Well, dear readers, it’s been a year. Over the past 12 months this little blog has gone to dune fields, flooded forests, music-filled streets and crazy festivals. I traveled more than 6,000 miles through nine states, and I stayed put right here in my neighborhood, all of it trying to catch just a fraction of the frames that come together every moment. I hope it’s been worth tagging along.
That mix of far away and right outside the door has been a sort of theme throughout 2015, I suppose. Northwest Arkansas has plenty of its own sights and happenings, but this whole country is home, too, and there is a ton to see. I hiked two national parks and plan to (slowly) keep making my way through all 59 of them — looks like Yosemite might be coming up in a few months. I’ll see more parades, more people and more cities. More vaguely, I’ll keep pushing myself to get better. I try to do something new every time I head out with a camera – a different perspective, a slicker composition, a novel play on light or color. I’ll keep trying in 2016. There’s always more to learn.
Bottom line is I love doing this, so I’m going to keep doing it. Thanks for looking, everybody. Happy New Year!
The solstice and astronomical beginning of winter is a month away, but we’re as impatient as ever to get into the spirit of the season. One northwest Arkansas radio station, usually featuring music from all over the past 50 years, has been playing solid Christmas music for weeks. The stores, freshly cleared of leftover Halloween candy, have shelves of Christmas decorations. So far I’ve resisted, but last night Fayetteville held its Lights of the Ozarks lighting ceremony and parade, kicking off the holidays with lots of people, lots of selfies and 400,000 lights. I had to go.
I’ve never seen so many Christmas lights on trees with so many of their leaves still attached, as if to highlight how much we want full-fledged winter to get going already. No matter how screwy the mix of lights and leaves seems, the effect can be striking.
I shouldn’t be too hard on us; snow flurries fell around here this morning, and temperatures are forecast to fall below freezing tonight. Maybe nature’s ready for winter, too.
Thanks for looking!
On a clear day from an airplane 7 miles up, the horizon is more than 230 miles away. That’s a view no human had until a few decades ago, and there’s a lot to see out there. I was looking through some old photos and found some old shots from plane windows, mostly between the Midwest and Arizona via Dallas. They make an interesting set; most of them showcase the large-scale power of water even in places with hardly any.
The multilayered windows and sheer distance distort details and colors — the bluish tinge makes them look like 1970s film photos to me — but the scenery is surreal and striking enough on its own. I have no clue specifically where most these canyons and rivers are. I get lucky searching on Google Earth every now and then; the first photo up there is Table Rock Lake in the Ozarks, for example. Otherwise, I’ve never seen them twice.
Thanks for lookin’.