Monthly Archives: August 2009

Madison-Milton Bridge over Troubled Waters

Is that catchy or what ?  Seems kinda of appropriate now with the decision to go ahead with bridge committees decision on the Madison Milton Bridges future.  Seems we are going to get a new bridge but not new columns to support it, don’t get it well neither do I.

The plan now is to take down the old bridge and build a new one on the existing pillars, they say it will be safe and and a lot less expensive, who knows maybe they are right and it will all work out in the end, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Everyone knows without a doubt that we need a new bridge in the worst way, and with the way the Government is throwing around money these days now is the time to get this project done.  They will be shutting down this bridge for two years while a new one is constructed over the existing pillars  I just don’t see how having no bridge for two years is going to help  our community, especially with the way the economy is now,  it won’t take much to send us deeper into an already bad situation. They say that we are going to have ferries to shuttle people back and forth across the Ohio River, but that unto itself could end up being a nightmare with over 10,000 vehicles traveling back and forth across this structure daily. Will people have to pay daily, how many ferries will be in use and what about weather conditions and flooding. And the big problem will be an approach for vehicles.

And another question would be about the pillars themselves, can an 80 year old structure take the type of traffic this bridge will get everyday and continue to be able to perform in an safe and efficient manner ?  I just don’t see how a structure that has been thru that much weathering and other environmental conditions could be as sturdy as they recommend, I could be wrong I am not an engineer, but still it just doesn’t seem right.

I just hope the committee has made a wise decision and this doesn’t adversely effect our community, I know when the construction is done and everything is back to normal it will be a boon for Madison and Milton, lets just hope we get it done right !!

Madison Milton Bridge 1 2009

And here is a song I thought might be appropriate for this..

“Blurry”

A few weeks back I spent some time at a fish and wildlife area near my home here in Madison, when I came across this really cool mimosa tree.  I know a lot of people and most biologists consider this an invasive plant, and they can make quite a mess in your back yard, but this one was out in a field and was blooming profusely. The aroma of this tree seemed to float for miles and the blooms were quite extraordinary. It set back in a wood line and was hard to photograph as a whole so I spent my time with the macro lens and tripod and picked it apart !

The blooms were really amazing up close with all their intricate and beautifully colored stamens. They made quite a subject to work with and they came with a surprise or two as well. I shot some of the blooms as a whole subject but decided to move in close and work with the individual stamens. The long slender parts of the bloom made for a wonderful collection of abstract shots. Many of the images came out a bit “Blurry”. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked them or not but after getting home and processing them I came away feeling pretty happy with the results !

The first image came with a little visitor to the bloom in the form of a caterpillar which I thought added a really cool touch to the shot. The second image came out nice as well resembling some type of Alien life form or microscopic creature. All in all I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with all the images from that single tree. I shot over a hundred images from that one tree and got quite a few keepers. I was fortunate to have another productive shoot which makes up for all those bad days afield.

I thought the song by Puddle of Mudd was kinda appropriate for the images as well !!

caterpiller abstract 1 2009

formosa blooms 2 2009

“Gimme Shelter”

Strange title for a post about summer wildflowers don’t you think ?  Let me clear it up for you as best as I can, yesterday I spent the afternoon searching for wildflowers along a few of our old country roads here in Madison Indiana, the wind was giving me fits and the sun was beating down on me like I was in Death Valley. The search was starting to really take it out of me physically and emotionally, I would find a great batch of flowers and they would be consumed by the blinding sunlight or I would find something in the shade and the wind would blow like a small tornado.

I was tiring quickly of the constant driving ,stopping and pulling out equipment getting back in and then starting all over again !!  After a good two hours of driving time I drove into a deep tree lined ravine in Eastern Jefferson County and came across a good stand of flowers right on the road and so close to each other that I actually pulled right into them with my truck.

They were perfectly shaded and the wind stopped blowing for the first time that afternoon, as I pulled out all of my equipment and other photo essentials. I left the stereo on and the back door to my vehicle open, as I set up and started shooting. Everything worked perfectly for me and I churned out a variety of pictures of three different flowers, getting some nice images.

And maybe now you may have guessed as I started to fire away with my remote release, in the background cranking out of my stereo was a little tune by The Stones “Gimme Shelter” maybe it was a gift from Mick and the Boys but whatever it was it worked and for once things were really clicking as I shot away at all the beautiful flowers. So in honor of the afternoon I am sharing the video from The Stones with you and a couple of the many shots I got!!

BTW..The two images I am sharing are a Wild Chicory and Crown Beard.

Wild Chicory 4 2009

Crown Beard 1 2009

“Wild Chicory”

Each year at this time as you wind yourself through the back roads and woods of Southern Indiana, a beautiful wildflower has been treating us to a wonderful display of color and form. Growing mainly right along roadsides and ditches, this flower with its beautiful color is one of my favorites and one of the last flowers of the year that will grace us with its presence.

The Wild Chicory is a woody stemmed deep rooted plant with the most amazing Blue color that you will find outdoors in a natural setting, it is covered with many blooms but each one only lasts a day before a new one takes its place.  Another interesting  thing about this flower is that it likes sunny places but by mid afternoon, at least from my observations, the blooms seem to close up,which is usually when I like to shoot.  And being close to roads there always seemed to be a wind problem with this particular wildflower, but I got lucky with these as they were tucked back into a clearing.

Chicory is also widely used as a coffee substitute. When World War II disrupted shipping most U.S. coffee was produced from chicory. It also is used in herbal remedies as a blood cleansing agent that is supposed to be good for your liver.

Regardless of its use, this amazing wildflower does one thing for sure; it brings a beautiful blue color to a dull late summer road and a great subject to photograph, thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

Wild Chicory  2 2009

Chicory 1 2009

“Crooked Creek Madison Indiana”

I spent this past weekend hiking  a little known jewel that lies within the city of Madison Indiana.  Crooked Creek is a small tributary of the Ohio River that gets it start near the intersection of highway 421 and 62 in Jefferson County Indiana, from it’s junction with the Ohio River and thru most of it’s trip thru Madison it is a slow mostly dry and trash strewn creek, but in it’s upper reaches and after a heavy summer rain this place can become just as magical as any other mountain stream.

When summer storms fill this hollow with rain the many cascades and  small waterfalls come alive and give the viewer a natural treat to wade thru and  enjoy on a hot summer afternoon. At the end of the pleasant hike up the canyon a 50 ft cascading waterfall awaits the hiker, but this year after the heavy rains and windstorms the path is all but impassible with large trees and other debris blocking the view and path, but nature will cure this problem and in no time the hollow will be cleared again to view this beautiful scene.

Madison Indiana sits in a perfect position geographically because of all the beautiful waterfalls that dot our county, at least 15 falls that are 40 ft or bigger line the canyons and gorges that make up our county, from Eastern Jefferson county all the way down to Saluda Bottoms we are blessed with unique formations that give us a natural experience like no other in Indiana.

I am also sure they are many more I know nothing about and if you happen to be reading this and know of one shoot me an e-mail or phone call, I would really love to check it out !!

Crooked Creek 1 2009

Crooked Creek 3 2009

Crooked Creek 4 2009

And here is a song to go with it..