Mother Goose

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.

Mother goose and goslints.
FOLLOW THE LEADER — Mother goose leads her babies through an interstate construction site near Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas.

Winter vs. Spring: Round 2

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.

3-3-DaffDownW
LOST HIS CROWN — Daffodil loses its rill in the sleet, rain and snow.
Frozen daffodils.
DOWN — A storm system that brought freezing rain, a few inches of sleet and snow stomped these daffodils.

Art at the speed limit

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.

blurred rice field
RACING — past a rice field in mid-harvest.

U.S. 70

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/.

Abandoned building on U.S. 70 near Forrest City, Ark., offers its walls to trees, vines and other wild things.
The lift-span trestle bridge at DeValls Bluff is silhouetted in the setting sun. Built in 1924, it was retired in 2004. Traffic now moves over the White River on a sturdy, but plain Jane, concrete span to the south.

Memphis for Thanksgiving

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.)

Memphis sklyline in black and white
The Memphis skyline captured from the Hernando de Soto bridge that carries I-40 across the Mississippi River.
I-40 bridge over the Mississippi.
One of the two beautiful steel arches that make up the Interstate 40 bridge connecting Arkansas and Tennessee.

World wide webs

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.

 

Webs waft in Brinkley
Webs waft over U.S. 70 in Brinkley.

 

 

Webs cover Brinkley
Webbing covers a large swath of eastern Arkansas.

 

 

 

Interstate skies.

It’s hard to beat the scenery while driving around the U.S. with the top down.

I-40 near Alma, Ark.
Skyscape heading west on I-40 near Alma, Ark.
Evening star southern SD
Evening star lights up the sunset in southern South Dakota along I-29.
Moonrise over southern South Dakota
Moonrise over southern South Dakota heading south on I-29.