Thursday, January 30, 2020

Downtown

It was a warm Winter day and I had some free time, so I decided to make another attempt at getting some pictures in downtown Little Rock. I ended up walking around Capitol Avenue and spotted this building with a reflection of the Union Bank Building.

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Sitting in a nearby plaza is the large sculpture of "Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge," which was done by noted British sculptor Henry Moore. The piece was purchased back in the 1978 to be part of the Metrocentre Mall, the first attempt at revitalizing downtown Little Rock.

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The sculpture will be moved to the Arkansas Arts Center in a few years when the museum's renovations are completed.

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It was a bright sunny day, which isn't always the best conditions for taking pictures. But the light did make for some interesting reflections in the windows of this building along Capitol Avenue.

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I got back in the car and ended up driving by this old building by Union Station, which used to be a furniture warehouse. I've seen a few older pictures taken of this building, and it at one point was a casket warehouse (which I'm sure means that it must surely be haunted).

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Nearby was this "No Parking" sign, which was rusted into the same color as the brick wall behind it.

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Just behind the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is Bakers Alley, which the Downtown Little Rock Partnership recently invited the public to paint and spraypaint the pavement in order to create more public art in downtown. It's an interesting idea (although the numerous dumpsters along the alley do kinda take away from the artsy views).

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There were also some murals along the alley, including this one of a cat that I think doesn't look all that happy (maybe it knows I haven't seen Cats yet?).

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Dark And Foggy Night

I used to live close to the Big Dam Bridge back in the olden days when I was single and didn't have any kids, and would always make a quick visit there to take some pictures if it looked like there would be a cool sunset or something. I haven't been over to the bridge very much since moving across the river, but last week a big dam fog had settled across the area and I hurried to make a return visit to the Big Dam Bridge.

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The fog was so thick that it was actually obscuring the end of the bridge across the river. The river was running high, with muddy water splashing into the rocks that sit a few feet above where the sidewalk usually runs.

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I walked across the bridge, where the fog was reflecting back the blue lights above the rushing waters below.

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From there I headed back across the river and drove over to the Two Rivers Park Bridge, which was also nearly hidden under a thick blanket of fog. The bridge straddles the Little Maumelle River right by its confluence with the Arkansas River. Oddly enough, the waters at the Big Dam Bridge were running high while the waters below the Two Rivers Bridge were oddly still. The reflection was almost mirror-like, broken only by some sort of critter that swam by (I hoped it was an otter, and not a gator. I really couldn't tell what it was).

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On the other side of the bridge a few trees were standing above the waters, backlit by the streetlights near the boat ramp.

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And then one last shot, looking at the bridge as it disappeared off into the fog.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Old Barns

I'm a fan of barns, the older and more dilapidated the better. So it's always nice when you're driving around and you see one that actually advertises itself as an "old barn."

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Further down the road was this old barn, which is surprisingly still standing.

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The side of the barn was leaning inwards, which might account for the weird angles on this door (or whoever built it was trying to have it mimic the door on Pee Wee's Playhouse).

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Sunday, January 5, 2020

2019

So 2019 has reached its end, so it's time to take a look back (with 2020 vision - sorry). The year was busy and chaotic, which is par for the course when you're spending most of it chasing after an exuberant three year old. But I was lucky enough to have some time to take a few pictures, so below is look back at some of my favorite photos from the past year....

#25:
Emerald Park
April 13: Emerald Park, North Little Rock, Arkansas.
After heavy rains, streams of water pour over the bluffs at Emerald Park and create tall waterfalls (which you don't see much in Central Arkansas). This was taken during a storm, and the camera got so soaked that it had to sit in a bag of rice for awhile to dry out.

#24:
Ladderbucket Falls
April 19: Ladderbucket Falls, Ozark National Forest, Arkansas.
This is a unique waterfall that empties into a scenic little grotto. Although they are supposedly still around there somewhere, we did not see the old ladder and bucket that the falls are named after.

#23:
Untitled
June 2: Riverfront Park, North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Heavy rains in Oklahoma led to some extreme flooding downstream in Arkansas in June. Right before the flood crested, the river covered Riverfront Park with several feet of water and gave new meaning to the name of the Arkansas Maritime Museum.

#22:
NOLA
June 14: Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana.
I turned 40 last year, and I wasn't that excited about being that old. So what better place to drown your sorrows with drinks and food than New Orleans? Our hotel was right by Jackson Square so we ended up passing by there several times.

#21:
Blanchard
October 26: Blanchard Springs, Ozark National Forest, Arkansas.
2019 ended up with having some pretty good fall colors, which looked especially good on a rainy day next to a waterfall.

#20:
SIx Finger Falls
April 27: Six Finger Falls, Ozark National Forest, Arkansas.
While Six Finger Falls is short, it might count as the longest waterfall in the state? The falls stretch all the way across the aptly named Falling Water Creek, which makes it hard to get all of the six fingers in one shot.

#19:
Little Rock
December 14: Riverfront Park, North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Managed to catch a nice sunset one day over downtown and the still waters of the Arkansas River, which was a big change from how things were a few months earlier during the big flood. You could still see evidence of the high waters - the sidewalks have been replaced after the current ripped away the concrete, and there are still mounds of sand and dirt that the river deposited.

