Posts Tagged scenery

These boots are made for fencing

bent boot

Years ago I read a book called Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?: An Imponderables Book (Imponderables Books). One of the questions was, “Why do ranchers cover their fence posts with boots?”

I’ve seen this practice many times and have read three general reasons. The first makes the most sense. If someone was lost, the boots would show that someone lived nearby. The lost person could follow the boots to a dwelling. Some cover fence posts with boots to protect posts from weather. Some say it’s just tradition.

I like tradition. Long may it live!

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Bighorn sheep

Sometimes a great photograph comes from simply being in the right place at the right time with the right gear. This is one of those times.

We were approaching Jasper National Park of Canada when we stopped to look at some bighorn lambs along a lake.

Bighorn lambs

We shot several pictures, then turned toward the van. The adult sheep had come down from the hills and were so close to the van that I could have touched them. I’ve never been this close to a bighorn and was thrilled. I hit the shutter button as fast as I could. I was afraid they’d leave before I could get good shots.

hungry bighorn

I needn’t have worried. They were uninterested in us. They seemed to be saying, “This is our dinner. Watch all you want, people!”

Bighorn on the rocks

When we finally left, this sheep turned to look at us as if to say farewell.

No wonder the zoo felt anticlimactic.

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Town for sale

Crow Buttes

Do you want to own a piece of Native American history? Crow Buttes is for sale.

According to a sign there, in 1822 Sioux Indians attacked a Crow Indian camp. When the warriors fled to the buttes to gain a better vantage point, Sioux attacked the camp and raped the women. They surrounded the waterless buttes and waited until Crow warriors had all died of thirst.

In poetic justice, many of the Sioux later died of a fever they had contracted from the Crow.

Crow Buttes population 0

Crow Buttes, in Butte County, S.D., the state’s northwestern most county, is site of a convenience store and house. This cap was for sale in store. It cost more than I wanted to pay, so I just took its picture. Crow Buttes is so nowhere that no one lives there, apparently even the c-store’s proprietors.

Town for sale sign

So if you want a job and quiet lifestyle, buy Crow Buttes. After all, how many of us can say that we own an entire town?

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In the middle of nowhere

Fort Union Trading Post

The Corps of Discovery, commonly remembered as Lewis and Clark, camped at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers April 25, 1805. The place teemed with game and Meriwether Lewis noted its potential as a trading site.

The American Fur Company took up Lewis’ suggestion and built Fort Union, where the native people came to trade. For the natives, post was in the neighborhood. For Europeans, Fort Union was an outpost far from civilization. Reaching St. Louis would take weeks of hard travel. And life on the Northern Plains was difficult, a climate of extreme cold winters and short harsh summers. Even now, when it’s on a highway, the fort feels remote.

When fur trade declined, post was torn down. Materials were used to build Fort Buford a few miles to the east. Fort Union was Buford’s equivalent to Home Depot, since lumber yards did not exist on the frontier. Fort Buford is now a North Dakota historic site, but little has been done to restore that fort.

View Larger Map

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Buffalo in the rain

Dad and I were in South Unit, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, N.D., yesterday. Rain fell on and off all day. According to display at visitors center, park is most beautiful when wet and it was spectacular. Dad and I agreed that God had set a visual buffet before us and we devoured it.

We took Coal Vein Trail, hoping to see evidence of burning lignite some years before. What we saw brought tears to my eyes and I am not given to crying. I felt as if God had set a beautiful surprise gift right in front of me when we reached the end of that trail. A small herd of buffalo were standing there in pouring rain.

lone buffalo in rain

Humans are warned repeatedly not to approach buffalo, but here they were at point blank range. I simply rolled down the window and took pictures. Rain was pouring into van and I was getting soaked. I didn’t care. I was rejoicing!

Grazing buffalo in rain

They stood there in the rain just as if they were posing. I felt blessed beyond belief. I still do.

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The Four Presidents

The Four Presidents

My mental picture of Mt. Rushmore shows the monument in blazing sunshine, but that was not the Rushmore we saw. Our Rushmore was more like a B.J. Thomas song, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.

Rain fell at every strength from light drizzle to drencher and the Four Presidents were streaked with rain. All of them seemed to have colds because their noses dripped. I always want to take pictures that other people don’t get and Mother Nature handed those to me. I wasn’t sure what to think of that. Would people like rain-soaked presidents? From the comments I got on my Facebook page, yes, they do.

Saying “The Four Presidents” makes me think of some singing group. Apparently, I’m not the first one to think that.

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Dewey Defeats Truman

Because of its close proximity to Mt. Rushmore, Rapid City, S.D., bills itself as the “City of Presidents“.

To emphasize this title, the downtown historic district has erected lifesize statues of the Presidents.

Harry Truman statue

I found Harry Truman’s to be the most interesting. Statue is copy of one of the 20th Century’s most iconic photographs. Because rain had fallen off and on all day, Truman seems to be crying tears of joy in this photograph.

Dewey Defeats Truman

Here’s the real picture for comparison purposes.

The bronze Truman needs to have his teeth cleaned.

Statue seemed a bit short until I looked up his actual height. He was only 5-foot-9, an inch and a half shorter than I am. That surprised me. He may have been of modest height, but Truman was a giant of integrity.

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Golden Spike Tower

We visited Golden Spike Tower while in North Platte, Neb., last weekend. Eight-story tower overlooks Bailey Yard, the world’s largest classification yard.

We were very lucky on the day we chose because admission was free that day. It was fun! I love trains. Burlington Northern ran close to our house when I was growing up and I associate the sound of trains passing with home.

