Carol Huffman Photography: Blog en-us (C) Carol Huffman Photography - All Rights Reserved [email protected] (Carol Huffman Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:37:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:37:00 GMT Carol Huffman Photography: Blog 120 80 Hello Spring! Whew……what a winter!  But things are looking up and spring has sprung.  I often wish that there were only 3 seasons…spring, summer, fall……then back to spring!

On top of it all, I’ve been on call for Federal jury duty for the last 6 months and so haven’t traveled at all to see my Florida birdies.     

Not knowing what to get in to around here, I discovered the storm water retention pond in my neighborhood.  Sounds gross, I know…but it’s a protected area for birds to nest.   So I approached the board members of my homeowner’s association and was granted access…..and a key! 

I’ve only been in there a couple of times so far…worried about snakes… and poison oak after that outbreak I had last fall.

While I’ve not been able to get close enough to photograph them, I’ve found a pair of Savannah Sparrows making runs back and forth to feed their young’uns.  I can’t see the nest as it is in a culvert….but I can sure hear them when dinner arrives.

I’ve also found a pair of Carolina Chickadees that are nurturing 2 eggs…they look like tiny jelly beans.

The Northern Cardinal kids are out of the nest and learning to fly…with parents close by. 

And finally, I’ve got a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks that circle the wetlands from time to time......hereafter known as Lorac Wetlands!

Take care!! 

Carol Huffman



[email protected] (Carol Huffman Photography) Roanoke Virginia birds carolina chickadee northern cardinal spring wetlands Sat, 10 May 2014 15:26:37 GMT
Roanoke – Star City of the South In going through some old photos, I ran across a photo of downtown Roanoke, Virginia taken from the overlook on Mill Mountain.  I took this a number of years ago and played around with overlaying our star on the nighttime shot.   

(C)Carol R Huffman

Roanoke is nicknamed the Star City of the South because of that man made electrified star.  It stands nearly 90 feet tall and supposedly can be seen for up to 60 miles away.  Built in 1949 to celebrate the Christmas season, it still shines nightly over our city.


The Mill Mountain Star was initially lit in all white neon but turned red for 2 nights whenever there had been a traffic fatality in my town.  I remember the feeling I would have as a kid when I’d look up to see the blood red color.  In 1976, the colors were changed to red, white and blue to commemorate our country’s bicentennial celebration.  After that, the star’s colors have changed back and forth to memorialize certain events, such 911 and the VA Tech Massacre.  Today, it’s back to white. 


Electrical energy consumption for the star is 17,500 watts or 17.5 kilowatts.  Making some assumptions on how it's metered and knowing the cost of electricity in Roanoke and that it shines from dusk til midnight, the cost to operate the star is probably an average of about $250 per month.  The star has been shining since 1949 so that's 64 years X 12 months X $250 or $192,000.  Our population is just under 100,000.  So that's less than 2 bucks each to have the star shine over our city all these years.   

Carol Huffman



[email protected] (Carol Huffman Photography) Carol Huffman Mill Mountain Star Virginia downtown Roanoke night star Tue, 07 Jan 2014 01:16:04 GMT