Monday, February 8, 2016

Houston

On my way back home, I drove through the tiny town of Houston in Perry County. Houston was incorporated in 1908, and its population grew thanks to it being a stop on the Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Gulf Railroad. The town currently has a population of about 160, and the rail line still runs through the middle of town (although it doesn't stop here). Near the tracks is the old Houston Methodist Church, which might be one of the prettiest abandoned churches in the state. The church was constructed in 1912, and closed in the 1990s.

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Russellville

Unless he decides to get here early, the baby will be born in a few days. So I headed out Saturday morning for one last photo trip before the kid gets here. My plan was to drive to the Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge, which is usually home to thousands of traveling birds in the winter. I drove out early enough to get there at sunrise, but the trip ended up being a bust. There weren't any birds there, they must have found another place to sleep (or they've already moved on for the year?). But along the way, I stopped at the Port of Russellville. The port sits along the Arkansas River, and I got this shot of these silos against the morning sky.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Lake Sylvia

So our baby is scheduled to arrive in a week, and I assume that I probably won't have much free time after that. So I really wanted to get out last weekend and make an attempt at a star trail photo. I did some searching for good places, and ultimately decided to try to get some pictures at Lake Sylvia, in the Ouachita National Forest. The lake is just about 45 minutes west of Little Rock, but is far enough away from the city that there should be a decent amount of stars in the sky. The only problem is the lake access is closed in the winter, but I called the National Forest Service and they were ok if I went in there for a few hours to take pictures.

So last Friday night I headed out to the lake after work and got there just before sunset. I put the tripod by the concrete swimming platform, which just about points due north. After it got dark, I set the camera to take :30 second exposures, which captured some movement in the stars. After about two hours, I had taken 223 pictures which I later combined to get this view of star trails above the lake.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snow!

A winter storm passed through last Friday, dumping 7 inches of snow in Little Rock. The capitol city was actually one of the places that received the most snow from the storm, which is pretty rare. It usually seems like the big storms would dodge Little Rock, snowing everywhere else but in Pulaski County (at least it seemed like that when I was younger and all the other schools would close due to weather but the Little Rock schools remained open). But it was enough snow for my work to close down for the day on Friday, at least.

I didn't get out until Saturday, when the roads had cleared. I visited a few places in town to try to take pictures, but by then a good amount of the snow had melted. I did manage to get this view, of a road passing through Burns Park in North Little Rock.

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I headed downtown, and passed by the Old State House. It was open, and most of the lawn still had some snow on it.

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I headed home after that, thankful that our baby didn't decide that he needed to come out when there was seven inches of snow on the ground. Still a week or two more until he makes his appearance.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Springfield

Over the MLK Holiday weekend, I decided to try to get out and take a few pictures. I headed up to the small town of Springfield, and went by the old Springfield Bridge. Built in 1874, the Springfield Bridge is the oldest bridge in Arkansas. But it is in rough shape now. Someone set fire to the wooden decks on the bridge, and the steel bowstrings are leaning precariously to the side. The area around the bridge is trashed, with dozens of empty beer cans and tons of other litter. It's a real shame how the bridge has been treated. There are efforts underway to preserve it, but the old bridge might not last too much longer.

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Just down the road from the bridge was this old barn, surrounded by a thick wall of trees.

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This abandoned home sat along the road in the nearby community of Bono (I will resist putting in some sort of U2 pun here). The house has been empty for awhile, judging by the overgrown brush and the porch that has fallen off.

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And one last shot, from the inside of an old shop building next to the house. Trees and vines were crowding in on the old window.

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