Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the tag “barns”

Highland County, Part 2: Doe Hill and Bolar Springs

On my second day in Highland I covered a lot of ground. I started the day following the fog in the Bullpasture Mountain region, up Doe Hill Road and across Jack Mountain. The fog was so amazing. The ride across Jack Mountain was on a narrow, gravel road, but there weren’t many views of the valley below because of the trees. That’s a trip for another season.

As I proceeded up Doe Hill Road, I found an old cemetery and that held my attention for quite a while. The tilted headstones, the fog in the background, even the power lines were beautiful. I entered Pendleton County, West Virginia briefly, but my quest was the fog of Virginia, so I turned around.

Barn at sunrise

Driving up Doe Hill Road as the sun tried to make its way through the fog.

Barn at sunrise in fog

The sun’s rays through the fog provide a special mood to this photograph.

B&W Cemetery 2

The old cemetery on Doe Hill Road.

After I crossed Jack Mountain, we were on Route 220, so we headed south to Bolar Springs. My travel companion and guide was an old friend who has been living in Highland County for a year, growing veggies in a new greenhouse and learning the ways of the Highland County bureaucracy as he starts his new business. He told me that Henry Ford created a camp community around the natural springs in Bolar. A talk with locals earlier that morning had revealed to me that the springs have healing power. They are always at 73 degrees, and even thought the algae and undergrowth in the pool is not appealing, apparently it is good for what ails you. One of the locals said he got in the pool to take care of the itching and blistering of poison oak and it did indeed work. My travel companion soaked a wound on his foot that wouldn’t heal and three days later, he had scabs and the wound cleared right up! The camp is not used anymore, but the folks who live in Bolar keep it mowed and tidy.

Bolar Springs 1

Old buildings in Bolar

Bolar Springs 2

The spring comes in at the top of this image and fills a man-made pool, then overflows into a creek. There is a lot of water coming in from that spring.

Bolar Springs 3

This is the entry into the natural springs pool.

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The Never-Ending Winter

Two years ago on this date I got images of trees leafing out, green grass at their bases, and beautiful blue skies.  Today, it’s snowing….again.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love snow.  I always have, always will.  But, I’ve about had enough. Today, though, was a bonus day for a photographer because the snow was pouring down, but the roads were clear, so I could go anywhere I wanted to go to get snow photos. Here are a few of my favorites from this morning.

First, Early Mountain Winery in Madison County. This farm was once owned by a family I know and when it sold, one of the family members and I rode around on a four-wheeler one morning among the grapevines. Then it sold again, this time to the folks at AOL, who came in and made changes that have created an amazing winery business. I’m so glad they spared these two barns on the property. The huge building which provides a wine-tasting venue, is also the location for music events, Sippin’ into Sunset, weddings, and a host of other fun events. In May they will host Derby Days, which is a fund-raiser for the Madison Boys and Girls Club.

Early Mountain Winery 1

Early Mountain Winery

After leaving Early Mountain I made my way to Graves Mill.  The Graves family has owned this mill for twelve generations, and in recent years it went into a sad state of deterioration.  Two cousins in the Graves family are restoring it and making wonderful progress toward saving this local landmark.

Graves Mill

 

Graves Mill

Voices of the Land

I’ve been away from my blog for several months as I completed a project for the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy.  Called “Voices of the Land,” it is a mini-documentary of the last working dairy farm in Greene County, Virginia.  Photographs of the farm, both from a distance and from within, provide viewers with an opportunity to see how a dairy operates and to experience the beauty of the land that supports the dairy operation.  Originally the project was designed to be twelve aesthetic photographs, but with the title “Voices of the Land” I felt that there needed to be accompanying audio recordings by the brothers who own the farm. Interviews with the brothers revealed their love of the farm and the animals, and their great memories as children of growing up in an environment where hard work was the norm.  Milking cows cannot be done “when you feel like it.”  It is done twice a day on a regular schedule.  As children, the brothers went to work at dawn, then went to school (where sometimes they fell asleep at their desks), and in the afternoon, they returned to the farm to work past sunset.  If there was time and energy left, schoolwork was completed.  Commitment is the operative word of a dairy farmer.

As the project took shape, a slideshow emerged.  Using the (now) thirteen original photographs as the foundation, the voices of the farmers were added, then supplemental photographs completed the story.  The final product was a 25-minute slideshow with a history of the farm and descriptions of how the farm operates, as told by the brothers who have lived on the farm for over sixty years.  An additional feature of the project are QR codes that accompany each of the thirteen printed and displayed photographs, which allows access to a short clip by using a QR reader on a smart phone.  Below is the first image in the slideshow, and the QR code which accompanies it.  In this clip you will hear the history of Fairview Farm as told by one of the brothers.  Prints of ten of the images and copies of the DVD are available for purchase via the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy website:  www.blueridgefoothillsconservancy.org.

