I first saw this several years ago when it looked like it had snowed up on the mountain and we went to see. It wasn’t "snow" but was the most breathtaking scene you could imagine. We were to learn it was called "hoar" (yes it IS pronounced the way you are thinking! ..ha) frost. Everything has a spiky type of protrusion. (Reminds me of a picture a long time ago with metal shavings and we used a magnet to move them around and put them on a mans face as a beard, etc.) That was the only time we ever saw it. Tuesday we woke up to having the phenomena right in our area…and several miles to either side it was gone. Apparently there was fog, which had the moisture and it was cold enough and we lucked out. What’s funny is the woman on the farm in front of us was born here and raised here and had no idea what the heck it was. She had never seen it before. So I... who has been here 13 years, ended up giving information to people who have lived here! I have a whole lot of pictures but will share some of the most beautiful ones and with information to teach what it is like. Enjoy!
Trying to write a book, to sell the books I’ve already written, and placing winter photography for the Mason Gallery’s December art display finds me wondering if I’m coming or going. Topping that is more ongoing things which could be in the works for future material for even more books. (Should I live so long...I should have started writing a whole lot of years sooner! But then again…my books are all of my life’s real experiences, so I guess I had to have those first! However I think I have a lot to use so don’t necessarily need more…but I guess I’m not in control of that!)
Over Halloween I went to Abington, Virginia to sign my childrens book, Things That Go Bump In The Night at a first-time Halloween event the Museum was doing. My book was written because of memories of telling stories to my children growing up as we were camping and sitting at night around the campfire in the dead of night. One time I bought a book at a book store to read but found it was sort of dumb and not scary at all. My own stories made up were scarier so I have decided to write one. There are actually two parts to this story. The one experience of selling books during the festivities going on and the story ‘before’ the event. While the one was interesting and fun there is another which was totally unexpected and one you might be more interested in hearing. I wrote a scary kids story but I ended up being the one scared that trip.
Before the time to go sign the books we saw a cemetery not far away which had a small log house on the premises and looked interesting to go check out. Naturally, being an amateur photographer I had my trusty camera along. Good thing! Everything was fine and I did take a picture here and there. Just as I was going to the car after checking out an area I was interested in, I turned my head and saw a six or seven foot boa constrictor snake coming down the middle of a close-by tree. I jumped and backed up. My son had many snakes growing up and this sure looked familiar. I watched (at a distance) but it just stayed there. My heart was pounding and my feet were ready to “feet don’t fail me now" and head for the car, but I began wondering if it really was a snake…or was it a part of the tree. I needed to see it closer. No, I didn’t go toward the tree...I used my trusty telephoto lens. I still wasn’t sure but began thinking it might be part of the tree. However as I looked at the tree through the lens I jumped again as grotesque faces stared back at me! I thought to myself someone else saw the snake and decided to add to the scene and carved scary faces to add to the atmosphere. Then I realized those were not carvings…it was the tree itself! Whoa! This was some creepy tree. Snakes and grotesque faces. I continued going around the tree and more faces were viewed in the bark of the tree all the way around but not like the one side. Even though I thought that wasn’t a real snake I wasn’t still totally convinced so stayed a distance with my eyes continually ‘eyeballing’ that thing as I took the other pictures. Here it was Halloween time…a perfect time with scary thoughts already in the atmosphere but I tell you…Halloween or not…that is one scary looking tree!
Those kids book I was signing had nothing over my own experience. The pictures will show many faces. One looks like a Cyclops with an eye in the center of the forehead, yet is seen differently in another angle. There are teeth shown along with scary faces. Look closely and give them time to focus in. That’s one Halloween I won’t forget.