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.

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.

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.

Dillard Mill State Historic Site

Saturday, February 5, I journeyed to the Dillard Mill State Site located in Davisville, MO. The area was snow covered and the roads going to the mill weren’t in very good shape. There were a couple of times I got a little nervous.

The mill is located along the banks of the Huzzah Creek and is one of the state’s best-preserved gristmills. The mill was completed in 1908 and most of the machinery is still in intact and original to the building. The 132-acre site, even though privately owned, has been operated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and was listed on the National Register of Historic places in 2015. The park is under a lease agreement with the L-A-D Foundation.

The first mill was built in 1853 and was known as the Wisdom Mill but unfortunately was destroyed by fire in 1895. A new mill was constructed in 1908 and was named the Mische Mill. The owners altered the course of the stream and used an underwater turbine in place of an old waterwheel. It operated until 1956. Then in 1975, when the state took over management of the site and it was given the name Dillard Mill. Restoration wasn’t completed until 1980.

The site offers its visitors opportunities to fish, hike, picnic or to revisit the past.

If you would like to purchase a print contact me at dwwhite1954@gmail.com. I offer prints as well as framed and matted.

Missouri Mines State Historic Site

Missouri Mines State Historic Site, Park Hills, MO.

The mining industry in the Southeast Missouri Lead District has been a big part of Missouri’s economy for more than 280 years.

The St Joseph Lead Company was founded on March 25, 1864. The Company bought the Bonne Terre lead mine and 950 acres in Bonne Terre, MO, in1864. By 1923 the company had 250 miles of underground railroad running under Flat River, Leadwood, Desloge, Rivermines, and Elvins, cities in Missouri.

Then in 1923, the Federal Mill No. 3 became the property of the St. Joe Lead Company and with improvements they made it into the largest mill in the world. St, Joe kept it operational until 1972. In 1975 the company donated the complex and surrounding property to the state of Missouri. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources took possession in 1976 and named it St. Joe State Park and in 1980 it was designated as Missouri Mines State Historic Site.

Inside the mines old powerhouse is a museum and you can see the Midwest’s finest mineral collections. There is information about the history of the area’s lead mining and actual machinery that was used in the mine is on display.

There is off road vehicle trails in the park and features four lakes, two swimming beaches, equestrian trails, hiking and bicycling trails, water trail and picnic sites. There are also two campgrounds capable of accommodating campers with ORV or horse trailers.