2018: Here We Go!

Hello from Southwest Virginia!  And a belated Happy New Year to all of you!

2018 is starting out much like the last few months of 2017 ended:  full of travel.  We are just 8 days in and I’ve already spent both weekends on the road, including New Years Eve in Washington DC and Alexandria, Virginia.

Despite the subfreezing temperatures, we spent several hours of the weekend out of doors.  We visited National Harbor, a multi-use waterfront development on the Potomac River in Maryland.  With temperatures hovering around 20 degrees during the day, we did not take the opportunity to ride the Capital Wheel, but it made for a great photo subject.

It was a beautiful evening!

Someday, in warmer weather, we’ll come back for a ride,

Later that night, we went to the National Mall to see the National Christmas Tree and the 57 trees that surround it, one representing each US State and Territory.  With the wind whipping about, it felt colder than 17 degrees and these next images were taken with my cell phone, held by my shaking, freezing cold hands.

The National Tree

The Virginia Tree with the Washington Monument in the background.

Selfies are a challenge when one of you is 6’4 and one of you is 5’0.

On NYE, we counted down to midnight on the Alexandria, Virginia waterfront.   The subfreezing temps kept some folks at home, but the atmosphere was festive and there were still hundreds to celebrate with.

(More cellphone photography)

Check out that frozen water!

Happy New Year!

Unlike 2017, the beginning of this year is filled with hope.

Last year: devastation.  This year: motivation to continue the resistance!

 I am ready!

Fresh

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It is hard to tell, but the snow was still falling when I took this image, allowing us, as my friend Jim over at Poetry in Motion said, to walk on virgin earth.

As I write this post, quickly before leaving for work, I am pondering if after 4 1/2 years it is time to freshen up my blog. I’ve not changed a thing since I first stepped onto the virgin earth of this blog space. Perhaps it is time.

Pondering.

A Different View

As I write this post, I realize that several of my blogging friends are not the fans of snow that I am.

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Yes, I have lived up north.  I loved the snow then and I love the snow now.  And the less attractive parts of winter make the warmth and new growth of spring all the more welcome.

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The best part of this particular snowstorm?  It happened on a Saturday and I didn’t have to dig myself out at the crack of dawn to drive to work!

We didn’t get much, maybe 4 inches or so.  Yet still my heart is happy as I worry about the day when snow is a only a memory.

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The question is: how do you photograph the snow in a different way?  How do you avoid the same old snow scenes?

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Especially when you’ve not left the house and are still in your jammies.   When you stand on the porch in your slippers, where just a bit of snow has collected, and try to capture the glory of snow.

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And then, you wander back inside and enjoy the quiet day, and the opportunity to play with photography.

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Stay warm, my friends, and enjoy the day.

View From the River’s Edge

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If it had been summer, I would have walked right into the river to better capture the late day sun adding light to the trees futher down the way.   Even still, it was a lovely site to see from this park called Riverview.

What a perfect name.

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.

Cold Outside, Warmth Inside

As it is where many of you live, it’s a wee bit chilly here in Southwest Virginia.  The subfreezing temps with furiously whipping wind, provide the perfect excuse to stay inside, work on photography, catch up on my own blog, and with yours, too.

Sadly, the bike sits outside in the cold, waiting for the temperatures to rise.

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Yesterday morning, instead of being in my office at 8:15, I had a meeting at Radford’s new locally owned coffee shop.  Radford Coffee Company is located in an historic building, recently renovated by a favorite local developer, Joe Fortier.

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The Company gives its profits to help in the education of over 1200 students in 14 communities along the Rio Coco, the river that is the boundary line between Nicaragua and Honduras.

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The details of the renovation and the warmth inside the shop allow patrons to forget the chill for a little while.

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The furniture and decorations include a curved church pew and a Whizzer Motorbike.

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And on this particular day, a Radford mentoring program called CAMP was holding a fundraiser.  CAMP “offers a chance for Radford’s kids to explore their community and to discover how many opportunities are out there just waiting for them”.

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Soon enough, though, it was time to head to the office.  With the warmth to sustain me, I stopped to take a shot of the cold, beautiful sky.

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And at the end of the day?  An opportunity to warm up with a little single malt scotch and time with a friend.

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Stay warm, my friends.