Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow in Mississippi

Last Friday night we had snow, believe it or not. It's not even winter yet and later that day was rather nice. It was a little cool but no wind so it was tolerable. When the snow started laying on the ground, I got my caot, gloves and camera and went out. It was dark and still and quiet except the occasional car passing.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Balloon Aeriel Photography

Today, Randy and I blew up a ton of balloons, tied the video camera on, tethered them with fishing line and sent them up. We got some nice video and photos. What do you think?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 2009

Today is Thanksgiving Day and now that I am back at home safely from the roads I can take the time to think about what I have to be thankful for. I have a rather large family and sometimes they get loud but they are a good family. They all have their little oddities but all in all they are terrific and I love each and every one of them. I am very thankful to have such a family.

I am thankful for my friends and also for those people who come into your life for a short time, make some kind of impression on you that lasts forever and then they are gone. I have always wondered why you meet them or have some kind of encounter and they disappear from your life. Sometimes you notice they're not there anymore and sometimes you don't notice until later. But the lasting effect is still there.

I am thankful for being born in the United States of America, being an American and for being free. Nowhere else in the world is like home.

I am thankful for having a great husband. He and I are like M&Ms, cheese and crackers, bread and butter.

I have been fortunate to live this life. We may not have alot of money but we are rich.

Thanksgiving Day 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chris Fortenberry 1944-2009

Just a few days ago, someone I knew, suddenly died.
In the mid 1970's I was living in West Virginia and had two very young children. I can't remember all the circumstances but my Mom, sister and youngest brother had left West Virginia and moved to Macedonia, to my grandfathers house. Honestly, I can't remember why they left but they were in Mississippi. My sister, Duanne, had met a guy and I got to meet him at his house on Short Bay Street, that summer. His name was Chris Fortenberry. He was a character, funny and very entertaining and a kind of unbridled wildness and lust for life. The thing I remember the most about that meeting was how comfortable and easy it was to be around him. From that first day until the last time I saw him, Chris had a way of making you feel like you were the best of friends and that you'd known each other all your lives.
Duanne and Chris married and had two children: John Calvin and Christie. John died shortly after birth and Christie came later, I think in 1979. In Christie you see Chris. She has that same charisma that Chris had but more refined.
In the early or mid 1980s, Chris and Duanne divorced. The last time I saw Chris was around 1987. Christie was at my house and he came to pick her up. We chatted for a while. He was older, heavier.
Chris remarried later but it didn't last long and then several years ago he bought a house in Petal and I asked Christie about him from time to time.
Chris Fortenberrys passing was a surprise and I suppose has placed me in a weird state of mind. He is the first of my youth to die, if that makes sense .

We spend one brief moment in time here.
Our paths cross,
And in an instant,
Bob Dylan said,
May you build a ladder to the stars,
Forever young.

My mortality is catching up with me. "I looked around and saw old men with ponytails".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Balloons Over Sunrise

You know, I have done some crazy assed things in my life all in the name of entertainment. So this one gets added to the list.
As you know I am a photography buff so anything to do with it interests me. I have recently been exploring balloon and kite aeriel photography and on Saturday my balloons and video camera made their maiden voyage. Yes, we inflated 50 or so balloons with helium, tied them together, straped on the video camera and tethered it with fishing line and sent them aloft in our front yard. The neighbors really do think we are nuts now. Cars were slowing down to watch and there was nearly an accident out by the end of the driveway.

The wind made it alittle difficult and we were actually a bit afraid to let it go too far. We didn't want to lose the camera or get tangled in power lines.

We decided to go to Randys mothers field and fly. No power lines there so should have been better and higher. Michael got in the back of the truck with the balloons and we headed out. Heck, it's only 2 miles. But, on the way the top came loose and we lost 11 balloons. That was it for the day.

All in all it was very successful and we got some good video but we learned a few things along the way.

1. Helium is expensive.
2. Don't do it on a windy day.
3. Got to get a weather balloon.
4. Got to get a better rig to suspend the camera under the balloons.
5. Make sure the camera is shooting toward the horizon for better subject matter.
6. Don't tranport balloons in the back of a pick up truck.

I have ordered a large parafoil kite and it should be here in the next couple of days. Can't wait.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Trip To Texas

October 04
The Trip To Texas September 27-30, 2009
I did go to Texas and spent 3 days there. The sad thing is that I had to work during the day and by the time I got off everything was closed or closing. My sister went with me for company and in the evening we drove around to see some of Dallas and the surrounding area. The most notable thing is how clean it was. I have seen a lot of cities but none as clean as this one. I suppose they have some pride in their home and want to show off. It was nice to see clean streets.

We stayed in the Hampton Inn in Addison, Texas. It was clean and they always had coffee made. On Monday evening we drove to downtown Dallas and found the place where Kennedy was shot and the Sixth Floor Museum. It was called the depository back then and is the building where Lee Harvey Oswald shot from. It sure doesn't look like it did in the sixties.

