Historic Arkansas · Recipes

Lillian’s Orange Pecans

DSC_3005

This week I headed to Scott once again to take pictures of the few historic plantation homes that are remaining and other old buildings in the area but instead of just staying in the car I went in to the Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park to see if they just happened to have a book on Scott history. No luck finding a book but I had a great talk with Linda Goza, the Superintendent of the museum.

One story she told me about was Lillian Walker Scott (yes, THAT Scott family that the town is named for) and her orange pecan candy that she made and sold to help save the Elmhurst Plantation after the severe flooding of 1927. She even sold them as far away as New York. Well of course my foodie heart wondered how yummy those pecans must have been. I mean orange and pecans …. how could it go wrong? The Californian in me still craves fresh oranges and the Arkansan in me LOVES pecans. I’ve never even heard of orange pecans but make the spicy cinnamon ones all the time so I set out to find the recipe. It didn’t take very long, back in December 2016, the Arkansas Times ran a bunch of old recipes and Lillian’s Orange Pecans was one of the recipes featured.

I made them this afternoon and they are wonderful! So much better than the cinnamon ones. Even Mr. Picky (my son Sean) liked them and he rarely eats nuts! I tell you though, if you’re diabetic, watch out!

Lillian’s Orange Pecans

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups pecans

Bring the sugar and juice up to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium and heat until 238°F (soft ball stage). Stir in nuts and the zest from one orange. Pour onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and spread nuts to cool. Once they’re cold off a bit you can break them apart. Or if you want to get real fancy and waste a bunch of time – take them out of the pan and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet one at a time. They will look better but the taste is the same either way!

Nature · Photography

The Math of Sunflowers and Crop Overlays in Lightroom

sunflower field near Conway, AR

I would try to explain the math of sunflowers but let’s face it, it’s math, and we all know how good I am at math. NOT! It blows my mind if I can’t count or figure it up on my fingers and toes. A great explanation of the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio found in middle of a sunflower is located at Nature Blows My Mind! The Hypnotic Patterns of Sunflowers.

For all my photographer friends out there using Lightroom. Did you know you can use the Golden Ratio overlay when cropping photos? While using the crop tool if you press the O key you can cycle through the many crop overlays available. When you find an overlay you like, if you press Shift O you can rotate the orientation of that overlay to fit your image if need be. More information on crop overlays in Lightroom can be found on Have Camera Will Travel.

 

 

Travel

Finton Shaw Sculpture Garden

 

DSC_1120

There’s not much left of Finton Shaw’s Sculpture Garden near Conway, Arkansas. If you did not know it was there, you would pass on by thinking it was just another junk yard alongside the road. Among the tall grass and weeds are the remains of Mr. Shaw’s sculptures including one he was working on at the time of his death, in 2012, featuring Bill Clinton.

I took these pictures from across the highway and from the old driveway of Shaw’s property. I didn’t have any snake boots and I was not sure the current owners of the property really want anyone exploring. I left wishing I would have met the artist and seen the sculptures before his death.

For more information on Finton Shaw and his sculptures:

Location:

  • 5080 Hwy 64, Conway, AR
Travel

When the Golden Hour Meets the Blue Hour

As I was leaving Conway yesterday I knew I had to find a place to pull over to stop and photograph the rising full moon. The wispy clouds were trailing across the face of the moon making the scene beautiful but yet a little creepy looking. The clouds and atmosphere made it hard to get a tack sharp image so I didn’t bother pulling out the tripod.

DSC_0961

DSC_0969

As I turned the car around to head back out on the highway, I saw that everything in the West was bathed in a very intense orange.

DSC_0992

 

Historic Arkansas

Dr. E. F. Utley House, Cabot, Arkansas

 

Utley House, Cabot, Arkansas

Wow, there’s only two places in Cabot that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Only one house and the Confederate Cemetery. I photographed 10 more houses the other day and I know there’s still more in town that could be eligible.
 
The 2 1/2 story Dr. E. F. Utley House, at 401 W. Pine Street in Cabot, was built sometime between 1914 and 1922 and is an example of an “American Foursquare” with Colonial Revival-style detailing.
 
During the time it was constructed, Cabot had a population around 447 people and had a bank, a weekly newspaper, two nurseries and a telephone exchange.
 
The property is known as the Utley House for Dr. E. F. Utley, a local “horse and buggy” doctor who owned, lived and saw patients in the house from about 1935 to 1955.
 
The house has been reported to be haunted by the current owner. Sounds of people walking across the upper floors and down the stairs are often heard. The front entrance door has also been seen to open by itself even when fully latched.
 
The property was listed in National Register of Historic Places on June 3, 1998. (By a strange coincidence, this image was taken June 3, 2017, 19 years later)
Travel

The Sharecroppers House

DSC_0803-HDR

“When We Worked on Shares, We Couldn’t Make Nothing”

Henry Blake

20170530_134132(0)-Edit

Thanks to Google Maps I have a new, and quicker, way to get to Scott, Arkansas from Cabot. I went to Scott yesterday to photograph the still smoldering remains of Cotham Mercantile.

Along this new route are several historic farms and at least one historic plantation. The biggest surprise was seeing an old sharecroppers house, so cool. It’s rare to find them standing, let alone one that is still in pretty decent shape. This one won’t be for long though with the metal roof sheets peeled back like they are.

One picture is taken with my Nikon and the other with my phone. Can you tell which one is which?