The Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) is holding its final meet of 2016 at Virginia Motors ports Park this weekend. Sure wish I was there since several of my photog buddies (Joe and Dave) are there now: Joe shooting live video feed for Door Slammers Plus and Dave with his trusty tripod. Well, I'll get my fix November 4-5 in Saint Louis at Gateway Motorsports Park when the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) makes it's comeback. That's another story and I won't bore you with the details. So, look for some new drag shots in a few days and HAPPY HALLOWEEN. It'll be a big day for me because I will be 70 this holiday ... gosh, where has the time gone? Bye for now.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Yesterday I was in Weeping Water, Nebraska; a town of 1000+ located in Cass County. This building, now the public library, was originally built in 1885 as a Congregationalist Church and educational academy. Construction was of native limestone quarried nearby. The stone was peppered with iron fragments that "weep" rust when wet. The academy was closed before our involvement in World War I (1914) because the quality of the public schools improved.
Due east of Lincoln, in Cass County, lies the village of Murdock. Surrounding Murdock are tens of thousands of acres of corn and soy beans. The beans are used mainly in meal or processed into oil; the corn is used almost exclusively as animal feed. In Eastern Nebraska the growing year has been good and, therefore, there are above average crop totals...and depressed prices per bushel. Here you can see the corn being stored in huge piles next to the grain elevators. That corn eventually will be sold and trucked to other elevators and co-ops. The day I took this photo was sunny and cool. Perfect weather for harvest. Meta data: Canon 6D. Sigma 20-70mm lens. Shot in manual setting: f/11. 1/125. ISO 100. Edited with Lightroom 5.7.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
This valley (west of Cody, Wyoming) shows evidence that it was shaped by a glacier or glaciers. The valley is "u" shaped which indicates that the walls and floor of the valley were scraped and pushed into this shape by a huge glacial river of ice and rock. As the glaciers pushed down the valley, their weight and motion carved this valley into the shape you see here. When the glacier retreated, it left a moraine of pulverized rock and soil. There have been five major ice ages in the history of the earth and this glacier could have been born in the current epoch: the Quaternary Ice Age. This latest ice age started about 2.5 million years ago and has lasted until now.
The pine forests of the Rocky Mountain ecosystem are vast and varied. Besides deciduous trees (Aspens, oaks, sycamores) the forests are made up of hundreds of millions of Ponderosa, Lodge Pole, Scotch, and Limber pines. These pines are threatened by two major natural phenomena: fire and insects (the Mountain Pine Beetle, the Ash Borer, and other types of borers and insects). But the forests survive and prosper. Pictured above is a pine forest in the midst of a regrowth cycle following a fire. If you look closely you can see the new pine trees covering the hillside with ruminants of the old forest poking above the small, newer trees. Some pines re-germinate only after their seeds are touched by fire! Some pine seeds are spread by wind, birds, or wild animals. And...some forests are planted by humans for harvest at a later date.
Central Wyoming at the end of September is a beautiful and stormy place. Spent the day driving through rain and sleet until I reached the Nebraska border. It had snowed the night before but evidence of the storm was gone when I arrived at this off ramp northwest of Cheyenne. The clouds were scuttering along the horizon and the cool wind rustled the grass and the bales of hay. I had left Lander, Wyoming at 8:00 am Mountain Standard Time and would drive until I got home to Lincoln. All toll, the day's drive totaled about 800 miles and ended at 12:30 am the next day. I drove, stopped and photographed, had several meals (in my car and in restaurants), gassed up, and took about three cat naps in rest stops along I-80. I love to drive. It does something for my soul. It calms and centers me...it's been that way since I was a kid. Long drives, drives late at night, impromptu drives ... the hum of the tires and the whoosh of the wind make my life better. That's all I can say on that. That's all.