The War College
Washington DC, 10 June 2019 It's been not quite three months since my last post... There's been a lot going on. I've been back and forth to Nepal, been fitfully taking pictures all along, and dealing very intensely with the demands of moving onto and bringing back an old boat. I may do some catch up posts in a bit as I sort the pictures out... What swept away the cobwebs was another bit of travel, a trip down the river as crew on a delivery trip with Captain Scott Bert of Chardonnay Boat Works. We were taking a truly classic '60s Chris Craft motor yacht to the boat yard at Colton's Point for its annual round of heavy maintenance. A long day on the water, and a good day for it. "Partially Cloudy" which meant that the sky had a lot of interest. This series of photos is really very much about clouds, and is all in infrared though I had both big cameras with me.
This is the War College at Fort McNair in Washington, right at the beginning of the trip. Some years ago a dear friend, Sarah Stone, asked me "What do they teach at the War College? And don't say 'War'!" She knows me too well... It's a graduate school in public policy, geared towards senior military officers. It's called the War College because it's an old and traditional institution that belonged to the War Department before that was combined with the Navy Department after the Second World War to form today's Defense Department. Today the War College is only one school falling under the umbrella of the National Defense University.
Fort Washinton Riverine defense for the city of Washington, built after the city was captured and burned by what we would now call a combined services operation during the War of 1812. And never since used, though I suppose it possible that the guns and ramparts might have been needed during the Civil War. The pictures in this little post are in chronological order, and this view is a bit over ten miles south of the city as you go downstream on the Potomac. It's a two frame stitched panorama.
Mount Vernon Almost directly across the river from the fort. I've always liked George Washington's farmhouse, because, while it's a farmhouse on a big scale as befitted a successful agro-businessman, it is still a farmhouse, quite a different flavor from the palladian palace at Montecello.
55 Every big navigational buoy on the river has a pair of fish eagles, or ospreys, nesting on it. These two look pretty frazzled, but I'd expect that of a couple of young parents trying to keep the young ones in fish and no doubt wondering if they're in a good school district.
Fishing There is a big power plant at Possum Point in Virginia, with big power lines crossing the river. There's an osprey nest on the base of the closest pylon, but it doesn't look finished or occupied. But the bird in the middle of the picture on their way to Maryland has their fish...
The Lower Potomac The Potomac is tidal all the way to Washington, ninety miles from the mouth of the river between Point Lookout and Smith Point. An ocean going ship can go the whole distance, which is why there's a city where it is. As you approach the bay, the river widens and deepens, and the scale gets bigger and bigger, and you begin to get a sense of the Potomac as the old highway to the world for Tide Water Virginia and Southern Maryland. The is a stitched panorama made up of three individual photographs. The uneven horizon isn't bad stitching, but the distant shores of the river and its inlets. Looking dead upriver across the wake of our boat.