Patricia Temples Photography

MAKE IT AN ADVENTURE! All rights reserved.


In March 2013 I had an adventure in the lovely community of Rapidan, Virginia. This is a very historic town that straddles the border of two counties on either side of the Rapidan River. Among other treasures I found here was a caboose. The caboose was badly weathered, sitting on a section of train track near the old Train Station. I learned that this caboose, built in 1922, was moved to Rapidan from the community of Piney River in Nelson County in 1970. I loved photographing this caboose, both from a distance and looking closely at details of the deteriorating wood. The first day I was there, March 23, was a beautiful day with blue skies and green grass. On March 25, it snowed, and I returned to get more images.

The photograph above of the caboose with the train station was entered into the Piedmont Environmental Council’s annual photo contest and won first place in the Community category.

On March 22, 2023, I made a journey to the new home of this caboose. Or, I should say, it’s original home. In 2015, this caboose was returned to Piney River in Nelson County where it was restored. It now resides at the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail, next to the original depot. The walking trail beside the depot was the location of the train tracks. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the original photos were taken almost exactly ten years before these new ones.

By clicking on the first image below you can go to an article about the trail. There is a photograph from 1959 that shows the depot and the train on the tracks. It is quite an interesting article.

You may view photos from Rapidan, including two of the caboose, at my photography show in Stanardsville, Va, April through June 2023.

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:

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.

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


Photography. Life.


Life through the eyes of "cookie"

The Legion of Door Whores

...for those who appreciate doors...

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

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