Thursday, September 08, 2011

After Hours - Fort Scott

The Nu Grille

The Buffalo Grill

Fort Scott, being a smaller town gets quiet after about 6pm. When I drove in town the other night from attending the Four States Photo Enthusiasts Meeting in Joplin the other night it struck me that it would be fun to photograph Fort Scott after hours or when the lights come on. What I didn't count on is how colorful after hours could be. Hopefully this will be the first of a series.

Monday, August 29, 2011

An Evening With Mr. Graham

About 6:30 this evening my friend and co-worker Steve texted me that Mr. Graham was over and visiting with them. Steve and his wife Kendall purchased the old Stout house here in Fort Scott and are restoring it. Mr. Graham was the son of one of the ladies that worked for the Stouts and he grew up in the home's "servant" quarters although he says he felt like a member of the family. He is a wonderful story teller and at 90 is a jewel of a person to be with. I was able to catch a few shots as he pondered and recalled the stories of his past. The final shot shows RK with Steve and Kendall.

It was a wonderful evening and made me long for the days when my grandparents were alive and we sat around hearing their stories. Everyone has a story to tell if you will just take the time to listen.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Return to the Xeriscape Garden

Teresa and I were able to spend a little while at the Master Gardeners Xeriscape Garden in Springfield. Long-time readers of this blog will know this has traditionally been one of my favorite spots to shoot. Even in the blistering heat of an extraordinary hot Missouri summer this garden is beautiful.
I hope you enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ozark Photos West

I thought it was about time to show everyone a summer view of my little house in Fort Scott. We are enjoying it immensely to the tune it is taking away a lot of photo time! This is a view from the back corner through the rose garden to the newly renovated screen porch. I fear the little white porch on the back is next. That will be a little more involved job for yours truly.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Scenes Around Fort Scott: 1

Miller Feed is just west of downtown on Wall Street. Fort Scott's iconic brick streets provide a nice leading line into the feed store. I know this is the place to go for your animal feed as everyone at work talks about going there!

The image was finished using Silver Efex Pro.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Up Close and Personal

I had an opportunity to play with my macro lens the other day around the house in Springfield. The fuzzy images are the result of bringing a cold lens out on a really warm and humid fogged up! A secret technique. Don't tell any one!

The bottom image is a lichen growing on my fence. The others are ferns and Queen Anne's Lace growing in the backyard.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Joplin Tornado - Two Weeks Later

Looking West down 20th Street

The Battered Joplin High School

Driving North on Main (Hwy 43)

Saint John's Hospital

Teresa took these pictures as we drove around Joplin after the library event (see last post). This is two weeks after the tornado. Already there are signs of recovery amidst the destruction. For one thing the streets are clear. All major streets are open, but neighborhood streets are closed and guarded. Debris removal is the primary task right now but construction and repair is already very evident.

Volunteers are everywhere. The response is great. FEMA seems to be doing everything right this time. Temporary housing is already arriving. Processes seem organized. It will be exciting to see Joplin rise again. Every indication is that she will rise to the occasion and emerge perhaps stronger than before.

Take some time to go to Joplin and spend some money there. Most of the city remains and they could certainly use the $$$ to rebuild.

I am proud to be an Ozarker and I am even more proud of Joplin.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Joplin Tornado Recovery - Library Volunteers

The May 22nd F-5 tornado that hit Joplin destroyed most of the East Middle School. The librarian at that school was able to save about a half of the collection and members of the Southwest Area Region of School Librarians pitched in to sort through, clean and determine the condition of the remaining collection. Teresa is a part of this group so I thought I would join in. I only had a few minutes to snap some shots of the work being done as I had to keep up the flow of boxes of books to about 30 librarians. It was a remarkable day at the Spiva Library on the Missouri Southern State University campus.

After we finished there Teresa and I took a driving tour through Joplin. All I can say is it is remarkable anyone survived this storm. Such total destruction on a scale I have never seen before. Many of you will remember my visits to Greensburg, Kansas after they experienced an F-5 tornado and this destruction is as bad and complete as that.

Teresa was able to snap a few pictures as we drove through but with people struggling to survive and work I just didn't have the heart to stop to take pictures. Didn't seem appropriate.

Take care and God bless Joplin.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fort Scott National Historic Site

It has been a long winter. Sunday it finally warmed up into the upper 60's and the weather was very mixed. Driven by inspiration from the Student Association of Photographers seminar I just attended at Pittsburg State University I ventured forth and the photography angels smiled on me. As I drove the 5 or 6 blocks to the fort a brief rain shower ensued and then the sun briefly broke through. These are the images that were captured.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Simplicity - Observations

I know there are a few of you out there who wonder what happened to me. Well, I am still alive and kicking. Changing jobs and locations has changed my entire focus on life to some degree. That is what I want to discuss today.

I have noticed a strange trend in my life since I have moved to Fort Scott. I have much less of the temptations of acquiring stuff. In fact, I find myself even inclined to get rid of stuff, which as you recall from an earlier posting is essential. The funny thing though is as I get to know people here in town I notice that many if not all of them accumulate more money that stuff. Many of the people here are debt free even to the point of having homes paid off. How did I find this out? They just say that is the way it is. So the question I ask coming from a city where everyone is trying to keep up with everyone else is why? Are people in larger cities more likely to buy things, bigger and better because the neighbors have something? Do they see others buying things more and decide they need to have them? Is it because it takes more effort to get the extras of life?

It is probably all the above, but I think it is more likely that we realize we don't need all that stuff. Perhaps it is enough to talk to your neighbors and enjoy just the simple satisfaction of a conversation about the weather, or to laugh with those around you. Perhaps we realize the best time spent is that where you work in your yard or sit on the front porch and enjoy the passing of the day.

Either way I do like small town living...there is plenty to do and there is time to enjoy life.

More to come...

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Great Blizzard of 2011 - Aftermath

These photos were taken the morning after the great blizzard and represent the first pictures I have really gotten out to take of my new hometown of Fort Scott. Notice the lack of people in these shots. It was cold and early. Work was closed due to the 16 inches of snow we received. Road crews were busy and I felt in their way. Every residential street in Fort Scott had already been plowed. Impressive.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Great Blizzard of 2011

Well this certainly isn't the most artistic picture that I have ever posted here but it is the only one I have taken of the Great Blizzard of 2011 that is clobbering the nation today. Work let off early and I got to come home to our 130 year old home. It is warm and cozy. I understand now why it has been around for 130 years. The stories these walls could tell.

I read today a post by my blogging friend Victoria which I found very interesting given my interest in tiny houses and alternative living. You can read it here if my link works.

Take care and stay warm everyone.