Monday, February 4, 2013

Farewell to Winter

I am already looking forward to the arrival of Spring, but, unfortunately, we still have several more weeks of winter to endure before it makes an appearance here in Vicksburg. In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to go out and capture with my camera some of our winter landscapes and scenery, which have a beauty all their own ... and I didn't have to venture far from home to find it.

I drove over to the Vicksburg National Military Park, which is about ten minutes from our house, and I was able to capture most of these pictures from my car, with the exception of the closeup shots.

It was a mostly overcast day and the magnificent magnolias, gingkos, and oaks in the National Cemetery made magnificent silhouettes against the gray skies ...

The next two pictures are of the massive trunk of my favorite old gingko tree in the cemetery. Just look at the character in its strong rugged bark ...

I love that old tree!

I spotted this redbird resting in the branches of a cedar tree not far from the old gingko.

He was a long way off, but I managed to capture the picture from my car with my zoom lens. I love the contrast of his crimson feathers against the green cedar branches.

Just outside the cemetery is Fort Hill.

Fort Hill was the highest elevation in Vicksburg during the time of "The Siege."

As I followed the winding roads through the park, I noticed things that you don't see during the Spring or Summer. Like the tangled vines of honeysuckle and briars ...

And bright green carpets of moss growing along the sides of the road ...

A hole in the trunk of a tree caught my attention, and I used my zoom lens to get a closer look.

As you can see, the hole is out of focus, but I think it turned out to be a much more interesting picture, with the focus ending up (albeit, by mistake) on the sweetgum balls instead of the hole (you can click on the image to get a closer look, if you'd like).

All along the roads were winter grasses, with their pretty rust-colored plumes brightening the landscapes ...

And speaking of "brightening the landscapes," as I left the park, I did a double take as I passed by these colorful purple Irises planted in front of a weathered cedar shake wall ...

I'm still working on my macro skills, and found this lovely little bouquet of "springlike" jonquils a delightful subject to practice on ...

Although I was practically standing on my head to get these pictures, I deemed them to be "keepers."

As well as these delicate little snowbells ...

My lagniappe for the day was this picture of a tugboat on the Yazoo River Diversion Canal ...

It wasn't until I was editing the picture that I realized it was the tugboat that made national news last week when it pushed its load of barges into the railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, causing an oil spill and tying up river traffic for several days.

I"m not sure this turkey could be called lagniappe, but he didn't stay around long enough to pose for a picture.

Overall, I guess you could describe our Mississippi "winterscapes" as drab and blah, but I enjoyed capturing and preserving some of the beauty I found in and amongst the drabness, as I bid farewell to winter and look forward to welcoming Spring's arrival.

2 comments:

C. M. Designs said...

Oh, Janie, Jonquils and Iris blooming already.. That is a sure sign of spring.
The green grass and moss is beautiful. You were in the right place at the right time to get the picture of the turkey.. He's a big guy.
I know you are enjoying your new camera.. You've taken some awesome pictures.. I love that old gingko tree.. If it could only talk.
I didn't hear about the tug boat on our news.. What a shame that had to happen..
Enjoy your day.
Hugs, Charlotte

mississippi artist said...

Cemetaries are my favorite place to photograph. It is kinda drab outside, but I love the stark beauty in the bare trees. And I have noticed lots of things that I would have never known was behind the leaves on a stand of trees,