I am taking this post as my wishes to everyone out there – a wonderful Holiday Season and A Happy New Year.
On my trip to Maryland, I was told about this Park just outside the Washington DC area. It is called Great Falls National Park. It is in both Virginia and Maryland. I never would have thought there were falls like this just 20 minutes from our national’s capital.
At Great Falls, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks dropping 80 feet in less than one mile and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge.
The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. George Washington saw this area as the way to help trade as it would have created a transportation method from the Atlanta to the Ohio River Valley. George Washington had to get both Maryland and Virginia to agree, which was not the easiest thing to do. The construction of the canal around the falls including 5 locks to raise or lower the boats and dredging portions of the Potomac River took 17 years and Washington never got to see its completion. A town formed around the canal – Matildaville, at its height, boasted the company superintendent’s house, a market, gristmill, sawmill, foundry, inn, ice house, workers’ barracks, boarding houses, and a sprinkling of small homes. Boaters stopped here to wait their turn through the locks, to change cargo, or to enjoy an evening in town before continuing their journey. Extreme water levels restricted the use of the canal to only about 2 months a year. The tolls charged could not cover the costs of the company to maintain it and the company failed and the forced the canal to absolence. The remains of a lock is cut through the woods.
I found the park did not open until 7 am, and the fog I had found in Washington DC was still hanging on the river. Here is a view of the falls from the Virginia side. And you can see why many people go here for their wedding photos. Picture this with fall colors on the trees.
This rider from the Manatee Horse Show Association was just so cute. She concentrated so hard when it was her time to perform, and her horse (yes it is a horse not a pony), was right there with her. I loved it when there was a noise at the other end of the arena and they both turned their heads to look.
I had the pleasure of photographing the Manatee Horse Show Association’s first show. There was lots of action with all the preparation for the show, from the unloading the gear and the horses, brushing and getting the horses looking their best, and of course, getting the riders ready. There were 52 classes and many were entered into more than one. I chose these photos because they were not from the competition but moments between the horse and a person, whether the person who was going to show the horse, the owner or another member of the family. It was the interaction between them that caused me to pick this as fitting the theme of winning. Love is definitely – WINNING to me.
Again from my photo safari at Busch Gardens in Tampa, we stopped to photograph the gorillas. These animals were very photogenic and provided us with many, many different poses. They played with pieces of cardboard boxes, carrots, lettuce and climbed on the trees. Then this one went to the back and laid down but kept its eyes open and on the other gorillas. Not sure there is ever a resting time with them. But I sure took the look as time to calm down.
I had so many different thoughts on what to photograph for this theme; cathedrals, trees, etc. But then I went to Busch Gardens on a photo safari with James Corwin Johnson, and this photo op presented itself. Now how could I possibly pass up on this. This giraffe was determined to get the lettuce leaves that were being fed in the truck. As it reached over the side of the truck, from my angle it also replaced the head of one of our participants. It created the scene of almost a Giraffe mask.
Staying on the Antietam blog from the previous post, I am entering the Burnside Bridge for the theme Crossing the Line. In battles, there is always a line that one side is trying to cross and the other is trying to defend. The Burnside Bridge is that line on September 16 – 17, 1862. Despite repeated orders to advance against Lee’s right flank, Major General Burnside’s 12,000 men were held at bay by about 450 to 500 determined Georgians perched on the bluffs overlooking the bridge. The stone for the bridge had been mined from the bluffs overlooking the creek, which left depressions in the hillside forming ready-made rifle pits to fire from in relative safety.
I have attached two photos – one showing the beauty of this simple arched stone bridge, and the other which shows a small portion of the hillside where there Georgians were able to protect the bridge.
I made a trip out to Antietam Battleground while I was in Maryland. I have never had a major interest in the civil war. Being from Connecticut there was never a lot of talk about it while I was growing up. It was taught in school, but found WWII more interesting than the civil war. When I lived in Kansas City, MO, there were a number of people who were very into the civil war and it appeared to me that they were still of the same mindset even today. There were always arguments because Missouri was one of those states that had people who were for both sides.
Now that I live in Florida and I am surrounded by people who drive with confederate flags on their trucks, I thought I should take the drive over to Antietam since it was only an hour and a half away. I unfortunately missed the memorial lighting which happened on December 1. This year on September 17th, they celebrated the 150 anniversary of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with about 23,000 dead, wounded and missing on both sides combined. It was the first major battle to take place on union territory. It is still hard for me to imagine that number of young men dying in a battle that took place over 2 days.
I apologize for not posting for a bit. I have had some issues with my camera. I will now be attempting to catch up.
With that said, on to this catch-up post. I recently made a trip to Maryland for a class. While I was there, I made the drive to Washington, DC, for sunrise. My plan was to catch the sun shining on the dome of the capitol building. Of course, this is me. If there is chance of rain, count on it, or chance of fog, bet on it. Then again, maybe this is for the best as it setup my shot, at least in my mind – How many of us feel that Congress is in the fog? I picked this building for the theme Wealthy or Poor. With the current tug-o-war going on over raising taxes, I thought this fit very nicely.