Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gwynn's Island Bridge

I took these pictures of the Gwynn's Island bridge a while ago. In the upper shot I was waiting for the bridge to open and decided to use my time wisely, because that's what I always do, use my time wisely, where "wisely" equals "about as wisely as a three-toed sloth." Also, I rarely waste time, where "rarely" is defined as "almost always, daily or in everything I do."

The Gwynn's Island Bridge was built in 1939. In 1885 a cable ferry--which had to be manually pulled--operated between the island and the mainland. I have no idea what they did before 1885, but I'm sure it was no picnic. Speaking of no picnic, I'd like to talk about how difficult it is sometimes to take these pictures I toss up here. "Sometimes" may be defined as "practically every time I've ever taken one of these pictures."

Do you know how many times I've had people stare at me like I'm some kind of freak when I take pictures for this blog? Plenty, that's how many.

People just don't get it when they see me snapping pictures of a bridge that's opening, particularly if those people are parked behind me waiting for the bridge to open too. They wonder why in the world anyone would want pictures of a bridge. I know, because I can see it on their face. They never take their eyes off me because they think I'm up to no good. They think I'm taking pictures for a lawsuit or to put all over the internet. I am definitely not taking pictures for a lawsuit, for Pete's sake.

There are hazards involved with taking these pictures too.

For example, today I went back down to the public landing to check on the soybean fields I photographed a few weeks ago. I was studying the field (while driving, please do not try this at home), and noticed a field full of goldenrod. Well, OK. I have no idea if it was goldenrod or not. But for the purposes of this post, we're going to call it goldenrod.

I stopped the car and decided I needed to cross over a ditch to get a better shot. I left the car running, nervously checked to see if any cars were coming, and leapt across the ditch. Right into an old, rusty barbed-wire (or, as some folks say, bob wire) fence that I didn't see because it is probably three hundred years old and blends right in with the pine needles, which are also rust colored.

Next, after plenty of high-steppin,' kickin', hissin' and spittin,' (with just a splash of cussin') I went straight into a briar patch. I did get the darn pictures, but I was none too pleased, and you'll probably never be able to see if it was goldenrod or not because the pictures were not that good.

Last but not least, today I decided to try snapping pictures while driving. Kids? Do not try this at home. Adults? Do not try this at home. Chesapeake Bay Woman? Don't ever try this again.

I've already gone over the whole trespassing issue in previous posts. That pretty much is a given for any picture I put up here that doesn't come from my own yard, which means that 98% of the shots have involved some trespassing.

Or not, depending on who is reading this.

I conclude by saying that I am willing to do whatever it takes to get a picture, where "whatever it takes" sometimes involves enduring scoffs, danger and hazards.

And maybe--just maybe, depending on who is reading this--a hint of trespassing. Or not.


Karen Deborah said...

Hope your tetnus is current, every ten years. Good pitchas worth the effort!

Bear Naked said...

I've heard of roving reporters before but here on the internet we have our own roving photographer.
Keep up the good work CPW we (your faithful readers) are all depending on you.

Bear((( )))

Mental P Mama said...

That is great. Have you had your tetanus shot lately? Who knew that photography in Mathews could be so hazardous?

nativedevil said...

I often tell people that Mathews has only one stoplight: at the bridge at Gwynn's Island, so you don't drive into the water

donny said...

to get to gwynn's island from richmond there are 3 bridges like this to go through. 2 in west point and this one. thankfully this one's usually pretty quick to poen and close. the ones in west point...not so much. one bridge has a train track directly on the other side so there were a few occasions where we not only had to wait for the bridge, but then for a long lumber train. god i hated those 2

Rebeckah said...

You know what you have to start doing? Make up little business cards with your blog name and then hand them out to all the people that stare at you! Who knows, you could get WAY famous from this blog. Trust me : ). PS I love how the soy beans look now also. Very golden and pretty! I was going to pick some and put it in a vase on our kitchen table. For real : ) That's how wierd I am!

Grandma J said...

The hazards you endure for the sake of this blog are unbelievable. I commend your heroic, physical perils.
The bridge is lovely....try getting pictures of a bare chested man. Very dangerous work.

Anonymous said...

you sometimes make light of the historical info you impart here, but I find your blog to be very accurate and informative. Where'd you come up with the factoid from 1885? WTG, CBW!

Just to add another interesting fact: The Gwynn's Island Bridge is the most active span (opens and closes the most) in the whole Commonwealth of Virginia.

Thanks for jumping through ditches for us!

anonymous Mathews native....

Big Hair Envy said...

Are you up to date on your tetanus shot? That rusty old bob wire can be dangerous. It's almost as dangerous as the rusty old pitchfork I stuck in my foot when I was a kid. Be careful out there CBW!

Golden To Silver Val said...

HA! Make up a large card with the word, "PRESS" on it in large letters. Position said card on your dash so that it can be read by any curious onlookers. You could even go so far as wearing a lanyard with a "press card" hanging from it. Their expression will change to that of "awe and wonder" and they will fantasize about being "discovered" and made famous by getting their picture in whatever publication you care to lie to them about. (would CBW Publications really be a lie???) Sometimes a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.
In the careful out there...its a jungle.

Val said...

I love your blog!! those hard won photos are appreciated so keep going no matter what people think!! ha ha - at least they have something to think about now...
I am just getting into the photo thing.... and see that blogging requires a different angle which is fun.
Fascinated by the area you live in so will be a regular to your blog :-)

foolery said...

I knew soy was bad for my health -- now I gotta watch out for goldenrod, too?! Isn't that a crayon?

Richard Small said...

The ferry before they had the brige in 1939 was my Grandfather R.H.Hudgins and Mr. Edwards they ran it and the land on both sides of the water there belong to our family and sandy point before we sold it.