took a hike, took a camera: Bearfence Mountain

One time when I was a little girl, living with my Nanny, she made a quick run to the grocery store. Nanny left me home alone watching He-Man and She-Ra, coloring innocently at the coffee table. She walked out the door and a beacon of light shined down onto a bowl filled with mini Snickers, placed just out of my reach, on top of the microwave. I tossed my crayon and tugged a chair across the thick carpet. Wobbly legs and tippy-toes. The dog, Fluffy, gave me a sideways stare. That bowl was mine. I tore into those Snickers like a boss. I probably threw back 15 of those suckers! One after another into my little tummy. I heard Nanny’s car pull up so I quickly put the bowl back (empty wrappers and all), returned the chair and resumed my coloring. Within the hour I was in full regret mode. I felt gross….then, I yakked. And if you’ve ever yakked a candy bar, you know exactly the terrifying alienesque blob that was staring back at me from the toilet. I didn’t eat a Snickers bar for 10 years after that day.

Ben and I woke up one Sunday a couple of weeks ago and realized that, for the first time in a long time, we were kid-free and obligation-free onthesameday! A beacon of light shined on our day and we were eager to get out. I was so pumped I skipped a shower and threw my hair up in a tangled knot, put on some week old shorts and grabbed my backpack. We decided to hit a trail that a co-worker had recently told me about with beautiful 360 views called Bearfence on Skyline Drive. The trail was rugged and included some rock scrambling that will put your ego in check. As promised, the views were amazing. The layered gray clouds hovering over layered blue mountains were perfect. The kind of perfect you see in magazines and wish you could visit one day. I showed off a yoga pose (which is really dang hard to do when you’re on top of the world!), Ben ate a bagel, we took some selfies and then we hiked back to the car. We filled the rest of our day with a stop at two vineyards: Kilaurwen where we got to go on a property hike and Moss where we watched a rainband move in over several sets of hills before heading home to watch a movie.

When I was a little girl, that day of over-indulging in mini Snickers taught me a very valuable lesson. Mainly: the good things in life are best when savored, not indulged. There aren’t many free hours in my life these days and that makes those rare gems of unplanned days better than any candy bar, mini or deluxe, that I can imagine. I truly savored our time on the mountain and every drop of wine that followed….and I did not yak up an alien blob of remorse that day.

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took a hike, took a camera: Doyles River Falls

I was the first one awake on Mother’s Day morning. My son returned home after midnight the previous night because of a band trip to Busch Garden’s. He was exhausted and my daughter likes to savor the morning so the house was quiet that Sunday at 7:15am. I filled a small pot with water and scooped some rich grounds into my french press, hearing the grounds hit the glass for maybe the first time ever. Light poured in the window as my coffee steeped, the house still and quiet. I tidied and swept the main floor carefully then tippy-toed the trash and recycling to the bin outside. The kids woke up one by one and greeted me with a hug and a “What’s for breakfast?” They ate sleepy-eyed and I packed our bag for the hike. We arrived at the Doyles River Falls lot around 11am and it felt a little like my house that morning. It was calm and still, as if our presence alone would wake up the residents. Not far onto the trail we rounded a turn and met a deer. Then, one after another, we saw lots of life on our hike: flowers, snails, millepedes (so many millepedes), gnats (so many gnats) and a snake (which I did not get close enough to photograph). We even passed our Harrisonburg friend Danielle and her boyfriend Cody on this trail! Doyles has two falls: upper and lower. The trail guide I have says “two waterfalls with different personalities.” I didn’t know what that meant until I saw the second waterfall. They were equally beautiful but so very different. And, they’re close to each other so you get two falls in one hike which is sweet. On our way back we passed a group of hikers that let us know there was a black bear ahead, peacefully turning over rocks, looking for food. I had a little tinge of fear, I’ll be honest. But it was way helpful to know it was up ahead and that the people who told us about it lived to tell us so… We saw it, I took a blurry photo of it and then we hauled it up the path. On the last leg of the climb, Ben and Blake raced to the parking lot. They each met their match…neither wanted to keep going and neither of them would quit. It was a fun sight for me and Ella, casually lagging behind. The day ended with one more pull-off along the Drive to take in the rolling mountains under gray skies followed by a Mother’s Day barbecue courtesy of my little sister, Brook. It was the perfect gift from her and a delicious post-hike meal for all.

