under the weather -day303

under the weather -day303, originally uploaded by tpurk.

I've been sick the last week and while I'm feeling somewhat better, it still feels good to lay on the couch and do nothing.....

Abandoned -day302

Abandoned -day302, originally uploaded by tpurk.

Went for a walk to get some fresh air and clear out the cold germs. Came across this in a run down, abandoned lot and kind of liked the sadness of it....


Fall tree -day301

Fall tree -day301, originally uploaded by tpurk.

As I walked through the botanical garden today, I turned from photographing some moss on a rock and saw the sun highlighting this tree. Surrounded by shadows, it was glowing! The picture barely touches how gorgeous it was!

Leaves -day300

Leaves -day300, originally uploaded by tpurk.

I went to lunch with Dan and we were commenting about how gorgeous the fall leaves were - we didn't need to go all the way to Vermont! :)

There was a row of these bright red maples in the parking lot of this office building and I loved the contrast of the red leaves against the blue glass. You can even see the clouds reflected in the glass.


Pear -day299

Pear -day299, originally uploaded by tpurk.

The sun was making pretty shadows on my ceramic pear and it made a 'nice' image but I decided to play with it a bit and added a couple of Kim Klassen's textures. Thanks Kim!


Leaves -day298

Leaves -day299, originally uploaded by tpurk.
My Japanese maple is starting to fade - turning brown on the edges - love those lacy leaves....


Shadow Fencing -day297

2011 day297 shadow fencing, originally uploaded by tpurk.
A mostly sunny afternoon brought out some strong shadows on the fence. Supposed to go back to clouds, cold and rain tomorrow, but for today - shadows.


dahlia -day296

dahlia -day296, originally uploaded by tpurk.

This late bloomer didn't get it's first blooms til a month ago and they were tiny and undeveloped. We got home from vacation and it had come into its own at a time when all the rest are fading.


fall still life -day295

fall still life -day295, originally uploaded by tpurk.

Since returning from vacation, the quality of my photo subjects has suffered - mostly cuz I've been shooting them after 9pm at night and just pick the easiest thing.

Today I decided to put a little more thought and effort into my image. Thus, a fall still life.

Vermont leaf peeping

Our trip to Vermont was restful, not stressful (there's no traffic to speak of), filled with stunning scenic views and days of wandering down whatever road looked interesting.  We had a few general things on a to do list, but not nearly the detailed "must see" items of most of our trips.  We were just there to see what ever and take photographs and more photographs.  We had absolutely gorgeous weather - record setting warm days - so lots of sunshine (which actually made the leaves almost too bright).  Clouds moved in on Wednesday, Thursday was a little drizzly and cooler but we'd saved Ben and Jerry's for that day.  We left for Indiana early Friday morning.

When we arrived at the southern end of the state, it was pretty but nothing to write home about.  There was certainly some fall color but not what I was expecting from other pics I'd seen.  My reading said that the color starts north and gradually moves south, so I was hopeful that there would be more drama in the north where we were staying.

This was in Bennington - pretty, but not spectacular, right?

When we got to our condo, this was the panorama going up our hillside.  (We stayed in timeshare that is a ski lodge.)

Every day as we drove down the hill, we'd come around this curve and the morning light just made these colors glow.

One of our day trips further north to Jeffersonville found more red on the hillsides, adding even more drama and color to the landscape.

We took a drive through the much ballyhooed Smugglers' Notch - a winding, narrow mountain pass road that was pretty for the juxtaposition of autumn color against rugged rock.  However, there were SO many cars squeezing through that it was hard to appreciate the beauty of nature and keep from hitting another car!

 (This section actually kind of reminded us of Sundance in Utah)

Mack Mountain Road was a drive recommended by a local - we LOVED it; it was such a gorgeous country road.

Another recommendation from the same local - Groton State Park - we took the hike up to Owl's Head viewpoint and found this stunning view!

More Groton Lake / Park

Cloudy skies so it must have been on Thursday.  It's in Waterbury, the village closest to us and on the way up to Ben and Jerry's near Stowe.

 The above two shots are on the grounds of Ben & Jerry's.

I broke the photos up by category so you can browse them as you're interested.  There's a post for leaves (this one), one for Indiana, one for Montreal, one for churches and one for bridges.  I tried to pick just a representative sampling to give you an idea of all the great things we saw.

You can leave a comment on any or all of the posts - let us know what you think.....

Kokomo highlights

After the vacation part of the trip, we stopped in Kokomo for Dan's 40th reunion.  We flew into Indianapolis and drove the hour north to Kokomo, getting in Friday late afternoon.  First stop was the old high school which is now a middle school - it was locked up.  But across the street was the gym where Dan played all his high school ball and it was open, so we went in and took a couple of pics.

Saturday we had breakfast with some childhood friends then went on a trip down memory lane, visiting the house he grew up in, the park in the middle of town, etc.  Lots of changes - "where did XYZ go?", "that used to be ....", etc.  Kokomo is a town of about 44,000 which is only a little bigger than greater Kingman but felt MUCH bigger - there were lots more restaurants and shopping.  Friends told us it's probably because it serves as the service/shopping town for many smaller nearby towns whereas there was nothing near Kingman.

