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Monday, September 18, 2017

The Bois d'Arc Tree


One can only imagine what this tree has seen and heard in it's lifetime. On this plot of land where it's spread it's roots and branches it may have seen the building of a military installation to guard settlers from angry Indian attacks. Later it probably witnessed the construction of one of central Arkansas' oldest buildings, the Arsenal Building, where munitions for the military post were stored. It watched soldiers from both the North and the South during the civil war. It was nearby when Douglas MacArthur was born in a nearby building. MacArther would become General of the United States Army during WWII and most of the Korean War. Through it's long life it has witnessed so much history.

This is a Bois d'Arc tree which means "wood of the bow" in reference to the Osage Indians practice of making bows and war clubs from the tree's wood. It has others names as well: Osage Orange, Horse Apple and Hedge Apple, which refers to the fruit of the tree.




The Good

This is my favorite tree. Any time I'm near, I stop and take more pictures. As I was taking pictures a gentleman from the nearby museum came out to replace two of the flags that are at the Veteran's Memorial. I stood watching him through the branches. It was a touching moment to see the flags raised in honor of fallen soldiers.





The Random
I've never found another tree that has such fascinating bark. It has wonderful texture and color in the deep swirls and crisscrosses of it's gnarled wood. The bark also contains tannin and was once used for tanning leather. The heartwood is bright orange. I could spend hours studying the bark and roots. Some of the roots are above ground and are at least 12" high. 






The Fun

The wood of Bois d'Arc trees is quite valuable due to it's density, which makes it suitable for everything from fence posts to artistic woodcarving. And one last fun fact, the fruit of the tree repels numerous insects, including spiders and cockroaches. This is certainly an interesting and useful tree! I'm looking forward to going back in a few weeks to see it covered in autumn color.



Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods
and listen to the magic whispers of old trees.
~Author Unknown

Linking today with


Monday, September 11, 2017

The Good, The Random, The Fun - No. 5

Last week I began an abstract photography class with Kim Manley Ort. I've taken most of the classes she offers and have actually taken this class before. Abstracts have begun to fascinate me. This class will help me look for pleasing forms, shapes, colors, and textures instead of looking at the object. It's another step in training my eyes to see beyond the obvious.  


The Good
Light and nature really make some great abstract images.





The Random
The textures, colors, and shadows of a rock can create abstract art.



The Fun
Squint your eyes a little and look closely at the next photo. What do you see? I see the North American Continent. You're not going to believe what this really is . . . it's the inside of a squashed aluminum can!



When I visit an art center, abstracts are not something that usually attract my attention. In fact, I'm one of those that just stands there and says, "I don't get it!" But, I'm learning to "get it" a little more. Abstract art is meant to make you feel something, not see something. The first image made me feel order, warmth, and happiness. The second; gracefulness, gentleness, and quietness. The third; strength and the fourth, well it just made me smile!


Linking with


Monday, September 4, 2017

The Good, The Random, The Fun - No. 4


Each month the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program offers tours of historical buildings in central Arkansas. The tour this month was of the Park Hill Fire Station and Water Company Complex. The buildings in the complex, all made of fieldstone, were constructed in 1938. My pictures for this weeks Good, Random, Fun were all taken during the tour.


The Good
The buildings are all surrounded by the prettiest gardens cared for by Arkansas Master Gardeners. I was delighted by these pretty purple petunias. I believe they are Mexican Petunias.




The Random
Rock buildings amaze me. I marvel at how each stone has been carefully placed to create wonderful patterns and shapes. I also love the details that were added to one of the buildings. The lion's head is a symbol of vigilance and strength.




The Fun
The Master Gardeners not only included beautiful plants, bushes, and flowers in the gardens, but they nestled cute decorated houses to add a touch of  whimsy.


Linking with




Sunday, September 3, 2017

Scene & Story - August 2017



It’s just a simple bloom, but it made me smile. My mother had two cacti, one was a Thanksgiving cactus and the other a Christmas cactus. Every year they were loaded with pretty pink blossoms. After mom passed away we neglected to care for them properly. Between my dad, my sister, and I our care alternated between drought and drowning. A plant really only needs one keeper! Both cacti began to shrivel up and turn brown. I asked my dad if he’d mind if I took them home and tried to save them. They looked so bad he thought I should throw them out, but my heart just wouldn’t quite let me do that, so they came to my house this spring. One of them perked up, but the other was beyond help. I finally gave up on it and dumped it near the edge of the woods. Imagine my surprise when several weeks later I realized it was living and growing. Taking it out of the pot had evidently allowed the roots to finally dry out. I re-potted it and put it back on my porch. Not only is it growing, but I spotted this little bloom. It’s neither Thanksgiving nor Christmas, but I’m not complaining. It can bloom any time it gets ready.

I'm linking with Scene & Story hosted
by Sarah and Lee.

Join us each month as we choose a photo and tell a story.