Saturday, May 31, 2008

Springfield Xeriscape Garden

Where do I begin? Teresa had to work today to finish up her school year records, etc. So I decided I would go out and spend the morning taking pictures. I thought about where I could go and ended up choosing the Xeriscape Garden. A xeriscape garden is one were the yard is divided into zones and planted accordingly. For example, zone 1 might consist of water loving plants and this zone is irrigated most. Zone 2 would be plants that like to be moderately wet and are irrigated much less often. Zone 3 would be for native and dry climate plants which would be irrigated only in severe drought.

Over the next couple days I will show you some of the flowers blooming in our xeriscape garden here in Springfield. Maybe in this day of high prices and water shortages the xeriscape garden is something you could consider to preserve our precious water resources.

I used 3 lenses will taking pictures this morning. I started out with my 18-200mm. This shot was taken with that lens. After that I switched to my Macro and then eventually to my 70-300mm telephoto. It was a great morning to work slowly and really think about what your were doing and how you wanted to present your image to your audience. I starting off with an oddity. I converted this one to black and white after I saw in in my viewer I could just see this one that way. Perhaps later I will do the color shot.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Stacked Sportsmen

Another shot from Lake Springfield. It is obviously a popular and fast getaway for residents.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer and Fishing

Summer and fishing go together in the Ozarks. This is a scene below the dam at Lake Springfield where our camera club had a field trip the other night.

I say summer not just because it is past Memorial Day but our weather has gone from Winter to Summer rather quickly. It wasn't long ago that we had some snow flakes it the air.

Mark asked about the size of the sketch I did of the Hood. It was actual size if you click on it. Very small so I could scan it easily. I have not sketched anything since high school and college. It was kind of fun...maybe I will do more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

KM Bismarck, the End

The German Battleship Bismarck, which sunk the HMS Hood on 24 May 1941 became the subject of the greatest sea hunt in history. After sinking the Hood, Bismarck managed to elude followers until picked up by a PBY Catalina flying boat. There was only one chance to get her before she reached Luftwaffe air protection from the coast of France. Fairey Swordfish torpedo planes, old, slow flying, bi-wing, lumbered off the carrier HMS Ark Royal coming north from the Mediterranean. The first attempted failed and they launched one more strike before dark.

One lucky torpedo hit Bismarck in the rudder jamming it so it could only run north, straight for HMS King George V and Rodney. The next morning (27 May 1941) they would plummet the poor Bismarck to death. Bismarck finally sunk, just as KGV and Rodney were going to have to break off and head home for fuel.

The picture above was taken from German Navy archives. It is one of the last taken of Bismarck from the cruiser Prinz Eugen. I figured I should close the story I started on the 24th.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

In Rememberance, HMS Hood

On this day in 1941, the British Royal Navy steamed into action in the Denmark Straits near Iceland hoping to prevent the German Battleship Bismarck from reaching the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic and wrecking havoc with the convoys that were all that stood between England and defeat.

England's finest battlecruiser HMS Hood and just completed battleship HMS Prince of Wales sighted the German Battleship Bismarck and it accompanying cruiser Prinz Eugen at dawn and opened fire. The English admiral elected to close the distance quickly to avoid plunging fire coming in on Hood's weak deck armor. Just as the Hood and Prince of Wales turned to bring all guns to bear a shell plunged into Hood's magazine setting up a tremendous explosion that completely ripped the ship apart. In less that 3 minutes all traces of the Hood were gone and there were only 3 survivors of 1415 men.

The Prince of Wales fought on for a while but being so new had difficulties and finally broke off the engagement leaving Bismarck to the North Atlantic and setting up the greatest sea hunt of all time.

Today we remember the most beautiful warship ever built and the 1412 men that perished so long ago fighting for the freedom of all of us.

The pictures above are a quick drawing I did depicting Hood, in the foreground, and Prince of Wales shortly before engaging Bismarck. I apologize for the poor quality of the drawing. It has been a long time since I have tried to do a pencil drawing and the scan was not great. I wanted to give you a sense of the appearance of the Hood and could not find a public image this morning.

