Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
"Spacious Skies"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rock Stand, A Tale of an Old Mule

My husband was born in the Rock Stand community which is just north of Roanoke, Alabama on Highway 431. Here is a story he told me about this picture.  You, like I, may choose to question the accuracy of his memory, but here goes...The old barn where the one Jersey cow sought refuge from the cold on rainy wintry nights stood near this site. The old barn became the home of a long-eared mule named Jefferson. The door to his stable was designed for a cow so his ears always scraped the top of the opening when he entered or made his exit. Pretty soon, he wore all the hide off his ears and Papa knew he had to do something about that. With the help of a neighbor, Robert Ramsey, they set out to correct the problem. Robert had a long measuring tape that he used to measure the length and girth of his prize hog. He measured her daily and would often flag down a passer-by to give a personal demonstration of just how much larger was that hog this week than last. He got the mule's measurement with that tape in a standing position with ears erect and suggested that the barn needed to be raised just over 18" in order to get the top of the door off the mule's ears. They borrowed four hydraulic jacks from nearby garages and set out to raise the barn one corner at a time. It was during this process that a couple of smart ass Yankees drove by and noticed what was taking place. When they asked the reason for raising the barn, they were told the story of the sore-eared mule. One of the Northern guys commented, "Why don't you just take a shovel and make the entry eighteen inches deeper?" When they drove away, I remember old Robert turning to my Papa and saying, "Now ain't that just like a couple of dumb-ass Yankees! It ain't Jefferson's legs that is too long, it's his ears!" The rocks in the foreground gave the community its name for it was here that the Indians supposedly stood during deer hunts. Rock Stand was an Indian deer stand.

Vanishing Mills of the Old South - Wehadkee Yarn Mill

The old Wehadkee Yarn Mill at Rock Mills.  In the top picture, I used a paint daub technique with wide brush strokes which gave a softer tone to the rock formation.  It was very bright and sunny and it had been very dry so the water was low.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rock Mills

It was very hot and sunny on the day we took these pictures.  The place is not considered a park and it is not maintained.  There was a lot of writing on the rocks at the entrance but further down it was beautiful and clear.  It really should become a park and protected and preserve for future generations, including the old mill. 

Welcome to Standing Rock

I tried several technique to try and make the Rock at Standing Rock look more interesting.  I finally settled on a dry brush effect.  I came to the reality that a "rock is a  rock is a rock" and you cannot make it look like anything else but a "rock". This is the sign to the entrance of the town. On Flickr there is another photo of the "Rock" taken by Jimmywayne.  He posted this information:  "This rock, according to local legend, was left standing by the Indians before they were removed West to Oklahoma. Should it ever be moved or laid down, terrible things would become the locals."

"On a Clear Day You can See Forever"- West Point Lake

We visited several of the parks at West Point Lake.  It was a very sunny day with a zillion clouds in the sky.  It was such a bright day that the clouds images were reflected in the water.  It gave the water (excuse the pun) a cloudy look.  The parks were beautiful and well kept.  There were very few people at the parks which I did not understand.  Only a few boaters were out on the lake.  It is said that the water is contaminated due to Atlanta which would explains why there was no one fishing.

Rock Springs

A small Christian Church in Rock Springs, Alabama.  It was the first church a young boy attended by the name of D.W. Fallin. 

Martha's Market at 5 Points

Martha's Market is located at 5 Points which is located on Highway 431.  Lyrics to a Lynyrd Skynyrd song describes this long time, local store that has not changed through the years.  In fact, it only has gotten better with age.  I thought it deserved more than just a typical photo so I applied a dry brush technique to bring out the character of the building and its surroundings.  You can do a search on Google for Martha's Market at 5 Points and you get Martha's Vineyard.  Let's just call it the Martha's Vineyard of Chambers County Alabama.  After all, they had Vine Ripe Tomatoes for sale and they are just as good as you can buy at Martha's Vineyard or better!

"Ain't no change in the weather
Ain't no changes in me
Well there ain't no change in the weather
Ain't no changes in me
And I ain't hidin' from nobody
Nobody's hidin' from me
Oh, that's the way its supposed to be"

Sweet Home Alabama, Where the Skies are so Blue!

These pictures were taken of the valley outside of Wedowee.  For all of you who have left Alabama.  The old saying "Home is where the heart is."  At my hubby's class reunion, many of his classmates had traveled all over the country and Europe and lived in  many places.  When it came to retiring, many of them moved back to Alabama.  There is no place like home no matter where you lived, worked, or traveled.

"Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you.
Sweet home Alabama where the skies are so blue.
Sweet home Alabama, Lord, I'm coming home to you."

Old Fredonia (Cumbee) Store

 This is a bit of history for Fredonia as well as for those rural families who once shopped there.  It has family sentiments and memories of a Fallin boy stopping there for a soda on his way to Roanoke.  On the photo, I used a paint daub technique with dark brush strokes to give the  building an antique color wash.

This is a side view of the Fredonia Store.  I used a dry brush technique with highlighted accents.  It should be preserved as an historical site for the area.  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Red Alabama Garden Bed

Does the Letter A stand for University of Alabama or just the State of Alabama?  Is this a Wedowee tradition to use beds for gardens or a Alabama thing?

