Monday, February 23, 2015

Our World Tuesday: For the Birds

 This white egret was playing hide-and-seek with me and dad last week at the park.  Eventually, he stepped off the boardwalk and slipped into the grass and went off-the-grid incognito for a few minutes.
 This brown pelican wasn't much worried about who was coming or going that day.  He just sat and sat and sat and sat in the sunshine some more.  So did these two.


This little girl couldn't move them from their relaxation stations, though she tried as she might.  Her grandfather waited about as patiently as the birds as the little girl ran back and forth between the birds.
 
It just went like that for a while as dad and I watched from the car to see who would move off first.  Eventually, the pelican slipped into the water.

On the way out, we spied this seagull making the most of the warmth of the parking lot.   The birds were fearless, acclimatized--and making the most of human inventions as they enjoyed the sunshine of a beautiful winter's day.

Our World Tuesday

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Skywatch Friday: High, High Tide


This was a morning that showed footwear no mercy.  This was a high, high tide. My pants, my shoes, and my mittens took a soaking as I tried to make my way down the beach.  This was a small, small price to pay for a beautiful morning that followed a few dark days (which were also beautiful).

Later in the day, I sat in the same place from which I took this photo, and I watched dolphins swim and feed and cavort while one smarty-pants pelican flew by and the willets worked on lunch.  "I am sitting here because there is no place else to sit," I thought.  Little white birds with very sharp wings dove into the water, seagulls did what seagulls do because they really are the headmasters of the world, and I watched.

I watched and thought of all these big ideas about offshore wind turbines and how these monoliths will affect turtles and marine life generally.  And I thought if we need the damned things, at least let's put them onshore so that we are not messing with endangered species and our marine mammal friends.  How about we make a conscious decision to deliberately not f*** up something precious?

I thought this because my news app relayed the appalling story of the train cars full of North Dakota crude that are on fire after in West Virginia.  Oil interests are not going to do right by the environment.  John Boehner calls us anarchists for caring.  The poor man does not know what it means to care, and this breaks my heart.  He needs to come here and watch a turtle make its way to the ocean.  He needs to own that vulnerability.  Until then, the anarchists will do it for him.

My mornings are noisy. They come with a news app that reminds me the world needs more caring than anybody knows.

Skywatch Friday 

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Skywatch Friday: Kindness

This week's news is too much:  ISIS setting fire to a human being (because the beheadings weren't impressing us anymore?); a school shooting in Maryland during a basketball game; the Taiwan plane crash, the Metro-North accident... And then the nonsense about people wasting their lives and others':  Whitney Houston's daughter and Aaron Hernandez come to mind.

In my own world, I can think of students who will show up and do nothing, cheerfully confident the rest of us will pay their way through life because our conscience tells us we must; others who would rather hurt their loves ones than show up and be kind; fools in pickups who tailgate before they pass you by skating along on black ice.

I'm cranky and tired and not at all in love with people who shovel their shit onto everyone else's front porch.  Too much meanness.  Too much harm.  Time to go to sleep to wake up and do some good.  Or stay home.

Skywatch Friday 

Monday, February 02, 2015

Our World Tuesday: Milford, Pennsylvania

Last weekend, we took my parents out to lunch to celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary.  The Apple Valley Family Restaurant was decorated with vintage outdoorsy magazines.
I don't know if this guy is as old as the magazines or if the grin on his face is his idea, but there he was presiding over our meal like some gentle, quiet benefactor.
On the way out of Milford, I took the drive-by photos.  This is a form of recreation my daughter and I invented to fill the time whenever we have long car journey.  The idea is to compose a photo as quickly as possible and to snap it before the story passes.
Saturday in Milford, Pennsylvania, has Heineken in it.  And Girl Scouts who pick up litter and make the PENN DOT grateful.

Milford, which is on the Delaware River, has a lot of stones in it and a lot of lovely stone buildings.
And bricks.  Pennsylvania has bricks everywhere.  That's how you know it isn't Maryland or New York if you doze for a while and feel disoriented when you wake up.  Those bricks will tell you where you are.
There's also a wooden hotel with a French name that has been around for a while.  We'll have to try out the restaurant there sometime.
This drive-by creates the illusion the hotel is about to fall over, but that is not the case.

There are times when it is hard to tell if you're in Pennsylvania or New York.  That's when the giant wooden barns pop up and say business as usual just like it has been for the past 200 years and make you want to buy your eggs local just to keep the barns in business.  This barn is in Pennsylvania.
This one is in New York.

This penny was in my pocket, so it made the trip to Pennsylvania with us even though I found it in a parking lot in Connecticut.  Some piece of equipment or other scraped the copper right off of this modest scrap of legal tender.  I photographed it because there I was in the car without much to do for eighty miles.


Here are the Hudson Highlands.  Beautiful as they are, these mountains always make me lonely for home.  I can't explain it.  But I am not a New Yorker, and they are not my mountains.  For me, they are mountains I pass through to get to Connecticut or to get the heck out of Connecticut en route to North Carolina.

Here's the Newburgh-Beacon bridge that bears the name of Hamilton Fish, a New York congressman who was a great supporter of Irish human rights and independence.  His family has a long and proud history in the Empire State.  And it's a nice bridge with a modest toll--unlike those flashy city bridges that span the same beautiful river.


These are mediocre photos, but they capture our adventure over the weekend.  I like drive-by photos because they are creative challenge at the same time they remind me and Adella to look for what we can genuinely see wherever we are.  The pictures are not about art but about living.

Our World Tuesday