#1348. Lost Acres

By Lad Sessions | Travel Photography

Feb 20

A drive to view the rising on a Rockbridge County farm leads to a colorful timelapse 🙂

Linda Wilder and her husband own some Rockbridge County farming property not far south of Lexington. Called “Lost Acres Farms,” it’s perched on a small hill, with a stunning 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape, including House Mountain to the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east. The view is most spectacular in the winter when the trees are bare. In mid-January Linda invited me to witness the dawn after the previous day’s rain. I drove out in darkness, but when I reached Lost Acres, the remaining clouds filtered the early light and then opened to reveal glimpses of sky and mountains. I was utterly entranced. I’ll present these images in temporal order, so you can see for yourself how the light changed and different reaches of the scenery appeared.

The first two look east upon the Blue Ridge Mountains, just as the sun was coming up.


A diffused light colored the sky, as I looked north.


Then to the west I saw a glowing county landmark, House Mountain (actually there are two Houses, both visible in this view—Little House in the foreground and Big House behind it).


The sky turned orange as I peered south of House Mountain.


Trees flamed as I glanced once more to the north.


The sun had climbed above the low clouds, and a clearing above the Blue Ridge gave glimpses into another world. {1944, 1955}


House Mountain was a suitable backdrop for silhouetted trees.


As we made our way down an adjacent hill, I had these glimpses of a pasture and rural structures looking across to the Blue Ridge.


It was a magical morning, and these images only hint at its magic. But I hope to return sometime this spring for more.


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Remarkable, Lad. Quite a lot of it has what Pascal explained some time ago as “cinematographic lighting”, based around a predominance of a certain darker blue, some yellow (more like hay than a lemon), and a smaller highlight somewhere in the frame – a house perhaps, or a person maybe.

    Describing it like that makes it sound rather dull. ANd yet – you’ve been absolutely DROWNED n it, over and over, in cinemas ever since you left B&W cowboy movies behind and started to grow up instead. Without ever once thinking “how boring! – what awful colours!” and walking out. No – like the rest of us – you stayed, rivetted to your seat.

    I think we ought to ask Psscal to explain how such uninteresting colours can have such power and control over us

  • Claude Hurlbert says:

    Lad, what a nice set of photos. How those trees light up! If ever a set of photos reminded photographers to wait, to see an event out to the end, to slow down and observe all the changes in dawn light and color as they unfold in time, before they zip up their backpacks and move on, this is it. You capture the sky, and also the atmosphere of your experience, and most importantly, remind us that photography is a temporal event. With patience we will see and photograph how a scene unfolds. We will even perhaps be able, as you have done, to capture time and nature’s flow (flow being Pascal’s topic from a couple posts back). I am reminded of photographing the Grand Tetons at dawn, surrounded by a slew of photographers last October. The moment that the dramatic dawn light left the top of the mountains as the sun went behind clouds, the crowd packed up, went to their cars and drove off–perhaps to other and better photo opportunities. I don’t know. What I do know is that one other photographer and myself stayed and were treated to the sun returning through openings in the clouds, lighting up the mountains in various spots, creating different images again and again, with light shining and then softening as the dawn and clouds progressed. The lesson, I guess, is that flow requires us to be open to it–as you were here. Thanks for sharing these.


    • Lad Sessions says:


      Thanks for this insightful comment. Yes, flow, and patience too. It helps to be taken in by the beauty of the moment(s), and to yield to it.

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Lovely landscape images, Lad! What a great idea to spend the day, finding and photographing the weather and lighting changes. Hopefully we’ll see more the next time you visit. Kudos.

    • Lad Sessions says:

      Thanks Nancee. I didn’t spend more than an hour or so at dawn and following, but the time was so full that it seemed much longer. You must have the same experience being captured by your experiences, as the impressionistic details resonate.

  • Jon Maxim says:

    Lovely, Lad. Just lovely. I have been to the Blue Ridge mountains several times but not been able to capture such lovey sunrises. But, there again, dawn for me is about 9:00 AM. 🙂

    Thank you.

  • Robert Sessions says:

    How wonderful, Lad. Glad to see you enjoying such a magnificent sunrise!

  • Susan says:

    Wow! In every direction.

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