An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

December 1, 2011

My Morning Break

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was able to take a much deserved, and needed, break from what is a very busy time of the year for me. As is usual for us, we went to my parents house on Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore.  Each morning I was able to take advantage of my inability to sleep-in, my dog's need to relieve themselves and decent weather.

Thanksgiving morning found me channeling Maxfield Parrish on the shore of Metompkin Bay.

Channeling Mr. Parrish

Channeling Mr. Parrish (2)

On Black Friday I skipped the early early morning deals and pushy crowds in favor of visiting three bayside hamlets.  The first stop was Deep Creek, which is one of several communities in Virginia to carry this name, but this one has always been a no-frills, too busy trying to eke a living, sort of place.

Deep Creek

Just south of Deep Creek is Chesconessex, and in the middle of the creek were several crab shacks, once a much more common sight around here.

Chesconessex (2)

Chesconessex North (7)

Chesconessex North (9)

Chesconessex North (5)

Chesconessex North (8)

My final Black Friday morning stop was Harborton.  You wouldn't know it now, but this was once a very happening place.  At one time, steamships crowded the waters of the Chesapeake, and at places like Harborton, people, produce and seafood from the Eastern Shore were transported to cities like Norfolk, Washington and Baltimore. The railroads and then the trucking industry put an end to that, and now Harborton is a quiet shadow of its former self.

Harboton (3)

Harboton (4)

Harboton (5)

Saturday was our day to head home, but that morning I was treated to sky and water beautiful enough to make me want to change my address (not the first time I've felt this way).

Metompkin Morning (3)

Metompkin Morning (6)

Metompkin Morning (9)

Metompkin Morning (7)

If interested, you can see all of my photos in this set here.


  1. Those are some beautiful pictures. The first two almost (but not quite) make me wish I was a morning person.

  2. These are gorgeous, Les. I stumbled into Harborton once by mistake and didn't want to leave. Discovered when I posted the picture that a couple of Flickr friends had once lived there.

  3. Stunning photograph - and ditto with the comment by Kaveh - the first two make me wish I was a morning person too.

    Thanks for sharing your morning with us!

  4. Now that's how Thanksgiving should be. Every one of those photographs is a prize winning shot. Such beauty.

  5. Stunning as always Les! What lens do you use for the wide angle shots? I've been researching lenses and I think I'm more confused than ever.

  6. I need to get up earlier. I went to a talk last night by Rob Cardillo the photographer for the new book on Chanticleer. He talked about his techniques, and morning light was definitely important. Your photos just reinforce what you and I know: no designed garden can compete with what nature has created. Reminds me of Cliff Island.

  7. Thoroughly enjoyed the Flickr slide show. Your mention of Deep Creek reminded me of a woman I dated who lived in the Chesapeake community of that name.

  8. It's beautiful where I live. But these pix make me wish I lived near water.

  9. I have to say, I cannot pick out a favorite. They are all exquisite and I so wish I was there seeing what you saw. But thanks for taking us as the next best thing.

  10. I'm just amazed. You have such a talent.

  11. Les,

    The sunken boat photo, awesome a wall hanger for sure. The sunrises were exceptional too.

    I saw Debutante blooming at Airlie too. My debutante did not make buds this year, the plant does look healthy. I would guess the red camellia I photographed might have been Lady Clare.

  12. Les, the Virginia tourism board would be smart to have you as their photographer! There are a couple I might email you to get a good copy of to print and frame. (all your photos are frame worthy!)

  13. Oh, goodness. Those pictures where heaven and earth blend into each other render me speechless.
    Otherwise, the submerged rusted pipe gets my vote!
    Thanks, Les.

  14. Les, your photos never cease to amaze... you have a wonderful eye. Beautiful photos! I'm not sure which I love the most.

  15. Great set of photos Les! Amazing to see the beautiful early morning moments so well captured! Great job, they are all beautiful and remind me of the fact that the early morning is my favorite moment of the day!

  16. les, I am stumbling around for words when I just need to say~Stunningly beautiful. gail

  17. Magical images Les, you have such a deft touch when photographing water and light. I almost felt I was standing where you stood, they are so evocative.

  18. I could feel the moment. Early mornings can't be beat. Just you and creation.

    Breathtaking and so silent.

  19. So beautiful. What lovely surroundings (and weather) for the holiday. My sister lives not far from Maxfield Parrish's home in the Winsor-Cornish arts colony (VT - NH). When the sun sets in the summer it really does look like his artwork — indicating he was capturing, not inventing, that landscape to some degree in his art.

  20. I need to see this part of the world! So very beautiful through your camera!

    p.s. Have you heard the new Kate Bush yet?

  21. i'm not sure how i missed this post at first, les, but i'm glad checked back by. all the photos are pretty amazing, but i love the 7th one down. the light is so perfect. you do know how to capture the incredible beauty of early morning. spectacular.

  22. Your photos always take my breath away – the first one especially. I also love that pink sunset/crab shack and the sunsets. I prefer to commune with nature instead of shop too. The kids and I spent Black Friday in museums and a park.

  23. Les, Fantastic work! You have outdone yourself with these shots. My favourites are 1, 4, 14 (love the composition in 14) and 15. The lighting in the sunrise shots is wonderfully dramatic.