Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, KY

by Terry Donnelly

Beginning at the age of 22 Micajah Burnett designed and built many of the buildings in the Shaker village at Pleasant Hill, KY. This elegant spiral staircase is one of two in the Trustee’s House (1839). The two staircases stand mirroring each other ascending three stories from the building’s main hallway and are quite striking with patterns and play of light.

Spiral staircase in the three story Trustee House
First floor, spiral staircase in the trustee house in the Shaker Village
Second floor, spiral staircase in the trustee house in the Shaker Village

Of necessity, to accommodate this round stairwell the adjacent rooms also curved in the most delicate and graceful manner. What a luxury to spend time in this spacious room.

Hotel Room at Pleasant Hill

The part of the hotel stay that still makes me smile was the access I had to the building interior that would otherwise been problematic. As it was, I photographed the marvelous stairs structures and hallways unhurriedly at odd hours of the day before and after the staff and guests were moving about. With the candle-like sconces being the only artificial lighting, I was also able to remove various bulbs to control the wonderful shadows in the stairwells. A Regular kid in a candy-store I was.


Upper hallway skylight,  at Pleasant Hill




Last Friday evening (June 12th) a Silent March in support of the Black Lives Matter protests drew the participation of an estimated five hundred Vashonites. As the march proceeded through Vashon’s main business district everyone took a knee for eight minutes and fifty eight seconds in memory of George Floyd’s murder and all people of color unjustly killed.

The silence on our typically noisy main street was profound and surreal; no chatting or even murmuring, nor vehicular traffic although the roads were not blocked. Social interaction was largely absent among these people of our small community, people who are familiar to themselves and had not had the chance to interact for months. Personal visits set aside for a common expression of support and solidarity and grief and resolve and love. The pictures tell the story.

Vashon, Washington:
A silent march in solidarity with Black Lives Matter on Vashon’s main street. Organized by Vashon in Solidarity Alliance

Isle of Skye, Scotland – A photo collection of Calum Macdonald and his border collie Pip

On our way to the Quiraing mountains, Mary Liz and I detoured to check out an old stone sheep pen that was set off, away from the road. About the time we walked in and started to look for photos who shows up but the crofter himself, Calum MacDonald with his trusty dog Pip! His purpose that day was to round up a couple dozen sheep for their annual sheep-dip plunge but he was willing to chat for a while, discussing the crofter’s waning lifestyle; those skills learned from his father and now being continued with his herd of sheep but  more as a tradition than that of a business.

The afternoon highlight for us both was watching Pip herd the sheep while Calum strolled along offering minimal commands and hand signals.  Once the sheep were at the stone pens, Calum managed the gates while Pip penned the herd with a firm stance and stare. It was a beautiful performance to watch, and made us both wonder how many generations of crofters and dogs have worked sheep into those stone pens over the years, and how they will continue.