Wednesday, January 4, 2017

From Antiquity to Tranquility.. The Louisiana World Tour

On the road to Sicily Island, LA


When I began what would be the Last Louisiana World Tour of 2016 back in September, the plan was simple. 
-->I was going to re-visit Sicily Island for some re-shoots, and then check out the Native American mounds that surround the area.  BUT…then my car broke down and plans changed.  (see last blog entry HERE..i know..just getting around to this one…don’t judge me, I’ve been busy…)

Suddenly car-less, I was determined to finish the re-shoots that I needed to get to complete the World Tour performance piece…so, with my handy Nissan Rental, I headed to Sicily Island, Copenhagen, Lisbon AND Athens…all in one day.  I got the shots I wanted and, in keeping with the theme of the World Tour,  then some.  


-->
First, I found my way to Sicily Island where I got to see even more of the town than last time.. I didn’t know that was possible. 

Sicily Island Town Hall

Gwen's Little Place

Sicily Island Library & Water Tower

Sicily Island, Louisiana

But most importantly, what I really wanted to capture was the Mediterranean charm of Sicily Island, Lake Louie.  (also referred to as Lovelace Lake)

Sicily Island

Sicily Island




--> Overlooking the lake was the vista of my original World Tour intent, Peck Mound. 

Peck Mound 650-860CE

Peck Mound was occupied from 650 to 860 by the Troyville & Coles Creek Culture. Of the five mounds in the complex, only one is no longer visible.  

I could have continued on as planned and explored the other mounds in the area, but I instead traveled onward to Copenhagen where I photographed familiar scenes, though this time around I did not get lost or maim a squirrel (click on the link to refresh your memory).  I did, however, find myself surrounded by Forests and my Horse Friends. 

Pine Forest, Copenhagen, Louisiana

Horse Friends



                                             I also was able to capture a sparkly sign pic.




  

                    I still wanted to explore the Ancient World, so I drove a little further and reached            another  mound site, Wade Landing, seemingly in the  middle of nowhere. 



The Road to Antiquity


Yet it is easily visible from the road…a little piece of antiquity with a giant mansion right next to it.  According to the marker it is about 1000 years old and the cemetery on top of the mound helps to preserve it.    

Wade Landing

Wade Landing, 1000 year old mound

       Finally, it was time to head up north where I once again drove through the metropolis of Lisbon,
                                         and picked a few new shots on my way to Athens


Lisbon, Louisiana

Lisbon, Louisiana

Tiny Houses in Lisbon, Louisiana
I always shoot a tree in Lisbon, Louisiana



As I arrived in Athens in Northwest Louisiana, it was as much as I left in 5 years ago. 
But I did discover another church.

Athens Town Hall

St. Rest, Athens, Louisiana
 
I really wanted a shot from a hill, as I read that Athens, Louisiana was named for Athens, Greece and the original town was built on top a hill. 

Ask and ye shall receive




At the end of the day, I found a hotel near Vienna and got to work looking up what ancient mounds could be around this area . Most of the mounds in Louisiana are in the east, situated along bayous and the river.  I wasn’t expecting to find any in North Central Louisiana, but lo and behold…..I found one!

The next morning I was off. I passed through Vienna long enough to capture this sign – Old Wire Road.  The sign, situated between two posts of blooming morning glories, says that it was the first road across North Louisiana and began as an Indian trail.  How apropos..

Old Wire Road, Vienna, Louisiana


Turns out the mounds I was heading for were only a short drive from Lisbon where i had been a day earlier.
View from the Road near Lisbon & Vienna
  
Hidden amongst the trees and fancy houses of  Union Parish and overlooking D’Arbonne Lake is Scott Place Mounds.

D'Arbonne Lake

The mounds from the late Coles/Creek early Plaquemine periods dates to about 1200.  This by far was my favorite mound to photograph. As I kept climbing up the hill I couldn’t place where the mounds would be.  Just around the corner though, there was the sign and the mound. 


