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Writing in Rock

Jim Byous

 

Petroglyph looking north

This basalt boulder hangs above Willow Creek and is marked with dozens of pertoglyphs near Susanville, California on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Petroglyphs of Susanville, California

The volcanic boulders are rough and scratch my hands as I climb the jumbled tangle of basalt talus to the top of the bluff.  Dave Marson, a life-long friend, steps up the slope mountain-goat style bounding ahead of me.  He is familiar with this destination where petroglyphs that marked the sight for thousands of years.  Hanging above Willow Creek, the Belfast Petroglyphs are in a protected area that is sacred to the descendants of the Maidu, Paiute, Pit River and Washoe Tribes who live on the Susanville Indian Rancheria.  They still use the site to fish, hunt, and to gather food and medicine.

Algae and Lichen

Brightly colored algae and lichen patches streak down the sides of the upper rock crags.

As we climb higher we see stone-pecked symbols; star maps, circles, snakes, and other undecipherable patterns pecked and scratched into the the boulders.  Did I say, “Snakes?”  This writing in rock was here long before Captain Charles Merrill, a former sea captain, came to develop the land in 1864.

Petroglyphs, star maps, moon and owl.

On this boulder star maps can be seen along with a crescent moon and an owl-shaped glyph.

His dreams of creating a thriving city was futile and premature.  The land still lies empty showing few remnants of the settlement’s roads and streets designed to hold 21,000 people.  The name Belfast was to commemorate Merrill’s home of Belfast, Maine.  Here he planted three thousand poplar trees to dot the flat, desert plane.

Grinding Rock

A grinding depression on top of a basalt slab.

On top of the bluff the talus rubble turns into a boulder-strewn flat where generations of original inhabitants camped.  Dave points out the grinding holes that dot the stones.  Some are many inches deep confirming their use over the years.  An anthropology major in college, he decided to forego the profession for a home and a life in the mountains.  His knowledge of the Native American tribes and sites in the area will rival most professors in the university system.

I stop to look around.  From here the view is excellent.   With the creek and canyon on two sides it is a perfect spot for watching the valley.   It would be hard for an enemy to sneak up and surprise the occupants.  Below along Willow Creek game trails follow the course of the waterway making the towering rocks a perfect hideout for hunting game.

It is springtime and beautiful.  Later in the year the area will turn brown like other California and Nevada desert planes.  But today color is abundant, green grass, purple Collinisa, blue Lupine and golden California Poppies.

The sun is dropping, white clouds dot the cyan sky.  The breeze is cool and refreshing.  But, it’s time to go.  This historic spot is a pleasant place.  A peaceful place.  We pick our way back down toward the car through the rocks.  I notice the snake glyphs as we pass.  Maybe we should be a little less peaceful and a little more vigilant… but still, pleasantly vigilant.  – JB

1 1 1 snake petro BYO_8369

A snake glyph stained red by algae.

1 1 1 Snake gliphs BYO_8406

Snake glyphs.

1 1 1 snake effigy petroglyph BYO_8392

Star maps above a snake glyph.

1 1 1 petroglyph 99 BYO_8366

And still another red snake glyph.

1 1 1 Marston copy bb

As we left, the sun began to set behind the Sierra Nevada to the east.

1 1 1 Colinsia BYO_8436

Collinsia and other wild flowers grow among the boulders.

1 1 1 coil petroglyph b BYO_8386

A weathered spiral glyph above Willow Creek.

1 1 1 four directions BYO_8373

The Four Directions symbol is universal among Native American symbolism.

How to get to Belfast, CA Petroglyphs

pet loc

Other places to visit in the Susanville area:

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Historical Museum

Eagle Lake Recreational Area

Susanville Ranch Park

Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Tuesday, then occasional photos/photo tips on Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

© J.D. Byous 2018, All rights reserved.

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Filed under History, nature, petroglyphs, photography, Science, travel, Travel Photography, Uncategorized

Relax and wait for the photo to cook – Tybee Island

It was a great morning, predawn with a chance to relax and wait for the photo to cook.  At least that’s what it feels like – baking an image.  Use the recipe .  Wait for the clock.  I had been planning this shot for weeks.  Tybee Island, Georgia’s North Beach is the perfect place; tranquil, cool, quiet, and a great jetty for creating wispy, foggy waves in long-exposure images.  Over the exposure the waves “stack” and create the illusion of fog, ice, or in some cases, glass.  The sea looks as if a fog machine has pumped its haze across the surface leaving stationary items like rocks, poles, sharp.  Everything is peaceful as I push the shutter button.  Small waves split as they reached the rocks. The occasional large swell crashes into the granite quay sending salt-water sheets into the air… but only a few inches or feet.  The calming scent of salt and sea water drifts by.

