Category Archives: Neil Ellls Photos

Great Egret Rookery On Hilton Head Island

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

This simply splendid photo of a tree packed with a breeding colony of  Great Egrets was taken last week by Lord of Leisure on Hilton Head Island, located off the southeastern coast of South Carolina. Click on image for best viewing.

And yes, there are more shots of this sort to follow.


  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. All Lord of Leisure photos can be found at Photos – Lord of Leisure. []

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Blog

He’s Baaack

This appropriately ominous photo (click on image for best viewing) of an American Alligator, a notable example of the fauna indigenous to Hilton Head Island, signals DrHGuy’s return from vacation on that idyllic isle.

Because of the addition of an unanticipated dental appointment to the already frenetic schedule rendered necessary by the return to real life, the usual melange of Heck Of A Guy posts featuring life, love, lust, & Leonard Cohen will not resume until tomorrow. To compensate for that delay, however, the blog entry planned for  June 7, 2011 will offer a never before published episode from the life of a certain Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, novelist, and icon.

Credit Due Department:

It will prove no surprise to ongoing readers that the outstanding photo atop this post was taken by fellow Hilton Head camper, Lord of Leisure.1

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. All Lord of Leisure photos can be found at Photos – Lord of Leisure. []

Once More Into The Woods Of The 1973 Mountain View Ozark Folk Festival

38 Years Later – Forest Still Primeval

As noted in Return To Mountain View Ozark Folk Festival, Lord of Leisure and Hippie With Tiara dared to return to Mountain View, Arkansas, site of the adventure known at Heck Of A Guy as The Great Ozark Folk Festival Flood of 1973, a tale told in three parts: Introduction, Bluegrass, The Courthouse, The Campgrounds, & Hungry Hungry Hippies, and The Flood.

Editor’s Note: During the recent Mountain View trip, Lord of Leisure was in visitor rather than photographer mode. The photos from this excursion are casual snapshots, not the product of long, arduous, and intense efforts such as those typically found in category labeled Photos-Lord of Leisure. I prevailed upon Lord of Leisure to allow these shots to be posted. Click on images for best viewing.

Today’s focus is on the woods where our intrepid group1 camped during the 1973 sojourn:

The tone for our stay within the municipality of Mountain View was set when Lord of Leisure (pictured in situ on the reader’s right), upon driving into the designated camping area, was guided across a dry creek bed into the imaginatively defined “city park” by a deputy policeman, whose rank was indicated by the battered badge pinned to his wifebeater tank top and whose authority was confirmed by the several pounds of Colt revolver holstered on his hip.

To appreciate these scenes, viewers should also be informed about a specific event that took place in those woods. From The Great Ozark Folk Festival Flood of 1973: Bluegrass, The Courthouse, The Campgrounds, & Hungry Hungry Hippies:

That prizewinning episode [involving food] came to pass the in the midst of the sunshine-filled afternoon of our second day in Mountain View. From our campsite, we heard what can only be described as wailing. Convinced that someone was in acute distress (the smart money was on “bad drug trip”), we hiked toward the apparent source of the moans, a portion of the woods that was a reasonable facsimile of the forest primeval and the likely home of spooks, goblins, witches, werewolves, and similar supernatural entities. Our search did not turn up anyone shrieking (or anything in the ghost/ogre category), and the noise had ceased by the time we entered the woods.

We did, however, find an object that was immediately enshrined in my mind as a prime symbol of human depravity, a position it has maintained unto this day.

In our search for the source of the wailing, we unexpectedly stumbled onto a stone amphitheater carved into a hillside in the woods, causing one member of our party to speculate on the likelihood that the sounds we had heard were occasioned by a human sacrifice completed during a pagan ceremony held on the stage of this secluded venue. Exploring the grounds, we found the thing.

At our feet lay a sandwich composed of two pieces of white bread – encasing a generous helping of what we determined by consensus to be Chef Boyardee canned spaghetti. It was not a pretty sight. But the nuance responsible for the object’s transcendence from the disgusting to the horrible was the single bite taken from the sandwich before it was discarded.

Perhaps, gentle reader, the impact of this emblematic sandwich cannot be conveyed by the written word. Perhaps, as the cliché has it, “you had to be there.” I can testify that when we came upon that scene we all immediately realized that one of the central existentialist questions of our time is

To what levels of despair and desperation must a human
being sink to not only construct a sandwich from white
bread and Chef Boyardee canned spaghetti but to
actually take a bite of that sandwich before rejecting it?

I have no proof that the wailing we heard was connected to that sandwich, but …

Lord of Leisure2 writes:

The amphitheater [above] was built as a federal “Green Thumb” project, a program designed to provide work for unemployed farm workers,  in the late 60’s so it was fairly new when we first visited, but I don’t remember it looking new at all.  In this photo taken today [late April 2011], one can see that it has been neglected and is in need of repair.

We found no evidence of a memorial marking the sacred ground where the spaghetti sandwich was discovered

Lord of Leisure writes:

Above are steps leading down to the amphitheater looking in the opposite direction as the previous picture. When we visited [late April 2011], this pretty, quiet place was populated by many blooming dogwoods and very few people.

From The Great Ozark Folk Festival Flood of 1973: The Flood:

… we discovered that the low water crossing over the dry creek bed had been replaced by a roiling gush of water with no bridge of any kind visible.

