training. It could have been a good book to share with parents who were having a hard time understanding the goal of parenting, which is to produce independent and confident adults. Alas, in those days I was not a photographer, and I don’t have photos of those geese, but I do have recent photos of Canada Geese on the ponds at the golf course where we monitor a 32-box bluebird trail. There are two pairs who have young, one set born sometime earlier than the other. It is fun to see them swimming together, all learning from each other, their parents and aunts and uncles on the pond with them..

Here are some shots I took last week.

This is the family with the younger offspring. There are six!

The family with an older set of seven goslings. It looks as if one gosling has three heads.
This day’s lesson was getting in the water. One gosling has already gone in, submerged at this point, and the others are anticipating their jump.
Mom doesn’t appreciate advice from the uncle of this group.
All together, learning the basics.

Trees and their Stories

I recently decided to start another project for an exhibit I will hang in the fall.  Trees came to mind, because I photograph them often, and some of them have great stories.  So, I am going to give you a preview of my plan.

The first tree that came to mind is one I photographed a number of years ago.  The shot was taken at sunset, facing the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  Yes, the tree was dead.  But it had a history that it could have told if it had been alive.  I had to rely on the memories of local folks who know its significance.

Parrott Farm Schoolhouse Field

It is located on what is known in Greene County as the Parrott Farm.  At the site of the tree was a one-room schoolhouse where the Parrott children and others from nearby homes were educated in the early 1900s.  The locals refer to this as the Schoolhouse Field.  Two months after I made this image, a large storm blew it down.  Here is what remained.

Parrott Farm Schoolhouse Field after

Not far from this location is Westover United Methodist Church on land which was donated by the Parrott/Early families who owned the farm.  In 1913, the first wedding took place in that newly created church.  After the ceremony the bride took a sprig of hemlock out of her bouquet and planted it in the ground behind the church.  This Old Hemlock grew and remains on the property.

Westover view 3

Westover view 1

Another notable tree was new to me this past year. On a property now owned by Spring Hill Church, which is in Albemarle County, near the Greene County line, there was a tree that grew from a number of shoots, forming an interesing multi-trunked base. It was located near a resting place of the former owners of the farm, now donated to the church.

Not long after I made this image, a microburst, as described by nearby residents, split this tree in half. You can see the multiple trunks that created one tree, but which also led to instability in the storm. It was a big loss to the folks of this church who use this property for spiritual and recreational activities.

More on trees at another time. I wish I knew all of their stories.

Small Towns

I had a photography project in mind as I prepared for an upcoming show with my artists’ group.  How about photographing a small town near my home and putting the images in an old window instead of in frames?  I headed out early one morning to start gathering the images.  There are a lot of quaint older buildings in this town, many of which are empty, and I had no trouble finding some I wanted to document.  A beautiful old hotel with balconies and interesting stairs caught my eye.  But, then, the scourge of photographers appeared in my viewfinder…..power lines.

Small towns have a lot of power lines.  Big power lines, little power lines that are crisscrossing the street and each other.  Now I have a problem.  I cannot photograph these beautiful buildings without having a power line in each shot.  Here’s what I was seeing.

Poles and LInes 3Poles and LInes 2Poles and LInes 1

But, as luck would have it, as I walked and shot, going down the street on one side and returning on the other, I started seeing reflections in the windows along Main Street.  Beautiful reflections, distortions of reflections, and distortions in the old glass. You can even see distorted face shapes in these windows.

Reflelctions 1Reflelctions 2Reflelctions 3

So, I kept shooting, excited about what I was seeing and how I could use them in my art piece.  This is the result of many hours of shooting, planning, re-sizing, moving images around, printing more images to try out, on and on.  I like it.

Reflections on Main

As I was returning home on one of the trips from my small town photography jaunt, I again noticed the scourge.  I was traveling southwest toward a beautiful mountain view, but as in the town, my view was marred by the signs of civilization.

Big poles and lines

Trees and their Stories #2

Today I want to share my American Chestnut photos. American Chestnuts are rare today, having almost been decimated by the Chestnut Blight in the early part of the 20th Century. The blight, a fungal disease, was introduced into this country on a Chinese Chestnut tree brought into the Bronx in 1904. By 1906, 98% of the chestnuts in the Bronx were infected.

Over 100 years ago there were 4 billion chestnut trees in the U.S., many of them in the northeastern states. Within 40 years the trees disappeared. The loss of the American Chestnut was devastating to U.S. economy. It was used for building, furniture, fencing, and the nuts were food for wildlife and humans alike.

These photos of an American Chestnut were taken a couple of years ago in Virginia. I was with a member of the American Chestnut Foundation who had learned of the existence of a couple of small American Chestnuts. The trees were small and are being watched carefully members of the ACF.

American Chestnut Tree

Last June I visited a friend in Belgium who had a European Chestnut on the property where she and her husband were living. There is a huge difference between what I saw there and what I saw in Virginia. This is a healthy group of three trees with new growth and abundant chestnuts on the ground.

The American Chestnut Foundation is making efforts and great strides to create a blight-resistant tree. Read about this here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_chestnut

In Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway has split rail fences, many of them of chestnut wood. Old homesteads were built of chestnut logs, and in my own childhood home, there was a room with wormy chestnut paneling, virtually non-existent today. What a loss.

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland

The MOST amazing building I’ve ever seen is located in the capital of Iceland.  It opened in May 2011 after some delays that occurred during the financial crisis of 2008.  The government funded the building, which is used for not only musical events, but also important political and cultural meetings.