Pelican and Shrimp Boat at Sunrise

The Beckster’s Pelican and Shrimp Boat at Sunrise photo. I’m jealous, still.

The ocean is relatively calm on this edge of the Atlantic. Seabirds fly over.  Some land and peck the sand searching for a sea-washed breakfast morsel.  Others fly on toward Hilton Head Island across the sound.  A pelican roosts on a marker pole several-dozen yards out in the water.  At low tide the wooden perch stands high and dry.  At all times of the tide it welcomes winged visitors, usually pelicans and maybe this same bird.  It’s worth a photograph, but The Beckster beat me to the best one several years earlier.  She, Kate and Tare, our granddaughters, play in the sand a few yards away.  She gets shots when I’m not looking.  She did back then too.

While shooting a small wedding at sunrise I noticed she was missing.  She had spotted the photo unrelated to the bride and groom, ditched us and went for it.  I’ve been jealous ever since that time.  The sun had lifted from the edge of a cloud bank just above the water and was directly behind the bird.  In the distance a shrimp boat headed to deeper water, in just the right compositional place.  It’s a great shot and I give her the best compliment that any photographer can give another, “I wish I had taken that one.”  Leaving the wedding, however?  She can get away with it.  She’s The Beckster.

 

Jetty and Pelican Before Sunrise

The test shot of the jetty and pelican before sunrise. 60 second exposure at f11. I like it so I kept it.

This morning the old bird sits in the same spot, in the same position.  But that’s not why I’m here.  I’m here for long exposures and I haven’t made one in years… thirty-five years.  Back then I had a Toyo 4×5″ view camera that I carried to the bottom of a canyon to capture the North Fork of the Tuolumne River near Twain Harte, California.

Jim taking photos by Bec

A photo of me by The Beckster as I shoot the pre-dawn test images. She’s sneaky, but then, she’s The Beckster.

Long black and white exposures were not a problem in the shadow of the surrounding mountains.  The extended shutter opening captured the flowing stream as if it were ribbons of glass.  One second, two, three, four, I counted off the time.  Around four shots and I’m finished.  Sheet film isn’t cheap.  It wasn’t then either.  Afterward I developed and printed my favorite image and painstakingly oil tinted two.  One went to my Uncle Roy in Savannah.  It was a Christmas present.  The other I kept.  Over the years mine was destroyed while in storage.  Then later, sadly, my friend and uncle died.  The photo stayed with aunt Dot, his wife, until her death.  Now I have it back.  I cherish the copy and the memories that it represents.

Tuolumne River, 1982

This is the image I made in 1982. It took a bit more effort and I love it. But, boy, do I love digital!

Those cameras take more thought and preparation.  But today I still go down the checklist.  Tripod?  Check.  Filters?  Check.  Correct lenses?  Check.  Oh, yeah.  Camera?  Check.  Now, find the exposure and wait for the sun.  I have the filters that cut light, ND16 and ND8 stacked in front of the lens.  Boy, I love digital.  Good black and white images can’t be beaten.  But I do love the ease of computer aided photography.

Jetty And Pelican with Sun

The jetty and pelican as the sun breaks above the horizon, the color version.

I compose the image.  What’s the exposure?  It’s time.  The sun should be coming up, but I need a test.  I take one shot.  It’s overexposed so I stop the lens down to a smaller aperture to cut down the light.  Snap again.  One-minute exposure at f11.  Got it.

The first one is perfect.  All of the images made are perfect.  Did I say I love digital?

Not bad for thirty-five years in  long-exposure hibernation.

Now the dilemma.  Which one… and…  color or black and white?

Leave a note below or email me and tell me your think.

– Jim

Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Tuesday, then occasional photos/photo tips on Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

© J.D. Byous 2018, All rights reserved.

