Family fun at St. Paddy’s Pickle Palooza

Whether you’re into eating pickles, drinking pickle juice, dressing like a pickle or just interested in a fun day, the World’s Only St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade & Palooza has you covered with a pickle playground, live music, pet parade, pickle eating contests, adopt-a-pet and more. The weekend event is held in Mansfield, TX, hometown to Best Maid Pickles. To stay up-to-date on the festivities, register for email updates on their website – pickleparade.org – or check out their facebook page.

Lots of cute pups in the noon pet parade.

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One of three Elvis’ performing some tricks prior to the Pickle Parade.

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And the parade begins.

No pet. No problem. You can adopt a pup today.

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Pickle Playground for the kids: face painting, jump houses, rock wall, petting zoo.

Run for Cover started the day off with live music.

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Overall, a great celebration of pickles, St. Paddy’s, and fun.

Don’t forget your spray paint

A trip to Austin’s infamous Graffiti Park at Castle Hill (Hope Outdoor Gallery) can be quite exhilarating. Typically one has to duck, cover and run when tagging abandoned buildings, but it’s perfectly legal in Austin. At this location. For now. Kinda. (You do need to register to participate, so email: murals@hopecampaign.org).

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Graffiti Park at Castle Hill welcomes both artists and visitors on a sunny, spring day.

Not only will you view some good and bad tags as well as the occasional mural, you’re sure to meet artists practicing their craft and some interesting individuals selling bracelets and homemade tchotchkes.

 

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As usual, I remain a fan of the motivational sayings. I already have an idea for my next visit. My arms will be full of 3-D letters, spray paint and glitter (because who doesn’t love glitter). Care to join me? The trip will probably be in June.

Everywhere you look offers a great backdrop for selfies with friends, or a future social media profile pict (I’ll be updating mine soon).

hope-outdoor-gallery-angelkwill-15This is a mix of paint on the concrete and a reflection of a wall but together it looks like an abstract portrait. Or is it just me? Either way, you can’t not smile in Austin. It’s weird. And I like it.

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’til next time, angel

Janus, the ancient Roman god of beginnings and more

I wonder how many times I’m going to venture back to Deep Ellum and stumble upon street art that has graced brick walls for years yet seems to bypass my view time after time. The good thing is, I’m always pleasantly surprised at new-to-me murals, even when I think I’m current on the art in the neighborhood.

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Deep Ellum Janus, by Dan Colcer (Transylvania, Romania @dcolcerart) was painted in 2016.

According to Wikipedia “in ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (/ˈdʒeɪnəs/; Latin: Ianus, pronounced [ˈjaː.nus]) is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past.” Personally, I found the idea to be quite interesting, along with the design, composition and vibrancy of the color palette.

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I have shot this wall before but not from this perspective. Venturing out after a rain is always exciting as it can present opportune reflection photographs. As you can see, I was in luck.

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I had not previously ventured out far enough to see this piece of art complimenting the urban gardens. Also by Dan Colcer, this piece was created in 2012. I think the swordfish dancing with the lady on the rooftop and the flower bombs add a nice touch.

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While we do have water parks, lakes and rivers in DFW, this 2010 mural by Amber Campagna is the closest you’re going to get to the beach. I may have been standing in jeans and a jacket when taking the picture, but I closed my eyes and could imagine the crashing waves, the sound of seagulls, and the sun’s rays warming my skin. Needless to say, I’m getting a hankering to move back to Florida.

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“Concrete Treetops” by Angel K Will, 2017

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I wonder if this is the Traveling Man that is 38′ tall. Either way, remember playing Freeze tag when you were little and you had to crawl between the person’s legs to “unfreeze” them. I would have loved to have the Traveling Man on my team. He would have made it so easy when tagged. To read the history of the Traveling Man, check out the story here by the Dallas Observer.

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’til next time, angel

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Cattle drives and gun fights in Fort Worth’s Stockyards

The early 1900’s were filled with cowboys, cattle drives, outhouses and more. And when you’re in the stockyards you get the chance to travel back in time minus the outhouses (although I’m sure something could be arranged). The cattle drive happens every day at 11:30 am and 4:00 pm down Main Street in front of Stockyards Station.

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Visitors view the longhorns prior to the drive down Main Street.

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The King Ranch “Running W” branding iron was registered in 1869. Learn more about it here.

The best part of visiting the stockyards on an overcast, cooler day is the smaller crowd. It was very easy to get right up on the curb to watch the longhorns mosey down Main Street. If you don’t have your own Wranglers, boots and hat to sport, not to fear, there are plenty of shops that will be happy to get you in full country attire.

Following the cattle drive at 11:45 on Saturday and Sunday is the Legends of Texas gun fight re-enactment. With his Barney Fife sidekick, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cheer for the Sheriff or the Outlaws, but my law abiding nature won out and I cheered for the good guys.

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The sidekick wanted to be Sheriff for a day. The question is “could he handle it?”

Once the dust settled and the smoke cleared, there was obviously a winning and losing side. Good thing it was only a re-enactment.

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The Legends of Texas fellas gather together for a photo opp following the show.

There’s plenty more to do and see in the Stockyards. Maybe I’ll cover Billy Bob’s (the world’s largest honky tonk) and the Vintage Railroad on my next visit. There’s also Cowboy Church at high noon every Sunday, and let’s not forget the Rodeo. To find out more, visit Stockyards Station.

