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A Note From The Road: Dam at Devil's Den - West Fork, Arkansas

Dear Henry,

We went to Devil's Den State Park for a hike - there are many hiking trails there, plus canoeing and camping facilities.

One of the cool features there is the dam, which was built back in the 1930's as a Civilian Conservation Corps project.  It isn't a cement dam but made of stacked stones and when the lake is full, water spills over the top, making a "waterfall".

It was a great place to spend the afternoon.

xoxo a.d.




A Note From the Road: Holes - Hagarville, Arkansas

Dear Henry,
While hiking near Pam's Grotto all of the limestone cliffs had these holes in it.
At first, we thought the holes were caused by water drops or something like that.
Nope, they are caused by mollusks, who created holes to burrow in.  
This area used to be (many eons ago) under water. 
It was an interesting walk through geology.
xoxo a.d.



A Note From the Road: The Boulders of Pam's Grotto - Hagarville, Arkansas

Dear Henry,
Here is a "behind the scene" look at Pam's Grotto.
The boulders were huge and quite daunting and, because we could see that the "waterfall" wasn't going to be all of that impressive, we almost turned around here.
I am glad we didn't, the grotto itself was really neat to see and had an interesting geology.  
Just don't hike there for the waterfall.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Autumn Leaves on Haw Creek - Hagarville, Arkansas

Dear Henry,

We are having a cold snap here and it finally feels a little like Fall (and by cold snap I mean 55 degrees).

It is weird to me after growing up in the Northern Rockies, watching the leaves fall off the trees while swatting mosquitos.  A good weird, I like the milder climate.

When I took this picture, there were people swimming in the river, cooling off, as it was 85 degrees.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Pam's Grotto - Hagarville, Arkansas

Dear Henry,

This is Pam's Grotto.  According to the internet (because the internet is always right) there was supposed to be a killer waterfall here.
Sigh.
The cave itself is really pretty but incredibly hard to get to.  It was one of the more challenging hikes I have been on in quite awhile.  Very steep, lots of bouldering, and a difficult path to follow.
We had a great time.
xoxo a.d.

A Note from the Road: Haw Creek in Autumn - Hagarville Arkansas

Dear Henry,

It is that time of year again.  
I had forgotten that the hunting season had started and as this creek is next to a campground, we had a hard time finding a place to park.
It is always unnerving hiking during the hunting season, but fortunately, most hunters are pretty good at not shooting at random things.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Haw Creek Falls - Hagarville, Arkansas

Dear Henry,  

Water is deceptive.  This pool on Haw Creek looked very shallow and appeared to be only a few inches deep.
The reality was so much different, it was quite deep. 
But then most appearances are deceiving.
xoxo a.d.


A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Ozark Morning - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry,
It is early, but, I do like the peace and quiet of the early morning.
Most of the people in my house aren't inclined to wake with the sun and so it offers me a rare minute of solitude.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Missouri - Shoal Creek, Joplin Missouri

Dear Henry,
Rock stacking has become such a trend and you can't seem to go anywhere without finding one.  
Apparently, there is some controversy about them.  Traditionally, they were used for cairns and as trail markers, but now, they are just an outlet for creativity.
Technically, they violate the "leave no trace" rule, but, I am inclined to accept them, at least, in areas that this one was found.
This was "inner city" nature spot and placing one here is really no big deal and they are often quite pretty.   But, within in the trail systems, particularly backpacking trails, I disagree with their placement. In those scenarios, they should be only be used in the traditional sense, although now, a backpacker can no longer rely on them.
What do you think?
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: From the Garden - Garden Toad - Bella Vista Arkansas

Dear Henry,

There are a few leaves falling and I really needed to do some flower bed maintenance.   During the clearing, I ran across this guy.  Or rather, he hopped and scared me to death.

I have a lot of toads who live in my garden and I think they are great - they eat so many bugs.  I just wish they could announce themselves better.  They startle me every time.

xoxo a.d.

