Burgess Falls Dam

Burgess Falls Dam #2

Burgess Falls Dam #2, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Burgess Falls Dam #1

Burgess Falls Dam #1, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

 Burgess Falls Dam and Lake

Burgess Falls Dam and Lake, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

I’m suffering from “word constipation” today, so it seems fitting to share the photos of Burgess Falls Dam. ;D


Nature’s Reclamation


I’m surprised I’ve never shared any photos from downstream the main falls at Burgess Falls. There’s an old abandoned mill (maybe?). I’m not really sure exactly what it was. According to the park brochure, “By the late 19th century, a gristmill and sawmill were in operation on the river here.” My best guess is that this was part of one of those. It’s a fascinating find. It almost feels haunted as nature reclaims this part of history.


I can’t imagine how these pieces fit together or worked. They’re absolutely HUGE! Beneath the structure, it’s cool and damp. What is it about human nature that makes people want to graffiti places like this? I suppose it’s no different than cave men painting their battles or hand prints on cave walls, marking their territory or to simply say, “Hey, I was here!” At least the graffiti here isn’t as bad as some places I’ve seen. There was just a lot of so and so loves so and so, lol. No doubt, bored teenagers.


I really like the front facing wall. I’ll have to make sure to hike back out there later in the year when everything grows over a little more. I bet it will be beautiful once the vines start growing again and things green up a bit more.


If you’re interested, there’s a few more photos of these “ruins” in my Burgess Falls set on Flickr or you can click on the thumbnails below. Not sure if “ruins” is the appropriate description. I really racked my brain trying to remember the photography/art term for “the act of nature reclaiming man-made structures” and came up blank. It’s right on the tip of my tongue. I know there’s a word for it; but it totally escapes me, now. If anyone else knows the word I’m thinking of, please, feel free to share!


Photos from My Trip to Chicago

Choosing my top 10 favorite photos from my trip to Chicago was no easy task. As I stated in yesterday’s post, 390 photos is a nightmare to sort through, let alone try to edit. I left out all the photos from my son’s graduation from boot camp, other than the one photo I shared for Day 244: The Adventurer’s Path. Those are very special to me and personal. I hope you guys understand. But believe me, there were still plenty of others to sort through. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the quality of the photos I took in my travels. The skies were overcast and gloomy which caused a lot of the photos to appear darker than I would have liked. Apparently, I still have a lot to learn about proper exposure. I edited for brightness and contrast, but not much else. All of the photos I chose to share here are from my walk from Navy Pier to Millennium Park.

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

This Ferris wheel was HUGE! It stands at 150 feet tall. I really wanted to ride it, but it wasn’t open yet. I walked around the pier for over an hour before deciding to walk to Millennium Park. By the time I got back from my walk, the line was too long and I was simply out of time.

Navy Pier Pavillion

This was an interesting structure, inside and out. It reminded me of a giant solarium. I would really hate to be the one who has to clean all that glass!

Mesmerizing Cloudscape

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of this cloud over the top of this building. I have so many photos of it, even a short video I recorded for David. Completely mesmerizing!

Monochrome II Chicago by Nancy Rubins

Chicago has some of the most amazing sculptures. I would label it as one of the most artistically diverse cities in America.

Lakefront Trail

I continued my walk from Navy Pier down Lakefront Trail to get to Millennium Park. That wasn’t exactly the way that the nice lady at the information desk told me to go, but it still got me there. She pointed out that Millennium Park was only 6 or 7 blocks from Navy Pier. She was so helpful and even gave me directions to the airport later when I went back.

Skyline at Jay Pritzker Pavillion

I was surprised when I realized that I had already made it to the road where Millennium Park was located. What I didn’t realize was that there was a jazz festival going on that day and a lot of the park was enclosed in a temporary chain link fence. Stopping a couple of times for directions to the Cloud Gate and a bottle of water, I was excited and full of curiosity for all that this park had to offer.


I had to see the Cloud Gate for myself. As I mentioned on Day 245: The Cloud Gate, I have wanted to see Anish Kapoor’s sculpture ever since I first Stumbled Upon an image of it. This was great! I was amused to find a bride and her bridal party at the Cloud Gate among all the other tourists and park goers. They looked so beautiful. To the groom and bride, congratulations!

Old & New

The juxtaposition of old buildings aside the new adds to the allure of the city of Chicago. And the buildings were so tall! I can’t walk and look up at the same time without stumbling, so I kept pausing to take in the sites and play tourist.

Chicago River

The view from the bridge across the Chicago River was remarkable. At this point, though, I was starting to get tired and hungry; so I made my way back to Navy Pier to get some food. I ended up getting a Gyro on the pier and couldn’t resist indulging myself with a piece of Baklava. My word, if you have never tried Baklava, go now, find some and eat it! That is a heavenly dessert.

Juliet of Verona

I sat down for a little while here to rest after I had lunch. When I got up to leave, there were 3 older gentlemen photographing themselves with this statue, groping the… ahem… statue’s breasts. I blushed. They blushed. We all laughed at their juvenile gesture and parted ways. Thanks, you guys. You have proven to me that no matter your age, you can still act like kids and have fun!

