Friday, November 28, 2014


 I have always wanted to do the railroad track picture and never have until today.  Glad I got that out of my system.
This morning was a really enjoyable morning of photography as I asked Clarissa Sharp to accompany me up into the hills and woods of Granger County.  Clarissa is a very accomplished macro, landscape and scenic photographer and the conversations all morning were photography related, mostly about composition. Then it hit me.  We both post to Face Book and we both are photographing the same subject matter here this morning.  It wouldn't do for both of us to post very similar pictures on each of our Face Book pages.  What I proposed we do is to have Clarissa post to Face Book and I'll post to my blog and keep the subject matter separated. The photographs will be similar but different yet composed through the eyes of two different photographers although much the same in subject matter.  I can't hold a candle to her expertise in the landscape world but its fun trying and I'm a fast learner, or used to be.  I'm a wildlife photographer first but am enjoying the diversity of landscape and static object photography.
I'm still hung up on old buildings.  Look at that sweet scene above.  Great Scott its gorgeous.  More about that old place in a short.
The scenery was gorgeous this morning with soft light permeating into every aspect of the landscape.  The snow capped mountain range seen above was especially beautiful and contrasted with the surrounding countryside that was bathed in the yellow soft light.
 If there is anything I love more than old barns, its old barn and stall doors.  They were always over built with oak, hickory and sometimes poplar and indestructible.  I want one.

 The implement below is called a harrow.  It breaks up the clumps of soil after the plowed ground is sliced with a disc.  The harrow would be used as the final preparation of the soil for planting.  The one below is horse drawn but many of these field tools were converted for tractor use.
 I've never seen so many barns in Tennessee as I have in Granger County, here in East Tennessee.  This area was heavy duty agriculture since the pioneer days and still is.  The forest was cleared and fields and meadows fell to the plow since this country was settled.  That is a lot of time to build barns and work farms.
The next series of shots are of an old, old farm house that should be placed on the national records for protected status of historical buildings.  The house is an antique shop and no one seems to care. There are pioneer grade artifacts just sitting around on the porch, which by the way contains hand built furniture.  I don't know who owns this magnificent property but I'd give them a hundred smackeroos for permission to walk through and photograph it.  My goodness that soft yellow light was bright this morning!!!

When I say that old buildings have character and charm - this is what I'm talking about.  This building is a supreme example of "the good ole days" in an earlier time when America had strong people of the earth at the throttle of the engine that pushed this country to greatness.  Hope you like the pictures of a great old house..
 That's a mail box on the porch swing.  This house reminds me of the one in the movie, "Saving Private Ryan", when the Army limo pulled up in front of the old farm house and the mother stepped out onto the porch and fell to a sitting position in anticipation of grievous news about her son. 

Wonder how many quiet mountain nights were spent on this porch listening to cicadas, screech owls and bob cats.  I can still see my mother churning butter on a porch such as this back in the nineteen fifties.  Those old farm folks sweated blood to make enough money to keep those enterprises going.  My folks too I guess...

The place is a treasure trove of long ago farm artifacts.  I can only wonder why this old place isn't cared for better.  There is a newer house on the property but I guess its all about money and money doesn't come easy in these parts, and I doubt there's enough to throw at this old walled relic.  
Hopefully it won't be allowed to crumble to dust and disappear like so many earlier farm houses do.  Usually there is a newer home built near by and the old, original is left standing until time rots away the structure to a point where the roof sags and finally caves in.  Then the walls lean and collapse onto the floor which can't hold the weight and the floor finally tears away leaving a pile of rotted wood that someone will eventually put a match to and another piece of American history will disappear forever.  Not only will a bit of history fade into darkness, but the tale of a struggling family will never be known because the ashes from their untold story will rise into the sky with the smoke from the burning wood.

 This house is fascinating to say the least!
It was time to move on and it was with regret that I watched the old place grow smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror.

 This little goat was the friendliest thing!  He was really looking for company and did everything he could to get close to us.  I've never seen anything like it.  Pure "D" Sweet!

 I found a large stand of bamboo in the county that I doubt many know about.  If they do know about it they don't care.  This is "running bamboo" and it spreads like wildfire.  The only real way to rid the landscape of it is to bulldoze it out.  Bamboo is an insidious, foreign plant that ruins our natural forests.  If one must grow bamboo, there is a manageable type and that is called "clumping bamboo" and it will not spread but grows in a large, circular clump.  The clumping variety doesn't stand cold temps very well and 25 degree days can kill it.  By the way - the plants I photographed are as tall as a two story house.  Great for a privacy fence.

There is a name on the roof of the barn below.  Its so old and worn I missed it when I took the picture.  It says Meadow Brook.  Neat!
Time to go.  Hope you enjoyed the shots.


I have put these photos on Face Book and there are quite a few readers who do not read Face Book and do read this blog so I thought I had better include them up here.  I like to reserve the blog for entries that revolve around some outdoor story or undertaking I'm involved in and will again do so.  For the immediate future, without a boat to seek out wildlife on my own time I'll just have to upload pictures to both places.  The boat issue will be fixed first week of next month.  I appreciate your readership and don't want to let you down.  Thanks for being here.  

The following are more scenic pictures I took yesterday on upper Douglas Lake.  The lake is drained and the French Broad River that flows beneath the lake water can plainly be seen.  The last of the photos are of old things I like, miss and adore.  Hope you like the entry.

The shot below is nice but there is a power line and tower in it I didn't see when I took it.  The tower is out of the line of sight so I kept the photo

I told you I like old buildings as well as old stuff in general.

 The old wood has an elegant, hand made look to it unlike the polyester, mass produced stuff of today

This farmstead is filled with character and screams out rural life from an earlier American era.  It also has a haunting aura about it.  Can't put my finger on it yet but there is something about it that affects more than the eye.

 These old relics are great stuff!  Just simply great stuff!

 Above and below is the boat that Moses used to cross the Dead Sea.