Easter Eggs in Autumn

September 30, 2021  •  1 Comment

I used to love Easter egg hunts when I was a child.  It was so much fun to run along, carefully searching everywhere with your eyes….looking for those little bright spots of color in unexpected places….

 

Driving to and from work each day - driving anywhere really -  is always for me a little bit like an Easter egg hunt.  During every season, I drive or walk along watching for new spots of color, unexpected oddities of nature, or scenes of calm, peaceful beauty…..  During this time of year especially, as autumn begins showing her colors to the Ozarks once again, there is so much to see and enjoy.  

 

I drive about 80 miles round trip each work day, and along the way I’m always watching…. Do you do that???  Sometimes it comes naturally, and sometimes it’s a definite choice - but it’s always an effort worth making.  It’s easy to get distracted thinking about responsibilities, concerns, and the pressing demands of the day - but then I stop and remind myself that it’s also important to take time to refresh, renew….and see the many blessings and beauty around us, to show gratitude, to think on good things

 

Some days, it's really difficult to make the switch in my mind - and those are the days that I need it the most.  

 

I have favorite spots on my drive - the familiar scenes or landmarks that I routinely look forward to seeing every day….. A rolling hillside with various slopes and beautiful trees on Hwy. 65 north, the mists rising up off Lake Taneycomo in the mornings, the cattle in the pastures along Capps Road in Harrison…..there are so many familiar scenes that bring comfort, encouragement, and joy.

 

During the changing of seasons however, and especially in autumn, searching for the beauty can be especially exciting. 

 

The little sumac trees were the first to proudly show their new colors this year.  A couple of weeks ago, I began to see hints of burgundy and red along the roadside.  A lot of the sumac is now almost in full color. The Virginia Creeper vines were next, with their brilliant crimsons contrasting vibrantly against the rocks.  This week, I began noticing hints of yellows and golds starting to appear….so there will be even more to watch for in the days ahead.  As I drive along each day, I feel some of that same excitement I had as a child searching for Easter eggs….we are blessed with so much beauty around us.  I don’t want to miss it.

 

What do you see on your daily travels?  Don't miss the treasures!  Let's hunt those autumn Easter eggs together!  :-)

 



 

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The Cotter Bridge

September 06, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Have you ever been to Cotter, Arkansas?


If you don’t live somewhere near Northwest Arkansas or Southwest Missouri, the answer might be no...and that’s too bad….because it is definitely a little place worth exploring!

When I was a little girl, my Daddy worked for a company called Ozark Sash and Door owned and operated in Springdale and Berryville, Arkansas by the Hanby family. Before the days of the big box stores, there was a hardware store of some type in most every little community. Daddy traveled a regular route weekly through Missouri and Arkansas, selling building materials to those little stores. Sometimes, Mother and I would ride with him...

On Tuesdays, his route took him from Harrison to Mountain Home, with many stops in between. Traveling the old 62 highway back in those days took us across the Cotter Bridge...

The old bridge is unique in many ways. Sitting high above the White River, it is beautiful with its patented rainbow arches and lighted lamps. As a little girl however, crossing the bridge was fun for another reason. When on the bridge headed toward Cotter, a large, old railroad trestle sits to your left, angling diagonally toward your path. It intersects the Cotter Bridge just at the end, crossing underneath at the last minute. Sometimes, a train would be chugging across that trestle bridge just as we, in Daddy’s truck, were driving across the Cotter bridge. It was always exciting - looking just a tiny bit like we were surely about to collide with the train (in my little girl’s mind). It was a little bit scary - and lots of fun!

 

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The Cotter Bridge has an interesting history. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, it was completed in 1930. Originally operated as a toll bridge to recoup construction costs, it allowed east-west travelers a reliable White River crossing. Ferries used previously were often unavailable due to frequent flooding in the area, and the closest detour crossing was 100 miles to the north in Branson, Missouri. Designed by the Marsh Engineering Company in Des Moines, Iowa, the graceful structure is still beautiful today.

When highway 62 was rerouted near the turn of this century, a new bridge was built just a short distance to the northeast. Thankfully, the old bridge was preserved and remains open to vehicle traffic for anyone who likes to veer off the beaten path.
All these years later, a visit to the Cotter bridge is still something I enjoy. I make the drive over several times a year…it’s a great little day trip. Beneath the bridge, there is a pleasant little city park on the banks of the White River. Big Springs Park is a relaxing gathering place for families, fishermen, and old folks…

The park pays homage to Cotter’s railroad history with a caboose, a statue, and some interesting informational markers to read as you wander about. There’s also a boat ramp, fishing spots, picnic tables, benches, a covered pavilion, a sand volleyball court, a quaint little gazebo that could serve as a bandstand, a walking path, and best of all a true old-fashioned swimming hole complete with a rope swing.