I rarely get the opportunity to travel. This trip will be one I remember for the rest of my life. Chicago is an amazing city, one that I would visit again. These are my 10 favorite photos, but feel free to visit me on Flickr to view a few more: Chicago Trip. As always, thanks for visiting my blog and make today an amazing day!

Day 245 The Cloud Gate

Day 245 The Cloud Gate by pixygiggles
Day 245 The Cloud Gate, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

On Saturday, I faced my fears and went into the big city! I walked and walked and walked, about 6 miles total. I started at the Navy Pier and walked to Millennium Park from there. I had planned on taking the bus back to the Navy Pier where I was parked, but enjoyed myself so much that I walked back instead. I honestly didn’t realize I had walked so far until I retraced my route on Google Earth.

The Cloud Gate was definitely worth the visit. I have wanted to see Anish Kapoor’s sculpture ever since I first Stumbled Upon an image of it. It was truly fascinating. I was also struck by the beauty of this area of downtown Chicago. Illinois has some of the most beautiful parks! And the buildings are taller than any I have ever seen, incredible works of art themselves.

If given the chance, I could spend weeks exploring the great city of Chicago and never get bored. I was very impressed.

Day 170 A Day of Photo Editing

Since I spent the majority of the day sorting and editing all of the photos I took on Saturday at the Minister’s Tree House, I chose this as my daily photo. Yeah, I know the above photo isn’t all that interesting; but I hope sharing a few others from Saturday will make up for that. I really went overboard taking pictures that day. I had 296 on my camera when we got home. I managed to get that number down to 174. Of those, I shared only the best 30 photos on Flickr. It was really hard to narrow that number down even further, but here are my top 5 favorite photos from the Minister’s Tree House.

To view the rest of the photos in this set or to view larger, please visit me on Flickr: The Minister’s Tree House

Update: September 9, 2012 – As of August 30, 2012, authorities with the State of TN’s Fire Marshal’s Office closed the Minister’s Tree House to the public due to safety concerns. “Giant Crossville treehouse — inspired by God, shut down by fire marshal” by Lance Coleman for the Tennessean

Day 168 The Minister’s Tree House

Via Flickr:
David & I took a drive out to Crossville, TN, today to see the Minister’s Tree House since he had never been. I checked it out for the first time last August. The Minister’s Tree House was built by Horace Burgess over the span of 14 years. It’s built around an 80 foot tall white oak tree. This colossal structure, acclaimed to be the largest tree house in the world, is 100 feet tall and supported by six other strong trees that act like natural pillars.

I have found a couple of different sources with different height measurements (97 feet to 100 feet), so I’m not exactly certain of the exact height. However, the majority of sites report it at 100 feet tall. RoadsideAmerica.com seems to be the most reputable with the most current information: www.roadsideamerica.com/story/13769. I recommend reading their articles for more information & the history of this amazing attraction. All I know for sure is that it’s very tall!

* I took A LOT of photos today. It’s probably going to take me a couple of days to go through them all & sort out which ones to share online, so check back in a few days if you’re interested in seeing more.

Update: June 18, 2012 – Day 170 A Day of Photo Editing or the set on Flickr: The Minister’s Tree House

Update: September 9, 2012 – As of August 30, 2012, authorities with the State of TN’s Fire Marshal’s Office closed the Minister’s Tree House to the public due to safety concerns. “Giant Crossville treehouse — inspired by God, shut down by fire marshal” by Lance Coleman for the Tennessean

The Parthenon

The 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition brought about the construction of a full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon of Athens in Nashville, TN. Nashville.gov describes it as “a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture.” Today it functions as an art museum for the city of Nashville and beautiful centerpiece of Centennial Park, housing a full-scale replica of Athena Parthenos. Artist, Alan LeQuire was commissioned in 1982 by the city of Nashville to construct this magnificent re-creation of the original statue said to have been unveiled in Athens around 437 BCE.

The inner chamber of the Parthenon, or naos in classical architecture, is adorned  with plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles, also known as the Elgin Marbles, found at the British Museum in London. “[These] are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 BCE,” according to Nashville.gov.

A Couple of Interesting Facts from Nashville.gov’s website:

  • The Parthenon in Athens was carved out of Pentelic marble and it took the Greeks approximately 10 years to construct the building, 447-438 B.C.
  • Nashville’s Parthenon was created from brick, stone, structural reinforced concrete, and cast concrete aggregate. It took the City of Nashville nearly 10 years to build their Parthenon, 1921-1931.

The Parthenon’s current operating hours are:

  • Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Sundays: 12:30 – 4:30 pm
  • Closed Monday

Admission: Members: Free; Adults – $7.00; Children 4-17: $5.00 (under 4 free); Seniors over 62: $5.00.  All credit and debit card transactions carry a 2.30% convenience fee.

Phone number 615-862-8431

or visit http://www.nashville.gov/parthenon/

[Hours and admission costs updated 4.3.2015.]