A Note from The Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Ozark Autumn - Kingston Arkansas

Dear Henry, 

I am jealous.  My cousin has a beautiful garden that is still producing vegetables. Lots of vegetables.
She also has put up tomato sauce, salsa and my personal favorite, pepper jelly.  
I wish I had that green thumb or at least A green thumb.  and I am afraid of canning, convinced I will give everyone botulism.
She said she would send me some jelly. 
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Autumn Leaves on the White River 2018 - Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Dear Henry,

While growing up I lived much further to the North than I do now.  By the first of October, Fall was already in full swing, and, by now, most of the trees in the higher elevations were bare.
Here, Autumn is just barely getting started.  But I love the slower, lazier and warmer Fall.  It is more gradual and there is much more time to enjoy it.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: From the Garden - Dark and Stormy Night - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry,

One of the things I wish I were better at are the skyscapes,  I can count on one hand shots that have actually worked out.  This is one of about 100 shots that I took of the supermoon several years ago and really, it is the only one that turned out.  
Despite taking classes, night shots are still challenging for me.
What challenges you?
xoxo a.d.



A Note From the Road: Road Trip Utah - Leftovers, Promontory Utah

Dear Henry - 

This weekend has been full of soul searching, and I have decided it is time to return to the basics.
I have been feeling so overwhelmed by everything "else" that I haven't been focusing on what is important to me.
It is a new week so it is time to pull in reset.  My family, my animals, my art, and my books are priorities.  The dishes may just have to pile up in the sink.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Oregon - Bridal Veil Falls - Bridal Veil Oregon

Dear Henry,

The drive down the Historic Columbia River Highway was one of my favorite Fall drives.  There are waterfalls all along the road, and, with the Fall colors, everything looks amazing.
This is a road trip I want to repeat soon.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Colorado - The Way - Lakewood Colorado

Dear Henry,

Have you ever wondered about the path you are on?  Is it the right path?  Is there a "right" path?  I wonder sometimes if we should worry about the path we are on.  Maybe, the secret isn't picking the "right" path, but rather, to stay on a path and actually follow it.  Don't just stand there.
What do you think?
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: From the Garden - Fall Daisy - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry,
I found this daisy in a Fall Boquet from the grocery store.  It is an amazing looking flower, but I don't think that it is a color found in nature.
But then, most of the plants we use aren't the same as they were originally and I am not referring to the genetic modifications that are done in the lab.  
Through selective breeding and hybridization, we have been altering the plants we use.  I think corn is the best example of this.  No one is entirely sure what the "original" corn was, we just know the various forms it has evolved into.
That being said, I prefer the natural method of altering plants and would rather we stayed within those boundaries,  the laboratory plants kind of scare me.
xoxo a.d.



A Note From the Road: From the Garden - Fire Lily, Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry,
What are your goals? Do you work on them every day?  I am an excellent goal setter,  I am not always good about following through with the daily grind though.  Goals can seem so far away and often it seems like, after working day after day, you are no closer to obtaining the goal and it becomes easy to quit.
Alas, that is when you want to work harder, (at least according to the highly successful people).  It isn't the challenge that is overwhelming, it is the tediousness and the grind that de-rails goal achievement.  It is, even though it sucks, working on it every single day.
I have started using a planner and have begun blocking out slots that I do nothing else but work on my goals.  I have also begun to rely on alarms to "remind" me that it is time to work, not play.
So far, it is working, inch by inch.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: From the Garden - Fine Print, Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry, I have always associated 'mum's with funerals, so they aren't my favorite flower.
They were also the last flowers I got from Fish.
Years ago, Fish sent me a bouquet, that closely resembled a funeral arrangement.  Attached to this was a card on which Fish had written: "To symbolize our relationship".
I spent the entire day trying to figure out the meaning behind the whole ordeal.
As it turns out, he ordered roses but, at the bottom of the order, was the caveat: "Substitutions May Be Made".
The fine print will get you every time.
I still don't know what the florist was thinking when he/she made that particular substitution.
Fish won't buy flowers anymore, not after that.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: From the Garden - Leaves Turning - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry,

I wandered outside this morning and noticed the leaves were just starting to turn.

It is a chilly rainy day too.

And, officially, it is Fall.

Happy Equinox!

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Colorado - Aspen and Pine, Berthoud Pass, Colorado

Fall is tomorrow  Henry!

