Monday, June 30, 2008

Black Eyed Susans

These black eyed susans were located close to the abandoned building that has been featured for the last couple of days. Wildflowers are abundant this year due to the large amount of rain we have received.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Abandoned II

Same building as yesterday's post but I changed it to black and white, then sepia in Photoshop. I then "erased the sepia around the windows and the grass. I liked the final effect so I saved it. It really doesn't look to much different than the original picture.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great start to their week.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


My iTunes: Going Home by Mary Fahl

Teresa and I get our spices from a bulk goods store run by an Amish family in Tunas, Missouri. We went up there today and there was an abandoned building I liked so we stopped to take pictures. If only walls could talk.

You may notice that the skies were threatening here. Well at home back in Springfield we were getting rain. Those of you who have been following the blog here know that the last time we talked about rain we were only about one half inch shy of an all time record for the month of June. Well we got about 1.6 inches which means for the month of June alone this year we have received 13.4 inches of rain. Towns to the south and immediate north of Springfield got from 4 to 8 inches of rain in one day. Flooding has been rampant.

I hope you all are doing ok. Plans are underway for the new blog which I hope to unveil in about a week.

Friday, June 27, 2008


My iTunes: Takin' Care of Business - Bachman Turner Overdrive

A disappearing species...the honeybee...makes a stop at a flower at the Xeriscape Garden here in Springfield.

I have been thinking about a new blog project. It would be sort of a weekly or bi-weekly blogazine on coping with today's economy and its opportunities and threats. Is this something you all would be interested in. Let me know. I am still working on the concept in my mind. I may have it set up for you all to submit articles or ideas on how you are coping.

Until later, take care and have a great Friday.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Come Into My Parlor

An image taken at the Xeriscape Garden a couple of weekends ago of a cactus with some new growth. The way the spines reach inward reminded me of a prison or a trap of some kind.

Cacti are one of my favorite plant subjects. I think I like them because they are not done every day. This was taken with the 18 - 200 mm lens.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Thunder

My iTunes: Laughter in the Rain - Neil Sedaka

I am just guessing but I think our daily rain is coming to an end. The weather patterns have shifted and it has been two full days since we had our last rain. So here we are nearing the end of June about a half inch shy of an all time record for the month of June. We currently sit at just about 11.5 inches and the record is just a hair over 12 inches.

I am not complaining though, I heard a lot of people saying this last rain had caused more grief. Many basements just couldn't handle the soaked ground and nearly complete runoff. I think we have reached our limit and more and it just causes damage.

I hope everyone has a good day wherever you are.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Girl and Her Car Part 3

My iTunes: Where My Heart Will Take Me, Russell Watson

Most of you have guessed the make of the car, that's right my little girl fell in love with a PT Cruiser, a bright orange PT Cruiser. Amy and I went car shopping one Saturday and we drove by some PT Cruisers and she was really looking at them and said how she liked those. I said "Your kidding right?" She said "No, not really." Well none of these struck her fancy so we went on. Used car lot after used car lot we went on and on...finally that Saturday afternoon late we went out to our Toyota dealer. I was thinking Toyota but lo and behold lurking in that lot was the bright Orange PT Cruiser. It was love at first sight, you should have seen her eyes! Again I asked "Are you sure you like these?" "Yes Dad, you know it is all your fault." "Huh?" I said. "Yeah remember when you got me that little PT Cruiser toy car, I have liked them ever since then," Amy reported.

Why is everything my fault?

So far she has been the envy of all her friends and she likes it as well today as the day she saw it.

Moral of the story, beware of the little gifts you get your kids!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Girl and Her Car Part 2

Here is the second shot from Amy's car series. If the car type is not apparent today it will be tomorrow. Needless to say her choice surprised me a first, but after reflection it made sense.

The rest of the story tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Girl and Her Car

My iTunes: Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie

My little girl turned 16 recently and this and a couple of upcoming pictures are the first shots of her new car. I won't say what it it yet, it will become apparent in the next picture probably. I chose this shot first because if followed my "After the Storm" shot yesterday as it was taken just a few minutes later.

It is fun to watch a little girl turn into a young woman. It is harder for me this time as this is my youngest and last.

Happy birthday Amy. You go girl!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

After the Storm

A number of you have inquired about our status with the Missouri weather. Fortunately the Springfield is not near the Mississippi or Missouri Rivers. So far for June we have had 11.08 inches of rain. As I have mentioned earlier our precipitation is nearing our normal annual amount. Thursday we suffered a small tornado which damaged a row of furniture stores, a factory roof and several homes.

We had suffered from about 3 years of drought and as one retired weatherman in the Ozarks used to say "we have to make up the averages. "

Today we had another severe thunderstorm and another 1/2 inch of rain. This is a leaf which was blown into our birdbath and I like the color when I had Chewie out today.

Oh and like Anna I am now the proud owner of my first Apple product. My oldest daughter, her fiance and Chewie got me an iPod shuffle. So I can now officially put the tag line in My iTunes.

So here it is...My iTunes: High Road to China Soundtrack by John Barry. (Did you expect something normal) I have always loved the music from this 1990 movie with Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong and I got the idea to do a search for it on iTunes and there it was.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Finley River Mountain Man Rendezvous

There are groups that reenact the days of the mountain man. This generally reflects the period 1830 to 1840 area. It is a period of fur trapping, flint lock rifles, simple belongings and very few of them. The mountain men followed the proven ways of the Native Americans even adopting the beautiful design of the Sioux Tepee.