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Bonus mini-waterfall on the hike.
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Upper Doyles
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Lower DoylesDoyles_River_Falls_25Doyles_River_Falls_28Doyles_River_Falls_29Doyles_River_Falls_26Doyles_River_Falls_27Doyles_River_Falls_33Doyles_River_Falls_31Doyles_River_Falls_36Doyles_River_Falls_35Doyles_River_Falls_37Doyles_River_Falls_38Doyles_River_Falls_39Doyles_River_Falls_40Doyles_River_Falls_41Doyles_River_Falls_43Cell phone summary:DoylesFalls_VA_1 Skyline Drive_VA_2Skyline Drive_VA_4 Skyline Drive_VA_3

 

took a hike, took a camera: Dark Hollow Falls

It was me, three kids, a baby doll and enough snacks to survive a week in the wild. Snacks are essential. My kids are not cool when they’re hungry…and that says a whole lot because my kids are pretty cool.  So there we were, snacks and all, driving up Skyline Drive. The sun was shining, the windows cracked, the radio up. My daughter and niece wailing T. Swift in the backseat. My son riding shotgun and happy to be next to me. (sigh) Things were looking good…then I rolled the window up and my son did a silent breakdance in the passenger seat until I realized his hand was stuck and those Elvis-inspired hip thrusts were actually jolts of pain. Dang it. He recovered quickly and we were back on our way. Even after that, I wasn’t nervous about the solo hike with three kids because, well, I’m always surrounded by kids: my kids, their friends, my friend’s kids, my family’s kids. Plus, it’s my job. I’m surround by teenagers all day Monday-Friday and they’ve got me well trained to expect the unexpected.

We pulled into an overflowing parking lot at 10:30am. It was filled with cars from all over the U.S. The kids read the license plates aloud as I searched for parking and I found myself feeling very thankful that this gorgeous part of the world is right in the Valley’s backyard. For our hike, I chose Dark Hollow Falls because 1) I know it’s a popular hike, would be highly traveled and therefore help would be near should I encounter a human-eating animal. I kid. Sort of. 2) I’ve hiked this trail with my kids before and they loved it. And 3)  It’s a good workout but not a full day commitment. It’s a 1.4 mile hike with an optional .4 mile addition to the bottom of the falls (which we did). I read once that the Dark Hollow hike is .7 miles down and 7 miles back. That seems about right with the seemingly leisurely stroll down to the falls with a heck-of-a haul on the way back up. Shew. We passed lots of friendly hikers and everyone we saw that day greeted us with a smile. The kids enjoyed the day…and I think the baby doll did, too.

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Dark Hollow Falls from above (top) and below (well, below).bsomeDark Hollow Falls10 bsomeDark Hollow Falls11 bsomeDark Hollow Falls13 bsomeDark Hollow Falls15 bsomeDark Hollow Falls22 bsomeDark Hollow Falls19 bsomeDark Hollow Falls18bsomeDark Hollow Falls27bsomeDark Hollow Falls32bsomeDark Hollow Falls31bsomeDark Hollow Falls25bsomeDark Hollow Falls33bsomeDark Hollow Falls35bsomeDark Hollow Falls37bsomeDark Hollow Falls39bsomeDark Hollow Falls36

Cell phone summary:

