A break in the soaking and a compendum of critters


This "free-range" rooster gave me a wary look. I stayed in the truck and grabbed him with a long lens. Back in the day, we would have called him a "yardbird," in lieu of the yuppified "free range chicken" designation.

This “free-range” rooster gave me a wary look reserved for interlopers who threaten his hens. I stayed in the truck and grabbed him with a long lens. Back in the day, we would have called him a “yard-bird,” in lieu of the yuppified “free range chicken” designation.

rain soaked camellia

Click the soaked camellia for  more pix and comments.

The drought conditions we groused about several months ago are now reversed here in LA (lower Arkansas). My friend Michael Stubblefield, a transmogrified Arky residing in Seattle would feel right at home. That is, once he made the adjustment to the fact that here one sees a plethora of service stations peddling fried chicken versus the plethora of Starbucks one observes in Seattle.

All that said, this last Saturday was generally a Seattle soaker. Even so, I found some lurking visual opportunities here on the Dempsey premises between cloud bursts. You can see these and peruse the attendant commentary on the Photo of The Week page at Corndancer dot-com.

A break in the soaker came in the afternoon, so bitten with a bad case of cabin fever, I ventured out to see what I could see. Turns out, a few critters had the same idea. One round trip down a short stretch of country road at the outskirts of my fair city yielded unexpected and welcome results manifested as chickens, cows, and horses.

Free range rooster

This rooster was in the same location as the rooster above. He gave me the same suspicious look. I stayed in the truck.

Just across the road from the chickens, cattle were chowing down on a convenient hay smorgasbord in the middle of their pasture. The diners included a Texas longhorn, but unfortunately he was on the far side of the feeding station so we only got a glimpse of his impressive horns.

Cows at hay feeding station.

Across the road from the chickens, cattle munch out on hay. The calf probably probably still visits his mother’s milk supply. Notice the horn on the Texas longhorn on the far side of the feeding station.

Not long after I left the cattle, I was beginning to think I was going to run out of critters when I noticed a some horses grazing in a pasture a couple of hundred yards off the road. I kept going and noticed that the batteries in one camera were running low so I stopped to make the change. While I was fiddle-faddling with the batteries, unbeknown to me, the horses began to demonstrate a tendency shared by most pampered horses. They came to a stopped pickup. As a result, I would up with a close shot of a friendly pony.

I think this horse would have stuck his or her head in the truck had not the gate been closed between us. The horse came a long way to make the visit while I was changing batteries in one of my cameras.

I think this horse would have stuck his or her head in the truck had not the gate been closed between us. The horse came a long way to make the visit while I was changing batteries in one of my cameras.

Some days, you just get lucky. The idea is to let those days outnumber the others. I’m still working on that. I suspect you are doing the same.

Thanks,
Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

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

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A corny story


corn grainery

Corn is steadily stacking up at this grain storage facility in south Arkansas. It was August 6, 2011, hot, dry, and perfect for harvesting corn, discounting the comfort level concurrent with 100-degree plus temperatures and high humidity.

Six finger falls

Click on the picture to see Six Finger Falls Corndancer dot.com

Archive post featured this week.

There is not a new post this week, but we have updated a very popular previous post, “Only in the Ozarks, these falls, this store” with pictures we shot on the same trip in July of 2009, but have not published. These images are seeing the light of day for the first time.

In that post, we take a look at some cool water falls, an old store, and other scenes you find in the Ozarks. This now updated post is one of the most visited on the site.

Corn de-thrones cotton

Corn reigns here where cotton was once king in LA (lower Arkansas). In mid-20th century years about the only corn you saw was in a garden patch bound to become “ros’nears.” (For the uninitiated to the southern mother tongue, “ros’near” is a contraction of “roasting ear,” which refers to an ear of corn ready to cook and eat.) As in, “Momma, Cletus gimme a mess of ros’nears. “Well idn that nice Bubba. I’ll fix ’em for supper tonight if yew’ll shuckem.” “Aw-ight, yes ma’am.”

praying leaves

Click on the leaves to see how this story started

I’m guessing at one time folks roasted corn, but in my family, it was boiled in butter and salt. If you are somewhat adventurous, you add a bit of Zataran’s Crab Boil to the water. Gives a distinct taste and a little zinger of pepper.

A week later, LA was drenched by a series of long-awaited rain storms.  We talk about the long dry spell on the Photo of the Week page on Corndancer dot-com. Click on the link and get in on the drought and the relief proffered from on-high.

See more pictures of rain-soaked greenery and
the corn harvest in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

Giant grain bins

Take a look at the man in the bottom of the picture and you get an idea of the enormity of the gigantic grain bins. Orville Redenbachers dream scene.

See more pictures of rain-soaked greenery and
the corn harvest in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

When cotton was king, the harvest came much later and for the most part, that was that. No more crops until next spring when it was time to plant cotton again. Now most farmers raise two crops a year from the same field. Corn and winter wheat are a good rotation. Some rotate soy beans and winter wheat. These fields were cultivated by men and mules in our lifetime. (At least some of our lifetimes). They are now cultivated by men in tractors as big as a small cabin, guided by a GPS.

fire plug reflection in puddle

Sometimes, particularly after a prolonged period of parching, a puddle is a positive premonition that the environment is pushing to parity.

 A week later we finally were subjected to a downpour of sorts. I’d give it about a 5.5 on a scale of ten. Despite a mediocre rain, the grass and yard plants recovered in record time. Their resilience is amazing. When the weather has been as dry as it has been here, a fire plug reflecting in a puddle becomes a welcome site. Perhaps even an art form. Life goes on.

rain drop on leaf

Click on the water drop for more pictures

SEE MORE CORN HARVEST and
GREENERY pictures
In our Weekly Grist Gallery

See larger pictures of what you’ve seen here plus more pictures from the same shooting sessions. Twelve in all: Hot and dry, wet and green.

Thanks,
Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

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