from the backyard again

from the backyard again

"You can say that life is a fountain if you want to,
but what it more nearly resembles is a jack-in-the-box."
 
from All the Days and Nights: The Collected Stories
by William Maxwell
 
 

at the Arboretum

at the Arboretum

I managed to visit a couple of gardens this weekend, here is a shot from the University of Kentucky Arboretum.  I don’t talk much about technical stuff here, but this is the Fuji Classic Chrome film simulation, shot in JPEG and straight from camera except for the crop.  Fuji is doing really well with their jpg processing, in my opinion.  More in the next post, on both topics.

 

at Carter Caves

at Carter Caves

Rainy over night, so I drove out to Carter Caves to see how the wildflowers are doing.  Pretty chilly, but a few have appeared.  I wanted some examples to practice focus stacking, my results are not all that good but I think I know how to get better at it.

 

Peonies at Henry Clay

Peonies at Henry Clay

The Peony Garden at Henry Clay’s Ashland
Lexington, Kentucky

I made one stop at the Peony garden this year and caught just a few of them in bloom.  For me, they are an interesting colorful bloom that is elusive, only lasting a short time.  Here is a video on the peony garden at the Henry Clay estate and the history of the unique varieties they have.

 

At the museum..

At the museum..

Huntington Museum of Art Arboretum
Huntington, West Virginia

We had an enjoyable day at the museum recently, the Ansel Adams exhibit as well as the  Wide Angle Exhibit are both still up until early February.  Both are magnificent, the Wide Angle show suffers a bit from somewhat lower light than when we saw it at the University of Kentucky Art Museum but it is still an enjoyable education in the history and various venues of photographic art.

 

 

Floral untitled

Floral untitled

One thing that isn’t given much thought during planning and construction is the size of a backyard deck in relation to the upkeep needed.   I’d rather be out on a bike or up at Greenbottom with a camera.  Here’s a backyard flower caught while procrastinating about the job.

 

spring buds in monotone

spring buds in monotone

We had some dandy storms today.  Went out for a drive and severely tested the water-tightness of a replacement windshield I recently needed.  If I had been the passenger in the car rather than the driver (or been in a position to stop), I would have had some fantastic photos.  Here they are, so use your imagination:  (1) A train pulling about a dozen white tanker cars coming around a curve in the track with mountains in the background surrounded by low hanging storm clouds;  (2) A tall mound of coal with a dirty-black bulldozer sitting on the steep incline of the side of it, nearly at 90 degrees and unmanned, (3)  Power station towers belching white steam with storm clouds in the background and wisps of white clouds around the towers; and (3) a flatbed truck with the cab sporting this logo “We don’t need your arms or legs, just your tows”.

 “…Balthus is a painter of whom nothing is
known.  Now let us look at the pictures.”

From a telegram sent to the Tate Gallery
from Balthus in response to a request
for biographical details.” 

 

Petunia TTV

Petunia TTV

I experimented a little today and shot this picture through the viewfinder of a 1950s box camera after building a “contraption” to fit the digital DSLR to the viewfinder of the 620 box camera.

But the point is this: the end that I discover at
last is not the end that I conceived at first. For
every solution entails new choices, and every
choice made poses new problems to which
solutions must be found, and so on and on.

Deep in his heart, the poet is always
surprised at where his poem has gone.”

Augustus: A Novel (Vintage)
by John Williams 

Squirrel Corn at Lake Vesuvius

Squirrel Corn at Lake Vesuvius

Wayne National Forest, Lake Vesuvius
Ironton, Ohio

We went to bed with the air conditioner running and woke up with snow flying, it’s been an odd spring.

Even with the odd weather, I decided to take a walk at the nearby Wayne National Forest.  I can say it is probably the first time I’ve photographed wildflowers with a winter coat on (and wishing I had a sweater underneath it).  We walked the paved handicap accessible trail, which is not only convenient but also has a pretty good collection of wildflowers though it pales in comparison to Carter Caves.  We counted 8 different species on our short walk today,  in spite of the snow.