Scott Place Mounds
800 year old Scott Place Mounds

On the way back home I got to take in some more Louisiana loveliness. I also got to experience some good ole southern hospitality.  As I stopped to take this photo, 

Louisiana Bayou
a truck immediately pulled up behind me, the driver jumped out thinking that I was having car trouble.  I thanked him and told him I wasn’t ..I was just driving like a maw maw in my my Nissan Rental observing the State of my World.  

This particular World Tour may not have gone as planned, instead it was so much better and left me in a state of true reverence.  It reaffirmed that the present coexists with the past and reminds us that nothing is more important than preserving  the State of Our World, both the inner and outer, for the future.

Flowers blooming in 2016 at 800 year old Scott Place Mounds


In that regard, this World Tour road trip, and all my World Tour road trips have been:


 It’s all in how you see it. 


Happy New Year!

 Coming in 2017:
A New Website
More blogs 
more World Tours

Thanks for reading, viewing and supporting the State of My World

~ Natasha

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez



Friday, September 30, 2016

Once Upon the Side of the Road - Its a Whole New World

If we are facebook besties, no doubt you've heard the story. While heading out to Sicily (Island) (Louisiana) last week, my car engine died along with the brakes.  My first and only thought when I finally coasted to a stop was "this could have been sooooo much worse".  I was grateful for the chance to make it to the side of the road and that nothing was blocking my path.

For the first time in the 5 years that I have been Touring the World, I was disappointed. My goal has always been to simply make it to the town and photograph something with the town name.  This tour was a little different, I have already visited Sicily(Island).  I was going back for some re-shoots and to explore the nearby Ancient World of Native American mounds.   Yet it looked like there would be no World Tourin' on this trip.

Until...

After being slightly bitter and texting friends this pic with the caption "Worlds Most Boring World Tour",

Worlds Most Boring World Tour

I found a tiny butterfly. 

Tiny Yellow Butterfly
It occurred to me that one of my favorite places in da world is The Forest. Pick a Forest, any Forest.  When I'm not photographing lizards or reflections for American Photo Safari, or hosting songwriters and musicians at Buffas Bar & Restuarant, I am most likely hanging out in the forest with bunnies and butterflies, or at least thats what I'm daydreaming about.

So there I was, stranded on the side of the road waiting for my Tow Truck Driver in Shining Steel,  feeling a little down about not being able to complete the world tour, when I realized - I was right where i wanted to be - in the forest.  Everyday we drive on these concrete strips of cleared land ignoring or not even considering the world around us as we anticipate the world ahead of us.




So I decided to go on tour after all and explore this enchanting terrain with moody shots of the forest, a whole new world just on the side of the road.






And shadow selfies, natch.  


I was mildly pleased with myself for photographing this spider web:


Until I stumbled across this one:


When the tow truck finally arrived it brought with it more photographic opportunities - 
reflective selfies
(appropos)


And shots of my car on its way to its final resting place just outside of Sorrento.  


A fitting end to a car that brought me all over the world, the road.. and then some.

The Worlds Most Boring World Tour turned into the Worlds Most Exciting One after all with more adventures ahead. 

Til next time..


Up Next:

The World Tours Final Chapter Begins 
with 
Scenes from The Rental Car

All content (c) Natasha Sanchez


The Louisiana World Tour, a philosophical and photographic road trip through the state of my world, began in 2011 under the premise that the world is as large or as small as you want it to be. Since that time, over 20 "international" destinations have been visited in Louisiana. The Ancient Louisiana World Tour began in 2016 and aims to complement the Louisiana World Tour by honoring the  natural landscape and those who came before us.  Follow the blog for more exciting adventures! 


