Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Buffalo on the Cuyahoga

© Stuart Pearl 2012 - Click on Image to Enlarge

It's probably been at least 150 hundred years since buffalo crossed the Cuyahoga if they ventured this far east.  However, several weeks ago the 634' bulk freighter "Buffalo" quietly made its way up the river.

My timing was perfect for this photograph with a wonderful morning light and crystal clear sky.   I was checking the latest progress on the Innerbelt Bridge project.  Standing on Tremont Bluff, I observed the ship as it was just passing Pier #5 of the new bridge.  What's really impressive though is how quietly these massive vessels navigate our crooked river.

With the Norfolk and Southern railroad bridge in the background, the Buffalo passes the former site of Cleveland Cold Storage.  That area is now referred to as the "Tremont Bowl."  The west bank of the river has been excavated and stabilized in that area.  This will enable safe construction of piers four and three of the new Westbound bridge.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mountains & Fountains - Decatur Deja Vu

© Stuart Pearl 2012 - Click on Image for Slideshow

The first time I'd heard of Stone Mountain Ga was back in the 1970's.  Enroute to a Florida vacation, my parents stopped there to do some sight seeing.   My father Moses always used vacation travel as an opportunity to sketch new canvases for subsequent water color or oil paintings.  He made good use of the Stone Mt. visit.

© Moses Pearl - Oil Painting 1976

I didn't really think again of Stone Mountain until last month while on a trip to Decatur, Ga.  I recalled dad's painting and decided to visit the monument myself.  It's only about 30 minutes away from that city.  I wanted to create my own photographic interpretation of the giant carving and felt black and white would be a good approach. 

My goal was to view the mountain late in the day.  At that time the sun would be lower in the sky and cause more interesting shadows and textures to be revealed on the rock face. I wasn't disappointed. 

At a distance, the entire three acre bas-relief sculpture of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis doesn't give you a true sense of its size.  As you get closer though you see just how large it is, rising 400' above the ground.  The actual figures measure 90 x 190 feet and the carving itself was considered finished by 1972. 

Formed mainly of a substance called quartz monzonite, the dome of Stone Mt. is the result of a magma pushing up from the earth's crust.  It was created about the same time as the Blue Ridge Mountains.  When the magma cooled and solidified, it formed a miles deep mass of granite beneath the surface as well as in the mountain itself.

Fountains are great magnets for children.  This is especially true in hot weather when they afford a relaxing and cooling mist.  Decatur Georgia is known for some wonderful public art and the inspirational "Celebration"  by Gary Lee Price is a beautiful example of such outdoor sculpture.

Quoted from Gary's website:  "Imagine a world without limits, without boundaries, without prejudice and blame. Imagine an existence full of self?confidence, self?esteem and not only tolerance, but love for others regardless of color, socio?economic or any other standing. To me that is what the future holds. That is what children represent and that is the type of world I would like to help others imagine so it can come to pass." 

The apprciative viewer can easily see this in his "Celebration" fountain.

I originally photographed this statue three years ago during my first trip to Decatur.  It never ceases to be a draw for people of all ages.

Information source - Stone Mountain & Wikipedia.