danniewriter

Foto Phriday: Gone to the dogs

Being self-employed actually means working for more people than I can count on most weeks. I like the fact that, usually, no two weeks are alike, but I’m also glad when some aspects change very little. Case in point, these three friends.

Maddie is in the foreground. She is a miniature Australia Shepherd/Poodle. Behind her is Macy, a blend of Pomeranian and Bichon-Frise. I usually walk these gals four days each week. They are fun, only infrequently infuriating, and sweet as can be.

The little guy in the hero shot above is Smoochie. His person took a tiny cable-knit sweater and crafted this coat/cape. Smoochie is Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher. Whenever he goes outside, he adopts the posture of a great explorer stepping into the savanna. (He needs a pith helmet.) Every bird, breeze, footstep, and door slam is fraught with possibility for this little guy. He’s really smart, and I’ve never met a dog who enjoys squeaky toys more.

And here’s my best boy, Chip. Yes, he makes four dogs in this post, not three, however, he is actually in a class all his own. Unlike Maddie, Macy, and Smoochie, Chip is stuck with me pretty much 24/7. He is a unique blend of Chihuahua and some kind of terrier. He loves people, and is very curious about the goings-on of the bipeds. He is always up for making a new friend. Unlike “reindeer” Chis, Chipper is very close to the ground. Yesterday, we were taking a stroll past a construction site when one of the workers saw him and said, “Hola, Shorty!” That was followed by comments about my dog’s excessive cuteness. I couldn’t agree more.

These are my closest canine companions. I’m a lucky gal.

If you live in the Metro Louisville area, and need a dog walker and/or pet-sitter, you can find me on Rover.

Foto Phriday (Authenticity)

I grew up just a stone’s throw, pun intended, to Kentucky’s cave country. U.S. 31-W must have been a magical route back in the day when the original Wigwam Village was new, Mammoth Cave was privately owned, and every community had  its own roadside attraction complete with jewelry made from “real cave rocks.”

Obviously, Mammoth Cave remains a huge draw to the region, and tourism is extremely important. And as much as I’d love to have a peek at the way things were, I cannot imagine how dangerous cave tourism likely was back then. But on those rare occasions when I travel the old roads, I try to visualize what it must have been like before I-65 was built.

I bet this fence post standing sentinel next to the sign would have some tales to tell.

 

Foto Phriday (Life Cycle of a Wave)

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It wasn’t all shades of gray that November day on Tybee Island. The clouds diffused the sunshine but enough broke through to create lovely gold and silver bursts on the waves, like sprinkles on cake frosting. I looked through the viewfinder for a long time, clicking at the waves as they grew, broke and and came to rest on the shore.

Foto Phriday (Sun Worshipers)

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This was a day or two after Christmas. Since then I can’t remember the last time I needed my sunglasses.

Winter is a gray business in the Ohio Valley. It has led me to cherish even more the memories of Christmas in Georgia last month. Of course winter, quite often, is a gray (or gray/brown) business in Georgia, too, but there was abundant sunshine at my sister and brother-in-law’s home in Toccoa. The photo above was taken from the front yard.

Since returning to Louisville I have pretty much altered my routine on the spot whenever the sun has managed to break through the gloom. My dog, Chip, is on notice that walk-time could be at any moment depending on the presence of shadows outside.

As I’ve longed for sunbeams, I decided to select the best sun worshipping photos from our Christmas vacation in North Georgia. I love, and long for, these and other shadows to come.

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Shadows on the front porch.
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I like how the sun gleams on the red metal chairs. My dog, Chip, is dozing in the background.

Fatigue, nagging concerns, a long to-do list, it all gets shoved to the back burner on days such as these.

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My brother-in-law, enjoying the rays with his dog, Cricket.

My sister and I grew up in the country but we have been suburban dwellers for decades. Our parents were both country kids. This place in Toccoa, built in 1922, is fairly new to my sister and brother-in-law, and there’s really no way to overstate how wonderful it is to hear cows instead of sirens and have stars as the primary form of outdoor lighting.

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The same sun that can be unbearable in a Georgia summer makes winter chores bearable. The addition of grandchildren can make them a pleasure.

To really get an idea of the restorative and languorous properties of our solar system’s greatest star, just observe its magical effect on the canine members of the family. I call it being “sun drunk.”

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Cricket and Allie, soaking it in.
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My own version of the Sunchip.

Foto Phriday (Parklands of Floyds Fork)

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The Parklands of Floyds Fork is an amazing collection of parks, trails, streams, and amenities covering 4,000 acres in Jefferson County. My dog, Chip, and I have enjoyed exploring two of the gems, Broad Run Park and Turkey Run Park. The photo above was taken from the overlook at Broad Run.

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Part of the trail around the Squire Boone Bottoms at Turkey Run Park.

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Possibly wild asters, I’m not so good with identifying flora. The Parklands are filled with wildflowers.

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Floyds Fork Creek is a tributary of the Salt River.

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Even the debris is photogenic at the Parklands.

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My best buddy taking a much-deserved rest after a hike at Turkey Run.

 

Foto Phriday (Bluegrass)

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There wasn’t much fall color on the trees during a recent Sunday-afternoon drive into the Bluegrass, but there was still plenty of orange to be found at Happy Jack’s Pumpkin Farm in Franklin County.

