Monday, March 25, 2019

Old Main

We recently headed up to Fayetteville for the weekend to visit family, and before heading home I stopped at the University of Arkansas campus to get a few pictures of Old Main. It was Spring Break, so there weren't any students around, so no one randomly called the hogs while we were there.

IMG_2601 4

Old Main was built between 1873 and 1875 and is the oldest building on the campus. The building closed in 1981 and there was a debate on whether it was best to tear down the aging building or to renovate it. Fortunately, it was saved and renovated and reopened in 1991.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Foggy Bottoms

Our wonderful little toddler has taken to waking up very early in the mornings now, which isn't as much fun on the weekends. But sometimes it has its advantages - earlier this month I groggily got out of bed and noticed there was a thick fog outside. So while Caroline stayed home to watch a few Paw Patrol episodes with Jonah, I grabbed the camera and hurried off to take a few pictures before the fog cleared. There was one spot that I've been wanting to get pictures of during a thick fog, and this seemed like a perfect morning. So I drove east towards Scott, towards a small lake that is filled with tons of cypress and tupelo trees.

Of course, the thick fog dissipated by the time I reached the lake. But just a little bit still drifted above the water, and I managed to get a few pictures before heading back. I managed to get home before some heavy storms hit, which included a small tornado that passed by not too far from our house. That same storm system ended up making another tornado that passed through the same area I took this photo, causing some injuries and damage.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Foggle Rock

Last week there was a thick fog that just lingered all day. It was perfect conditions for taking pictures, but of course I was at work without my camera. Luckily the fog stuck around into the evening, and I was able to head out after work to get a few pictures. I was pleased to note that as it got dark, the fog was getting thicker...

I headed downtown and made my first stop at the new Broadway Bridge. Usually from Riverfront Park you can get a good view of the downtown skyline, but the tops of all of the skyscrapers were shrouded by fog. You couldn't even see any of the lights on the buildings, they were hidden like they were covered with an invisibility cloak.


From there I headed downriver to one of the oldest bridges crossing the river in downtown - the Clinton Park Bridge. The bridge was built way back in 1899 for the Rock Island Railroad.


The railway used the bridge for passenger and freight traffic. The railway used the bridge until 1980, when the Rock Island Railway went bankrupt. The bridge sat abandoned for a few decades, but was renovated into a pedestrian bridge in 2011.


The lights on the bridge were causing the thick fog to glow, making the bridge and the Clinton Presidential Library look like part of the set from one of the 90s Batman movies.




On the left is the Clinton Presidential Library, which was fairly quiet that night. The restaurant there wasn't that busy (I guess because of the weather), which meant the poor valet drivers waiting in the front didn't have much to do and looked really bored.


The fountains in front of the library had this stained glass sculpture, which was part of the library's current exhibit showcasing a collection of American craft art that was on display in the White House. I'm always a little surprised that they put stuff like this in the fountain, since there's always the off chance that a drunk/crazy person will mess it up somehow. For the record, I managed to not somehow hit the glass with the tripod and break anything while I was there.


Before heading out I got one last shot, as the lights on the bridge cycled through a few different colors.

IMG_2436 3

Next I headed by the old Union Station, which was built in 1921 and still serves Amtrak trains. The lights on the station were white, which definintely wasn't as vibrant as the lights at the Clinton Library.


After that I made one last stop at the Arkansas State Capitol. The Legislature was in session, but thankfully no one minded me parking in a spot that was earmarked for some local politician.


And one final shot of the capitol, showing a spotlight that is used to illuminate the dome (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).


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Car lights, star bright...

From Morrilton I headed just a bit further west to a small bridge that crosses over Interstate 40. The bridge was apparently put in place so that a farmer could access his farmland, which meant that it would be an ideal spot for pictures since it's hardly ever used.


It was clear skies, which was perfect for star trail photos. But it was a little cold - the temperature would drop to about freezing, which is slightly unpleasant when you're just sitting in your car while the camera takes pictures for a few hours (don't worry about me, I survived). I would find out later that it wasn't the most ideal spot, bright lights on the cars and trucks caused some lens flare which I had to clumsily try to fix in Photoshop afterwards (without messing up the movement of the stars in the shots). Also trucks would cause the bridge to shake, which in turn shook the camera and made for a few blurry images. But this is the resulting image - it's made from 220 images stacked together, which creates the star trails. However, the streaks of light on the freeway at the bottom are from just a few minutes worth of images (after two hours the freeway looked a wee bit overexposed).

I-40 star trail

Monday, March 11, 2019


I've been through Morrilton tons of times while driving to Petit Jean Mountain, but I don't think I have ever really driven through the city. But I passed through there last week and had time to stop for a few pictures. Morrilton has a nice little downtown area, with a quaint little train station. Although the station doesn't see passengers, trains still do rumble through the town.


Morrilton was founded in the 1870s, and was made the county seat of Conway County in 1883 (why Morrilton is the seat of Conway County, and not nearby Conway is one of those mysteries of Arkansas). There is a good core of old buildings downtown, so I drove around and got a few pictures...




Sunday, March 3, 2019

Around Scott

It was still pouring down rain as I left Stuttgart and headed towards home. Many fields were soaked, and several creeks and ditches were flooded. Because I was still soaked while standing in the rain in Stuttgart with the camera, this time I tried to just take some pictures from the car (which at least kept the camera somewhat dry, but did drench the area around the window during the brief time it was rolled down. I guess that counts as a car wash?). This was taken from the car, of an old abandoned building in the small town of Humnoke.


Further up the road, in the small town of Coy, was this old cotton gin. It looks like it's only used for storage now.


From there I stopped at a pecan orchard, which was partially covered in standing water from the storms. Luckily it had stopped raining so I stopped to get a few pictures.



Luckily there wasn't that much traffic out that day, especially since I stopped the car and hurried to get this shot of the road passing by this tall tree (wonder how old it is?).


Down the road was this old sharecropper's house. Part of the roof was blown off, and more and more bits and pieces are steadily falling off. It probably won't be standing too much longer.


Nearby is this old store, which dates to the 1930s.



The road ran past Marlsgate Plantation, then ran alongside Bear Skin Lake. The lake is an oxbow lake, and was once a channel of the Arkansas River. The shore of the lake was lined with all sorts of trees, from oak to cypress to tupelo.


And one last shot from Bear Skin Lake, with just a little bit of fog drifting along the lake.