 

 

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Finding beauty in the broken

Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Monday, then photos/photo tips each Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (below right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

By Jim Byous (a repost)

Finding beauty in the broken can be a blessing of the mind and spirit.  In these images the refractive qualities of glass and light interact to evoke one’s vision of whimsy or conversely reveal one’s demons. It’s a Rorschach test in glass and light.

Watchers of the Fire, photomicrograph of Hertzian cone in plate glass.  Height of area about 1mm.

Watchers of the Fire, photomicrograph of Hertzian cone in plate glass. Height of area about 1mm.

I was surprised at some of my own interpretations… more demons than expected buffered by substantial whimsy.

Some included here are studio portraits of the small one-half-inch-in-diameter glass cones.  They emphasize the shapes and beauty-of-form in an attempt to transcend sterile science photos that grace the endless pages of academic journals.  Many photos may have hidden features.  Some do not.  The viewer creates his or her own vision, so look closely.

Other images reveal surreal extensions of the viewer’s mind where shapes are interpreted and features created from personal experiences, beliefs, fears and wishes.

The image, “Watchers of the Fire” is interpreted by some as adventurers around a camp fire.  Others see the same shapes as demons watching the fires of Hell.  You may find another personal interpretation.

I discovered these images while revisiting a photographic record created and compiled during nine years of laboratory studies on the physicalities of Hertzian fractures.  By cropping closer, hidden and surreal images were highlighted in many of the photos.

View more of this portfolio of glass

The Eagle Has Landed, photomicrograph of Hertzian cone in plate glass.  Width of area about 1.5 mm

The Eagle Has Landed, photomicrograph of Hertzian cone in plate glass. Width of area about 1.5 mm

 

The Ascension, photomicrograph of Hertzian Cone.  Width of  area about 1 mm.

The Ascension, photomicrograph of Hertzian Cone. Width of area about 1 mm.

For more images go to http://www.jbyousphoto.com/ScienceArtSurreal.html

Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Monday, then photos/photo tips each Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (below right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

© All content copyright J Byous Company 2018 all rights reserved

 

 

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Flowers are to enjoy.  So do it!

Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Monday, then photos/photo tips each Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (below right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

Wild blackberry

Wild blackberry

by Jim Byous

Wildflowers as well as garden flowers have always been an interest to me, looking for them and at them and studying them, intellectually.  In my younger years I spent endless hours checking floral features off as i poured over a book on plant taxonomy.  Wind poppies that grow around Mount Diablo near San Francisco are among my favorite that I have photographed…  Icelandic poppies from a home garden too.   They create a mood that you don’t have to analyze or evaluate.

You can go on about the environmental benefits or agricultural problems or taxonomic history or medicinal value… The thing about flowers is that you don’t have to say much.  Flowers are to enjoy; to simply look at.  Sometimes we need to slow down and enjoy life… just stop and smell the rhododendron.  So, do it!

Jacobina

This is called Jacobina or Brazilian Plum, justica carnia. Thanks to Sharon Harrison for the help finding the name.

My son in law, Greg McCormick, loves to garden.  Some of these images are from his yard as well as a field nearby.  The others are from the garden of our cousin, Larry Harley.  When we retired we packed everything in to storage and moved into a small garden apartment on his property.  Fortunately he too loves to garden, a talent and ability which neither The Beckster nor I have been able to cultivated.

Here are a few images to enjoy.

Greg’s Garden

Larry’s Garden

If you like travel, history… and images like these, we will feature flowers from our travel locations as we go.  Hope you enjoy them. – Jim and Becky.

Begonia

Begonia

Here is what we use capture images for our site.

Camera: Panasonic Gh4 and G7.  Nikon D7000.

Lens: Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4.0 ASPH as well as 14-140mm I.O.S. kit lens, both hand-held. Nikon 18-105mm DX VR lens.

Light: Open shade or cloud diffused natural light

Processing: Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

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Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Monday, then photos/photo tips each Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

© All content copyright J Byous Company 2018 all rights reserved

 

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Waiting For The Light

A repost from 2016

Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Tuesday, then photos/photo tips on Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (below right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

————

“There is only you and the camera.

The limitations in your photography are in yourself,

for what we see is what we are.” — Ernst Haas

Sunset on Isle of Hope, Savannah, GA.  Post sunset using a tripod.  The colors were in the light, but enhanced with Photoshop.

Post sunset using a tripod. The colors were in the light, but enhanced with Photoshop.

