Going for the green


Water tower at Lake Dick Arkansas with approaching storm

July is a good time to look for afternoon thunderstorms. This one cropped up near Lake Dick, Arkansas in July of 2009. It was a perfect set of lighting conditions, strong late afternoon light and turbulent clouds in the background. The image is a study in Mother Nature’s complementary color distribution: Green, gold and blue talking to us.

Our world, on November 24, 2013, here in LA (lower Arkansas), is bitter cold (for us), blustery, and brown. I am not casting aspersions on these conditions, but am merely observing their presence. There is a bit of sticker shock however, as these are the coldest temperatures we have experienced thus far this year. To top that, as winters go, last winter was puny at best, so our systems are far removed from the last bone-chilling experiences in LA.

Hollow cypress tree near Grider Field Pine Bluff AR

Click on the tree to see the start of the story.

Though my duck hunting friends will likely disagree, I believe this is a really good time to be inside watching a football game (or working on a blog).

For those who bemoan these present conditions, I am offering archival selections of warmer and greener circumstances. You can see where this idea germinated on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where you will see, among other things, a hollow cypress tree surrounded by, you guessed it, green.

Storm clouds in sunset at Lake Dick Arkansas

A day earlier from the water tower shot above, across the road from the water tower, with the camera pointing away from the tower, the setting sun is painting the clouds in vibrant pinks and pseudo-oranges supported by grayish blues. Corn is silhouetted in the foreground. Just being there was a privilege from on high.

Water tower in rice field

A year later, in July of 2010, the field was planted with rice. This is about the same time of day as the storm pictures above, less the disturbances, but nevertheless, cool.

remote abandoned stairs hear lake dick arkansas

Not far from the water tower, earlier the same day, I found a stairway to nowhere. It was likely the front yard approach to a family farm which succumbed to economics. The land around the stairs was not cultivated at the time of the shot.

lady bug on winter wheat near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Just a few miles from the water tower, in April of 2011, we found a nearly ripe field of winter wheat. Turns out ladybugs think winter wheat as a home site is cool. I am told they are beneficial to the wheat crop, since nasty aphids are their favorite treat.

Since we are just days from the time to be grateful for what we have and the opportunities afforded by our blessings, please know, dear readers, that you are a blessing to me. Stay warm and well.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Thrill rides, beneficial bugs, and a rubber duck


Highway 63 and Lovelace Road

This junction, Highway 63 and Lovelace Road, northeast of Pine Bluff, Arkansas has possibilities as a movie location. You can almost hear the chopper blades whopping on the far side of the highway. And perhaps some Jaws music.

After seeing hair-raising rides and finding some minuscule Lady Bugs in a thousand acre plus field,  my expectations for the balance of the day did not include anymore “Kodak moments.”  However, I should have known better.

To access the field where I found the bugs, I had to exit and descend from elevated highway. On the way back, all that goes down, must go up — and lo and behold, there was a road with a sky background — the thing of movie sets. One could envision the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the cavalry, an Apache chopper with guns blazing, or a tank topping the rise with any of the above headed straight at you while you listen to something akin to the Ride of the Valkyries.

carnival ride passengers

See more pictures at Corndancer dot-com.

Before we go much further with this epistle, may I suggest you digress momentarily and go to the Photo of the Week Page at Corn Dancer dot Com where this story got its start. You’ll see a four-story swing at the Star Daze Festival at Star City AR, some people riding it, and a bigger that life Lady Bug.

We’ll stand by here, patiently waiting your return, while you peruse this entertaining and informative page.

On faith that something would turn up, which it usually does, I headed toward the Arkansas River Bridge over Emmett Sanders Lock and Dam northeast of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. On past trips over the bridge and the elevated highway one travels after crossing the bridge, I noticed a road crossing under the elevated highway. I figured it was time to check it out.

The road runs at the edge of a giant wheat field. After running the length of the road and finding some nice riverside residences,  I turned around to head back. I stopped in the way out to shoot some wheat, cleverly figuring that the caption would say something to the effect of  — “coming soon to a biscuit near you.”

Lady bugs on wheat

The odds of finding a couple of Lady Bugs in a wheat field bigger than a lot of towns are tall. These critters are stretching to hit 1/4" long.

I set up to shoot the wheat. After a few frames, I saw the first Lady Bug, and then the second. Not wanting to pass up this chance, I put my person on the ground at Lady Bug level to record these critters. Some contortion required.  The bugs cooperated completely showing no fear of the monster and his equipment pointed in their direction. But then that is their nature. They are beneficial bugs. For all of their innocent appearance, they are predators. And their prey is the pest bugs that damage crops and flowering plants. You just go girls!

And finally, it’s never too late!

rubber duck in the tub

There are some things one can continue to enjoy, regardless of age. One of those things, I must confess, is a rubber duck in your bathtub. Why not?

Certainly, it’s not rubber. Probably some sort of polyetheleynebi-nomialplasticenedi-something or other, but you get the drift. Do something nice for yourself today.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

gallery thumbnails

See more thrilled riders, festival, ladybugs, and more at our Weekly Grist Gallery. Click on the the thumbnails above. Bigger high resolution pictures.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/

http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html