One of the most photographed sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway is Mabry Mill, a 1910 watermill run by the National Park Service and located at milepost 176.2. In addition to the Mill, there is a short trail around the mill which connects historical exhibits about life in rural Virginia. This day though … the tree stole the show!

Atlanta: Decorated for the Holidays

My son’s negative Covid test meant that we were able to travel to Atlanta for a 48 hr stay over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Despite being home to over 6 million people, we were able to remain socially distanced and follow precautions while thoroughly enjoying the outdoor festive decorations.

These images are a mixture of Fuji and Android, most taken on the fly in cccoooolllllddddd temps.  I’m definitely not bragging about these shots … just trying to give you a taste of the city!

We stayed in Midtown and despite the frigid temps, the sun was shining and we braved the cold to explore the area.

We stayed at the Georgian Terrace Hotel which opened it’s doors in 1911.

The Georgian Terrace Hotel is right down the street from St. Marks United Methodist Church which was erected in 1902.


We spent Christmas evening at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens which boasts an incredible light show set to music.  Truly magical!

What a joy it was to be with family in such beautiful outdoor surroundings.  I am a fortunate woman indeed!

Stay healthy, my friends!  Wear a mask!  Do it for others if not for yourself.

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.


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.


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



with a proud and tragic history.


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 …


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.


My morning walk took me past public art,


and along the train tracks.

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Finally, just a few random images.


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


Thankfully, my friend Tim was there to help me!


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

February Ride

Sixty Degrees on Feb 28th.  Guess where I was?


For at least a few hours, I was able to ride, to breathe, to smile, and to soothe my spirit,

Then I parked the bike and wandered along the train tracks,



visited an old historic school building,



and had a little fun shooting some interesting architecture.




After a quick stop at the local Pizza House, which I’ve written about before, it was time to head home for the day.


Hope you were able to spend some time this weekend doing something that brings you joy.

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.



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.


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.


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


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



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.


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


Stay warm, my friends.

Pittsburgh: Come Walk with Me

During our six mile walk around Pittsburgh, in addition to enjoying the bridges and rivers, we were impressed with the mix of old and new, the historic and the modern.  We stopped for a light lunch, and of course I had to taste a Pittsburgh pilsner, but otherwise we didn’t shop.  We just looked, and walked, and marveled and exclaimed.  It was a perfect day to explore.

Ruth pointed out that the leaves of the Honey Locust tree, which we saw all along the streets, are the colors of the sports teams of Pittsburgh.


The Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail complex, designed in 1883 by Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and built between 1884-1888, is a beautiful historic building right in the middle of Pittsburgh’s downtown business district.



The P&LERR (Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad) terminal building, or the Landmarks Building, was constructed in 1900.  This historic landmark, once a busy passenger station and hub of the P&LERR railroad, has been renovated and in now contains shops, restaurants, and is a wedding venue.


The interior was being set up for a wedding but we were allowed to take a quick look.  The low light made for difficult spur of the moment photography, but wow! Isn’t it a beautiful room?


The Union Trust Building was erected in 1915–16 by industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The Flemish-Gothic structure’s original purpose was to serve as a shopping arcade. Known as the Union Arcade, it featured 240 shops and galleries. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


This beautiful movie palace was a major theatre in Pittsburgh, opened originally as the Grand Theatre in 1918.  Renamed Warner Theatre in 1930, it was used as a cinema through the 1980s, deteriorating all the while.  The auditorium was demolished, and a two story shopping center named Warner Center was built on the site. The beautiful doors and a portion of the huge lobby have been retained.


The clubhouse of the Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Club of Allegheny is a National Historic Landmark.  Built in 1894, the building originally contained 12 three-room apartments and served as workers’ row housing. Pittsburgh architect and club member Edward B. Lee (Harvard Class of 1899) was commissioned to transform the space into a private club, and after extensive renovation was re-opened in 1930.  The courtyard reminded us of one that might be found in New Orleans, and had a quaint feel in the middle of the big city.


The Buhl Building is a historic commercial building in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Built in 1913, the building is faced with multi-colored terra cotta tiles.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.  The yellow honey locust trees look even better against those blue and cream tiles, don’t they?


Isn’t this pedestrian walk way, with water feature and lovely purple lights, wonderful?  We came across this as we were walking near the Rachel Carson bridge (I think), but I was not able to find any information online about it.


One PNC Plaza is a high-rise office building located in the Central Business District.  Constructed in 1972, and 30 stories high, it currently features the world’s largest green wall.


I sure hope you enjoyed this walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh.  The information for this post was taken from Wikipedia and from a variety of Pittsburgh websites.

 Next and final Pittsburgh post:  Inclines and other sites in this fun city.

Morning on Main Street

The sun was shining brightly on these historic buildings.

They just don’t make ’em like this anymore.

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Ahh … the upside to early morning dental work!

The Merc

The Draper Mercantile is a lovingly restored, 125 year old building in Southwest Virginia.  It currently serves as a place to hear local music, enjoy a fine meal, and as a showplace for regional arts and crafts.  The Merc has been providing goods and services to Pulaski County and the surrounding communities for over a century and according to the website “visitors could purchase just about anything”.


A receipt found in a desk by the current owners summarizes an eclectic purchase: sugar, burial clothes, salmon, lemons, and a coffin.  At various times, The Merc has housed a barber shop, a blacksmith, the post office, and a dress shop. In the spring the farmers brought in their lambs to sell and in the fall their hogs, turkey, potatoes etc., which went towards settling their accounts (

One evening last week, I met my friend Amy on the upstairs porch and enjoyed a glass of wine in a beautiful setting.


Some would have used photoshop to rid the images of powerlines.  Despite the fact that I don’t have photoshop, I think that the powerlines add historic accuracy to The Merc and the community of Draper.

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If you’re ever in the area, check it out!!

See It Every Day

How often do you pass by a building or place, maybe even every day, and even though you know it has intriguing characteristics, you never stop for a closer look?   The New Mt Olive M.E. Church has always drawn my attention, but I’ve never taken the time to investigate.

The church sits on a hill in a neighborhood off one of the main roads in my small city.


As I rode by on the bike one day, with rain threatening, I decided to stop and check it out.


The building materials are simple … and reveal signs of wear.


The church was originally built in 1889, but was either renovated or rebuilt in 1929.


I think what attracts me most is the way it sits up there on that hill, somewhat majestic and slightly imposing.


Wonder what it’s like inside?

Something About A Window

An organization that I belong to held a meeting at a local church last evening.  Grace Episcopal  has been a part of the Radford community for over 100 years and is a lovely old building.  As I walked up to the church, I was struck by the windows.



From the inside they were even more beautiful, and against the setting sun, were the color of amber.








As I left the house this morning, I decided to run by and take one more picture, this time of the the building, and not just the windows.  What a difference a day makes!!  Yesterday was sunny and bright.  Today a 6 inch snowfall!

In April!