By Jim Byous

I love the light in Savannah, Georgia.  It’s different – daylight that is.  The light in California can also be beautiful but it can also be stark and sharp.  It wraps the subject differently.  In Oklahoma it is different.  Gorgeous, but the colors and shadows and hues for an image are harder to read.

But in Savannah it can be pre-visualized.  It’s not predictable, but pre-viewable.  Over the years I learned to watch the sky on the night before or during the late afternoon just before sunset.  The sky will give a hint of what could come. Faint tints of magenta, violet and other hues of light in the red range will often peak and wave before most eyes can pick them up.  The purpose of a beautiful photo is not to represent what is recorded on the film or sensor.  It is to record and represent the emotion found at the scene by the observer, then convey it in the image to the viewer.  That is a factor that changes recording into an art.

Many years ago, as a young photographer, I heard photo-icon Ernst Haas speak.  He talked of one of his inspirations, painter Claude Monet and his description of the light in paintings.  Monet saw the light when most did not, then put it down on in oils.  Haas was able to see the same light.  It takes time, learning to see it, but it is worth the wait.  I’m still learning.

Battlefield Park

Battlefield Park in Savannah at sunrise. Several shots were taken within a few minutes. They were pre-planned and marked so the images could be made in one setting.

Much of art is in timing.  In all art forms timing can be a hallmark of excellence or a stamp of rejection, a point of beauty or one of mediocrity and can determine the success of the work – or of its failure.  The leap of a ballerina, the swing of a baseball bat, a stroke of pigment across a wet and differing color, timing can dictate the value and desirability and the essence of art.

View of Skidaway Island from Isle of Hope, Savannah, GA immediately as the sun dropped below the horizon.  This was the light without tinting, but enhanced with Photoshop.

View of Skidaway Island from Isle of Hope, Savannah, GA immediately as the sun dropped below the horizon.

Life is like that.  We are put here with free will.  We all are born with differing mediums; oils, granite, speech, dance, light, mathematics.  Each person is the artist and designer of their destiny, the ultimate portrait of ourselves.  Each of us creates the outcome when taking a dull, blank plane of canvas or a shapeless lump of goo or a pile of junk and rubbish and creating something wonderful by turning it into something or nothing or letting it decay into oblivion.  We all start the same, wet and slimy, tied to the past by the cord that fed us and nurtured us and brought us to the beginning.  We all make ourselves what we are.

However, there are always outside factors.  The nudge in the wrong direction, the ball that curves, the paint that will not oxidize or dry, influences to change life’s direction or obscure the purpose.  The art of life is to know the differences or learn them as we progress.  We can wallow in the dung or we can use it as fertilizer that which will help us grow and reach upward.  The art of art is to act similarly, throw out the crap and keep the work that grows inspiration in others but especially that nurtures inspiration in you.

IPC from Kehoe House attic.
This shot is from the Kehoe House attic. The sun was setting behind the Independent Presbyterian Church, but not quite in full color bloom. After a short wait the color and the clouds came together.

Photography is like that. Sometimes catching the moment is instant. Sometimes it requires patience – lots of patience – to hold on beyond the this-just-doesn’t-quite-get-it phase to the shoot-fast-and-shoot-often period.

Sometimes in life and in art you see it forming.  You perceive it and plan for it.  It can be complex.  It can be simple.

Wait for the light.

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© J Byous Company 2018, All rights reserved

Tags: Photography, Ernst Haas, Monet, light, art, Savannah

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Doc Holliday Trail and Annie’s Tree – a story of darkness and light

Doc Holliday’s Trail and Annie’s Tree – a story of darkness and light.

Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Monday, then photos/photo tips each Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (below right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

By Jim Byous

At 6,000 feet above sea level I am gasping for air.  I am also, as my father used to say, “getting old and soft.”  Now I’m only two-hundred feet up in my relatively easy three-hundred-foot climb on the Doc Holliday Trail to Glenwood Springs’ historic Pioneer Cemetery.  It sits on a lower ridge-bump of 8,095-foot-high Lookout Mountain that stands above and the Colorado city of around ten-thousand people.  My flatlander-endurance is poor in the thin air as I trudge onward.  The view is refreshing as I pause to take in the scope of the city below… okay… I stop to get my breath.  But, I gotta keep going, The Beckster is getting ahead of me on our upward trek to see the West’s version of outlaw/lawman, John Henry “Doc” Holliday’s grave site.  He was born in 1851 in Griffin, Georgia but died in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  But where is he now?

