Sunday, August 31, 2008

Southern ladies

These Southern ladies - belles if you like - were enjoying a Saturday morning stroll at last year's "Battle of Tunnel Hill" reenactment. I have been told that the proper genteel Southern lady of the past wore no less than 5 petticoats - no matter what the weather. I'm glad that it's now proper to wear t-shirts and shorts in 90+ degree Summer weather.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

morning conversations

This was early on Saturday morning last year at the "Battle of Tunnel Hill" Civil War reenactment. Off to the right is a line of period tents complete with sleeping essentials, cookwares and campfires. You can see the cannons ready for manning by the 'Yankee' reenactors. There's a camaraderie among all the participants, both Rebels and Yanks, because they remember that those who died in battle were ALL Americans.
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Friday, August 29, 2008

directions to the "Battle of Tunnel Hill"

As promised, here are driving directions to the "Battle of Tunnel Hill" (GA) Civil War reenactment to be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 6th and 7th. Gates open at 9:00am. Admission is $5. Gates close at 4:00pm.

Coming south from Chattanooga, TN, on I-75, take exit #345 (Ringgold/Tunnel Hill). At the end of the ramp, turn right (south) onto Hwy 41. Drive 3.9 miles --- watch the speed limits, THEY MEAN IT. Turn left onto Oak Street. Stay straight for .3 mile. Event parking is on the right.

Coming north from Atlanta, GA, on I-75, take exit # 336 (Dalton/Rocky Face). At the bottom of the ramp, turn left (north) onto Hwy 41. Drive 5.0 miles. Turn right onto Oak Street. Stay straight for .3 mile. Event parking is on the right.

My art group, the Art Alliance of North Georgia, is sponsoring a paint-out during the event. It's in conjunction with the International Plein Air Painters "Worldwide Paintout". Hope you can drop in and visit.

Battle of Tunnel Hill next weekend

I will post some photos this week of last year's "Battle of Tunnel Hill" Civil War reenactment. Next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 6th and 7th, will see hundreds of reenactors decend upon Tunnel Hill to participate in this annual event. The property is located just off Highway 41 in Tunnel Hill, GA. There will be a battle reenactment lasting 45 minutes to an hour. Soldiers on horseback, cannons blasting and bugles sounding -- you'll positively have goosebumps and a lump in your throat. Plan to visit this event.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

mysterious barn

When I was a kid I loved to play for hours in my Granddad's barn. There among the old boards, dry hay and scurry of mouse feet it was easy to create another mysterious world in my childhood mind. Hours flew by and the only thing dragging me back was Grandma's call "Ya'll come on in to supper!"
This isn't Granddad's barn - it has been gone for many years. But every time I see an old barn, I remember the wonderful times treasured.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

more Southern lights

Atmospheric conditions sometimes lend themselves to what I call "Southern Lights" - think Aurora Borealis with a Southern accent. I pays to always have a camera handy. This was taken in the Books a Million parking lot in Chattanooga, TN.
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Fall arts & crafts fairs

It's almost time for Southern art fairs to begin springing up on the weekends. It's also a good time to start thinking about the Christmas season and early shopping. On most weekends, you can find an arts and crafts festival with artisans' tents spread over acres of county parks and down historical streets. This particular photo was taken in downtown Calhoun, GA, during their "More Than a Taste of Calhoun" event. That's Sandra painting en plein air (means in open air or outdoors) where she has set up her easel and is capturing on canvas what she sees. So be sure to check your local newspaper for the art fairs in your area. You can find beautiful original paintings and meet the artists in person. Maybe we'll see you at the North Georgia "Prater's Mill Country Fair" or maybe the "Creative Arts Guild Festival". Stop in and say "Hi!"
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Southern towns

I love Southern towns. They have a charm all their own. This photo was taken in downtown Dalton, GA, at 7:49 on July 20th and it appears that nothing much is happening. Just wait until around 8:00. Shop keepers flip the "Closed" signs over and they're open for business. As the sun rises and illuminates the storefronts, you can see history in the brickwork. Except for a few businesses lost in a fire, these same facades were standing in the mid 1940's - and even before. Ya'll stop in to see us sometime.
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

early hay

This was the first hay cutting at the Tunnel Hill battlefield. These bales are already in the barn and the second cutting is waiting for pickup. This early morning photo shows the shadow of Chetogeeta Mountain falling across the meadow. It won't be long until the knoll to the left will sprout canvas tents housing Civil War reenactors.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Meadowlawn Springhouse

Everyone in Tunnel Hill, GA, is gearing up for the annual "Battle of Tunnel Hill" Civil War reenactment set for September 7th and 8th. This is an early morning photo of the springhouse located near the Clisby Austin house, a pre-Civil War plantation home. The spring still runs with crystal clear, cool water. The hay has just been cut again and baling will take place very soon. Ah-h-h-h the smell of new mown hay!!!
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Casey's nap

