Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the tag “silos”

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

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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

Dairy Farm Adventure

For a few days I will be getting images at a dairy farm near my home.  Today was the first day inside the milking parlor, outside with the calves and watching the pigeons fly over the beautiful silos.  The cows weren’t quite sure what to think of me standing there with a camera, and one even snorted at me when I shot a portrait of her.  After the milking the cows congregated in the mud to relax and get cooled off.                                          Watch for more to come.

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