Dark Hollow Falls

took a hike, took a camera: South River Falls

My front door was a revolving door of family and friends all weekend, leaving my heart happy and full of the stuff: laughter, love, home-cooked meals, hugs, family. It made sense to keep the good vibes going and complete the weekend with a hike…this time, to South River Falls. Rather than being greeted with snow and ice-covered trails like in January and February, we were greeted with blue skies, dripping icicles and fresh mud. The mountains are thawing…specks of green reaching to the sun. We squelched our way along the trail enjoying this time of transition in nature. My friend, Howard Zehr, is working on a photography series for his upcoming show that compares leaves to human aging. I thought a lot about his series as I walked and watched my kids explore that day, their grandfather by their side. The kids, like fresh little green buds. I also thought a lot about bears. I mean, it is Spring…and they’re probably pretty hungry. As much time as I’ve spent in the woods, I’ve only seen a real live bear once…just outside of DC, of all places. No bears today though. Just a few falling icicles that I was certain would have me for lunch…until I realized they were icicles. And icicles don’t have teeth. Or stomachs.
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South River Falls! I can’t wait to see it again surrounded by more green!SouthRiverFalls7688SouthRiverFalls7641SouthRiverFalls7645SouthRiverFalls7655SouthRiverFalls7657There’s always an injury. Next time, I will bring actual bandaids.
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cell phone summary:SouthRiverFalls CellShots

took a hike, took a camera: Whiteoak Canyon

The kids helped me pack supplies for the day: water, gummies, pop tarts, a Harry Potter book, hand warmers, a loupe, bandaids.  My son threw in his fire-starter knife, you know, just incase. Not my standard backpack-o-survival but it would surely get us through the day. Our friend, Erin, met us in Broadway and we headed to Skyline Drive via 211/Luray. The Whiteoak trail was solid ice at first. My daughter hit the deck after three steps…but we laughed it off and kept moving, staying in the brush and stepping toward exposed earth. My son, on the other hand, charged forward. Slipping, sliding, hurdling, clanking sticks, climbing to the tallest points…my little goat…setting my stomach into fits of somersaults. Boys…middle school boys. Lord help ’em. We noticed some large tracks on the trail. And now that I review the photos, maybe they are a bit larger in my head than in real life. I tend to lean toward exaggeration…it’s more fun. That day though, I was thankful I didn’t have cell service. I would’ve googled the paw prints and convinced myself they were the print of a timber wolf…and that’s pretty unlikely. Right? …right?! Ella declared herself “Detective Cheetah” and inspected the prints with the loupe she brought along. Her prediction: a ghost cat. The paw prints led to some interesting conversations about ghost cats, ghost catnaps, animal use of man-made trails, animal communication and relationships compared to that of humans. The mountain is a great place to ask such questions and not expect answers. So we did a lot of that. Just as the kids started getting a little antsy…we could hear the roar of the falls. I’ll never forget my son’s face when he stood on the rock and looked out at Whiteoak Canyon. For a split second, he was all kid again. In awe of nature. Stoked. I can’t bottle that pure emotion but I aim to keep setting up moments like that for my children. We didn’t want to leave but the sun would be getting low soon. We finished our snacks and retraced our steps, content with new memories in our bank.
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These protein balls are the perfect hike snack. They’re super easy and delish. Here’s the recipe.
fclWhiteoak Canyon53fclWhiteoak Canyon54fclWhiteoak Canyon50And the tree was happy.

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cell phone summary:
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took a hike, took a camera: Rose River Falls

We didn’t set out to hike Rose River that day, but with wintery road conditions closing the south end of Skyline Drive, our plans quickly changed. “It’s the prettiest waterfall in the park,” said the man who greeted us at the gate. What was I supposed to say? Oh nah, I’m good. The directions were simple but after unknowingly missing the very first left turn, navigation got weird. Before we knew it a 2.6 mile hike turned into a four hour hike, I’m guessing around 8 miles. But it was worth it. Not necessarily because of the falls, which were quite pretty (even though fallen trees covered in drooping ice obstructed full view), but because I got to see Ben pretend the ice-covered trail was an adult slip-n-slide and earn a gnarly bruise on his butt. And also because the mountains are so beautiful in the winter: icicles hanging in curious little nooks, river water charging through openings in frozen layers, dainty animal tracks on untouched snow. The silence…broken by moving water and swaying tree tops. Plus, I probably burned like 74,019,457,361 calories that day. So, yeah.

