Almost Oz

Fleming and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary on August 23 so we decided a special way to spend the day would be to enjoy the hot air balloon festival at the Bealeton, Virginia Flying Circus. Since growing up watching The Wizard of Oz over and over through the years I've been fascinated by balloons... and someday, I'm going to take a ride! Actually WE will, as Fleming is keen to go as well.

My goal for this trip, however, was to capture photos of these gorgeous crafts. My exhilarating flight for the day was in the front seat of a bi-plane, and my hope was to catch some birds' eye views of the balloons from above.

A kind balloon pilot, Mark Woodard of Carpe Diem! Balloon, allowed me to watch the process of setting up and launching his craft up close. I won't elaborate on the science of it all but hope these photos show how remarkable, and beautiful, this recreational sport really is.