The joy of hindsight


Petit Jean Mountain sunset

Looking west from a Petit Jean Mountain overlook late in the afternoon in October of 2008. A few minutes before the view was too bright, a few minutes later, it was too dark. The picture was squirreled away in my archives. A question from my wife stirred up a photo search and this is one of my unintended discoveries as I looked. Shot October 2008.

lightning strike

Click on the lightning to see how the story started.

A question from my wife regarding the identity of a tree in our neighbor’s yard sent me on a trip through the archives. After identifying the tree as one of the “hicker nut,” (hickory to the uninitiated), persuasion, I began a search of my archives to find a particular picture of the tree. I found the picture I wanted: the tree in its bright yellow fall plumage. As a bonus, I also found a picture of a lightning strike with the tree in the foreground — and a number of other shots I previously overlooked — some of which I decided were ready to be shown.

So this week, we are wandering through the archives. See the first three pictures in the search on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. You will see the yellow tree, the lightning strike and a companion picture to the one above — and below.

Looking north from Petit Jean state part overlook

Looking north from the lodge observation area at Petit Jean State Park, near Morrilton, Arkansas. The sun is beginning to set. I shot the picture you see at the top of the page from an observation area near the bluffs you see above. I shot both pictures in October of 2008.

Around 30 minutes or so northeast of Petit Jean Mountain is Scotland, Arkansas. There is an old home place there, right on the main drag, sporting an old barn and a house with a dug well in a well shed. When I was in that neighborhood in 2008, I found a unique home place in the boondocks nearby and featured it that week, to the expense of the place in town. Now I am righting that wrong. The well shed is below. See the house in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

Dug well shed and, Scotland Arkansas

This dug well and shed are part of an old home place right on Arkansas Highway 95 in Scotland, Arkansas. It is not necessary to leave your vehicle to see it. The family barn is in the background. Shot October 2008.

 A bit closer to home, just south of Scott, Arkansas on Arkansas Highway 161 is a favorite target of area photographers: A pecan tree tunnel. I like the fall shots best when most of the leaves have dropped and you see the character of the trees. But then, that’s just me.

Pecan tunnel south of Scott Arkansas

Pecan tree tunnel south of Scott, Arkansas on Arkansas Highway 161. November 2009.

 This is not the first time I’ve shot these trees, but this is the first time for this particular picture. See the previous visit, “A tunnel of trees.” The shots are from about the same place as this one in the evening and the next morning.

sailor in tug boat crew chilling in New Orleans

This sailor is pulling crew duty as he watches the proceedings of the 2005 New Orleans French Quarter Fest to his immediate front.

 And finally, way further down south, a crew member of the St. James, a tug boat docked at a jetty on the Mississippi River in New Orleans eyeballed me just as I made this shot. I nodded to him and he nodded approval to me. Just to his front is Waldenberg Park where a big part of the 2005 French Quarter Fest activities are taking place.

Saracen Landing

Click the picture for our Weekly Grist gallery

See our Weekly Grist gallery for more archive pictures

See some flowers, the old house next to the well shed, an old structure that I can’t figure out — old school or old church — which is it? A common place sight that made an uncommon reflection, and a couple of other late evening sunset shots.

Click, go and enjoy.

Thanks for joining me in a trip through the archives.

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

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

Arkansas City and points south


old office

This old building dating back to the nineteenth century in Arkansas City has the appearance of a former law office, at least in my eyes. I have seen similar buildings that were so designated.

This piece of machinery, the use of which remains a mystery, adorns the side yard of the old building above.

This piece of machinery, the use of which remains a mystery, adorns the side yard of the old building above.

The building resides in Arkansas City, Arkansas. Once, one of the crown jewels of Mississippi River commerce, the town fell from grace (well, at least for river commerce), when the great flood of 1927 shifted the mighty Mississippi main channel to the east leaving Arkansas City high and dry by far too many miles.

There’s more to this story than you see here. The good news is the story started on the photo of the week page at Corndancer dot com which is one click away. To see an old store, formerly a saloon,  with a balcony front, at Arkansas City and get in on the start of the story, click here, a very cool thing to do.

The town butts right up to what was the main Mississippi River levee until the flood. Remnants of the former river trade can be found at the Moore Farms entrance to Kate Adams Lake which partially sits where the Mississippi churned by prior to the ’27 flood.

levee

These structures at the Moore Farms access to Kate Adams lake are on what would have been the river side of the levee. They are what's left of a part of the docks for the river boats which plied their trade at Arkansas City. Placid, game fish laden Kate Adams is lake is in the background. The lake is named for one of the boats which made regular stops at Arkansas City. Captain Adams, master of the boat, named the boat after his wife Kate. Reportedly there were three boats named Kate Adams. The last one was destroyed in a explosion and fire.

joe

To give you some idea of the scale of these huge relics, I am 6'-4" tall in shoes.

Checkin’ the levees

Continuing southward on the gravel road which tops the levee, I smirked when I recalled one of the standard goofing off terms, used by southern good ol’boys, to wit: “Checkin’ the levees.” The term could be used to cover a multitude of sins, some nefarious and some just for fun.

