Back to the pumpkin hill dog-trot

Dog-trot house near Rison Arkansas

Click on the house to see our original Nov. 25, 2012 Weekly Grist post.

In 2010, against all odds of success and a plethora of “it can’t be done” advice, my friend Bob Abbott decided to have his grandfather’s old dogtrot house at Smead, Arkansas jacked up and moved 47 miles to his property on Pumpkin Hill Road near Rison, Arkansas.

Once the parts were in place expert “forensic” carpenters would reassemble and restore the old structure.  It should be mentioned here that failure is never an option with Bob. Given that qualifier, there were certain of his friends, yours truly included, who believed that it was just a matter of time until the old structure was indeed restored and standing proud on Pumpkin Hill Road.

Sure enough, a couple of years later, the job was done. The new dog-trot accurately resembles the old dogtrot with its original breezeway open to permit, well, breeze – and light. Like many dogtrots, in later life, the original breezeway was closed to make another room. Replete with fence and a well structure in the front yard, the new one is a dead ringer for the old one back in its glory days.

The new dogtrot gives us a good glimpse of dogtrot living. See our original Nov. 25, 2012 post and look at detailed pictures of rooms in the house and the dog trot breezeway plus an outside view.

dog-trot house on pumpkin hill road

Click on the house to see more pictures and detailed info at

Also be sure and see our original Corndancer Photo of the Week page for two more outside views of the house and other features of the property including an executive rail car permanently relocated on the same property and a neat pond reflection.

Just shows what can be done when a good person makes up his mind.

Pumpkin Hill Gallery

We have created a special gallery of 19 pictures with other views of the place on Pumpkin Hill Road plus the pics you see here with larger and better resolution than normal web presentation.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind




Rock houses and more (again)

Rock structures at Hickory Plains Arkansas

Click on the old rock houses to see our original Oct. 208, 2012 post.

Back in October of 2012, with a bit of time on my hands, I made a foray into the foothills of the Ozarks where I found some nice examples of rock structures, aka buildings made of “native stone.”

As a building material in the foothills, rocks are rampant. Just about any creek bed at some juncture or another will yield enough to build a fence, residence, well house or what ever else one’s imagination can dredge up.

In these areas you will find a few business that specialize as purveyors of these rocks. These merchants of hardness sort and stack rocks in various sizes, colors, shapes and other criteria that will probably mystify  those unschooled or inexperienced in the rock trade. Bring your lunch when you get ready to unload your weighty purchases.

Dog trot house at Cleveland Arkansas

Click on the old house for the story and pictures.

While I was in the neighborhood, I ran across a reasonably well preserved dog-trot house that had been vacant for a while. Fortunately, there was a neighbor who was willing and able to provide information on the old structure.

See the old house on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com. There’s a lot of detail in the pictures and story including a favorite community joke from the early part of the last century.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind



Avian academy award redux

Mother Killdeer and eggs

See the picture story of Mom and Dad Killdeer as they protect their progeny. Click on the picture.

During mid-July in 2013, I had an encounter with a Killdeer couple who were determined to lead me away from their nest which happened to be in a flower bed near a well-traveled sidewalk and driveway.

The ground was close to ideal for a Killdeer nest, I’m not too sure about the environment. After a few days of observation, I began shooting the nest and mother.

Dad did not show up until later, but I do believe I was always in his cross-

Killdeer closeup

Click on the bird to see more Killdeer pix and information.

hairs. As the story unfolded, the birds went into their best “draw-the-bad-guy-away-from-the-eggs routine. They had several strategies in case their favored acts did not work.

I bugged ‘em enough that they could have gone through their entire litany of charades, but I doubt it. Click here to see our original July 2013 post where you’ll see a good collection of their thespian deeds. Be sure to see some up close and personal pix of the mamma bird and her eggs on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com.

Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

Purple hulled fun

Roto Tiller Racer

Click the picture and and go to our original 2013 World Championship Roto Tiller race story

Every year on the last weekend in June, the purple hull pea faithful descend on Emerson, Arkansas to enjoy the Annual Purple Hull Pea Festival.

If you are from the south, chances are the thought of a choice piece of smoked pork seasoning a pot of purple hull peas sends your olfactory sensors into system overload.

If you have not consumed this delicacy, take the necessary steps to obviate this sin of omission at your earliest opportunity.

I have attended two Purple Hull Pea Festivals and have had more fun than a litter of lab pups with a can of tennis balls.  See the 2o13 trip also on our Corndancer Photo of the Week Page. Also see our 2010 Corndancer article and pictures.  Also see our 2010 Weekly Grist article and pix.

The World Champion Rotary Tiller Races are a highlight. What you see there is unique in the world of motor sports. You must see it to believe it, so we are giving you a glimpse We are taking you back to the 2013 festival visit. If care to peruse our observations on our initial visit in 2010, click here. You can also check out these galleries of PHPF pictures:

Thanks for looking at this short history lesson of fun on the ground in LA (lower Arkansas). As the song says: “Let it all hang out!”