Teresa and I had a great time wandering the camp and talking to the mountain men (and women). Makes me want to join them...but I can't give up my Nikon.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Women and Children Get Caught in War

Women are a big part of reenacting now. The Civil War in Missouri turned more into a border war with neighboring Kansas toward the end and after the war. Kansas leaned Union and Missouri leaned Confederate especially in the southern part of the state. Many residents in the Western Missouri counties were harassed, killed or burned out of their homes. More often than not the victims were women and children in this conflict.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Commanding Presence

Can't you just feel the leadership from this gentlemen? He was mounted on a horse and I chose to zoom in for this shot.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Re-enacting Involves All Ages

Couldn't resist a picture of this handsome young fellow who posed so perfectly for me for a split second and then he was off! I have taken more people shots lately and I am enjoying it.

I always enjoy being around re-enactors, especially those of the Civil War. Teresa and I both agreed they are a enthusiastic bunch and they have such a love of history. The passion runs deep here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hulston Mill's Civil War Days

We traveled to the area between Greenfield and Everton, Missouri this weekend to attend Hulston Mill's Civil War Days. I thought I would start the short series off with a shot of the old mill itself which was relocated to this site from the Sac River when Stockton Lake was built. It is old and need repairs but has almost all the equipment to become fully operational. It just needs money. I can't swear to it but I believe the gentleman giving tours of the mill said that the mill was actually operational until 1967.

The mill was the site of a fairly large civil war re-enactment this weekend. I will be presenting a few shots from that over the next couple of days. As hard to believe as it is, my favorite shots are of the people up close and personal. They are so passionate about what they do it is contagious. I really enjoyed taking their pictures.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Spinning a Tale

At the Ray House at Wilson's Creek last Saturday there were demonstrations to go along with the music being played outdoors. This lady was demonstrating the fine art of spinning wool into yarn. It was quite fascinating to watch her and here how she does it.

Tomorrow we head to Huston Mill provided flood waters don't stop us. We had around 4-6+ inches of rain today. Many neighborhoods are dealing with water issues tonight.

Also please check out my new summer reading sidebar I will be putting on the site soon.

As a final note I have been properly "harassed" for being the most active blogger on a break. I guess I should declare my break over and get back to full blogging.

Take care and have a good weekend.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Arts in the Park

After I returned home from my early morning trek to Wilson's Creek, I returned with Teresa for an Arts in the Park bluegrass music concert at the Ray house. These lovely ladies were in full costume waiting their turn to get up and sing. There was a pretty good turn out for this event.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Common Thistle

OK, I have to admit that early morning light does make a difference. I have relied on mid-day shots for most of my pictures including many that have been entered and won competitions. This is primarily due to the time that I have been at a place in my travels, but it is also due to an aversion to getting up extremely early. My recent Xeriscape and Wilson's Creek pictures have convinced me to look more at that early morning light.

What about you? Do you mainly take pictures during the "Golden Hours" of early morning or late evening or do you just shoot when you want? Let me know...I am curious.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Early Morning Coneflowers

Taken, once again, at Wilson's Creek these early cone flowers are white rather than the normal purple. This was in a field near the Ray house.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Morning Dew

Our Camera Club had an early morning field trip to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, a place well known to my regular readers. I found this wonderful dew covered web in the tall prairie grass just off of one of the trails complete with spider.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Definately Not Blue!

I am going back to my Xeriscape pictures after having run out of blue pictures. Project Blue has been great hasn't it? I think it may be a harder color than some of the others we have had so far.

This is a lily caught with the morning dew last Saturday. It was taken with the macro lens. I will include a picture below taken with my 18-200mm zoom so you can see the relative difference.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Xeriscape Garden - Shades of Blue

Ok, I have to admit I am running out of blue pictures and this one is stretching it a bit. I, unfortunately, won't be able to get out and get anymore pictures until the weekend.

This shot was taken at about f4.5 with my 18-200mm lens. I kind of liked the way the shallow depth of field worked out.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Blue 4 - The Empty Piggy Bank

It seems that the high price of gas is cutting into everyones budget! I hope you are fairing better than this poor person's piggy bank.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Blue 3 - Cola Wars

A brief break from the Xeriscape Garden to continue my participation in Project Blue. I know Anna likes her Diet Coke so I thought I would offer my version. You will notice these cans are no longer available. I actually took this picture last fall for a scavenger hunt entry but I remembered it because it would fit the project so well.

To get this shot I emptied one of my 12 packs, ok a couple of them, and stacked them on the back bumper of my pickup which had the black base. I shot on a bright cloudy day to get a less contrasty shot.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Xeriscape Garden - Blue 2

This is the end of a blue columbine flower. It was taken at F2.8 using my Sigma macro lens. The problem with shooting at f2.8 is the depth of field is extremely limited. I chose to focus on the reproductive parts of the flower, kind of like an animal photographer focuses on the eyes of their subject. I purposely kept the flower off center which worked out well since this is Anna's challenge!

I want to thank everyone for their many comments on yesterday's post. I will get around to your sites as soon as I can.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Xeriscape Garden - Blue 1

In honor of Anna's blue challenge, but staying on track for me I am presenting blue images first.

This quaint little blue flower was about the size of my thumb. There were bees all over it. Of course I was too busy taking pictures to write down all the names of the flowers I will show!