Butterfly Sculpture

An interesting tidbit about Reno, Nevada, is that there is a nice art thing going on in “The Biggest Little City in the World.”   Do you think of art and culture when you think of Reno?   Hmmmm …

Reno is home to a month long summer celebration of art.   Every July, Artown takes over and there are tons of daily activities from world-renown musicians to hometown heroes with all kinds of creative talents.   Then, August swelters into September and Labor Day weekend is the pinnacle of the Burning Man festival on the playa of the Black Rock Desert not too far from the casino lights of town.

While I was on my photowalk with film a couple of weeks ago for the 52 Rolls project, I found a butterfly, a BIG one.

butterfly wf

 

What on earth is a big, steel, butterfly thing doing next to the temporary ice rink in downtown Reno?    Well, back to all of that stuff about art and Burning Man.   This sculpture piece by Bryan Tedrick was part of an installation at Burning Man in 2008.    The downtown renovation project brought the sculpture to this location last summer and the website lists it as temporary but I hope it stays.

If you think this looks interesting black and white, you should see some of the other artist’s photographs in color by light of the moon in the desert.   Bryan’s website has several photos but a quick Google search shows how well photographed this sculpture is.    There are a couple of interpretations on what the butterfly and flower-type petals represent but I’ll let you soak it in and decide what you see.

downtown butterfly

 

butterfly sunflower

 

The Clock

Throughout my childhood, this wonderful, old clock was always at the main shopping mall in Reno, Nevada, known as Park Lane Mall.   The times have changed and that mall is long gone, now demolished and an empty parking lot.   The clock, however, was saved and recently re-installed in downtown Reno.   As a child, I had no idea how much history this clock held but, now, I know there is a storied past to this timepiece.

the clock

I took this photo as part of my film project with 52 rolls.   This set was all taken with my Nikon FM2.

Back to the clock, there is a nice engraving that was added to the base of the clock that gives a good bit of information:

clock engraving

 

And, the photo turned into a little bit of a selfie for me, too.   Bonus.

nevadan clock

 

Downtown Reno isn’t the grandest of locations for such a spectacular clock but there is a renovation/revitalization effort in the area.   I think this is a great place for the clock and a good reminder of the history that has happened in “The Biggest Little City.”   I hope that it is well-taken care of in this spot and that people respect it.

Just look at the inner workings on this clock, they don’t make them like this anymore.

inside the clock

 

 

Black and White Bristlecones

Because I fancy myself as a photographer that prefers black and white, I am going to share some of the bristlecone photos that I used filters on in Photoshop.   I’m not big on too many adjustments so don’t get all ‘straight out of camera’ on me.   If I was just a touch better at manual settings, I would seriously just go back to film and do this old school.

Do you think some photos are better in monochrome tones than color?    Sometimes, I wonder if I’m a little bit colorblind and that’s why I like the contrast of black and white better.    Let me know what you think in the comments.

And, if you want to see some more in color, please check out my previous post HERE.   That one will tell you a little bit of history on the bristlecone pines and Great Basin National Park, Nevada, too.

Morning Kayaking

This past week, I have been at the annual camping spot.  My husband’s family has been setting up shop in the same spot for the last few years and it’s always a ton of fun to get everyone together.   Most of us live in the Reno area but there a few Californians that travel up to visit and Stampede Reservoir is a nice mid-point for everyone.   We are a good group so there’s lots to look forward to at big, family mealtimes and lazy afternoons on the lake shores.

But, my special treat is to wake up ridiculously early and kayak.   It’s just me and a few early bird fishermen before the water skiers that drank too much around the campfire the night before manage to roll out of their campsites and fire up the ski boats.

And, now, thanks to a waterproof Nikon, I can share some of it with you:

glassy waters

 

the peninsula

So, where is this oasis?   Stampede Reservoir is just outside of Truckee, California.   I did a little homework and discovered that the man-made dam was built in 1970 as a Bureau of Reclamation project.   For more info, click HERE.   If you are interested in the local fishing report, click HERE.  I’m not into fishing but was impressed by the Mountain Hardware site.   It’s a pretty neat store for all kinds of stuff in Truckee, too.

Back to kayaking …

campsites
if you look really hard, you can see some of my family’s campers … sorta

tree reflection

I wanted to lean over and do a selfie here but had the sense to not tempt fate and end up in the cold water.
I wanted to lean over and do a selfie here but had the sense to not tempt fate and end up in the cold water.

I did a little video of some morning zen paddling to share with you, check it out on YouTube HERE.   I haven’t figured out how (or paid for the upgrade) to embed the video into the blog so you’re just going to have to deal with clicking through to it.

Have you been out on the water this summer?

Now, for some artsy stuff:

bw feather in colorbw feather

There were tons of feathers floating on the water all morning.   This is a shot including the reflection.   Which do you like better: color or black and white?

 

 

American Flat, Nevada

American Flat is an old cyanide mill just outside of Virginia City, Nevada.    Technically, is it between Gold Hill and Silver City but both of those places are near ghost towns now, too.    According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), “The United Comstock Merger Mill site is located on public lands at American Flat, Storey County, Nevada. The mill was built in 1922 to process local gold and silver ore utilizing cyanide vat leaching in what was then described as the largest concrete mill in the United States, which makes it historically significant. Since abandonment in 1924, this seven acre mill site has traditionally been used by high school students and other locals as a meeting place to hold parties, post graffiti, conduct paintball wars, etc., despite physical safety hazards from falling concrete, underground mill sumps filled with water, and holes in the concrete flooring.  The BLM issued a Federal Register Notice and closed the historic mill buildings to public entry in 1997 in response to a fatality at the site. Regardless of the closure and repeated efforts by the BLM to fence, gate and post the site with warning signs, the property still receives visitors in trespass. According to the Storey County Sheriff’s Department, emergency vehicles respond to at least six serious injuries on the property every year, mostly from visitors climbing on and falling from the mill buildings which are as much as eighty feet in height.

Needless to say, this is a creepy, old place yet worthy of the time photographing it.   There are warning signs everywhere to be careful.

This huge mill was built in 1922. Imagine how big of an undertaking that was in those days.   It was only used for TWO years.
All of the buildings are covered in graffiti, inside and out.
If these walls could talk … oh, the stories they would tell.
The Bar … enter if you dare …
A closer look at the largest building.
A look inside the largest building, there are holes in the floor and chunks of cement dangling from the ceilings.
Anyone can tell which areas are marked as “closed” but you can see that no one heeds the warnings.
Clearly, the EPA didn’t exist in the days of this mill. The cyanide barrels lay in waste all over the area.
The ghosts of the Comstock are alive and well here at American Flat.