Although “Diamonds” are a girls’ best friend, I’m not going to talk about that kind of diamond today. Instead I’m putting on my railfan hat and will talk briefly on railroad “Diamonds”. These diamonds are properly known as crossings, where one track crosses another at the same grade. Crossings are generally 90o but can be constructed at varying safe angles to accomplish the needed result. It gets its nickname from the shape of the space in the center of the crossing.
One of these crossings can be found in Plant City. The Union Station Depot was built in 1908-1909 by both the Atlantic Coast Line (east-west line) and the Seaboard Airline Railroads (north-south line).1 Across from the Robert W Willaford Railroad Museum at the old Plant City Union Station Depot is a train watching platform and tower built in 2013. The tower is a super vantage point to watch railroad activity with rail traffic northbound toward Wildwood, Jacksonville and Atlanta; westbound to Tampa and Bradenton; and eastbound to Lakeland, Miami and Orlando.1 Some information was obtained from the Plant City Government website.
Several times I attempted to satisfy this theme but to no avail. Recently while camped on a lake, Barb spotted this lone fisherman all by himself out on the lake in the late afternoon and said there’s a good “Silhouette”. When I looked, I thought immediately, that’s a good “Silhouette”.
In thinking out this post, I felt I had two options: Spread it out over two weeks as the challenge is designed or think a little outside the box and post two weeks challenges in one week. Being an imaginative kind of guy, I opted to combine. A couple of nights ago, we were camped in West Point, Georgia at R Shaefer Heard Campground and the weather was cooperative for us to grill, so we had grilled pork chops, twice baked potatoes and creamed onions. “Mealtime” was certainly “Mouthwatering”.
The Big Bend area of the Florida Gulf Coast has a lot of quaint little towns filled with photo ops. One of these towns is Apalachicola, a town with a population of only 2,231. Ninety percent of the state’s oyster crop (10 percent of the nation’s total) is cultivated in Apalachicola’s 7000+ acres of oyster beds (AAA Tour Guide).
While driving around town we came across this “Yellow” house and the street artist. He told me that once a year Apalachicola has a street painting festival and with all the big old houses, there is no lack of subjects. Both he and I liked this house and its shade of “Yellow”. With his permission I included him in my photo.
Recently, while in downtown Norfolk, we noticed some workmen “Descending” the side of a building and cleaning the dirty white stone surface. As the “Descending” cleaners made downward progress, it was possible to see the fruits of their labors.
For this theme, “Bird’s Eye View”, I chose to use an Eagle’s “Bird’s Eye View” from the top of Mill Mountain in Roanoke, Virginia. Mill Mountain, at 1693 feet above sea level, is an ideal location to view the city of Roanoke and surrounding counties and mountains. On top of the mountain is the famous Roanoke Star. This star was erected in 1949 and is the reason that Roanoke is known as the Star City of the South. When we lived in Roanoke, if the star was lit up in red instead of white, it signified that there had been a local traffic fatality. This practice was later discontinued. Over the years, Roanoke has grown and spread out as this “Bird’s Eye View” shows.
As a bonus I’ve included images of the star and of the plaques at the base of the star.
One evening, while in the Tidewater area, we took a dinner cruise on the “Spirit of Norfolk”. The boat departs from Waterside in Norfolk and cruises down the Elizabeth River to the point where it opens out into the Chesapeake Bay. As we cruised down the river, we passed various shipyards and the U.S. Navy’s Norfolk Naval Base. Although the “fleet” wasn’t in port, there were a considerable number of ships in for maintenance or stand-down periods between at-sea operations. With the evening light, the ships appeared to be in various “Shades of Gray”.