July in Kentuckiana - Madison IN Antiques

I spent most of July along the Ohio River, between Kentucky and Indiana. As a Chemical Engineer working in the industry, I know the Ohio River Valley well, having lived close to its banks for most of my career. This region, between Louisville and Cincinnati, sits deep along the water, flanked by picturesque hills and dotted with small communities along the winding scenic Ohio River byway. The larger town of Madison, Indiana, takes advantage of its historic position along the Ohio by developing a commercial Riverfront and quaint Main Street with numerous antique shops, unique restaurants and cafes. 



After a morning hiking in nearby Clifty Falls State Park in the heat and humidity of July, I was ready for sustenance. I found myself walking into the G.H Coffee Shop and Cafe where I enjoyed a nice iced coffee and breakfast sandwhich in their outside seating. From there, I walked up and down Main Street, mainly window shopping since many stores hadn't opened (it was Sunday morning). This caught my eye in one of the window displays:
For Sale?
I fixated on the cat to verify he wasn't a stuffed animal and caught the rise and fall of his breath. Later, when this store opened, I looked again and sure enough, it was time to go to work for this guy: Madison IN

I found the street alleys adorned with murals:
Madison IN

Madison IN
As shops started to to open, I ventured inside, scanning the odd antique collections. I enjoy the nostalgia of "old stuff" but never buy anything - until a thought formed in my head - to see if I could find an antique camera. My strategy - walk into a store, ask the proprietor if they had any cameras. If they answered 'no', I would immediately leave (no point putzing around!). Most stores' offerings were limited to those cheap, plastic, point and shoot automatic film cameras, circa 1980's. Then I came upon a store with a treasure trove of interesting stuff - a Kodak Brownie, a Kodak DuaFlex and this beautiful Canon AE-1 Program body:
Canon AE1 Program - Madison IN Finds
Obviously, I bought the Canon. It is in mint condition and now sports a 50mm lens. I have two rolls of Kodak Ektar coming so a new facet to photography begins for me.


I ended my visit to Madison with a walk along their waterfront and taking photos of interesting postal boxes adorning the historic homes in town.
Madison IN Finds

Madison IN

I enjoyed my afternoon in Madison and would visit again.

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July in Kentuckiana - Clifty Falls State Park

July flew by in a flash and we now find ourselves in an angst-ridden August, faced with the impending start of the school semester. Each day brings new cases of Covid-19, scrapped then re-vamped plans, vacillating between in person and online course instruction. We deal with the changes by going with the flow, being patient and knowing in our hearts things will all work out OK.

Last month we delivered our daughter to her new venture in Dallas. We traveled there during the height of the city's spike in cases but experienced responsible citizens wearing masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines. This weekend we will transport our son back to St Louis and once again have an empty nest.

Other than the short weekend trip to Dallas, I spent July in "Kentuckiana" (Kentucky and Indiana) for work. My company has a greenfield (brand new) facility in Kentucky and I was there to help with the commissioning and start up of the automation systems. Even though the long hours and days morphed together, starting up a brand new facility is a rare opportunity - I learned a lot from the experience.

On my first day off (I think I ended up with a total of 2 days off during my tenure), I ventured to Clifty Falls State Park in Madison Indiana, about a 40 minute drive from my hotel. Along the Ohio River, the park winds through lush greenery, along cliffs and boasts seven little water falls. At the bottom of the 300 foot deep canyon, the Little Clifty creek flows. I spent several hours traversing various hiking trails in complete solitude, a wonderful respite from my harried days at work.

Clifty Falls

Clifty Falls #littlewaterfall #cliftyfallsstatepark #trail7 #seenonmyhike 

Tunnel Falls


Tunnel Falls off Trail 5 #cliftyfallsstatepark #shirleyhikes #seenonmyhike 


I had such a nice time in the park I ended up going back three weeks later and I brought a couple of co workers with me. We hiked different trails on the southern end of the park and ended up in the Little Clifty Creek. The area experienced significant rainfall two days prior, so the creekbed flowed with rushing water.


Kentuckiana In July



I highly recommend visiting Clifty Falls State park. When you are done hiking, head over to the quaint town of Madison IN with its antique shops, restaurants and river walk. I'll share those photos next.

