Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the tag “nature”

Shenandoah National Park

I live about fifteen minutes from an entrance to Shenandoah National Park and sometimes I am engaged in volunteer activities there.  Memorial Day was one of those days.  After getting the “work” done, I took some photos along the trail on the way back to the car.  Enjoy.SNP 11 SNP 12 SNP 10 SNP 9 SNP 7 SNP 6 SNP 5 SNP 4 SNP 3 SNP 2 SNP 1

An Animal Tour

Photographing animals is an awesome experience….when you have the opportunity.  They are elusive and skittish.  There are a couple of hawks on our private road who swoop down in front of me as I drive out, taunting me with their accessibility, which really isn’t accessibility.  If I stop to grab the camera, off they fly. Another ones lives along a road I travel frequently.  He knows I cannot pull off the four-lane highway to get a shot of him so he sits there and laughs.  But, occasionally I get really lucky and have the camera in my hand in a place where I can actually get a shot.  Today I will show you some of my favorite shots of animals.  I have gotten images of all kinds of animals, from the White-Tailed Deer in the Shenandoah National Park, to the tiny snail in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

A White-Tailed Deer in SNP

Two Dragonflies

Cedar Waxwings in a Wild Cherry Tree

At the Rookery — Two Great Blue Herons

Not Suitable for Children

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

Ring-Necked Pheasant

Tiny Snail on a Leaf

Turtle

Brown Pelican in Chincoteague, VA

Virginia Lovers

An Unlikely Pair takes a Break from their Battles

Harvest Moon, Where Are You?

A couple of weeks ago a photographer friend and I decided to go to the Shenandoah National Park to photograph the harvest moon on October 29th.  We picked out a perfect location that would afford us an eastern view of the moon, which is huge and orange in the autumn.  We also knew that at this same location we could see the sunset to the west. So, this morning the forecasts of Hurricane Sandy, the Frankenstorm, made us change our plans to the day before the actual full moon.  That way when the rains hit Virginia, we will have our images and be safely at home.  We arrived at the designated location before 5pm, ready to watch the huge moon rise up over the eastern ridges.  Not being quite ready for cold weather, we elected to sit in the warmth of the car awaiting the glorious event.  A couple of quick shots before huddling in the heat told us not to be too optimistic.

In about forty-five minutes, when the moon was expected to emerge, the fog dropped on us.  Literally.  It wasn’t there, and then it was!  We gave up.  But not before documenting our efforts to photograph the Harvest Moon in the Park.  What you are seeing as huge spots of dirt in the sky are rain drops all over the lens.

I thought about several things as I drove home.  I imagined what it must have been like 100 years ago when people lived in those mountains.  Rainstorms in the Park are not rare, and fog often envelopes everything.  But now we have roads, yellow lines to guide us through the fog and rock walls to stop us from toppling down the  mountain.  I also thought that it looked a lot like Halloween with the eerie shapes emerging from the woods.  I am completely sure I saw Sasquatch just off the road as I hastened back to safety in the flat lands below.

Sherando Lake Adventure

There is a beautiful small lake tucked away in the mountains near Waynesboro, Virginia.  I visited there over thirty years ago in the fall and I’ve never forgotten that visit.  However, I moved away from that area of the state to Richmond, then back to my current home about an hour north, so it hasn’t been a destination for a very long time.  That is going to change.  Yesterday’s adventure to  Sherando Lake was one of the best.  The colors were at their peak, the mist was rising off the water at sunrise, and it was peaceful, as the campers nearby were still sleeping.  Before daybreak, we heard three owls in the woods talking quietly to each other across the lake. Saw-whets, perhaps?  My favorite little owl. A pileated woodpecker called to us later in the morning.  The reflections of the golds, reds and greens in the water took my breath away.  Even the oaks had color, which is unusual in Virginia this time of year.  Sherando, I have neglected you, but it won’t happen again.

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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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