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architectural

Voyageurs National Park: Resort Old Wooden Shed

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The cabin I was staying in was right in the trees. So close that if you sat on the deck, when it wasn’t raining, you’d see this old wooden shed. It was old, had moss growing on it and looked like it might be just about to fall over. I don’t think it was being used since there wasn’t really a path to it. 

My guess is that it’s about to be reclaimed by nature. Kinda glad I got to see it.

Monticello: From the Back, Panorama

This is a panorama of the entire garden area. I like this one a lot. Though the gardens are probably more impressive in the summer, I even think that the snow and the dirty path help the photo. 

This was the last stop on our Feburary trip. The next photo will be from somewhere else. And somewhen else.

Monticello: From the Back

I was originally a bit confused as I walked up to Monticello. It didn’t really look like I remembered it from the photos I’d seen as a kid. At least not until we wandered out back into the garden area. There was the dome that I remembered. It seems that all of the photos I remembered were the back of the house.

Monticello: the Front Entrance

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After the tour was done, there were a lot of kids running around. So many that the shuttle bus that we were supposed to take back to the Visitor Center was full of them. 

We decided to wait a bit and let them clear out. It did give us the opportunity to wander around and get fog free photos though.

Monticello: A Tree in the Fog

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Standing on the front entry porch and looking back at a tree in the yard. Thick fog. Quiet. I liked it.

Take a look at that column. They are much bigger than they appear.

Monticello: From the Front, in the Fog

Monticello was the home that Thomas Jefferson designed and built for himself. It’s a lovely building and a very interesting tour. It’s located on a higher elevation than either DC or Richmond so there was a lot more snow left from the storm that burried most of the Southeast during this trip. 

I liked the fog. It made it feel very secluded, maybe a bit like it was when Mr. Jefferson lived here. It had burned off by the time we left. And the school field trips were there so that illusion didn’t last long.

Mt. Vernon: Fence

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This is one of those shots that just looks better in the fall (where I live, here it’s February. Looks about the same though.) I love the light and the wonderful long shadows in this shot. 

This is a fence that lined a field at Mt. Vernon. If we’d visited at a different time of year, we’d have seen reenactors working the fields.

Mt. Vernon: Washington Family Tomb Door Harware

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If youve learned anything by now, it’s that I love details. I love the wood grain. I love the pitted rust. I love the rusty water stains. The holes in the wood. The large nails. Everything. 

This is just too damn cool.

Mt. Vernon: Washington Family Tomb

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This was the original Washington family tomb. The General (that’s what the tour guides called him) isn’t buried here. The family built him a special tomb that just a little walk from the house. Both are lovely in different ways. Though there is a lot less security at this one.

Mt. Vernon: Back Porch

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This building looks like stone. You gotta like Colonial ingenuity though. The wood has been beveled to look like stone and then while the paint was still wet, a fine sand was applied to it. It’s a really convincing faux finish. I was fooled.

Mt. Vernon: Old Entrance view

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Welcome to Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington. If you visited before it became a museum, this would be the view from the entrance. The postcard view of this would be at a different time of year, I’d guess. Green grass and all that, but this was fun since there weren’t many people there.

Washington DC: Jefferson Memorial: statue and Declaration

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This was my postcard shot. I scoped it out during the day, but couldn’t get the lighting right. But at night, the lighting helps.

I like postcard shots. When it works, it makes me feel like I might actually know what I’m doing.

Washington DC: Jefferson Memorial From Front

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I loved visiting this at night. There were not many people there, though the buses did come and go while I was there. During the day, you couldn’t see the statue from right here. And night the lights make cool things happen.

Washington DC: Jefferson Memorial at night

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I shot this from across the tidal basin. I shot it from the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. I visited at night just to take this shot. Of course once I turned around, I realized that I needed to explore MLK a little more.

Washington DC: Jefferson Memorial: Ceiling

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This ceiling is based on the old roman style ceiling called a coffered ceiling. It served two purposes. It looked really cool, but on a more practical level it reduces the weight of the ceiling allowing the dome to not collapse.

Once again, sometimes it pays to look up.

Washington DC: Jefferson Memorial

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Growing up, I always wanted to be a man like Thomas Jefferson. He was a writer, a politician, a lawyer, a scientist and an inventor. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized he was also a slave owner who probably was sleeping with one of his slaves. His critic will say he was a hypocrite, his apologists will say he was a complicated man of his times.

My guess is that he, like all of us was human. He had those parts of him that were worth looking up to and those that were not.

Washington DC: Smithsonian Castle Ceiling

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There are a collection of really neat things in the Castle. But the coolest par tof the building is the building iteself. This is a hallway that you walk through on your way to one of the galleries. Sometimes it pays to look up. 

Washington DC: Smithsonian Castle

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The Smithsonian has museums up and down the National Mall. This one however is in a little bit different architectural style than the rest of them. This is the Smithsonian Institution Building. Also known as the Castle. It was the first Smithsonian building and aside from the interesting architecture, is probably the least exciting musem to visit.

Washington DC: National Archives Building

Inside this building I got to see original copies of two increasingly irrelevant documents. The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I also got to see the Declaration of Independence. Overall a nice piece of history. Maybe our politicians should wander through there once in a while instead of just looking to the next campaign contribution.