 

Kitchen flower on the I-phone

Kitchen flower on the I-phone

I’ll probably be posting some I-Phone photography experiments this week as I just transferred a number of I-Phone photos to LR recently.  Today’s photo is a orange kitchen flower shot with the native camera and ran through Lo-Mob Superslides app that I’ve been working with (though I did develop it more in LR and PS).

 “You must remember what you are and what you
have chosen to become, and the significance of
what you are doing. There are wars and defeats
and victories of the human race that are not
military and that are not recorded in the annals
of history. Remember that while you’re trying
to decide what to do.”

― John Edward Williams, Stoner

Carter Caves Wildflowers

Carter Caves Wildflowers

Carter Caves State Park
Carter County, Kentucky

I thought I would say a few words about the writer  Breece Pancake today,  I just happened to find out that this is the 35th anniversary of his death, which sadly was self-imposed.

Pancake was born in South Charleston, West Virginia and grew up in Milton, just up the road from here.  I had never heard of Pancake until I happened to notice a book of short stories on my Kindle recently.  Evidently I had somehow “discovered” him at some point in the past and had bought the book where it resided in the cloud for future reading until just a few weeks ago.

Pancake, who used the name “Breece D’J Pancake” attended Marshall University in Huntington WV and after graduation he enrolled as a graduate student in the creative writing program at the University of Virginia.  Pancake really never had a career, during his life he had 6 published short stores, several of them in Atlantic Monthly.  His only book was published posthumously and is made up of these stories plus several others.  He was just on the edge of success when it all ended.

With such a brief career, you would think his life and his writing would both have faded away long ago.   But that is far from the truth, just do a Google search for Breece Pancake and you’ll find pages and pages of articles written.  It becomes quickly obvious that he is a writer that other writers admire.

With Pancake, he is a writer’s writer because of  the “voice” that he gives the characters.  The vivid way he describes both what they see and what they feel.   These are certainly not feel-good stories, at several points I found myself thinking that I can’t believe he is writing about these things.  He definitely does not try to “pretty-up” the scenes.   But it is truthful writing and to the point, like Hemingway.  The stories are troubling though.

 

 

Dutchman Breeches at Carter Caves

Dutchman Breeches at Carter Caves

Carter Caves State Resort Park
Carter County, Kentucky

I was able to spend time outside on several days during the last week.  This shot was made on Saturday and it was a world of difference from the Tuesday before.  I could see wildflowers coming up everywhere.  We are fairly certain that one patch of flowers came out between the times of going down the trail and coming back out.  The USDA website says the plant is widely distributed with an eastern and western variety with both being similar.  The feeling is that the species became separated a thousand years ago and changed slightly but still are very similar.

 

 

Sharp Lobed Hepatica at Carter Caves

Sharp Lobed Hepatica at Carter Caves

Carter Caves State Resort Park
Carter County, Kentucky

This week I’ve made stops at our local parks, Greenbo Lake and Carter Caves, and find the wildflowers are pretty far behind schedule when compared to previous years.  In 2012, I had posted several wildflower photos taken even in March of that year, including a nice Large Flowered Bellwort.

I’m fairly certain today’s picture is the Sharp Lobed Hepatica, which is always one of the earliest and hardy flowers in our area.  There’s a lot of variations in color and number of petals of the flower and this was obvious today because I have some other shots of a white variety.

The Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife website states it was once the prime ingredient in the 1800’s remedy called” Dr Roder’s Liverwort and Tar Sirrup”.  You can read more about this nice early Kentucky wildflower at the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife website.

 

Pink rose

Pink rose

While taking a look at the winter garden Sunday, I snapped a few photos of my father\’s last roses of the season.  Fall allergy season has grounded photography so upgrades may not be regular for the next week or so.