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<–the end of Dark Hollow Falls | Rose River Falls + fallen tree + serious icicle—>
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cell phone summary:
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Say Cheese, Pumpkin.

I have never made a cheesecake. And after this shoot, I can now say: I still have never made a cheesecake but I have seen one made. Seen it right through my camera lens. I first met Isabelle at the Blue Nile (RIP). She was the friendly bartender and I was the loner at the bar, staring at my planner, eating nachos and replying to emails. She would make me a white Russian and keep me company from time to time. Since then, through various social media, I’ve come to know Isabelle as a true lover of kitchen-time…and insects, and the wonderful little trinkets of this weathered-world that go overlooked by the masses. I knew she was a perfect candidate for October’s Celebrating Life shoot.

Last Saturday, Isabelle invited me over on a chilly fall morning to help….er watch her do some baking in her adorable apartment in the heart of Harrisonburg. When she greeted me at the door it’s as if she was holding the smells of fall mornings hostage. A warm, comfortable wave of baked  pumpkin hugged my face and my cheeks rosied at the latch of the door lock behind me. What a great reflection of the soul a home is. I let myself get lost in her comforts before getting down to business. I mean, pumpkin cheesecake is surrrious business.

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"That's Logan's little pile."

“That’s Logan’s little pile.”

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As Isabelle measured and tossed ingredients into the mixing bowl, she told me about the glass jar of vanilla on the table. Her sister makes homemade vanilla each year as gifts for the family. When they are finished with the jar, they return it to her to refill. She also shared that she got most of her ingredients locally at the Friendly City Food Co-op which is walking distance from her place. She described that she loves to give her adored knickknacks away to spread joy because they’re just things that she’ll find joy in replacing on her next round of thrift shopping. Some of her things hold sentimental value…like the artwork on her fridge. And her cat. When I asked about her home and her style inspiration she put it simply: “it’s all about color and comfort.” And I guess she nailed it…because it all visually worked and I was dang comfortable. Isabelle loves baking and sharing the sweet goods of her efforts with local friends. On the evening of this particular day, she would head off to the Shendandoah Mountain Bike Festival to volunteer her time shuttling bikers and sharing her homemade cookies at the cookie table (<—every event needs one of those!). She talked about her dreams of opening a local, French-inspired bakery. She spoke kindly of her family and her parents and her life. I have only one wish for my time with Isabelle that day…and that is that I could’ve stayed just a bit longer. She is a joy to be around and her loving, positive outlook on her life is refreshing. And yeah, the cheesecake was dank!FriendlyCityLensPumpChs11FriendlyCityLensPumpChs12FriendlyCityLensPumpChs18FriendlyCityLensPumpChs20FriendlyCityLensPumpChs7FriendlyCityLensPumpChs22FriendlyCityLensPumpChs23FriendlyCityLensPumpChs21FriendlyCityLensPumpChs24FriendlyCityLensPumpChs25FriendlyCityLensPumpChs26FriendlyCityLensPumpChs27FriendlyCityLensPumpChs30FriendlyCityLensPumpChs29FriendlyCityLensPumpChs31FriendlyCityLensPumpChs35FriendlyCityLensPumpChs33FriendlyCityLensPumpChs36

I hope you find some time today to enjoy a friendly face in your community, bake something that makes the smell of your home hug someone’s face, support a local business that bakes goods with love and purpose or, perhaps, indulge in a hefty slice of pumpkin cheesecake. Here’s a recipe that look a-friggin-mazing. And here’s one that doesn’t even require and oven (and it has lovely photos too). Happy National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

And be sure to check out more from my Celebrating Life series!

 

Ashley & Her Dumplings

There are a few roads and chunks of land in Rockingham County, just west of Rt. 42 near Linville, that act as a time machine for me. Gravel turns, belly-flipping hills, broken fence posts, chicken houses, touched-by-time barns, cow-trampled dirt, a storm following the ridge-line in the distance…they serve as photographs to moments passed. To me, these moments are treasures. Little golden trinkets of knowledge practically useless to speak of, yet undoubtedly priceless in the making of me; parts to a whole. This chest of images was spread out before me last week as I drove passed these real-life photographs, on my way to photograph a new memory.

