All of a sudden,


Pool on Falling Water Creek

This pool is just downstream from a low-water bridge over Falling Water Creek, north of Ben Hur, Arkansas. The location sneaks up on you.

This nice little pool, just upstream from a low-water bridge on Falling Water Creek, north of Ben Hur, Arkansas appears in your windshield nearly all of a sudden. As you round a downhill curve on the rocky road approaching the bridge, there it is — one of the reasons you come to the boondocks. Since traffic is mostly non-existent, I always stop smack-dab in the middle of the bridge — that is — if the water is not up.  In that case, once it reaches a critical height, attempts to cross may be hazardous to your truck, and your person.

Fuzzybutt falls

Click the pic to see the falls and read the story.

Since most of you will never see this delightful site, I considered it to be an obligation and public service to show it to you. This location is smack-dab in the midst of several great waterfalls, most of which are easy to find, approach, and ogle.

The one falls in the neighborhood which requires a little effort to see is “Fuzzybutt Falls,” a mile or so downstream from the low-water bridge. Fortunately, I have caused a story and two pictures of said falls to be  included on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com. Go there and see the falls in two permutations. By the way, my name for the falls is “Hidden Hollow.” The rest of the know world disagrees with me.

For a parting shot, I am showing you the diametric opposite of an Ozarks Creek, to wit, a dusty field on a farm in the Delta. What’s happening in the picture is land leveling to make irrigation more efficient. The tractor is dragging a 30 or 40 foot device with leveling blades. The device responds to a laser to achieve “level.”

Tractor pulling land leveler in dust

It was a dusty Delta Day, Billy Joe.

The pictures you’ve seen in this post are from the same state, Arkansas. We gotcha mountains, we gotcha Delta, we gotcha Piney Woods, we gotcha Grand Prairie, we gotcha … oh well you get the drift.

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

 

Two dam falls and more


Waterfall at Mammoth Spring Arkansas

You can walk over the falls at Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. Few waterfalls can make this claim. Furthermore you are welcome and encouraged to make the stroll. A long-of-tooth dam (1887) makes the falls,

Dams make these fine falls, thus “Two dam falls.” You can still show this article to your Momma without fear of retribution.

Falls at Rockbridge, Missouri.

Falls at Rockbridge, Missouri created by a mill pond dam completed c. 1868.

fly fisherman at rockbridge falls

See more falls at Cordancer dot-com,

Before we venture further with the falls, I suggest you take a look at the Photo of  the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where this story had its beginning, You will see different views of  the falls and a neat country road. Take a look. We’ll wait here for your return.

Waterfalls do not necessarily have to be naturally occurring to be cool, make nice sounds, and elicit  “OOO” and “AHH” from enthralled onlookers. I was in the presence a couple of man-made falls weekend last which neatly support that theory. The other upside to man-made falls is that man had to get in there to make what ever it is that makes the falls, so it is generally a lot easier, with substantially lower exposure to chiggers, ticks, snakes,  and grievous slips and falls, to sally forth and see the falls.

Barn in the rain

How to shoot a barn in the rain: Step inside an adjacent barn, out of the rain and fire away. Both structures are on the Mackey Place, part of the Rockbridge Trout Ranch at Rockbridge, Missouri.

Around a quarter mile or so from, the Rockbridge falls, you will find the Mackey Place barns along with residential facilities for guests of the Rockbridge Trout Ranch. Not every place you stay offers you a fine old red barn in your yard.

Bluffs near Rockbridge Missouri

Bluffs near Rockbridge Missouri. Not long after I shot this image, a couple of anglers were casting flies which a few unsuspecting trout grabbed up. Tasty catches.

The waterfalls, the barns, and the bluff scene, (the dam controls the flow upstream), are prima-facie evidence that man can successfully interact with mother nature and live in harmony. Keep in mind that each of these aforementioned relationships began more than 100 years ago. If we could do it then, surely we can do it now.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

Old gas pump

See more pictures in the Weekly Grist gallery

See an old store and station with a 35 cent per gallon gas pump, high-resolution pictures of the falls, an old house, a low water bridge, an old house and high resolution pictures of the falls on our Weekly Grist gallery.

