2021 – My favorite images

Female cardinal in snow

It’s always fun to look back over the past year of images. I can remember the small victories of succeeding with a new technique, recall the struggles of failed attempts, cringe at some and wonder “what was I thinking” but most of all I enjoy having my year documented with photos.

Here are a few of my favorites from the year and not necessarily the ones that received the most “likes” on social media. I choose images that mean the most to me!

We position our bird feeders near bushes and windows so I can sit for hours watching them, usually with my camera in hand. This beautiful female cardinal had her eye on the feeder waiting for her next turn.

Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountains

In February 2021, my husband and I visited Gatlinburg TN and spent a few days exploring the Smoky Mountains. While there was snow on the peaks, the day we drove around Cades Cove was a balmy 70 degrees. We enjoyed the 11 mile tour and stopped at each marker to soak up the history. In 1900 there were about 708 people living in and around the cove. Several homes, churches, mills and blacksmith shop have been restored so that we can marvel, admire and learn from them. While we enjoy the natural wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains, I always feel sad for the families that were forced to sell their land to the NPS. All the Great Smokies land was privately owned before it was bought for the park.

Stratford Hall Grist Mill

About an hour from our home is Stratford Hall, the Lee family plantation. Located along the Potomac River in Westmoreland County VA, the nearly 2,000 acres and 18th-century Great House preserve the Lee family legacy. Four generations of the Lee family lived here including Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, the only brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War hero “Light Horse Harry” Lee and his son, Civil War General Robert E Lee. Pictured above is the Grist Mill that was originally built in the early 1740’s by Thomas Lee and used to produce grits, cornmeal and pancake flour. The mill was reconstructed in 1939 on the original foundation.

In June I participated in a photo walk around the grounds of Ferry Farm, George Washington’s boyhood home. The property is beautifully reconstructed and filled with native plants. I saw this spider web reflecting the sunlight as we walked thru the woods. I love the rainbow glistening in the web.

I invested in a telephoto lens this year and spent many hours practicing to obtain a steady image as the lens is quite heavy. In addition to our bird feeders we try to plant native flowers that the birds & bees enjoy. The hummingbirds especially love the trumpet honeysuckle that climbs our fence.

The above image is intentional camera movement. I’ve been experimenting with this technique for a while as its not been easy for me to master. I was excited to finally get a decent image at the beach this summer!

Early in September I joined my daughter in Lexington VA to assist with her business retreat. We were treated with crisp fall mornings and fog hovering in the valley!

I always search out covered bridges in my travels so when we visited Lancaster PA in Oct I chose a few to find. This is Colemanville Covered Bridge originally built in 1856 and rebuilt several times due to flood damage. It was completely rebuilt in 1992 several feet west of the original site and six feet higher. At 170 feet in span, it is the county’s second longest single-span bridge still in use.

I participated in a night photography class with the Capital Photography Center in October. I’ve always wanted to photograph in Washington DC so I was excited to try my hand at long exposures and have a guide to lead us safely around the area!

The Pinnacles Overlook SNP

I love to add starbursts to my images and found the perfect opportunity this fall on Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. The weather predicted fog that morning but it never materialized so I was a little bummed. My spirits lifted though when I stopped at the Pinnacles Overlook and saw the tree silhouette!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reviewing some of my favorite images from 2021! Happy New Year!

Photograph what brings you Joy!

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