Doors; Two months after.

Norm’s Doors normally features impressive doors. This week I’m taking a leap and featuring doors of tragedy and hope.

A bit of background

Ellicott City sits in a valley that leads down to the Potapsco River. Over the years the city flooded, the most recent in my memory was as the result of Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972. At that time the Potapsco River rose out of its banks and flooded the foot of Main Street up to the second floor of the buildings located nearby, and the ground floors for most of length of the city. In a way that was a ‘gentle’ flood that lasted a couple of days. The shops dried out, dug out the mud and finally re-opened. Since then the city rebuilt and became a thriving mecca for tourists. The flood on July 30th this year took place in about an hour.

The Geography

About 1-1/2 miles west of the city Md Route 144 starts downhill in the center of the valley, it’s also known as Main Street and parallels a normally gently flowing stream. In the business district is is known as Tiber River.

The peaceful Tiber

The peaceful Tiber

Two Months Ago

The night of July 30th, 2016 changed Ellicott City. A major storm settled just west of the town and dumped 6″ of water in a couple of hours. Present day development left nowhere for the water to go, but down the Tiber River. As the rain continued the stream became a torrent. Since the town is built in the valley with hills on both sides of Main Street and the Tiber River, when the water overflowed the banks the only place for it to go was down Main Street, in spots reaching depths of over 6′. And to add the troubles, many of the buildings were built over the stream. The rushing water that ran under the buildings wasn’t gentle on them either. Most of the buildings on the stream side of Main Street have serious damage to the foundations.

Many foundations are in much worse condition, but hard for a photographer to get to.

Many foundations are in much worse condition, but hard for a photographer to get to.

The water flowing down Main Street swept most of the sidewalk bricks and close to 200 cars down into the Potapsco River. It wasn’t the Potapsco that caused most of the damage, but the Tiber.

Finally Main St is open

Since the floods, the downtown area was closed to the public, even the owners and residents could not get to their properties without scheduling a short trip with safety engineers. Finally after two months Main Street is open. But not much else. I took the walk to get some photos for Norm’s Doors weekly challenge. They are not the grand glorious doors we all like to see, but these are ‘real’. It could happen almost anywhere. They mostly have the signs “Opening Soon” Lots of optimism and hope. I stopped in one shop that was open, relocated next door to where it did business before the flood. “We’re Back In Business”, said the shop owner, with a big smile, but there were very few shoppers, not many parking places were open.

Now for the photos

One door a couple blocks above the flood.

One door a couple blocks above the flood.

The rest of the doors in this post are not as good looking







Some beauty and humor




Eyewitness to the disaster

Here’s a link to a video taken during the flood, from the second floor of a restaurant over Main St.

for Norm’s Doors weekly cnallenge.

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Everyday doors in Frederick


From Baltimore take an hour’s drive west on I-70 and you will come to Frederick, Md. the county seat of Frederick County. Or drive up I-270 from Washington DC and you will arrive at the same place. Frederick is a nice destination for a weekend’s drive at any time of year. A few miles west of Frederick lies the Catoctin and Appalachian Mountain, nice hiking areas. But stay in town and you will find a lively community centered on Market St and Carroll Creek. More on Carroll Creek in some future post, but nor now journey with me as I strolled east of Market looking for interesting doors. Not grand doors on famous cathedrals but more common doors. Some of them are colorful, others just utilitarian, but worth noticing.




A bit more ornate







Everyday doors and gates




for Nomr’s Thursday Doors

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See a small town, really small!

Small Towns, Hamlets and Villages

I’m always on the lookout for more Small Towns. This is possibly not qualified as a Town, Hamlet, or even a Village. It’s just a place. But I’ll call it a town for now.