Check out a preview of the Louisiana World Tour on my website
http://www.nattie-concepts.com/portfolio_-_photography/world_tour

You can also purchase The State of My World songbook, a printed version of my one-woman show, "Louisiana:The State of My World" on blurb.com

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Check out my other books available on blurb:

***************

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Desde Monterrey, Mexico a Monterey, Louisiana



Last January, you may recall,  I traveled to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a birthday getaway vacay. When not lounging on the terrace, I visited Galeria Photo/Graphic in the Centro and learned about an upcoming summer juried exhibition called Interpreted Reality.  I submitted to the show, got in (!), then went on a road trip with a friend, driving from New Orleans to SMA to attend the opening in July.  

The drive from the border to San Miguel de Allende is a breathtaking odyssey, parts of it include the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range.  Mexico has a great system of toll roads but they go around the city of Monterrey, sad face. Knowing that there was a Monterey, Louisiana I was a little disappointed to not drive through the city.  (Ok, so the disappointment lasted about half a second as I was preoccupied with one spectacular view after another)

On the way back...I was navigating....we took a right...oops, i mean wrong ..turn


and ended up in Monterrey!  Though I SWEAR it was an accident..~there are no accidents~.. I was not-so-secretly thrilled to get a glimpse of this worldly metropolis...because that meant that I was headed north when I got home, straight to Monterey, Louisiana.  

If you search for Monterrey, Mexico on the innerwebs, you will surely find out it is one of Mexicos largest cities, both industrial and cosmopolitan with plenty of natural areas and parks.  We drove in just long enough to find a spot for a questionable u-turn, so we only got a peek of the impressive outskirts.  Grabbing the shot with the city name was the peak of the drive para mi. 



Back home in Louisiana, it was time to hit the road again, this time to Monterey, Louisiana.  Monterey is located in the  eastern central part of the state near the Mississippi River - east of Alexandria and South of Sicily Island for reference.  It was exciting to travel to this unexpectedly new  location on the World Tour, because it took me along both familiar and unfamiliar routes. Hwy 1 is a favorite of mine - sugar cane, random crop duster,


and the Morganza Spillway.   


In contrast to the soaring Sierra Madres of Mexico, there are the flat floodplains of Louisiana.  
Though for what Louisiana lacks in elevation, the ginormous cumulus clouds make up for it. 


For a moment driving north in Louisiana didn't seem much different from driving in north Mexico. 

Louisiana
Mexico

Hwy 15 takes you through the Red River State Wildlife Management area


 Past the Old River Control Structure (to match Morganza)


 And then to the unincorporated town with a post office I didn't photograph, Monterey


In Monterey I photographed all the usual suspects. 
The Water Tower,


 the market,


the fire truck,


and then I cooled off at the church. 


(I do have a tale about a Very Curious Monterey Resident, but much like the Transylvania Bat, some stories are meant to be sung.)

I have to admit I was wondering what I was going to think of  Monterey, Louisiana after my trek through Monterrey Mexico. How would it hold up?  Turns out,  like the rest of my travels, my favorite part of both Monter(r)eys was the journey itself.  I was as awe-inspired in Louisiana as I was in Mexico, verifying once again that the World is as Large or as small as you want it to be, how we choose to perceive it is entirely up to us.  


Til next time...



All content (c) Natasha Sanchez


*Shout out to Alex Bosworth for the use of her iPhone in Monterrey as my camera battery died and my phone was the GPS. 

Up Next:

The Ancient World Tour returns!

************

The Louisiana World Tour, a philosophical and photographic road trip through the state of my world, began in 2011 under the premise that the world is as large or as small as you want it to be. Since that time, over 20 "international" destinations have been visited in Louisiana. The Ancient Louisiana World Tour began in 2016 and aims to complement the Louisiana World Tour by honoring the  natural landscape and those who came before us.  Follow the blog for more exciting adventures! 

Check out a preview of the Louisiana World Tour on my website
http://www.nattie-concepts.com/portfolio_-_photography/world_tour

You can also purchase The State of My World songbook, a printed version of my one-woman show, "Louisiana:The State of My World" on blurb.com

**************

Check out my other books available on blurb:

***************