Chasing the Light

Nothing beats the autumn in the Appalachians. This past Veteran’s Day holiday finally gave me the chance I was looking for to practice my novice photography skills and chronicle some of the unique and beautiful parts of this region. My solo 3 mile walking photo tour of Brunswick, MD at dawn was educational and inspirational for me, and I can’t wait to get out there again and share more of the great Potomac valley with you. See my Flickr page for more from this set.

Veteran’s Park

One of the most interesting and least known attractions in this old railroad town is the M-5 “J.E.B. Stuart” tank in the median on East A St.

In 2009 the local American Legion and FVW Post worked to not only clean and repaint the tank, but also built a nicely landscaped brick and stone base and a memorial to the fallen.

This is she second year that I have gone to the memorial on Veteran’s day. As I left my house and marched up the street, my neighbor Basil, a retired vet who solemnly puts out his American flag every morning at dawn, called out to me “Go get ’em, Tiger!”.

That a veteran like him would give a civilian like me such encouragement on his holiday was truly humbling.

As the rose fingered color of the morning light giving way to true daylight there on the hill, I packed up and moved down river, where the rays were only just starting to burn away the thick layer of dew.

The Gut

Just below the Maryland side of the bridge to Virginia, a long strip of island separates creates a channel on the shallow northern shore known locally as “The Gut”, a popular spot for small draft boats to put in and take out.

Here I found another photographer trying to capture the ethereal morning mist on the river. We exchanged pleasantries, but like any hunter we were both more intent on taking a shot than talking about it, and we quietly went about our work along the banks.

The Bridge

Seeing the color come to life as the light descend on the hills of the southern shore, I hoofed it up onto the bridge itself for a view of the whole  river valley.

In a rare moment with no cars whizzing by, I heard the honking of geese and hopped over to the eastern side just in time to get a couple of shots off – my favorite of the day at the top of the post.

I realized later that I should have decreased the aperture for these landscape shots, but as this was my first time out with a digital SLR, I’ll just chalk it up to lessons learned.

The Rail Yard

On the way home, I happened to catch a west bound freight train passing under the bridge next to a parked east bound coal train. It’s bittersweet for me to live in a railroad town, because while I’ve always loved trains, now they are mostly used to carry whole mountains away,  flattening them and destroying the valleys below. When I walk by the railroad, I often hear that line from John Prine’s song “Paradise”:

“Mr. Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away.”


About Mike Ward

Connecting the digital to the local - website management, social media and event promotion.
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