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.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Carolina Lily Barn Quilt, Wilkes County, North Carolina


And here is what happens when people who start a barn quilt trail lose interest in that barn quilt trail. Quite a contrast from the last barn quilt I posted here which is 90 miles southeast from Wilkes County down in Randolph County.

I found my first barn quilts back in 2010 in Alexander County, North Carolina. Those quilts were different from most as they were actually huge photos of handsewn quilts. You could see everything right down to the stitches in the fabric. Wilkes County nearby followed suit with 12 barn quilts; one was handpainted and the other 11 were large photos of actual quilt squares rather than the entire quilt.

Two weekends ago I set off for Wilkes County with the addresses of the barn quilts. Of the 12, I could only find two with this one far enough off the beat track to pull the car over to take a snapshot.

Sad to see this in such a ruinous state.