Ashe County Vignettes and Landscapes

This post features more backroad vignettes and landscapes from recent visits to Ashe County, North Carolina. First up is an old outhouse behind the Phipps General Store near Lansing. As the sign and door cuts suggest, this appears to have been a unisex outhouse. Folklorist would say the moon cut indicated “for females” and the star cut meant “for males”. While the horseshoe generally was used for good luck, I’m not sure of it’s use in this context.

Phipps General Store Hisn & Hern Outhouse
Phipps General Store Hisn & Hern Outhouse

The remaining captures are from various corners of the county obtained by just driving around exploring the county backroads. Sometimes those backroads change from asphalt to hard packed gravel, and back.

Shed on E Big Springs Rd Ashe County
Shed on E Big Springs Rd Ashe County
Grassy Creek Abandoned Barn 2 Composition 1
Grassy Creek Abandoned Barn 2 Composition 1
Farm on Bryan Davis Rd, Ashe County Composition 2
Farm on Bryan Davis Rd, Ashe County Composition 2
Abandoned Neaves Home Tin Roof Detail
Abandoned Neaves Home Tin Roof Detail
Abandoned House on Silas Creek Rd
Abandoned House on Silas Creek Rd

Thank you for visiting. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Fall Beauty on the Back Roads of Watauga County

With its high-country artsy shops, dining, and vacation attractions, Boone, NC is the well know seat of Watauga County.  It’s also the home of Appalachian State University.  During my 2021 fall foliage expedition, I was committed to exploring the lesser-known county back roads.

My first stop was this lovely red barn as I started my drive along Meat Camp Rd up to Elks Knob State Park.  From the Elk Knob a parking lot, a 2 mile hike to the 5520 ft. summit offered gorgeous views of the surrounding landscapes.  Grandfather Mountain is in the center left on the horizon line.

Red Barn on Cobb Creek 1
Red Barn on Cobb Creek 1
Elk Knob Southwesterly Landscape 1
Elk Knob Southwesterly Landscape 1

Later I explored Howard’s Creek Rd, over to Hwy 421, and then on to the far western parts of the county near the board with Tennessee.  While exploring, you drive along in anticipation of your next photographic find!

Old Barn on Howard's Creek Rd
Old Barn on Howard’s Creek Rd
Old Barn in George Gap Composition 3Old Barn in George Gap Composition 3
Old Barn in George Gap Composition 3
Old Barn in Georges Gap Composition 1
Old Barn in Georges Gap Composition 1

For the color images in this post, I used Alien Skin’s Exposure 6 to create a blend of slide film emulations. I started with a base emulation of Kodachrome 25 and then blended an emulation of vintage 70’s era Kodachrome. I’m quite fond of the result which slightly narrows yellow tonality range in favor of a bit more orange. It also restrains overly saturated greens. A great look for fall colors!

Abandoned Building on Bulldog Rd
Abandoned Building on Bulldog Rd
Abandoned Building on Bulldog Rd Detail
Abandoned Building on Bulldog Rd Detail

Thank you for visiting! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Phipps Barn Complex in Ashe County

Exploring backcountry roads in Ashe County last month, I got quite excited as this large, beautiful old barn complex appeared on Silas Creek Rd came into view.

Phipps Farm Composition 2
Phipps Farm Composition 2
Phipps Farm Composition 4
Phipps Farm Composition 4
Phipps Farm Composition 3
Phipps Farm Composition 3
Phipps Farm Composition 1
Phipps Farm Composition 1

Near the mountain town of Lansing, this sprawling barn complex sits just across the street from the Phipps Country Store, a Friday night gathering spot for local musicians.  I hope to visit this old barn again in the coming weeks to capture its beauty with fall color. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Monochrome Monday: Mountain Farm Museum

The Mountain Farm Museum, adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC, is a unique collection of farm buildings assembled from locations throughout the area. Most of the structures were built in the late 19th century and were moved here in the 1950s. This was one of the stops on my October Appalachian fall foliage expedition.

