Sunday, July 18, 2010

Scott and Keo

On another warm summer afternoon a few weeks back, I meet up with John again for a trip to the small towns of Scott and Keo. Located about 30 miles or so east of Little Rock, these two small towns have an amazing collection of old barns, plantations, gins and cotton mills. It's one of the better collections of old buildings in the state (up there with Boxley Valley).

I wanted to make the trip in order to celebrate the first birthday of the Vibe - it was exactly one year before when I got the new car. South of Scott is a country road lined with trees, which was part of an old plantation. It was a perfect spot to get a good birthday picture of the car...

It is a neat stretch of road. Pecan trees line the road for miles, with farmland on each side.

We drove down to a spot where there is a vast field of pecan trees (apparently the fertile soil here, right by the Arkansas River, is ideal for pecan trees). We stopped by an abandoned store, with this decaying old building behind it.

Just beyond is the pecan field. The trees here are old, and they show their age. Massive vines have travelled up the trunks. It seemed like each tree showed some unique and interesting characteristic that set it apart from its many neighbors.


There is an old barn in this field that collapsed a few years ago. The walls and front must have crumpled inward, so all that you can see really is the top of the barn. What is now the floor appears to be the loft, which still has some hay in it.

Beside the barn were the remains of a tree, which had massive populations of mushrooms and other various fungi growing on it. There were vast cities of mushrooms, some even bizarrely letting off steam in the afternoon heat. It was a weird but neat spot, and there were many pictures taken (which didn't really turn out). I wish I could have lingered longer. But besides being a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of mushrooms, it was also a busy place for bugs. Just judging on the number of bug bites I got, it's more like a bug Grand Central Station.

Heading back up the road towards Scott, I stopped at this old sharecropper house. We made another trip out there last year, and it looks like the old house has been repainted since then. The yard in front of the house was surrounded by standing water - it looked like the fields behind it were being flooded (I guess for rice?).

And another barn along the road. This one sat further off the road, and I didn't want to drive too close since it was on private property. I got out the zoom lens for a shot, trying to work in the fields in the foreground (and some sunflowers).

We drove over to Keo, located a few miles down the road. Keo is known for its antique stores, and pies (the pie place was unfortunately closed that day). In the center of town are numerous old buildings - lots of barns, homes, and cotton gins. One of gins is still in operation.

I assume this is an old gin, but it doesn't see much cotton now. It sat next to an antique shop.
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Next to that old gin were a few old barns...

And a healthy growth of this strange plant, whatever it is...

The weird plant had grown up around this old piece of furniture at the old gin, guarding it like a castle wall.

It must have rained pretty heavily in the area earlier that day. There was water in the street and in standing puddles in people's yards. There was a pool of water in the grass in front of an old building, across the street from the old gin. I had gone over to get a few pictures of it, only for my feet to sink in the water. Quickly my exposed legs became the target for numerous mosquitoes, who attacked with vengeance. I got a few shots of this old building before retreating to safety...

From there it was time to head home, having received enough bug bites to last for a few weeks...

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