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beautifully ordinary

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.

Crowder's Mountain State Park, NC: Leaf on a Boulder

It was getting dark by the time we reached the point where two trails met. If I’d have skipped the football game, I might have made it to the top of the ridge. As it was, I wandered around for a few minutes and took pictures of things that interested me. Like tis leaf on a boulder

Wrightsville Beach, NC: Polished Shell Fragments

Not only did Wrightsville Beach have a lot of big shells, but it also had a bunch of areas where the top layer of beach was like this. I love how the water and sand have polished these fragments up. Natures own rock tumbler.

Wilmington, NC: USS North Carolina: Valves

On this trip, I spent a lot of time looking to take interesting photos of ordinary things. I think I’ve succeeded here. I’t just a valve and a light. But, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a damn fine photo anyway.

Wilmington, NC: USS North Carolina: Table

This is a polished wood table. There is nothing special about it except that I thought it was pretty. It does happen to be on Battleship North Carolina, but that is just a coincidence.

New Orleans: French Quarter: Jackson Square Cobblestones

Even though we are just walking past, I did duck in to take a couple photos of the cobblestones. To me, this is the sort of thing that speaks of the history of a place. This is not the sort of paving you normally see in Midwestern cities. Mostly because we tear everything down every 40 years or so to make it “modern.”

USS KIDD: Rope Spool

This isn’t a photo of an odd, mysterious thing. It’s not a piece of history with an amazing story. It’s a spool of very big rope. 

I just liked how it turned out.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Ice Stream

I’m not normally the type of person who is impressed by ice. I hate ice. It’s slippery, it causes problems. It is not normally a good thing. 

But in spite of all of that I thought this was pretty. Sue me.

Independent Stave, Kentucky Cooperage Rivet

You don’t need to go to Kentucky to look at a whiskey barrel. They are reused in other types of distilleries. But if you don’t make a habit of visiting distilleries, you can find them a little closer to home too because they are also often available in home improvement stores as planters. If you see one, take a look at it’s rivets. If you see KY (like above) on them, you’ll know that particular barrel was built in Kentucky at the Independent Stave Kentucky Cooperage. You’ll also be able to guess it very probably started it’s life holding bourbon. 

Not that this knowledge will affect your life going forward, but if you gather enough of these little obscure facts you could gain a reputation as being a person who knows things. And that’s a good reputation to have.

Four Roses Bourbon: Fermentation Floor

Bourbon distilleries are, mostly, not set up to be beautiful places. These are factories. A little smaller than the factories than I’ve worked in, but still factories. Industrial places. That might be what makes it so interesting that there are bits of beauty there. Take this photo for example. Wood floors with wide slats to allow easy cleanup, steam pipes for cleaning the fermentation tanks (that big wooded tank off to the right), pipes to bring water and raw materials in. These things should not be beautiful. But with the light coming in the window, the dark shadows, there it is. 

Lesson: find the beauty in your life. You never know where it will show up.