Monday, April 27, 2015

Michie Tavern's Grist Mill as it looks today

Last summer I had the pleasure of visiting Michie's Tavern, it was a place I've always wanted to go, so we stopped there for lunch in between visiting Monticello and Ash Lawn Highland. Lunch was great and afterward we walked around the historic property. One of the things I loved seeing was the old mill.

The mill that exists today is the former Meadow Lark Grist Mill (Laurel, Va.). It was relocated and reconstructed by Michie Tavern (Charlottesville, Va.) to replace one that fell away from decay and to not interrupt operations (I'm not sure of the year, it said "turn of the century" so I'm thinking around 1900 and the sign at the site is older...).

Today you can see the mill turning when visiting Michie Tavern. I spent a bit taking some photos there.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

In photos: Daffodils perspective - Part 2

Earlier in the week I posted photos of a couple of daffodils I took this month and tried different crops and colors. This is post #2 with a different image of a daffodil. The results are not as clear, but I really love this variety of daffodil.

Original photo - no edits

Heart of the daffodil - a bit fuzzy

Zoom back out - a little clearer

Just for fun in black and white

Friday, April 17, 2015

In photos: Daffodil perspectives - Part I

Today's post is short and sweet. I didn't have too many photos this year of daffodils so wanted to see different ways I could crop the few I had.

For this post I decided on two photos - one was taken in my neighborhood, the other along one of the streets in Washington D.C.  I was curious to see the different angles I could get from the same photos. Also I don't mess with black and white often, so wanted to give it a try.

These are the results -

Daffodil #1

Daffodil #2

Zooming in on daffodil #1

Petals on #2

Applying an antique-like shade
#2 in black and white

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Getting a dandelion's perspective

With the lovely spring weather Northern Virginia is seeing this week, all the signs of spring's arrival are here, including the spring flowers, bees and yes, the dandelion. For most of my years I've viewed the dandelion as an annoyance, but less so these days. Instead I've been viewing it with a different perspective.

Center of a dandelion

Petal edges

Original photo

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Beautiful magnolias in Washington DC

The Washington D.C. area is known for its spectacular display of cherry blossoms during the March/April time frame (varies year to year), however, there are many other magnificent displays throughout the National Mall and beyond.

Earlier in the week I went downtown to see the cherry blossoms, but ended up spending a fair amount of time checking out the other blooms too. These magnolias were taken near the George Mason Memorial, which is located somewhat near the Jefferson Memorial. There were some gorgeous magnolias in bloom which looked beautiful up against the yellow forsythias.

Monday, April 13, 2015

In photos: Cherry blossom close ups (Washington DC 2015)

Yesterday we were able to get downtown to see the cherry blossoms. Visiting the Tidal Basin during peak views is something I look forward to every year. Here are some close ups taken yesterday.

(my other blog, which focuses on things to see and do in Washington, has more photos that include landmarks and other views). 

Related post: In photos: Anatomy of a tulip

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Looking into the eyes of a butterfly

Today's series of photos was taken at one of my very favorite places in Washington D.C. - the Butterfly Pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History. We decided to make another visit last weekend and I spent a lot of time observing and photographing. Today's post focuses on the faces of the butterflies. One of my goals was to see how many I could capture (and clearly).

These are a few of the results:

This one amazed me as it actually landed on my finger while trying to take a photo of a totally different butterfly! However, I then turned my attention to this one who came to say hello

I like the way you can see the "fuzz" on this butterfly
I love these butterflies, not sure of its name, but its bright yellow and black. You can't see the yellow in this photo so much

I couldn't get this one any clearer with my zoom, but it was a butterfly that actively "posed" so I included it

Monday, April 6, 2015

Views of Virginia's beautiful Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge down in the southwestern area of Virginia (not too far off I-81) is a popular landmark. It truly is an amazing example of Mother Nature's handiwork. Not only is it a beautiful geological formation, it is one that carries a lot of history too. George Washington surveyed it (and allegedly carved his initials in the rocks - but this is heavily debatable) and Thomas Jefferson at one time owned it.

Today it is designated as a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Over time it has been privately owned, but open to the public (fees charged). 

In addition to the bridge itself, there are many other wonderful things to see along the trails including the "lost river" and Lace Falls which is said to have been a part of the water that originally formed the Natural Bridge.

Route 11 (still an active road) runs across the bridge, but driving over it (I've done it), you'd never know it! Even standing under the bridge and looking up you wouldn't know there was a road above it.

Walking towards the Natural Bridge

Hibiscus blooming in front of the bridge

Side of the Natural Bridge. This is the side George Washington allegedly carved his initials in the mid 18th century. You can see the "GW", but one of the guides told us there is no true evidence he actually did it.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Thousands of ants on sidewalk

I've seen tons of ants in one spot, but this was unlike anything I'd seen in a long time. The other night while I was walking and snapping photos, I looked down and saw all these ants. So I stopped for a minute..

This is only a fraction of them. The ants had lined up this sidewalk pretty good.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Getting acquainted with cherry blossoms

For my blog post today I decided to pull out my photos from the National Cherry Blossom Festival in 2013 and 2014. I was thrilled to be able to get downtown during the peaks.

Today I decided to try messing around with cropping photos (a lot like I did with my tulip post earlier this week) to "see what I could see". These are the results:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In photos: Blue and cloudy skies

Earlier this week I took an evening walk and we had such a pretty sky. I was glad I grabbed my camera on the way out (was hoping to spot some critters). Not so much luck on the critters, but I really liked the way the sun and the clouds in the sky looked. These were taken about an hour to 90 minutes before sunset.