Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the tag “mountains”

My Mountains

I have mentioned before that I am a Virginian since birth.  I grew up in a small town in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway. When I started driving, going up and down mountain roads became second nature to me.  Now I live near Skyline Drive and the beautiful, ever-changing Shenandoah National Park.  It thrills me to be there among the ridges and the wildflowers and now, in autumn, the colors and the falling leaves.  Tonight I went up with a friend to photograph the sunset.  It wasn’t a spectacular sunset, but it was peaceful there and the mountain ridges went on and on into the distance.  We met a fellow at an overlook who explained to us in broken English that he was German, in the States visiting several locations.  He mentioned that he will be going to Washington, D.C, Baltimore, Philadelphia and the Big Apple.  But this smart young man put the Shenandoah National Park on his must-visit list.  He was as impressed as a newcomer as I am as a native.  He was all smiles as he drove away, proud to have conversed in English with us, which, as it turns out, wasn’t so broken after all.  I managed to get a big grin from him when I bid him “Guttentag!”

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Shenandoah National Park in Autumn

I was born and raised in Virginia and I have never lived anywhere else.  Now in my retirement years, I am lucky to live near the Shenandoah National Park.  In fifteen minutes I am on Skyline Drive, and in another thirty minutes I am in Big Meadows, my favorite area of the park.  This week I had the good fortune to drive up three times.  Even though in the “low land” where I live autumn is just beginning to make its mark, in SNP red, golds and oranges are emerging everywhere.  In another week or two it should be fantastic.

In the meadow there are berry bushes changing to a deep rich burgundy color, milkweed pods opening to spread their seeds, grasses blowing in the wind with an occasional goldenrod pepping through.  The ferns are dying back to lovely shades of gold and brown.  It is quiet and peaceful.  Because the full moon occurred this week, the animals were not out at sunrise.  They use the brightness of the moon to feed and forage at night, so when we arrived their tummies were full and they were sleeping in the woods.

National Public Lands Day was Saturday, September 29th, and entry to the park was free.  There were many people hiking and enjoying the crisp autumn air.  I was part of a group of volunteers who worked in Big Meadows to control Black Locust trees that are threatening to change the landscape there.  It was a wonderful day in the Park.  But, then, every day in the Park is a wonderful day.

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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.

Italy

Three months ago I had the good fortune of going with a group of artists to a little town in Umbria called Todi. The town was quaint and safe and I explored almost every corner.  Well, there weren’t really many corners because the town is on a hill and everything seems to be in a circle, with small roads winding in and out and up and down. I spent a lot of time with my images when I first got back, enough that they started to bore me.  But today I revisited them, and I discovered some that I had hardly noticed before.  Here is one of my favorites.  It’s similar to another I have printed, but there is more fog and more detail in the valley.  If you hadn’t noticed already, I LOVE FOG!!  This was the view to which I awakened every morning and often while brushing my teeth I was pressing the shutter button at the same time.  It has some resemblance to my beloved Virginia except that Umbria’s hills are green, while our views seem to pick up the reflection of our Blue Ridge Mountains.

Umbria in the Fog

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