Apples are one of those things that remind me of my Nanny. She was a hard working woman that started picking in the Timberville orchards in her pre-teen years. She used to buy and peel apples for me when I visited her on the weekends as a child. I decided on National Apple Dumpling Day as my Celebrating Life shoot for September in honor of her. When Ashley Sauder Miller told me about her grandmother’s apple dumpling recipe, it took me about four seconds to reply to her…I was sold.

It has been five years since Ashley lost her father and only three years since she lost her grandmother but they are very much alive in her home. For Ashley, her rooted appreciation for cooking didn’t come solely from her grandmother. While Ashley wrangled three of her four children to the kitchen counter, kept multiple conversations going at once, measured ingredients and made me coffee, she reminisced about her dad’s presence in the kitchen when she was a child. She told me a story, one I’m personally familiar with, of the aromas that fill a home during a big cook…and the sounds. These things create connections to your younger self. Just as the salty air and sound of the sea; just as the smell of those ol’ jeans you wore to the last bon fire; just as your sweaty little puppy-dog-smellin’ son after playing outside in his fort all day. Her dad did this for her…he created memories and connections…and meals.

Her content children helped with both dumpling prep and dumpling devouring. They left and rejoined us and went to play again and then helped some more. Those kids don’t even know the information their noses and ears and tastebuds are recording with each moment like this. None of us do I guess. Her son, Sullivan, returned to the kitchen to tell me about their recent visit to get milk from Mt. Crawford Creamer and then he helped mix ingredients with his hands and spoon and then he zoomed his bike around the front porch. Her youngest daughter, Taitum, carried unrelated cabinet findings to a pile in the center of the kitchen floor as her way of helping…all while eating, what seemed to be, an everlasting apple. Her other daughter, Finnly, who was home from school sick, helped stir the sugary, cinnamon-y, glazey topping on the stove then retreated to the sofa for some r&r ‘toon time.  And poor Teagan, the oldest, was stuck at school all day. Wamp.

As Ashley chopped, boiled, mixed and baked, loved on her children, wiped noses and laughed and talked the echoes of her father and grandma filled her kitchen in the form of smells and sounds and love. John and Zona were surely smiling from above…with their mouths watering.

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John, Ashley’s dad, holding her as a baby.

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An old photo of Zona, Ashley's grandma, oversees the apple dumpling making.

An old photo of Zona, Ashley’s grandma, oversees the day’s dumpling making.

Happy Apple Dumpling Day!
Go enjoy the smells and creations of your loved ones!

And be sure to check out more from my Celebrating Life series!

Red Wing Roots II: Day 3

It felt a lot like a Sunday when I parked my car on the third and final day of the second annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival. Time moves differently on Sundays. It ticks away and reminds us to notice the smells and colors and faces and light, to slow ourselves down and enjoy one last little morsel of, in this case, a mid-summer musical dessert. When I shut my car door, there were no echoes on this third day…no soft melodies or harmonicas bouncing off the Chimney’s. There was quiet. A little alarming, I admit, for a music festival…but I proceeded anyway, with curiosity and camera. As I moved towards the back of the seated, silent crowd, I heard Trent Wagler wailing out a line from his gospel set. It was an experience to be there in that moment, watching this community church under overcast skies, surrounded by beauty and bodies who needed this healing sound. People napped and recovered and carried themselves to the stage to wake up. Dang good way to start a day.
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Next up was Willie Watson, who I found to be a pleasant surprise. I love watching passion pour from a face with each lyric…eye wrinkles forming in the delivery of a verse, veins bulging with blood pounding from an aching heart and a shaky esophagus to distract from a tear. I got to see this in Willie’s performance of Rock Salt and Nails, among others. I feel you man. But before I let myself get stuck in my own head, I wandered around to mingle and grab images of smiling faces. It was a good move, the sun joined us and the rest of the day came with a smooth, steady beat as each new band took the stage.
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bsomeIMG_9686bsomeIMG_9699Above: Lucas Roasting Company saved the day for a lot of folks. Below: Year-old swag…we missed you this year Caleb!

