29 June 2017

FDR and Pine Mountain

the state has definitely over-developed the site with a big-ass visitors center and I don't know what all --- the celebrated "unfinished portrait" is no longer displayed on the easel in the living room where FDR died but has been moved to a very lame "legacy exhibit" in another building --- his '38 ford, which used to sit in the garage, is now in the museum
but the view of pine mountain valley from dowdell's knob on pine mountain (elev. 1,395') remains the best --- kind of a shame the state felt a need to fill roosevelt's grill with concrete, which was probably its idea of "preservation" ---

28 June 2017

remembrance of things past

i had not been in callaway gardens in decades, and i purty much didn't recognize the place --- trees and what not grow a lot in fifty some years --- the chapel has aged well, i think --- it was dedicated by dr. norman vincent peale in 1962, but i have yet to discover the architect ---

the stained glass, which is thoroughly non-denominational, is fantastic --- credited to atlanta painter and former dean of the atlanta college of art joel clyde reeves (1917-1973)

a landmark

the covered bridge over red oak creek in meriwether county is a great relic from the 1840s, one of the last remaining of the great african american bridge builder horace king --- it's had a lot of work over the years, including a new roof structure, foundation, and probably most of the siding and approaches --- some idiot drove a truck through and took out a bunch of the struts along the sides, but i think those were added and might not have been needed anyway --- i'm always glad to see that it is still there

a field trip

robt had the day off so we had a field trip to pine mountain and callaway garden, mainly to see the butterfly house, which was purty great --- the conservatory was excellent, made better by being surrounded on the outside by a gorgeous butterfly garden


26 June 2017

more sky

over the last couple of days, the unsettled weather has continued to produce some spectacular skies, culminating in last night's sunset--- in between staring at the sky a lot, i'm trying to organize 16,746 digital images that i've taken over the last ten or twelve years --- working mostly into the past from the present, i am now into 2015 --- the random images of midtown bldg construction might be an interesting collection

23 June 2017

catching a breeze

i used to see red-headed woodpeckers a lot, but not so much of late --- this one stopped outside jwh's house in college park this morning ---- a nice start to the day

what's left of tropical storm cindy is rolling up into the ohio river valley, but we feel the backside, with nice steady breezes the last day or so, changing direction as the storm moves, and occasional lines of big thunderstorms --- 

22 June 2017


for all practical purposes, the 'coochee project is done --- i sent them what should be, but probably won't quite be, the final draft a couple of days ago and got all my notes and digital files in order yesterday --- the editor is relentless, however, so there'll be some details, but after almost two years, it shan't rule my life any longer ---

all in all, it's been a real privilege and a blast to do --- the project came along at the perfect time for me, and with the time and the absence of any real profit motive, although i was paid, i was able to do the kind of site history i've always wanted to do, literally from the ground up --- and did it for what has always been one of my favorite places in the state

the valleys are at the very upper edge of the piedmont, in the shadow of the blue ridge --- humans have moved through the area for 10,000 year and have lived there and cultivated the rich bottom lands along the upper reaches of the chattahoochee river for 2,000 years --- despite tales to the contrary, desoto did not pass through in the sixteenth century, but the sorry history of our treatment of the cherokee nation was acted out in full in these valleys --- sautee, nacoochee, and chota were all in ruins by the 1790s and after the war of 1812, the cherokee were entirely displaced by white farmers from north carolina ---

a few of new residents were made rich when gold was discovered on nearby dukes creek in 1828, but prospectors nearly ruined many of the surrounding hillsides in their quest for gold --- after the civil war descendants of slaves, many of whom had been miners, coalesced into one of rural northeast georgia's few african-american communities ---

in the early twentieth century, industrial logging ruined much of what the prospectors had missed, exhausted the supply of timber, and moved on, leaving behind a derelict mill town named helen in the next valley ---

by the mid-twentieth century, the forests, and wildlife, were returning, thanks in large part to the national forest service --- the rebirth of helen as a faux alpine village in 1969 and the demand for second homes has made difficult the conservation of the rural landscape of the valleys  --- they are encompassed by two national register historic districts, and this history is a small part of the efforts of the sautee nacoochee community association, with whom i contracted the work, to maintain the scenic beauty and historical integrity of this most wonderful part of the state

it is not clear what i will do next

17 June 2017


everybody is posting all their daddy pictures for father's day --- the rocking-chair j.c. is one of the few positive images of him that i have --- taken before i was born --- father's day means different things to different people ---

peaches and shrooms

an exceptionally warm winter and a late freeze reduced the state's peach crop by 80% this year --- these were being sold as georgia peaches at the piedmont park market this morning, but who knows if they really are --- 


the last few days have brought excellent skies and storms -- even caught a lightning strike, but it was distorted a little from being caught while i was taking a panorama

15 June 2017