Sunday, April 27, 2014

my recent photo project -- ROUTE 32, before its impending demise!

post # 187
       A road is just a road.  However, in a rural area, often the road is what links a community, even though it is stretched out along many miles.  
      Near where I live there is a road that the powers that be are eager to "improve."  This means that plans are already made which will totally change the configuration of twelve miles or so of the Route 32 community in my county and the neighboring county.  
      I am not at all convinced this project is a good idea, so I decided to ride the road during  this early spring -- before the leaves are out and hiding the lay of the land -- to see what I could see.  I've enjoyed taking photos both along the road and on the smaller side roads that connect to it.  It is beautiful where I live, and, as usual, with my camera I take time to notice a lot more aspects of a place.  (Partly that's because I am not driving and photographing at the same time!)  Note: it does require some ingenuity to find places to park my car -- thank goodness for all the family cemeteries.  
      So far I have managed to get over there 4 times.
      I have shared these photos with Darlene who knows who lives where now, as well as who used to live where.  She is amazing!  She can even point out some of the places where the road is expected to go. I sure appreciate her help and her good humor.  
       This first photo shows a home (on the right of the photo) which will be taken out and replaced by an impersonal wider road.  Route 32 is on the left in this photo.

      The next three photos show images as I moved the camera to the left :

       Next is another photo of the same house-which-would-be-gone.  I am standing a bit farther off route 32.

        The following three photos continue to the right from the house.  The road would run across them all and take out the barn as well.  (Logging is in progress by the current land owner.)

         I drove on a dirt road toward the barn for the above photo, and this cemetery was behind me when I tried turning the car around.  I just liked the look of it all.  Road design plans usually try to avoid these small family cemeteries, which are very common in the rural south.


        Another perspective on the trees and the cemetery:

leaving the barn/cemetery road, back to Route 32, about to continue on to the left :

      a closer view of the house and barn across the way, visible through the leafless trees:

      I am repeating this photo from earlier, as I get ready to continue left.  The road to the barn and the fence in the two photos above are to the left of this photo below:

      I will continue my views along Route 32 next Sunday on this blog. Questions are welcome in the comment section. Just sign in as "anonymous" if you don't have another sign-in choice that works for you.  Thanks so much!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

the current state of the natural art

post #186
      I thought Easter Sunday a good excuse to go into the woods to the creek early this morning to see what's new and what's now.  So here is a sharing of today's signs of early spring after a long winter; there's a lot not showing yet and a heavy cover of dried leaves.

THIS YEAR'S REDBUD, again with their amazing "flowers from the branch" act:

in the yard -- as of today our most advanced lilac bloom

These small dogwood blossoms are in the yard as well, and very new.

Our old faithful apple tree has only a few blossoms this spring!  A long winter....

I apologize for this image not being super sharp but I am sharing it anyway.  I love the progressive unfurling and the single pearl.  I believe these are some solomon's seal -- to be confirmed next week.

This is the SINGLE blooming trillium I saw, and it was near water. 

on a mud bank, just below the trillium

       I have had a recent request for some vertical tree or forest images, so I tried for a few additional ones this morning.  It is early in the season to get any kind of a vibrant look.

       I hope everyone has been having a fine weekend and a beautiful day today!  Our three remaining hens say cluck, cluck to you all, and aren't you glad we chickens lay eggs?  Writing this makes me realize we need to get some new Araucuna hens, the ones who lay blue eggs ready to go for Easter....

Sunday, April 13, 2014

loving getting out and about in eastern Kentucky

post #185
        Last weekend's trip to southeastern Kentucky took place during the brief time between the snows of this long winter and the coming of leaves on the trees.  So all the driving I did on back roads was 1) not treacherous and 2) showed more of the bare bones of the region than one usually sees.  Of course I love stopping along the way to take photos or explore, even if I am running late.  My modus operandi seems to be that you never know what you can see if you take the time to look closely!  
        Thanks to those "oblivious to the terrain" cell phone directions, I ended up on a new-to-me road that turned out to be gorgeous but empty, with not even any houses.  It included some high-up curves I wasn't expecting, a thrilling rushing mountain stream, and absolutely no traffic.  Just me and my adventure.  Had I not been running quite as late as I was, I would have taken more photos.  

