While enduring one of many construction-related stops on Interstate 40 yesterday, we were treated to a lovely sight: Mother goose and her very grown up goslings parading along a space where the westbound lanes used to run.
After a few springlike days, winter came roaring back, taking Round 2. The system dropped freezing rain, several inches of sleet and topped it all off with snow. Schools were shut down for days and traffic stopped on I-40 and I-55 in northeastern Arkansas.
The heavy winter layer took all the joy out of the daffodils in back of the office. So sad.
Typically cars aren’t thought of as tools for creating art. Sure, Top Gear‘s Jeremy Clarkson used a Formula 1 race car to shoot paintballs at a canvas, and BMW ran a new M6 with ink sprayed on its tires to make promotional postcards, but one would never mistake, say, a Porsche for a paintbrush. However, pointing the lens out the window at (um, yes officer sir, we were traveling the) speed limit, can create a delightfully impressionistic pastel effect, with lovely distortions and blending. This is the same Interstate 40-side rice field as seen in this earlier shot, taken at a somewhat slower speed.
Veils of mist covered low-lying areas all over the Ozarks and Ouachitas this morning, following a day and a half of rain. Fog hovered near a rice field bordering I-40 in the Arkansas River Valley. Folk wisdom in the Ozarks declares that for each day of fog in the fall, there will be a day of snow in the winter. Read about other variations on folk wisdom winter predictions.
With the coming of Interstate 40, U.S. 70 takes a back seat to its now busier younger brother. Though it dates back to 1926, U.S. 70 is far from abandoned, cradling main streets through many cities as it winds its way from Arizona to North Carolina. An interesting look at the bridges of U.S. 70 can be found at http://bridgehunter.com/category/road/us-70/.
The two-hour drive to Memphis yielded some interesting sights. The most interesting Thanksgiving day sighting was a flock of wild turkeys on the roadside east of Biscoe. Must’ve been about 10 of them just doodling around on the verge between the bottomland and the roadbed of U.S. 70. Rather risky business on the biggest turkey-eating day of the year. (and did we have the camera ready? nooooo.)
Another great image was that of a large hawk sitting in the shoulder of I-240, the loop road around Memphis. It was just sitting there watching the holiday weekend traffic whiz by. (did we have the camera ready? noooooo.)
Still, we did manage to pull the camera out for some of what Memphis had to offer (with a little help from Photoshop and apologies to film purists.)
Along U.S. 70, silken threads covered the fields, fences and utility poles between Forrest City and Brinkley, Ark. The low-riding autumn afternoon sun back-lit what seemed to be millions of miles of webbing. In addition, long threads with parachutes or sails of silk thread drifted across the roads and lifted from the fields.
It’s hard to beat the scenery while driving around the U.S. with the top down.