Storm clouds

Derecho
Canon PowerShot S95
2020

Not long ago a derecho storm passed through. This is a storm characterized by heavy rain and straightline winds of 90 mph or more.

The storm cell stretched from south of Indianapolis all the way into Lake Michigan. The worst of the storm passed through northern Illinois and northern Indiana, causing widespread damage. In central Indiana we were in the least severe zone of the storm, which caused far less damage. We got plenty of rain, though.

We could see the storm cloud from way off. It was a giant shelf — sunshine outside it and darkness within.

The light was interesting as the shelf reached us. The sun outside the cloud still lit everything brightly, but the cloud itself darkened the sky. This gave the light a blue-gray hue, and boosted the sense of contrast.

I stepped out my front door to make this quick photograph before the rain started to fall in buckets.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.

Photography

single frame: Derecho

A photo of the interesting light as a derecho storm rolled in.

Image
The purplest house ever

The purplest house ever
Canon PowerShot S95
2020

My wife and I have been walking neighborhoods all over central Indiana for the last few years looking for one that gives us the most of what we want in a home and its surroundings, with prices we are willing to pay.

We’ve recently visited the Irvington neighborhood on Indianapolis’s Eastside a couple times, and we think this just might be the next place we call home. We’re at least a year away from being ready to move, though.

When Irvington was planned in 1870, it was as a town — Indianapolis didn’t extend this far east yet. Indianapolis annexed Irvington in 1905. The National Road, known locally as Washington Street, bisects it; a small business district with shops and restaurants lines this main street. To the north and south lie a network of narrow streets, many of them curved, a few of them still paved in brick. Homes are older, built between 1870 and about 1960.

This extremely purple house is for sale. I checked it out on Zillow — it’s lovely inside. But zomg, the purple. Now, purple happens to be my favorite color. What I’ve learned, however, is that a little purple goes a long way. At my last house, I used purple as an accent color in my kitchen, but used a particular complimentary shade of green much more. Purple mostly showed up in my kitchen in utensils, small appliances, and bakeware. I still have a complete set of purple Pyrex.

My Canon S95 got the color exactly right in this shot. Purple has not historically been its strong suit. It usually renders it as a purplish blue.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.

Photography, Preservation

single frame: The purplest house ever

A little purple goes a long way.

Image

Old Louisville is a neighborhood in, as you might guess, Louisville. You’ll find it just south of downtown. It’s full of late-1800s homes mostly in the Late Victorian style, with a few Italianate, Federal, Second Empire, and Richardson Romanesque homes in there for good measure.

Belgravia Court, Old Louisville

The centerpiece of Old Louisville is St. James Court, a wide boulevard with a grassy median and a copper fountain. The centerpiece of this centerpiece, however, is Belgravia Court. It’s at the south end of St. James Court. But you can’t drive this court — you’ll have to park your car and walk. It is two rows of houses that face each other, sidewalks and a grassy median separating them. Gas streetlights line the median.

Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville

Here now, the doors of Belgravia Court.

Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville
Belgravia Court, Old Louisville

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.

Photography

Thursday doors: Belgravia Court, Old Louisville

The doors of Belgravia Court, Louisville.

Image
Ingredients for lemon pie

Ingredients for lemon pie
Canon PowerShot S95
2020

My wife has been working on a personal project that, in part, involves adapting recipes from the 1800s to turn out well using modern cooking methods.

A lemon pie recipe proved very challenging to adapt. The old recipe called for boiling the lemons, rind and all. It made for a pie I found to be inedible, though the rest of the family managed to finish their slices. Margaret made heavy adjustments on each of three more tries with this recipe before she got a result that worked.

These ingredients went into the final, successful pie. This is exactly how Margaret arranged them on that colorful plate. She lay it on the dining table, lit only by sunlight through the back door window.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.

Photography

single frame: Ingredients for lemon pie

Still life with egg.

Image
Peacock Road

Peacock Road
Canon PowerShot S95
2011

When I find an old brick road, I seldom find much information about it on the Internet. But a lot is known about Peacock Road.

These bricks are part of the National Road in eastern Ohio. You’ll find them about 2.7 miles west of Old Washington, just off modern US 40.

During World War I, factories across the Midwest were in full production for the war. The railways were already jammed with their goods, and it became necessary to transport goods by truck. But most roads were dirt in those days; some were gravel and a few had been paved in hard surfaces. Making matters worse, road maintenance had often been deferred during the war. It was hard to find long-distance routes where the roads were in consistently good condition.

In Ohio, the National Road was a clear choice for overland trucking but for two unpaved sections in poor condition. One of those sections lay between Old Washington and Cambridge. In 1918, the state worked prisoners night and day for six weeks to create a hard-surfaced road here. They poured a concrete pad and then laid bricks onto it. This road is just 17 feet wide — consider that a standard single lane on an Interstate highway is 12 feet wide!

Ohio kept improving its roads in the years that followed. The state rebuilt this road in 1936, by which time it had become US 40. The new road bypassed what is now known as Peacock Road. It’s a ¾-mile segment of the 1918 brick road, left intact to serve a couple properties on it.

As you enter from the east, the first 1,000 feet or so of Peacock Road is gravel. I assume the gravel covers a deteriorated portion of the brick road. I made this westbound photo from where the bricks begin.

See Peacock Road on Google Maps here. This brings to an end my single frame series on brick roads.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.

Photography, Road Trips

single frame: Peacock Road

Peacock Road is a WW I era brick segment of the National Road in eastern Ohio.

Image
Brick segment of old US 40/NR

Brick National Road in Ohio
Canon PowerShot S95
2011

The National Road in eastern Ohio offers an abundance of old pavement, both brick and concrete. You can still drive on a lot of the old brick, but very little of the concrete.

This short segment of brick is in Cambridge, on its far west side. See it on a map here. The National Road and US 40 used to leave Cambridge proper on Dewey Ave., which becomes McPherson Ave. and Manila Rd. on its way out of town. When it reaches a railroad track, it curves to parallel it for maybe 300 feet. It’s clear that at one time the road crossed the track where it now curves, but it would have been a dangerous crossing due to a shallow angle.

Manila Rd. ends at Phillips Rd. Turn right and cross modern US 40. On the other side lies this brick segment, which lasts for maybe 200 or 250 feet before asphalt takes over again.

If you’d like to get more of my photography in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe.

Photography, Road Trips

single frame: Brick National Road in Ohio

A segment of old US 40 in Cambridge, Ohio, that is paved in brick.

Image