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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Railway project #3

A southbound Norfolk and Southern train approaches Pine Hall, North Carolina. I caught this train unexpectedly while giving the campaign manager for a state senate candidate an environmental tour of the Walnut Cove area. The train is about two miles north of Duke Energy’s Belews Creek Steam Station. Click here for high-resolution version.

Railway project #2

The tracks cross a road before starting up a ridge along Prillaman Switch Road near Ferrum, Virginia. It’s possible that this little place was once a regular train stop. The passenger train between Roanoke and Winston-Salem was called “the Punkin Vine.” Its last run was on Feb. 18, 1961. Click here for high-resolution version. Using […]

Episcopic illumination

Two letters of the word “LIBERTY” on an American 25-cent piece, magnified 60x Two years ago, I wrote a post, with photos, about my Nikon Model S microscope. People who are Googling for this classic microscope often find my post, and it has been quite popular. In 2016, I did not have an “episcopic illuminator” […]

Celebrity scientists

Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Madame Curie, Rita Levi-Montalcini One of the healthier elements of our culture, including our media culture, is that we still have celebrity scientists. After the death this week of Stephen Hawking, we are left with a vacuum. To help fill that vacuum, I nominate Roger Penrose. […]

More about barley

Click here for high-resolution version Back in January, when I wrote a post about fried barley polenta, I was using organic pearled barley, because that’s what I had at the time. However, pearled barley (though it’s very good) is not really a whole-grain product. Hulled barley is. Today, while it was snowing outside, I did […]

Tinctures, on film

A friend in Black Mountain is experimenting with making tinctures. The alcohol is organic grape alcohol. The ingredients include all sorts of herbs and flowers. Also, below is the film version of the recent daffodils shot. These are both film shots using Fuji Velvia 100 reversal film in the Mamiya RB67. The tinctures shot is […]

Where have all the fairies gone?

The Enchanted Forest, John Anster Christian Fitzgerald, 1819-1906 Where have all the fairies gone? We could ask this question two different ways, depending on how you see the world. If you believe that fairies exist (or used to exist), then the question is literal. If you don’t believe in fairies, then there is still a […]

The fate of the caboose

Back in 2014, I posted photos of a caboose that was for sale. At the time the caboose was located in a private park near Madison, North Carolina. Last year, the town of Stuart, Virginia, bought the caboose and moved it to Stuart. I’d have to say that I was pretty disappointed when I drove […]

Let’s don’t dig the hole deeper

You’d think that radical centrists, whose perpetual wrongness is exceeded only by their perpetual smugness, would give up and go away. But their latest project is harassing the New York Times’ op-ed pages for “lack of opinion diversity.” We liberals are said to live in a bubble, you see. We are regularly scolded for failing […]


Click here for high-resolution version Flowers can be remarkably hard to photograph. The problem is holding the subtle range of color and texture in all the parts of the flower. A little bit of backlighting helps. And the exposure has to be just right. This is a digital photo, but I’m about to shoot the […]