the gifts of curiosity

In Film, Inspiration
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I’ve long noticed this odd little dirt path leading from a large parking lot on a pretty busy street. It seemed so out of place. For me, out of place, is undeniably interesting. I might not be able to follow up right away, but when my curiosity is piqued, and a place goes on my list, eventually I’ll get back with a camera and some time to investigate.

A few weeks ago I had my chance. I walked through a charming neighborhood, which seemed to be painted every possible shade of green.

gifts of curiosity

To the path that led me to a playing field.

gifts of curiosity-2Where, along the fence line, something looked out of place. There was a lot of overgrowth, and as my eyes adjusted, I picked out shapes from the vines. There must have been hundreds of black plastic planting pots stacked against the fence underneath a decaying arbor.

gifts of curiosity-3I continued to walk along the fence, getting a little more excited and a lot more curious as I went. In a parting in the greenery I realized I must be looking down on an abandoned nursery, complete with dilapidated greenhouse.

gifts of curiosity-4Since I live in the most densely populated county in the United States, finding a wild, abandoned property like this, adjacent to a schoolyard, a huge church parking lot and just off a major road is crazy. I couldn’t believe this undeveloped piece of land existed.

I was still walking toward that dirt path, but really, at this point, I was more interested in getting a better view of the greenhouse. So I traversed the school property and crossed the church lot, keeping the greenhouse to my side all the while, and rounded the corner.

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You probably know where this is going by now. The dirt road was the path to the abandoned nursery.

gifts of curiosity-5
The No Trespassing sign seemed like it applied to the land, not the road, so I continued, albeit with caution, and I was rewarded with the view of the greenhouse I was hoping to find. And a few steps beyond where I stood to take this photo, the path dead ended, which was a clear end of the line for me.

gifts of curiosity-7
I never would have guessed that a Sunday photo wander would have led me to this wild space just a few city blocks from the Washington Metro, but that is exactly the beauty of curiosity. You never know where it will lead you.

Keep your eyes wide open,


    • It was so crazy, Vanessa! My spidey sense was on fire & I couldn’t believe it what I was seeing.

  1. I remember how excited you were that day — completely justified! This is such a great story and what great photos. Do you remember that abandoned mini-golf place we came across in Connecticut (or was it somewhere else) — I wish you (or I) had been into photography then.

    Now let’s go visit some of those abandoned industrial buildings in Baltimore and Philadelphia.

    • You know we did take pictures that day, though of probably pretty dubious quality. I’ll have to dig them up.

  2. Madly in love with all these greens and the greenhouse! I am not very brave unless I have a camera around my neck. You are encouraging me to find even more courage!

    • I feel like my camera is my superhero cape, Staci. With one around my neck I am all kinds of fearless, without, not so much.

  3. Oh, this is fabulous. It’s exactly what every photographer hopes for (pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). Wish I’d been walking that road with you!

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