A 52-Week Photo Journey

… Mary Nell Moore's Photography


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Week 41 – #12. Diamonds

While on a recent photo outing, I walked out on the Anna Maria pier and noticed this little boy playing with his daddy’s fish net basket. He picked it up and dropped it several times and watched in amazement as it slithered down onto the table. “There’s a theme,” I thought, so I swung my camera around and captured it as it fell to the table creating designs of little wire diamonds.
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Week 40 – #52. Yellow

A local Chattanooga artist, Kevin Bales, had a goal to get people to take another look at long neglected properties by decorating the walls of mostly industrial buildings. To bring his dream to reality, Kevin spent two years raising the funds on the first phase of the project known as “The McCallie Walls Mural Project.” Kevin, along with other local artists, worked together and the concept is Chattanooga’s first drive by art gallery on McCallie Avenue between Holtsclaw Ave. and Holly Street.  The artists were not restricted as to what could be painted on the buildings within those two blocks.  Since inception, the project has expanded to include the walls of buildings on other streets within the city. While in Chattanooga recently, I had a goal to photograph as many of the wall murals as I could find.  Although I photographed in excess of 40, I am certain I did not manage to photograph all of them but because of the vibrant yellow in the one below, I felt it best represented this week’s theme. In the near future, I plan to set up a separate website to display all of the walls I have photographed.
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Week 39 – #31. Neon

Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo? In 1941, the famous Glenn Miller song, “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” was heard over radio stations across the nation, describing the journey of a train travelling from New York City along the Eastern Seaboard until its end at Terminal Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Terminal Station was opened in 1909 and was the largest and most modern station that the city had ever seen. Donn Barber, a student of the École des Beaux-Arts, designed the station, which featured a large, arched main entrance as well as a ceiling dome with a skylight. Brass chandeliers completed the rooms, bestowing an air of grandeur. During the 1950s and 1960s, rail traffic decreased significantly until 1970, when the last passenger train, the Birmingham Special, left Terminal Station.

A group of businessmen bought the station and surrounding property in 1972, renaming it, “The Chattanooga Choo Choo,” after the Glenn Miller song. The flashing neon sign can be seen for miles around downtown.
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Week 37 – #27. Memories

Lula Lake holds special memories for me and my family.  When we were kids, Mother would prepare a picnic and after church the entire family would hike up a mountain trail for lunch and a swim in the ice cold water.  My husband has heard stories about our outings so while in Chattanooga this past October, he asked if I would take him to Lula Lake.  It had been years since I last visited but once we got there, the memories flooded my mind and it seemed like only yesterday.  My Dad would dive from the cliff and we, of course, would scream as he plunged into the water.  He used to tell us not to worry about him getting hurt because Lula Lake “has no bottom,” and we, of course, believed everything Daddy told us.  Oh, the innocence of children!  About a mile down stream from this pool is a 100′ waterfall, appropriately named Lula Falls.

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Week 36 – #36. Out Of Focus

Slowing down the shutter and moving the camera while pressing the shutter release gives some interesting photos which can be used as textures or overlays. I have a folder of out of focus photos which I use just for that purpose. Give it a try. You can get some really interesting textures and overlays and they are quite easily captured. This photo, for example, was taken in my front yard in Chattanooga.
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Week 35 – #47. The Eye

This past week, I went with three other photographers down to Cape Coral to photograph the burrowing owls. We had a blast photographing these adorable little owls. The one in this photo kept giving me “the eye.” It was difficult to select only one photo which best represented this week’s theme, but I chose this one for the composition and hint of spring that the wild flowers represented. Some history of the burrowing owls in Cape Coral: Cape Coral also has the distinction of having the largest population of the Florida species of the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia floridana) in the State, with an estimated 1000 nesting pair.

At only 5-8.5 ounces and7.5-11 inches tall, the Burrowing Owl is one of the smallest of all the owls, and of the 171 species of owls worldwide, the only owl that lives underground. Unlike the Western species of the Burrowing Owl (athene cunicularia hypugaea) that lives in abandoned prairie dog burrows, here in Florida our Burrowing Owls dig their own burrows. Cape Coral has upwards of 2500 burrows within the City limits, but not all of them are actively being used by owls.

Photographers and birders alike come from all over the world to see our Burrowing Owls, and everyone is amazed at how easy it is to see and photograph these beautiful little birds. This doesn’t come without a price. Over the years, one of the main locations to see the Burrowing Owls is the Cape Coral Library. There were multiple burrows located on the streets surrounding the library, all of them very active. Today, only one burrow is still active and it is thought that there was just too much human activity for the owls, and they moved on. While the owls are quite tolerant of humans, getting too close to them too often will cause them to abandon a burrow and move on to a quieter location.

While some of the Western Burrowing Owls migrate, the Burrowing Owls here in Cape Coral do not migrate. They are here year round, but often hide in the summer to avoid the hot summer sun. The best time to see the owls is from January through June, and the best time to see the chicks is late April through June. REFhttp://www.ccfriendsofwildlife.org/burrowing-owl/
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