Sunday, June 26, 2016

on the road, in brief, with photos from 4 states in the northeast

post #290
       I recently drove from Kentucky to New England, by myself, with Lee Smith's memoir in essays, Dimestore, as my book on CDs for company.  First stop: a party, near Albany, NY, where I got to meet the latest extended family member, saw her mom and her longtime aunt-in-all-but-blood.

I was holding both this beautiful 2 month old great-niece and my iPhone, experimenting.

Oh the challenges of white skin, black skin, white dress, dark purple dress, with a thank you for the more medium toned barn door behind.... Even so, this may be my favorite photo from the party.

        Went from there to my daughter's, where the school year was ending for two teachers and a five year old, with traditions to be honored -- such as students in line to water dunk one teacher after another.  I missed filming the actual splash for my son-in-law, but at least in this photo it looks like he was briefly having fun!

a live smiling hibiscus plant....
first teacher to be dunked, on the way into the water!!

line of hopeful students/dunkers


  Another visit was to my Alma Mater, which is nearby. Those trees and their shadows in the central circle seemed particularly beautiful to me. I also went the college art museum, which always satisfies.

    The next day I showed up at Sheila's house, near Hanover, NH, for a lunch that was not only beautiful but also delicious. I hadn't seen her for too many years, and David was away to lead a folk dance event, but I am grateful we had time for sharing stories, a meal and a garden tour!! and some laughing!!  The wine glasses contain a cold melon soup with treasures added -- eloquent and tasty smoothies.

delphiniums with me

and without me

     Sheila reports she finally found a solution to their deer problem - which we also have in Kentucky.  SO I took a photo of what she says has given her back her garden.  Since her garden is an anchor for her, this has been a true gift.  I haven't checked yet whether this expensive environmentally friendly spray is also available in Kentucky, but I will be  researching that and be ready to try it next year.  (It requires an early spring start.)

        Finally it was time to leave the Hanover area to return for one last night in western Massachusetts before starting the drive home to Kentucky... Squeaked in here before dark last night.  Saw evidence of the terrible flooding in West Virginia. I am wondering of course if man's damage to the mountians contributed at all to the wreckage from the already powerful downpours they experienced.  
       Anyway, while returning to Massachusetts I drove the back way for awhile. The route includes this long covered bridge from New Hamsphire to Vermont, over the Connecticut River, near nothing else in particular except the small town of Windsor, VT.  

  The last photo for today was made at my cousin's house in Hanover. I couldn't resist the combo of colors and textures of these flowers.  My thanks to all friends and relatives for taking me in, sometimes at the last moment, and for the chance to get caught up a bit with our lives. Meg, you got me first but I didn't do well in the photo department that first day! 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

faces my camera has found

post #289
    I am currently in western Massachusetts at the Montague Bookmill, which calls itself the bookstore with books you don't need in a place you can't find.  I have posted from here before, always giving thanks to its mostly reliable wifi -- though just now it didn't save something I thought it would, and I lost my first draft of this post.  However, the sound of the water over the long stretch of rocks outside the open window is comforting, and this 1824 Grist Mill is indeed a treasure, so here I try again.  But this time I will be posting as I go....
         I have saved this post to share, chronologically, some faces of folks I mostly know and whom I have been with during the past 6 weeks.  I rarely fully identify people I take photos of, but if I do it is usually because they have a public persona.  Otherwise, I assume each person knows who she or he is, and isn't that the most important thing we can hope to know about, truly, in the first place?

1) I begin with a few faces from the local fire station fish fry in early May, as thanks for their hard work to raise money AND provide fire protection for our large rural area.

The artist decorates her own face? Wow! She says she loves being able to share her skills.

2) Next is Steve Middleton, banjo player, and video maker, including his "Never Get Out Alive" which has an interview with me!  Steve is on the faculty of Morehead State University.  Anyway, Steve, this is fair play turn around, and you said you wanted to be on my blog!

3) My best photo from the high school graduation -- wonderful neighbors!

 4) gardening friends, Bonnie and Lucy, on Bonnie's stone wall:

5) Marvin Francis, remarkable artist, working in paper mache while in prison, whose brilliant work is currently on display at the Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead, KY. I took this photo at the opening reception. Go see this exhibit! KFAC is free. It's open weekdays in the summer.

6) We had a local commemoration for the senseless tragedy in Orlando, and here a few photos. It is tricky to be honest via photography without intruding on an occasion, but the light was lovely and I hope the solemnity of the occasion comes across.  Hate solves nothing, yet it rears its ugly head over and over again.  I simply don't get it.

