Monday, April 22, 2013

Stunning photos of rural Va. found 1000 years later.

Maybe not a thousand years ago. Probably last year. But, a few weeks ago all of a sudden there was this roll of film sitting on top of the bureau and I have no idea where it came from. Anyway, that camera is now deceased, having lived a good 10 years or so, and so these will be my last roll of film developed. Even for a Luddite like myself, the next one will be digital. Turns out it is yet more pictures from my almost five years at home down in the Commonwealth of Virginia, land of more founders than you can shake a stick at, Lee and Jackson and John Paul Jones and Booker Washington and Lewis & Clark and whole lot of others, not to mention a whole lot of scenery, which is what these photos are meant to describe.

This is the terminus of the walk developed at The Natural Bridge about 10 miles or so from my home. I went here dozens of times to walk or just study and met people who had been there many more than that. In the center distance is Lace Waterfall, behind which the stream stretches for somewhere between 100 and 200 miles. This is by no means the best picture I have of it, just the most recent. Below is the miraculous bridge itself, of which no picture I have ever seen by me or anyone else can do justice. You just have to go see it yourself, best in Spring or very early Summer when the river is full.

You can't tell from the photo, but that cut out is approximately 180 feet high and the same beautiful stream that hurried over Lace Falls still runs right through it and keeps going a few more miles until it runs into the James. It is said that George Washington through a rock or something over the bridge when he was a young man. When you go there, you realize that even were he a titan, he could not have done it no matter what they say.

The above two are my beautiful Mount Purgatory. It runs laterally for about 5 miles. None of my plans to climb it ever materialized, though it was the closest real mountain to me. Go figure. Never got tired of looking at it either. My landlord, who was born in the house I lived in, says he still isn't tired of it. He tells a story of sitting on the porch when he was a little fellow and the neighborhood minister walked by (I think this would have been sometime in the 1930s) and said "What a nice view." My landlord said "Thank you," as if he had something to do with it. I don't have anything to do with it either but I can be heard bragging about my 30 mile deep view into the valley and my beautiful Mt. Purgatory nevertheless. Every day, often every few minutes, it looked different thanks to sunlight, clouds and the seasons.

You can tell me the clouds are the same everywhere, but they are not. I have seen many beautiful cloud and sunset/sunrise formations in my life. But I never have seen so many consistently remarkable ones in any spot than I have here (I mean back there) in my little town of Buchanan, Va.

And, the river which runs right through the heart of the town, the James, is the largest river to run completely through Virginia, from almost the West Virginia border twisting up and down for hundreds of miles until it empties into the ocean. And, for most of that run, it looks something like this.

And the lakes, well, that is just another kind of special. I don't particularly remember if this is Lake Moomaw or Carvin Cove - I think the former - both can take your breath away. And neither were even the prettiest ones I could drive to in a couple of hours.

That's it. All from the same roll. All you need to do is point and click - no talent required.

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I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .