Tag Archives: railroad

Late Sunday on an abandoned spur 05.18.14

 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Blog title note for readers outside the United States: although I make every effort to include metric equivalents in my writing, my dates are always expressed as MM.DD.YY.

Lots of sunshine this past Sunday. Jennifer and I had just returned from the gym, and dinner was at least an hour away. It had been a sunny day, and its setting phase was bright and deep. I said I was going to go over to some railroad tracks near the house and take some pictures. Jennifer suggested I take Mr. T along for company… and that some fresh air would be good for him. He said yes, so I grabbed my Nikon and we piled into Meerkat, our Subaru Outback, and were off for an adventure.

Mr. T is our youngest son, and he is also my neighbor in the Secret Underground Lair. And even though he really does have a name, his blog pseudonym will forever be Mr. T, as that is how he was first introduced.

In five minutes, we were at the site of our shoot.

As we walked across the street, and as I looked around, I was struck with the realization that we had lived in this area since ~1993, and I did not know this line was abandoned. I pointed out that there was not a hint of shine on these rails to indicate and recent usage; the ties (sleepers) were mostly rotting and in some areas the tracks were barely visible under gravel. In a nutshell, a fantastic place to shoot.

We walked probably a quarter of a mile (~500m); so much of the track had been pulled up and actually stacked on the side of the right of way. I was composing a shot of some track that had been stacked four high, and suddenly realized that the piece at the top was actually a set of parallel tracks that had been cut (possibly by a saw, as I saw none of the characteristic markings of a blow torch). They were all stacked neatly, as if  some giant child had stacked them up, intending on completing his railroad layout tomorrow. Unfortunately for our hypothetical giant child, it seems tomorrow never came. There were three or four neatly stacked groups of rail, all with their ties still attached. In Another place was a large stack of ties- probably close to fifty, if not more… I can imagine a gardener reading about these massive hunks of wood, free for the taking… if only the location were known!

As with my previous photographic outing, https://hochspeyer.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/happy-happy-joy-joy/ I simply had an experience that was beyond words. I shot eighty frames that Sunday, and would have shot more were it not for the untimely demise of my battery.

Mr. T and I returned to Meerkat, and we gloriously drove off into the sun… er, can’t say that. We drove off in a generally northeasterly direction.

Until next time… I am hochspeyer- one f-stop short of a six pack.

*Don’t forget to visit my data analysis blog…it’s more fun than it sounds like… hochspeyer.blogspot.com

Happy happy, joy joy

Remember the Nicktoons cartoon “The Ren & Stimpy Show”? I do. I was not a fan of the show in any way, but the episode with the “Happy Happy, Joy Joy” song somehow has stuck with me. I’ve only seen this episode a few times, but I consider it the high water mark of the series. So, what does this have to do with a photography blog? Ren and Stimpy ran from 1991-1996. As I mentioned, I was not a fan of the show; I did not even like the style of the cartoon. To summarize, from my viewpoint: Ren was an idiot, and Stimpy was just plain stupid (to quote Ren, “Stimpy, you IDIOT!!!) There are a number of cartoons that have been produced with a pair of characters that take on the world. The earliest I can site is the interesting pair of pairs found in “The Flintstones”- Fred and Barney, and Betty and Wilma. Later, there was the antagonistic pairs of Rocky and Bullwinkle versus Boris and Natasha. There was Pinky and The Brain. My favorite cartoon pairs were Pinky and the Brain, and the Angry Beavers”  Daggett and Norbert.


One day, Ren was feeling down. Stimpy built a “happy” machine, and Stimpy “made” Ren happy… they spent much of the episode (as I recall) singing, “Happy, happy, joy, joy”. Happy is easy; joy- not so much. Happy is a good thing, and can be quite uplifting. But I think happy is often more knee-jerk than anything,


Joy, on the other hand, is tougher to define, and seems to be harder to latch on to these days. It is dichotomous; one does not have to be be happy to be joyous, but chances are, if one is filled with joy, the happy may follow. A few days ago (Tuesday or Wednesday… I’m really not sure) I told Jenifer that I planned to take my camera to work on Friday. Her approval consisted of, “Watch out for trains.” When I registered my camera on the Nikon website, I checked the “Other” box in the interests area, and wrote in “Railroad/Industrial”. I got off work around 0730 and was home before 0900. In that time I shot nearly eighty frames… I love digital! In honesty, I’m wondering if we would even know Ansel Adams name if he had digital available to him.

The point of this particular blog entry is this: the morning was beautiful, and so was my mood. The weather service on my phone said the local conditions were mostly cloudy, but my observation was that it was partly cloudy at worst. As I warmed Meerkat up (Meerkat is our Subaru Outback), I planned out my stops; I had one or two locations in mind. Of the two, only one was visited, but three others ended up being added.

I was out for barely an hour, and in that time shot almost seventy frames. That hour was pure joy, and I am thankful for it.

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