Category Archives: Neil Ellls Photos

The Rugged Beauty Of Twin Falls, Arkansas – And The Very Cool Parthenon General Store

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The Lord of Leisure Photo Gallery1

Lord of Leisure writes:

This shot of Twin Falls (which, as one can plainly see, would be more accurately named  Triple Falls) was taken in a light rain during our 3 day trip to Buffalo River country. These falls are within a couple of miles of our cabin near Mount Sherman, Arkansas, halfway between Jasper and Ponca.

Twin Falls is a  70′ high double waterfall located on Richland Creek 0.25 miles upstream from its confluence with Devil’s Fork Creek  in the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas. Arkansas.com (next to last paragraph) offers a thorough set of directions to Twin Falls, ending with this admonition:

These are some of the most picturesque waterfalls in the state but also some of the most difficult to reach. It is considered a difficult trek to reach them.

Richland Creek Wilderness includes this description of the area surrounding Twin Falls.

Limestone is exposed in the bluffs at lower elevations along Richland Creek where many outcrops contain fossils. The Ozark Mountains are actually plateaus, uplifted as a unit with few folds or faults. The ruggedness of these mountains is due to erosion of the plateaus by swift rivers flowing between them.

The narrowed V-shaped valleys are bordered by a combination of steep-sided slopes and vertical sandstone and limestone bluffs over 100 feet high. Ridge tops are primarily a deeply dissected sand stone with shale plateaus being narrow and rolling. Elevations range from 1,000 to 2,200 feet above sea level.

Topography within 1/4 mile on either side of Richland and Long Devil’s Fork Creeks is quite rugged and scenic. Rock bluffs over 100 feet high and extending over a mile along each side of Richland Creek graphically reveal the earth’s development. This Wilderness Area is known for its crystal clear creeks and waterfalls.

This video from Arkansas Educational Television Network automatically opens at the point pertinent to Twin Falls.

Twin Falls at the Richland Creek Wilderness Area – Exploring Arkansas

Bonus: Parthenon General Store

Lord of Leisure writes:

The last photo features the very cool Parthenon General Store, which is also  the only business in Parthenon, Arkansas.  We always shop here for our bait and video needs.2

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Parthenon, Arkansas
Parthenon, Arkansas

Parthenon, Arkansas

A visit to Stay More, a post at Legal Ruralism, offers this information about Parthenon:

This spring when I visited my beloved Newton County (AR), I drove the six miles from Jasper, the county seat, to the hamlet of Parthenon. This place name always elicits chuckles from non-Arkansans (and some Arkansans, too), especially when they learn that such a high-falutin’ name is matched to a wide-spot-in-the-road with less than a hundred residents. Actually, that population figure is a guess since the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t have a Parthenon listing, and all Wikipedia has to say is that the Little Buffalo River bridge there is on the state’ s list of historic places. Meanwhile, ZIPskinny.com tells me that Parthenon’s population is 83.

Parthenon, or a place near it … , is widely believed to be the inspiration for Donald Harrington’s series of novels set in Stay More, Arkansas. That’s its claim to fame — that and the fact it was home to the Parthenon Academy, the only high school in Newton County until oh, well . . . I cannot say for sure as I write this because of the lack of resources online about Parthenon. (I thought you could find anything on the internet, but about all that’s coming up in my search of “Parthenon, Arkansas” is offers to find me a personal injury attorney or car dealer there, when I know it has neither) I’d have to rummage through old issues of the Newton County Times looking for “Times Past” photos, or looking through my mom’ s collection of Arkansas memorabilia. In any event, I know it wasn’t too long ago — I’d guess the 1920s or 1930s based on what students were wearing in the photos I recall, as well as the fact I knew as elderly folks some of those pictured when I was growing up in Jasper.

…  here’s what struck me on this spring 2008 visit.

The old Parthenon General Store is still there. It’s pictured in the top photo, little changed no doubt, for decades. Love that Little Buffalo River stone. I was excited to see the store there because I know many of the county’s communities of similar size, like Mt. Sherman, have lost their stores.

Parthenon has a post office, and I noted that the hours shown on the government-issued opening hours sign had been altered to show earlier opening and closing times. People get up early, I guess, in Parthenon. In any event, the post office building looks like standard, government issue, small post office, pre-fab …

… there were at least two churches in “downtown” Parthenon. One was a Baptist church (pictured above left), which looked very tidy and well kept. I couldn’t imagine how the population supported both churches, yet an internet search revealed another, the Church in the Valley, off the Murray Road, not far from town. …

  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. Click on images to enlarge []
  2. DrHGuy: The Parthenon General Store is a near twin to the store nearest my mother’s home in Golden, Missouri, 10 miles north of Arkansas on Table Rock Lake []

The Wilds Of Shenandoah National Park

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The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Lord of Leisure writes:

This perspective on the early spring pastel colors of the budding oaks in the wilds of Shenandoah National Park contrasting with darker evergreens can be obtained only during  a brief period in early spring.

