Finally! After eight winters in Raleigh (nonconsecutive winters, that is), I have finally seen a real snow. While I was at Meredith, we had one ice storm but no snow. Two years ago, we had enough snow to cancel school, yet it didn’t completely cover the ground. Today was the real deal — or as real as you can expect for our area of North Carolina.
When I woke this morning, here was the view outside my door.
The snow continued until just after lunch. When I later ventured out with the camera, it was amazing to see how the snow had transformed Raleigh.
Today’s inauguration of Governor Bev Perdue is historic in that she becomes North Carolina’s first female governor. For me, the day was significant simply because it was the first time I had attended an inaugural event. All week long I’ve watched out my back door as preparations have progressed, and it’s been as though I could feel an increasing excitement. By this morning, I was more than ready for the big day.
I was greatly impressed the Inaugural Ceremonies, which were held on the steps of the Archives and History Building. I have heard that there was seating for 5,000 people. I found a seat about 1/4 of the way back and was able to take photographs throughout the event.
Governor Perdue listens to opening remarks.
Governor Perdue delivers her inaugural address.
As excited as I was about the inauguration, the highlight of the day came after the Governor’s address when I finally got to see my lifelong hero — Andy Griffith.
After the cermonies had concluded, I walked down Blount Street to look for a friend who I suspected might be there with the Highway Patrol. While I didn’t find my friend, I did discover the exit where the Council of State and distinguished guests were leaving. There I had a close-up view as three North Carolina governors and one senator exited the building. As a matter of fact, I was even lucky enough to shake hands with and speak to Governor Perdue and Senator Hagan.
Governor Mike Easley
Governor Perdue greets well-wishers.
Former Governor Jim Hunt
Senator Kay Hagan poses for a photo with Griselle Williams, a Smithfield Middle School teacher.
Last Saturday’s outing took me to Warren County. Warrenton, the county seat, is a beautiful town. I spent most of my time visiting the downtown antique shops, and I hope to go back one day soon to complete their walking tour of historic homes.
The Courthouse is located in the middle of the downtonwn area and like many towns in the South, the grounds include a Confederate memorial.
As I was walking through downtown, I saw this lovely Nativity scene in one of the shop windows.
I’m not sure why, but I’m drawn to abandoned buildings. I tried to compose this shot to focus on the two empty stores, but I think the HI Fi sign makes for a nice contrast.
A long overdue update — I didn’t mean to abandon the blog, but the second half of 2008 can best be described as overwhelming. As a result, I had little time for fun with the camera. But 2009 has gotten off to a great start, and today I spent my afternoon on a photo excursion.
My best photo opportunity came on my way home. Just as I was approaching Raleigh, I spotted a hot air balloon off in the distance. Photographing hot air balloons has long been a goal of mine, so I decided to go for it. With one eye on the road and the other on the sky, I headed east in pursuit of the red ballon. I managed to catch up with it and another balloon just before they landed, and despite the fading light, I captured a couple of decent shots.