Looking across the city of Glenwood Springs from the Doc Holliday Trail.

Looking across the city of Glenwood Springs from the Doc Holliday Trail.

What awaits us at the end of short journey is a controversy, but I want to see it.  Even though I am huffing and puffing I continue, The Beckster is tough, so must I be.  The view to the right is beautiful as I stop again to choke down a bit of thin air.  Clouds hang below the surrounding peaks as the occasional drop of rain pops onto my face.  The smell of sage and pine and moist air waft past at intervals as we walk the hard-packed, red-dirt and narrow rocky road.  A couple of walkers pass on the trail.  I assume they are local… don’t know.  Maybe they’re tourists too.  Locals often walk here.  Ahead is the evidence.  On a gnarled pinon pine hugging the upper bank of the cut, hundreds of colorful streamers twist and bob on the light breeze.

On the way down the hill, a walker passes Annie's Wishing Tree, a prominent landmark in Glenwood Springs that is becoming famous around the world.

On the way down the hill, a walker passes Annie’s Wishing Tree, a prominent landmark in Glenwood Springs that is becoming famous around the world.

They are striking as they dance on a background of cloudy-grey sky and remind me of the prayer ribbons and flags you see in photos of Nepal along the route up Mount Everest.   These are wish ribbons.  Most were placed there by Annie Zancanella who lives just down the slope. In her two battles with cancer she found solace in tying ribbons to the tree on which she played as a child.  “I spent my childhood playing on the mountain and walking with my father on his evening stroll up there,” she told me.  “Now that my family has all passed I still like to walk that trail daily and think of them and my happy childhood.”

She started putting ribbons on the tree, using them to represent her own wishes, dreams and prayers in her fight against cancer.  After participating in a successful, non-traditional treatment program at Northwestern University in Chicago, she traveled to cancer centers in the USA to share her success story with university hospital students.  Collecting ribbons from young patients at those hospitals she brought them home and tied them to the tree.

“It was just pretty much my ribbons from my heart being put on it,” she says, “And then I realized that I needed to spread this happiness…”  She started taking bags of ribbons to the children’s hospital where she volunteered each month.  The kids would write their own wishes, dreams and prayers for her to take back to the tree and tie for them. She would then take photos and show them to the kids.  Their words were on display for the world to see.  The project grew.

Annie's Wishing Tree is a landmark along the trail to the Pioneer Cemetery.

Annie’s Wishing Tree is a landmark along the trail to the Pioneer Cemetery.

Now others follow her lead by leaving wish ribbons, prayer streamers and mementos for others who are challenged by health issues.  Since that time she has continued to fight.  “I have had some more recent struggles with cancer but I’ve been able to keep a smile on my face and motivation in my heart.”

Ribbons were added by unknown hikers after Annie created the Wishing Tree.

Ribbons were added by unknown hikers after Annie created the Wishing Tree.

I came to the hill looking for the story of death, of disease and of legend.  Now I’ve arrived to unexpectedly find a story of life, of adversity and of hope.  In my mind I am attempting to blend the two narratives into one.  Annie is my daughter’s age.  Her story strikes a father’s heart.

The record of the tree is strikingly symbolic to the history and name of the route, The Doc Holliday Trail.  It’s antithetical to Annie’s story.  Holliday is said to have traveled to Glenwood Springs for the purported healing benefits in the springs of the area.  His sickness was then called consumption, now we know it as tuberculosis.  It was the reason he left his home and dental practice  in Atlanta to start wandering the west in hope of a climate that would help or cure him.  His travels between Georgia and Colorado would be captured in legend; card games, gun fights, the OK Corral with Wyatt Earp, his death in a hotel room in Glenwood Springs.

The current marker replaced an earlier stone placed in the 1950s that had incorrect information.  Cards, whisky and tokens are often found at the site, left by admirers.

The current marker replaced an earlier stone placed in the 1950s that had incorrect information. Cards, whisky and tokens are often found at the site, left by admirers.

After a life of hell raising, gambling and fighting he would not “die with his boots on.” They say his last words, while looking at his bare feet, would describe the irony in dying in bed at the age of 36 years, “Now, that’s funny.”  He was destined to die a more gentlemanly death, shoeless, and in bed in 1887.  His burial in the Pioneer Cemetery on top of the ridge is a matter of opinion.  Others say he was interred in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Griffin, Georgia after his father had him shipped home to a family plot.  In any event he left plenty of legend for both.

