Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Beaches of Vicksburg, Revisited

This is a follow up to a post I wrote about a month ago featuring the Mississippi River at Vicksburg (The Beaches of Vicksburg). If you would like to read that story before reading this one, you can click on the link.

After reaching an historic high last year of 57.1 feet on May 19, 2011, the Mississippi River at Vicksburg has been extremely low this summer, uncovering unusually large sandbars.

According to an article in today's edition of The Vicksburg Post:

"The level at Vicksburg was minus 0.83 feet this morning, down a tenth since yesterday. The record low is minus 7 feet in 1940.... A persistent drought and above-average sediment left behind by the river’s historic flood in 2011 has contributed to the current levels along the Lower Mississippi, predicted to linger until October. Forecasts for stages in Vicksburg project a drop to minus 2.3 feet by late September."

Although, in all likelihood, the river levels will not reach an historical low (minus 7 feet), the low water levels and sandbars are an amazing sight to behold.

I went down to the river a few days ago, and captured some pictures of the "beaches" along its banks, and of uncovered sandbars in the middle of the river (all these pictures were taken on the Vicksburg side, looking toward the banks of the Louisiana side of the river).

It's hard to believe that sandbars have cropped up in the middle of one of the widest spans of the river ...

If you click on this picture, you can make out a camper on the "beach."

I'd love to know where he was from and what brought him to the sandy beaches of the Mississippi River at Vicksburg.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Sense of Deja Vu

My thoughts and prayers go out to those in the path of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac, that, as I write this, is currently bearing down on the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts.

I can only imagine what is going through their minds as this storm makes its way toward landfall almost seven years ago to the day that the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina ripped into the Gulf Coast, leaving in its wake mass devastation and loss that has taken the majority of those seven years to rebuild and recover from.

May God watch over those in the path of this dangerous new storm, and weaken the storm's winds and rains by the time it reaches their homes and businesses and crops.

I pray He will also give the city, state, and national leaders the wisdom and compassion they will need in the coming days to help people safely return to their homes ... and to their lives. ~ Amen.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Places to Go Beyond Belief

In a 1994 speech promoting future space exploration, Neil Armstrong said, "There are places to go beyond belief."

Neil Armstrong August 5, 1930 - August 25, 2012

May Mr. Armstrong find eternal joy and peace exploring the most awesome of those places ... the place called Heaven.

A Sunday Blessing

Heavenly Father, please bless all my friends and loved ones in whatever it is You know they may be needing this day.

And may their life be full of Your peace, prosperity, and power as he or she seeks to have a closer relationship with You. ~~ Amen.

[Author of prayer unknown]

Monday, August 20, 2012

Away for a While

I'm going to be away for a few days helping our daughter and son-in-law move. I'll be back after we get them settled in their new home.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Journey Back in Time

I've always thought that sepia-toned pictures evoke a sense of "going back in time," and today I'm featuring a few pictures from my "Sepia Collection." The pictures were originally in color, and I converted them to sepia with a little help from my Photoshop Elements program.

The scenes were captured during my ramblings in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

Mississippi Delta

Leiper's Fork, Tennessee

Cotton Field near Vicksburg, Mississippi

St. Peters and Royal Streets, French Quarter, New Orleans

"Under the Hill," Natchez, Mississippi

Rodney, Mississippi

Crystal Springs, Mississippi

Canton, Mississippi

Learned, Mississippi

Mighty Mississippi River at Vicksburg

And last, but not least ... the hauntingly beautiful Windsor Ruins near Port Gibson, Mississippi ...

I hope you enjoyed this little journey "back in time," courtesy of just a little "photoshopping." I wish it was that easy to really go back in time, don't you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Hummer in Silhouette

I captured this little hummer early one summer morning a couple of years ago. He had stopped to rest amongst the branches of our Lady Banks Rose, and I love the way he and the branches were silhouetted against the early morning sky.

Notice his tongue sticking out in this one ...

Sometimes silhouettes, like shadows, can be more interesting than the actual images. I'm so glad I was able to capture this little hummingbird as he passed my way that morning.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Discovering Lagniappe

I've discovered that my passion for photography has literally opened up a new world for me. I've always loved and had an appreciation of Nature, but now I am even more aware of everything around me -- not just the scenery -- but sounds, and smells, and the way light and shadows give new dimensions to trees, grass, flowers, and buildings.

I "see pictures" everywhere I go ... like this old wooden cross leaning against an abandoned building. I'd love to know the story behind how it got there.

Or this clump of wildflowers growing out of a crumbling brick wall at a cemetery. I wonder how many people walk by and never see it, much less appreciate its simple beauty.

One of the most touching things that recently caught my eye was this sweet little angel watching over a cross on the side of a country road, marking the place where someone lost their life in an accident.

How many people drive by it every day and never really see it, or wonder about its significance?

And speaking of not seeing things, I never would have gotten these pictures if I had not stopped to take pictures of the flowers these little creatures were on:

They were beautiful, and I was so excited to get a little glimpse of their world through the lens of my camera.

I love venturing "off the beaten path" on my photo shoots, and one of the things I enjoy is the little metal "scripture signs" that people put in their yards beside the road. Not long ago, I began taking pictures of some of the signs, and now I find it hard to pass one by without capturing it with my camera. Here are a few of the scriptures I've collected during my wanderings.

Life is filled with lagniappe, and I encourage you to slow down and take the time to see it and appreciate it. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset, notice how the early morning sun highlights the treetops, turning them to gold, start your day by watching the birds at your feeders ... and if you happen to drive by a scripture sign in someone's yard, slow down and read the message. You never know ... it just might make a difference in your day.