Lights in the Night

Sugar Tree Ridge Cemetery 11-01-2014_4329Mother, Curator Jessica and I took off for Steele this morning – eight miles from the Arkansas border – to photograph a Bootheel farmer I met at the Altenburg museum last week.

No journey ever takes us from Point A to Point B directly back to Point C, so we wandered around in New Madrid County for a bit, then meandered all over places that I’m not sure even the Lady in the Sky who lives in my GPS has ever heard of.

Let me explain the division of labor here: my job is to drive and keep us from getting killed by wayward 18-wheelers. The job of the Road Warriorette is that of Navigator, responsible for directing the Driver toward food and lodging (and, as we will find later, Natural Breaks).

We left New Madrid with the sun high in the sky and decided to find some roads that skirted the Mississippi River, some of which must have followed the paths of drunken cows.  Shortly after I pointed out that we had already been through a particular intersection at least twice, we ended up going down a road aptly bearing a sign, Dead End, that led to a well-kept Sugar Tree Ridge Cemetery.

With the sun going down on one side and the moon coming up on the other, I suggested that Mother might want to start rationing the cookies we had brought along: “This might be a long night.”

A farmers work is never done

Farmer in field 11-01-2014_8246We weren’t the only ones picking our way though the dark: we spotted lights on farm equipment dotting the countryside.

We hadn’t seen a car behind us for an hour, but the moment I stopped in the road to take this photo, I heard the whizzz of one passing us. I’m glad he had room to pass: most of the bridges out there were labeled “One-Lane Bridge.” They didn’t bother to note that the road wasn’t much wider than the bridge.

A natural break

Truck turning off I-55 11-01-2014_8261With 43 miles to go, my Navigator gently suggested that the trip would be much more pleasant for her if we would stop at the next convenient place for her to take, as they say in the Tour de France, a “natural break.”

While waiting for a chance to get back on I-55, we spotted this one-eyed truck coming toward us. Navigator Jessica asked if I had ever played “padiddle.”

Having led a sheltered life, I had to confess that I had heard the phrase, but didn’t know exactly how to play it or exactly what it was. My navigator demurred providing details.

Basic rules of Padiddle and Pedunk

Google being our friend, I was enlightened by the Urban Dictionary: A game in which you look for cars with headlight or foglight out (padiddle) [also spelled pididdle] or tail light (pedunk) and call it out. When someone correctly calls a padidle or pedunk, all members of the opposite sex present must remove an article of clothing.
Example: Padiddle! You have to take off your shirts. 

Our trip from Missouri to Ohio has just become a lot more interesting.

As always, click on the photos to make them larger. Alas, there are no padiddling photos available.


Making Pictures After Dark

Athens Court Street 09-01-2014I rolled back into Cape about 10 p.m., too tired to unload the van and computer equipment, so you’re going to get one of the last photos I took in Athens and one on the way out of Kentucky.

We emphasized to our workshop folks that just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean that you have to put your camera away. The last thing I did before leaving town was to go up to the Athens Diner for a late supper.

On the way back to the car, I thought I’d practice what I had been preaching and see if I could make a night shot in a two-block walk. I took a couple of pictures, but I like this one because of the guy in the upstairs window on the right. He looked like he was juggling a pizza box. Click on the photo to make it larger.

Kentucky sunset over cornfield

KY sunset 09-02-2014I was driving into the setting sun and saw several situations that were neat, but I couldn’t get a clear shot of them. That’s when I noticed that the best picture was alongside and behind me. I waited until I saw a stretch of road that had a break in the trees and a wide enough shoulder to pull off.

The result was a strange collection of clouds over a cornfield.


Ghost Runners at 510 Broadway

Joggers 510 Broadway 04-21-2014The night I shot the street art on Broadway, I was headed back to put my camera and tripod back in the car when this colorful display at 510 Broadway caught my attention. I fooled around a bit, but could never quite get the right exposure to recreate what I saw with my eye, so I didn’t bother to do anything with it.

I took a second look at the sequence tonight and noticed that I had captured a couple of joggers passing by the window. For you photo geeks, I was zoomed to 55mm on my Nikon D7000; my ISO was 6400; the exposure was 1/13 @ f/5.6.

Click on the photo to make it larger.

A Rainy Night In Georgia

Athens GA 05-14-2014My Road Warriorettes, Anne and Curator Jessica, don’t understand that a man has strong biological needs: the primary one being lots of sleep. Against my better judgement, I was convinced to set my alarm for 8:27 a.m. and not the usual 9:37.

I have other photos of our Beckley, West Virginia, to Athens, Georgia, leg of our trip, but they expect me to get up early again tomorrow, so the rest of the pix will have to wait.

The sky opened up

We’ve had good weather up until the last 35 miles, when the sky just opened up. Traffic wasn’t too heavy, and Rain-X kept the windshield clear (Anne is a great window washer, but Curator Jessica is going to require some training), so I didn’t mind the deluge.

The first place we checked out in a line-up-the-animals-two-by-two downpour was full, but we heard of another one on the other side of town that was even cheaper (and perfectly acceptable).

On the way to it, we spotted what would have been a really nice shot of lights on a glistening street, but I couldn’t grab the camera before we were past it. In the confusion, we missed 0ur turnoff and had to make a U-turn. Since we had to go back anyway, I decided to check out our rainy night in Georgia.

I don’t know if it’s as good as what we saw on the first pass, but it’s good enough to let me go to bed early. You can click on it to make it larger.