Backroads of Virginia, Middleburg

20131103-100345.jpgI just stopped in a super cute town called Middleburg. The streets are lined with fall leaves that feel like they are glowing with reds and yellows. The town smells like baked goods and bacon so I followed my nose to a quaint bakery.

Inside I found pies that are warm from the oven. The smell of homemade cinnamon rolls, muffins and crispy bacon. I ordered a bacon and egg sandwich and as I write this I’m eating it outside in the wam sun.
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The photo above and the first one in this post show what the backroads look like this time of year. You see what I call “fall snow” everywhere which is the graceful swirling of thousands of colored leaves. Well, my sandwich is gone so I’m off again with no idea of where I’ll stop next!

Manassas Civil War Battlefield

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The sky is a rainbow of clouds, the birds are chirping, and I seem to be the only one here. Surrounding me are open fields, a few large trees gracing the landscape, and a number of canons. I’m in the middle of the Manassas Civil War Battlefield where the battle of Bull Run was fought. This was the first major land battle of the armies of Virginia. Seeing this landmark site at sunrise is a must if you can. What a serene location. As I walk across the fields I can only think of the many solders who lost their lives. I hope you’ll have a chance to visit this historical site that was the beginning of a very important change in our history. The abolishment of slavery.

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Where to Travel to in November??? ;)

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Off on another adventure: Backroads exploring Civil War battlefields, Montecello, a drive through the Blue Ridge mountains when the fall leaves are at their peak. The final destination will be the Historic Biltmore Estate. Now I just need to get through this red eye flight which lands at 5:20am. Hoping for an empty row so I can sleep! I hope you'll follow me on my journey 😉

Sunset at Vasona Lake, Los Gatos CA

Vasona Lake View at Sunset
Vasona Lake View at Sunset

A few nights ago I was walking at Vasona Lake and shot this photo. I love framing images and I must say, I generally would not frame three trees smack in the middle of a photo.  But these trees seemed to work well together, and I loved the contrast of the different types of bark. I also like the tiny curling twig at the very top of the middle tree – it looks like my hair in the morning, if you put a bunch together, you’d have a tangled mess.

Also, I have people tell me they have gone to this lake and they are not seeing the reflections.  I have a simple answer for that one. If you want to see reflections – you need to go early or late.  I’m not a real expert on this, but once the sun gets to a certain point, all of the reflections disappear.  The water becomes rippled, and the mystery seems to disappear.  I generally try to walk before 8am or after 6pm.  (But I have to admit – nothing beats the morning reflections.)  Most important is to actually stop and look. I pass so many people walking, running, talking (on their cell phones – ugh!) and I think “You’re missing this incredible beauty!”  Another quick note on Vasona Lake – all of the new spring leaves and flowers are starting to pop so it is absolutely gorgeous. If you don’t live nearby, find a local lake and pay it a morning visit.

If you’d like to see more images I’ll be posting them over the next few weeks. Please click to FOLLOW and I’ll send you the link by email. Cheers!

If you’d like to purchase a print, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors / saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content  on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

Gig Harbor, Washington

Sunrise View at Gig Harbor, Washington
Sunrise View at Gig Harbor, Washington

When I knew I was traveling to Seattle I posted on Facebook and asked people where I should go. My friend Michael was the first to get back to me and told me Gig Harbor (!) My ears always perk up when I hear “harbor” so I immediately looked it up on the internet. I could see that it wasn’t a far drive from Seattle and decided to take the day and explore that area. I got up at 5:30am, hit the original Starbucks, headed south on highway 5 and then north at Tacoma on highway 16. Gig Harbor is the name of both a bay on Pugent Sound and a city on its shore. Quick travel note – you can also take a ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and then drive down to Gig Harbor, but either way you’ll need a car to get there.

It was raining, overcast and a very chilly that day. I know a lot of people wish for sun when they are shooting photos, but I personally love photographing under the clouds and especially in the rain.

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Here’s a little history – During a heavy storm in 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes brought the Captain’s gig into the harbor for protection. Later, with the publication of Wilkes 1841 Map of the Oregon Territory, he named the bay Gig Harbor. The boats today must look totally different. I was there in the winter so it was really quite. It must be absolutely bustling in the summer, boats crisscrossing in the harbor, people in bathing suits, fishing, etc. For me? I prefer the solitude I found that beautiful morning.

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The harbor where I shot these images is just to the right as you enter the city. After, I had breakfast at Tides Tavern. The restaurant has waterfront views and they got my eggs right (always seems like a science project) – poached medium -medium well, whites cooked, yokes runny. (What I wouldn’t give to that in front of me now!)

Tides Tavern Resturant
Tides Tavern Resturant

And yes, fabulous, thick perfectly cooked bacon. I’m surprised the fruit bowl was brave enough to sit so close to that assortment of cholesterol packed, tasty morsels.

Here’s a map that shows you were Gig Harbor is located.  Next, we’re going to head north to the town of Poulsbo and then over to Bainbridge Island.  If you’d like to recieve my next post by email please click the follow button. Cheers!

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If you’d like to purchase a print of this beautiful area, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors / saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content  on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

Escape to Walton Lighthouse

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This morning is quite overcast and I’m sitting at my desk wondering how I’m going to spend my Saturday. I know I should be working on my taxes (ugh) but I think I may drive over to the coast and walk out to one of my favorite lighthouses.  A few quick facts on lighthouses (You may need one of them at your next dinner party):

  • First lighthouse in America –  Boston Harbor (1716)
  • Oldest original lighthouse in service – Sandy Hook, NJ (1764)
  • Newest shore-side lighthouse – Charleston, SC (1962)
  • First lighthouse to use electricity – Statue of Liberty (1886)

If you didn’t get a chance to see my original blog when I drove over did a sunrise walk out to the Walton Lighthouse, I hope you’ll check it out:  https://photogirltravels.com/2012/11/12/sunrise-walk-to-a-lighthouse/  Happy Saturday!

Also, if you’d like to purchase a print of this beautiful area, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors / saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content  on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.