Time to bring out the pumpkin pie and cornbread.  Oooh and chili! 
 Fall for me is also apple season.  My grandmother made an apple pie to die for, and in the Autumn she used the apples from her tree.  It wasn't a sweet apple pie, but it wasn't one of the granny smith ones either. 
 I miss that pie.  It was something that made fall "fall" (well that and her popcorn balls).
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Colorado - Henry - Idaho Springs, CO

Dear Friends,

One of the most common questions I get is "Who is Henry?"  This, my friends is he.  Henry is a favorite tree and my muse.  He lives near Idaho Springs, Colorado.   I need to take a road trip to see him again soon.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: From the Garden - White Rose - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry,

I believe this is my first photo of a white rose in macro. I have come to realize that white really accentuates the appearance of dust, particularly when magnified.  The processing was worth it though, I love how the shot turned out.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Cascades at Pinion Hollow - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry:
I do love the rock in the Ozarks.  The stratification is so thin in some places that it looks fragile.  The rocks also allow moss to grow incredibly well, so they are quite slippery.  Luckily, the water is pretty warm.
Speaking of the water, the color of the water in the Ozarks is another thing I love, it has an almost purplish tinge when captured with long exposure.  

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Pinion Hollow, Bella Vista, Arkansas

We went on a short hike this weekend Henry:
Staying close to home, we just ran over to Lake Ann and Pinion Hollow.   Below the dam, where the water runs out of the spillway, there is a waterfall/set of cascades.
The rocks are wonderfully mossy and have begun to catch the first of the fall leaves.  The landscape is quite "hobbity".
I stayed there quite a while and played in the water.  I think I got some great pictures.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: From the Garden - The Black Dahlia - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry, 
I think the season for my dahlias is about to end. I can't decide if I am sad because they are lovely flowers or relieved, because they, like gladiolus, require support and staking and like to lay sprawling across the garden.   I am definitely going to be more proactive next year with a support system because I love the look of my dramatic flowers.
Speaking of black dahlias - have you read the book The Black Dahlia?  If you are like Noir I highly recommend it.



A Note From the Road: Philosophical Meanderings - Rainy Day Blues - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Another rainy day, Henry, Although it should be clearing up soon. I figured I would take this time to focus on some much-needed home repairs.
I soon realized that would be a nope.  The first problem I ran into was an empty tool bag.  I found a few of them in various places around the house, but, I couldn't find everything I needed.
The next problem I discovered is that the breaker box, which appeared to be so neatly labeled, really isn't. It also isn't easy to get to.  Trying to figure out which breaker controls the master bathroom has now become a two-person job. 

Sigh, maybe I will do the windows?
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Philosophical Meanderings - Hurricanes and Storms - Bella Vista Arkansas

Here I am, waiting on a hurricane  Henry -

Although I suppose Gordon is just a storm now.  I am looking forward to it, I love the storms. 

I say this from someone who hasn't lived through a hurricane, although I wonder, for those who have a good generator, a few weeks of food and water, and zero risk of flooding, enjoy the awesomeness of the storm?  I suspect a little bit.

Gordon is about an hour late though.  I have noticed storms lack any respect for standard timekeeping. I suspect this is because weather science, like so many other sciences, are more educated guesses than fact.

I believe, this time, that I am in a position to just "enjoy the storm" rather than "suffer through the storm", and I am grateful to be able to say so. 

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Philosophical Meanderings - South Boulder Creek Through the Trees - Eldorado Springs, Colorado

Dear Henry,

Someone scoffed yesterday, saying they couldn't possibly live without the mountains and by mountains, she meant the Rockies, because the Rockies are well the Rockies.

I disagree though with the statement.  I love the Ozarks, despite spending my entire life under the shadow of the Rockies.

The Ozarks are cozier, I think.  To be sure there aren't the sweeping vistas that the Rockies provide, but, because the Ozarks weren't caused by uplift, but rather erosion, they are full of wonderful hollows and give one the impression of living in a canyon, all nestled snug in the forest. The vistas of the Rockies are thrilling, but, I loved the canyons more.

I do miss the cold water though.  Here, during the heat of summer, water is very warm and contains none of the crispness of the high mountain streams.  It has been a small sacrifice though and the lack of crowds more than compensates. Plus, the Ozarks have fireflies.

xoxo a.d.






A Note From The Road: Philosophical Meanderings - Stillness On Spring River.

Dear Henry,

This summer has been one of stillness for me.

Which has been great, I was able to recharge the creativity battery and find some inner peace but it has been odd, and now it is time to end the stillness.

Generally, we seem to flitter around on road trips all summer, but not this year, it was just one this year.

I started thinking about how much time we have been focusing on other things, including Fish's day job and noticed how much we have let our "outside time" slide.

One of Fish's favorite songs is Scare Away the Dark by Passenger.  I think there is some wisdom in that,  Fish and I definitely need to get out into nature more.  Road trip more. It enriches our outlook, our sense of self and our marriage.  There is always time if you make it.

xoxo a.d.




