Monday, March 30, 2015

Picturing Government Island

Spring is slow to bring warm weather here in Virginia.  But the cold won't keep me indoors any longer.

On a chilly March morning, I ventured out to explore Government Island in nearby Stafford County, Virginia.

This 17-acre historic site is also referred to as “America’s Historic Stone Quarry.” Stone (Aquia sandstone) used to build the U.S. Capitol and the White House was quarried here and shipped up the Potomac River. The nature trail along the water’s edge has interpretative signs that detail the history of the Native American population of the “island” as well as the extensive activities on the site through the early nineteenth century. Creeks, wetlands, and marsh areas provide a variety of habitats for birds and other wildlife. The elevated boardwalk through the wetlands and woods to the island provide a continuous, accessible viewing area. Government Island is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

Breathing the crisp air. . . wandering along winding paths. . . greeting early morning runners, dog-walkers and families with children . . . bird watching. . . and rock climbing . . .

I am reminded of a quote shared by my friend Robin of Gotham Girl Chronicles,

I tend to think of the act of photographing, generally speaking, as an adventure. – Diane Arbus







Wishing you a life of adventure, camera in hand,  Donna

27 comments:

  1. Beautiful Donna - and I am loving both quotes! Your quote...a life of adventure - camera in hand - is so me : )

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Cathy! You are an adventure girl! Love your most recent post - that soup pot in the window is gorgeous!

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  2. What a beautiful place for a walk and to discover nature reawakening after this very long winter! Love the sunfilled shot of the new buds opening!

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    1. Roxanne, I used to be so hesitant to shoot into the sun - such a confusing picture for me and my camera. But I am finally appreciating the beautiful haze created by such views and making the most of the Manual setting on my camera. It was so chilly on this morning, I feared focus would be off for my shivering!

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  3. Such a beautiful area, love the roots, so glad you thought to photograph them, so rich in texture. Also have been meaning to tell you, your header is just wonderful.

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    1. Barbara, I often wish I could take pictures alongside you. You have a unique perspective and keen ability to bring out the details of a subject, and I'd love to see what pictures you'd have taken of these roots.

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  4. Yes, Donna, pushing oneself out of our comfortable homes is always an adventure (and Cathy knows what's she's talking about!) but we are so much in need of spring air, of fragile and green leaves and buds and of mild sun after a long winter that our itchy feet (in french having ants in one's legs) take us out of our urban environments into an early spring recovering nature... Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures of this wonderful countryside just about to wear its spring colors...

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    1. Odile, We've both been out and about - taking pictures of beautiful spring scenes as part of our daily lives. Isn't this the real beauty of photography, that it gives us the gift of truly seeing with fresh eyes?

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  5. What a beautiful place! Yes, definitely an adventure! So glad you were able to get out and about! Have a blessed week, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, June for your kind words and support. I can see from your blog posts how often and how easily you seek God in nature - the same holds true for me.

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  6. What a wonderful place! Now I want to visit. You've inspired me to find an adventure with my camera today. And believe me, I needed that kick in the pants! :-D

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    1. Dotti, You've been having your own adventures! Love that sweet pottery tea bowl and your story of friendship.

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  7. Gorgeous outdoor shots Donna, thanks for sharing !

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    1. Caz, I know you are so very busy with your upcoming move, so a big thanks for making time to stop by. It's a joy to see that even in the midst of such a big transition, your photography passion thrives.

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  8. This place has my name written all over it! I loved reading more about it and as always you captured its essence perfectly! "Wishing you a life of adventure, camera in hand, Donna" LOVE!!!!

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    1. Robin, I've been "with" you on so many adventures over your last few posts. It is kind of you to join me for a little adventure, too! We work the same way, seeing and sharing and storytelling. How great is it that we get to do this?!

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  9. What a nice adventure! I love how the tree and the rock are "at home" together.

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    1. Sarah, Your photography reveals the thoughtful person you are - especially your latest series of photos of the treasured green pitcher. You are wise to see the connections between things - the tree and the rock, your pitcher and your father - bringing us all to a place where we feel at home.

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  10. donna i can practically smell the freshness and feel the breeze. what a beautiful series of photos!

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  11. Donna, thank you for the tour of Government Island. It's so interesting to find out that rocks used to build the Whitehouse were quarried here - how amazing is that! I love the flowering branch, and the trees and roots - these things speak spring to me and look so very similar to my landscape. I spent the whole day outside, cleaning up flower pots and walking around our acreage picking pussywillows - it was a glorious spring day.

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    1. Barb, The day you've described - outside and preparing for the spring garden - sounds glorious. An idea for a photo essay? A Day in my Garden. Whether we hike or work in the yard or carefully arrange objects for a still life photograph, creative expression is part of who we are and what we do. Thank you for inspiring me in so many ways!

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  12. I love your philosophy about photography being an adventure. I love exploring new places and, whilst I'm not half as good a photographer as you are, I find having my camera to hand helps me to look a little more closely at what I'm seeing, and as a result it makes me think a little more deeply about it too. I've encouraged my nine year-old son to take a little camera along too to make him look more carefully at what he's seeing.
    Your photos are stunning. I love the flowered branch with the light breaking behind. And the landscape is incredible. How wonderful to have somewhere of such historical importance close to home. It's amazing to see those steps where they cut the building blocks of some of the most iconic buildings out of the earth. And just imagine the work-a-day scenes that unfolded as they did so. Thank you, Donna, you've set my imagination racing with your very interesting post. All the best, Bonny

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    1. Bonny, I wish I could weave a tale nearly as well as you. Taking pictures, I see entire histories unfold, but the words do not come easily for me. But, I read your posts - history and humor and everyday life and making and baking - and I see that your curiosity is the common element. Every day with you is surely an adventure!

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  13. What a wonderful place this is, Donna !
    All so beautifully captured ... so love your first image, amazing light !
    And such a lovely quote ...
    Have a nice week,
    Sylvia

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  14. Oh I love a good adventure also...just ask my kids...when we leave the house it's always "we are going on an adventure"..Love the place you were, the woods for peace and getting back to nature. The tree trunks are wonderful and the last photo with those deep shadows...feel so warm, even on your cold day...

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  15. Lovely walk. Yes it is time to say poo poo to winter and cold weather and get out there anyway. I am reading the Visual Storytelling book that you recommended a while back...LOVING IT! I just wish I could stay awake longing when I go to bed so I could have farther than a few pages each night.

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