The other picture is one I did for a scavenger hunt song title which was "Candle in the Wind".

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Actual Wilson's Creek

Have you ever wondered why the name Wilson's Creek? Well this is the actual Wilson's Creek, a small meandering creek, that flows from Springfield south through the battlefield area and beyond.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Natural Light

As we were walking along the Gibson Mill trail at Wilson's Creek we noticed a small chunk of pottery sitting on a stump. The lighting of the trunk was unique and I am presenting it here for your consideration.

I have no idea where the pottery came from. It looks a little too modern for it to be an artifact from the battlefield, of course there were many here after that and could be a remnant of one of them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Creatures of Wilson's Creek

We weren't the only ones enjoying the sunshine at Wilson's Creek on Saturday!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Battlefield Sunlight

Sunlight has been a rare thing around here this spring. It has finally arrived and we have had 3 days in a row of it to boot!

This was taken at Wilson's Creek on the Gibson Mill trail.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This One is for Lori

I took this shot yesterday at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. Wire Road runs diagonally across the park. This was once the busiest "highway" between Springfield and Northwest Arkansas. Today it provides a great spot for horse enthusiasts to ride on a beautiful day.

This is where Lori comes in. I have been following Lori's blog since almost day one of my blogging and she has helped me immensely. So if you get a chance go here and see some of Lori's work. Her horse pictures are wonderful and I have enjoyed following a young fellow named Taxes for the last year. Taxes got his name because he was born on April 15, 2007. He is quite a little character and always seems to be getting into mischief.

Thanks Lori for your support and encouragement over the last couple of years. I know that taking pictures would have been a lot less fun without you and I wanted you to know how much you have helped me.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Favorite Place to Take Pictures

I think everyone has a favorite place to go and take pictures. Mine is Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. Teresa and I went out this morning and just spent most of the morning at the first stop, Gibson's Mill. We wandered around for about two hours along the short trail and saw one lizard, two snakes, a small covey of quail, two great blue herons, and about 25 humans.

It was finally a beautiful day and tonight they are having a concert so we will be returning there. Hopefully I will have more pictures then too.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Berlin Airlift

At the Truman Library in Independence there is a display covering the Berlin Airlift. The Berlin Airlift occurred when Soviet Russia cut off East Germany trapping the western portions of Berlin behind the East German border. Harry Truman and Secretary of State Marshall's solution was to overcome this blockade by sending hundreds of cargo planes until the Russians backed down.

This display commemorated that event. It was not easy taking this picture without a tripod and in the low light.

Think about how you could help others today and have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Picture of Wedding Pictures

This was taken as we came to the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. These are the steps down to the National WW1 Museum. My first thought was "this is a wierd spot for wedding pictures." and then I looked around and decided it was the perfect spot. I am sure they got some great pictures.

Wow, to be starting out again...I am excited for this young couple, beginning thier lives together in an unusual spot.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clinton's Soda Shop

Clinton's Soda Shop was the site of Harry Truman's first job. It was also a place he frequented when he worked at the courthouse across the street in Independence. They had some neat stainless steel furniture in there and I couldn't resist the glow that came from it.

I think I am getting back on track with my posting. I found out tonight that our local roller derby team has found my posting that was done back in August and hopefully I will get to do some more current shots of them.

I hope to see everyone around soon and until next time have a great day!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Presidential Front Porch

Harry Truman was a simple man from Missouri. He returned to this house in Independence many times while he was President of the United States and he returned here to lead a normal life after his presidency while most former presidents move to warmer and fancier homes. This house was the former home of his wife Bess's parents. He loved Independence.

Harry Truman served nearly a full eight years as president, taking office shortly after being elected vice president when Franklin Delanor Roosevelt passed a way a few scant months into his fourth term. He faced and made many of the most important decisions which shaped the United States the way it is today.