Friday, June 27, 2008


The sign by the side of the road said "Biplane Rides."

The planes were in Wichita for the American Barnstormers Tour, a group of pilots who are taking their vintage aircraft on a whirlwind tour of America's Heartland.

And for $50, you could take a trip back in time.

Not to be left out, I plunked down my $50 for a ride with pilot Stuart "Cap'n Mac" MacPherson in his 1929 Travel Air 4000. Ironically, the plane was manufactured in Wichita, "Air Capital of the World."

I climbed into the front cockpit with my flying partner. It looked very similar to the car of a roller coaster: a bench seat, a seat belt and an "Oh Jesus" bar. The only exception being the air sickness bags taped to the side of the cockpit.

I was expecting a casual flight, but after a couple of sharp turns and one dip too many, I came close to needing one of those bags.

Cap'n Mac completed ride the by buzzing a farmer's field, then swooping skyward to clear a set of power lines and then dropping again to bring us in safely to Jabara Airport.

What a ride.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Secret Garden

I'm currently in Wichita, KS working on a magazine for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.

A couple of days ago, I had the chance to visit with Robin Macy at Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, KS.

Robin literally stumbled upon the Arboretum a little over ten years ago and fell in love. She was on her way back to Wichita after a musical festival and took a wrong turn. Or as she likes to say, a right turn. While driving she noticed the for sale sign on a fence outside the garden gate and decided to take a look. 

She had found the secret garden.

Robin recently released a cd of music inspired by her time at Bartlett Arboretum called Songs from the Garden, with proceeds benefitting the arboretum.

The Welcome Mat

Robin and Sister Stella

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Visiting Stonehenge

Just returned from a trip to Cowlitz County Washington just north of Portland, OR. This was my first trip to the Pacific Northwest and, despite the cold and rain, I really enjoyed it.

I spent 9 days photographing Cowlitz County, which consists of towns Longview, Kelso, Castle Rock and Woodland, for the Images of Cowlitz County magazine. Out of those nine days, it was cloudy or rainy eight of them. 

On Saturday night, I had a little down time with the rain and picked up a copy of National Geographic and some sushi at the local Safeway. The magazine featured a cover story on Stonehenge and the sushi was a California Roll, about the safest sushi you can get at a grocery store.

On Sunday, I decided to do a little sightseeing. I had learned about some wind farms less than three hours away in Klickitat County Washington and decided to get out of town for a while. The weather was still crappy so there wasn't going to much to photograph in Cowlitz.


It was a pleasant drive up I84. I passed Mount Hood, saw Mount St. Helens in the distance, beautiful Multnomah Falls and kiteboarders on the Hood River.

What I didn't expect, was to pass Stonehenge along the way.

At the intersection of highways 14 and 97, just off I84 is a little town called Maryhill. Sitting off on a hill, is Stonehenge.

The Stonehenge in Maryhill is a memorial to soldiers from Klickitat County Washington that died in World War I. Sam Hill, a Quaker and pacifist, started building the monument in 1918 after visiting England during the war. It was completed in 1929. 

At the time Hill starting construction on the monument, it was believed that Stonehenge was a site for human sacrifices to pagan gods. Hill said "After all our civilization, the flower of humanity still is being sacrificed to the god of war on fields of battle."

Friday, June 6, 2008

2008 NCAA Women's Golf Championship

I've been covering golf for over 10 years now. I've photographed in near freezing temperatures, in blazing heat hot and torrential downpours. 

During the 2008 Women's Golf Championship in Albuquerque, NM, I got to shoot in 50 mph winds. Let me tell you, that's no fun. Your 400mm lens is like a sail. It's tough to keep it steady. 

This was the first tournament I've ever covered that's been delayed by high winds. The wind was so bad the balls were literally being blown off the greens.

Throw in a couple of rain delays, a playoff and finish in near darkness. What a fun week! 

Arizona State's Azahara Munoz tees off with the city of Albuquerque in the background.

Wake Forest's Nannette Hill hits from behind trees.

Arizona State's Azahara Munoz tees off with storm clouds approaching.

Players and spectators seek shelter in a bus during one of the rain delays.

UCLA's Tiffany Joh after missing the winning putt and setting up a playoff for the individual championship.

USC celebrates their team win.

Arizona State's Azahara Munoz is congratulated by teammates after defeating UCLA's Tiffany Joh in a playoff for the individual championship.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Coastal Georgia Part 2

I'm on the last day of my month-long odyssey and trying to make my way home to Nashville. Unfortunately, I've hit the Atlanta-area at rush hour and figured it was best to wait it out at a Starbucks as opposed to sitting in traffic.

Luckily, this gives me time to make a new post.

Here are a few scenic shots from my trip to the Georgia coast for the Business Images of the Coastal Georgia Region magazine.

A group of pedicabs cruises around one of the squares in downtown Savannah.

I hiked up the Tybee Island Lighthouse not once, but twice. That's what happens when you leave a lens in your car.

There are 178 steps in the lighthouse. I cussed at every last one of them, especially the second time around.

Tourists on River Street in downtown Savannah.

City Hall in Savannah.

The shrimp po boy at Marianne's Sterling's Southern Cafe in St. Marys, GA. You gotta stop by this place if you're in the neighborhood. St. Mary's is on the southern tip of the Georgia coast near Jacksonville, FL.

Jim Bacote works on a sweetgrass bowl in front of the Geechee Kunda Cultural Arts Center in Riceboro, GA.