photo of the week

Skid Marks on Self-Esteem

This driver accesses his dilemma.  He apparently went into a skid on snow and ice-covered US Highway 65 south of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  I saw the truck a few hours later moving down the highway, so apparently the only damage was to driver's self-esteem.

snowing in LA

Sunday, March 8, 2015
Pine Buff, Arkansas

Unlike northern climes, where snow can last for weeks, here in LA (lower Arkansas), if the white stuff sticks around much past a day or so, it is considered abnormal —a rare fact that gives rise to our term “snow day.”  Rather than waiting for the idyllic snow scenes, which are sure to come in endless numbers once the storm subsides, my preferred snow-day shooting method is to venture forth during the storm.


I Awoke to a Brilliant White.

There was nary a flake on this cape jasmine outside our den window right before I hit the sack on March 3.  The next morning we were covered with three-to-five inches of snow on top of an ice crust.

Our most recent snow played hob with my preference.  All the snow fell while I was asleep.  We were well forewarned that the weather event would begin with rain, advance to freezing rain, move on to sleet, and then finish with snow — and that’s exactly how it unfolded.  We had a few inches of snow ensconced over an ice foundation, a particularly nasty set of circumstances for driving.  Ignoring that issue, I sallied forth to record the impact of the snow storm, not the artsy effects:  a different kind of snow day.


Unexpected Visual Delights

One simply does not expect to see a blanket of snow behind cypress trees in the Delta, but here they are in Atkins Lake south of Pine Bluff.


Ever Hopeful for a Hay Treat

My trip took me up the Arkansas River levee south of Pine Bluff where I encountered this small herd of cattle.  When I stopped the truck to photograph them, they apparently mistook my truck for their owner’s truck, so they came to the fence for greetings and the anticipation of food.  At this point, having realized their mistake, the cows are heading back to the round bale of hay upon which they were formerly munching.


One Moment in the Eternal Cycle

I descended from the levee and drove through a formerly verdant cornfield, now little more than tall stubble.  In a few weeks, farm crews will have prepared the field for spring planting.  It will be as flat as a pool table with some slight elevation adjustments to take advantage of water running downhill when it is time to irrigate.


A Star above the Fallen Snow

Not far from the corn field, you’ll find Kindling Star Missionary Baptist Church nestled against the levee.  With this low wide-angle view, the levee is barely visible behind the church buildings.  Kindling Star was organized in 1900.


Legacy in Stone

The cornerstone for the main building provides a short history of the church.


Not Far Away Is the Flowing River.

Viewed from a different direction, the levee stands clearly behind the church.  The Arkansas River flows not far from this location.


It's Not as Close as It Appears.

Back out on US Highway 65, I am shooting across the right-of-way from the southbound lane to the northbound lane, where this 18-wheeler is throwing a small spray of snow and ice.  The long lens tends to optically compress the distance from me to the truck:  We are actually looking across a four-lane highway.


An Ice-Inspired Convoy

Further south on Highway 65, there aren’t many parades in the tiny Tamo, Arkansas, community, but on this day, the snow and ice covering the southbound roadway created this convoy of 18-wheelers, with a few impatiently driven cars sprinkled in.


Going the Other Way....

A few minutes later, a similar but shorter convoy of cars plied the highway headed north.

There you have it — a brief glimpse at the non-romantic, non oh-wow snow pictures that are out there to grab if one cares to look.


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