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Blessing of the Hounds

 

 

 

 

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Click on any image to see it in a LARGER size.

For Thanksgiving, we visited with family in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. One of the high points of the weekend is attending “The Blessing of the Hounds” on Thanksgiving morning.  This service has taken place every Thanksgiving for 86 years at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick, Virginia.

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The church dates back to 1745. Thomas Jefferson was a parishioner and vestry member. The church is nestled in the heart of horse country.  Members of the Keswick Hunt Club come riding onto the church grounds at 9:30am. The dogs are American Foxhounds and have been bred over hundreds of years for local conditions – they are quite distinct from British Foxhounds. Of Course!

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There is a short service that begins with two of the best hymns going – “We Gather Together” and “Come Ye Thankful People.” These same hymns have been sung for 86 years.  Everyone feels connected to the history of this extraordinary church and this extraordinary country.

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The Rev. G. Miles Smith, rector of the church, leads the service.  There were several hundred in attendance on a chilly morning. The church served warm apple cider to us, which tasted wonderful!

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Here, a grandma takes a family picture before the service started. How hip is she, wielding her iPhone?

 

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I’ve been reading a terrific new book on photography, Jay Maisel’s “Light, Gesture and Color.” For Maisel, gesture is perceived in a very broad sense. I was drawn to much of the gesture in this scene – each of the rider’s hands, the turn of his head and expression on his face and even the horse’s face.

 

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The service is about blessing the riders, the horses, the hounds and even the fox. (Apparently the fox is spared these days.)

 

The blessing at the end of the service reads as follows:

“Bless, O Lord, these riders, horses and hounds and in their running shield them from danger.

Bless those over whose lands the hunt proceeds.

Bless the foxes who partake in the chase, that they may be elusive and fleet of foot.

And may all who participate today in the sport, ancient from time beyond reckoning, return refreshed and renewed in body, mind and spirit. Amen”

 

At the end of the service, the riders took off on the hunt. Many people drove to the adjacent farms and watched the action.

 

What a great way to begin our truly American holiday of Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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Renovation – Textures and Details

 

 

 

 

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We’ve just finished a renovation of our kitchen and family room. If you missed my blog post of yesterday, probably good to go here first:  Renovation Over – Almost!

Please click on each picture in this post. It will appear LARGER. and BETTER!

As we have settled into our new space, we’ve enjoyed a lot of the details – fabrics, colors, textures, hardware, lights, etc. I wanted to take some closeup pictures to give a sense of some of the details. Part of one our two new easy chairs appears above. They swivel – a nice feature!

 

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So, most of us buy our appliances based on looks, right? Our double oven has a clean, cool contemporary feel. It works great, too.

 

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For the floors, we chose white oak. There’s no stain on the floor, just two coats of oil based polyurethane and two coats of water based poly. The new floor grills are made to match and are flush to the floor – very sleek. I didn’t think of this – our floor guy led the way.

 

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This is one of four chairs around a table with a painted round top (yet to arrive). We picture this as a breakfast and project area.

 

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Picking out door pulls is a challenge – the choices are endless. I leaned towards something very simple – my spouse prevailed and this is what we came up with, which we both love. We have 58 of these altogether. Whew!

 

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There are three high chairs (I’m not supposed to say barstool) where we can sit at one of the islands. Very comfy.

Thanksgiving is next week. We are truly grateful for all the people who worked on our project – carpenters, plumbers, electricians, sheetrockers, floor installers, painters, interior and kitchen designers and more. Everyone was terrific to work with and all really took pride in their handicraft. You have created a lovely environment for us. Thank you!

Even the outlets are slick. Our old glassware, now back from 12 weeks in storage, fits snugly in these skinny cabinets at the end of the island. Time to shake up a martini?

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

 

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Renovation Over – Almost!

 

 

 

 

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Click on any image in this blog post to see it in a LARGER size. The pictures look better this way!

Our renovation is (almost!) over. If you missed the blog post from early in the process, see Renovation-Part One. We began in mid August and so it’s been about 3 months. We’re letting go of the memories of dust and just enjoying the space now. These are pendant lights over one of the two islands in our kitchen.

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This is the view from our family room back towards the kitchen. We knocked down the wall between the kitchen and this room to open up the space. “Knocking down the wall” sounds easy, but it involved new steel beams and moving lots of wires and pipes.  Still not quite sure how our general contractor, Brian Dean, of Bryan & Brian, pulled this off, but did.

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This is a view from the kitchen over the two islands out towards the family room. The chairs on the far left are waiting for their table – hopefully coming next week.

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This view is across the family room, with part of the kitchen on the left. it’s hard to see unless you click to enlarge the picture (subtle hint), but at the top you can see our Big Ass Fan. That’s really the brand name.

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In this image, you can see part of the dining room through the kitchen on the right, and our front hall on the left. It’s great that we can now sit in our dining room and see all the way to the back yard.  But we love eating at the island, so we may never use the dining room again.

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Shooting interior spaces is tough, because of the mix of light. In the picture above, note the blue cast to the natural light on the right half, and warm tones in the kitchen from the halogen lights. If this were a project for a client, I’d work the light a bit differently.  But these images are just for me – and for you!

Stay tuned for more pictures in a day or so. My good friend Teddy (age 7) has been faithfully blowing the leaves off our deck, but I see in this last image below it’s time for him to come back!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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