The telephoto lens flattens the perspective and simplifies the picture to a study of form, texture and color.

Click on image to enlarge (highly recommended in this case)

  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. []

Dogwood In Deep Woods Of The New River Gorge

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The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Lord of Leisure writes:

The focus in this shot  is  a Dogwood tree set in the deep woods of the New River Gorge.

As was the case with Rainy Day Photo Of Glade Creek Grist Mill, the weather was damp and the sky was overcast – perfect conditions for this picture. A sunny day would have put the scene’s elements in almost garish contrast.

The softer effect makes for a more interesting atmosphere in which to isolate the Dogwood with its bright white blossoms against the forest’s blacks and dark greens.

Click on photo to enlarge image

  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. []

Rainy Day Photo Of Glade Creek Grist Mill

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Glade Creek Grist Mill (click to enlarge)

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Lord of Leisure writes:

The area in and around West Virginia’s Babcock State Park is a mountainous region (like most of the state) through which a deep canyon, created by the New River, runs for many miles. The area is under federal protection with a “Wild and Scenic River” designation like the Current and Jack’s Fork Rivers in Missouri2 and the Buffalo River in Arkansas.

The Glade Creek Grist Mill lies within Babcock State Park and is the most photographed mill in West Virginia and perhaps anywhere in the country. Most photos of the mill, however, are taken in the fall with spectacular color flooding the area.

I had  hoped that the trees would be more leafed out, but spring had just begun when we arrived. I photographed the mill twice. The first day was partly cloudy, but the second day it was raining lightly in a with low overcast sky. I know the rainy day photo would be the best. It gives the picture a moody atmosphere and the wet leaves and bark bring out the subtle colors of the early spring trees.

More About Glade Creek Grist Mill

According to the Babcock State Park Site,

The Glade Creek Grist Mill is a new mill that was completed in 1976 at Babcock. Fully operable, this mill was built as a re-creation of one which once ground grain on Glade Creek long before Babcock became a state park. Known as Cooper’s Mill, it stood on the present location of the park’s administration building parking lot.

… the mill was created by combining parts and pieces from three mills which once dotted the state. The basic structure of the mill came from the Stoney Creek Grist Mill which dates back to 1890. It was dismantled and moved piece by piece to Babcock from a spot near Campbelltown in Pocahontas County. After an accidental fire destroyed the Spring Run Grist Mill near Petersburg, Grant County, only the overshot water wheel could be salvaged. Other parts for the mill came from the Onego Grist Mill near Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County.

An illustrated explanation of the working mill and its operation can be found at How The Mill Runs.

Finally, close up pictures of the mill which are far less glamorous than today’s photo but do show more detail of the structure itself are accessible at MillPictures.

  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. []
  2. See Greer Springs In The Missouri Ozarks and Alley Spring Mill On The Jacks Fork River []

Young Cooper's Hawk From Lord Of Leisure

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Immature Cooper's Hawk

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Lord of Leisure writes:

The subject of these photos is a Cooper’s Hawk that has been hanging around our bird feeder this winter. By all reports, Cooper’s Hawks are  becoming more comfortable in suburban areas where they find easy prey around feeders.

The Cooper’s Hawk in the photo previously published at Heck Of A Guy (see Cooper’s Hawk Completes Raptor Trio)  was a mature bird while today’s photos show a first year bird with the characteristic striped plumage of the breast and the mottled back. It is possible this is the offspring of the previous bird.

It is difficult to distinguish sex by appearance,  but the female tends to be larger than the male.

Their favorite prey in our neighborhood are Mourning Doves , but they may go after any kind of bird smaller than they are.  Notice it is standing on one foot.   I don’t know whether this is common behavior or not.

I shot these pictures through a double paned bedroom window, but they turned out well nonetheless.

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  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. []

Cooper's Hawk Completes Raptor Trio

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Lord of Leisure writes:

The Cooper’s Hawk is a woodland hawk with impressive acrobatic skills. Unlike the previously featured Red Tailed Hawk and Barred Owl, the Cooper’s Hawk uses its flying talents to maneuver through trees and limbs to prey on other birds.2

All About Birds points out that this is not a strategy that is without risk.

Dashing through vegetation to catch birds is a rather dangerous lifestyle. A recent study found that 23 percent of all Cooper’s Hawks examined had healed fractures in the bones of the chest, especially of the furcula or wishbone.

  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. []
  2. From All About Birds: “A Cooper’s Hawk captures a bird with its feet, and will squeeze it repeatedly to kill it. It does not bite the prey to kill it in the fashion of falcons, but holds it away from its body until it dies. It has been known to drown its prey, holding a bird under water until it stops moving.” []