 

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’til next time, angel

 

Enjoying Deep Ellum Arts Festival

This past weekend was the 22nd year for Deep Ellum’s annual Art Fest. Filled with art, food and music, it proved to be wonderfully crowded and fun with perfect Texas sunshine and crystal blue skies.

The busyness in and around the art booths didn’t provide ideal shots for street photography (it seemed), but we ventured around the Deep Ellum area and stumbled upon a cool area under the overpasses with muraled pillars. Check out the full Flickr album here.

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Deep Ellum is filled with character and never fails to provide opportunities for great urban shots.

With well over 200+ artists, a few I’d definitely recommend checking out are…

We also chilled for a bit and enjoyed the soulsy rock of Reinventing Jude.

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All in all, a great day!

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(3-headed classical guitarist, only in Deep Ellum!)

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Photo Day: Urban Exploration

It proved to be a gorgeous weekend to explore a few of the abandoned buildings in Fort Worth.

This was my first time to do so, and I found it provided an odd mix of emotions. Disheartenment when you consider the desolation, abandonment and destruction yet coupled with an excitement and joy as you were discovering something unknown and capturing unique photography.

My favorite shots were taking pictures of my friends taking pictures. The environment, often with bright and bold colors, was a chaotic and beautiful backdrop. One floor had a large portion covered by 1-2 inches of water and there were crazy cool shots with the reflection creating a surreal image as if you were looking at 2 levels of the building in a single shot (a very Inception-type vibe).

I’m happy to report I only bled a little when I cut my knee getting onto a roof. Well worth it, as when given the opportunity to climb on or up something, it’s a personal requirement. I did find, on one of the climbing opportunities, I’m not quite as brave as I used to be (or maybe I’m just not quite as reckless as I used to be).

To view the full Flickr album, click here.

Enjoy. Go. Explore.

Photo Day: Frontiers of Flight Museum

First and foremost, thank you to our Veterans, who have and do keep freedom alive in America and abroad!

To view the full Flickr album, click here.

Some FUN FACTS from the visit:

  • The first transcontinental crossing of the United States in a single day, was made on September 4, 1922 by “Jimmy” Doolittle. He flew a DH-4B 2,163 miles in 21 hours 19 minutes from Pablo Beach, FL to San Diego, CA.
  • Charles Lindbergh made the first non-stop solo airplane trip across the Atlantic on May 20, 1927, from Long Island, NY, USA to Paris, France. The flight took 33 hours and 39 minutes and by the end of the flight, Lindbergh had been awake for a total of 55 hours straight.
  • On October 23, 1934, Italian pilot Francesco Agello set a new speed record for the fastest propeller driven seaplane (Macchi Castoldi MC-72), at an amazing speed of 440.683 mph, a record that to this day has yet to be broken by any piston engined seaplane.
  • America built the world’s largest Golden Age aircraft. The Douglas XB-19 had a 212 foot wingspan and a gross weight of 70 tons. It could carry 72,500lb bombs internally, and had a maximum range of 7,300 miles. The XB-10 could remain airborne for 2 days without refueling.
  • Retha McCulloh, a teacher by profession, was the first female pilot in the state of Texas and was a Charter Member of the Ninety-Nines, an organization of women pilots founded in 1929 by Amelia Earhart and other pioneers.

For more information about Frontiers of Flight Museum, visit their website.

Photo Day: Houston St., we have a problem…

This past Saturday was an interesting photo day. The downtown Fort Worth tour we had anticipated got cancelled due to the tour guide having a water pipe bust in his apartment that morning. Eek, I sure hope all worked out ok for him. So, now left to venture the Fort Worth Streets completely unaware of any historical context, my friend and I began a self-guided tour heading south on Houston St., from Sundance Square to the Water Gardens. And I’ll say we did quite a fabulous job (at least of entertaining ourselves)!

Walking in the shade on the brisk day proved more chilly than our first outing to the Fort Worth Botanicals early February (which was around my cold limit (‘cuz I’m a wimp)). The high angle of the sun created great challenges, excuse me, opportunities, for practicing exposure settings as many situations were half in the sun, half in the shade. All to say, we survived and are becoming better photographers because of it, and isn’t that what life is all about… the journey of becoming.

Photos were shot with a Nikon D3200.

Flicker Album

FW Downtown | 03.2016

Photo Day: Butterflies & Botanicals

The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to visit. They are currently hosting their Butterfly exhibit in the Conservatory (does anyone else think of the game “Clue” when they hear that word?) now through Sunday, April 3, 2016. You can get all the details on their website.

When asked what kind of animal you would want to be (everyone’s pondered this question, right?), I’ve always said monkey. Because they’re awesome! But after being at the Butterfly exhibit, I thought maybe I’d like to be a butterfly. I’m a big fan of their diet – plants with high sugar content. No wonder they were often zipping past me in the Conservatory – they were on a sugar buzz. I can relate. And they’re colorful and can fly. Who wouldn’t love that. Unfortunately, their lifespan is quite short. Depending on the type, only a few weeks. So, I’ll stick with wanting to be a monkey and being a butterfly will be my second choice.

Photos were shot with a Nikon D3200.

A 30-second Fast Forward video compilation is below and the full picture album can be viewed on Flickr.

 

 

Photo Day: Downtown Grapevine

Spent a half-day tromping around Downtown Grapevine for some picturesque fun with friends…

I was shooting with a Nikon D3200, mostly an 18-55 lens.

My favorite from this trip is probably “Elvis has NOT left the building” reflection photo.

A 30-second video collage on speed can be found below and the full Photo Album on Flickr

Get out and take some pictures! : )