Saturday, May 27, 2017

Wildflower walk

Tradescantia ohiensis - spiderwort
Some sights from the Wildflower Sanctuary along the Riverwalk in Batavia, Illinois.

Trillium recurvatum - "Wake Robin" trillium

This volunteer-built sanctuary was begun in 1991, showcasing the native woodland plants growing along the Fox River in Northern Illinois.

Aquilegia canadensis - wild columbine
When I lived here as a child, I explored the woods, prairies, and creeksides of this landscape. My mother helped me identify flowers I found.

Anemone canadensis - meadow anemone

Wild iris
Walk through the cool shade to find small treasures.

Phlox divartica
Bright flashes of color in the green.

The Challenge Windmill Factory building
The walk follows the river, which powered mills and factories beginning in the 19th century.  The factories are built of limestone quarried nearby.


Batavia's factories built windmills, as intricately styled as flowers themselves. Some of these antique windmills are on display at the park.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Crabby hands


My mouth is tingly and my hands are stained reddish brown. There's a pasty, spicy mixture caked under my fingernails. 


It's crab boil time. At Vaughan's Lounge.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day parade


Yesterday was Mother's Day, and also the annual celebratory parade for the Social and Pleasure Club Original Big Seven. As I stood on St. Bernard Avenue waiting for the parade to cross Claiborne, the crowd was full of mothers and children, holding hands. Many mothers were wearing corsages, and the children were wearing hair-bows. Everyone was wishing one another "Happy Mother's Day!"

The sound of revved motors split the air, and around the corner came a fleet of women on sleek and fancy motorcycles. They wore helmets adorned with bright pink mohawks. They made a pass up the Avenue, made a U-turn through the neutral ground, and circled back, parking their bikes in formation at the curb.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Reminders everywhere


Walking through the Bywater, warm summer afternoon. Faced again with a reminder to BE.

Monday, May 8, 2017

His Master's Voice


El Chapo is a little white puppy beloved of many people at Vaughan's Lounge, but the person who loves him the best is Big Chris.

And El Chapo loves him back. Here's El Chapo at the door, recognizing the sound of Big Chris's van pulling up outside.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Messages


When the world sends you a message, take it to heart.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Returning


I've abandoned you. I'm sorry. But I'm back.

It's been a long time - since Mardi Gras. I have completed my spring semester. I've also embarked on a new path.


In March, I undertook a training program to be a licensed tour guide in the city of New Orleans, through the Friends of the Cabildo, a local historic preservation group. I will be part of their team of guides giving walking tours of the French Quarter. It's fun and it's also challenging.


Right now it is the weekday interim between the two weekends of Jazz Fest - officially called the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This is a huge music and cultural blow-out; major national bands alongside local bands and players, food tents and vendors and booths for cultural groups, all arrayed out at the fairgrounds. I'm not a big festival fan, but what I like is how the rest of the city's cultural life is enriched by the presence of so many musicians and music fans during this time.


Yesterday afternoon I was treated to a performance by one of my favorite musicians, singer and songwriter Dayna Kurtz, at Euclid Records, with Robert Mache.

Last night at Vaughan's Lounge, a couple of bands rocked the house - Jamaican Me Breakfast and the Fortifiers.


Tonight is Blood Jet Poetry reading at BJ's Bar, and tomorrow Corey Henry kills it at Vaughan's.


Who knows what Friday will bring?


Having this much fun is exhausting!

Mornings

February 16, 2017
For the last couple months, I've been walking in the mornings with my friend Carol. A morning walk with a friend, talking and sharing, is a good thing.

We walk through Crescent Park, which follows the curve of the Mississippi River downtown from the French Quarter. We walk from the Mazant Street Wharf down to Mandeville, where a footbridge takes you over the railroad tracks. That's where we stop and turn around.

February 23
When we get there, we always walk right to the rail over the river itself, and look out at the city-scape. Almost every day, I pull out my phone and take a photo. Here are some views of the city of New Orleans, the Mississippi River, and the view.

March 21
We can see the Crescent City Connection - the bridge from New Orleans to the West Bank. We watch the traffic on the river, barges and freighters and cruise ships. Some morning are crystal clear and sunny; others are foggy and blurred with clouds. Some days the river is placid, other days it is turbulent, murky and thick with debris. The sky and the light vary so much.

Today - storm clouds brewing.
I love living in this city. I'm so lucky to be here.

Saturday, March 4, 2017