One of my stops on a vacation trip to Colorado was a small town of Mingo Kansas. From I-70 one goes west on County-K for about a mile, don’t blink or you might pass right through. Mingo’s main claims to fame is that it is the home of the oldest Geocache appropriately named Mingo. Placed in May of 2000, this cache is on the bucket list of many geocachers, we like finding geocaches of special significance. After finding the geocache I proceeded into Mingo itself to do a bit of exploring. The following photos don’t show much, and that’s right. There’s not much to the town, maybe a dozen houses, a church, the requisite Grain…

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Doors on DelMarVa

Traveling always opens new doors, some of them are worth photographing, others are just for opening. The DelMarVa Peninsula is one such place. The northern portion is between the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Bay. The further south one goes the eastern edge is the Atlantic. The topography is, well, Flat. It’s on the Coastal Plain. Serious hills are not to be found, making for easy bicycling. Farming and Seafood are the main occupations

I found this first door in Crisfield, now a residence it the bars on the windows make it look like the building was once a business.

On Smith Island the occupations are, Crabbing and tourism. That’s it. One finds excellent Crab Cakes and Smith Island Cake. The Crab Cakes are made with Crab, that’s it. No bread or cracker crumbs, maybe a little bit of shell now and then, but definitely crab meat. The other delicacy is the Smith Island Cake. I don’t think I’d want to die for it, but … Let me try to describe it, Twelve Layers. Yes 12 layers! So it’s also 12 layers of icing, along with bits of fruit or other surprises in between some of the layers. Sorry for no picture, this is a post about doors.

What else would one expect in a fishing community, but a fishing shack. I guess the anchor really keeps the door closed.


It’s not often we can photograph many doors at once, but here Ewell, Smith Island the opportunity presented itself, even though I had to shoot through the window. A note for the younger generation, these are the doors on Post Office Boxes, still used here in a community of only a couple hundred. The mail comes in by boat, there no trucks to Smith Island. From the boat dock to the Post Office, the mail travels by Golf Cart.


It was a long drive home and I sort of felt the need for this door.


for Norm’s Doors

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“T” (Train?, Tracks?, Tunnel?, Terapin?, Totem?, Tea?)

Some subjects for 26 Weeks Letter Challenge: “T” came easy, with a quick search through the database along with some new ‘challenge responses’.

Speaking of Trains and Tracks

You might think that cold, snowy weather is a time to stay indoors with a mug of Hot Chocolate, or a Hot Buttered Rum, or even a cup of hot Tea, but getting outdoors in inclement weather often yields opportunities for great, and sometimes unusual photos.
This was taken in east Baltimore, a little east of the Canton, an newly renovated section of town. The day was cold, we’d had less than an inch of snow which was rapidly melting. A few minutes later I returned to this spot, no snow remained.

Parking in Harpers Ferry, WV is limited, but we were able to nab one of the few remaining spaces for a few minutes to explore around the station. The tracks here are crossing one of two bridges, giving the appearance that half of the Harpers Ferry Tunnel is not used, the other half of the tunnel leads south anong the Shenandoah River towards Winchester, Va. That bridge is a few feet to the right of the one in this photo. Besides more tracks it also has a walkway for bicycles and hikers on the Appalachian Trail. The day we were there it was windy and cold, the river has a thin crust of ice! The The B&O, now the CSX now passes through The Tunnel under Maryland Heights and on through Sandy Hook. video

Enough of trains

On an intersection near home there once grew a couple trees. When they died a local woodcarver went to work. The terrapin of course is the mascot of the University of Maryland – “Go Terps

Of course “T”

What challenge for the letter “T” would be complete without Tea?

for 26 Weeks Letter Challenge: “T”

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One Word Photo Challenge – Chicken

Pot Pie

This week’s One Word Photo Challenge by JENNIFER NICHOLE WELLS is a simple one, “Chicken”. Though I’ve been to the Eastern Shore of Md. recently I wasn’t on the “Chicken Belt”. So I only had one recourse, dinner one night.


I don’t usually have Chicken Pot Pie for dinner, I do have a couple on hand for times I need some comfort food, usually when I feel way under the wather – thankfully not often.

for One Word Photo Challenge – Chicken

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