Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What did you sew today?

James Allen wrote:

"As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called "spontaneous" and "unpremeditated" as to those which are deliberately executed.

Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits; thus does a man garner in sweet and bitter fruitage of his own husbandry."

The point is that we must watch what seeds of thought we plant for they become actions.

Oh yeah, the flowers are from my front yard in the spring.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


We look in them, we look through them, but very rarely do we look AT them. I am not sure what inspired me to take some of these pictures, much less dig through my library to find and post them. The first one is a house in Brooklin, Maine on the 4th of July. Seemed very nostalgically patriotic. Brooklin happens to be where E.B. White did most of his writing such as Charlotte's Web. If you have not read his collection of essays, they are moving. The second is a random house on Meeting Street in Charleston, SC. The last two are actually the windows in my office which is on the second floor of what was the dairy barn on the R.J. Reynolds estate built in 1917 now called Reynolda Village. So, here's to the idea of continuing to look for and at the things we normally look past; or most succinctly put: Notice More.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Entrance to Heaven

If this scene does not embody the entrance to heaven, I am not sure what does. Truth be told, I was inspired to visit this place after a friend blogged about the cemetery at the Bethania Moravian Church.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thoughts of the depression.

Not that what we are experiencing now even comes close to the time between 1929 and 1933, but there has been some talk that our current situation is second only in severity to that time. If you have not read "Life is So Good" then you must. It paints an interesting picture of the depression from the view point of someone who rode the rails in the old wooden box cars and had to learn how to avoid and sometimes deal with the railroad bulls. This photograph almost invokes the images of hobos walking the tracks with their obligatory stick over the shoulder with a bandanna tied to the end with all their worldly possessions cradled inside. I do not believe that our economy will deteriorate to that point again, but I think we could all benefit from the lessons it taught.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yeah Ma, I installed them there solar panels today.

This farm in Rural Hall is getting head start on the change we all have been hearing so much about. Truth is that I did not even notice the panels on the house until I loaded the picture on my computer. I was more interested in the scene, in particular the heavily pruned tree that epitomizes the "old man's hand" description. So, not only is it a peaceful scene, it's eco-friendly too. Whodda thunk it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cars as an art form

Many of you remember my post on my old car, so you are aware of my passion for old BMWs. These are a couple of pictures from Scott Sturdy's Vintage at the Vineyards that has taken place every spring here in NC for the last few years. It is a collection of BMW's built prior to 1989 which was when the new design team moved in and they completely changed the style and feel of the cars. Anyway, the first picture is a rare car, a 1978 BMW M1 built in Italy. This was the first of their venerated "M" line made so popular by the M3s that we see everywhere. The second is a line up of the old 2002's. These were the first mainstream BMWs widely accepted here in the US. The last is a 1985 535 modified by Alpina (Alpina is to BMW what AMG is to Mercedes Benz). Unlike today's cars, one cannot mistake these old BMWs for any other car. People took pride in their uniqueness and style. No CAD programs or other types of virtual assistance, they had to conceive, draw and build. They are rolling art work.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Railroad to....?

As I mentioned in the comments under my previous post, I made an attempt to go find places and things that I would normally ignore in my desire to get from point A to point B without any delays or distractions. I will say that I had limited success today as even out in the countryside of Bethania, Tobaccoville and Rural Hall, I was CLEARLY getting in the way of others solely focused on their own "point B." Not to mention the cell phone with calls from various people. I just found it very hard to stay inspired with the "real" world constantly nipping at my heels. I drove off feeling that we have set up a culture that does not encourage us to "seek our deeper motives" as Carl Sandburg suggested we do. City or country, the urgency to accomplish our tasks is constant. They guy behind me with a load of wooden pallets seemed just as eager to get around me as the nervous traders did trying to get off the subway in New York.

All that said, I did manage to find this abandoned railroad track that I think used to supply Westinghouse many years ago and these old hay barns seemed to suggest some peacefulness.

I wish all of you a wonderfully simple weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Busy as a.......

I wonder if the bees are like us; too busy trying to get something out of life that they miss the beauty that exists right in front of them. I am going to make a bit more of an effort in these coming days to notice more of the flowers around me, instead of focusing on what I need from them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Left Behind and Waiting

The grain/feed conveyor has outlasted the the barns, tractors and most of the guys who worked on it. It, along with the sail boat and the old Coke bottle each were left with the intention of being retrieved at some point. They still wait. I can't help but think that the conveyor and the sail boat in particular were in full use during a time that we look back on now as a time when life was simple, politicians were honest and children respected their elders. I wonder if 50 years from now the next generation will think the same thing of our time. I hope so.

Monday, January 12, 2009


This maybe old news to some of you, but our wonderful old dog Thelma came up in conversation this morning and I felt the need to post this tribute to her again. You may need to give it a minute to load - it's a rather large file.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Water In Motion

Nothing really to be read into any of these pictures other than the fact that water in motion produces the most amazing sights if I can capture them. For every one hundred pictures I take, I am lucky to get two or three that I like.

Look at the full size versions by double clicking on the images. Its hard to see the detail in the thumbnails.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Local History Mystery: Who was Aggee Lash (Brooks)? Bethania or Bethabara settlers?