Fog over Fairview Farm qrcode.photo10

A Little Getaway

My husband and I went on a little vacation this week to the beautiful mountains of Bath County, Virginia.   We stayed at Fort Lewis Lodge, an out of the way place that surpassed all expectations for beauty, peace, and gourmet meals.  There are 3200 acres on this property, which has hiking trails, fishing, and swimming spots along the Cowpasture River, or the more sedate pavilion with comfy seating to look out over the valley or to watch the cows grazing.  Rooms are available in a lodge, in a silo, or in log cabins scattered nearby. There is also a Riverside Manor House a mile or so down the road.  In the view from the overlook, you can see red barns in the distance.  Those are across the road from the Manor House, and the best fishing is nearby.  What most people tell you about Fort Lewis Lodge is the amazing food you are served at breakfast and dinner. Caryl is a gourmet cook and her food is the highlight of the day. Anyone who wants to reserve a space at the lodge better think well ahead.  Most people are repeat lodgers, and some have been going there for twenty years.  What a wonderful mid-week retreat we had.By the River

A one-mile hike takes you to this view of the farm with lodging in the foreground.

We sat by a cozy fire after dinner. The air was cool, and the fire was perfect.

We sat by a cozy fire after dinner. The air was cool, and the fire was perfect.

Sunrise behind the Silo Beside the Cowpasture River Silo

Floyd Virginia

One of the things I truly enjoy about photography is the opportunity to learn something new.  Last week I attended a workshop on Color in the little town of Floyd, VA.  Floyd is about 25 miles north of my hometown and is a small town I have known for years.  My family used to purchase vehicles at the Turman-Yeatts Dodge dealership there.  One Christmas Eve my father decided to take the family through Floyd on the way to my grandmother’s home in Appomattox.  To my mother’s great horror, he bought a new car right on the spot.  They had to move all of the Christmas presents, including the ones Santa had planned to put out in Appomattox, to the new car without the children noticing.  They were successful.

But, I digress.  In my teen years, Floyd had a reputation for Friday night music jams at the country store.  Musicians met to play bluegrass, and townspeople took advantage of the opportunity to listen. That evolved over the years to a full-fledged music event every Friday night at the Floyd Country Store.  The store moves display cases and racks out of the way, puts up seating around a dance floor and charges a whopping $4 admission.  Out on the street, musicians gather in well-designed cubbies to jam as they did in the old days.  Even the Floyd Barbershop has musicians and an audience.

The workshop I attended was all about color.  Floyd was the perfect location, because in addition to musicians, the town is now a Mecca for artists, and many of the stores have colorful displays of fabric, paintings and other wonderful objects. One day our assignment was to choose a color and to shoot an essay about that color.  I chose RED.  On my quest to find red, I happened into the local Chocolate Shop, and when I opened the door I knew I had hit the jackpot.  The floors and walls were painted bright red, and many of the display items were also red.  What a find! And, of course, I bought chocolate.

These images are of the countryside outside of Floyd.  Rolling hills, barns, cows and fog greeted us at sunrise.  Put Floyd VA on your bucket list.  It’s a beautiful, friendly, and fun place to visit, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is very near for more exploration.Floyd 1 Floyd 5 Floyd 4 Floyd 3 Floyd 2

Adventure in Western Virginia

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Over the weekend my husband took me on a birthday adventure to Monterey, Virginia by way of Bath County (Warm Springs).  It was a perfect weekend.  The temperatures were terrific both days, and even dipped into the 30s overnight to give us crisp autumn air on the first full day of fall.  The countryside is so awesome and gives credence to the term folks like to use about the region:  Little Switzerland.  In many ways it reminded me of the Italian countryside in Umbria with the rolling hills and vibrant shades of green. Already the colors of fall are beginning to emerge.

When we first drove into Bath County on the trip down on Saturday, we started seeing hay bales decorated in all kinds of creative ways.  Roger called it “Hay Art” and we began to look for them after seeing a couple on the outskirts of Warm Springs.  Later we learned that they were part of the Harvest Festival in Bath County this weekend.  Forty-seven hay bales were decorated all over the county.  We only saw a few of those, but of course, I had to get some images of the ones we discovered.  In the community weekly newspaper, we saw photos of others we missed. The last treat of the weekend was seeing the barn quilts in Highland County.  All-in-all, it was a fun adventure.

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