On an Outwash Road.

The road to Black Point is but a few miles long. It begins at the “piedmont” foot of a glacial moraine, and travels about two and a half miles to the Atlantic Ocean. In a car you can travel the road in ten minutes, more or less. If you’re on foot at night when there’s no moon and it’s cloudy, then it can feel like the Longest Road in the World.

What’s to say about the road? It’s a dirt road. It’s well-tended. Larry comes out on his tractor after a rain, when the earth is softened, to fill the puddles, get rid of washboarding, to keep the roadbed graded and to maintain good drainage. The road passes through a multilevel, mostly oak woodland. There’s an understory of huckleberry, a middle level of scrub oak, and an upper level of mixed red, black, white and post oak.  “New” on the scene are beech trees, which have been moving in over the last four or five decades. In the spring they say “Hello!” with their new yellow-green leaves, and in the fall, with standout yellows,  they again announce their presence. Here and there you can find hickory, sassafrass, swamp maple, wild cherry, juniper and pitch pine.


The Road.

Since I was a passenger in “Big Red”, sometimes known as the “grandson-mobile”, I got to fool around with the camera without causing an accident.

Down in North Carolina, they call accidents “wrecks”. So much more dramatic!

North Carolina, where your stove doesn’t have burners, but “eyes”, and where highway signs tell you to “burn your headlights” when visibility is poor. But I digress.

Back to the camera. I set my “film” speed to 80, and exposure time to a quarter of a second. The resulting images were still washed-out, so they’ve been adjusted to make them “work” better.

When you get rid of literal details, your pictures move to an  “impressionist” level.

Factual visual information is replaced by color and perceived motion.

Then e-motions, feelings, and sensations take over.

A clear picture can’t express what a road’s really like.

The next photo says “curve” way better than could sharp focus.




And this says “beautiful October Day!”

Moving through the shadows.


And for some reason, this last picture makes me think of the song “Cripple Creek”.


Goin’ down Cripple Creek

Goin’ in a whirl

Goin’ down Cripple Creek

To see my girl.

3 responses to “On an Outwash Road.

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