Wednesday, August 21 – Barnesville, MD

by Cam Miller. 0 Comments

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

Please join me on the last day, September 2, for a celebration photo walk!  Registration details are here.

Suspended in mid-air

Friends Meg and John Menke invited me to do an evening walk on their 20 acre property in Barnesville, MD.  I arrived at 6 p.m., and by 6:30 were doing the “walk around the island.”

Their rural property hugging the edge of Barnesville consists primarily of wooded acreage, with a pond and some meadows.  Walking “around the island” is what they call walking the perimeter of the property, which is about a mile in total.

Million Dollar View

John led the way, waving a large stick in front, to take care of any spider web filaments that might be across the path.  The sky was overcast and the light was flat, but my little camera handled the lighting conditions pretty well.  As we passed the pond, John and Meg told me the story of how salamanders migrate yearly from the woods across the road to the pond in February, then have their babies, stay for the summer, and migrate back across the road to the woods in the fall.  Many salamanders become road kill during the migration; so many, in fact, that the state sent a team of research students out to track the salamanders over the course of two years.  Unfortunately, nothing came of the study that might benefit the salamanders crossing the road; they still become road kill each spring and fall.

Meg greets the horses

We came to a clearing at the end of the woods where Sugarloaf Mountain could be seen in the distance.  This is what the Menkes refer to as their “million dollar view.”  There was a farm in the distance, and hay had recently been baled in one of the fields.

Red Barn

John left us to finish our walk, and Meg and I climbed over a fallen tree at the end of the property and emerged by a horse farm.  We walked to a road that leads to town.  There was a beautiful barn with a weeping willow tree and sheep lying in the pasture.

In town, we walked through the church yard, then along the main road.  We met David Johnson, who has restored several log cabins and placed them in the back of various homes in the community; one is used as a writer’s retreat.

Tribute to John’s Mother
One of the unique homes in town

At the center of town is a wishing well, which is covered, but is used for checking the level of the water table.  It is across the street from the home of John’s late brother, and next to it is a sign dedicated to John’s mother, for the many beautification projects she was responsible for doing in the town.  John Menke has lived in Barnesville for most of his life, and the home he and Meg live in now was his childhood home.

Night Sky Watcher

We returned to the Menke home, and there were a couple of deer in the meadow where the Menkes have three observatory domes.  John and Meg used to have a business selling and setting up these domes; one of the domes belongs to a friend, but the others house an 11″ and an 18″ telescope that John uses to conduct research, operating them remotely from the comfort of his home.

Bambi and friend

Thank you, John and Meg, for inviting me to your home and for the great hour long walk on your property and in town.  I learned so much more than if I had just done a walk in Barnesville on my own.


Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Forward me by email any receipt for an online donation made to the Red Cross for
disaster relief, and I will send you a 5×7 print of your choice from
any of my daily photo walks or from my website.  Offer good until
September 2, 2013.

Visit my web site:

Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots


Cam’s rules for the Daily Photo Walk:

  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably;
    always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps (I use the
    Nikon Coolpix P7700)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

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