Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A New Blog. Please Come and Visit!

As you all may have noticed, my posts to this blog have decreased to almost nothing - actually nothing at all for this year.

I have run dry of new ideas for barn quilts, birds and Blue Ridge Parkway. After a while it all becomes redundant and, quite frankly, boring.

But the posts that I had the most fun with were the ones where I went looking for historic or off the beaten path sites such as Lower Stone and Organ Lutheran Churches in Rowan County; Eng and Chang, the Siamese twins, and their gravesite in Surry County; and the pierced tombstones of Davie County. So with Catherine Bishir's books about historic buildings in North Carolina, PDF's of the Federal Writers Project (1937) guides to North Carolina and Virginia and whatever I can scope out on the Internet, I'll go hunting for the unusual on the weekends.

So, bookmark my new blog, Seen From a Small Car, and come with me on my trips to find the hidden and obscure historic sites!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Red Shouldered Hawk, Yadkin County, North Carolina

What do you do when you don't want to go Christmas shopping or get on any interstate highway full of crazed holiday travelers? You go wander the backroads of the North Carolina foothills even though the skies are overcast, the trees leafless and the vegetation brown. Nothing much to see, but at least you are out and about.

I saw this red-shouldered hawk on US Highway 21 just outside of Mocksville on an utility line. He posed for pictures until he decided he was tired of the whole deal and took off.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Barn Quilt, Hamptonville, North Carolina

This barn quilt probably has a name, but I can't find it on the Yadkin County barn quilt brochure. And yet it is one of the quilts featured prominently on their printed brochure.

I had parked the car on the shoulder of the road, emergency blinkers on, and walked down the road to get a good shot. An elderly lady, probably on her way back from church, stopped and asked if I needed any help. I showed her my camera and waved while saying I was fine and just taking photos. But how nice in this day and age of cell phones that someone would take the time to make sure that I was OK.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stars in Flight Barn Quilt, Hamptonville, North Carolina

A new quilt trail to explore just 50 miles from Greensboro in Yadkin County which is where I went today, the first sunny weekend day in (it seemed) forever. The Yadkin Arts Council put out a brochure earlier this year showing 25 barn quilts, but the project has proved to be so popular that a Facebook page has been set up to highlight the new ones that didn't make it on to the brochure.

Here is their page for those who might be interested in seeing new quilts: Yadkin Quilt Trail.

And a great example of ingenuity at work - if you don't have a barn for your quilt, then use the next best thing - an abandoned tobacco shed! This particular pattern is called Stars in Flight.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chapel of Rest, Happy Valley, North Carolina

Generally when I go out on a day trip and find an interesting church to photograph, I can only take pictures of the outside. Most churches are locked up tight except for Sunday services due to vandalization. In fact, several rural churches near me have been set on fire in the past few months with one actually burning to the ground.

This is the Chapel of Rest up in the mountains between Wilkesboro and Lenoir. Built as an Episcopal chapel in the 1880's, it was deconsecrated in the 1970's and turned over to a local historical society. They fully restored the church and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 as an example of a 19th century Gothic Revival architecture.

It is open daily to visitors and can be rented out for weddings and family reunions. Twice a year, concerts are held in the sanctuary as it is acoustically perfect for music.

As I looked at the wooden pews, all I could think of was my aching back. And the parishioners sat on them for hours on end on Sundays.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Whippoorwill Academy, Wilkes County, North Carolina

And sometimes you find barn quilts where you don't expect them.

This is located on the side of a small gift shop up in Wilkes County - the same county where I photographed that sad falling-down barn with the neglected barn quilt.

This shop is part of a collection of buildings that were brought together on one site to show how people lived during the 1800's. It includes a replica of the cabin that Daniel Boone lived in while he lived in Wilkes County, the jail that once held Tom Dula (he of the Kingston Trio's song, Tom Dooley), and a log church among others.

The buildings weren't open when I found the site, but it was interesting to walk around them and see how simply people lived back then. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April in North Carolina

Let's see. Today is April 4th and (according to Weather.com) our temperature generally would be around 65F. However, it never got above 47F and currently it is 36F and raining with some sleet mixed in. In April! In North Carolina!

Last year at this time, we already had had 20 days of 60F weather in March alone. This year, just two days in March above 60 degrees. Some of the weather forecasters are calling this month Apriluary due to the cold and wet.

I'm sure this American Robin is very, very sorry he came up from Central America instead of staying put.