Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ode to A Pumpkin

Everywhere the pumpkin! The one unequivocal sign of Fall has to be the pumpkin. You see them in storefronts and front yards and porches. You see them on mantels and hearths and tabletops. You see them stacked or sitting side by side. There are pumpkins painted completely black and pumpkins covered in velvet. There are pumpkins picked in pumpkin patches at the local farms. There are pumpkin carvings and pumpkin glows. There are pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice cupcakes. There are pumpkin breads and pumpkin beers. And least we forget, the most supreme pumpkin of all has to be the pumpkin pie.

I wanted to share one of my favorite pumpkin images with a little watercolor and ink pencil detail. I love all the shapes and sizes of the pumpkins and there's even a gourd thrown in. I captured this image in 2016 at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens Fall Harvest Festival. I hope you like it. By the way, I'm covering all things Halloween and Fall, in case you haven't made a note of it yet. Stand by, more is coming. ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Just in case you didn't know where that infamous Halloween holiday originated from, here's a little back story I thought I would share.

Halloween is celebrated each year on October 31. 
It's roots haled from aged European traditions originating from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. 
People would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III deemed November 1, as a time to honor all saints. 
It was later declared All Saints Day and incorporated into some of the traditions of Samhain. 
The evening before was known as All Hallow's Eve, which we now celebrate as Halloween.
Halloween today is a day long activity for some with trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns. 
Around the world, as days grow shorter and nights colder, 
we usher in the season with parties, costumes and even a few spooks.

Here's a few scary creatures I photographed at past Halloween parties back home in Louisville. Starting off slow, here's the head of a large skeleton figure displayed in a front yard.

Now I've never seen a pirate skeleton until I happened on this guy hanging off a house in a rope cage. Interesting!

This guy has seen better days! And it appears he got caught up in a cob web before he got caught up in a rope hang. EEK! These last two characters are a tad bit more scary. So, if you're a scardy cat then, STOP. Don't go any further.

Is it me or does this guy have really, really long fingers and awfully large hands?

If this guy were in a fashion show, he'd win the prize for best cape. Just so you know, I have a whole slue of creepy photos, and I mean seriously creepy creatures, and some sinister ones, too. If you wish me to post them, however, you must ask, as I didn't want to creep you guys out. Meanwhile, maybe I'll get home for Halloween and shoot some more pics. Provided the weather is nice and I actually can work it into my schedule. Take care. BOO! ARG!

Sunday, October 15, 2017



Bright orange leaves fall softly to the ground
Pots filled with red and yellow mums dot the landscape
Candlelit pumpkins flicker aimlessly in the night

Crisp breezes send wicked shivers down our spine
Apple cider heaped with cinnamon warm our aching bones
Candy corn fills little buckets on All Hallowed's Eve

Black cats hidden in stealth creep out into the night
Witches dart through the sky casting black shadows across the moon 
Forgotten souls unearth their corpses from ghastly chambers

As Fall sets in, so does All Hallowed's Eve.

I gathered up a few words to help you in conjuring up the season and all its wonders. Halloween is fast approaching and Fall has arrived in all its glory. In some areas of the States, cold nights have taken hold giving way to snowy landscapes. Here in the South, Fall is gearing up for its last hooray. I truly love this season, but even more so the peak of it. ENJOY!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Red Maple Watercolor

I captured this image of beautiful red Maple leaves several years ago in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As I was strolling through my images from Fall's past, I noticed it and wondered just what it would look like with a little watercolor effect. I think it's even more beautiful. I can hardly wait for the reds and yellows and oranges of Fall here in the South. The weekend is approaching. We've had no rain for nearly two weeks. We will finally be getting some from a tropical depression which will be making landfall as Hurricane Nate this weekend. Everyone stay safe and dry. I also wanted to mention just how sad and disparaging all the news of the Las Vegas shooting has been this week. I can't even imagine the lives that have been torn apart by this senseless act of a mad man. Dear God can't they do something about gun control. GOD BLESS!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Historic Rock Castle

Who doesn't love an old historic home. Better yet, who doesn't love an old historic home built out of limestone that heralds back to the pioneer days.

Come along as I walk the grounds around the beautiful Historic Rock Castle situated in Hendersonville, Tennessee. While Hendersonville is famous for being the home of many country music stars, it is more importantly home to the Historic Rock Castle house. Rock Castle was built in the Federal style design and crafted from beautiful limestone.

Daniel Smith, a Virginia surveyor, and a Brigadier General in the Revolutionary War, began construction of Rock Castle in 1784 using land grants awarded him for his service in the military. Later, Smith became a member on the committee that eventually framed the Bill of Rights. He also became a U. S. Senator. Having been a surveyor, he was commissioned to determine the divisional lines between Kentucky and Tennessee which today is still the border between the two states.

The Smith Family occupied Rock Castle for 200 years. The house wasn't actually completed until 1791 due to several Indian attacks that occurred during construction. Smith owned 3,000 acres of land around Rock Castle which he farmed using slaves until after the Revolutionary War, and sharecroppers thereafter. Rock Castle is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The main house sits right next to what was then Drake's Creek. After the Tennessee Valley Authority was formed in modern day, Drake's Creek became Old Hickory Lake. Behind the main house sits a quaint barn with a rusty tin roof made out of the same limestone as the house. Situated next to the house are two flower gardens that were buzzing with bees and butterflies.

Trying to imagine what life was like living in the late 1700's in this historic old home boggles my mind, especially considering during the building of the house there were frequent Indian attacks. Those really were the pioneer days and this literally was one of the first permanent settlements in middle Tennesse at that time. I hope you enjoyed walking the grounds around Historic Rock Castle. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I will be back soon. ENJOY!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Miscellaneous Monday

There is nothing more beautiful and graceful than watching a group of Sandhill Cranes fly across the sky in the late day sun. I captured this image in Ewing Bottoms in south central Indiana several years ago in the Fall when the Cranes were resting there in abundance. I love the honking sound of the Sandhill Cranes as they fly over and land in fields to rest and feed. Perhaps this Fall or Winter I shall get a chance to see a flock here in Tennessee at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. Have a wonderful week. I'll be back soon. ENJOY!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

It's Official, It's Fall

Fall arrived yesterday at 4:02 pm. In many areas of the northern United States, Fall's leaves are at peak. Here in middle Tennessee, leaves have yet to turn, although I do see the occasional yellow leaf from trees here and there.

I captured this image a few years ago in Fall, as I was making the drive from Gatlinburg to Cade's Cove, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Meig's Falls sits back off the park road, but in full view of visitors. As usual I had my 300mm lens on my camera, so I stopped to take a few photos. The yellow leaves really frame Meig's Falls beautifully. I can't wait to share new images as I venture out this season. I hope you have fun out there photographing this beautiful season. Have a wonderful weekend. ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Roaring Fork River's Beauty

There just is nothing more beautiful and serene than watching the water fall over the rocks and boulders along the Roaring Fork River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I captured this image two years ago, but never shared it. I happened across it in my archives and thought, well, why not. Hope you are having a good week. I must say Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Jose and now Hurricane Maria. Let's pray this is all for this hurricane season. I pray for all of those devastated by these terrible storms. It will take many many years for some to recover and rebuild. ENJOY!