Sunday, January 23, 2022

A Little Bit of France


Vichy, France is a city on the River Allier and is know for its mineral spas.  It was also the name give to the puppet French government during World War 2.

Vichy, Missouri is a small unincorporated town in southern Maries County Missouri.  It is located about 10 miles north of Rolla on US Highway 63.  The Rolla Airport is actually closer to Vichy than Rolla.  It is the site of a former Army Air Base.


This is an old Masonic building in town and it probably the most prominent building in Vichy.  The old downtown lines up along Highway 63 and most cars race through barely give it a thought.




These are a couple of the remaining two buildings left in the downtown


I liked the chair on the front porch of this building.  There was also a cat under the porch that kept watching us as we took pictures.


The old feed sign was neat on this one.  There was also an antique store that was not open on the day we came by and for some reason I didn't get a picture of it.  The town is not as abandoned as it looks in my pictures.  There are a number of houses, a Dollar General and a couple of small churches in town.  According to the census there are 792 people living in Vichy and it seemed to be a nice little town to be in.  

Vichy is also the gateway to some beautiful scenery as we headed further north.  This is a beautiful part of the state to be in.





Sunday, January 16, 2022

All Roads Lead to Rome

 Sometimes getting there is the fun of our new trek.  These journeys which I am posting in no particular order have forced us to get out and see parts of the state we would probably not have visited.  This is the treasure we seek.  

Rome is one such place.  I don't think the town has ever been large but it did make the official Missouri road map.  I am not sure why because it is not on any major road or really even close to one except perhaps Douglas County road AA.  

There used to be an old one lane truss bridge there that was featured in bridgehunters.com   You can also see a picture of it in Wikipedia if you google Rome, Missouri.


This map shows pretty much what we saw.  A collection of homes at the end of the red and white dashed AA highway.  We actually came in on Douglas County 436-76 from the west side.  It was a beautiful drive from Branson east on 76 Highway into Douglas County through the Mark Twain National Forest.  We went through the towns of Hollister, Forsyth, Taneyville, Kissee Mills, Bradleyville and Brownbranch to get there.  Also Lake Taneycomo and Bull Shoals.  

They say all roads lead to Rome, not in Missouri.  Douglas County 436-76 is a gravel road and not a real good one at that.  






These are views from that gravel road as we reached Rome.  

Further down the road we reached Douglas County 435-76 and this led over Beaver Creek which is a beautiful little river.




While there isn't much to Rome itself, the scenery getting there is wonderful and is worth the trip especially in the winter when dense leaves don't hide all the secrets.

We departed Rome east towards Ava on AA Highway and found the east entrance to the Beautiful Glade Top Trail.  

I knew Rome was going to be a challenge and it is probably the smallest and most remote town we will visit on this adventure.  By all means though take a winter drive to Rome.  You will be rewarded with some of Missouri's most beautiful scenery and it is a great way to spend a day.



Friday, January 14, 2022

Looking for Romance




 With a name like Verona we expected romance.  After all the City in Italy was the setting and origin of Romeo and Juliet.  We went looking for balconies where we could expect to see the famous couple expressing their love for one another.  Even fields that may look like they could be from Tuscany.  We got some of what we expected but we never did see Romeo or Juliet.  Perhaps we will have to come back to this small Missouri town to try to find them again

There were beautiful fields with farmers working them.  



There are quaint and stately buildings.





Aside from that there is little in Verona, Missouri that resembles Verona, Italy.  That's alright because Verona has its own qualities that make you think of home.  I have to admit that Verona has a special place in my heart as I used to work here.  I had my first plant accountant job in the then Syntex plant in Verona and I have a lot of fond memories of the good people who worked there.  Now owned by BCP Ingredients the plant is still thriving and growing. It is Verona's largest employer.



 Next to this plant the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Springfield/Tulsa mainline runs by and it is still busy with the speeding trains going through town.


Downtown Verona is not busy and very little remains as most of its residents travel to Aurora or Monett to do their shopping.  But it is quaint and there is a thriving Mexican restaurant and market there.




Verona is also home to a thriving Amish population and it's quite common to see an Amish buggy running by.

The area is beautiful and has the headwaters of the Spring River which winds its way through the area.



We did eventually find that balcony but there was no sign of either Romeo and Juliet.  



If you get a chance drive through and enjoy this small Missouri town just off Highway 60 between Aurora and Monett.  Take some time to stop at the little city park and listen for the sound of hoofbeats on the pavement, and the occasional fast freight train running through town.  Stop at the market and enjoy some great Mexican food while you are there.  You will enjoy your time in and around Verona.





Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A New Beginning...A New Reason for Being

It has been a long time...as with many people my passion for photography died as I tried to make some money from it.  I guess some people are not destined to be in something for money and that is okay.

