My wife and I have always been enchanted with this lovely farmette at Judy Gap, West Virginia. The charming setting flashes into view on U.S. 33 as you round a downhill curve traveling west. The plain, white farmhouse with the sweeping front porch certainly stands out. However, it is the regiment of matching and neatly maintained red outbuildings outlined in white that really catches the eye.
The picturesque scene certainly conjures up a multitude of questions. What purpose does each building serve? Why are they situated every which way? Do the owners know just how gorgeous their property and unique set of structures are? Do they fully appreciate the beauty of both the setting and their artistic contribution to it?
As a stranger, I’ve never had enough nerve to stop to ask these intrusive questions. Instead, I am content to both admire and share the Currier and Ives-like scene.
“Surrounded” is my Photo of the Week.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2018
Christmas in the mountains.
I pass by this scene on every trip between Holmes Co., Ohio and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Due to schedules or weather, I never had a chance to photograph the beauty of this Christmas tree farm in the mountains of northern West Virginia. But my latest trip proved the perfect opportunity. I wasn’t disappointed. The early morning sun highlighted the various greens and browns of early September, and the rows of evergreens added a geometric touch to the natural beauty.
“Christmas in the Mountains” is my Photo of the Week.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2016
Country chapel. © Bruce Stambaugh 2014.
My wife and I drove for four hours in a steady to light rain from our home in Ohio on our way to Virginia’s Shenandoah’s Valley. We never saw the sun. We passed through Judy Gap, West Virginia, a low spot in the razorback ridge of the nearly vertical Tuscarora quartzite outcropping, and started up yet another mountain pass. As we rounded a curve, this country chapel stood, basking in the bright sunshine that had broken through the heavy cloud cover.
The contrast between the little church’s illuminated white paint, silver roof, and the dark clouds in the background made this week’s Photo of the Week selection easy. “Country chapel” is it.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2014.
The NSA listening station near Sugar Grove, West Virginia.
Today bloggers around the world are protesting the unreasonable intrusions into our private lives, all in the name of national security that the NSA does daily to both U.S. and world citizens. I clearly understand that “they” have an important job to do in tracking down terrorists.
I communicate regularly with friends around the world via this blog, on Facebook, and by emails on personal matters with them. Not one of them is threatening to any government, anywhere. In fact, as a Mennonite, I am a non-violent person, and most of my writing is about or for citizens of the Amish community. We are people of peace, but we also want and enjoy our privacy as well.
Last fall, while visiting in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, I ventured up to Reddish Knob, a lovely location along the Appalachian Mountain range. From my vantage point, I noticed some large disks and several buildings in the valley to the west. I was told that was one of the NSA’s listening locations, near Sugar Grove, West Virginia.
Of course I did the obvious. I took some pictures of the facility. In effect, I was spying on the NSA. I’m sure I wasn’t the first, and clearly I gained nothing but a chuckle from the juxtaposition.
I understand that the NSA has a job to do. However, I hope that our right to privacy is soon restored since my friends, followers, and I have absolutely nothing to do with violence.
Grace and peace to all.