Watching the yard was like watching the world’s most wonderful model railroad layout — except it was real. The yard is eight miles long and two miles wide. We were north of it at Lincoln County Fairgrounds attending Country Bluegrass Show. When we left show, we got turned around. We kept trying to return to North Platte. The yard is so lit up that we thought it was part of the city.

The volume that passes through the yard daily is astounding. It processes 35 coal trains per 24 hours. Each coal train contains 135 cars, stretching 1.5 miles long. One hundred-fifty through trains pass through every 24 hours. The yard does 3,000 hump sorts per 24 hours/7/365 with 97 percent accuracy using gravity and bar codes. At any time, it holds 1,500 freight cars and between 400 locomotives.

It uses 16 million gallons diesel used per month. Now, that’s a fuel bill!

We were in North Platte for the Country Bluegrass Show. The audience panorama on the site shows us in our high blue chairs at the right. Soundtrack artists The Martins and Branson on the Road, in which Brian Capps is the bassist, performed at the show.

For more information on the tower and yard, watch official video below.

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My name in lights

Hanging Leaf

I was Featured Artist at Prairie Museum of Art and History, Colby, Kan., in March and April. My Artist Reception was April 16. Hubby shot this video of me talking about my pictures. Video is just under 15 minutes.

That exhibit opened the door for another opportunity. I was one of the artists who showed in First Annual Art Walk April 22, also in Colby. Colby Community College‘s Alpha Rho Tau Chapter (Art Club) hosted the event. Hubby had to work, so I shot my own video. This one is under two minutes.

Hanging Leaf is the only picture I didn’t have in the first video. I told its story earlier in this post.

Thank you, museum and art club, for inviting me.

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Craft fair season

Saturday is the first craft fair at which I’m exhibiting this season. In preparation, I’ve been matting and framing some new pictures over the last few days. I am so grateful for my mat cutter.

Now I have to decide what to title these pictures, which is often difficult. Thankfully, it’s not as difficult as deciding which pictures to print! These pictures are all from Boston or New York City. Of course, I can’t miss the opportunity to tell you a little about them.

Col. William Prescott statue in front of Bunker Hill Monument

Col. William Prescott was field commander at the Battle of Bunker Hill. He built fortifications on Breed’s Hill (lower and closer to Boston Harbor than Bunker Hill and is alleged to have said one of the American Revolution’s most famous quotes: “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” His statue stands in front of the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Mass.

I think this title will be “Don’t Fire Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes” but that may be too long.

This one is simple to title: “Paul Revere’s Ride”. Ride was immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. Old North Church steeple is visible in background. Statue is in Paul Revere Mall. No, that isn’t a place to shop!

Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges

These are the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in New York Harbor. They are two of New York City’s numerous suspension bridges. I haven’t decided on a title, but perhaps I’ll use “In Suspense”.

Brooklyn Bridge detail

This one is simple: “Brooklyn Bridge”. The Roebling family’s masterpiece is still an American icon. Note the date in the cornerstone: 1875. This is not the date the bridge opened, but only the date the Brooklyn Tower was completed. New York Tower was finished two months later. Bridge didn’t open until May 24, 1883.

Lady Liberty

A person can’t cruise around New York Harbor without taking pictures of Lady Liberty. Even though Hubby calls her “Our Lady of Perpetual Torch”, I’m titling this picture “Lady Liberty.” Her full name is “Liberty Enlightening the World”, a very imposing name. But she’s one very imposing lady. She couldn’t buy shoes in a store because she wears size 879.

New York skyline

Titling this photo of Manhattan’s skyline was easy. Hubby said, “It looks like a rhapsody in blue.” We are both fans of George Gershwin’s music, so this picture is “Rhapsody in Blue”. United Airlines used the composition as its theme song. It’s also part of the score for Woody Allen’s Manhattan.

Bank of America Tower and Conde´ Nast Building at dusk

New York City is a great financial and publishing center. Both are represented in this photo. Bank of America Tower is at center, while the Conde´ Nast Building is at right. Conde´ Nast was built green, one of the pioneers in environmentally-conscious construction. In 2003, a 358-foot tower was added to carry the broadcast load that the antennae on the Twin Towers had done before 9/11. Conde´ Nast publishes numerous lifestyle magazines, such as Bon Appetit and Vogue. Bank of America Tower was built 10 years after Conde´Nast Building and just recently was named LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum status, which is a kind of super-green construction.

Thank God for Without it, I’d have no idea which skyscraper was which. I also have no idea what to title this.

people on Top of the Rock observation deck

I took the skyscraper photos from Rockefeller Center’s observation deck, called “Top of the Rock“. I rarely consciously think, “I want to take unique shots.” But in a place where thousands have stood before me, I wanted to take shots that others might not take. I’d rather not see all my shots under someone else’s name.

The above is one such conscious decision. Top of the Rock has three observation decks. These folks were on the bottom while I was on the top, about 850 feet high, with only antennae behind me. (No, I am not afraid of heights.) Shooting people in front of objects is a good way to show the relative size of something. We look so insignificant compared to the magnificent skyscrapers all around. Thank God that He sees us as more significant than anything on earth.

Maybe this one’s title is “On Top of New York”.

Empire State Building

This is another conscious decision to take something a casual tourist might not take. Unfortunately, I have seen a near-duplicate of this image elsewhere, although I can’t find it now.

Rockefeller Center was built during the Art Deco period and these arches show that art movement’s influence. I love Art Deco. I wish our tight schedule had allowed me to wander around the building, but it didn’t.

I have no idea what to title this one, either.

Now that these are all matted and framed, I just have to sell them. Wish me luck and send up prayers. The latter are by far the most effective.

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