A Note From the Road: Road Trip Oklahoma - The Search for the Spooklight - E 50 Rd - Quapaw, Oklahoma.

This Labor Day weekend we stayed close to home Henry, 
I didn't want to fight the crowds and the traffic associated with summer's last hoohaa.  Instead, we went to look for the Ozark Spooklight.  The instructions led us to a small, narrow, road in Oklahoma, rife with no trespassing signs and no real shoulder to speak of.
It was kind of a bummer, we didn't feel comfortable parking, so I don't know if this is a real thing or not.   I was hoping for something kind of haunted, a little spooky,  something to bring in the fall season and begin the preparation for Halloween.  I got pictures of backlit trees instead.
Maybe the next haunted place will pan out.
xoxo a.d.



A Note From The Road: From the Garden - Summer Storm - Hwy 549 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Thunderstorms are moving in Henry!
I love the snarly, windy, dramatic, air cleaning process that thunderstorms bring.
I also love sitting on the porch during the wild weather and I am grateful for my covered porch.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: In the Garden - August Thistle 2018 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

There are so many thistles about Henry:
I know they are weeds but I love them and think they are pretty.
Although hiking through a patch of them is no fun at all.
This is another one that I liked so much, I made it an art print.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - The Beyond - Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Arkansas

I am so fortunate to live near this museum Henry,
Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas has a great collection.  They also put together some very cool special exhibits.
This summer they put together an exhibit called "Beyond O'Keeffe" which contained much of her work, as well as some from artists with a similar "feel".
I love O'Keeffe's work, but, The Beyond - one of her last pieces  - she had to paint this using her peripheral vision as her eyesight was failing - I think will always be my favorite.  
What lies beyond the horizon?
Fish was such a good sport to go with me.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: In the Garden - Raindrops on Rose Leaves - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Oh, my dear Henry - 
There seems to be so much going on in the world and none of it seems very positive.
I want to hear some happy thoughts.
I'll go first - I took this amazing picture today of the rain on my roses, AND, I had really yummy hashbrowns, with cheese, because it is Friday and we can't be carb free all of the time.

You go next, what positive thing happened to you today?
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: In the Garden - Dahlia in the Rain - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry,
It has been raining buckets here today, but for a brief moment it stopped and I was able to run outside to take pictures of the raindrops.
I love how the dahlia turned out, I think I am going to make an art print out of it.
xoxo a.d.


A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Have a Seat - Hwy 62 - Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The road to Eureka Springs is so pretty Henry:

This section has "shelves" that you can climb up to and which offer a great view of the surrounding area, the wildlife, and the road below.
It is such a great way to relax and escape from the touristy part of Eureka Springs.
Someone even brought up a chair.

xoxo a.d.


A Note From The Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Fair Days - Bentonville, Arkansas

I love going to the fair Henry!
Right now, there have been fairs and festivals all around us and they are still ongoing. 
I love the crafts, cotton candy and the carni rides (although I don't ever ride them).
It is so much fun to look at the animals too, especially the goats, sheep, and bunnies.  The kids that raise these animals work so hard, and you can tell.
The Benton county fair also had some amazing quilts.
This weekend, it is the Washington county fair.  I am looking forward to it.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Studio Time Arkansas - Green Poms - Bella Vista, Arkansas

I found the coolest flowers ever Henry,
These were used as a filler for a bouquet I bought, but really, these are some pretty awesome looking flowers on their own.
They look like Dr. Seuss flowers, and, apparently come in more colors than green.
I need to find seeds for these.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Studio Time Arkansas - Pink Rose Detail - Bella Vista, Arkansas.

I found the most awesome roses Henry,
While shopping at the grocery store, I glanced at the selection of cut flowers.  There was a bouquet that had these incredibly chubby, in full bloom pink roses.
They were gorgeous, so I bought the bouquet, and then proceeded to photograph the roses.
I really love the way this macro turned out.  I feel like I nailed the shot.
I am making an art print out of this one as well.


xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - August Ozark Dawn - Hwy 549 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

I have been waking up before the sun lately Henry,
and, despite the grumbling, the pre-dawn hours are beautiful.

I love the sky and I love the way it is colored, with the reds and purples.
It is hard to be in a bad mood waking up to something so beautiful.
I even made an art print out of this shot.
xoxo a.d.


