Photo Friday: first day of summer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHINT:  If you want to understand this vignette, then you must *click the photograph to enlarge it.


We are having a “Staycation” and working on the Mountain in preparation for our move.


What are your plans for the summer?


*NOTE: Actual odds of anyone clicking the photo are 1 : 150  Why is that?  😉


Photo Friday: traveling by train

Mia culpa!  This got posted before I was finished editing, but I think I got it now.  ~ L   😉

Once upon a time travel by train was the ultimate in luxury, though I am sure that those who traveled by rail in its infancy might argue that point.

Photo credit:  Scanning around with Gene – please click the photo for source and many other wonderful vintage photos and adds.


As a child, in California, my 2nd grade class took a ride on the train to the San Bernardino Depot.  It was a wonderful experience, though I also remember how cheated felt on finding out we did not get a return trip!

San Bernardino Train Depot, California

I also recall arguing with my teacher about this point.  At which time she put her hand firmly on my arm, and with the conductor’s assistance, redirected me to the bus!

Photo credit:  Scanning around with Gene – please click the photo for source and many other wonderful vintage photos and adds.

The picture is the right vintage, but do you see that the Teacher and Conductor have strained smiles… and me?  No way was I smilin’!  Posers all!


Later in my life I would meet my husband Bob.  He and his father were great train enthusiasts.  Why, he even had a model RR set up in his bedroom that was so big it went edge to edge, taking up a full two-thirds of the room.   That  necessitated the placement of his bed shoved head first into one closet, with the chest of drawers shoved into the other!   Me, being a tomboy at heart, loved to watch him and his dad run the HO Scale models on the layout.  There were mountains that climbed the back walls, tunnels, bridges, a town and more.  All done to exacting scale and very realistic.


Jump forward to this November when we went to the Huntsville train museum with our friends Pam and Tim…  They wanted to take the “Fall Color Ride” and could either of us say no?  Of course not!

The following photographs were taken on that day and recalled many memories of times that are no more…

In its heyday, the dining car carried folks long distances, and you were  wined and dined in comfort and luxury.


Looking about I saw

A Diner’s still bright windows,

and  I thought to myself, 

“They resemble eyes, still bright, that remember better days.”

Clinging vines tying iron wheels to the tracks,

dust, rust, and

Couplers gone green with algae

were now rendered useless.

The men who remember,

some as old as the relics they tend, 

dream of a time when life was large

and mighty engines



and rattled down the tracks,

taking us to where we were going

in style and luxury.

A time that passed…

and is no more.



Dega Baby!

One of the things I didn’t tell you about, and should have… Was going to Talladega for the race on October 23rd.

Although my husband and our friends, Pam and Tim are big NASCAR fans, I could never see any purpose to sitting in front of the TV for hours watching little cars go round and round while some good old boys talked about it non-stop.  To my way of thinking it is tantamount to watching hamsters running in their exercise wheels, and what’s up with that little rat relative Digger?

I digress.

So almost a year ago we began talking about the October Race at Talladega.  And before we knew it the plans were made, the tickets bought, plane reservations made,  and they were here!

Personally I was more excited at the aspect of our friends coming to visit!  We hadn’t seen them since we left California three years ago, and I was looking forward to spending time with them.  Even if it meant having to sit in bleachers for a day…

Well, we drove over two hours, parked, walked over a mile, found our seats, sat down, and realized…

We were right in front of the start/finish line!  

Now some folks would prefer to be way up high so they can see the whole track clearly, and some would prefer to be down in the center of the track where all the partying and crazy stuff is going on, but me, I was kinda liking to be where it all begins and ends.    Although I am not a NASCAR fan, and I don’t have a driver I’m following, it was fun to be there live and in the middle of the action, to see up close what went on in the pit.  Oh, and the really big bonus???  No Digger!  The annoying little rodent was MIA!  😀

Before I get to the pictures I want to take a moment to thank Tim and Pam for buying the tickets.  It was very generous and we all had a great day!  Yes, even me. 

Now, let me tell you, taking pictures of FAST cars is hard.  Add a fence and it is next to impossible!  I found that to get a good shot I had to set the camera for action and face into the oncoming cars.  Doing this allowed the camera to find a focus range and get in a few clear shots.  Like these…

OK, so these aren’t fast-moving cars, but trust me, the fellas in the photo were hustling!


No, your eyes do not deceive you.   That really is 12 inch wide tape holding on the fender of number 20!



You have to look at this one close up!  Imagine driving way over 200 mph, and you are kissing bumpers with the guy in front of you… on a curve…  INSANE.


I took so many photos that day and almost all were trash. The action is simply too fast for this amateur,  and so were the heads of the fans!

I have various blurred shots of the back of several NASCAR fan’s caps.  I thought this red one was attractive…    😉


So for me, even though not a racing fan, it was a great race!  There were four crashes in which no one was killed or seriously maimed (that’s always a plus) and  best of all, I was there with my Sweety and best  friends!

Hmm…  whatever happened to Digger?  Maybe he got run over by one of the fellas on the track?

(Curiosity got the better of ya, huh?)    😉

Photo Friday: the hawk in the cemetery

On Saturday we visited Maple Hill Cemetery, which is the oldest cemetery in Alabama.   It was begun in 1818 when Leroy Pope sold two acres to the city.  Over the years the “burying-place” was officially named “Maple Hill,” and it has grown to just under one hundred acres in size.  It is a historical and quite beautiful place to visit.

PLEASE NOTE:  All photographs are clickable for a better/clearer view!


While driving out of the grounds I chanced to spy this fellow…

gorging himself on his catch of the day…


I thought him very photogenic…


and quite accommodating… 

although he did eventually grow tired of our intrusion on his dining experience, and grabbing his grub, he flew into the trees.


Note:  I am uncertain as to what kind of hawk this is, so I have sent a request for Bob of Texas Tweeties to help me ID him.  I will post his reply here when it comes.   🙂

UPDATE:  Bob believes it to be a Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk.  (See Comments below)  Thanks Bob!  🙂