Thursday, December 30, 2021

After Christmas

The week after Christmas always seems a bit awkward. The big excitement of Christmas is done, and kids are still out of school. Lots of people are out of work (except me) until after New Years too. It's also part of the actual "12 days of Christmas," but instead of giving someone I know a bunch of birds I tried to get out and take some pictures when I had some free time. One place I visited was the Arkansas State Capitol, which was still decorated in thousands of bright lights. Here are those lights reflected in my car's windshield:


A few blocks down Capitol Avenue is the city of Little Rock's Christmas tree. This was taken on a windy night, which caused the lights to turn into colorful squiggly lines.

Little Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

And a wide view looking down Capitol Avenue, of the tree and of a sculpture called "Helios."


I stuck the fisheye lens on the camera and scrambled to get this shot, looking up through the center of the sculpture:


And then on another night, I ended up getting this shot of a lonely Christmas tree shining out over a quiet city:

Oh Christmas Tree

Happy New Years, everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Foggy Night

One of my favorite times to take pictures is on foggy nights. The mist and fog helps to add a unique atmosphere to the night sky, and changes how places look. So last week there was a little bit of fog in the air, so I headed out after getting the kids to bed.

I drove to downtown Little Rock, stopping first at the Pulaski County Courthouse (built 1887).


Nearby is the Robinson Center, which was built in 1939. Two nutcrackers were on guard on the front, I'm guessing because The Nutcracker play was going to be performed there?



I got back in the car and started driving around looking for something interesting to get a picture of. I had to get gas, and ended up stopping at a gas station along Broadway. From there I spotted an old neon sign for a glass repair company (which is still in business). I went over and tried to get a shot of it, which was a little awkward because this was along a busy street and there was lots of traffic driving by.


In an empty parking lot a few blocks away I set up the tripod and got this view of the First United Methodist Church steeple and the fog-shrouded top of the Simmons Tower. The church was built in 1900, while the 40-story tower was added later in 1986.


I made one more stop at the Junction Bridge, which provided this foggy view of the skyline.


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Capitol Fireworks

Every year, the state of Arkansas is kind enough to drape about 100,000 lights all over the state capitol building, and then do a nice little fireworks show after they are switched on for the first time. It's a popular tradition, and I've never once heard anyone complaining about their tax dollars literally going up in smoke. It's also a great opportunity for photographers, and there were several people with tripods (and drones) out there trying to get a few pictures. Here's my contribution for the night:

Golden State

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Pulaski Part Two

Fall colors this year have been surprisingly resilient, so here are a few more pictures of the trees showing off around Pulaski County. One weekend I hurried over to Burns Park, which had some nice colors still lingering around this old cabin. It was built in the 1850s and is actually the oldest standing structure in North Little Rock.


And just down the road I pulled over and got these pictures. Luckily there wasn't much traffic out there that afternoon.



And the view with the infrared camera:


Further down the road is the park's covered bridge, which also had some nice lingering fall color.



Another day, I headed to downtown Little Rock and made a quick stop at the historic Mt. Holly Cemetery. It was quick only because I didn't realize I was there right before it closed, so I only got a few pictures before the proctor was escorting people out of the cemetery so he could lock the gate. But I had just enough time to get these pictures of the fall colors behind these old marble statues.



These statues were actually at the grave of Justin Matthews, the real estate developer who designed several prominent neighborhoods in North Little Rock. He was also the person who decided to build the landmark Old Mill. So it makes sense that our next pictures take us across the river to see the fall colors at The Old Mill:


Most of the trees there had already lost most of their leaves, which were on the ground or sitting in the bright green waters by the fountains.


From the Old Mill, I drove the car down Snake Hill and ended up at one of the many lakes in the Lakewood neighborhood. This one was reflecting some nice color in the trees.


It was actually surprising where you would end up finding good fall color, like here along the Arkansas River near the new Broadway Bridge.


Or behind the State Capitol in what's called the Capitol Mall (which apparently has no place to do Christmas shopping or even a food court).


And lastly, there was even some fall colors shining out in the midst of the tall bank buildings along Capitol Avenue.