The moonlight continues to play tricks on the mind, once again along Indian Valley road on a full moon night.
The moon often provides subtle color shifts that the eye cannot see but which can be captured by a camera (digital or film). Sometimes you can intensify the color shift by using a film or white balance intended for another kind of light, such as shooting tungsten balanced film outdoors (as was the case here).
It is an old technique but one that still produces interesting results.
Moonlight on water plays a lot of tricks, both with the eyes and the camera. This shot of a a moonlit night on a creek in Indian Valley illustrates that point.
What time the meanest brick and stone
Take on a beauty not their own,
And past the flaw of builded wood
Shines the intention whole and good,
And all the little homes of man
Rise to a dimmer, nobler span;
When colour’s absence gives escape
To the deeper spirit of the shape,
– Then earth’s great architecture swells
Among her mountains and her fells
Under the moon to amplitude
Massive and primitive and rude:
– Then do the clouds like silver flags
Stream out above the tattered crags,
And black and silver all the coast
Marshalls its hunched and rocky host
And headlands striding sombrely
Buttress the land against the sea,
– The darkened land, the brightening wave –
And moonlight slants through Merlin’s cave.
–”Moonlight” by Victoria Sackville-West
One of the strays that now calls the farm home finds a bug while guarding the fence.
The influx of strays started with a few cats dumped alongside the road, then grew as the toms came visiting and kittens arrived shortly afterwards.
They stay because they have nowhere else to go. Stray animals are always a problem in rural areas.
Far too many are dumped by owners who would rather get rid of what they see as a problem than try to find the animals a good home.
Stray animals must have a jungle telegraph because the words spreads when some find a home and more appear out of nowhere.
What’s the answer? I don’t know. As long as people treat animals as disposable commodities we will have strays. All we can hope is that they find a home before the elements kill them.
It is that time of year when birds take to the air and head South for the winter, leaving behind the cold, snow and ice that humans remain to endure.
The birds are smart. They know better weather and more favorable conditions lie to the South and they take wing to reach their destinations, leaving those of us too dumb to migrate to face the travails of the season.
They know. We should. They act. We do not.
Makes you wonder why humankind thinks it is the dominant species on earth.
Mother nature delivers her wrath over the Blue Ridge Parkway near Ashville, North Carolina.
Summer storms dominated the weather this year with hurricanes devastating Florida and the remnants leaving many Southeastern areas flooded. It was a year when God reminded us he is still boss and we are powerless against the forces of nature.
Many areas are still digging out and trying to recover from a year of harsh weather.
Will the winter bring more? Only time will tell.
Rain moves in along the Blue Ridge near Meadows of Dan, Virginia.
A warmer than normal November has not meant a let up from the rains that have drenched Virginia and the Carolinas for most of the year. Two days of heavy rains are forecast to precede the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and unseasonably warm weather will greet the shoppers who head out to the malls on Friday.
Enjoy it while it lasts. Winter is still coming.
Rain soaks Virginia Highway 8 near Stuart, Virginia.
When the historians tally up 2004 in the Southeast, it will be the summer, fall and winter of rain. Constant rainfall soaked the droughts of years past and left the region with a strong water table for the winter. If snowfall, as some predict, is heavier than normal this year, it will add to the runoff and damp ground in the spring.
If the rains come again, expect more flooding and more declarations of disaster areas. But, given the increasing inaccuracy of weather forecasting, no one can say for sure what the coming months will bring.
While the rain and uneven weather brought a fall with fewer colors than normal, the weat conditions create a beauty of their own.
As Glenn Yarborough sang, “Baby the rain must fall” and fall it did…and does…and will.
Red dawn over Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County, Virginia.
Blue Ridge mornings are often marked with brilliant colors — strong hues of red, orange and blue. Some say it is the refraction of light through the moderate air pollution of the region. Others cite the moisture that often hangs over the mountains, valleys and lakes.
Who cares what causes it? The important thing is to take time and enjoy the beauty of the region.
A duck tries to hide in what little foilage is left at Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Even in winter, the Mill ranks as the Parkway’s number one tourist attraction and the ducks that inhabit the Mill Pond stay put in the cold months.
Many local residents prefer the Parkway in winter when the crowds are gone and they can enjoy the scenery pretty much on their own.
Wild turkeys battle it out near Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Like many game populations in Virginia, turkeys are on the increase and many now venture closer to humankind in search of food.
They should be careful. It’s hunting season and Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.