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Above: Blackfeather Furniture made taking a break look goooood.bsomeIMG_9632

JP Harris & The Touch ChoicesbsomeIMG_9603bsomeIMG_9626bsomeIMG_9645bsomeIMG_9636bsomeIMG_9602bsomeIMG_9612bsomeIMG_9646bwbsomeIMG_9623bwbsomeIMG_9655bsomeIMG_9613bsomeIMG_9677bsomeIMG_9678bsomeIMG_9671bsomeIMG_9668bwbsomeIMG_9667bwbsomeIMG_9582bwbsomeIMG_9477bwbsomeIMG_9480bwbsomeIMG_9482bwbsomeIMG_9719

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Bryan Elijah Smith & the Wild HeartsbsomeIMG_9874bwbsomeIMG_9864bwbsomeIMG_9889bwbsomeIMG_9941bwbsomeIMG_9915bwbsomeIMG_9893bsomeIMG_9894bsomeIMG_9903bsomeIMG_9896bwFCLIMG_9688bsomeIMG_9713bsomeIMG_9716bsomeIMG_9759

The Revelers

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It was time to fill our tanks with some Hanks.bsomeIMG_0030 bsomeIMG_0027 bsomeIMG_0034cbsomeIMG_9578bsomeIMG_0212

Peter Rowan’s Bluegrass Band
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Townes Van Zandt Tribute Set packed the stage with a smorgasbord or festival talent.bsomeIMG_0171 bsomeIMG_0136 bsomeIMG_0116bsomeIMG_0060bw bsomeIMG_0132 bsomeIMG_0135 bsomeIMG_0162 bsomeIMG_0064bsomeIMG_0106bsomeIMG_0065 bsomeIMG_0056

Hayes Carll wrapped up the evening and the festival for the year.bsomeIMG_0291 bsomeIMG_0251 bsomeIMG_0216 bsomeIMG_0228 bsomeIMG_0219c bsomeIMG_0247bw

See you next year, friends!bsomeIMG_0050

Didya miss Day 1? Click here to get caught up! What about Day 2?

This post is part of my year long series Celebrating Life.

Check out my photos from last year: Red Wing Roots Music Festival 2013! Day 1Day 2, & Day 3.

Red Wing Roots II: Day 2

It took two showers to wash away Day 1. Fragments of nostalgia broke away from my muddy footprints on the shower floor. Pieces of Mt. Solon dirt and blades of surely the greenest-grass-in-all-the-land sang sweet harmonies as they swirled to their watery death. I assured my lonely pores that their sweat buddies would return soon. Red Wing Roots Music Festival II, Day 2, started at noon with two bands I did not want to miss: Loves It and Smokey and the MirrorbsomeIMG_8553bsomeIMG_8554

Loves it.bsomeIMG_8564bsomeIMG_8569bsomeIMG_8570bwbsomeIMG_8594bsomeIMG_8600

Above: Red Wing shirts printed by The Mark-it.
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Lucas Roasting Company (above) keeping folks energized and Wholistic Wisdom (below) keeping folks relaxed.bsomeIMG_8558bsomeIMG_8782

Smokey and the MirrorbsomeIMG_8618 bsomeIMG_8625 bsomeIMG_8636

Above and below: So sweet to see their daughter watching the performance from backstage.bsomeIMG_8644 bsomeIMG_8642bw bsomeIMG_8622bw bsomeIMG_8631bsomeIMG_8739

Above: remnants of Pokey LaFarge’s performance.
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Above: One cute little Blue Mountain supporter. Below: One cute little Red Wing supporter.bsomeIMG_8606bsomeIMG_8674bw