Non-fattening, rated G and high in natural content. You will not be tested on the content you observe. Click here if you missed the other links.

Also, see “A great gravel road,” a  previous Weekly Grist post from the same area.

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

Tooling down 28


Creek crossing Arkansas Highway 28

The Fourche La Fave River and many small creeks and tributaries to the river cross Arkansas Highway 28 West of Rover, Arkansas. I caught a peripheral glimpse of this small stream and had to do a turn around to come back and get the picture.

This picture is a clear demonstration that the Almighty is in charge. In a perfect world, the flotsam and jetsam in the center of the picture would not be there and you would see a perfect transition from reflecting trees to reflecting skies. In a photo exhibition the judges would verbally beat the photographer severely about the head, face, and shoulders for foisting this on their sensitive selves. However, it’s us and no judges and the picture reminds us that we live in an imperfect world. Therein is the value.

Arkansas Highway 28 from Rover west to the Cedar Creek community is a long string of scenic beauty and historic sites. I can’t find it showing up in travel literature or a catalog of historic sites, but that only means the mainstream has yet to stumble across it and the traffic is low. Neither of which are bad if you are visiting.

Landmark Missionary Baptist Church Onyx Arkansas

See the church at Corndancer.com

I approached this stretch from the south on Arkansas Highway 27 and happened across a fine old church at Oynx, Arkansas.

Before we go further, may I suggest that you digress for a moment and see this old church, its historic signs, and the low-water bridge one must cross to get there, on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer do-com. Click here to go there. We’ll be here when you get back.

The next stop was a lunch break at Rover, Arkansas. If you are hungry and in the neighborhood of Rover, stop at the Exxon Station (also a store, deli, cafe, etc., etc.) and grab a sandwich. The country store is a rarity, they actually asked me if I wanted the sandwich on wheat bread. In other country stores, such a statement would be close to a Class D Misdemeanor. The sandwich was a culinary masterpiece. I savored each bite. Smoky ham, turkey, pepper-jack cheese, lettuce, ‘maters, pickles and onions.

Wing Community Church Wing Arkansas

The Wing Community Church, Wing, Arkansas.

Tiny Wing, Arkansas was the next stop. They have a church, a Christian Center, and a big store. From the looks of the church, they also have a good attitude.

Bluffton, Arkansas and Gravelly, Arkansas were next stops. Old buildings are scattered through both. Time was a factor when I was in Gravelly and I did not shoot four, (count ‘em, four) old store buildings in good condition. Two of them appeared to house viable businesses.

Old barn at Gravelly Arkansas

Look fast and hard, this old barn at Gravelly Arkansas is on its last legs. Weather and the trees are winning and the barn is coming in second best.

Just on the outskirts of Gravelly, we found a pair of old buildings in the collapsing mode. One is the remnants of a barn and the other a lower utility building of some type. The barn is the building you see above, see the pair in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

Old house at Bluffton AR

The old house at Mad Dog Hill Lane and Highway 28 has some Victorian charm left. Notice the decorations on the roof peaks and eaves.

Not far from Gravelly, you come to Bluffton where there is an old favorite photo target, a house at Highway 28 and Mad Dog Hill Lane. The first time we were there, the Mad Dog Hill Lane sign was in place. This time the sign was gone, probably to a dorm room or a den wall. As my late father, Peyton Dempsey used to say, “The only reason you don’t call some people thieves is because they don’t steal a hot stove.”

With that sage observation, I bid you adieu for this week.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

See more pictures

See more pictures

See our Weekly Grist Gallery with more pictures from this foray down good ol’ Highway 28. See an old mule hay rake, more creek pictures, a pasture house, and some other good stuff.

Click here to go there and marvel at the imagery.

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

On the way from Houston (Arkansas that is)


Old barn near Houston AR

In spring and summer months leaves from trees and shrubs will make this view virtually impossible. Another example of stuff you can see in the winter and no other time.

