Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Greensboro Sculptor, Jim Gallucci

Jim Gallucci is a Greensboro sculptor who works in metal. A large part of his work is architectural in nature and he is known for his doors and gates. His sculptures are on display and in installations all over the country. I stopped by his studio/large metal working shop yesterday where he and his staff weld, cut, forge and mold metal, and he was hard at work on a full size model for his latest commission. For more info on Jim and his work, go to

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Black Walnuts

Still life studies of black walnuts from trees on our farm in Grays Chapel, North Carolina.

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bumble Bee

(Photograph copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

A bumble bee works the herb garden recently at Goat Lady Dairy, near my home in Grays Chapel, North Carolina.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Carousel Horses

Three Dentzel carousel horses from the recent Carousel Festival in Burlington, North Carolina. The two below are from the restored carousel that is featured in City Park. The unrestored one above is from a local private collection.

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bee Keeping

Bees have been under a lot of pressure over the past few years, and their numbers have dropped, but they are beginning to make a comeback in our area. More people are keeping hives for honey and to help pollinate their gardens. My son Tristan checks his hive at our home in Grays Chapel, North Carolina, and the bees are starting to fill out the racks with honey. Tristan's hive is a commercial type. Below, an older style top bar hive stands in the garden at Goat Lady Dairy.

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Persimmon Pudding

For a farm boy from Grays Chapel this time of year means the persimmons are starting to ripen and fall off the trees, something that will accelerate as the first frost approaches. That also means fresh persimmon pudding, a dessert our family likens to the nectar of the gods. Not particularly visually inspiring, I could have probably improved my photograph with a little whipped cream or fresh mint accent. After all, food photography is about making things look appealing. Here, I've shown a piece of persimmon pudding the way it was meant to be eaten. For sheer gastronomic ecstasy, all you really need is a plate, a slab of pudding, and a fork to eat it with (fork and plate are optional).

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dentzel Carousel

Photographs are from the Burlington Carousel Festival this past weekend. The festival this year was to celebrate the 100th birthday of Burlington's City Park carousel built by the Dentzel Carousel Company of Philadelphia sometime around 1910. It was built originally for a park in Ohio and was purchased by Burlington and moved to North Carolina in 1948. Dentzel was one of the premier carousel makers at the beginning of the 20th century and the Burlington carousel is absolutely gorgeous. Consisting of 48 hand carved animals (including 26 horses) and beautiful painted panels, it is a prime example of Art Deco wood carving. It is in very good condition, because from 1981-1985 it underwent a very careful and complete restoration to bring it back to it's original beauty. I rode the carousel when I was a very young child, and I remember the thrill of clinging to those prancing horses. By the looks on the faces of all the young children (and adults) on Sunday, the thrill is still there.

Interestingly, on Sunday there was an added bonus. At the Friends of the Carousel tent, William Dentzel, grandson of the maker and the fifth generation of his family to make carousels was on hand to talk about his family's history. He is still involved in producing carousels, by helping on restoration projects and by building new ones using traditional carving and technology. For more info and a more complete history, go to

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two Feathers

Still life studies of feathers from our barnyard.

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mast General Store

I was on a trip to Grandfather Mountain recently to shoot a job and I dropped by the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. This particular location is the original store location for what is now a small chain of several stores in western North Carolina and Tennessee, most in historical buildings that sells vintage-type products and clothing. The original store opened in 1882 and was run by the Mast family from 1913-1973 as a general mercantile store and post office serving the area in and around Valle Crucis. Like most general stores, Mast carried almost every type of goods needed by the local community, from dry goods to feed, hardware, and even caskets. It was also the local Post Office and of course, a social gathering place.

Mast has always been special to me. As a young Boy Scout, my Assistant Scoutmaster, Melvin Ward took us yearly on a camping trip to what is now Beech Mountain to camp on his relative's farm before Beech became a developed ski area. We always stopped by Mast on the way up the mountain to purchase our food for the trip, canned beans, sardines, and the like. I saw the store as it was originally, and I will always remember looking at all the merchandise they carried and the big pot-bellied stove. I was fortunate to spend a few moments talking with long time store employee Becky (and I believe Mast family member) on my latest trip and she gave me the quick tour which included showing me the chicken hole in the floor where chickens were dropped into a basement coop as trade for groceries. The store has managed to maintain a lot of it's original character and offers the visiter a glimpse into the way Valle Crucis used to be.

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pears Revisited

Pears are abundant this year. Images are still-life studies of Kieffer pears from our farm orchard and Asian pears that were a gift from family friends Al and Susan Tucker.

(Photograph copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monticello Vegetable Garden

My wife and I went on a rare pleasure trip this past weekend to Monticello, the home of President Thomas Jefferson near Charlottesville, Virginia. It was a gorgeous day and while we did take a short tour of Jefferson's wonderful house, the focus of the trip was a harvest festival that featured Monticello's extensive two acre vegetable garden and adjacent orchards. Jefferson was an innovative gardener and was without a doubt a forerunner in what has become today's local sustainable agriculture movement. While the gardens were a little past their prime, their scope and variety were still amazing.