#18:
Rock Creek
May 10: Rock Creek, Little Rock, Arkansas.
It's always nice to have some waterfalls close to home, especially if you have to drive a few hours to get up to the Ozarks. This waterfall sits right within the city limits of Little Rock, but it is on private property (you can at least see it from the road).

#17:
Delta
July 21: Crittenden County, Arkansas.
Sun setting behind an old abandoned church in the Delta. I didn’t dare get too close, there were swarms of wasps guarding the building from trespassers.

#16:
Green Day
March 8: Clinton Park Bridge, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Thick fog engulfed the Arkansas River, which also created this surreal effect as the fog reflected back the green lights that were shining out from the Clinton Park Bridge.

#15:
Old Mill
November 11: The Old Mill, North Little Rock, Arkansas.
It’s almost always crowded at the Old Mill, but it was raining this day and there were more ducks there than people. The fall colors did look great in the rain.

#14:
4th of July
July 4: Junction Bridge, Little Rock, Arkansas.
It was unseasonably cool that day, which made it perfect for sitting outside for several hours waiting for the fireworks to start (plus no bugs).

#13:
From The Sky Down
August 18: Delta of eastern Arkansas.
A dusty old piano, sitting inside an abandoned church. The roof has partially collapsed, allowing a view to the heavens.

#12:
In Rainbows
May 12: White County, Arkansas.
We spotted this rainbow while driving home after visiting my In-Laws for Mother's Day. Of course I didn't have my big camera with me, but the iPhone did ok in a pinch.

#11:
Hot Springs
March 29: Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.
This view shows Central Avenue as it runs between the old Medical Arts Building and the Arlington Hotel. This was actually taken right above the display spring, where sometimes steam will occasionally rise up and block the view.

#10:
Car lights, star bright...
March 5: Near Morrilton, Arkansas.
Star trails above the traffic along I-40, which was created by combining about 220 images taken over the course of two hours on a cold night.

#9:
Blanchard Springs
October 26: Blanchard Springs, Ozark National Forest, Arkansas.
Blanchard Springs is not the biggest spring in the Ozarks, but I think it's the prettiest. The waters from the spring flow through a vast system of caverns before they empty out through a cave and form a nice little waterfall.

#8:
Foggy Bottoms
March 9: Near Keo, Arkansas.
Fog drifting through a small oxbow lake near Keo. A few hours after this was taken a tornado passed over and did some minor damage in the area.

#7:
Triple Falls
June 7: Triple Falls, Buffalo National River, Arkansas.
It had recently poured rain here, which meant a lot of water running over Triple Falls. Usually when I make the drive up there, the falls are barely running (more like a "Trickle Falls" instead).

#6:
Dome-o Arigato
March 8: Arkansas State Capitol, Little Rock.
The beam of light is actually a spotlight that is used to illuminate the dome shining through thick fog (and not a light shooting out of the dome, like some sort of Bat Signal. Although I would support my tax dollars going to something like that).

#5:
Blanchard
October 26: Blanchard Springs, Ozark National Forest, Arkansas.
Fog drifting along the wooden boardwalk at Blanchard. This was taken during a heavy rain while I was trying to shield the camera with an umbrella.

#4:
Boxley
June 8: Boxley Valley, Buffalo National River, Arkansas.
Boxley Valley is already one of the most scenic and interesting places to visit in the state, and some thick early morning fog helped make for some neat pictures.

#3:
Cedar Creek
January 12: Cedar Creek, Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas.
This was taken on another cold winter day, when all of Petit Jean Mountain was engulfed in a sea of fog.

#2:
Holy/Holey
August 18: Delta of eastern Arkansas.
Often when visiting an abandoned building, you are left with several questions. When was this building abandoned and why was it left to the elements to decay and fade? Who were the people who built it, and who decided to let it go? A lot of times it is hard to find much information about some buildings, so they are left in mystery. I wish I knew more about this church. It looks to have been abandoned for awhile, with part of the roof caved in and collapsed.
The interior of the church raises more questions, namely what happened here? Why is one half of the building nearly gone, while the other almost looks to be ok? What's the story with the piano in the middle? Did someone try to move it, only to manage to get it to this spot before giving up? Also there were some holes in the floor, would I fall through if I walked inside to take pictures?
And finally, how much longer will this building be standing? And how many people would mourn it once it inevitably collapses?

#1:
Bear Skin Lake
February 23: Bear Skin Lake, Scott, Arkansas.
A little bit of fog drifting by a row of trees along Bear Skin Lake, one of the many oxbow lakes that dot the landscape around Scott. Luckily this was taken in the winter so there weren't any snakes or mosquitoes lurking around.

So that's it for 2019. I'd like to thank anyone reading this for sticking with me and this little photo blog for yet another year. I know that photo blogs aren't cool anymore, so I do appreciate anyone that ever stops by here to look at these pictures. I'm looking forward to what should be an interesting 2020. I managed to get a picture into this year's Small Works on Paper exhibition. Also I'm going to have my own show this year at the gallery space in Laman Library in North Little Rock (more details on that soon). And there might be a few more major developments that are in the works, but more on that soon as well. Thanks again, stay tuned for more pictures!