Thursday, October 31, 2019


Caroline and I decided to celebrate our anniversary (six years!) by renting a cabin near Mountain View for the weekend. So along the way, we took the extremely curvy road that travels up and over the mountains and found ourselves driving through the small town of Shirley. The town was incorporated in 1911, and is believed to have been named after a railroad worker (and not, sadly, named by someone who was a fan of this scene from Airplane!).

Just south of Shirley is this old house, abandoned and falling apart. I wasn't able to find out anything about how old it was, but apparently it was once used as a boarding house.


The Little Red River runs by Shirley, and an old rail bridge spans the river here that was built in 1908. After the railroad ceased to use the bridge, it was paved and converted into use for cars (and big trucks, which started to drive onto the bridge when I was hurrying out to get a few pictures, I had to turn around and hustle back since the bridge is very narrow).


We headed north, passing by a few neat barns that I tried to get a few pictures of....


The fall colors were looking good, and were saturated a bit by the rainy and foggy weather.



And then we passed by this old building, which maybe was once a school?



And one last shot, before we hurried on towards Mountain View in the rain....


Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Dark and Foggy Night

Conditions for photography have improved now that it is finally Autumn (primarily being fewer mosquitoes). There was one night last week when it was rainy and foggy, so after putting Jonah to bed I hurried downtown to attempt getting a few pictures. The first stop was Riverfront Park in North Little Rock, where the thick fog did a good job of hiding most of the downtown skyline.


The low clouds were reflecting the city lights, which seemed to match the soft gold lights on the bridges.



I headed back across the river and stopped at the foot of the Simmons Tower (I still want to call it the TCBY Tower) and the old YMCA Building (which was built in 1928). The spotlights on the top of the Simmons Tower looked a bit eerie in the fog.


A few blocks away, the bright LED lights on the Union Bank Building were giving the fog a purple tint.


I headed a few blocks over to the top of a parking deck, which provided another view of the fog-shrouded Simmons Tower.


And one last shot, looking towards the northeast as the fog was beginning to lift.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Old State House

In front of the Old State House is an old fountain - The three-tiered fountain with cranes shooting out water is an exact recast of a fountain that was originally placed in front of the Arkansas Building at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. In 1877, the fountain was moved to this spot in front of what was then the Arkansas State Capitol (I wasn't able to find out much more info about it, however). This shot was taken on Second Friday Art Night, when there was a steady stream of people heading into the Old State House to get free drinks. There was a security guard lurking just outside of the shot, and I asked if it was ok if I took a few pictures. He said sure, as long as I didn't fall into the fountain (mission accomplished, on that part).


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Eighth Street

Parking decks can provide some unique views of the city, so one night last week I headed out to one that actually straddles Eight Street, in between Main and Scott Streets in downtown Little Rock. The deck sits right by the massive Albert Pike Masonic Temple, which was built in 1924. The temple has some stained glass windows, one with a portrait of Albert Pike himself looking out onto the cars parked next door.


The parking deck also sits by the Donaghey Building, which was one of Little Rock's first skyscrapers when it was built in 1925. The building is vacant now, but is for sale for only $8.5 million.


Looking east from the top of the parking deck provides this view of the First Presbyterian Church (built 1921), the Albert Pike Masonic Temple and the old Albert Pike Hotel (built in 1929). A full moon was hanging high above Eight Street.


And then looking west, with some traffic heading down Main Street. The large building in the foreground contains a state agency (DHS), and it looks like they left a lot of the their lights on after the office cleared out after closing time. I could pull the "taxpayer" card and complain about the wasted electricity here, but I think that at least Captain Planet would agree that maybe they could have turned off a few of those lights.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

In Bloom

Since we have a kid, we get to do family things like making an annual pilgrimage to a pumpkin patch. So we went to one last weekend; but even though it was October, it was still Arkansas so it was a muggy and hot 90 degrees outside (which didn’t make it feel very fall-like). After Jonah picked out a pumpkin that met his high 3-year old standards, we then walked by this field of tall sunflowers. The bees seemed to enjoy the flowers as well.