One of the better fun ones was to grab a six pack, pick up a buddy and drive around in a pickup truck with the windows down listening to Lynard Skynard.

It was perfectly permissible to substitute Led Zepplin, Jimmy Buffett, or another favorite performer. Or two, Then when a call comes in, your receptionist tells the caller, ” … he’s out checkin’ the levees hon.” My experiences along these lines of course, are from a former life.

On the way to Arkansas City, I saw this barn and gave in to the urge to shoot. This barn is sans the usual  explanation. There was a house close by, perhaps with people who know. After visually reconnoitering the premises, the word “Deliverance” came to mind so I eschewed the visit. One never knows.

Great looking old barn. Not many details available

Great looking old barn. Not many details available.

A thirsty lake

Eventually I arrived at the shores of a thirsty lake. Yes there was a lot of water, just not as much as one normally expects. Of course one generally wants to see lakes at their robust levels. However, when the levels drop, sights not normally available become, well, available. Such as the substructure of cypress trees. We had that opportunity back in March at Enterprise Lake. Also look here. In this case, the tree is not as big as found on the earlier trip, but it is off the chart on the dry scale. Can cypress get psoriasis?

roots

Calling all dogs. Help!

The lake also reveals other artifacts and or junk as the levels drop. I wonder how many Ray Bans have been recovered since the the level has dropped. Will Jimmy Hoffa surface?

bike

You can never tell what will show up when the lake drops. Looks like this one was a victim of a bicycle chop shop, with subsequent evidence disposal.

This doesn’t happen often

The new Mississippi River bridge connecting Lake Village on the Arkansas side and Greenville on the Mississippi side is taking shape. The shot below is from the temporary exit to the Cow Pen steak house on Highway 82 on the Arkansas side. The projected opening date is in “2009,”  but we are in the fourth quarter, so we’ll see. The bridge will be the longest cable stayed bridge on the river. A new bridge over Ol’ Man River ain’t an every day occurrence.

The "soon to be open" new Mississippi River Bridge near Lake Village AR and Greenville MS.

The "soon to be open" new Mississippi River Bridge near Lake Village AR and Greenville MS.

For those who use monkey wrenches

For those who use monkey wrenches

As promised, here’s another sign from Joe Webb’s collection, a work in progress. He’s always on the prowl for new stuff.

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

Meandering through south Louisiana


If you are the sort to simply enjoy seeing stuff, you are well advised to occasionally spend a couple of days in south Louisiana. That’s where we caught a glimpse of a disheveled Orange Grove Country Store, where this story started. The sighting is revealed on the Corndancer dot com Photo of the Week page. Click here to see the store.

river crossing

The west bank of the Mississippi River near New Roads LA grows smaller as we ferry eastward toward St. Francisville LA, a delightful town of no small historic significance. The town was our next stop on this Louisiana odyssey, after Orange Grove Store.

St. Francisville LA

The first European settlers arrived in St. Francisville in 1773, some 236 years ahead of us. Somebody’s been there ever since. During the War Between the States nastiness, the town was bombarded by boat-borne cannons. Fortunately, the community survived. If you want to see what life was like in the 1800s, St. Francisville is a sure bet. The town is not large, but more than makes up for its size with a more than respectable concentration of  “stuff to see.”

Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville LA. The congregation had its start in 1827. It was invested as a Parish in 1839. The church was shelled in the War Between the States. Final restoration was completed in 1880. The church grounds include a large cemetery. Birthdates in the 1700s are frequently noted on gravestones in the cemetery.

Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville LA. The congregation had its start in 1827. It was invested as a Parish in 1839. The church was shelled in the War Between the States. Final restoration was completed in 1880. The church grounds include a large cemetery. Birth dates in the 1700s are frequently noted on gravestones.

New Orleans

No “seeing stuff” trip to south Louisiana is complete without a stop in New Orleans. Of course in NOLA, there is also stuff to eat and stuff to hear. Be assured, we consumed plenty of both. The city’s tourist business is healthy and continues to rebound. After all, there is stuff to see there that is nowhere else.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. A cannon aimed toward the Mississippi River stands guard over Jackson Square in New Orleans' legendary French Quarter. In the background is St. Louis Cathedral, founded as a parish in 1720. It is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. A cannon aimed toward the Mississippi River stands guard over Jackson Square in New Orleans' legendary French Quarter. St. Louis Cathedral, in the background was founded as a parish in 1720.

The streetcars in New Orleans are, well, legendary, just about like everything else there. The fares are reasonable, but be sure and bring correct change. The conductor can’t make change. The street car round trip out St. Charles and back is well worth the time and pittance of money required. You observe some NOLA quaintness, weirdness, fine old homes, shops and a plethora of other eye candy well worth seeing.

I'm not certain what the names of these New Orleans street cars are, but I'm willing to bet it's not "Desire." These are disgorging and taking on passengers at the Toulouse Stree stop in the French Quarter.

I'm not certain what the names of these New Orleans street cars are, but I'm willing to bet it's not "Desire." These are disgorging and taking on passengers at the Toulouse Street stop in the French Quarter.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe

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