This is from a small cemetery that is on th back side of the family farm. As a kid I was always a little spooked by it, now I am just curious given that the dates correspond to the time when Salem was in full stride and Winston had yet to be conceived of. There was a marker placed by some of the Reynolds family, but their connection to the Lash/Brooks family remains unclear to me. Also note that if you look at the picture of the cemetery closely, you will see simple unmarked head stones and foot stones indicating maybe even older graves. I hope that the developers choose to leave it alone. If any of you know anything about the Lash/Brooks family from the late 18th/early 19th Century around here, I'd love to know.

Friday, January 9, 2009

1929 Bentley Speed Six & Mayor Allen Joines

1929 Bentley Speed Six

This was September 2007 when our good Mayor, Allen Joines, agreed to take what we thought was to be a casual ride for charity up to Hanging Rock State Park that turned out to be a foot the the floor, no seat belts, slide through the corners, test the limits of a 75 year old race car whose history included a win at the 24 hours at Le Mans in 1929, go for the record time from Old Salem to Hanging Rock adventure. It was exhilarating, but a bit more aggressive than either of us expected. None the less, he rode along and was a good sport. So it is with great enthusiasm that I will be supporting him for his third term as Mayor of Winston-Salem. We are lucky to have him.


This was the scene on the beach on Hunting Island while I was photographing some of the old trees. Someone had left this paperback on a broken section of the root system of this old oak. How amazingly different the end looks for a tree: one by natural causes the other by the manufacturing process.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To Your Health

I will very infrequently promote a business on my site, but this is a local one with a good product and a good story.


● University studies indicate that AlgaBerry™ lipid extract helps reduce cholesterol level and prompt vessel health.
● It is also proven the AlgaBerry™ lipid extract prompt anti-inflammatory activities and help to enhance immune system.
● AlgaBerry™ containing natural dietary fibers that need more time to be digested keeps you full all day. A great source for nutrition and weight management.

AlgaBerry™ (Scientific Name: Nostoc) is an edible blue-green algae, rich in Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, Protein, and Polysaccharides. In China, it has been widely used as a potent herbal medicine and dietary supplement in delicacy for over 1500 years.

Because AlgaBerry™ grows in the wild, without roots, stems, or leaves, and floats on water, the Chinese compared it to the "immortals" that are said to travel to the world at will. Ge-Xian-Mi (Rice of Immortal Ge) was named for AlgaBerry™ by the Emperor in honor of Hung Ge, an alchemist, physician and Taoist theoretician of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420 AD), and retained to this day.

The nutritional and pharmaceutical value of AlgaBerry™ was recorded in traditional Chinese medical literature. 400 years ago, AlgaBerry™, along with at least 1892 other traditional Chinese medicines, was listed and described in the "Ben-Cao-Gang-Mu" (known as "General Outlines and Divisions of Herbal Medicine"). Historically, it was mostly described to treat a variety of medical conditions, including inflammatory, nyctalopia (night blindness), burns, anxiety, and chronic fatigue, as well as to assist digestion and restore homeostasis. It has also been the common dietary supplement for the indigenous populations of Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Peru, Fiji, Ecuador, Java, Mongolia, Siberia, Mexico, as well as in Nordic countries for centuries.

*****It also truns out you can turn algae into to bio-diesel and bio-jet fuel (not the variety you eat however).******

Think you have to work hard to get food for the kids?

I wonder what their hit/miss ratio is. I suppose its not all that different than the rest of us each day. We head out, try to spot an opportunity, go after it and see what we come out with. The big difference is that watching the pelican do his job is infinitely more interesting than watching us do ours.......

Good luck fishing today everyone.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What a terrific Southern winter rain storm

This was about 4 pm today at the corner of Reynolda Road and the entrance to Wake Forest. I apologize for the low quality, but it was taken with my iPhone. The sky was spectacular and of course a transformer blew, again, and we lost power in Reynolda Village, again. I do wish it would stop raining long enough to at the very least allow me to wash my dogs. My house looks like there has been a muddy stampede through most of it. Anyway, either the rain will back off or I will be soliciting help to build an ark.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Summer in Blue Hill, Maine

Today has been cold and rainy here in NC. While its nothing compared to the cold we just experienced in Minnesota, I still prefer the warmer months. The last two years we have been returning to Blue Hill for the week of the 4th of July. Days like today make me really appreciate the summer.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another road to....?

Here is another of my collection of country roads that lead to where ever your imagination tells you it goes. My previous road was a bit different with a little less mystery than this one I think. Anyway, same rules apply, if you know where it is, you cannot give it away. Others just get to wonder or feel free to comment about where you think it leads.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Driving through the Smoky Mountains

Driving back through the Smoky Mountains yesterday was really beautiful as they lived up to their name. The rain came and went leaving brief periods of sun trying to push though the clouds and more importantly, "smoke" rising from the mountain sides. I think a long weekend in a cabin some place up there may be in order.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back from Memphis

We just returned home, again, this time from Memphis where we attended a party for a relative who married in France. Anyway, it was fun to walk Beale Street and through the Peabody Hotel, etc. But what I was not prepared for was the emotional reaction I had when we crested the hill on Huling Avenue to see the sign for The Lorraine Hotel which is now home to the Civil Rights Museum. It was almost a sense of vertigo when I realized I was about to see the place where Dr. King was killed. As we walked to the parking lot in silence, both my sister and I were moved to tears. If you have any sense of humanity, you can't help it, its overwhelming. Photography is prohibited inside the museum, but I thought there was something moving about the reflection of the sunset on the window to his room. Its hard to put into words the whole experience, other than to say that if the opportunity presents itself, all of you should go.

Slide show of the trip set to music.