All Seasons: VA/ AT

Summer

Summer

Winter.

Winter.

I go for a hike almost every day and cover a lot of the same ground, over and over, in all weather and in all seasons. Exploring new terrain is always exciting, but there is something deeply satisfying about getting to know a trail and the landscape on foot.

When I hike, my camera is almost always around my neck and I’ve come to notice that along well-known trails I often stop to take photos from nearly the exact same spots. By following my artist’s eye for lining up a balanced shot, I’ve amassed a collection of photos of the same scenes, taken from the same spots, at different times of the year, all over the country. I call this series “All Seasons”.

Summer Sun on Rocky Row

Summer Sun on Rocky Row

Summer Rain on Rocky Row

Summer Rain on Rocky Row

Fall Colors on Rocky Row

Fall Colors on Rocky Row

Rocky Row Snow

Rocky Row Snow

After a summer on the road, driving from New Mexico to Alaska to Virginia, I’ve been relishing a winter spent mostly in the same place: in southern Virginia, living in a house in the woods right by the Appalachian Trail. Already this winter, I’ve hiked more than 500 miles – a quarter of the trail, mileage-wise – by walking the same sections near my house over and over. I never tire of covering the same ground. Getting to know a path is divinely meditative. Some things are always changing: the light, the leaves, the creeks, the critters, while others never change: the turns, the dips, the hills, the rocks. In the woods, as in life, everything is always changing and yet always the same.

James River Face Wilderness, Summer

James River Face Wilderness, Summer

James River Face Wilderness, Winter

James River Face Wilderness, Winter

AT Intersection, Fall

AT Intersection, Fall

AT Intersection, Winter

AT Intersection, Winter

James River Valley Overlook, Fall

James River Valley, Fall

James River Valley, Winter

James River Valley, Winter

James River Crossing, Grey Day

James River Crossing, Grey Day, Father

James River Crossing, Snow Day

James River Crossing, Snow Day, Son

Rocky Row Rainy Day

Rocky Row Rainy Day

Rocky Row Snow Day

Rocky Row Snow Day

Soon I’ll be leaving Virginia. Someday, years from now I’ll return to this section of the Appalachian Trail and it’ll feel like coming home. Also check out All Seasons: Tucquan Glen

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently traveling the backroads from New Mexico to Alaska, writing and living out of a tiny Teardrop camper. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
This entry was posted in Appalachian Trail, Bowie & D.O.G., Hiking!, Photography, Sustainable Living, Vagabonding 101. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to All Seasons: VA/ AT

  1. MrsBoardwell says:

    Now that you come to mention it……….I do exactly the same! We seem to have 3 different routes we walk with the dogs during the week [then venture further afield over the weekends] and I tend to take pictures of the same *ahem* trees…good for playing on Instagram :)

    • Very nice! Us dog walkers are such creatures of habit. I was just checking out your site. I’m going to hit you up for UK travel tips next fall! I’m heading to Ireland and Scotland!

      • MrsBoardwell says:

        feel free ;)
        you’ll have a blast, so much to see & do (perhaps a little on the small scale, compared to where you’re coming from, ha!). Think of it as the gnome kingdom ^_^

  2. Love the James River Valley pictures – especially the one in autumn.

  3. marcmaloy says:

    Awesome pictures. When I first looked I thought you were hiking with a bear. Thanks for sharing!! Marc

  4. So interesting to see the seasons as you hike and take photos. Carol

  5. ancientmethods says:

    Nice shots! You always bring a fresh perspective.

  6. Wow…. one actually gets bored doin the same stuff.. U made the usual sound Unusual! n the pics r beautiful! :)

  7. I love your all seasons concept. The photographic equivalent of the Impressionists studying the effects of light and seasons. Its nice to have intimate knowledge of the places we love.

  8. Reblogged this on poetsutopia and commented:
    The 4 seasons……..Brilliantly captured !! :)

  9. alongourway says:

    Beautiful photos! I’m dying to get hiking again but I’ve got to heal from my achilles tendonitis :(. Your photos make me feel like I’m right on the trail!

  10. kevinjcoyne says:

    Mary: It was great meeting you, your sister, dad and friend yesterday on top of Old Rag. Your photos are excellent and the pace the four of you made kept me from taking it too easy. I hope your dad fed you and your sister well – I am sure you had the appetite!

  11. Pingback: Not All Blogs That Wander Are Lost | Travels with the Blonde Coyote

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