Saturday was a shoot day!
YBW and I took our cameras to Medowlark Gardens in Vienna.
The weather was glorious, sunny and breezy with temperatures between 77 and 82. The perfect respite to the summer heat we’ve been experiencing.
We went through the woods.
Around the spiral path to the gazebo.
Where the plants were gathered together to attract pollinators.
Down to the first (of three) ponds.
At the second pond.
I’m not sure how long we actually wandered the park, but I do know that when we left, we were both ready for lunch, so off we went to Red’s Table.
We sat on their porch overlooking the lake.
A cocktail for me, and locally brewed draft beer for YBW.
The view was beautiful.
The people watching was fascinating.
The food was lovely.
The server smiled at me and said, “Your hair is outrageous!”
I smiled and touched my hair and he left to put in our order.
I looked at YBW and said, “Outrageous?”
YBW assured me the server meant it as a compliment.
I actually agreed, but it landed so awkwardly in me.
I let my freak flag fly that day by washing my hair and letting it do its thing. It’s always a crap shoot, as I never know if I’ll end up rocking messy romantic waves, or look like I recently escaped from Azkaban.
I was fearful I had Azkaban hair because we’d been driving with the windows down.
I took a picture of myself to see what the server saw.
I’m over here like, Um…that’s just my hair, dude.
So I googled the word outrageous and here’s what I got:
I’m going with the second definition, if you please.
Anyway, it was a wonderful shoot day!
I love being behind the lens. I love being in the out of doors with my precious husband.
As we move into Autumn, I’m looking forward to more shoot days!
Sunday dawned with sun for the first time in (what seemed) forever. Not only was it sunny, it was also pushing 60. YBW and I grabbed our cameras, huge bottle of water and headed out.
We went to Millwood to visit…well, a mill. The Burwell-Morgan Mill to be exact. Though sometimes referred to as the Millwood mill.
What do you want from me? It’s Virginia. And though my home state is the Mother of Presidents, the old-timey namers of things weren’t always super creative. I’m just sayin’. (Actually, there are two mills in Millwood so do with that what you will.)
Anyway, the website showed the mill was open from noon to five.
Lies, lies and propaganda. (Y’all sang that in David Byrne’s voice too, right?)
We arrived at the mill between twelve thirty and one and it was closed up tight. (f**k you, internet)
It was fine, we wandered the property and the surrounding streets. One mill and three churches later we were headed to Linden Vineyards for wine and nibbles.
Burwell-Morgan (or Millwood) Mill
Locked up tight.
Shiloh Baptist Church
Christ Episcopal Church
Cunningham Chapel Parish
Brick house I loved on Bishop Meade Road.
Tin roof, rusted!
They have the most delicious claret at Linden Vineyards. And a damn fine chardonnay (not too oaky).
Not to mention the view.
It’s even nice to pull up to.
Sometimes you just have to put on your (monogrammed) rain boots and traipse around in the mud, streams, and leaves, climb stone walls and stand in ditches.
Then go have a glass (or two) of wine.
Camera Days with my Sweetheart are some of my most favorite days.
Chapman Mill is a crumbling ruin standing where Prince William and Fauquier Counties come together. I’ve driven past it countless times. Every single time, I say aloud, “I want to go take photos there.” (even if I’m in the car alone)
Well, Saturday two weeks ago, the sun was shining (for the first time in ages) so YBW and I got bundled up against the below freezing wind chills and headed to the mill.
I got to wear my brand new love YOUR melon beanie for the first time! (Little D’s new mom and I were texting about getting together and I took this photo asking her to tell him I kiss him. But at least you can see my hat so it’s cool.)
When we arrived at the mill site we were greeted by this.
I was livid! THE FREAKING GATE WAS LOCKED!! We couldn’t get all the way down the road to the mill. I will admit to saying one or two bad words…well, perhaps it was one or two bad sentences. How dare you hang a sign to welcome me and then lock the gates? Rude!
But…the railroad runs right beside the mill. So I get it in my head to walk down the tracks to the mill.
Only the moment I walk up the path to the tracks I hear the whistle of a train…I waved to the engineer and he waved to me. It called up all the many times in my life I’ve stood at the side of the railroad and done that. It brought me great joy and in that brief moment, I was a little girl again.
YBW decides right then it may not be the safest course of action since the sides are steep and there really is nowhere to go but down. I was like, but the train just came by, this is the safest time. We split the difference and I just stood at the path crossing. Honestly, I didn’t want to go down to the mill by myself, I wanted to share that experience so it worked out OK in the end.
I absolutely loved this curve in the tracks. I think the railroad is so elegantly beautiful for being something so well constructed for such hard core usage.
You know I had to look for spikes while I was up there. And I found some, just lying around in the rocks. I love how a railroad spike and rocks create these natural sort of collages.
There were three such collages, but this is the particular spike I picked up and carried home.
The mill really is quite compelling. In a hauntingly sad yet beautiful way.
I’m eager to return when the gates no longer lock me out. The wheel is still there on the other side of the mill. You can see Broad Run, which is a lovely. The view from the interstate is even more beautiful than this view from the railroad. I’m keeping my hackles up, but I’ll be checking back more frequently as the weather warms.
When we left the mill site, we drove down along the tracks just to see where they went. This was the opposite way of home, but we were on an adventure! We were out with our cameras to shoot things that moved us!
I loved the way this railroad crossing sign looked behind the overgrown grasses.
Lastly I got on my knees in the middle of another crossing to shoot the tracks from a different point of view.
The mail carrier who had to wait for me to get my shot and get back up out of the way before he could drive his truck over the crossing didn’t seem terribly impressed by my attempt to create art…of course he had a job to do and I was just out shoot stuff.
We decided to go back out today with our cameras. I’ll leave my warm beanie at home today because instead of upper 20s wind chills, we’ll have upper 60s temperatures today! I might even wear a dress depending on where we decide to go shoot.
Spring is kicking down winter’s door today and I intend to take full advantage of it!
Here’s a quick vid about the mill and it’s restoration. (My advice to you is: mute the music.)
This is the only photo from the Cathedral. It was taken with my phone as we arrived. I liked the light and stopped to capture it. My camera’s SD card went wonky and every single photo I took is lost, mushed up in one big half gig file. A recovery effort is in progress…but I’m not sure it’ll produce anything.
YBW says I should reformat the SD card…I’m leaning towards chucking it and getting a new one…we’ll see how it goes.
Though I’m sad there are no pics it didn’t make the trip any less wonderful. I saw nativities made of every imaginable medium and from all around the world. My favorite this year was made of terracotta from Argentina, it had the most adorable angels!
Apparently YBW fell down circular steps made of stone, but I missed it because I was in St Joseph’s Chapel taking pictures and communing. He told me the story when he caught me coming down the very same steps. (I didn’t fall.)
I stopped to light a candle and say a prayer in this teeny chapel where the stairs came down before moving upstairs to the Bethlehem Chapel.
I took so many photos, It breaks my heart not to be able to see any of them. But I felt peaceful and full of love after spending this beautiful day with YBW and the baby Jesus.