My Grandfather Ed Halvorsen was a printer, a newspaperman...a linotype operator! He and my grandmother, Hattie Kelsey Halvorsen (aged 19 & 18), headed for Medicine Hat, Saskatchewan, Canada because he could get decent wages, and in 1909, that was a big deal. He became interested in photography sometime while they lived in Canada and took some photos while they were there...some of which have survived. When they returned to the states, a decade later, they moved back to South Dakota which is where they stayed. Over the years he had several cameras, two of them were handed down to me, this old Kodak Monitor 620 and an Argus. I put two expansion rings on my lens and took this macro shot. I wish I'd been smart enough to ask him about his time in Canada, I know they liked the people. Or...I wish he'd written it down.
I'm told Paradise Springs is a very busy place on the weekends but it was very peaceful when I visited. I took this shot from the old cabin and changed the content by "painting" in blurs and highlights to transform the image into something "painterly." I made some other changes to sort of highlight the ambience and welcoming nature of the vineyard.
On Tuesday I did a scouting trip for a future, more detailed shoot for my Virginia Project. Virginia has been involved in some of the most important phases of America's history and this building has been a part of each one of those phases. The wings on the left and right side of the core, original building were built in 1906. I had a chance to walk around the 'open' sections and came away with a good feeling about what i want to do when I go back later this year. I also went to the Hollywood Cemetery and St John's Church but I'll post some of them later. The first shot is from the front of the Capitol Building, which was built in 1785!! Of course there's a lot of subsequent history this place has seen. The shot of the desks is the old House of Representatives room in the center building where they met for years until the new wings were put up in 1906. The third shot is really my favorite...a worker taking a newspaper break from painting.
Today I visited Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, VA, an awesome winery in Fairfax County. The owner is a descendant of the original land grantee in 1716!! Doing the math on that makes my head hurt but over 300 years ago this all started, not as a vineyard of course, probably a farm that's been divided many times over.
I am doing a book project that will release early next year and I'd like this winery to be a part of it. This is the closest winery to DC, one of the first in Fairfax County, and is steeped in the history of the land. An original building from two centuries ago is on the property and was renovated in the 1950s by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's associates. There are really cool places to relax, meadows with picnic tables, decks that overlook the vineyards and forests...and...the wine. They actually grow grapes in other places in addition to those grown on this property, but all in VIRGINIA! They have a wide variety of reds and whites and based on my (limited) taste testing, the wine is really quite good...well, actually it's excellent!! And they have a "wine educator" on staff who helps you understand the wine, the process and the grapes.
I hope to go back soon for photos of bottling, harvesting, processing and more. I also hope to visit without my camera since they have live music three days a week and, of course, wine tasting every day. Want a cool destination...Paradise Springs Winery!!
Today I went to the Anacostia River. I actually started in Bladensburg, MD, where there is a park with rental kayaks, canoes, boats, etc. The Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) hosted a few of us on a boat ride from Bladensburg Park to the Navy Yards. I learned a great deal about the river and about the land around it. The watershed area of the Anacostia is most of DC, PG county and parts of other counties. Rain water and other liquid products are what makes this river a river. Consequently, there is not a lot of "flow" and the river mostly just sits...so all the junk and toxic stuff that used to go into the river would just sink to the bottom. Over the decades, well centuries, the Anacostia river just turned bad...really bad. But in the last few years tremendous strides have been made in cleaning up and reducing new contaminants. I normally don't take bird photos but I've included a couple in this sequence...the eagle is one of those who is in the Arboretum and has a nest right next to a webcam so every little bit of their lives was on the web while they were having baby eagles.