Chad Comello

Librarian, cinephile, et al

Category: Photography

Autumn in Asheville

I’d heard a lot of great things about Asheville, North Carolina, so my wife and I finally made a trip there happen to meet up with some Durham friends for a long weekend in the mountains. Surprise: It was wondrous!

Our Airbnb was a cabin on a mountain farm in nearby Black Mountain, complete with sheep named Frodo, Samwise, Arwen, and Twiggy (the last one was named by previous owners). This was the view the first morning:

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We missed Peak Fall foliage, but there was still plenty of color to mix with the barren branches:

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And cozy morning frosts—very Hygge™ indeed:

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One morning we hiked up Lookout Mountain in Montreat based on the recommendation of our Airbnb host. We were not disappointed by the Misty Mountain-esque view:

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Asheville proper offered lots of walkable streets, good southern food—had chicken & waffles for the first time—and, among other Liberal College Town accoutrements, several “poems while you wait” street typists:

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We flew into Atlanta and drove up to Asheville through South Carolina, but on the way back we drove through the Great Smoky Mountains. We did this not only to enjoy the gorgeous terrain but to stop and see the remnants of Camp Toccoa, the World War II paratroopers training camp made famous by Band of Brothers:

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The camp site was closed, but we could see the famous “3 miles up, 3 miles down” Currahee Mountain from town.

I took pictures on a few other occasions, but so often my phone pictures failed to capture what I saw with my own eyes. That’s OK: being there in the moment was reward enough, as was hanging with friends, finally seeing Asheville, and getting to enjoy a crisp autumn weekend in Appalachia.

Recent Views, ctd

One of the many things I love about fall and winter is sunrise happens later in the morning, thus allowing me to go for a run in the darkness of the morning without having to get up at WHAT o’clock.

On a recent run I broke my rule about not taking pictures of the sunrise or sunset. I was running to the lake as usual and saw this guy standing atop the large boulders buttressing the shore:

Several people along my route were gazing at and taking pictures of the sunrise. It occurred to me then that if there’s ever an apocalyptic event and I’m somehow stranded with strangers, I’d like to be stranded with the kind of people who wake up early to photograph the sunrise.

Here is the same sunset one minute later, made more dramatic by my iPhone camera viewing it through a playground and trees:

Plus a bonus pic atop a viewing station at Blue Mounds State Park in Wisconsin:

To aid your enjoyment, please eliminate

Spotted this sign on a run through a lakeshore park. “Dogs” and “litter” came after, but feel free to fill in the blank with better words.

Or just leave it as is and use it as a maxim for life.

Recent Views, ctd

Just for fun I’ve started turning videos I take into GIFs using Giphy’s super easy GIF maker.

This one was on a flight descending into Raleigh, North Carolina. The rain was streaking on the window like that for only about 10 seconds, so I’m glad I had my phone ready:

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The breeze and sunlight was dancing nicely with the makeshift curtain in our bedroom window:

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On a recent morning run to the lakeshore the water was really choppy, more so than I think I’ve ever seen it. The waves were crashing against the boulders that buttress the shore and splashing onto the sidewalk. Since I couldn’t predict when and where and how high the waves would crash, I planted myself at a pleasingly symmetrical position and hit record. This is about 10 seconds out of a 40-second clip. As usual the camera fails to capture the stunning color and spectacle of what my eyes saw:

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And one photo, from a family reunion/memorial in West Virginia:

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Durham Days

We just got back from a long weekend in Durham, North Carolina, for a friend’s wedding. I had a great time bummin’ around the area while my wife was busy on bridesmaid duty. Had some barbecue, heard some blues, and took a few pictures…

at Ponysaurus Brewing:

at Carolina Soul Records, where I found some Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick, and a Stax Records compilation:

at Stagville, one of the largest plantations in the antebellum South—this one was in the “Great Barn”:

I call this one “Freedom”:

And there was the unintentional irony of a Master lock on one of the preserved slave cabins:

The wedding reception was in a beautiful building near the Eno River State Park:

And our last stop before our flight home was Duke University’s “chapel”, which, come on, is actually a cathedral of epic proportions:

Recent Views

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Flying above Idaho, returning from Portland. I usually don’t take pictures from airplanes, but I’m a sucker for mountains, especially ones as pretty as these. They sparkled.

Chicago-sunset

Chicago at sunset, as lonesome and resolute as the celestial orb overlooking it.

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William Fitzsimmons concert. I liked the natural quadrants that formed outward from the violinist, and the colors exaggerating those divisions.

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