On Tuesday we went to a place called Circle Park. The center is a large sculpture surrounded by a circle street. The sculpture is a periwinkle color and is very odd. It has all sorts of words and numbers and bits and pieces of mechanical things all over it. You could look at it all day and keep finding something new. The surrounding area has small shops and cafes, residential buildings and a small park. It was a very tranquil place and I am jealous of those people who live there. We walked around and enjoyed the scenery and atmosphere.

We ate dinner in a place called Snuffies. The food was good and I have never seen so large an order of mushrooms. Afterwards, we went to the Addison Airport and watched planes land and take off and got a few photos.

The trip home was a long drive but interesting. There are some crazy things to be seen just off the interstate. In Shreveport, Louisiana, there is a pig standing on the roof of a building. In other parts of the state there is an airplane sitting next to the road, a giant inflated pig, The Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum, oil derricks, flags, old graveyards, and the weirdest of all was a closed up place that still had signs all over it. I think it was called Billy The Kid Outlaw Museum but had so many different messages it was a little confusing. There were signs about Ben Laden, Kennedy and Bonnie & Clyde. There were all sorts of oddities to see but mostly it was junked up and trashy but still interesting.

America is one great big interesting place and I never tire of seeing it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 26, 2009 A New Adventure

Well, I'm off on another adventure. I am leaving for Dallas, Texas in the morning. I have to go on business but I am going to have fun as well. This trip, my sister, Duanne, is going with me. I was really surprised when she said she would go. We seldom get to spend any length of time with each other so this is going to be nice. I will have work during the day but the evenings will be for exploring.
I am especially looking forward to seeing the city at night. Several years ago, I drove through Dallas just after dark. It is spectacular. The buildings were lit in neon and it was truly beautiful. This time I won't be in such a rush and will be able to get a little closer.
I'm packed and the car is ready. The GPS is on hand and I am ready.

Friday, September 25, 2009

September 21, 2009

Monday was a lazy day, it rained again and most of the day. We managed to get the boat out for a float and got more photos. The only other camper in the park stopped by to ask if we caught any fish. He'd been trying but no luck. I suspect the rain had kept the fish from biting. Rain makes all the green greener. Colors of the Forest become dark and rich and there is a silence not noticed when the sun is bright. I love a slow rain and the stillness that comes with it. We had breakfast and had been sitting and talking for a little while when a tiny spotted fawn scampered by and disappeared into the weeds. I scanned the area but never saw the mother. I wondered why a baby so young would be alone. I can only assume she had sent the baby to a place where she could meet it later but I never saw her or the baby afterwards. I suppose I am still worried about what happened to the baby.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

September 20, 2009

On Sunday, Randy got the boat in the water and we floated back in the shallow areas near the waters edge, exploring all the little nooks. We thought we might be able to sneak up on animals and we did. There was a deer but we only caught a quick view of its backside as it disappeared into the woods. We also saw lots of turtles and a couple of spiders, as well as ducks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 19, 2009 A Majestic Encounter

On Saturday morning, I got up early. It was still dark. I got my coffee and cameras and went out to wait for the morning.

Most of us have spent little time outside, alone, in the dark. If you are very quiet you can hear all sorts of things and can only guess what they are. I personally have a great imagination so I think of lions, tigers and bears but in reality they are deer, raccoons, birds and maybe a coyote. Near the water you may hear a fish plop out of the water. It is actually very quiet at 5 in the morning.

Slowly you begin to see the outlines of the trees and the sky lightens and daylight falls onto the lake.

Randy woke up around 6:30 and joined me outside and brought more coffee.

Around 9:00 we heard what we initially thought was a hawk and later Randy caught a glimpse of a large bird land in a tree not far from us. We eased up the hill and found a spot were the bird could be seen. I had brought my camera and tripod, naturally. I was so excited to get a photo of a hawk but even more excitement came when I discovered the hawk was actually an Eagle.
WOW! I was shocked. We spent the next several hours photographing the male and female eagles. Last year, someone told us eagles had been released here but I never thought I would get to see them. When the boats started running up and down the lake, they disappeared. It was a great encounter.

September 18, 2009

We drove the 35 mile trip to Turkey Fork and arrived around noon and got the camper set up just in time for a downpour of rain, wind and lightening. It got so bad at one point we had to go out and put the awning back in so it wouldn't blow away. The rain lasted for about an hour. There were a couple of other campers nearby but most of the camping spots were empty, leaving the park quiet. Randy made coffee and we spent most of the rest of the day watching the cranes. They are a strange bird. One large grey crane spent a lot of time slowly searching the edge of the water for fish. Their eyesight must be extremely keen, as they find prey in the weeds and deep in the water. There seems to be many more birds here than last time and two white cranes have been flirting with each other a great deal. They have been flying together and swooping down at each other, then will go stand near each other at the edge of the water and look for fish.