Friday, 11 May 2018 21:32

If Forestry Had a Cradle...

All of the land in the fog-filled valley below my perch was once owned by George Washington Vanderbilt II, and on it, with the dendrologic knowledge of Carl A. Schenck, was established the first school of forestry in America. The Cradle of Forestry is now a part of the Pisgah National Forest and serves to share with everyone the knowledge of Vanderbilt's and Schenck's work and its heritage for all of us - the successes, the failures, the wisdom of trees. As the sun peeked cautiously  over the eastern mountains, I watched the valley mist roll like waves on a woody sea.

A focal length of 62mm, still within the "normal" range, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/8, given the camera-to-subject distance, and a shutter speed of 0.3 second at ISO 200 allowed me to stop the movement in the fog to avoid unwanted blurring, provide depth-of-field, and also to create a somewhat darker-than-medium exposure: all without building unacceptable amounts of digital noise into the file.

I often wonder if Schenck came to this spot, before there was a Blue Ridge Parkway, to watch in silence as the new day began.

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9 comments

  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Saturday, 19 May 2018 08:38 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good morning Everyone. I hope you have had an excellent week. Four days of fairly continuous rain did nothing to dampen our spirits as Bonnie and I shared Washington D.C. with Stephanie Cooper and her family. I seem to have this strange love/hate relationship with this city, but that's a story for another time, and the Southern Mountains are not going to be outdone, for the rain has followed us home.
    Thank you all very much for joining me for this conversation and for your thoughtful comments. You inspire me with your expressions of feeling.
    Hey Ron. Thank you, as always, for joining us and for your kind words. I have been enjoying you Facebook postings. Spring is well on its way to New England.
    Hi Lynn. I always appreciate having you join us, for I know how you love these mountains. Bonnie and I drove the entire Skyline Drive on our way to DC. It was a wonderful reminder of "moving seasons." The leaves are just now unfurling there. Your words are wonderful encouragement to discovery. Happy Mother's Day to you also.
    Hey Joani. Ha! Becoming reasonably conversant with my camera over the years has been enough of a challenge. Adding real liquid, canvas, and brushes would probably be more than I could handle; but thanks for you kind comment. It's always good to hear from you.
    Ah, J Warren, your words always take us to some wonderful place; and I am always grateful when I can pique your memories to be shared with us. The difference between "in" and "on" is surely much more than a choice of prepositions, and I delight in your sharing that recognition with us. We look forward to seeing you soon.
    Hey Pat. We're looking forward to seeing you soon as well. You were often on my mind as I wandered the architectural gorges of DC, and your kind words are also wonder-full. Be well and Walk in Beauty.
    Hi Rosemary. Thank you for pointing out those sleeping dragons for us. These mountains are filled with exotic creatures, and it's always a treat to encounter them. I'm certainly willing to entertain the idea of you painting some of my work. Tell me what you have in mind, and we'll see where it goes.
    Hey Nancy T. It's always a good day when I hear from you and can add your thoughtful comments to our conversation. It's funny you mention Brahms - or any other classical composer for that matter - for it so often happens that when I am in these mountains, I hear the sounds of music and my hear is lifted. Your reminder of that experience is a wonderful way to conclude a conversation, especially on Barn Day.
    Thank you all, again, for opening my eyes a bit more to the beauty in my life, and for being a part of that journey of wonderment.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Monday, 14 May 2018 11:33 posted by Nancy Tripp

    This must be where Brahms got his inspiration because the only thing missing is a lullaby.

  • Comment Link Rosemary Benson Sunday, 13 May 2018 20:42 posted by Rosemary Benson

    I wouldn’t mind painting some of your photos.

  • Comment Link Rosemary Benson Sunday, 13 May 2018 16:01 posted by Rosemary Benson

    Forestry has a cradle, for one can see the sleeping dragons!

  • Comment Link Pat Crutchfield Sunday, 13 May 2018 11:52 posted by Pat Crutchfield

    Wow. Wonder-full.

  • Comment Link jwarrenberry Sunday, 13 May 2018 10:25 posted by jwarrenberry

    How peaceful! I feel as though I can walk on the clouds and reach down to touch the mountains. Pisgah National Forest is one of my favorite places.

    Your photograph brought back a flood of memories and emotions—the bite of a cold wind, its quiet haunting side when leaves are gone and and the forest exhales, being on a summit looking down on mountains in the dark while watching the sun set from above, the snap of a tent pole in the dark...

    In the Cradle of Forestry, one is in the mountains—not just on them.

    Thank you for bringing beauty to life!

  • Comment Link Joani Sunday, 13 May 2018 09:56 posted by Joani

    I thought maybe you took up painting!

  • Comment Link Lynn Harrison Sunday, 13 May 2018 09:04 posted by Lynn Harrison

    Love all of the land below where you photographed. I just happened on the Cradle of Forestry in American Heritage when I was wandering the wonderful Blue Ridge Parkway. thanks for bringing back some of those images in my mind. My best to you and Bonnie....Happy Mother's Day, Bonnie!!

  • Comment Link Ron Belovitz Sunday, 13 May 2018 08:39 posted by Ron Belovitz

    Beautiful image Don!

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