A Note From The Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Lake Francis - Hwy 59 - Township 13, Arkansas

My dear Henry,
While traveling down Hwy 59 we came upon this decrepit gateway, leading to "Lake Francis". The gates, standing open, had long since rusted and were sagging.
It looked like the entrance you may expect to Camp Crystal Lake (of Friday the 13th fame).
There are of course stern "No Trespassing" "24-hour video surveillance" signs everywhere as well.
Back to civilization, we googled it, finding out that from about 1930 to 1970 it was "THE" recreational lake in the area.  Then, of course, it got dirty, really dirty.
and then the dam leaked.
and finally, in 1990, the dam was destroyed.
So, not haunted, just gone.
xoxo a.d.


A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Fish Everywhere - Hwy 59 - Cedarville, Arkansas

The streams and rivers in Arkansas are so much different than mountain streams Henry:
They move so slowly, and unless it rains, the water doesn't usually carry sediment.
The waterways here are generally crystal clear, and you get to watch the underwater activity from above.
Despite the appearance, this water is actually almost a foot deep  - it is a very easy thing to do around here, step into water that seems the depth of a puddle, and find yourself in water up to your knees.
Of course, it has been so hot, that being submerged in water isn't a bad thing.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Natural Dam - Hwy 59 - Cedarville, Arkansas

Hey Henry,
It has been hot again, and we were looking for someplace to go to cool off.
This is Natural Dam, which, depending on the water levels can also be considered a waterfall. A 200-foot shelf spans the entire width of Mountain Fork Creek and creates a wonderful little swimming pool.
We weren't the only people taking advantage of this nature made pool, it was pretty popular, with several barbeques going on in the background.  
Everyone was really nice about letting me get a quick shot in, although, if I had wanted models, there were these two very cute kids who really, really wanted their picture taken. (I had to decline, I strongly feel that you shouldn't take pictures of other peoples kids to put on the internet.)
Anyway, have a great day!
xoxo a.d.


A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Hollyhock Buds - Hwy 549 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Hollyhocks have been such a pleasure Henry, 

They have been almost care-free and in continual bloom, even though it has been so hot this summer.
Even now, they are putting out new flowers, when most of the other flowers have wilted away.
I love the color too, I managed to find a deep purple, almost black flowered hollyhock plant and it has been an attention grabber. (someone knocked on my door the other day to remark upon it)
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - Dahlia in Demitasse - Hwy 549 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

Dear Henry,
I broke off a dahlia today and I broke the stem well.  There was just the tiniest bit of stem left and I was struggling to find something to put the flower in until I noticed my Wedgewood demitasse cup.  It fit perfectly, and, because it looked so cute, I ended up taking some still lifes.
I really like how it turned out.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Louisiana - Oil on the Bayou - Bayou Villars, Louisiana

I wonder how you handle it, Henry,
I just finished reading Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild and my heart hurts for the environment.  While you don't have it near as bad with the mining operations in Colorado as the trees in Louisiana do, the environmental damages being caused by oil, gas, mining, and petrochemicals need to be addressed.  Somehow.  I am all for business and I love capitalism, but corporate responsibility needs to be enforced.  We cannot let corporate interests destroy places such as these.
Stay safe and avoid residual chemicals, Henry!
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - June Bug on Roses - Hwy 549 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

June Bugs amuse me, Henry:
They really do.
 They try so hard to appear to be sparkly and impressive looking but are so lacking in grace that their appearance means nothing.
They fly looking and sounding like a drunken bumble bee and they crash into everything.
I wonder if they are perpetually confused.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - A Quick Summer Storm - Hwy 549 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

There was a wonderfully snarly storm here Henry,
Thunder, lightning, wind, with the trees, swaying, and the occasional branch falling, and, a notice to go inside and stay away from the windows.
I sat on the porch for a lot of it (until there were real airborne flying objects). It was beautiful.
I think Mother Nature needs to throw temper tantrums occasionally.  
After it was over, I ran outside to capture the raindrops.
This one almost contains a self-portrait.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Road Trip Arkansas - I Hate it When I Almost - Hwy 549 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

I was so excited when I composed this Henry,
I was so excited when I saw it on the back of my camera.
and then I realized, upon edit, that the point of focus is weird.
Sucky, but one of the biggest pitfalls of photography right? By focusing on the wrong things, even slightly, will change the entire look of a shot.
ooohhh!  #Tao
xoxo a.d.