A backward glance

In late February (2010), Jon Phillipi and I, tooling west toward Houston, (Arkansas) on Arkansas Highway 113,  noticed an old house on the south side of the road. Long since abandoned, and basking well in late afternoon sun, the house appeared to be a good prospect for a Weekly Grist picture.

We passed it and I ventured one more backward glance and noticed a large barn south of the house. We duly noted the location as a prime prospect and continued west to Houston where we would shoot the former Houston Methodist Church, a popular target for photographers.

It isn’t a barn

old gin at ladd ar

It's not a old barn. It's an old gin.

Before we venture too much further, we need to tell you this barn story started on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com where we visited what we thought was an old barn at Ladd, Arkansas. Turns out, it is not an old barn, but an old gin. A last minute infusion of facts saved our bacon from the embarrassment of publishing a falsehood. Nothing like the facts to clear the air. Like the barn at Houston the gin has seen better days but still is very interesting. See the old gin at Ladd here, outside and inside.

Do it now

Back to Houston. With a sufficient amount of pixels “in the can” from the church at Houston, we headed back east toward the Delta, our home. By the time we saw the house and barn again, the late evening illumination was nearing perfection. Coming back to shoot the barn ceased to be an option. The light was right and the time was now.

I ventured to the nearest neighbor’s domicile and asked if the barn was on their property. A friendly young man informed me that it was not their property and belonged to unknown persons who “ … lived up north,“ meaning north of the Mason Dixon line.

Tall barn

The barn is one of the tallest we've seen. In all likelihood, with this large capacity loft to store hay, the barn was part of a large livestock operation.

Shoot with abandon

This of course is music to a trespassing photographer’s ear. The owner ain’t gonna show, so fire away with reckless abandon. That was the good news. The bad news is we know little about the old barn except for the fact that it looks really great in late afternoon February sun.

etched in concrete

There may be some clue as to when the barn was either built or was improved. Hieroglyphics we interpret to be 4-48 were carefully scratched into wet concrete at the west entrance to the barn.

Spring is well, springing

In the final throes of a winter somewhat colder than normal, the southeast Arkansas landscape still carries its winter mantle of gravy brown. Paying little attention to these environmental conditions, the flowers which announce spring will wait no longer.

white flowers

A flowering bush an/or stunted tree seems healthy enough on a bleak roadside. A bare field to the left and a construction project in the background lie in contrast to the rites of spring.

Jonquils, Bradford Pear trees and miscellaneous and sundry fruit-bearing trees now generously dot the landscape, portending quick relief for denizens of these whereabouts who have had all the winter they can abide. Friends to the north, take heed. We are sending these favorable conditions your way.

ugly sign, nice flowers

I've heard it said that it takes two uglies to make a uugly (pronounced "you-glee"). These signs are the manifestation of that rumor. These jonquils (or are they narcissus?) are providing a modicum of temporary relief. When they're gone, it's back to uugly.

More (and better) pictures

The blog picture processing procedure somewhat degrades pictures rather than being neutral or enhancing them, so to show you the best pictures, we make a weekly post to a higher resolution gallery. In this gallery, you’ll see all the pictures on Corndancer and Weekly Grist, plus those we closely considered, but did not publish. This week, there are 18 cool shots to see. Click here to go there.

Thanks for dropping by,

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

The “Wow!” stuff: seek and ye shall find


These falls at Lake Catherine State Park, near Hot Springs, Arkansas are about midway in a relatively easy hiking trail that loops from a camping area along the lake shore. A healthy rain the day before this shot gave the falls a bit more oomph, a plus for the "WOW!" factor.

These falls at Lake Catherine State Park, near Hot Springs, Arkansas are about midway in a relatively easy hiking trail that loops from a camping area along the lake shore. A healthy rain the day before this shot gave the falls a bit more oomph, a plus for the "WOW!" factor.

The “WOW!” stuff we encounter in our lives is analogous to life’s desserts. Sure we can live without ‘em, but why? As a dessert, these experiences are non-fattening, low cholesterol and may, as in the case of the waterfall above, offer an opportunity for a tad of exercise. We actually started this “WOW!” exploration on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot Com. To see some more pictures from “WOW!” experiences and get in on the start of the story, click here, a very cool thing to do.

