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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

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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Paris by Deaux Chevaux

by Blake Robinson

June 20th, 2014    2 Comments     Add Comment
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On our recent trip to France one of the most memorable things we did was to tour around Paris in this car, a “deaux chevaux” or 2CV, made by Citroen.  These cars are quintessentially French and were made from the late 1940’s to 1990.

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Our group had 18 people, so we had one couple in each of 9 cars. We buzzed all over town together, getting out from time to time to take pictures. Even the normally cool and sophisticated locals took note of our vehicles, as did this fellow walking his dog.

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Do you see the yellow ball suspended near the base of the tower? We wondered too. The French Open tennis tournament was going on during our trip. The ball said, “Roland Garrros 2014.”

Our driver, Antoinette, pictured below behind the wheel, was a graduate student in art and a terrific guide for us.

I have to admit, when I first heard about the deaux chevaux, I thought – why don’t they take us around in a Mercedes? But this turned out to be much more fun!

 

 

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

(Click on any image in this post to see it in a LAGER size.)

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monet’s Gardens

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(Please click on any image to view in A LARGER SIZE.)

On our recent trip to France, we visited Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. There were lots of tourists here – some visible on the far footbridge in this first image.

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Despite the crowds, it was fun to walk around and imagine Monet here, deciding on the viewpoint for his next painting. I tried to push the other tourists out of my consciousness and go back in time. Monet happened to see the village of Giverny while passing by in a train. He lived there from 1883 until his death in 1923.

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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