There's no other place to stop to take the photo!

      I think I was in Leslie County at that point, but on the way home two days later, I modified the route somewhat. The following photos are in Letcher County.  I think.  In Kentucky and much of the south, counties are all important.  The stream may be in both counties.  
      Near Delphia I stopped at a cemetery I had visited several years ago.  I sat on the hillside, being discreet about my camera, and took photos in front of me, to the right of me and also across the road.  I never mean to appear disrespectful, and I am not.  But it's true that the bumper sticker on the back of my car does say "I have been to the mountaintop and it wasn't there."  Another bumper sticker says EARTH.  Oh, and then there is the Obama bumper sticker, mostly faded after 6 years of wear.

This time there is a place to pull over.

      On the way home, I hoped to find again a scene that had gotten my attention, since I didn't have time to take a photo of it on the way down.  I am showing two views. I love this tree that is longer than the trailer it adorns. The dead stuff on the hillside is kudzu, not yet come back to life to take over the place.  There are several houses across the street, so I didn't linger.  Plus I was running late as usual....

      While I was at the Pine Mountain Settlement School, I took a few photos to share here, the first two with my cell phone!  I do NOT recommend this.  The other flowers and fauna I have tried are not this good.  I think these first two photos are simply sort of a miracle.  

spring beauties (an appropriate name!)

This yellow trout lily was the first flower of a great many in the area.  I used my body to make the shade so that there would be way less washed-out contrast in the photo.

the stream at the school, photo made with my Canon

   This last photo is from our yard.  It is current and I just wanted to show it off:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

new stuff, post started on Sunday, finished on Monday

post #184
       Greetings [on Sunday] from the parking lot of a McDonald's on my way back from 48 hours off the grid.  I was with a very good group in an enchanted forest  -- which means we were within a healthy forested place in an area of southeastern Kentucky where there are plenty of stripped hillsides, abandoned logged areas and multiple coal tipples.  The actual enchantment comes without phones or internet, however!  Just the beauty of those early spring flowers that bloom and go before the formation of the canopy of those trees will soon make.  I will be sharing some photos from this special place next week.
PART B - written on Monday, April 7, 2014, happy birthday to Ed if you ever read this!
        I am now home, plugged in, with some recent photos to share, after five weeks of posting milkweeds, milkweeds and more milkweeds!   Actually, I look forward to finding new milkweed seedlings and watching them grow.  That way by late June I will finish a full year of observation.
        SO, first there are images from our last gasp snow.  It came from the northwest and plastered the sides of even the skinniest of trees -- on their northwest side.  It was actually beautiful, an "of the amazing moment" event.

driving back from town along the ridge, right after the storm

These cattle are on the right,
as I drive farther along the ridge.  I like the one yellow sign, that may not show up on small screens.

It also snowed at home, of course, and this is the view out the window.
another small yellow sign, this time a sign of hope, from the penultimate storm
I welcome the beauty of this new season:
Oh my goodness, I'll need to spell FORSYTHIA!  (Note: I had spelled it correctly! I also learned this bush is a member of the Olive family.  I didn't know.)

Coming from behind

but paying attention!
A neighbor left his or her calling card....

In the coming weeks I am building a collection of photos of a nearby road that is stated to be drastically changed.  I don't know if this barn will survive the surveyors or not, so I plan to appreciate this artistry while I can.  
I am so proud of the folk artists in my area.

   Many of us hope the Route 32 road project is scaled back to do a better job of honoring the rich heritage of this area.  I am talking both about the communities along the way and about the flora and fauna and especially the pristine creeks around here.  Anyway, more on that soon.