It’s fun to visit the park on a summer afternoon or evening, to sit and watch the kids play in the swimming hole, to picnic, or just set up your lawn chairs in a shady spot, enjoy the cool breezes blowing in from the river, and visit with folks from all over. Cotter, after all, is known as the “Trout Fishing Capital of the World” and many people travel miles to enjoy this quaint little town. I always drive to nearby Gassville first, to pick up a pizza at Nima’s. (This little pizza place has won numerous awards including “Best in the U.S.” at national competitions and even “Best in the World” at international events. Definitely a “don’t miss” place!)

The best part of the park, however, are the magnificent views of the historic old bridge. I hope you enjoy the images I captured last month on one of my day trips over there. It truly is a beautiful, peaceful, and rejuvenating spot.  
 

Click here for a shortcut to the gallery.  Thank you for stopping by!


Week One - Thank you!

September 04, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I’m so happy to have finally launched my photography website/business! There is still SO much to do - I am looking at different vendors and hope to have announcements soon regarding new products and options….but for now, I am most excited for all the messages I have received from friends, colleagues, and family letting me know that they enjoyed my work.  It has meant so very much to me.  Thank you for taking the time to let me know that, in some way, the moments I shared touched your heart.  God is good!  Stay tuned! :-)

 

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Feeling Scared, Feeling Silly, Feeling Excited

August 31, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Have you every stepped out and tried something - even though it was little scary?  When I was younger, I was so shy - always concerned about feeling a little silly; about being embarrassed for doing something that might be laughed at by someone....

As I've gotten older, I have realized that opportunities are too precious to ignore - that stepping out and trying something new is a gift, an adventure!  Adventures can sometimes lead to great moments, new discoveries and building great memories.  Why would I want to miss out on that?

"Lisa Carlon Photography" is definitely an adventure that I am excited about, despite feeling a little nervous, a little silly, and even a little scared.  I jumped out of my comfort zone and have learned so much in the last several months working on this project!  Now, the time has finally come to share it with others.  Quite some time ago, I set a goal of September 1 as the date I would share this site.  Am I ready - have I done everything I had planned?  No....there is always more to do...but sometimes (I think) you just have to go ahead and JUMP!  So.......here we go!

One more thing:
When I was a student at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO, I was a student worker in the Education Department working for Dr. Ruth Anderson and Dr. O. Ray Gibson.  At that time, the department offices were housed upstairs in the Jones building.  On the first floor was the Boger Gallery - a gallery including everything from paintings to photography to unique sculpted and designed art forms.  It was the first art gallery I had ever visited, and I loved the experience.  Instead of rushing to the dining hall after work, I would often walk through the gallery to see the different examples of art displayed there.  Sometimes when I was stressed or the day was particularly hectic, I would go for a quick walk and wander through the gallery.  Even though I was not an art major, it fascinated me - the beauty and expression of each person's unique works.  It was calming, challenging, enjoyable, and enlightening. I was captivated. 

Fast forward (many years!) until today... I hope this online experience will be a nice place for you to visit frequently as well - that it will be a place you can enjoy.  I have many things planned for this project.  Please stop by often - and take a moment to pause and comfortably browse the different images displayed.  If you like, read the stories and descriptions written for each one. Perhaps pretend you are walking through a physical gallery and enjoy a few quiet moments of respite to view glimpses of other places, of the grace, blessings, and beauty surrounding us every day....

I'm so glad you are here. 
Lisa  

P.S.  A HUGE THANK YOU to so many of you who have encouraged me in my photography with your words and comments through the years.  It takes some time to stop and let someone know you enjoy their work - but please know it is always so enjoyed and appreciated.  

By the way, if you're ever in southwest Missouri or especially the Branson area, stop by and visit the Boger Gallery. It's still located on the first floor of the Jones building, open to the public, and a wonderful exhibition to visit!  In fact, one of my favorite professors, Dr. Anne Allman, still teaches in the Art Department.  If you've never been to C of O, the entire campus is gorgeous - plan on spending a day.  There is much to see and do!
 


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