The marker in Glenwood Springs is referred to as a memorial since Doc’s exact location in the cemetery has been lost to history.  He may or may not be here, but still the site and its view across the Colorado skyline is worth the hike as is a stroll through the rest of the burial

Holliday's memorial stands at the point of the cemetery.
Holliday’s memorial stands at the overlook point of the cemetery.

 ground.  The area is a carpet of rocky, iron-red dirt, highlighted with short pinyon pines, cedars, sage brush and white marker stones.  A smattering of lawn covers a central square of memorials and graves suggesting families still visit and care for those interred here.  If the cemetery were a ship, Doc’s grave would be the wheelhouse at the point of the ridge with the balance of the site stepping up the slope toward the top of Lookout Mountain.

Harvey Logan cThere, up the hill from Doc’s spot, stands another marker for a well-known character of western lore, also the adverse of the symbolic tree.   Harvey A. Logan, 1867-1904, is known to most folks know as Kid Curry, an associate of Robert L. Parker, aka Butch Cassidy, and his partner in crime, Harry A. Longabaugh, the Sundance Kid.  Logan rode with Cassidy’s Wild Bunch at the turn of the 20th century.  One account of Logan’s death says he shot himself in the head after being trapped by a posse in Parachute, a town forty miles to the west,

Up the hill from Holliday's marker is the pauper's section of the cemetery where Kid Curry's stone is found.

Up the hill from Holliday’s marker is the pauper’s section of the cemetery where Kid Curry’s stone is found.  If he is really there is disputed.

and was buried there.  Others say he was traveling through Glenwood Springs, became ill and died.  Either way, he died… somewhere in Colorado.  And, now there’s a marker for him in the paupers’ section of Pioneer Cemetery.

Time passes quickly as we survey the grounds.  The sky is looking more threatening.  I am tired and still slightly out of breath, it’s starting to rain.  The view is exemplary and the rain isn’t hard, but it’s time to go.  We need to say goodbye to Doc.  Local ghost stories tell how folks leaving whiskey or cards or tokens for Doc receive a “Thank you,” as they stand and listen quietly.  I have no whiskey, nor do I have a deck of cards nor trinkets.  Perhaps a compliment will work.

Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan, part of Butch Cassidy's gang, has a marker in the paupers section of the cemetery.

Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan, part of Butch Cassidy’s gang, has a marker in the paupers section of the cemetery.

“He Doc!  You have a great moustache!”

I listen quietly as rain drops increase… nothing… not a peep.

“Wait,” I say…  I lean over the iron picketed fence, “That IS you, right Doc?”

Looking at The Beckster I say, “Doc’s not talking.  Didn’t work.  Well, back to the car.  I’ll try the same trick in Griffin, Georgia when we get home.”

She stares at me in mock disgust and turns to the trail to walk back down.  She has a knack for ignoring my jokes.

“But he really did have a great moustache,” I affirm, following her along the path.

She pays no attention to my explanation and continues on.  The lady has class.

 Looking down on the neighborhood rooftops I imagine driving a horse-drawn hearse up this route.  It would be a tight squeeze, but possible.  Was this the main route back in the day?  I don’t know but I do know that another route from Cemetery Creek and our start point is driveable by car, complete with parking spaces… but it’s blocked by a gate.  And, this walk is good, we need the exercise… no… really.

Older marker for cemetery

An carved stone plaque describes the residents of the necropolis including multi-racial immigrants and freed slaves.

We pass Annie’s Wish Tree again.  A long, magenta streamer catches my attention.  It reads, “1 Year Cancer Free * Annie 4/18/14 – 4/18/15.”    The young lady is an inspiration.  Now she is planning a volunteer trip to to impoverished areas in Africa to help children in Tanzania.  When she comes home she will carry more ribbons that will blow in the mountain breezes – waving and asserting hope – 130 feet directly down the slope from Doc’s marker.  Doc Holliday’s Trail and Annie’s Tree are a story of darkness and light.

I hope Annie is doing well.  Her story now lives on with the others who are linked with the trail and the cemetery and the hill.  Her story gleams brightly among them as she illustrates as she says, “It’s an absolute goal of mine to continue to inspire others and for my wishing tree to bring happiness to all who stumble across it!”

