Tag Archive: Shenandoah Valley


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I have always loved wildflowers. I love just about all flowers except for skunk cabbage (but that’s another blog post story all together). Roses are beautiful as are tulips and daffodils and all the other hybrid beauties that can be found in the garden but there is a simple pure beauty in a wildflower that  despite all their vibrant colors and flashiness, a hybrid just can’t compete with.  Another admirable quality about wildflowers is their tenacity. Many of them don’t seem as fussy about care and for the most part take care of themselves. I found these lovely bloodroot flowers literally on the roadside one year. They come back faithfully every year and poke up through the gravel and leaves.

People must think I’m crazy when they drive by to see somebody crouching on the roadside with a camera pointed at the ground trying to capture their fleeting blossoms. These pure white early spring flowers have easily become my favorite Virginia wildflower.

There were so many of them that I carefully dug up one small one and put it in my pocket for the rest of my walk. When I got home to our property on the mountainside I planted it in a shady moist spot where a spring runs when it rains really hard. On the way home from work today I stopped to see how it was doing after a day and so far so good. The leaves looked happy and were not wilted at all so I’m hoping it will take hold. I planted it next to our driveway so it should be at home on a roadside again. Maybe if I’m lucky one day it will spread and I will have my own little wildflower garden next to our driveway.

Perhaps this will be the beginning of more wildflower gardens on our property. I can not claim credit for this idea to start cultivating wildflowers however.  My mom is the inspiration. Years ago she planted trilliums on their property in Oregon and although my Mom isn’t around to admire their beauty anymore, the trilliums are thriving and are still there for my Dad to admire and remember some of her beauty that she left behind.

So as I set out on my walk to see if the bloodroot flowers were blooming yet I was on a mission not just to capture some photos but to also bring one home to spread their beauty to our part of the mountain. Maybe one day when I’m not around anymore the flowers I planted will bring  joy to somebody else like these little wildflowers bring to me.

Hopefully this will be just the first addition to my wildflower garden. I’d also like to add Virginia Blue Bells and maybe some milkweed for the monarch butterflies too. Stay tuned 🙂

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When I am starting to feel like I’m in a rut with my photography it seems to help to just put my camera around my neck and head out for a walk. Whether it is a walk through the forest around our house or just down the road it can reawaken something inside me that has been sleeping. That sleeping something is a connection to the natural world.

That connection seems to come from tuning out and tuning in i.e.tuning out of the digital world and into the natural world (the real world). The older I get, the more I’m starting to realize that although there is a place for connecting with friends and family on the internet or watching an entertaining TV program, it is far more rewarding to see those people in person and far more rewarding to be a part of nature rather than just seeing it on TV. Breathing fresh air and hearing the sounds of birds or the rushing of the wind through the trees fills a part of my soul and restores me like nothing else can.

It can be a rather noisy place inside my head and sometimes I just need to find a still quiet place where my head can be still and quiet and take a break from all those busy thoughts that it thinks are so important. Going for a nature walk alone helps to bring me back to that centered place but my camera adds to that as well by bringing me even more into the now.

When I’m walking and see a sight or a scene that inspires me, I want to share that with my viewers through my photos and hopefully instill that same feeling I felt at the time I saw that scene or sight. Sometimes I miss the mark and sometimes I hit it. It’s those moments that I hit it that keeps me going and makes me want to photograph more and share more.

If you are stopping by to read my blog, I hope my photos from yesterday’s walk bring you the reader a sense of peace like the peace I felt when attempting to capture these moments in time.

If you would like to see more of my work, please visit my website

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

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It always seems like February and March is the hardest time for me. I really miss color. Growing up on the Oregon coast  where there was always green…even in the winter when the sky was  gray, some color was a normal part of winter.  Here in the blue ridge mountains however, color is very much lacking in winter. Don’t get me wrong I love a peaceful walk in the snow where the only sound you hear is the squeaking snow beneath each footstep but this has been a strange season  with very little snow except for the unusual recent march snow storm that brought 15″ to our part of the mountain. When the snow is gone it seems the valley is left with a muted palette of grays, browns and tans. Here on the East coast in Virginia we get 4 seasons which are wonderful but the waiting for the change from winter to Spring always seems to be endless. Two days ago however, I finally got a tease of color when our crocuses decided to brave the cold and poke their heads up through the soil in search of a warm ray of sunshine. It’s left me hungry for more…  I know it won’t be long though and it will be an awaking for me like the flowers and leaf buds. When Spring color really returns I always feel like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in that scene after her house has landed in Oz and she opens the door and steps out of her black and white world into a new vibrantly colored world. I’ve got a bit of photographers block with my photography right now… but hopefully color will be around the corner to bring back inspiration into my world. I just have to hold on for a few weeks more and I know  it will finally be here.