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August Free Calendar Download - Yu Gardens in Shanghai

This month's free calendar download features a pavillion in Shanghai's Yu Garden. This famous walled garden, also known as Yuyuan Garden, covers five acres in the Old City and consistently ranks as a top attraction for tourists to the city.


I entered the Garden upon its opening on a Sunday morning just before 9am. As a result, I was able to explore in relative peace. I've seen photos online where the walkways are packed with people. I believe the garden re-opened to the public in July after being closed due to the SARS-CoV2 pandemic.

To download August's calendar, click on this link from Box.com
Link --> August Calendar 2020 - Yu Garden

In other news, I've been absent here due to craziness at work - I've been in Kentucky, helping to commission a new facility there.  Hopefully I can stay home for a couple of weeks before heading there again.

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Ties That Bind - What Defines Family?

I had been consistently taking photos and blogging, then mid June hit and I lost momentum. I'm not sure what to blame - our area started to open up, we started going back into the office so I got busy with other things. Then I had to travel for work to a location in Kentucky, about 4 hours away by car. I stayed in Kentucky for over a week and will drive back sometime this week or next.

Regardless of that, today I'm sharing photos taken at the end of May - the "family" of Senior Addison. Why the Quotes? Several years ago, the KO family formed by combining two family units. Two sets of parents, two sets of offspring and two sets of dogs. The two families were great friends so they decided to buy a house together and join their distinct clans together. They called it their "great social experiment". The union dissolved due to new job opportunities outside the area. The KO family asked me to take photos of their clan before they parted ways. I love the challenge of new things - this large group with their dogs certainly lived up to that challenge!

O-K Families For the group shots I ended up learning how to "head swap" for an optimal group shot. I only had to do this two times (thank goodness).

Family "O"
O Family

Family "K"
K Family

The Adults still get along even after living together for 3+ years.

The Adults

And to earmark this unique time - pandemic masks.

O-K Families Masked Up

Family - certainly not defined by blood, but by love, respect and friendship.

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To The Class of 2020 - Sam

The last of my High School subjects, Sam and I started in his small-town downtown area before heading to the forest preserve.
One of the parking lots downtown features this great brick wall covered with meandering vines. That's the backdrop for this first photo:
Sam K Class of 2020

And a cool fire escape. I looked around the corner and knew it was a great spot to take photos:
Sam K Class of 2020

But I admit I'm most comfortable taking photos in the woods
Sam K Class of 2020
Another local senior headed to the University of Illinois - Congrats to you Sam (and mom Mary)!
Sam and Mary

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Sunday Morning Hike

Finally getting back out on the trails after six weeks due to plantar faciitis in my right foot. We didn't walk very fast, but covered over 4 miles, the longest distance I've walked continuously since the foot started hurting. The trail looks completely different now, with lush greenery filling in the once empty spaces between branches.
We started early, before road noise and people could interrupt the woodland sounds. I now recognize the pheasant's call from the tall prairie grasses. It's all there if you listen carefully.

Bird house

White Prairie Flowers

Shadows and the MOon

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Finding Calm

I'm at a loss for words given current events. My heart aches, so I retreat to that which brings me solace: Flowers, nature, the outdoors, ambient sounds of gurgling water, the birds and even the buzzing insects.

I met with running friends last weekend at Allerton Park to take photos of the peonies in their full glory. Through our running connection, I learned a few of us also shared a passion for photography. This was the first time we gathered for a photo-centric outing and I suspect we will do this again in the future.

Choosing to hold our outing on Sunday evening meant less crowds, nice evening light, and by chance, no wind...

Sunshine Day

Some Sass

Blushing

Artist's Milieu This is Yahsin - she shoots with film and develops her own photos. This is something I plan to take up once I retire. You can see the expanse of the Peony garden - we are lucky to have this gem a short drive away from town. This was my first visit with the flowers in bloom. I made a visit several years ago, during the summer.

Pink Bomb

We found calm in the presence of beauty, nature and the singing mosquitos.

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All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of Shirley LeMay Photography and Shirley Behind the Lens (© 2005-2020). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

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