Side Note

Arizona-January-2010-097---Copy.jpgI hoped to hike along Buffalo River this weekend and get some worthwhile shots, but my first ever car accident last night scuttled that plan (Everybody’s fine.). Instead I’ll take this moment for a shameless plug: As of last week, and for the first time ever, I’ve got a few framed and unframed prints for sale at The pAth Outfitters store and gallery in downtown Fayetteville, including the images in this post. It’s a neat shop for outdoor clothes and skateboards, and it’s also a studio/gallery for Matt Miller, a really gifted and intriguing painter and laid-back guy who really graciously gave some prints a spot there. The store’s right on the square, behind Tiny Tim’s Pizza and next to the Town Center.

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IMG_1442---Copy.jpgThey’re all 12×16 art prints on archival ink and paper, and they’re all signed and titled by myself. If you’re anywhere around here and have any interest, please take a look; framed ones are $125, unframed are about $35. If you’re far away, feel free to visit my Redbubble for other prints and things.

Don’t worry, I won’t make the plugs a habit. Thanks for looking!

Dan

One Piece Down

_C1_2000The Razorback Greenway trail threads through crowded downtowns and alongside the busiest streets around, a filament of forest and water in a growing metro. But it begins at its southernmost point in one of the quietest corners in Fayetteville, near a little park called Greathouse and a neighborhood of small houses. The sun shone bright and cool when I got there Sunday afternoon. A few hundred feet past that park, you’d never know you were in a fairly bustling college town: There’s just the trail, the lampposts and the woods outside of them.  The bare trees creaked and rustled in the breeze, and a rooster crowed over and over – seriously, every few seconds – somewhere to the south.

_C1_1959I’ve been pretty sparse with the photos lately, so my idea was to walk along all of the Greenway’s 36 miles. I’ll have to do it in pieces by foot; Sunday I got a few miles down, past downtown and the university. I couldn’t resist going down these side paths that lead off into the trees every now and then. It’ll be neat to see the whole path as winter becomes spring and the Greenway matches its name again.

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_C1_2071Until then, thanks for looking.

Dan

On the Hunt

IMG_2100Temperatures fell below freezing for 48 hours this weekend, and you know what that means: Some weirdo was wandering around when it was 12 degrees taking pictures of frozen grass.

The weekend’s cold came exactly one year after another cold spell here in Fayetteville; I wrote a post then rambling about how cool ice is and how many different forms it can take (blobs, beads, shards, blades, name it). Ice is just as neat and surprising now, and for lingering any doubters out there, I’m going to prove it right here on this blog. There’s beauty in the small.

I gave everything a good night of freezing before heading out Sunday morning. The sun was shining and the sky was almost cloudless, but that didn’t stop a continuous flurry of perfect snowflakes that glinted in the light as they tumbled silently down. Some landed on the first plates of ice on nearby streams or on the ice accretions at the base of every stick and stalk.

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IMG_2082(Two of these birds, maybe red-shouldered hawks, sat side by side on this branch, but one flew away before I lifted my camera.)

All of these ices were great and all, but I was really hunting for one particular type that appeared a year ago, a strikingly angular, geometric surface ice that looks as if it’s made of shattered glass. (If anyone out there knows the actual names for these things, I’d love to hear about it.) This kind seems to require stillness and a good day or two of real frigidness to form, and it fans out from anything breaking the water’s surface. I could see the beginnings of it on some of the ponds around my apartment, but no luck Sunday morning or evening. Lake Fayetteville didn’t have any, either.

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IMG_2136Just as the sun was setting I caught one sample of it in the smallest, stillest pond. One more night, then.

IMG_2141The morning was quiet and clear. Frost spike-balls sat like tiny urchins or Christmas trees on the surface of frozen puddles.

IMG_2152Half a mile from my apartment, I finally found it: The geometric ice stretched across a nearby pond, along with some nice frozen bubbles and a new (to me) type of surface ice that looked like fans or brachiopod shells stacked on each other.

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IMG_2162I headed home, but nature had one more gift, another first for me: The grass was coated with frost, but instead of being made of the usual little pellets or spikes, it was made up of tiny, perfectly etched crystalline plates, as if snowflakes were growing out of the leaves.

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Thanks for looking.

Dan