Thanks for looking.

Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

Valhalla for Mustangs redux

Restored 68 Mustang

Click on the Mustang to see our original post with a bunch of pictures of Mustang and the “yard.”

Back in November, 2012, I stumbled across what may well be the best and best-kept collection of wrecked Mustangs on the planet. James Matthews, the proprietor thereof was good enough to grant me the privilege of photographing his yard collection.

Then he took me inside his premises to show me his crown jewel, a pristine restored ’66 Mustang which had also been converted to a pick-up configuration. It’s a big-time head-turner where ever it goes.

He did a lot of the work himself. The John Deere green and yellow trim sets everything off just right. Click here and see or our original 2012 post. Get a look at the engine, the interior, the famous “Bullitt” car chase video, and a vintage ’68 Mustang TV Commercial. Also a link to a panorama shot of the yard.

And absolutely, positively see the Corndancer dot-com Photo of the Week page for pix of the cars in the yard plus some more of the Mustang.

Thanks for looking.

Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

It’s snowing in L.A.

Lower Arkansas gets big snow job

Donkeys in a snow storm

Two of these donkeys paid attention. The others mooned me.

While others prefer a recliner in front of a big screen TV with the crackling comfort of a nearby fireplace during a snow storm, I take the opposite tack. For me, it is time to get off one’s duff, grab the “kodak” and head out since L.A. (lower Arkansas) does not often get a snow like the one we had the last week of February 2015. There was about a six to seven inch accumulation. While I realize this is puny compared to what has been experienced in northern climes, around here, “it’s a biggun.” As a result, most folks hunker down after they have participated in the desperate run that empties most store shelves of bread and milk.

Pasture fence posts in a snowstorm

Click on the fence posts for more snow pix and stories.

That leaves the streets and most photographic snow covered target areas more or less abandoned, a desirable set of conditions for my purposes. It appeared that the storm would last around four hours or so which afforded plenty of time to run the best visual traps.

Our pictures are in two on-line locations. You can see the other pictures from this trip on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. Take a look and we’ll still be here when you return.

Long horn cattle

These Texas Longnorn cattle live in the same pasture as the donkeys. I shot this later after the snow stopped.

Long horn at hay station

Here’s big-daddy Longhorn giving us his opinion of this invasion of privacy.

Pine trees covered with snow

Not far from the donkeys and longhorns, these Pine trees hang slightly over the road. The snow was falling hard when I shot this.

snow covered trees

These snow covered trees on the road to the donkeys are shall we say “bleak beauty?”

UP locomotive in snow
This locomotive pulls its load through the city during the snow. It takes more than a few snowflakes to stop a train.

Preferred squirrel

In the next five pictures a fox squirrel with whom we share residential space descends from his tree, retrieves an acorn and munches out. He repeated the munch-out procedure on a number of acorns.  My spousal unit provides our squirrels and birds with seed on a regular basis and this particular squirrel has become friendly in the process. He has achieved “preferred squirrel” status.

Squirrel descending tree

OK, the coast is clear

Squirrel in snow

He’s on the trail of an acorn.

Squirrel with acorn

The boy finds his acorn.

Squirrel looking for food

“Dear Lord please let me find another acorn.”

Squirrel looking for food

“My prayers are answered.”

There you have it. You have ventured forth into the bowels of a snowstorm without leaving the comfort of your home or office. It’s a cold, wet job that I will gladly do for you again when afforded the opportunity.

See all 30 pictures from our Snow Day in LA shoot in our Snow in LA Gallery.

Thanks for looking.

Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind




Snowbirds munching out (again)

female cardinal at birdfeeder

Mrs. Cardinal flares as she is about to land and join Mr. Cardinal and friends for a bite of lunch during a 2011 February snowstorm. Click on the picture to see our original post with a bunch of cardinal pictures and our normally scintillating prose. You’ll know you are there when you see this picture.

Back to the birds

This week we are sending you back to a post we originally showed to the known world in February of 2011. We had a non-typical covering snow storm in LA (lower Arkansas) which made food sparse for foraging critters. We loaded up the bird feeder and immediately became very popular with the neighborhood feathered residents. I used our house as a blind and shot out the bedroom window. That meant the window was open, and the bedroom door was closed since the cats would immediately hurl themselves through the window and scatter the birds, given the tiniest of chances.

Male cardinal in snow

Click on the bird to see our Corndancer story and pix on these birds.

That also meant that our normally cozy bedroom had a temperature level like a meat locker on steroids and/or the bottom of a Klondike sinkhole, whichever came first. Fortunately I could take a break occasionally and thaw out only to return for another session. It was downright addictive. Click here to see our original February 2011 post. Also be sure and see our new, improved Corndancer Photo of the Week article with three new pix from this shoot. Annnnnd, see our gallery with all of the bird pix, most of which are a hoot, from the February 2011 bird extravaganza.

Thanks for looking.

Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind


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