I had to post this photo of Casey napping. He doesn't know he's laying in a sunbeam unless he feels its warmth. Casey is blind. I found him at about 6 months old. He had been tortured and blinded by -- I don't know who but I do know they were evil. He is now 8 years old and has such a sweet and gentle way. He knows his way around the house, although he sometimes gets lost if he takes his nap in a different spot. Sometimes he bumps into the furniture, but that doesn't stop him from playing with his catnip mouse and chewing every shoestring he finds. He uses a kind of kitty radar "wowoooo??" if he gets lost. When I hear that special sound, I ask "Casey, are you lost?"....and he always finds me. When he hears a visitor at the front door, he's always the first one to greet them with his especially loud purr. Throwaway pets???? That would be like disgarding love.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

bridge to yesteryear - PHOTO TO BE POSTED AGAIN

Turning off Highway 41 onto Oak Street, you drive through this little covered bridge to get to the Clisby Austin house. Most of the year the property is peaceful - except during the annual "Battle of Tunnel Hill" Civil War reenactment. During the event, the meadow to the extreme right is used for parking and thousands of visitors will walk through the bridge, sometimes stopping to view the little creek underneath.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Battle of Tunnel Hill blacksmith shop

This blacksmith shop sits on the property soon to host the annual "Battle of Tunnel Hill" Civil War reenactment. The event dates are September 6th and 7th - just a little more than 2 weeks away!! Excitement is in the air! Reenactors are already scouting out campsites.

My art group, Art Alliance of North Georgia, will be onsite both days painting en plein air -- and we'd like to invite other artists to come join us in the premier "Tunnel Hill Battle Paintout". I'll be posting some of the paintings to my art blog at and be sure to check out for more artwork by fellow artists who will be at the event.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

late afternoon colors

Late one afternoon Sandra and I were scouting Dalton, GA, for scenic spots to capture on canvas. We had driven around in West Hill Cemetery --- yes, cemetery --- and found several promising sites. I spotted this unusual tree beside the little stone chapel. I don't know whether it was the late afternoon sun or the type of tree, but the colors seemed super-saturated. The tree limbs appeared a bright red while the leaves were amazing shades of lime. Some of the shadows were creeping in and showing themselves a cool blue. It was a wonderful sight for an artist.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

bridge at Jack's River

Jack's River is a popular destination in the Summertime South. There's a park near Flat Top Mountain in Northwest Georgia. It has campsites, toilet facilities, drinking water and parking for horse trailers. The entrance to the campground is immediately West of the Southern end of the 7.2 mile Pinhoti/South Loop Trail. This track meanders through fields and hardwood forests along the banks of the South fork of the Jack's River.
............and there's nothing like goin' to the river in the Summertime South..........

Friday, August 15, 2008

1930's schoolhouse

This building was once a 2-room schoolhouse. It was still in use during the 1930's and 40's in Cisco, GA (Murray County) where Uncle Bill Colvard was the teacher. The windows aren't boarded up -- the shutter-like window coverings have latches so they can be removed. The chimneys are original.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Who says the sky is blue????

Although blue is the color of the sky most of the time, any color you can imagine can be seen there....We just have to take the time to notice....
This is an early October sky in Northwest Georgia. It's as though we have "Southern lights".
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mr. Turkey at the beach

A friend took Mr. Turkey to Daytona Beach last November. He seems to have enjoyed it.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Prater's Mill

This is the gin located on the Prater's Mill property. During the Country Fair, the entire area houses vendors, singers, craftsmen and artisans. It's a BIG event so if you're in the Northwest Georgia area, be sure to visit on October 11th and 12th.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Prater's Mill

This was taken earlier this year after heavy rainfall. As my Granddad would say, "The crick's up."
On October 11th and 12th, the annual Prater's Mill Country Fair will be held here. There will be lots of country crafts, fine arts, home cookin', music, food, and lots of fun. So if you're in the area of Varnell in Northwest, GA, ya'll come by to see us. You can find information at

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Dalton Depot

The original train depot in Dalton, GA, has been restored to house The Dalton Depot, an upscale restaurant. It has retained its original brickwork, flooring and archtectural personality. The service is great and the food is wonderful. Stop in sometime when you're in the area.
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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Southern architecture

This is The Depot in Dalton, GA. As the name implies, it's the old train depot --- but it's been restored and is now a fine restaurant. The architectural lines and motifs make it an interesting place to visit --- and the food is excellent.
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Friday, August 8, 2008

preparing for Winter

It's hard to think of Winter when the temperature is hovering in the mid 90's. But cool weather is just a few short months away and there are cattle to be fed. Farmers depend on the seasonal hay cutting to get their live stock through cold weather. They are rewarded with milk, butter and new Spring calves. Life goes on.
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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Brasstown Bald

This photo was sent by my friend Mike W. I'm sure this scene reminds him of his beloved Scotland.

"Beautiful Brasstown Bald, rising 4,784 feet above sea level, is Georgia's highest mountain. On clear days, the spectacular 360-degree view from atop the mountain allows you to see four states, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The surrounding area is home to a wide variety of plants and animals.".....quoted from a site featuring Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Jefferson Davis

This statue and monument for Jefferson Davis is located in Richmond, VA, near downtown.

Click on the photo for more detail.
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

painting the South

Several friends and I regularly get outside and capture the "Scenic South" on canvas. This photo was taken the day Sandra, Carol and I explored sites at the Chickamauga Battlefield in Northwest Georgia. We found the shady side of a hill and caught some of the early yell0w light - which quickly turned to clear blue. We saw several hikers, bikers and a horseback rider who were all enjoying the morning.

The almost completed painting is by Sandra Babb.
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