That’s Not a Train Coming at You

Paw Paw Tunnel – Paw Paw, West Virginia

If you like dark places, really dark places – scratch that – I mean really freaking dark and downright spooky places, then this post is for you. This is the famous Paw Paw Tunnel on the C&O Canal tow path in Paw Paw, West Virginia. And yes – it’s about as dark as they come. The tunnel is a 3,118-feet-long (950 m) engineering marvel of more than six million bricks, which took some 14 years to build (1836-1850) and cost nearly 18 times more than initially estimated. To this day, it’s still considered one of the greatest engineering feats of the 1800s.

And the tunnel is dark. Think pitch black. Other than the sunlight filtering in through the thick foliage at either end of the passage, there is no light whatsoever, because the tunnel has no artificial illumination in it, period. The top photo is actually a timed exposure at a high ISO, which is part of the reason why it looks grainy. In reality, when viewing the same scene with human eyes, there was just a dim dot in the distance, and absolutely nothing else. The only way one can see anything while traversing the length of the tunnel is to use flashlights or headlamps, which is highly recommended.

A hole in the side of the tunnel – Paw Paw, West Virginia

The photo of the hole in the side of the tunnel is interesting, because it illustrates just how many layers of brick were used in the construction of the tunnel. We used both of our flashlights to illuminate it enough for the camera to take a photo.


Photo info:
Paw Paw Tunnel
Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal Tow Path
Paw Paw, West Virginia
September 2015
Zeiss Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8 ASPH zoom lens
Sony RX100 IV digicam

Always a Gorgeous Blue

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) – Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia

It’s the time of year that I love for all varieties of blue blooms – especially those of the common chicory (Cichorium intybus), which has a beautiful blue flower that I find incredibly cheerful. Chicory is considered by many to be a nuisance plant because it grows helter shelter in disturbed earth, but as a plant it has all sorts of uses beyond just the beautiful blooms. However, for me, it’s all about the bloom and I look forward to seeing their cheerful presence every summer.


Photo info:
Common chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Dolly Sods Wilderness
Elkins, West Virginia
August 2015
Zeiss Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8 ASPH zoom lens
Sony RX100 IV digicam

Past Dinners

Deer skulls – Jonesboro, Illinois

We visited some of Cindy’s family in southern Illinois for a few days awhile back, and found this display of deer skulls scattered about on a porch bench. They were from many past hunts, and given that the hunter always hunted the deer for food, I had no qualms about taking photos of them. I’ve never been one for trophy hunting, but food hunting is an entirely different issue and one that I fully support.


Photo info:
Deer skulls
Trail of Tears State Forest
Jonesboro, Illinois
October 2017
Ilford Pan F+ 50
Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM lens
Leica M3 35mm film camera