A Few Hours in Blacksburg

Last week, my friend Ruth and I visited the Blacksburg Museum in order to view the work of longtime Roanoke Times photographer Matt Gentry. Despite the fact that we have spent the last 6 months checking the CoVid19 status of every business and restaurant and potential activity, we somehow forgot to check this day.

Upon arrival at the Alexander Black House, which was built in 1897, we learned that the museum was temporarily closed due to CoVid19.  Despite our disappointment, the outdoor exhibits and the Queen Anne Victorian house were still worth exploring.  I did the best I could with my cellphone and was thankful for the beautiful day.

The exhibit Glass Reflections, created by artists Kate Golden, Paula Golden, Diane Relf and many community volunteers, is made of “serving plates, bowls, saucers, salt cellars and other glass / crystal dishes collected from antique stores and combined into flowers as garden accents that remind us of our parent’s and grandparent’s gardens”.

This next piece, Tryptic in Glass by Diana Relf, is created from “pieces of glass, many unused, discarded, and no longer valued. When combined they are both beautiful – and strong”.

Through the trees, I saw the house next door. The Thomas-Conner House, c.1878, is registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark.

Our next stop was the Hahn Horticultural Garden on the campus of Virginia Tech.   The garden was founded in 1984 and covers 5.8 acres. “The garden was renamed the Hahn Horticulture Garden in November 2004 in honor of Peggy L. Hahn who was First Lady of Virginia Tech from 1962 to 1974 during her husband’s tenure as President.  Their generous gift and bequest for expansion has had a significant impact on the garden – from the construction of the Peggy Lee Hahn Pavilion (2006) to the Hahn Meadow Garden (2008), as well as in other ways too numerous to list”.

My post-surgical status kept me from exploring as much as I would like so I look forward to going back!

Next time, we’ll pack a picnic and spend much more time exploring the gardens

Osceola & Renegade in Monochrome

My contribution to Monochromia this week.

A friend and I traveled to Tallahassee for the Virginia Tech / Florida State game last weekend and during a tour of the beautiful FSU Campus, saw the famous statue of Osceola, the historic leader of the Seminoles, and his Appaloosa horse, Renegade.

We enjoyed Tallahassee and even better, won the game! Go Hokies!

Light the Way

I’m unsure if this is an airport runway cover or an antique insulator but my friend Wilson collects them, and I think they make for lovely art as well as photo subjects.

Today is the day: I look forward to taking a visit around WordPress today!

Gift from Pauline

An extroidanary gift arrived at my home last week.

Dear friend Pauline had given me a birthday gift, born from her heart and crafted by her talent.   If you look closely, you’ll see many lovely details, and I’m going to take a tip from Alys and Boomdee and highlight various parts of it.

 Unknown to Pauline, the quote at the bottom of the painting is one of my favorites, and one that I’ve had hanging on the wall of my office for years.

Look at the exhaust pipe.

Pauline noted that the bike’s exhaust “exhumes little dots of glimmery stuff that then floats off around the canvas”.

Of course I had noticed the camera (can you see that it says Her Story on it ❤ ) but it was Alys who pointed out the cheering people along the bottom of the canvas.

Aren’t the colors just stunning?

And then there’s the wine glass 🙂

I am so thrilled and honored and touched by this gift, and I cannot wait to put it up on my office wall.  I know that my patients will love seeing it and I look foward to telling them all about my friend Pauline.

Please visit Pauline at The Contented Crafter.  She is a gem in my life, one of the many WordPress gems that I have come to know, and who have enriched my life.

Sit For a Spell

Last night, I actually did sit for a spell and visit many of your blogs (although I have many more to visit!). For now, I’m off to volunteer at a Dress for Success workday, and THEN I will attempt to work on the photos from my brewery ride last weekend.

** 36 hours / 620 miles / 3 breweries / old friends **

For now, I’ll share this image from Warrenton, VA.

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Is “sit for a spell” a term that you use, or are familiar with?

Images of Greensboro

Weekends during the month of June were packed with travel, and my shutter finger worked overtime!

I’m still glowing over my time in Atlanta with my son, exploring public art and architecture, cocktails and cuisine, and green spaces. Then last weekend I was able to spend the weekend in Greensboro, NC to photograph a wedding.  Some of you have visited Karen’s blog about hiking, and she most recently posted about her daughter’s wedding.

I am not a professional photographer, and definitely not a wedding photographer, so I was a bit nervous (to say the least).   I’ve known the bride since she was a young teen, and despite my nerves, it was an honor to try to capture the joy of this fun loving couple.

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The time I had to photograph downtown Greensboro was limited, but I wanted to share a bit of it with you.  Some of these images were taken with my camera, and several with my cell phone.

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The city is a wonderful mix of old and new architecture,

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with a proud and tragic history.

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During my morning walk, I learned that Martin Luther King was scheduled to speak in Greensboro on April 4th, 1968.  He cancelled his visit to stay in Memphis one more night where he was assasinated that same day.  If only …

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Within a few minutes walk from Elm Street, the main drag in downtown Greensboro, is the Isley House.  Built by German immigrants, circa 1845, the log house was moved from its original location when the historical museum took it apart and reassembled it here.