Years have passed.  I have gotten older and perhaps wiser.  A pandemic came and so far hasn't went.  I am now retired with extra time on my hands.  Teresa and I have been talking about what do in a pandemic situation and still get out some.  I am not sure of the source of our inspiration but we stumbled on a Missouri town with a foreign name.  I think it was Versailles, Missouri.  With our curiosity peaked I drug out the map of Missouri you get from the state.  I went through the list of towns on it and found to my astonishment I could travel the globe and a little more without leaving Missouri.

The map revealed about 33 towns or cities we could visit that would take us around the globe.  In the process it would let us cover the great state of Missouri from the northern farm lands to the southern Ozark Mountains;  from the western plains to the great river valleys of the east.  I hope you will follow and enjoy our treks across Missouri and find the state as fascinating as we have.  




Saturday, January 17, 2015

4X4


 Statement for the 4x4 Art Exhibit.  So named because it features an artist from each of the 4 states in our area;  Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and of course Missouri



 Today's artist was Emily Wood from Arkansas.  She paints mainly with Acrylics on wood panels.  I absolutely love the way she uses the grain of the wood panel to help tell the story and be part of the image itself.


 

Emily speaking.  She gave an excellent talk and the questions were great.



Two of my favorites in her exhibit.  The top picture is from her sound series and the bottom one is from her location series.  I just love the feelings each one exudes.  Truly amazing work to be seen. 

The 4x4 exhibit runs through March 15, 2015.  Be sure and take time to go by the Springfield Art Museum to see this fun exhibit.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Night Moves

 First Baptist Church, Lawton, Oklahoma
 The Vaska Theater, Lawton, Oklahoma
 Mexican Villa, Springfield, Missouri
 Mercy Hospital, formerly St. John's, Springfield, Missouri
Steak & Shake, National & St. Louis Streets, Springfield, Missouri


I have been playing a bit with night photos.  Trying to get back into the mood to take pictures.  The first two images were taken in Lawton, Oklahoma and the last three were taken in Springfield.  I think night time is a good time to take pictures of icons.  The image are all of prominent businesses or landmarks in each city.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

I am somewhat biased, but I believe the Wichita Mountains of Southwest Oklahoma are some of the most beautiful, enchanting and haunting mountains in the nation.  They are approximately 400 million years old and frankly there isn't much left of them.  Teresa and I went out on a rainy, blustery December Sunday morning to see them.  The rain, heavy at times, had just let up.  It has been very dry in Southwest Oklahoma so the soaking rain was a great relief.  It almost seemed like Elk Mountain was grateful as she showed her winter colors well after the rain.  I hope you enjoy the images.  







You can visit this beautiful place.  It is about 5 1/2 to 6 hours west on I-44.  Lawton, Oklahoma is the nearest city and is a great place to stay overnight for your visit.  Home to Cameron University and Fort Sill it has plenty to offer.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits



It is my aim at Ozark Photos to give you information you can use.  With that in mind I am introducing "Tuesday Tidbits" which will be links to something I found during the week that might just make your life a little brighter.

Do you have that stressed out feeling?  Perhaps the holiday cheer is too much for you or the news too depressing.  Well I hope this U Tube Video brings a smile to your face.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Random Thoughts on Photography Today



I have been thinking a lot about photography.  It has changed considerably in just the few years I have been off this blog.  As I listen to various podcasts and read magazines I see the DSLR camera is being dissed in favor of the mirrorless cameras.  I submit that this is just a trend.  I submit all stand alone cameras are going the way of the buggy whip.  With the quality of the cameras on today's cell phones and the fact these cameras are always with you the day of they stand alone camera are numbered.  Only the "professional" photographer will use them in the future.  

This brings me to my second thought.  To be perfectly honest I had visions in the past of being a "professional" photographer.  So did (and do) millions of others.  Only those really smart in business will survive and thrive.  The professional photographer who can brand, sell, read the tea leaves will be successful.  Taking a great picture is secondary.  Taking a good picture is all they need.  Look for instance at all the pro photographers selling books, videos, classes to the millions (yes MILLIONS) of us who want to be photographers.  They are making the money not us.  They have adopted and survived.  The millions languish.  

This brings me to my third thought.  Photography should simply be for fun.  I recently discovered painting.  It was fun.  It made me look at photography differently which is why I am back.  It is fun again.  I will play and create just like the old days.  Life is good.

Thanks for listening!  Commentary is over.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wow, Time Flies



It has been a long time since I have posted to this blog.  There have been a lot of reasons, mainly because I moved out of what I would call the Ozarks region for about three and a half years.  I am back in Springfield now and hope to get back into the Ozarks scene.  In the meantime you guys will need to endure a few photos of the beautiful state of Minnesota.  My youngest daughter Amy was working there for the last year in the Mesabi Range located between Duluth and International Falls.  Gorgeous part of the country.