And a different sort of green …

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The first stop was Bridgeport, an unincorporated burg just over the county line. My dad attended, and played basketball, when this school accommodated all grades. Eventually it transitioned to an elementary school, and now is an apartment complex. I’m so glad to see it being used.

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From Happy Jack’s, we drove to Midway and captured these images before having dinner at the Grey Goose.

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Adventures of Chip de ‘Ville (A love story)

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Hi all, Chip here.

I’m a lucky dog. Since moving in with Prue*, I’ve met several of her friends and family. They are a good bunch, and recently one has risen to the top, Auntie Sheila.

She and Prue have known each other since something they call “fifth grade,” which evidently means forever. There have been pretty long gaps of them not staying in touch, but this year Auntie Sheila and her husband moved to Louisville, so the gals are back in each other’s orbit.

Prue loves to take photos but since I’ve come into her life, she’s found it difficult to use what she refers to as her “big girl camera” because I’m frequently at the end of one of her wrists. Recently, Auntie Sheila road shotgun on a Sunday afternoon trip east of Louisville into the Bluegrass Region. It cemented our relationship. Can’t you see the love?

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*Person Responsible for Ultimately Everything

Foto Phriday (Rending Required)

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PeeWee Park is smack dab in the middle of a lovely neighborhood that is fast becoming one of my favorites here in our neck of Louisville. It has been almost swampy this summer, which I assume explains why this small greenspace with picnic tables, a paddle ball court, and playground even exists. Were the drainage better, I’m confident there would be houses filling the space, and Chip and I would never have had reason to visit the neighborhood.

A visual interruption to the idyllic setting is the chain link fence separating the park from the back/side yards of a dozen or more homes. The barrier, of course, is necessary for several reasons, not the least of which are the number of dogs who live on the perimeter.

Although I don’t know for a certainty exactly what happened, it’s obvious that at some point in the life of the park, the fencerow was forgotten. Perhaps there was some miscommunication or disputation regarding who exactly was responsible for its maintenance; was it homeowners or the park service? Things happen (or in this case, don’t happen). Tasks fall through the cracks. To-do lists are lost and never re-prioritized. We are imperfect creatures running around on the big blue marble.

Here are some examples of the resulting neglect: gnarled and dismembered remnants of trees, and pseudo trees, eventually sacrificed to save the fence, and more than a few dollars in labor and material.

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Nearly every time we make our circuit around the tiny walking path before setting out onto the sidewalks of the neighborhood, I’m drawn to these “left behind.” They so firmly attached themselves to, and even in, the fence, that separation was impossible. There’s a weird violence to the whole thing, but, I think there’s also beauty.

The one at the top of this grouping reminds me of a decorative iron work on the front stoop of a fancy house. The one on the right, a pair of king crab claws, or maybe the critters from Tremors.

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And finally, my “favorite.” Here’s the Old Man. Like many of his kind in Kentucky, he had aspirations to one day become a walking stick. Unfortunately, he waited too long. It’s OK fella. Someone out there thinks you’re beautiful.

 

Foto Phriday (So long, summer)

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This post is as much a wish as a salute. Until the past month, the summer of 2016, in the most positive way, could be described as “lush.” In Ohio Valley terms, that translates into: humid, muggy, “close,” saturated, and “chewy-aired.” The air has become drier but temperatures have remained in the upper 80s and into the 90s which is uncharacteristic for this time of year. We are in dire need of rain and cooler temps. In short: we need fall.

But, like my photos from the Kentucky State Fair, I will need these images of summer when fall is over and I find myself in the dark, gray, cold days of winter. I took these photos in 2010 during a Labor Day getaway to northeastern Kentucky, a region of the commonwealth new to my travels. My home away from home was Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, a resort built on the site of a conflict considered by many historians as the final battle of the Revolutionary War. This park has several interesting aspects and I recommend that any/all of my gentle readers make a visit.

In the Blue Licks neighborhood is this lovingly restored covered bridge spanning Johnson Creek. According to John Hultgren Photography’s Bridges to the Past series, the structure was nearly lost to time and vandalism but visitors today would never know that. If these timbers could talk, they’d have quite a tale to tell.

built to last letting in the light

I ran across this updated list of Kentucky’s covered bridges. (Thank you, Dale Travis!) I’m overdue for a visit to another of these treasures. For now, here’s my “bookend to summer.” Bring on the rain and the fall!

Johnson Creek Bridge (rear)

 

Foto Phriday (A Fairly clear choice)

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Last month I joined a couple of high school friends for a trip to the Kentucky State Fair. I’m a fair geek from way back. And, as our primary purpose was conversation and companionship, my friends were fine with me maneuvering us through the hallowed halls of the West Wing of the Kentucky State Fair & Expo Center where my favorite fair destinations reside.

One of them, clearly, is the honey display.

I’m not sure why, except those jars of golden loveliness remind me of: the amazing construction and mission of honeybees; my Papaw, who kept bees; and biscuits.

For the uninitiated, the color of the honey is determined by the flora upon which the bees visit. Some clover honeys are so light they resemble corn syrup. By comparison, my family discovered, honey derived from cucumber blossoms is darker than maple syrup and burns like hot sauce.

In the dark, gloomy winter days to come, I hope I’ll remind myself to return to my state fair photos. I’m sure they will lift my spirits.

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