Water rushes over a low water bridge on an abandoned road off Arkansas Highway 171 west of Lake Catherine State Park. When the water is not up, you would probably miss it.

Water rushes over a low water bridge on an abandoned road off Arkansas Highway 171 west of Lake Catherine State Park. When the water is not up, you would probably miss it.

Granted, you do not have to take a trip to a waterfall or other special location to experience a “WOW!”, but for the most part, you exponentially increase the odds of being WOWED, if you put yourself in position to be WOWED. This means that occasionally one must cut the umbilical to daily or even weekend routines and nose about for something new. You may not know where you are going. A discovery is even more delicious if it is uncovered due to a random act of deciding which way to turn. Sally forth in a new direction and see what can be discovered. You never know what you will see. As an example, take a gander at the road sign below:

Lick Skillet Road

Lick Skillet Road off Arkansas Highway 80 east of Waldron, Arkansas.

When I saw the sign, I, in the words of W. C. Fields, ” … was compelled … ” to turn and drive down the road. This was not the first Lick Skillet Road sign I saw, but was the most skewed, so it made the cut to be published. I encountered a friendly young man in a pickup and asked if he knew how the road got its name. He allowed as how he understood that around the turn of the 20th century, a woman operated an eatery on the road. The good ol’ boys of the time observed that the food there was so good, you wanted to lick the skillet. And thus the name.

Further investigation by Googling the term indicated that this appellation, Lick Skillet, at the time, was popular. Turns out there are a bunch of Lick Skillet places and other Lick Skillet roads promiscuously scattered around the nation. There is indeed precious little new under the sun. Sooner or later, someone will claim to be “The Original Lick Skillet.” Or perhaps that claim has already been made.

Mad Dog Road

Abandoned house on Mad Dog Hill Lane near Bluffton, Arkansas on state highway 28.

After having followed Lick Skillet Road until it terminated on Arkansas Highway 80 east of Waldron, I more or less folded the tent with the idea of beating a path back home. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an abandoned house with some Victorian trappings on the confluence of highway 80 and  “Mad Dog Hill Lane.”  In my time, I’ve known a few people, who will remain unidentified, the address of whom would appropriately contain such a street — you know who you are.

No one came forth with an explanation for the name, so I folded the tent again and headed south. Our imagination can fill in the blanks on Mad Dog Hill Lane until something better comes along.

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

This old, old, house


Notice the front porch on this old farmhouse, no visible means of support.

Notice the front porch on this old farmhouse. It is a miracle of unintended cantilever construction with no visible means of support, since the porch and porch supports, like the last residents, have long since departed the scene.

When I first saw this old house northeast of Parkdale, Arkansas, I recalled an old fifties song , written by Stuart Hamblen, “This Old House.” The song was allegedly inspired during a hunting trip with legendary actor, John Wayne. Believe it or not, the version of the song performed by Rosemary Clooney garnered the number one slot on the Billboard chart. This story started on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. To see a more pictures of the house and get in on the start of the story, click here.

room

The west room: Decorated with a door on the floor and multiple remnant layers of wallpaper.

This old house is typical of farm employee residences furnished by the farm owner. It shows evidence of a number of residents, at least, if the number of wallpaper layers are any indication.

est

The east room: Lots of natural ventilation with native materials and roofing iron decor.

Divided into four rooms, the house is simple with few amenities past basic shelter. One of the chimneys probably vented a kitchen stove and the other a pot bellied wood heater.  One had to tip toe through the tulips, dandelions or whatever was in the yard for personal relief in an outhouse. In that part of the country, depending on the time of the year, slapping “skeeters” all the way was part of the trip.

And at Ladelle, Arkansas, another victim of the times, Deals Grocery. The store stands as a monument to simpler times.

Deals Grocery, Ladelle, Arkansas.

Deals Grocery, Ladelle, Arkansas.

We rejoice that our residences are not comparable with the ole farmhouse. We bemoan the departure of neighborhood stores. And life goes on.

Thanks for dropping by,
Joe

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

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