Devil’s Honeycomb Trail (Hughes Mountain)

Located in the Hughes Mountain Natural Area is a trail called Devil’s Honeycomb Trail. It consists of glades, savanna, old fields and it is half forest. Polygonal columns of rhyolite make up what the locals call the Devil’s Honeycomb and is located at the highest point of the mountain. It is one of Missouri’s geologic wonders.

Around 1.5 billion years ago the rocks were liquefied by volcanoes associated with the St. Francois Mountains. The molten rock contracted, and as it cooled cracked and created multi-sided columns and created a rhyolite formation that locals named the Devil’s Honeycomb. The Precambrian rock outcrops are among the most ancient, exposed rocks in the United States.

The Hughes Mountain Natural Area is located off highway M, 3 miles southeast of Irondale.

Hughes Mountain Natural Area

Hughes Mountain is located in southern Washington County in Missouri. The area was designated a natural area in 1982. It is made up of a combination of igneous glades and three types of forests. Precambrian rock outcrops found in the area are 1.5 billion years old making them among the most ancient, exposed rocks in the United States.

The area is named after the first European settler, who arrived in 1810, John Hughes. The Conservation Department purchased the land from the Hughes family. The rhyolite formation located at its highest point is known by locals as the Devil’s Honeycomb. Because of my late start and other time restraints I was unable to make my way to this area. Another trip is planned for the near future.

Glades located within the area are natural openings located on the western and southern slopes where native grasses and a variety of wildflowers can be found. Glade plants include little bluestem, broomsedge, poverty grass, flame flower, prickly pear cactus, yellow star grass, spiderwort, and wild hyacinth.

The trail is 1.6 miles long and is an out-and-back trail near Irondale, MO. I found it to be a moderately challenging trail but was fairly well maintained with trail arrows. On average it takes 48 minutes to complete however time gets away from you when snapping photos. The trail is open year round and dogs are welcome but they must be on a leash. The trail is popular among birders, hikers and runners. However, if you see me running, run, because something is chasing me.

NOTE: All pictures were taken by me and the property of Double D Acres LLC and may not be used without my permission.

Do You See What I See

“To me photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt was famous for his uncanny ability to capture on film the humor and irony of everyday life.

Fortunately, we are all different. The world would be a boring place if we all liked the same things. Ten people can look at the same picture and see it fourteen different ways. As a photographer I want the viewer to see what I see. When I see something that excites me, I immediately begin analyzing the shot trying to figure out how to shoot the picture for the viewer to understand what I see. In this particular picture I would have to ask which came first? The rocks or the tree.

This shot was taken on a ridge that paralleled the St. Francis River inside the Silver Mines Recreation Area near Fredericktown, MO. It is along a trail that runs parallel with the river along the ridge and just to the right a trail takes off up the ridge. My thinking is the rocks were put there many years ago to mark the trail when the tree was small.

More pictures of the trail that runs along the west ridge overlooking the river.

Lakeview Lake

Lakeview Lake

They were calling for rain this afternoon so I decided to take advantage of the dry time. I loaded up and headed to Lakeview Lake in Bonne Terre, MO.

Temp was in the 50s with an 8 mph wind. I assembled the fly rod and reel and tied on a brass head black fly. I looked over the lake and decided I would start at a point where the wind was behind me.

I fished for a good hour before I finally caught a small largemouth. I released it into the lake. I walked down the bank about 50 yards and began fishing. After about 20 minutes I caught a small perch.

By now the wind changed direction and was blowing into my face so I moved to the other side. About the third cast I caught another small perch.

I began easing my way around the lake fishing as I went and I soon caught a largemouth snd this one was bigger.

I fished another 45 minutes and managed to catch another small perch and finally a pretty nice one.

All in all it was a good day and I enjoyed the time on the lake. Planning another trip real soon.

Fracture Art

Looking for a different way than traditional prints, framed and hung on the wall to display your photographs? Fracture art does just that. It takes your digital images and prints them directly onto glass, turning the print into a frame.

The photograph above doesn’t really do the Fracture print justice. It’s amazing how it makes the colors pop out. It seems quite pricey but you don’t have the cost of a matte and frame and the time it takes to frame them.

A medium, 7.2”x 9.6” will set you back $50 and a classic 10.8” x 14.4” will set you back $80. I have done a couple this way and I love it.

Capturing Nature

St Francis River at Silver Mines Missouri

“Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – Your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.”

Annie Leibovitz

Lighting is an integral part of a photograph. In a studio setting a photographer has many tools he can use to manipulate the lighting. When capturing a landscape photo, a photographer doesn’t have the luxury of controlling the light. He/she is pretty much at the mercy of Mother Nature. The only option really at his or her disposal is to use the time of day when the sun is at different locations and casting a different light on the subject matter. They have to figure out when the sun will work to their advantage. On a cloudy day the photographer can use cloud cover to change the lighting. It is a complicated guessing game.

I absolutely love this quote.

St Francis River located in Silver Mines Recreation Area
Original Photograph
Same area zoom changed and edited in Dark Room Classic.

Adobe has some great apps that can be used to change the lighting in a photograph.

Get Excited

Trail In Silver Mines Conservation Area

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”

Robert Frank

When someone reads a line twice it usually means that something about that line excites them and grabs their attention. Purchasers of artwork do so because something about it excited them. Photography is no different. The photographer has to make the photo exciting to catch the viewers’ attention. They have to be passionate and excited about what they are going to capture through their camera. If the photographer isn’t excited about their composition, it is hard to expect the viewer to be excited. To be a good photographer one should not overlook the power of excitement.

Capturing The world of Nature

Storms a Coming
  • “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
    – Aaron Siskind

I started as an artist and a high school art teacher changed my dream of being an artist. I was devastated. Then one day I saw a work of Ansel Adams and I became hooked on photography.

Spirits Dancing
Ice Man Cometh

Elephant Rocks State Park

I awoke the morning of February 4 and looked out the window to find Mother Earth blanketed with around 5 inches of fluffy snow. I had no idea what the roads were like, but I immediately thought of the Elephant Rocks located near me in Iron County in Missouri. I knew there were some great photographs waiting to be made.

The elephant rocks consist of geological formations that were formed some 1.5 billion years ago during the Precambrian Era. Many were formed within 7 acres of the natural area located within the park. A formation that is 27 feet tall, 34 feet long, and 17 feet tall has been named Dumbo. Giant boulders formed from granite stand end- to- end and reminds one of a train of elephants.

The name for this formation is “tor”, a stack or pile of weathered residual granite rock boulders. We had freezing rain, sleet, and snow the night before and it was virtually impossible for me to climb up the boulders to get some good shots of these formations.

Granite has been quarried in the area since 1869. This granite has been used for buildings from Massachusetts to California and was used in the St. Louis City Hall, and even the piers of the Eads Bridge were made from this granite. The mining left behind a small pond.

Inside the park you will find the Braille Trail that was created for people with visual and physical disabilities. Picnic tables can be found scattered throughout the park where folks can picnic and enjoy the geological formations within the park.

If you are interested in purchasing one of the prints, please contact me at dwwhite1954@gmail.com. I sell just prints or framed and matted.

All photos are the property of Double D Aes LLC and cannot be used without my consent.