Salem, Virginia, August 2017

Roanoke College.


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College Lutheran Church.



I keep telling people on my native Long Island how hilly it is in Southwest Virginia.  Depending on where you live, you might need to walk up or down just to visit your nextdoor neighbor.  It seems like nothing to people who raised here.  But it can feel utterly strange at first to anyone who grew up in a region that is almost uniformly flat.





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Summer thunderstorm, Salem, Virginia, 2017 (2)

These were taken from a moving car — my friends and I were headed for dinner in Salem.  As I’ve explained before, I have a weird thing about blurry pictures taken from a moving vehicle.  And the foreboding and colorless quality of these shots makes them extra trippy.

The disembodied black blurs that you see are actually trees close to the roadway; I thought the effect was pretty damned cool — especially in that last shot.  The second-to-last shot would be great to accompany a haunted house story.







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So I finally figured out why I kept seeing blue pinwheels throughout Roanoke.

April was National Child Abuse Awareness Month.  I kept seeing these “pinwheel gardens” in front of businesses — mostly in Roanoke, though the one below was in Salem.

It seems to me to be a clever and effective marketing device.  Whoever came up with it deserves a lot of credit.