We drove by his house and he said, "What happened to our house? Where are the trees? I helped plant those trees.  Where are the trees?"  He must have said that 10 times!  Apparently the house used to have shutters and two big trees out front - all the other houses in the neighborhood had trees so this one stuck out as the plain jane house!

The reunion event was that night and we had a great time catching up with everyone and meeting new folks (me).  Sunday morning we had breakfast with friends again then took off to Rockfield which is where Dan's mom grew up on the family farm.  It's about an hour away in a town of a couple hundred people.

Here's the farmstead.  The garage on the right was added - that used to be where the big family garden was.  The cornfields were behind the farmhouse.

There used to be a big tree with a swing in it in this side yard - I have a photo of Adam swinging in it.

Wait, here it is! :)  That's Dan's dad in the background.

Dan peeked in and apparently they just use the barn as a place to throw junk.  Then he went up to the porch to ask permission to walk down their property to the bluff.  No one was home but the porch was crawling with kittens!

Cute, huh?

As we walked around the side of the house we saw .........

progress!  They "paved over paradise and put up a parking lot" - well not a parking lot, an interstate!  You can see the farmhouse on the left.  Yikes!

From here we headed to Indianapolis - although I've been to the Indy 500, I don't think we went through downtown because I don't remember it.  It's really a pretty town.  They've got a huge park/memorial area that covers several blocks with lots of open space but also some huge dramatic memorials.

Of course no trip to Indianapolis is complete without a visit to the Speedway, so Monday morning before heading home we drove over and took the tour.  It was filled with interesting facts and though the track was pretty plain and austere, I'm sure it's much more colorful and energetic filled with cars, people and banners everywhere.

Dan's demonstrating the tradition of kissing the bricks - these bricks are at the start line and from the original track laid in 1909.  The track was originally tar and gravel but it was quickly discovered that wasn't firm enough.  Over 3 million bricks of 9.5 lbs each were brought in to pave the track which is where it gets the name Brick Yard.  Since then it's been covered with asphalt many times but the bricks are still in place - it would be like peeling back layers of wallpaper to discover the original wall.

I wish I'd remembered the way these posts work - this should actually have been the last one if I was trying for chronological story telling.  But I started with bridges, consequently it's the last post in this series.  Ah well, I'm sure you can all follow along and get the general gist of the trip.  Next is our trip to Montreal which actually came in the middle of the week....

Montreal highlights

We went to Montreal for a day trip - it was about two hours north.  It was a fun adventure and a pretty city.  We were somewhat surprised to discover all highway and freeway signs were only in French - don't know why, all our signs are in English - just sayin'.

We started the day at the botanical garden (sure am lucky Dan doesn't mind traipsing all over these gardens with me!), the furthest north part of the city we wanted to visit.

The Japanese garden was lovely.

The Chinese garden was featuring this collection of lighted figures and all the buildings were strung with lights.  We decided to come back at the end of the day to get some pics of the garden lit up.

Olympic Park adjoined the garden so we walked over to this structure and rode up an outside funicular to the top observatory for great views of all of Montreal - hazy though.  Then we headed downtown - we wanted to see old town, Notre Dame and the Plaza des Spectacles which I'd read about.  We took the subway so we wouldn't have to worry about trying to park downtown.

The skyline from the car as we crossed the bridge into the city.

These bicycle rental places were scattered around the city - you paid into the kiosk and it unlocked one of the bikes - we saw several people pay, take the bike and go.  Some of the stations were totally empty of bikes.

A cool church near the Plaza des Spectacles - you won't see any pics of that because it was decidedly unspectacular!  There was nothing to see really, an art museum, a small plaza of steps where people sat about, a bland amphitheater (probably cooler if there was an event), so no pics there....  on to Notre Dame and old town.

Huge and ultra grandiose, the inside of the cathedral ($5 ea entry fee) was amazing but VERY dark.  I'm very surprised my shots turned out at all.  It took a little photoshop enhancement to pull out the details, but you get a decent idea of the elaborate detail inside.  Celine Dion was married here.

Notre Dame is the 3rd building.

As we walked along the river side pedestrian walk way, I found this gorgeous reflection.  I'd been looking all week, but every time we found water, it was too windy so no reflections.  We were starved and Dan had promised a steak dinner, so we headed off in search of food.  Found a charming little restaurant in old town. The weather was nice enough to eat outside but the tables around us had smokers so we asked to move inside.  We had the inside to ourselves!  Right outside the window of the restaurant was an art stall - he had black and white photos of scenes in Montreal that he had hand colored.  Of course I had to go look.....

By the time we finished dinner it was time to take the subway back to the garden for the night lights.  The garden was PACKED!  It was like being at an amusement park and shuffling along from ride to ride.  Luckily I had packed our tripod so we were able to get a few decent shots.

The only snafu of our trip occurred as we were leaving Montreal.  It was about 9pm and we got on the freeway okay but missed a turnoff to the freeway that crosses the river.  One way their freeway system is different is that there aren't mirror entrances/exits - so there was no way to turn around an get back on the freeway.  We wandered around the neighborhood following little freeway arrows for 40 minutes.  Finally stopped at a McDonalds (the first open business we came across) for directions.  He told us go out of parking lot and turn left, follow signs.  We got out of parking lot and immediately saw a sign that pointed right.  We went right and within a mile or so finally got back on the right freeway.  Then it was a couple hours to home.  Definitely a long day!