Thanksgiving in the Ozarks

NWA Airport

Johnny Morris Museum

Top of the Rock



We spent this Thanksgiving in the Ozarks with my brother and his wife.  We had spent the previous month touring the Ozarks on an Airstream Caravan but saw all new things.  Spent time at Johnny Morris’ Top of the Rock which was interesting.  We had a phenomenal T-giving dinner prepared by my sister-in- law.  

You Learn Something every Day

While preparing a lecture about B and W photography I came across the suggestion for Digital shooters to shoot RAW + jpg.  Set your creative or scene settings to B & W.  This way you get your color image in RAW but a jpg that is B & W to see how it would look like in black and white.  I tried and it was nice.  The photo above was the jpg that was tweaked.

Master Photography Printers

Interesting YouTube about those that still print.  I object to the first part of the video where they imply that if you’re not in NYC you’re no where.  They clearly focused on photographers who are New York -centric.  So much great photography is being done in all parts of the world that this concept of “you have to be in NYC” is really outdated.  The rest of the video is quite nice. is not for me anymore is the website for “Call For Entry” where art exhibitions are announced.  You usually pay a fee like $35 for 3 images.  All the entries are then screened and a few are selected to send in the actual work for display and final judging.  I’ve used them for several years now and have had some success in getting selected to show my photography.  What I object to is that most entries are not selected and so we the ‘rejected’ do much of the heavy lifting financially.  So for now I’m abstaining from anymore entries.  If it were up to me I’d charge a very minimal fee of $5 to enter and if you are selected you would be required to pay an additional fee which would have to be more than $35 for example - maybe $65 to $85.

Photobooks at my Feet

I’ve been gone for about a month and during that time I got in the mail two photo books ( yes I know I promised no more photo books but these are special to me). The first one should be interesting called “Diane Arbus - Documents” as it encompasses written work by and to Diane Arbus - review later.  The second gets the record of the heaviest book I own.  ” William Eggleston - Chromes”

Ozark Caravan is winding down

The month long Ozark Airstream Caravan is winding down.  It’s been interesting - none more so than today when we traveled to a Presbyterian Church to be served lunch by an Amish group!  Can’t even get my head around that.  We then heard a high school choir sing in the sanctuary.  A Ozarkan historian summed up the area well :  She said that they are clannish, conservative in politics and religion and resist being told what to do.

What will follow are some photos of the trip and discussion.

Grist Mill

The Topaz grist mill is still functioning mill though they only run a few times a year - mostly at time of festivals.  They grind corn and wheat.  It is not easy to find on the map though at one time it had a thriving business and a country store in what was then Topaz, MO

Monument Rock, Kansas

Tonite we’re camped at Scott Lake State Park - which is such a gem - I hope the folks of Western Kansas know this.  It bears no resemblance to the rest of this part of Kansas.  It is down in a valley next to a neat lake.  From here we went to Monument Rock which is a local attraction that I’ve been to many times.  It rises out of the flatland and is just an amazing rock formation.  We met a nice coupe from Philadelphia who were on a trip to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Ozark Caravan Started today

The Caravan doesn’t actually start for several more days but we have to get ourselves to the jumping off point in Missouri.  Tonite we are staying in LaJunta, Colorado in SE Colorado.  It is near Rocky Ford which is known for it’s wonderful watermelons and cantelopes. LaJunta itself is known as a jumping off point to see the annual Tarantula Migration.  Male Texas/Oklahoma Brown Back T’s migrate over the short grass prairie looking for mates who burrow into the ground.  The Males mate only when they turn 8 because when they turn 8 they grow a special appendage the their front legs that prevents the females from eating them.  The successful mating results in more T’s but the male then wonders off into the plains from whence it came only to die a few months later because of the cold.  The females live 20-25 years because they have ownership of the burrow.  

This year we saw 4 T’s and a tarantula wasp who is the only known predator of the tarantula.  A couple of years ago we only saw one so this year was a big success.

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