Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Of Park Visits and Teepees, Fultondale, Alabama

Sometimes things are proceeding as ordinarily as possible...until they're not. There are Sunday afternoons when you've gotten home from church and have enough time to go to the park with the dog for a while before the Braves game comes on. At the park, all is normal. The dog plays in the creek. You and the dog play fetch, but the Retriever doesn't retrieve, so you keep have to chase the ball down. The dog chases you in circles around the batting cages. And then you have some extra time, so you take an unkempt trail that isn't really a trail but an old, forgotten rail bed. And everything is normal there too. Weeds, bees, trees, and a teepee. A teepee. Then seemed less normal and ordinary. And I could envision how Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn might play this thing out. But the dog and I kept walking. There were "No Trespassing" signs.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fiery Shades of Sunrise, Fultondale, Alabama

Fiery Shades of Sunrise in Fultondale, Alabama

This and other photos taken on my iPhone can
be found in the gallery "Fun with Instagram".

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Billy Goat's Ruff

There have been more than a couple of occasions in the past year-and-a-half that I've been all but certain that although we believed ourselves to have have purchased a Golden Retriever, we came a away with some hybrid creature that is half dog-half mountain goat.

Never have I beheld a creature more determined to crawl, scramble, leap, or climb on any object that requires such an action, inclusive of boulders, fallen trees, and picnic tables.

Of course there may also be some billy goat mixed into the breed as well, because I have lost count of the myriad foreign substances (some of which were unidentifiable) which Darby has ingested, and somehow managed to survive.

So between now and the time that she does something truly harmful, I will continue to be in awe, horror, dread, and bemusement at her curious ways, sometimes experiencing all of those things concurrently.

This and other photos of Darby and her escapades can be found on her Gallery, here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bottlenecked Rainwater Runoff, Gardendale

The loveliness of this small waterfall created by significant runoff from 
excessive rainfall recently is hampered by this bottle, among other litter, flippantly
discarded by passers-by near Newfound Creek in Gardendale, Alabama.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Product of the Kodak Pony 135 Model C

A couple of months ago, I wrote about a recent flea market find, a couple of Kodak Pony 135 Model C cameras (here). After arbitrarily choosing one to run a roll of film through first (because there's only one good film door between the two of them). I put the Pony in my car with guarded optimism...but even that was too much. Something appears to have gone awry with the focus mechanism in the last 50+ years. So film has gone into the second of the two Ponies...with dwindling hope.

Pond in Gardendale evidencing the focus issues exhibited by the first Kodak Pony 135.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NEEDTOBREATHE, Boutwell Auditorium, Birmingham

(c) Jeremy Richter | Photography

NEEDTOBREATHE in the first week of its 2013 Drive All Night Tour
at Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 5, 2013.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Team 413 "Get There & Share" Half Marathon, Homewood, Alabama

The inaugural running of Team 413's "Get There & Share" Half Marathon in Homewood, Alabama, was run, appropriately, on April 13, 2013. Team 413 puts on races throughout the country and is described as the largest ministry for endurance athletes in the world. It's name is more than just a moniker but a message, derived from Philippians 4:13, in which the Apostle Paul declared to the church at Philippi: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

In this application, that includes running a half marathon. Having run a number of half marathons, I set for myself the goal of running the Team 413 Half in under two hours, which comparably is no great feat, but for me would be a Personal Record. But a shortened training regimen and the onset of a heal injury, which caused me to lay up in the final two weeks, brought some serious doubts. Nevertheless, I ran.

I found the course to be good and moderately challenging. It seemed to be comprised largely of flat or low-grade stretches, but with a goodly number of hills sprinkled in, the worst of which were at miles 3 and 10. It was well organized with police, cones, and sufficient water stations.

I had intentions to take more photographs and video, but by the end of the race, I was in no shape to do that. With calves that were threatening to seize up and small waves of nausea that were enveloping me, it was all I could do to keep churning up those final hills toward the finish line. I never got that euphoric second wind, and with a mile left I pulled out my ear buds so I could concentrate on and feel every last ounce of pain, discomfort, satisfaction, and joy, knowing that despite the obstacles, what I had done was enough to reach my goal. 

And a special thanks to the two-hour pacers, without whom I don't think I could have done it, and one of whom is found in the photo below with his hand raised, as we all stand eagerly receiving pre-race instructions.

Another write-up about this race will be able to be found at a local running blogger's page: Yo Momma Runs.

Friday, April 12, 2013

An Abstract of the Bank Trust Building, Mobile

An Abstract of the Bank Trust Building in Mobile, Alabama

This and other abstracts can be found in the Galleries, here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Black Creek Park's Rails to Trails Now Complete

If you're familiar with this blog, then over the last couple of weeks, you've likely become familiar a new trail system in the North Jefferson County area. The City of Fultondale has undertaken a Rails-to-Trails project, whereby a former railroad line was been converted into a trail for walkers, runners, and bicyclers (motorized vehicles are prohibited).

The trail begins at Black Creek Park in Fultondale and runs about 3.5 miles to Shady Grove Road. There are markers every half mile and will be benches placed at those markers as well. Over the last several weeks, I've been on the trail either walking, running, or hiking, about a half-dozen times, and I couldn't be more excited about this development, so close to home. Darby's pretty excited too.

(c) Jeremy Richter | Photography

Friday, April 5, 2013

Rails to Trails, Darby in her Element, Fultondale

Darby seems to really be in her element cruising the newly completed 
Rails to Trails walking trail, near Black Creek Park, in Fultondale, Alabama.

This and other photos of Darby and her escapades can be found on her Gallery, here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rotting Railroad Remains in Black Creek, Fultondale

Rotting Remains of the old Railroad lie rotting in Black Creek, Fultondale, Alabama

This and other Photos of Birmingham's outlying areas
can be found at the Gallery, Hinterlands of Birmingham.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Black Creek Tributaries Running High, Fultondale

Thanks to bucketfuls of rain of late, Black Creek's tributaries
have been running high in Fultondale, Alabama.