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My morning walk took me past public art,

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and along the train tracks.

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Finally, just a few random images.

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Believe me, a cold beer tasted great after hours spent with the camera.

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Thankfully, my friend Tim was there to help me!

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I’m home for a couple weekends but the next trip in two weeks will be on the motorcycle!

Atlanta: Public Art and Architecture

You all understand the challenge.  You travel to a new city / country / place and arrive back home with a zillion photos to work through.  It takes time, but it also offers the opportunity to remember the experience and relive the fun.

I was in Atlanta for just 48 hours, but oh my gosh, I had a blast!  My son Andrew, who has only lived in Atlanta for 2 years, knows the city like someone who has lived there much longer, and he was an excellent tour guide around this diverse, exciting city.  He took me to the Jackson Street Bridge, a local landmark known as THE place to get a shot of the cityscape.

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With this post, and the two that follow, I’ll introduce you to the Atlanta that I experienced.  The posts are longer than typical for me, but years from now I’ll look back and be able to remember everything.

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While quite the tourist attraction, and evidently a bit controversial, the Atlanta Skyview allowed me to see Downtown from on high.

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All images were taken through the glass of the gondola.

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What fun it was to ride high above much of the city!

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The Skyview towers over the 21 acre Centennial Olympic Park, created for the 1996 Olympic Games.  Today the park performs a dual mission: it serves as Georgia’s lasting legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games and it anchors efforts to revitalize residential and commercial development in Georgia’s capital city of Atlanta.

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We spent much of my visit in various parts of Midtown, which is the “second largest business district in the city, situated between the commercial and financial districts of Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north. Midtown is known for it’s cultural attractions, architecture, and urban layout”.

We visited walkable, intown neighborhoods, each one unique with shops, restaurants, and public art.

Visit my post on Monochromia to learn more about Celebration by Gary Lee Price.

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Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the current Dekalb County Courhouse was completed in 1918.  The four previous structures were destroyed by fire, war, and demolition.

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I’m sorry to say that I did not document the name or purpose of this next building, but I loved the architecture.

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Whether commisioned or not, public art is everywhere.  On the sidewalk, seen during my morning walk,

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and along the Beltline, the city’s bikeway / walkway system.

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“The Beltline is transforming the city with a combination of rail, trail, greenspace, housing, and art. It will ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods”.

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Public Art can be found in Piedmont Park,

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in neighborhoods,

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and sadly, along the streets.

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If you’ve visited my blog in the past, you’ve learned about Ghost Bikes.

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When taking shots from the Jackson Street Bridge, Andrew pointed out a sticker for Tiny Doors Atlanta, an Atlanta-based art project bringing “big wonder to tiny spaces.  With the installation of a door, what was once a wall or the column of a bridge becomes an entrance to collective creativity and an invitation to whimsy”.

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As we walked along the Beltline, Andrew pointed out this tiny door.  How cool is that?

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I was also enamored by the messages posted on various streetlamps.  The words of Harry Crews, an American novelist, playwright, short story writer and essayist, are posted here.

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“So far as I can see, nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people.  The good work is done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint, a design”.

Next Post:  Atlanta Cuisine and Cocktails

Polished

My friend Crystal, over at Conscious Engagement is a woman of many talents.

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She is a hard working, home owning, keeper of chickens, and is also an incredible Mom, a passionate hiker and traveler, and a lover of photography and music.

And even though we’ve never met in the physical sense, I am oh so happy to call her my friend.   When I admired the mailbox that she and Tara had renovated with leftover nail polish, it wasn’t long before my very own unique and colorful mailbox arrived.

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Thanks to my nephew Sam, who installed it yesterday, I now have the best looking box on the street!

Thank you, Crystal! Thank you, Tara!

You can read about their creativity here.

Art & Whimsy

On our last full day of fun in Sarasota, we were able to take another long walk on the beach,

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followed by opportunities to explore some of the downtown architecture, Farmer’s Market, restaurants, and street activity.

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We also visited the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy, where “part of the mission is to collect and preserve work of artistic and whimsical importance.  Our collection is bright and colorful.  The artwork will lift your spirits and, hopefully, inspire creative expression”.  It was a bright, sunny day, and these images do not do justice to the colorful, metal works.

Take my word for it, our spirits were definitely lifted!

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Before I knew it, the time had come to fly home.  What an incredible 3 days! I’m grateful to have friends who value this tradition as much as I do!

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Thanks for coming along with me on the adventure!

The ERA and the Art of Snow

I’m a day late for the Valentines Day love, but I’m right on time for the snow love.

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Southwest Virginia is in the midst of another winter storm.  So far, we’ve got 6 inches of unexpected snow, which is soon to be followed by an inch of ice, and I am missing the Equal Rights Amendment Rally at the State Capital.  Did you realize that the ERA has STILL NOT, 100 years later, been ratified?  I’m bummed about that and about missing the rally.

In an effort to keep a positive attitude, I decided to show the snow in a different way.

 How ’bout a little Through the Screen photography?

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Or even some Screen Art?

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or the abstract Snow on Leaves?

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Hang in there, my friends.