As we approached the water we watched one car drive onto the low-water bridge, now buried under a rushing stream. The vehicle began moving with the current and seemed doomed to be swept downstream when, at the last moment, the driver managed to escape the waters, gaining enough traction to climb the bank on the opposite side.

In testimony to the narrow margin separating that successful crossing from the catastrophe it could have been, no one else, among the multitude stranded in that campground, many of whom had demonstrated in the preceding two days a distinct lack of judgment, impaired reality testing, and no evidence of an instinct for self-preservation, made an attempt to ford the stream.

Lord of Leisure writes:

I took this picture from the bottom of the amphitheater, shooting back toward the woods where I think we camped in 1973.  My memory is that we walked through the woods searching for the source of wailing we hear that sounded like someone may have been on a bad trip.   The trail in the background may have been the way we made our approach. This stone bridge is far more  picturesque than the submerged, aptly-named low-water bridge we had to cross to return from Mountain View in 1973, but goes over the same creek that flooded that year.

  1. Left to right: Flame, Hippie With Tiara, PolySciGuy, and DrHGuy in camp – Mountain View, Arkansas.  Not shown: Lord of Leisure (photographer) and the then eventually-to-become-first-Mrs-DrHGuy, aka the still-later-to-become-ex-Mrs-DrHGuy (MIA)


    []

  2. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. []

New River Gorge Early Spring Oaks

wvnewrivergorgeoakssuperbshrp

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Note: This photo was part of a set of four shots.2 The other three were posted in February 2009. While searching the Heck Of A Guy archives for Leonard Cohen World Tour reruns, I discovered this never before posted image.

Lord of Leisure writes:

This photo is a long telephoto of early spring oaks taken in early morning in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia and is even more extreme than the photo of Shenandoah National Park (seen below)  in flattening the perspective so that it shows only form, texture and color.  Huge enlargements of this type of photo can be very cool if they are sharp and contain much detail.

Click on image to enlarge

va-blueridgepkwy-superb-shrp

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. All Lord of Leisure photos can be found at Photos – Lord of Leisure. []
  2. The other three photos in this sequences are Rainy Day Photo Of Glade Creek Grist Mill
    , Dogwood In Deep Woods Of The New River Gorge, and The Wilds Of Shenandoah National Park. []

Burnside’s Bridge – Antietam National Battlefield

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Click on image for best viewing.

Burnside’s Bridge  is the second of the three incidental  scenes shot  by Lord Of Leisure  without benefit of his usual photographic tools. The first of these casual photos can be viewed at Fallingwater – Frank Lloyd Wright’s Iconic House; the third will be published soon. And, all Lord of Leisure photos can be found at Photos – Lord of Leisure.

Lord of Leisure writes:

En route to a wedding, Hippie With Tiara and I made a couple of side trips to sites we had long wanted to visit and, in the process, serendipitously discovered unexpected opportunities for photos that might interest your viewers.

Because this was not an excursion dedicated to photography, I didn’t bring my full complement of equipment (I didn’t even bring my tripod), and we didn’t organize our trip to assure the shots were taken from the optimal position with the best lighting in the right season.

Nonetheless, we found three scenes that lent themselves to interesting photos. …

Burnside’s Bridge

Located on the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland, Burnside’s Bridge is an icon of the bloodiest one day battle in the American Civil War.

Crossing over Antietam Creek, the bridge played a key role in the September 17, 1862 Battle of Antietam (also known, especially in the South, as the Battle of Sharpsburg) during which 23,000 men died. On that day, 450 to 500 Georgians positioned on the bluffs overlooking the bridge blocked the path of Union  Major General Ambrose Burnside’s 12,000 soldiers.

While Burnside’s choice to storm the bridge has been criticized, the geography of the area, especially the steep banks of  Antietam Creek, its waist-deep water, and the pitted mountainside (the result of the excavation of limestone for the bridge) which afforded good cover for the Confederate riflemen, offered few alternatives.

After multiple attacks were repulsed with great losses to the Union ranks, the Federal forces did seize the bridge but only after a strategically devastating delay of several hours.

The bridge, which, prior to the Battle of Antietam, was known as the Lower Bridge,  now bears the name of the General whose tactics and troops were destroyed there.


  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. []

Fallingwater – Frank Lloyd Wright’s Iconic House

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Click on image for best viewing.

As a number of readers have pointed out in their email messages, it has been far too long since Heck Of A Guy has published a Lord of Leisure photo. The most recent of his shots was, in fact, posted at The Rugged Beauty Of Twin Falls, Arkansas – And The Very Cool Parthenon General Store on November 8, 2009.  (All Lord of Leisure photos can be found at Photos – Lord of Leisure.) Consequently, we were especially delighted to receive from him this week three photographs, one of which is displayed in today’s entry,  along with an explanatory note.

Lord of Leisure writes:

En route to a wedding, Hippie With Tiara and I made a couple of side trips to sites we had long wanted to visit  and, in the process, serendipitously discovered unexpected opportunities for photos that might interest your viewers.

Because this was not an excursion dedicated to  photography, I didn’t bring  my full complement of equipment (I didn’t even bring my tripod),  and we didn’t organize our trip to assure the shots were taken from the optimal position with the best lighting in the right season.

Nonetheless, we found three scenes that lent themselves to interesting photos.  The first of these is, of course, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in the mountains of southeastern Pennsylvania.

The other two photos will be posted soon.

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. []