IMG_1650Frost comes in many shapes: needles, fractals and glistening glazes that make spider silk snap apart in the warmth of my breath. Frost in all its forms needs three things: humid air, air that’s below freezing and a surface, any surface, that’s even colder — cold enough to snatch the water molecules right out of their vapor state. All three ingredients were drifting through the valleys around Beaver Lake yesterday during the drive to Eureka Springs. The fog curled off of the White River like dust devils in a desert.





IMG_1634Some of the Eureka storekeepers said their heaviest holiday traffic came last month, but we shoppers still filled the parking lots in that little town. It’s a neat place to get some nifty gifts. I need to get over there more than once a year.






IMG_1709Thanks for lookin’.


The Road

_C1_4856In January 2002, a British man named Rory Stewart walked alone across Afghanistan. He went from village to village along his eastward path for hundreds of miles, passing ancient ruins, feet of snow and militia men who didn’t care much for him, you might say. A police officer in the city of Herat guaranteed his death. Stewart later wrote a fantastic book about his walk called The Places in Between. I read it all during a travel writing workshop more than a year ago.

I didn’t do anything like Stewart’s walk this weekend, but I love the title, and on the way to and from Eureka Springs for some Christmas shopping, I found a few places in between.

_C1_4851One place is a hundred-foot observation tower, which a sign said was used by the Arkansas Forestry Commission back in the day. A wide, one-story gift shop with an underground, rock-walled bathroom and a kind older woman behind the counter stands nearby.

I’m focusing on the places in between because my photo attempts in town were pretty lackluster. I was distracted by my goal — or maybe I just need to get better.

_C1_4892The Crescent Hotel, also known as America’s Most Haunted Hotel (TM).


_C1_4880And then it was time to go back. I’ll tell you, the area around Beaver Lake’s northern edge as the sun sets is a special place in between.


_C1_4898(Don’t worry, I looked both ways.)


_C1_4972There’s a cliché out there about journeys and destinations that you might be familiar with; my editor at work hates clichés. I’ll just say it’s always worth looking out the window.

Thanks for looking,



_C1_3125It’s been a weekend full of art.

I came across a bagpipes rehearsal near my office after the solar eclipse this week, maybe for someone’s homecoming parade. Some family visited this weekend and went with me to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art up in Bentonville yesterday. Today, we went to Eureka Springs, a small town to the northeast that’s home to hundreds of artists and shops.




_C1_3102And tonight, I went to see “The Book of Life,” a beautifully animated romance and adventure story based around the Mexican holiday called el Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. The observance, which is coming up this weekend, is a celebration of loved ones who have died, a way to remember them while enjoying food and color and light and taking away the sting and dread of death.

In the movie, the dead inhabit two realms: Those who have living descendants to remember them dwell in the boisterously colorful and fun Land of the Remembered, while those who have no such legacy wither away in the cold, gray Land of the Forgotten.





_C1_3146It’s a family film, but like the holiday it celebrates, it dives into some of my deepest, most fearful questions: What happens when I die, and will I be remembered? I don’t think I’m alone with these thoughts.

Art, I think, is at least partly an attempt to answer those questions: to make something to remember, and to reach past the boundaries of a lifetime.






_C1_3132We have sculptures and buildings and paintings and books, but a lot of humanity’s art is temporary, like a group’s playing of the bagpipes for a crowd or an interaction on a sidewalk. Other art doesn’t come from us at all, like a sunset or solar eclipse. I like to think of photography as a way to record this art, to say, yes, you existed, and you did or made or were something worth seeing._C1_3119




_C1_3195I hope my photography also qualifies as art, because I’m trying to make something to remember, too. We all want to keep the party going in the Land of the Remembered.








_C1_3285So when I say thanks for looking, I mean it. I hope you have a good week.