Magical Tuesday Mystery Tour

One of our goals this summer was to visit the three covered bridges in Missouri that we have not been to yet. Like they say about the best made plans and all that– we haven’t made much of a dent in that goal.

Our schedule this week left only part of Tuesday as a ‘free day’. So I surprised Molly with a ‘scouting’ trip to the Union Covered Bridge in Monroe County. Since this was a scouting expedition to check out the sun, the location and what views were available, we traveled light with two cameras and no tripods. The Google Maps laid out a travel plan up HWY 15/HWY 54 from Mexico, Mo. Our GPS had other plans and we were in no hurry. All was well until we ran into road work on the main road to the destination. This resulted in ‘going over the river and through the woods’ on gravel roads. At one point I asked Molly if she was hearing banjos and she said, “No but she figured we would in another mile or two”. Our neighbor Linda often says that as long as you have a full tank of gas… are never really lost. We were wondering if this was our chance to test the theory. 🙂

Long story short– the latitude/longitude coordinates took us exactly to the bridge. Of course an expert landscape/architecture photographer would have been sitting in some cafe having their second cup of breakfast coffee when we arrived. For landscape images were a bit ‘late’ and the light was a bit hard.  I think this is an early morning place for the most part, so like so much travel photography we shot what was there when we were there.

If you decide to visit the place, realize that the interior has a fair amount of graffiti but the bridge is one of the few double Burre Arch covered bridges still in existence. Once you get past the graffiti, you start looking at the details of the structure and appreciate the engineering.

I can’t find my notes on the latitude/longitude but the bridge information says the address of the bridge is 20700 Monroe County Road 962,Paris MO 65275.

We had to be back in New Haven so Molly could be at the Open House at her Day School that evening,so we took HWY 15/HWY 54 back to I-70 which was much faster than our earlier ‘scenic’ route. Much less scenic but faster.

The website for Union Covered Bridge Historic Site is

Here are a few images that Molly took from our day trip.

Eclipse mania

Unless you have been off the grid for a very long time, you have heard that there is going to be a solar eclipse on August 21,2017

Here is a link to an image with the path etc in Missouri

Missouri Map with Eclipse path

Here in beautiful New Haven, here is what we will get:

Latitude: 38° 36′ 30″ N Longitude: 91° 13′ 09″ W
Duration of Totality*: 2m 31s Partial phase start: 11:47:59AM (CDT), at “1:30 o’clock” on the sun’s disk
Totality Start*: 1:15:02PM (CDT)


St Clair is directly on the path and they will get 2:40 seconds. I think we can live with 9 seconds less than St Clair 🙂


There is a ton of information on YouTube about how to photograph the eclipse.

I liked this clip for several reasons but mostly for the sources for photo filters by Dan Watson—  

The above on YouTube has links to the gear– sorry, it did not come through on the ’embedded media’

yes, you need a filter so you do not damage your DSLR’s sensor and it has a link for the solar viewing glasses. (so you do not damage your eyes–not many blind photographers to my knowledge– protect your eyes and your sunglasses won’t cut it)

Have fun folks…..






Congratulations are in order

The Jefferson County Fair recently conducted a photography contest.

We are pleased to announce that our good friends Betty and Paul Fisher and Leah and Scott Vilmer  did very well in the competition.


The Jefferson County Photography Club has a very nice write up at this link:

Please take the time to read the article and look at some very fine photography.

Congratulations to Leah,Betty,Paul and Scott for their excellent photography.

How Time Flies

Here it is— July 4th already. Seems like it was just yesterday it was Memorial Day. Summer is about half over and we have a ton of chores to do here at the house.

Zachary was here last week after attending his running camp. It is his senior year and we hope he does well both in running and his studies.

Molly and I were having coffee last Monday  morning thinking of where to take a day trip. We were looking at Meramec Springs Park and then we received an email from our good friend Fred Henning. Fred is one of the most dedicated and talented bird photographers. He was talking about not finding any Redheaded Woodpeckers and said he found some at ….yep, Meramec Springs Park. A quick reply and Fred told us where he found the birds and we planned a trip for Tuesday morning.

Tuesday arrived and we were fogged in. When it lifted we decided to take a road to I-44 that we had never been on before. Talk about over the river and through the woods 🙂

Anyway– these are ones that Molly took that I thought were interesting showing feeding behavior between adult and juvenile.

All taken with Canon 40D and the Canon 500mm with a 1.4 extender.

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A Photographic Puzzle

One of the goals in photographing prop driven aircraft is to get the full circle effect of the prop. This eliminates the ‘plane on a string effect’ that happens if the image is taken with a very high shutter speed. It is more difficult that it looks and I am posting an example.

The two images in this post were shot at the same Shutter Speed (1/160) and approximately the same distance from the camera. The differences are:

  1. Time of day. The white plane was taken in the afternoon. The copper one was in the morning.
  2.  Number of Props. The white plane has 2 props. The copper plane has 3 props. Add the copper plane had stickers on the prop which picked up the light and gave the 2 concentric circle effect.

The white plane also made a pass back over the air strip and I lowered the shutter speed to 1/100– the prop disappeared.

3. Molly shot the copper plane as it taxied at 1/200 and got a full circle as well.

Question: Why did we get a full circle on the one plane and not on the other? Slowing the shutter speed as the white plane zoomed the field ( and then facing into the light) made the prop disappear.

Is this like steering into a spin when driving on ice?

Years ago , I photographed an air show and a good friend told me to photograph the prop planes at 1/320. I did with mixed results. The best ones gave an “iron cross” effect that was pretty good but not the “holy grail– full prop circle”.

Any ideas on developing a relatively ‘standard’ approach to getting full prop circles for this type of photography would be appreciated.

For larger image click the thumbnail.


Ok, technically, it is still Spring but the old habit of calling anything after Memorial Day,  Summer still is in effect here. We have plans for day trips, week-long trips and also tending the raised bed gardens. Trips to St Louis, Collinsville, IL, various covered bridges, photo safaris with the Jefferson County Camera club ( are on the ‘schedule’. Add a trip to Gaston’s on the White River ( and then to see family in Oklahoma. Our nephew,Zachary, is attending a cross-country running camp near New Haven in late June, so he will end up staying here for an extended time and I will attempt to help him learn to drive (Lord…help me LOL).

We had business out-of-town and took the cameras with us. Here are some photos from Molly’s 40D and the 500 with 1.4 extender.

Click for larger image:

Mystery Bird

After each fledging class of blue birds, I remove the old nest to try and keep the box clean and parasite free. This bird has tried to take advantage of the clean box and set up house keeping. We are not sure what bird this is.

Our best guess at this point in time is Bell’s Vireo but since we have never seen a Bell’s Vireo and the Cornell Bird site pictures show a bird that has more yellow in the belly, we can not be sure.

Any help is appreciated.

You can click each image for larger image

(click lower right link to get to the 1000 px by 800 px image ( largish crop images))

Sometimes the magic works,sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes you just don’t know

This one of those ‘just don’t know moments’.

I have ideas on working these but I’m not sure it is worth the time to refine them.

Might have to look into trying Corel’s software?