by Meg Nicholas
Each year, despite the season, we come across a number of photographers out wandering our trails, or pausing near the farmhouse and fences for shots of our heritage breed chickens, cows, sheep and pigs. Some of these visitors share their shots with us via email or the Facebook pages for the Accokeek Foundation, the National Colonial Farm, the Ecosystem Farm, and the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Stewardship (CAES). Some we find through searches on Google and Youtube. All of these pictures offer us a chance to see how other people view our site and what we do here. Through these lenses, we get a better idea of what visitors focus on and what impacts them most on any given visit.
Rarely, though, do we have an opportunity to view the lands we steward from a perspective other than a ground or water view. We see the NPS and military helicopters overhead from time to time, and there is no shortage of winged visitors in flight over the farms but, sadly, we don’t have the same opportunity to see this protected area from the skies. Or rather, we haven’t had the opportunity before. Now, thanks to one of our visitors, we have a bird’s eye view of the National Colonial Farm. Robert Macgregor, who runs the blog “airfoiled” and has volunteered his photography skills at some of our events, has taken to the skies with a camera and a quadcopter and generously agreed to share his footage with us.
Seeing the fields, gardens and historic buildings from a vantage point previously reserved for pilots and birds is a unique treat. The footage captured from these flights not only provides us with another view of the farm, it also helps us evaluate the land we steward. From above, we can see which fields need a little help, determine which routes most visitors take when touring the site, and see where repairs might be needed on our 18th century structures. We hope you enjoy this teaser of the aerial footage taken at the National Colonial Farm.