Early Morning Sunrise at Lake Wedowee

We decided to go to Wedowee for breakfast and stopped at Lake Wedowee for some early morning pictures.  We caught the sunrise and the stillness of the lake with no motorboats or people around.  It was a looking glass of blue tranquility.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sixes Mill - Site of Fort Sixes, used as a Cherokee Indian Removal Fort

I remember this old mill from my childhood. When I stayed with my grandparents every summer in Cherokee County, they would visit the old Sixes Mill and I remember it was located on a dirt road like most of the roads in the county.  It is now part of a historical park in Canton, Georgia.  I did not realize its' historical significance.  Fort Sixes is located there which was used as a Cherokee Indiana removal fort.  This location is listed in the Trail of Tears.  I wonder how many of my own relatives were removed from the area.  My mother's ancestors were Cherokees from North Georgia.  Her ancestor married a white man and they lived around Greenville at the time of the Trail of Tears in 1838.
The one room school house in Sixes Georgia where  my mother attended as a child. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Carry me Away to Wisconsin!

My significant other will be traveling to Wisconsin in a few weeks.  How can he be so lucky!  The fall leaves have turned and he will see such brilliant colors.  I am so jealous!

The Sky Touches the Earth

Wisconsin is where the sky touches the earth in fields of green.  It gives me the same optical sensation of the ocean and sky touching in the distances.  Beautiful lakes and heavens.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

On the Road to "Gold Nugget" Town

Had to post one great scenic veiw of North Georgia since so many family members are from the north Georgia area.  Picture taken on our way to historical Dahlonega.  Gold nugget town!  My great-great grandfather, Samuel Hillhouse, was a gold digger in the North Georgia mountains.

Sunset At 312 Bridge

After dinner at Wildflower Cafe, we drove over the 312 Bridge.  We have friends who live on the Intracoastal water, they said that every evening there is a completely different sunset with a different story to tell.  No two sunsets are the same.  I believe them.  We drive over this bridge a lot and the view is always beautiful and different.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Old Barns Never Go out of Style - They become Picture Frames

The fad is to tear down an old barn and sell the wood to make tables, fireplace mantles and picture frames.  I would rather have the old barn left standing and used for farming but at least, some of them are being recycled.  Attached is a video sent to me from my hubby about Old Barns.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ode to Clouds in Minnesota

These photos were taken by DW Fallin in his travels through Minnesota.  Reminds me of the poem "Ode To The West Wind" by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  It goes llike this:
"Thou on whose stream, 'mid the steep sky's commotion,

Loose clouds like Earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean"
It is a very long poem and I cannot do it justice here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holston Lake - Arbingdon, Virginia

This is one of my favorite pictures from traveling this past summer.  This barn was located outside of Arbingdon, Virginia on Holston Lake.  It was idyllic in its country setting.  This was the most beautiful site at Holston Lake.  When we drove to the parks and camp grounds, there were literary thousands of campers scattered in disarray around the banks of the lake.  I never saw so many people jammed together.  The over population and crowded camp grounds ruin the beauty of the lake and the surrounding country side.  I am very glad that Florida controls how many campers are allowed in the parks. That is not the case with Lake Holston.  I believe a lot of these sites were privately owned and jammed as many campers together as they could squeeze into a space.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amish Fences of Stone

These fences of rocks are from the Amish park "Rockome Gardens in Arcola, Illinois.  They were originally built in 1937.  It is thought the formation of the arches and crosses were inspired by the Catholic Holy Ghost Park in Dickeyville, WI..

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Mother's Flowers - From Generation to Generation

Generations of flowers.  My mother planted her mother's flowers as her mother planted her mother's flowers.  Seedlings from these plants have been passed down several generations.  They are over 100 years old.

On August 3, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation declaring the first Sunday of September after Labor Day of each year as ‘National Grandparents Day’ to honor grandparents.  These are photos of grandmother's flowers.  Happy Grandparents Day!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Old Wagons for Weary Travelers

I visited Wisconsin this summer and was very impressed with the landscaping of local country folks.  Some of it was very elaborate for homes located on county roads between small towns.  We trespass onto a private driveway so I  could get a picture of the old wagon sitting next to the lake.  They built a bridge and a rock garden on the hillside.  A lot of money was invested for landscaping that you could not see from their house.  I guess it was for us weary travelers who could not believe it when they saw it.  After all, we had to turn around and go back for a second look. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Butterfly Waltz at Lake Junaluska

We drove around Lake Junaluska and saw several "butterfly bushes" with hundreds of butterflies waltzing from one flower to another.  I have never witness so  many in natural surroundings.  I tried to concentrate on one landing on the top of the bush.  It was a waltz to remember.
There were hundreds of ducks but the grace of two swarms and their reflection in the water was simply Divine.
Two ducks were sitting on a log and the reflection of the evergreen tree and the ducks merge together in the water.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A "chautauqua" Place to be bless - Lake Junaluska

The cross with it's silhouette against the heaven is being bless with rays of sunlight.  .Lake Junaluska is where the United Methodist Church has it's World Methodist Council headquarters.  Many assemblies and meetings are held here throughout the year.  The park around the lake is used by many local residents.  People were walking, jogging and enjoying the beautiful  mountain atmosphere. 
This is the view from the outdoor assembly area where the cross stood.  We definitely want to go back and stay longer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dowdells's Knob - The Last Visit

In 1945, a weary Roosevelt visited Dowdell's Knob and ask his secret service men to leave him alone in the car, walk up the road, and not come back until they heard the car horn.  He stay there alone for 2 hours enjoying his last visit with nature.  He died two days later.

Silver Dragonfly

There are many different types of dragonflies with different colors.  This one's colors blended with the plant post.  Silver dragonfly jewelry is very popular but the natural beauty of a live dragonfly can't be matched.

Another pictures from a different angle in B&W.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Melody's Garden

We visited Melody and her husband Tom in Mosinee, Wisconsin.  They own a farm and raise sheep.  She has a green thumb and had a vegetable garden as well as many flower beds.

A lot of bird houses and old country sink was located at the entrance of her vegetable garden.