Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Flag Island’

When Debbie and I arrived at Hodges Gardens State Park it was raining heavily.  So nice.  This marked the 2nd day consecutive day of significant rainfall  for the Sabine/Natchitoches Parish area, which brought the first measurable precipitation to most of the area in more than a month.  Triple digit midday temps were traded for upper 70s.  We met at 10am, and the rain continued heavily for the next hour and a half.  I caught glimpses out the window from time to time, and the rain appeared to fall in tender pieces and sheets across the large open field in my view.

The historic aerials were awesome.  With coverage of most of Sabine Parish, we spent a little time matching up adjacent shots.  For our purposes, I am thankful that our site is centered around a 225 acre lake.  This water body made finding our area of interest within the greater coverage area much easier.

1959 U.S. Forest Service aerial images. Lining up adjacent photos.

With low vegetation and a flyover date of March 1959, these were excellent images.  As we finished lining up images (2’ x 2’ each), I set up the scanner and laptop.  Although I had set up the scanner’s software on my desktop computer back at the office, I failed to install it onto the laptop that we found in the office earlier that morning.  So, (Laptop + scanner) – scanner software = no scanning.   Lesson learned here: check and double check equipment/technology (especially any units being used for the first time) before heading to the field.

Thankfully we were able to capture some decent images of the aerials with our camera.  Although we plan to meet up with the images owner later to resume scanning, it was important that we captured copies in some form while we had the images present.

Hope you enjoy the aerials below.  These were saved from the dumpster several years ago when a young man was cleaning out a storage unit his father owned.  After the U.S. Forest Service ended an office unit lease from the image owner’s father, these were left in a pile on the floor.

1959 U.S. Forest Service aerial; near Hornbeck, LA. We photographed every 2' x 2' image of interest without a flash. In case logistics delay scanning these originals in the future, these camera images will be quite helpful in our understanding the early layout of Hodges Gardens.

1959 U.S. Forest Service aerial image. Note the main lake and airstrip at Hodges Gardens in the top right. The three northwest to southeast running lines in the left half of the image, in increasing distance from the lake, are: a utility line, U.S. 171, and a railroad track.

1959 U.S. Forest Service aerial; detail of lake and main gardens area, just two (2) years after its' opening to the public. Note triangular entrance area at top left, bridge to Flag Island (named Nandina Island at this time) at bottom middle (circular island), and the Hodges' private residence on House Island at middle right. The smaller structure at water's edge on House Island is a boat dock. Designed for accessibility, a ferry was set up to transport family or guests from the mainland to the island dock. An underground tunnel and elevator system was available to bring any persons from the dock into the house (perhaps into a basement room, as the island's elevation slopes upward in the middle).

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Landscape Literature. Photographing informative posts in the landscape (when available) is a quick way to capture information on specific elements or areas. I tend to do this on most of my trips now when my camera is with me.

Friday, June 17:  Jeff Guin (NCPTT’s Marketing & Public Affairs Manager), Debbie Smith, and I packed a video camera and a couple of digital cameras into the van, and headed to Hodges Garden State Park early Friday morning.

We started in the landscape while the morning was still relatively cool.  Not bad, actually: with a 9am temperature in the low 80’s, and mostly cloudy skies, this was some of the most pleasant daytime weather I had experienced here.  I’m a weather and weather data nerd/enthusiast (meteorology was my career path of choice in elementary school), so these conditions made the day great as soon as we hopped out of the van.  Jeff videoed some landscape elements and views while Debbie and I continued with landscape photography.  The videos were produced as .mts files, which most Windows programs I’m accessing don’t seem to want to manage.  I have been working on converting them to wmv’s, and I hope to share one or two soon here on the blog.

Jeff Guin, NCPTT Marketing & Public Affairs Manager, videoing a waterfall and hillside. Photo credit: Debbie Smith.

Winding path. Pedestrian path through the wood; at edge of hill northeast of the Gift Shop.

Approach to Lookout Tower.

Early morning, Main Gardens.

I worked with a wide angle lens, hoping to capture some more comprehensive shots of the landscape.   I was working with an good quality government camera, but as it was new to me, they turned out a little different than what I was seeing in the viewfinder.   A few are decent though.

After an hour or so in the field, we drove over to the group lodge where the board meeting was being held.  A recently constructed facility, the new lodge sits on the southern banks of the lake, near Flag Island.  Great views of the lake from the back porch.  We met John Byrd, and we were able to share the basics of this project with the group.  The Friends mentioned an individual or two who might be able to assist with the research, and they expressed interest in highlighting this project in the Gardens’ newsletter.

As we planned for the interview, we remembered the Lookout Tower was a pleasant spot on past visits.  We met Mr. Byrd at the Gift Shop and walked to the Tower from there.  Jeff was setting up the video camera and tripod, but we quickly came to the conclusion that the breeze was causing too much disturbance on our audio.  Mr. Byrd suggested a shady area beneath a large ginko tree below us, and this became home base for the next hour of our talk.  Mr. Byrd’s passion for the Garden shined through the entire interview as he shared a variety of topics on the development and cultural significance of the Gardens.  We asked him a few questions here and there, but John’s true love for the park carried the conversation.   I’d like to eventually share a few clips here, but the entire session will surely be an important piece of this garden’s archive material.

Interviewing John Byrd. Involved with Hodges Gardens since childhood, Byrd shared stories from the Gardens' years of development, and commented on the cultural significance of the Gardens. Byrd is a professor at Northwestern State University's Department of Biological Sciences, and he currently serves as president of the Friends of Hodges Gardens. Jeff Guin (NCPTT Marketing & Public Affairs Manager) is with the video camera. Photo credit: Debbie Smith.


Read Full Post »