Flag of the United States

Born in the USA

American flag, steam, and locomotive

American flag, steam, and locomotive

On a recent photography trip to Oregon I was working my way down the coast from sight to sight and town to town. As is often the case on these trips I was heading from one pre-planned location to another when serendipity struck. While we were stopped on the side of the road photographing some arcane roadside attraction, an old American built steam locomotive came chugging down the adjacent railroad tracks.

I quickly shifted my attention from what I was looking at to this beautiful old piece of machinery from a bygone era. After squeezing off a few quick shots the train chugged down the tracks, we noticed that the train was pulling into the small town that we had just passed through. We quickly backtracked and found the train sitting at a siding in the middle of Rockaway Beach, Oregon.

As the train sat at the siding steam continued to pour out of her tanks as the crew oiled the machinery and prepared for the return journey down the coast. It gave us the opportunity to move around the locomotive looking for unique ways to capture her strength and beauty.

During that exploration I was struck by this composition. The plaque denotes the fact that the train was built in Schenectady, New York in September 1925. The steam rising is obviously a byproduct of the machine, but it also adds a certain dramatic flair to the image. And the American flag represents the country and the era that created such a powerful yet now obsolete relic of America’s past.

If you are reading this in the United States, I hope that you take a few minutes this holiday weekend to reflect on your liberty, our great nation, and those that came before us that sacrificed much in order for us to be able to enjoy our Fourth of July celebration.

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American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God

American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God

The American flag and the state flag of South Carolina hang gracefully in beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina

Okay, I’m not trying to stir anything up. I’m sure that others feel equally proud of their country or their region of their country. It’s just that I feel especially fortunate to have been born and to live in the American South. It has to do with values, climate, history, and the beauty of the region. So, no flames please. Just know that I am happy to be where I am.

Earlier this spring, my son, Matt, and I went to the coast of Georgia and South Carolina for a few days. I’ve spent a good bit of time on the southeast coast from North Carolina to Florida. Being from Atlanta, I’ve spent most of my time near Savannah on the barrier islands of Georgia and South Carolina. However, I never made it to Beaufort before this trip. Now that I’ve been there, I certainly plan to return! It’s a beautiful small town that has managed to retain much of its colonial charm. Given the damage incurred in the South during the Civil War, undisturbed antebellum towns are relatively rare.

We passed through Beaufort a couple of times on our trip and stopped both times in order to capture a sense of the place. Azaleas and other spring flowers were in full bloom making the town especially pretty. We spent many hours walking up and down the streets of the old section of town just enjoying the architecture. During our wandering this scene caught my eye. Old Glory and the South Carolina state flag hanging from a postcard perfect porch framed by Spanish moss and flowering azaleas is about as southern as it gets.

If you find yourself at Hilton Head, driving up I-95, or in Savannah, you really should pay a visit to Beaufort. You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy.

 

Boat, Barn, and Flag

Boat, Barn, and Flag

This combination of boat, barn, and flag represents a typical scene that can be found in Maine

After spending a few hours at Pemaquid Point, we made our way back up the peninsula in order to head back toward our hotel. It was a rainy, overcast day and the plan was to pick a few carefully chosen spots in order to avoid the nasty weather.

As is often the case when the weather isn’t ideal, a scene jumped out at me as we drove by. Since we were still very near the coast, it shouldn’t have surprised me to see a boat on supports under repair. Nevertheless, it made for an interesting sight.

As I walked up and down the road a bit to find the best angle, I kept returning to this composition. The boat with the Maine registration tells me that this is a coastal scene. The red shingled barn is beautiful unto itself. The green shingles and white trim contrast beautiful with the barn siding. I especially like the white shingles that have been interwoven with the green ones in a repair job. The American flag adds a jolt of color and makes this a uniquely American scene. Boat, Barn, and Flag isn’t the most creative name for an image, but it certainly describes this one. Enjoy.