I’m glad I did… stumbled here.  For me, I think of my daughters and grandchildren and pray that they will have a measure of Annie’s determination and drive.

Doc Holliday’s story is dark and deadly.

Annie’s story shines with hope.

Annie has grit.


Here are other things to do and study in Glenwood Springs.

Our thanks to Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association for photos and to Annie Zancanella for background in this story.  We were not compensated for coverage of the location and attractions.  – JB

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Time short in Savannah, GA? Five tips on the best photo spots.

Visit our main website at SoutheasternBound.net. We post history/travel every Monday, then photos/photo tips each Thursday.  Please click the Follow button (below right) for updates on Southeastern Bound.

Time short in Savannah, GA?  Five tips on the best photo spots.

By Jim Byous

What!!?? You only have one weekend to visit Savannah?  You gotta have pictures… but you want something different.  Finding the right spot for pictures can be difficult when you are visiting a place for a short time.  In Savannah, like anywhere else, there are many angles and views.  Unfortunately, most travelers’ photos tend to look like everyone else’s.  Here are five tips on how to make shots interesting with a few places to find them during your weekend photo hunt.

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Looking up at Jepson Center for the Arts on Telfair Square.

Having been here for the past twenty-five years helps.  I’ve searched hard and often for vantage points that are different.  Still, the five best photo locations in Savannah are hard to describe.  Not because they aren’t there, but because there are so many.  The city is most picturesque.  And, not because I live here, but because it’s a freekin’ beautiful place… even in the heat of August.

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Tybee Island is a short drive from Savannah’s Historic District and offers excellent opportunities for photographers.  Here on the Strand, Hurricane Irene created a fantastic backdrop as she rolled up the Atlantic Coast.  Colors can vary widely from morning to noon to evening, just be patient and enhance a bit in Photoshop.

Here we go:

First Tip, Get Close.

First.  Get close.  River Street and the Factor’s Walk area are great places to find different, less-often photographed shots, even though hundreds of thousands of tourists pass them each year.  These two thoroughfares run parallel to the Savannah River and serve as a tourist haven.  There is an abundance of history and dozens of shops for souvenir trolling that will occupy others who are traveling with you.  Scout along the retaining walls that appear to keep the town from sliding into the water. They have great features to capture.

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Ballast stone were used to build walls along what is now called Factors Walk. Before the Civil War it was called River Street.  Postbellum the wharves were connected to make an access road on the water and the old “River Street” became Factors Walk, named after the cotton and shipping factors’ offices walkovers that span the gap.

Most were built in the mid-1800s with segments going back to the century before.  Stone from around the world can be seen; limestone with chert nodules from Devon England, basalt from Italy, coral from the Caribbean.  They have unique textures and shapes that are pleasing to look at while telling their own version of history.  Here too are cobblestone pavers that make interesting images.

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An African-shaped stone serves in the cobblestone ramp behind City Hall.

The stones came in ships as ballast, rocks in the bottom the ships to balance the load and keep the ship upright.  The stones were off-loaded on the docks and the city resold them for building materials.  Walls, cobblestone streets and buildings were constructed over the years using them.  Later in the 1800s ships captains realized they could substitute pig iron that could be sold to Savannah’s iron foundries and the negative-cash-flow stones were replaced with a money-making commodity.

Go Up!

Second.  Find a parking garage and take the elevator, the stairs, or drive to the top floor.  Not too many buildings are open for the use to image seekers, but parking garages usually offer a good, “birds-eye” perspective of nearby streets.  Three of the following images were made on top of the State Street Parking Garage at Drayton and State Streets.

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The Lutheran Church of the Ascension and the tower of the Federal Courthouse on Wright Square.  It was captured from the State Street  Parking Garage’s west end.

However, there are several multi-storey walkways and garages in Savannah, so getting good vantage points for overall shots of different squares will mean lots of steps…  or if you are like me, the elevator.

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World Famous Leopold’s Ice Cream Shop taken from the east end of the State Street Garage. Taken from Oglethorpe Square parking garage, east end.

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The Cluskey Vaults on Bull Street Ramp taken from the upper walkway above Factors Walk at dusk.

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The Talmadge Bridge and Marshall House flag from the north-center section of the State Street facility.

