One of the cool things about Kansas is that you literally never know what’s coming up next. Storms can pop up out of nowhere. Three-foot long copperheads can cross your path. The dog brings you a live armadillo. (No, the armadillo wasn’t happy. Yes, I made the dog let him go.) Life’s just full of surprises.
Lots of photographers I know just love to go out driving. Saturday afternoon, pack up the car and hit the road with a map and hope the cell service holds out – just to see what’s on all those dirt roads. Last year, I headed east of Winfield looking for a 1920s bridge that was about to be torn down. I didn’t find the bridge – I was late by about a day – but as I was trying to find my way back, I saw a chimney off in the distance. The closer I got, the cooler the place looked, until finally, I could see it.
Or what was left of it, anyway.
Surprisingly, it’s STILL THERE! Or was the last time I drove out to see it, anyway. I honestly don’t know how, though.
Here’s a close-up of the second story:
Kansas has a lot of green. Usually. Sometimes. Okay, where I live, it does.
During spring and summer, it’s easy to be green:
Even during winter, you can find something green:
But sometimes, you have to trek down back alleys to find it.
I live in Kansas. Rural Kansas. Backwater, backwoods, back of nowhere Kansas. You’ve got Fords and Chevys and that’s it. I mean, I drive a Mini Cooper and no one even knows what that is! Which is why this story is definitely Against All Odds:
I’m a Top Gear fan to the max. Lambos, Porsches, McLarens, Bugattis – the lot. One day a couple of years ago, I was driving home and – zoom. Right past me. No time to see more than an angled hood and bright orange, but . . . I KNEW. I called my best friend – “I SAW A LAMBORGHINI!” He was dubious, to say the least. I think he laughed, in fact.
A week later, on a run for milk . . . I see it. In my home town. Sitting. Unattended. Well. Sort of. Let’s say I was a bit surprised to find I was not the only admirer! So against all odds, in my rural neck of the woods, there’s a Lamborghini. And, against all odds, the camera on my cell phone was actually working (who thinks they’re going to encounter a Lamborghini sitting unattended on a milk run? Seriously?), so I was able to get some shots. Not great shots – but enough to show my friends. 🙂
(Sadly, the Lambo does not live here. It was only visiting. I miss it.)
The ambience in Kansas varies from day to day, from season to season. Misty mornings give way to blazing afternoons; dust kicked up by plows and combines gives us hazy, yellowy sunsets. Spring has a green tint, but fall is gold.
I took this one two years ago, in a pasture near my house. I loved the play of the light and clouds against the dying grass. Truly one of those moments that lasts only a moment; the exact right light, the exact right time. Blink, and you’ll miss it.
Since I’m still in the midst of a laptop mind-meld, not all of my photos have made it over to the new one yet. But I thought these photos might do for this week’s Photo Challenge Theme:
This is an old Plymouth (see the name? Top center?) in a pasture near my house. It has suicide doors and bullet holes and no windows, and I’ve often wondered how it came to be there next to a set of abandoned buildings. It’s made for some interesting ideas!
And this one is the old Dyer’s Department Store in nearby Blackwell, OK. Though the store went out of business many years ago, the Art Deco neon sign remains.
I had a couple of ideas for this week’s Photo Challenge – but as I’ve talked about my Baby Fiends quite a bit, I wanted to focus on one of my other rescues, Sonic.
This was basically my second look at Sonic, when I picked up him from the vet:
The first look was a glimpse of a scrawny kitten laying behind my local Sonic (a fast-food place in the US, if you’re not familiar with it). It was one of those days where it’s 95 degrees by 10am, and when I jumped out of my car to approach, he didn’t even raise his head, just barely meowed at me. I immediately rushed him to the vet, where he stayed a few days getting sub-Q fluids and undergoing flea treatment (Vet: “An hour after I dosed her, there were probably 300 dead fleas in the crate. I think he’d have been dead in another couple of hours.”) He was severely dehydrated, overheated, underfed, and when I came back to get him – despite the fact that we’d bee together a total of 8 minutes in the car – he greeted me with a meow and a purr.
And just a few months later, this was my handsome boy. It’s amazing how resilient they can be with a little love – and food. 🙂
It took me a while to find a photo to fit this week’s challenge to find a photo representative of our goals and ambitions for 2017. And I admit that this one might not, at first, seem to fit the bill:
BUT. It does. This is the old Joyland roller coaster, a major landmark in Wichita, KS. I was lucky enough to find twenty minutes one day to stop and photograph it. Joyland closed several years ago and the entire park was left to rot. But I wanted to shoot the roller coaster while I could. So I took this in November 2014.
In 2015, high winds damaged the coaster so badly that it had to be demolished.
So this photo has always been representative of the fact that we need to stop and photograph things whenever we can, even if conditions aren’t perfect, even if we think we don’t have time – because someday, maybe sooner than we think, they won’t be there. I often forget to do this, but in 2017, I’m going to make more of an effort to remember.