Thanks - I would have a few more photos, but after having to redo this post, because I wasn't paying full enough attention, I have run out of time. If anyone ever wants me to remove a photo, please just let me know - We need to take care of each other.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

haying this week plus walking to the tall waterfall

post #288
      This week has been a bit unusual in that every day it has felt positively social around here!  Several neighbors were coming by to help with the outside work, friends from town came to take a short hike and even brought their dogs, our geothermal unit got some attention, and a young man who has helped me all this year came to say goodby for awhile -- so a full week of both sad and happy moments.  This morning I decided that the photos I should share today from this past week are the ones about the hay, near the house, and the waterfall, at the other end of our property. 
       First the hay. We do have one field that's an actual hay field, but the other part requires some fancy driving to get around things like a tree here, a tree there, a terraced section of a hillside, etc. Even so, Jamie managed to round up 6 large bales, and he may come back to do some corners needing the bush hog instead.  (I looked this word up on line and found out a lot about something I thought I already knew what it was -- but now I know moreA bush hog is a type of rotary mower. Typically these mowers attach to the back of a farm tractor using the three-point hitch and are driven via the Power take-off (PTO). It has blades that are not rigidly attached to the drive like a lawnmower blade, but are on hinges so if the blade hits a rock or stump, it bounces backward and inward, and then centrifugal force makes it go outwards again.) I say why bother to do a blog post if I can't also learn something myself!

The mower behind Jamie's tractor is behind and off to one side, so it doesn't show up in this photo.

the hay taking over, between house and barn

looking back toward the house
       For a book project, I need to show "milkweed in the meadow". Luckily I had taken some photos in the early morning light, not knowing the haying would begin that afternoon.  A close call!!

I think this is my favorite milkweed plant compositon.To me it looks like the plant is about to take a bow.
       Now our walk to the waterfalls, ending up at the tallest one:
        I'm really happy with this photo. I've taken so many other photos down here that don't do the falls justice, and yet this one is able to give a feel for the place. It's hard to get the light right, for one thing. Being there in the evening helps.

looking more to the south from the same location

   Don't forget to give one of the photos a click so that they can each then be seen in a larger size. Enjoy, enjoy, and thank a rock today for me. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

England in May, part 2, mostly London

post #287
       My England visit seems like so long ago although I've only been home 10 days! In any case, it's time to share several photos from the last three days of my trip -- which I spent in London! I traveled there on the train, to meet up with Reidunn, a close friend I rarely get to be with. She is Norwegian, and she flew over from Oslo, the capitol city, for our visit. What a treat! We laughed a lot and talked even more and caught up a bit and explored where we found ourselves -- which turned out to be near the British Museum. Neither of us is a reliable correspondent, so, to honor a long friendship, sometimes extreme measures are required.
       I rode the train an hour and 45 minutes from Morton-in-Marsh to London's Paddington Station. For readers familiar with the books about Paddington Bear, this is HIS station. Currently, due to station renovations, his famous statue is temporarily located on Platform 1. I took time to find the bear and take a photo, partly because the last time I was there, my Paddington photo was not what I wanted. 
      I often offer to take a photo for other people, and I did so this time as well. Then the young woman offered to take one of me! Thank you, traveling stranger and good photographer, whoever you are and where ever you are now. My photo is fine,  but I am showing hers.

     Here's my oft repeated reminder -- to see all the photos in a larger size, simply click on one of them and they will all align themselves at the bottom of the page, ready for a click which leads to an enlargement!   
We stayed at a kind of Quaker Bed and Breakfast, a wonderful place, called The Penn Club. This is the view from my window on the third floor, which in Europe is called the second floor since our first floor is called their ground floor... No elevator, but kind peopleI arrived about an hour before Reidunn appeared. It felt like a miracle that our plan had worked!  BTW, the bus is for tourists, though it was a chilly day and a weekday; no brave soul was sitting on the open deck second story of the bus.

Inside the amazing British Museum, waiting for the 10 a.m. opening of the exhibit areas, I loved the shadows of the "roof" in the morning sun.  Well, I guess I loved THE SUN and the shadows were a delightful bonus.

Eric, I took this photo for you - remembering how you studied the Rosetta Stone one summer and then we visited it in its former more hands-on presentation.  But this is currently the most visited item in the whole place and still fascinating to think of how much was learned about written language from the many years in the 1800s that it was studied.

A quick snap of Reidunn looking very serious when we were viewing the Elgin Marbles, also a popular exhibit despite the controversy over where in the world these sculptures should be located.

       Reidunn and I took advantage of being near the British Museum by visiting it both days that we could. But we also wanted to walk around, and we ended up near the Thames River and the modern London Eye and about-to-be-silenced-during-renovations Big Ben and the parliament buildings. It didn't rain! The first two photos are taken from the south bank of the river, and the other two are on the corner across from Big Ben. We walked over that bridge to get there.... It is not far, as is evident from the passage of time shown on the clock.... 

Does anyone hear the 5 chimes happening?

This photo is all about light, which in England is a photographer's joy when it happens like this. I don't necessarily need a photo of the London Eye, but I couldn't resist having Big Ben at my back and seeing the 5 pm sun shining across the Thames and making art where otherwise there would just be commerce....
   My last evening, after Reidunn had returned to Oslo, I went out to find an apple and a power bar to carry with me the next morning on the airplane home, emergency provisions.... Right around the block I discovered this bookshop, which was open at 9 pm only because of a reading that was taking place, reservations required. Folks were packed in there. I loved the whole scene, of course. I hear the cafe is excellent, too - if there's ever a next time I will know about going there!

         All best wishes to everyone on their adventures! Thanks for sharing mine.  Ann