Some attendants are grumpy about folks standing around, so shoot quick and go for the next site… or parking garage.  There are many walls to look off of, giving interesting perspectives to the streets and people walking below.

Go Down and Look Up

Third. Go down and then look up.  Sometimes finding a good and unusual view is simply bending your knees.  By doing so you can combine near objects with those more distant.  Or, you can give a perspective that most folks do not think of catching.

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Dottie the Trolley is River Street’s free transport queen.  Her schedule varies since construction, maintenance and construction often interfere with availability.  Here, a bent-knee, lower-angle shot brings the upper storeys of the historic warehouses into the composition with the trolley and cobblestones.

Sometimes it means looking up from a different location.  Factors Walk offers many such views of the “skyline” buildings along the river.  Its mid-way location between the lower, River Street and the upper, Bay Street buildings can give great perspective for shooting.

 

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Here, City Hall’s gold plated dome is viewed from Factors Walk behind  Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub. The gold is said to be from Dahlonega, Georgia.  The stairway that the young lady is climbing is on the site of the original port crane built by James Oglethorpe in 1733.

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The often photographed, Lafayette Veranda at the Owens Thomas House takes on a new perspective when shot from a low angle.

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Looking up on a narrow street sometimes offers a great shot of detail on historic buildings as is seen on this picture of the frieze of the Federal Court House on Wright Square.

Go Where and When Other Don’t

Fourth.  Go where and when other don’t.  Most visitors follow a set pattern; visit River Street, take a carriage or trolley ride, and walk a few squares.  Some venture out to Tybee Island and the beach.  Highway 80 takes them from the Historic District to the island through Romerly Marsh where most do not see the photographic possibilities.

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Romerly Marsh at Lazaretto Creek at mid-day.  The partial overcast sky creates great lighting for capturing the grass, water and sky.  This was taken around 10 a.m. from the boat ramp off of Highway 80.

Savannah is surrounded by marshland that is accessible on the main thoroughfares.  Stop and take a look, especially in early morning and late afternoon.  The beach at Tybee is similar.  If you can schedule to go through or visit at sunrise or sunset

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A pelican waits for the sun as it rises off of Tybee’s North Beach.  Sunrise photo sessions are often overlooked by visitors who, in a hurry to see the next attraction, miss the morning’s light show.  Photo by Becky Byous

you’ll have the best opportunities.  Most sunbathers arrive later in the morning and leave just before sunset to avoid traffic.  Little do they know that most everyone else think the same way which leads to… traffic.

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Kudzu on the Ogeechee Canal, located on the west edge of the Historic District.  These types of areas often show signs of litter and trash.  That’s what Photoshop was invented to take care of.  Just do it.

Look for the unusual

Fifth.  Look for the unusual.  As you walk around town look for things most people don’t record on their camera.  Sometimes you may almost trip over them, sometimes they are so ordinary that a closer look is all you need to get a great photo.

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Drain grating at Savannah’s Trustees’ Garden is molded in a gear motif to celebrate the Kehoe Iron Foudry’s place in history.  Most passersby do not notice the unique design.

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Flamingo on Bull Street add an interesting perspective of Savannahian humor most visitors miss.  Photo by Morgie McCormick.

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A traffic mirror over a walkway between the Visitors Center and the Battlefield Park/Railroad Museum sites adds a different perspective that most will miss.  This location is believed by some historians to be the site where many Patriots were buried in a mass grave after the 1779 battle, The Siege of Savannah.  The monuments to the fallen can be seen in the mirror as well as to the right of the frame.

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This view through a window at Clary’s Cafe was a grab shot as an older lady was attempting to ketchup to the rest of her group.  (No charge for the bad pun.)  Clary’s is noted for its appearance in the Clint Eastwood directed movie, Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil.

That’s the five ideas and many more areas to find them, but remember, ALWAYS get the main overviews of the sites.  You’ll want them to illustrate and add context to the differing views you find on your visit.

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You can’t miss with a shot of ships coming and going next to River Street.  On busy days they pass regularly on their way to the Port of Savannah and offer great images in any light.

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And be sure to catch the overall shots of important places.  The Owens-Thomas House is a near, must-see.  It’s one of many house museums in the historic city.

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Y’all come see us and bring your camera.

 

© J Byous Company 2018, All rights reserved

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