Mountain Farm Museum Barn Landscape Composition
Mountain Farm Museum Barn Landscape Composition

Visitors can explore a log farmhouse, barn, apple house, springhouse, and a working blacksmith shop to get a sense of how families may have lived 100 years ago. The Davis House offers a rare chance to view a log house built from chestnut wood before the chestnut blight decimated the American Chestnut in our forests during the 1930s and early 1940s. I found the site to be a monochrome photography goldmine!

Mountain Farm Museum Woodshed Composition 1
Mountain Farm Museum Woodshed Composition 1
Mountain Farm Museum Woodshed Detail 1
Mountain Farm Museum Woodshed Detail 1
Mountain Farm Museum Davis House Composition Vignette 1
Mountain Farm Museum Davis House Composition Vignette 1
Antique Hay Rake Composition 1
Antique Hay Rake Composition 1
Mountain Farm Museum Barn Vignette 1
Mountain Farm Museum Barn Vignette 1

Thank you for stopping by! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version. Please stay safe!

Cheers,

C. S.

Rainy Day in the New River Valley, Pt 3 – Jackson Farm

This farm is located on Shottower Rd, which leads to the Shot Tower State Park, just off I-77 near Austinville and Ft. Chiswell, Viriginia.  A local farmer told me this abandoned farm once belonged to a relative of the famous Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.  It was foreclosed on and now stands mostly abandoned.  The property is currently used to store rolls of hay, as seen in the previous post in this series.

Jackson Barn Landscape
Jackson Barn Landscape

Abandoned Jackson Barn Front Composition
Abandoned Jackson Barn Front Composition

American Breeders Service Plaque Vignette
American Breeders Service Plaque Vignette

American Breeders Service Plaque Composition
American Breeders Service Plaque Composition

Jackson Barn Rain Drops Composition
Jackson Barn Rain Drops Composition

Thank you for taking time to visit my photo blog!

Cheers,

C. S.

Falling Snow On Falling Barn

Winter 2018’s last stand has finally come and gone.  The same could be said for this old southern barn and surrounding fields, currently being cleared for residential housing.

Falling Snow On Falling Barn 1
Falling Snow On Falling Barn 1

Most of the exterior wood of this old barn has already been removed and “upcycled” for use in rustic home furnishings and decor.  I blogged about this last July in my Vanishing American Barns post, and featured this barn in a composition.

Falling Snow On Falling Barn 2
Falling Snow On Falling Barn 2

By keeping my POV out of the direct wind, my lens shade was able to keep the snow off my front lens element.  Shooting at 1/320th just about froze the jumbo snowflakes greater than 10 feet (3 meters) out.  As snowflakes got closer to the lens, more and more of a slight motion blur was introduced.

Falling Snow On Falling Barn 3
Falling Snow On Falling Barn 3

Thanks for visiting my blog!  For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Vulture Sunrise Barn Gathering

My typical route to work takes me by a large weathered barn, relatively close to the road.  Early this week, as I approached the barn in my car, I noticed a large group of Turkey Vultures on top of the barn.  I pulled off, turned around and came back to hopefully get some shots without scaring them off.  I moved slowly, while keeping an eye out for traffic on the busy road.

Barn and Vulture Composition 1
Barn and Vulture Composition 1

During my processing workflow, I noticed some birds had red heads and others were black.  At first I thought this was a gender distinction; while researching the Turkey Vulture, I learned the black head vultures are actually the Black Vulture.  The Turkey Vulture has a strong sense of smell, which helps them locate decaying animal flesh – carrion.  The Black Vulture has no sense of smell and therefore usually hangs close to the Turkey Vulture.

Barn and Vulture Composition 2
Barn and Vulture Composition 2

In these photos you can see several birds with spread-wing postures.  This serves to dry wings and for thermoregulation.  At night these birds maintain a lower body temperature – morning wing spreading helps raise their body temperature by absorbing solar energy.  As in this case, they typically face the back of their wings to the rising sun.

Barn and Vulture Composition 3
Barn and Vulture Composition 3

With a maximum wingspan of up to 6 ft (183 cm), vultures are quite beautiful in flight. But, not so much up-close, on the ground.  The vulture serves a vital environmental role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.  They not only eat and clear decaying animal matter, but they’re digestive systems also kill harmful bacteria associated with carrion.

Thanks for taking time to visit my blog.  For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.