Mandolin OrangebsomeIMG_8662bsomeIMG_8687bwbsomeIMG_8679bwbsomeIMG_8666bwbsomeIMG_8693

Below: Artery kicked off on Day 2. Hundreds of children and adults came to help work on this community painting.bsomeIMG_7494absomeIMG_8585bsomeIMG_8579bsomeIMG_8705bsomeIMG_9030

Eric Brace and Peter CooperbsomeIMG_8753bwbsomeIMG_8732bsomeIMG_8746bsomeIMG_8589bsomeIMG_8961bsomeIMG_8654bsomeIMG_8766bsomeIMG_8614bsomeIMG_8970bsomeIMG_8712bwbsomeIMG_8760bwbsomeIMG_9136bwbsomeIMG_8617bsomeIMG_8825

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Above: Grilled Cheese Mania. Below: Jack Browns Beer and Burger JointbsomeIMG_8832bsomeIMG_8896

The Stray BirdsbsomeIMG_8814bsomeIMG_8789bsomeIMG_8817bw

Brothers Comatose
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Miss Tess and the TalkbacksbsomeIMG_8933bsomeIMG_8924bsomeIMG_8932bsomeIMG_8661bwbsomeIMG_8938bsomeIMG_8906

The Judy ChopsbsomeIMG_9025bsomeIMG_9017bsomeIMG_9004bsomeIMG_8983bsomeIMG_9008bsomeIMG_9012bsomeIMG_8986bwbsomeIMG_9045bwbsomeIMG_9042bwbsomeIMG_8974bsomeIMG_9036bsomeIMG_8950bsomeIMG_8899

Sarah JaroszbsomeIMG_9117bsomeIMG_9068bsomeIMG_9073bwbsomeIMG_9061bsomeIMG_9122bsomeIMG_9095bsomeIMG_9100bwbsomeIMG_9115

One really awesome thing about photographing this festival, is that I get to work with other photographers who I know and love. I admire each of them in very different ways and I’m truly a fan of their work. I feel we have a great network and support system of creatives here in the Valley and I simply can’t imagine it being any other way. I’ll introduce my photog friends below. I encourage you to check out their work!

This is Keesha of Ruby Sky Photography. <–If you click on that link, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy her music selection. In fact, feel free to let it play as you continue to look through the rest of this post…you’ll find it quite relevant. Keesha can usually be found with three little assistants. In the photo below, the third assistant is playing hide-and-seek.bsomeIMG_9103

This. Ha. Well, this is Pat Jarrett. He likely rode in on his motorcycle that morning after shooting in Newport News. He’s a busy dude and if you’re a Stauntonian, you’ve probably seen him walking to and from his downtown studio.bsomeIMG_8977

These girls are my studio neighbors at Spitzer Art Center and are an inspiration to me. They own and operate The Pinwheel Collective. It’s great how well they not only work together but also how nicely their work compliments each others. They do cool stuff. And sometimes funny stuff, too.bsomeIMG_8158c

Oh hay. That’s me. You’re looking at my work now…but I do some  other stuff to. Like weddings and portraits and I photograph for a blog I do with my friend Katie about Harrisonburg. I also plan this really cool community portrait show with my friend Denise Allen every year called Art Lotto.bsomeIMG_9131

Trent Wagler and the Steel WheelsbsomeIMG_9147bwbsomeIMG_9148bsomeIMG_9155bsomeIMG_9174bwbsomeIMG_9164bwbsomeIMG_9221bwbsomeIMG_9389bwbsomeIMG_9216bsomeIMG_9182bsomeIMG_9226bsomeIMG_9158bsomeIMG_9266bsomeIMG_9235bsomeIMG_9314bwbsomeIMG_9331bw

Didya miss Day 1? Click here to get caught up!

Check out this writeup and MORE of my photos from Red Wing Roots 2014 Day 2 on ilovemyburg!

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This post is part of my year long series Celebrating Life.

Check out my photos from last year: Red Wing Roots Music Festival 2013! Day 1Day 2, & Day 3.