Harpa is located on the old harbor in Reykjavik.  The structure consists of a steel framework clad with geometric shaped glass panels of different colors.  In winter, lights transform the exterior of the building into a display of the Aurora Borealis.  During summer, sunlight shining through the glass panels creates patterns and colors on the floor.  The design has won many architectural awards, including the most recent in 2013.

waterfront 2

view of city within.jpg

side view.jpg

Ideas for a name for the concert hall came from Icelanders as well as designers.  The name Harpa was chosen because it was easy to pronounce, and because it refers to a time of year and a month in the old Nordic calendar.  The first day of that month is celebrated as the first day of summer when the landscape comes alive with color.

My photos show you the abstract beauty of the panes of glass.  The image of the girl standing in the pane gives you a sense of the size of these panels.  Notice the color everywhere.

ceiling abstract

A view of the ceiling

inside looking out

Inside looking out

girl in window

Young woman in a glass panel

window abstract

Abstract shapes and colors on the exterior

yellow seats

Seating area

I could have spent a day photographing this building.  As it was, I had only one day to explore the city, so I couldn’t spend it all there.  If I’m ever lucky enough to be in Reykjavik again, I’ll spend a lot of time at this site.  I hope some of that time will be in the concert hall hearing a magnificent performance.

Enjoy this youtube video of the design and construction of this magnificent building.

Iceland: Golden Circle Tour

The last day we were in Iceland, my companion and I took the Golden Circle Tour out of Reykjavik to some of the most visited sites in the country.  We rode in a Nissan 4-wheel drive off-road vehicle with a native Icelander, Ingi. and we were gone for eight hours.  It was just the three of us on this tour and we were able to ask questions and learn a lot of interesting things about the country.

The first stop on this drive was at Thingvellir valley, which is the site of the world’s first parliament.  At this site you are on a seam called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is essentially a volcanic seam many thousands of miles long, mostly under the sea.  In Iceland it makes a brief appearance above ground.  When you are standing at the seam, you have the North American continent on the right and the Eurasian continent on your left.  It was at this location that the Game of Thrones was filmed, along with other locations in Iceland.  This geological feature is also referred to as a tectonic plate. We stood on top of the seam and also walked down into the chasm, ultimately reaching a beautiful waterfall.

Tectonic plates 1

North America on the right, Eurasia on the left.

Tectonic plates 2

Down inside the rift.

Tectonic plates 3

The Icelandic Commonwealth lasted from 930 to 1262.  The first Parliament convened in 930 ad at Thingvellir.  All this time, Iceland was an independent nation. The Althing (Icelandic Parliament) in Thingvellir held the supreme authority of the country. The Althing was both a legislative and judicial assembly. There, disputes from all over the country were resolved.  This was considered the “Golden Age of Iceland.”

After 1262, Iceland became a part of the monarchy of the Norwegian King and later of the Danish King. The Althing nevertheless continued to convene in Thingvellir as a legislative assembly and judicial court up to the end of the 18th century. Thus, Thingvellir, as in earlier times, was a centre of national life at the time of assembly each year.

After we left this amazing area, we drove to see geysers (gay’-seer, as pronounced by Icelanders).  We spent almost an hour there, enjoying lunch in a nearby restaurant after experiencing several eruptions and walking around the area looking at wildflowers.  The most active geyser in this area erupted every 5-7 minutes.

Geyser 1Geyser 2Geyser 3Geyser 4

After our lunch break, Ingi drove us toward the glaciers.  Along the way he asked us if we were ready for an adventure.  Two eager replies of “Yes!” led him to immediately drive off the road as he approached a bridge, going through the small river rather than over the bridge.  Water flew all around us and we had a great laugh before he resumed his travel on the road.  We drove for a bit and approached glaciers in the distance.  Ingi stopped the vehicle, got out saying that he had to prepare himself and his vehicle for the next leg of the journey.  I had noticed he was wearing sandals with socks, so I figured he was putting on boots.  I was partially correct.  He was also deflating the massive tires on this vehicle from 25 psi to 4 psi, to get traction on the glacier, which was of course soft snow now that the weather was warming.  And, off we went, bouncing along over rough terrain covered with 20″ of snow.  At some point I said to Ingi, “You really enjoy this, don’t you?” and he replied enthusiastically and with a big smile, “Yes, I do.”  We stopped on the glacier and walked around a bit, taking in the sight of beautiful white snow.

Glacier vehicle with mtns

Glacier 1Glacier 2 lake

After using an air compressor to refill the tires, Ingi drove us to Gulifoss waterfall.  We spent a little time there with many other people walking around to get all the angles of the waterfall.  It was a busy place.

Waterfall

I may post one more blog about Iceland.  There are some things I learned about the country from Ingi, and from our City Walk tour of Reykjavik  that we took the first day in Iceland that I want to share. Interesting country, for sure.

Post Navigation

Our Cape Escape

renovation realities

Photography Life

PL provides various digital photography news, reviews, articles, tips, tutorials and guides to photographers of all levels

Perception

Photography. Life.

cookiecrumbstoliveby

Life through the eyes of "cookie"

The Legion of Door Whores

...for those who appreciate doors...

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Birthplace of James Madison and Southern Plantation

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

Photography Improvement

Site Transferred from WordPress.com

Firnew Farm Artist's Circle

We meet weekly, and host: Review & Critique of New Works. Our Annual Spring Show is in May and our Annual Fall Show is September - October. Contact: Trish Crowe 540 948 3079

John Berry Photography

Portrait, Sports, Landscape Photographer in Central Virginia

CJ's Workshops

FILM INSPIRES!